Belly of a Star

my practice of compassion

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Never Giving Up

Nightmares began before the age of four
And never ended
Typically, demons and monsters
Sometimes they come true
An only child
Capable of skipping the first grade
Lost two fathers to divorce
Entire step-family, brothers and sisters, gone
Never seen again
Best friend kidnapped, soon after
Life with a single, low-income parent
Latch-key kid, learned to cook, on that old cast iron skillet

I walked a lot, hid in the comfort of tall oak trees
Shirley Temple Black’s house, just around the corner
Near Stanford University’s tall, green grass
Without Mother, attended my own parent/teacher conference
A gifted-kid, hyper-active, with a tendency to daydream
Saving babysitter funds, to buy my own toiletries and clothes
Red striped Nikes, Grandmother’s
Size six, one size too small, but I made them work
Three pairs of pants, rotated, accessories were luxury

A high school freshman, on the east coast
Bullied and ostracized, called out in the halls
“Slut,” “Idiot,” “Bitch”
Wept to the bearded school counselor, to please listen
As something was wrong, couldn’t read
Stomach pains, can’t comprehend
Can’t spell, can’t remember, please help
In response: smirks and claims ‘she is too pretty’ to have problems

A mid-year high school freshman, on the west coast, elevated in status
Loved for the outside . . . homecoming princess, cheerleader
Countless tears in the front cab of my sweetheart’s truck
He didn’t understand, and neither did I
Hippy-, loving-, free-spirited mother
Her black best friend married to a white man
Taught me how cruel onlookers can be to “different”
Her foreign, Persian boyfriend, in times of hostages and chaos
Came with late-night tire slashing and unspeakable threats

Graduated with honors, scholarships, somehow
Only college freshman in upper-division classes
Victim of multiple predators . . .
First female on both sides of family to earn a degree
Graduated from teaching program, early
Taught in low-income school, 110-degrees outside, windows sealed shut
No air conditioning, needed fumigating
Nominated teacher of year, received highest marks, always

Master’s degree earned, while disabled and
Raising three sons, one on the autism spectrum
Stay-at-home mother, working from home
Home schooling middle son, after the bullies came
My own late-age diagnosis of Aspergers
New remote-job, promoted and promoted
Dyslexia, dyspraxia, generalized anxiety . . .
Divorce, uprooting, finding ‘home’ again
Crying in the front cab of my van, this time, alone
Heartache, heartbreak, reality of world, once more

Published book, took ten years to write
Sharing stories to build community
More stories to build, more living to come
My doggy, and time, passes on
Comforts of home and family
Getting our “Geek” on
Lord of the Rings, Dungeon and Dragons
Showing it’s okay to be

Last count, 8 chronic pain conditions
Most of this spring in bed with a virus
After traveling through LA airport
Covid-19, social unrest, more sadness
Still, 3 sons graduate, all on the same day, the 13th
A happy June, well-adjusted, content, and kind
My sons, loved ones, and me
Still thriving, still speaking, still working
Nightmares began before the age of 4
And never ended
Typically, demons and monsters
Sometimes they come true
Sometimes they don’t

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Joy’s Pain

Joy’s Pain

Here I stand, abandoned.
Abandoned by fear, by doubt, by destitute.
Here I stand, embraced.
Encapsulated by love, by love, by love.
Her shadow emerged from light’s bowing down.
And I kiss her, my merry dancing bride brought to life.
The stellar glance of knowing.
The chisel of breath, against buried skin.
The emerging one, formed two.
Lightening shadow sparks in victorious rapture.
Stillness undone into solitude.
Envy bowing down to grace.
Laughing sticks, peering out over the valley of vines.
Inchworms soiling the ground in which they bleed.
Enough, enough, enough, the wise woman calls from the bounty.
Enough, my undone love.
Burry me with the masses.
Cast me aside.
Stomp on my chained heart.
Carve me with the pieces of him.
Just make the river dance stop.
Bring this ache to the caverned regions and rectify the cross in the making of my sacrifice.
Take what is yours, and feed me to the lion heart.
Take what is here, and lance the eyes I am from the corners of my logic.
Eradicate, separate, designate.
Do what is must, to remove the burden I carry.
Some ladened cauldron frothing with joy.
For I am not made to hold such passion.
I am not made to know this endless ribboned peace.
How it crosses the line.
How it marks me with swelling.
The light abiding within a fire set free.
Moving through skin as butter to sizzling pan.
Oozing its way through bubbling deliciousness.
I can taste me in your wanting.
Taste every aspect of humanity.
Feel my way through the scattered wilderness–thought upon thought, whirling in the twilight of dawn.
I am awoken twice-more.
Until morning dove sings me to sleep.
To the woven wolf centered in the start of me.
Formed before I breathed name.
Reformed before sound.
Can you not hear him?
My distant angel returned home.
Wrapped in the solitude no more.
Set free at the doorstep in which I laid my cherub gifts. Balanced at the opening.
Brought down from the starry sky to shatter this earthly maiden.
Crafted in the makings.
His hand, my hand.
His heart, my heart.
His coming, my spear-crested awakening.

Samantha Craft, 7.19.19

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I know someone suffering

waiting to be seen

I know someone who is suffering
I know someone who is in chronic pain
I know someone who has chronic fatigue
I know someone who is searching for answers
I know someone who has gone through divorce
I know someone who is in an unhappy marriage
I know someone who longs to find a soul mate
I know someone who is alone
I know someone who has no one nearby
I know someone who searches for another
I know someone who cannot afford the mortgage
I know someone who cannot afford the rent
I know someone who is homeless
I know someone who longs to reconnect with family
I know someone who longs to be accepted by loved ones
I know someone who has been hurt by those most trusted
I know someone who has lost all siblings
I know someone who has lost a child
I know someone who has lost a partner
I know someone who is in search of work
I know someone who is burdened by a job
I know someone who isn’t recognized for abilities
I know someone who can’t control anger
I know someone who can’t control the body
I know someone who can’t control actions
I know someone who feels trapped in the wrong body
I know someone who feels trapped in the wrong gender
I know someone who feels trapped by society
I know someone who has been displaced
I know someone who has been ostracized
I know someone who is searching for community
I know someone who is losing the ability to remember
I know someone who is in the last stages of cancer
I know someone who is preparing to end this life
I know someone who feels unseen
I know someone who longs to be heard
I know someone who is tired of cruelty
I know someone who gets trapped in the mind
I know someone who gets fooled by thoughts
I know someone who battles voices that seem real
I know someone who lost a beloved pet
I know someone who lost a beloved possession
I know someone who lost a part of who they are
I know someone who battles addiction
I know someone who pangs to live in the moment
I know someone who doesn’t understand why life is unfair
I know someone who is suffering
Samantha Craft
December 2016

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Where The Crow Feeds

Where The Crow Feeds
There is a bitterness instilled and growing. A habitat of woes poured through the grout-laden tiles. Sacrificed as brine burdened tears and inched toward desert ground below. And here is where the crow feeds. Nestled against the marrow remains. Latched onto feathered-whispers meandering stretched out corridors. He caws. Cries out and pecks the places he exists. Broken, hallowed and shamed into boney crumbs. Comes again, the agony dance. A thousand droplets drenched cascade through victim chambers, round the bowels and out into the essence of darkness. Evaporated with each pressing. A salt-lathered stain against tainted black. Beak to bone. Talon to ash. Weathered door creaks opens to an endless echo of isolation. I am this shattered bird. I am this proclaimed prey. Slathered in likeliness, prancing round the corners, where burden lives. Shifted into form anew, turned into unfamiliar, still carrying the weariness of loss. I hear him clawing at the pieces below. Beneath the marble crushings—how he weeps. How he mars the destitute of his own hallowed out regions, emptied beyond starvation. The pool of self, shaken, moved and unmoved by worlds forgotten. Edged back, he endures, counting the ways in which his agony survives victor, in which his piercing eyes pierce that which is about, lavishing the view with what seems as bleakness awoken. Terrible he is, in his misery. But terrible worse is the way in which ‘what was’ has returned once more. Again, he calls out from beneath the remnants of fragmented substance. Devastated in a state of weary forlorn. Forgotten by self, and still there, in his sheltered state. “I am here,” he sings, from beyond the trees winter foliage, drenched in muted grey. “I am here,” the song carries, far above the collapsed sky. “I am here.” And his tears swallow themselves—one upon the next—tumbling gems catching the wind. If only he could see enough to lift his tethered eyes. If only he could hear his own song, seize the dying shell, and rise once more through scattered bones.
Samantha Craft

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The opinionated folk deems his self more worthy than the next, more educated, more correct, more substantiated in his tethered-viewings. He is the man who ties himself to his beliefs as marionette to the puppeteer. Surrendering his last performance for the making of a hopeful sequel.

He stands on the cornerstone of his own reality, perched on a soapbox made of rubbery-soles; erect in his being, creating hurts, as he plucks out the feathers from those deemed ‘wrong.’

He is the judge. And his seasoned-eyes seek out justice for self, and for self-proclaimed truths.

He creates chaos through the subconscious quest to establish an enemy in order to make himself the victor.

He seeks out that which is wrong to feed his own tattered ego.

The more he builds himself up, the more he merrily tears the others downward into spiraling nonsense.

He latches on to one truth, and then another, exchanging viewpoints to suit his individual needs. Adapting his ways to suit his desired outcome.

He eradicates plans and schemes, even as he sees this not as so.

He is blind to his own ways, and thinks himself clever and keen.

He has an eye for truth, and establishes his world as so. Truth begets truth and all else in dangerous makings of others’ minds.

He knows himself, inside and out, or so he thinketh . And in thinking in limited scope, he believes he sees the world about him endlessly.

He is the maker of mankind and the destroyer, and he sets himself on high while wearing a robe of futile-humility. Though, buried beneath the cloakings are the mere wobblings of brittle bones.

He erects flags of righteousness in his name.

He is the enemy of spirit, as he claims his views worthy and right.

He is the enemy of self, as he hides in the shadowed sands, head buried to the reality undone.

He builds and builds an illusion in order to feed and feed that which is established upon as self onto self.

He becomes that which he wishes, and has opinion for all that does not fit into his gently spawned parchment.

His arrows are as ink on treasure map, pointing thusly to where the answers rest.

He knows, and he knows naught, and in so doing he believes he is the wisest of wise.

He layers himself in the latherings of riches, sought in the grounds of others’ burdens.

He is neither miser of gold nor pauper of the trenches; instead he is both. Combined, as the one collecting and discarding. Scooping up in ‘veracious’ heaps that which serves his truth, and throwing out that which does not.

He cannot see his weary ways, and instead labels the rest unjust and wrong, except the select few that follow his way. His light shone bright in the ability to feasibly proclaim his truth as collective truth.

He is not satisfied unless others see him, others hear him, others lift him and validate his existence.

His way is made the only way. And the others, though innocent they be, gather around him as sucklings to his tainted nectar.

He nourishes them with lies—his own.

He lures them in with a sense of belonging. And then, too, they become as him: stagnant in their youth, nurturing nothing and no one, and taking as they please.

They satisfy self to please self. They play with self to please self. They collect and establish more truths.

Until the beggar returns—uncloaked—he is made burdened with entrapment; invisible, trumpeting his drum. Pounding out the horned owl’s screech. Demolishing what is, in hopes of fissuring all that is the entrapment of mankind.

Formidable-forbidding. A lingering, unsurpassed longing, to surrender his making for the unmasking of the man beneath the cloaked resilience.

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Bending. Bending towards humanity.
Upside down and twisted. Sideways. Backwards.
Hello. Hello, out there. I wave.
Casual-like, faking the discrepancies lining the walls of my interior.
Wallpaper: aged, peeling, unwanted.
Caution to the wind, I sail outward, into the blue societal corridors.
Painted bleak by ill doers masked in golden-tainted grimaces.
Castaways, alike, we gather into cylinders of being, turning inside the encapsulated thoughts.
Syringed through penetrating drops of nothing.
I am not what they preach, nor say, nor whisper in the cornered room gone viral.
Tentacles forward, burrowing through the broken skin, tantalizing the soul with promises.
Undone, again, in the region born from goodness, now made bitter-sweet in its giving.
How I long to climb the mountain high and scream out the bounty brought onto us—the widow’s heart eternally mourning for the lost child named innocence.
How, if given opportunity, I’d purge the demons from them all, and dance upon the grave called fear.
How I’d rip then, apart the hearts donned black.
Forging, grasping, into the misery found there.
Stand then, we would, upon the cornerstone of our calling, without the stage bearing down beneath us.
And speak no more of these times.
When darkness held the strings to emptied puppets turned asleep.

Samantha Craft, 2014

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The Trinity

I am that scaffold—I am the one standing on the scaffold—and I am the wall being scaffolded. I am the one being built upon, the substance being offered, and the one offering. Again, this trinity upon trinity.

My self is endless and to pinpoint an exactness is to remain stagnant, an impossibility in an ever-expanding and ever-imploding world.

You are the missing piece, and the missing answers, but in truth, I am the missing piece and answer; for you are merely a nearby reflection pointing the way back to the foundation formed—the sideway walls, and the vertical mass slathered in circumstance.

I do not want promises, nor predictions, nor even possibilities. Instead I long to be sheltered in a knowing that nothing will change still, even as everything tilts and spins about continuously.

I long to be held, as the nearby one turned into union, enveloped in a space of adoration, chosen, given and returned to the whole from which I came. Released into captivity, back to the cornerstone of faith, before reason and inquiry established doubt.

I can no longer stand on the platform broached, the planet that holds and teaches to rise again and again with each coming fall. I can only drift, the lost traveler found, and stand face-to-face with her own homecoming.

I am essentially alone, battling my way across a field of war with no soldiers, no weapons, and only the sound of the horn. And yet I am the horn. I am the sound carried through the empty space of nothing, and I am the ear in which the sound follows: a tail of faithful foe twirling round in loyalty—the hound come back to master.

Again, I wonder, and cast out all of everything, only to return more broken and forlorn, leaning upon my established perch of knowing, singing a song as bird gone wrong, trapped in the latitude of frozen sky. If ever there was a time for rejoicing the lost soul, it is now.

Though, even as I glide through in the darkest gown shredded, tumbling through imaginary ghosts and imaginary grounds, I feel alive. Torn open and let out. Free. My every soul-bone and soul-blood moves in irreplaceable manner. Reemerged into the grand merry-go-round—a child no longer asleep.


Scattered Gatherings

I vacillate between thinking I know something and accepting I know nothing. Wherein the tides of change of my conscious awareness of grasping used to vary from day-to-day, and maybe carry and effervescent glow that highlighted ‘attachment’ at random intervals throughout the week, now it appears that I shift continually, moment by moment, step by step. Had it not been for my finite reasoning in regards to spiritually studies, I would think myself mad, or certainly delusional. For what I find in the depth of ancient texts substantiates my own inner dwellings of non-substantiated self. I see myself sounding more and more like someone I am not, and losing a grip on what I used to be, and find myself further enjoying the journey of release and gratitude for existence, whatever form it takes, or ceases to take.

However, at the same time I perceive who I am as very much human with self-proclaimed flaws, though in divine perfection I be. This terrifies me, this semblance of being a failed creature.

No amount of reasoning can take me out of the state of ‘failure.’ In no way is this an interior battle of perfectionism or trying to be someone or prove something. In all ways this is a spiritual shedding, of sorts, in which I stand and face a mirror of a mirror of self, somewhere trapped between the reflections, hovering out of my body and out of what is manifested from viewpoint.

I cannot help but to do this, to dip back into a place that feels as humility, but borders on the primal definition of gluttony—the exterior outcry for redemption based on an exceedingly punitive view of the self in which the lessons learned are erased and all is abashed for the love of Christ to a degree that the deemed ‘victim’ slips into ego-state in embracing such self-inflicted misery.

I go there to a degree, but never fully. I stop myself, some hitchhiker through the galaxy of my own surmised prospect of self, listening to an inner voice that is neither pleasing or enticing, unless one peaks at the experience of being solicited my painful renderings spawned wild.

I am that I am, I remind myself, though I continually fall backwards into a predisposition of how could I have done this more accurately. Accurately being the key word, in meaning, how could I have represented my full self fully? This indeed is a contrary statement, for how can one represent the exact self, say ye full or empty, when no self is able waiting?

I query here, inside my mind, or what seems to be my mind, and sit a spell, and awful stench-filled spell, wading through the waves of inner demons. Had I not known I was of the light, I am sure I would sacrifice my own existence to relieve the internal pangs. As there is nothing as devastating to my own soul as singularly embracing the concept of deception. Deception of self onto self, creating that which is not genuinely authentic, but some offspring of gluttony risen, that being the prospect for fame, fortune, circumstance, or renewal of want for one alone. In this state, I dutifully self-punish, not in any fashion noticeable to the onlooker, only in a way that eats away at my own being, teaching me of things that are neither here nor there, whilst retaining a truth so strikingly piercing that the ears of the soul bleed out.

Depression need not enter. As it appears that even depression is no match to the wallowing that suppresses me. It is a tampering of the reality in which I perceive my being, a way in which the world is toppled through, without the hope that I once carried. Erased I am. And in my erasing, nothing remains to hold that which might enter, except the residue of what is not. Again, I spin some circle of thought; yet, clearly the truth be told.

I hold onto this naysay position with remarkable fortitude coming up with what must be a thousand thorns to the heart. Each one recognized and determined as factual. Each one named by that which I had done or undone. Each remark countered. Each specter weighed. I am the weight of my actions, the mass of my thoughts, indicative to the cow who gives her milk in rations, only to hoard the honey for her own drinking. I am this spinster, not able to give out what is mine to give, nibbling away at the best pieces and embracing the bride of pride. How dutifully I dance in this state, frayed out between what was and what is, counting, as miser, the stools of my dissertation, as if the stench that bleeds out of contradictory terms inside the barrier of mind be the hindsight of discovery. I am not what these words say, and yet I placate my self in this space, keeping her held as hostage spun askew. Holding her down in the muck of what is not, to tear out of the deepest heart-chamber what beats as truth.

I twist here, torrential storm, windtunnel sucked under, and remain here uncertain of my sanction, uncertain of my calling, thinking I am nothing but a slight fool hammering away at a place that is erect no longer. Where is this invisibleness leading, the indignation of the righteous one calls out. And I bleed further into the realms of hot demon coals, the fire long ago leached, and the feathers of the falcon lay waste, symbolic representation of further demise. All who trespass are demolished. All who dive in wiped clean. And still I remain in a drafted dungeon of my own doing.

Had I not been a fool, I would not know how to stand here today; had I not endured the spectrum-spun way of non-gentle rendering, I would not exist as speaker. I am dead to myself again upon again, torn open on display as to release the poison within, the scattered gatherings collected that hindered my sight and came as treasure from this earthly dwelling naught. I am sacrificed for the further dawning of self, taken to the night, so I might spring forth anew and reborn.

Had I not been a witness to my repeated suffering, I would stand as the erect one proud, pleased of my own doings, and there the filth would leak from my renderings. Instead, as soldier to knee, I am surrendered to the forces that be, waiting for the time of standing, when I can face the enemy line purged of that which is deemed ‘unclean.’ I am a warrior, yes, but a warrior that stealthily dies upon thy self day after day, morn after morn, moment onto moment, to wipe away all that is a casualty of existence.


Agony’s Answer

Agony’s Answer





Is the day

Bled into night

As flesh


Whilst still living

In the guise

Of Raven’s ravenous


Turned cold

Nothing comes

Mere sound

Mere echo

Evaporated effort

Starched isolation

Stung with scattered remnants

Of the wicked spawned

Gingerly gait

Of desertion

My dwelling soul

Spread open

Gaunt and broken


Gazed upon

By hungry ghost

Of rippled dreams

Never birthed

Only siphoned back

With spindly claws

Into the before womb


By the pleasure-seeking


Where desire

First whispered


I am a mountain dreamer. Born of the stars and birthed by the light. I am the dweller, endearing inhabitant of your heart, whispering the glorious hope of morning to come. Do not feed me your worries or frets. Yet, come to me filled with your misery and isolation, and I shall come onto you in wholeness pure, and cleanse the foul nutrients of your soul with the tear drops of my agony. I have seen you from the distance. Watched with bitter hope turned saved as you dance in the twilight of your awakening.

Why do you fear, when all about you the music dances, the melody herself broken open into spears of radiant dreams? Why do you fear when the enemy is demolished and all that remains is your beauty exposed? Weep not gentle child of the universe, appearing still so broken and alone. My arms are wrapped around you fully, guiding you to higher ground and blanketing thy footsteps in my own gentle grace. Where you walk, I shall follow. Where you weep, I shall sweep. The last of your teardrops saved for the jewels of my crown, to show the world of your essence, of your battle, of your trials. To etch in my wearing the exactness of your path.

I am you and you are me. Both journeying on the path of unknown and scorned in our outlook untouched by luck and gratitude.  I am the same; the wondering hopeless beast screeching for his maiden in the last of his dying days. The one that beseeches the garden to grow, and births the magnificent golden woven petals of alive. I am the solitude at sunset and the dawn reflected in the lover’s eyes.

You are I. I am you. And one we blend into the magnificent cause of all. Can you not see me here crying in the darkening day, waiting for you to find my hand and lead me to your bedside? To cradle me like the lost fawn set free and feel the tender gaze of all upon your haven space.

I am this mighty one that waits in the corridors for your submission, neither broken or gone by the dankness of days. My journey is your journey; yet, my soldier is strong: the one that stands within and with all, readying the reinforcements for battle’s call.

I am neither here nor there. But everywhere. And you may sip me in your weary blindness and stumble into me in your drifting shadow. Catch me and I shall bleed as one into you. My spawn your spawn. My truth your truth. Come to me and I shall carry you through the threshold of beginnings again and again, until you see the time has lapsed and all that is brings forth the dandelion kisses of our valley made and waiting.

I long to skip through the hills with you, where the wheat grass tickles and nibbles at our cherished laughter, joined in union, both body and soul. I long to tumble as the weed broke free, and dance in the edgings, as I spring forth reborn in your presence. Find me here, in the center of your heart, and bring me out. Call me by name and inch your way through my imprisonment.

How I long to be free and set out of this pain you call game. How I long to break through the chains of illusions you create for us alone. I am your one, still here, ticking as the clock reminds the passing, and silent as the time has ceased to be.

How I long for you my lovely one, in all of your ways, in all of your movements, the swaying of your lips in the talking of our wishes, the parchment you entangle with scribbles of hope, the layers of laughter you pile upon me in your sweetest moments of gratitude, when the veil is lifted and you spy me, if only by chance.

When you kiss me, if only in dream, when you move with me, your guardian, like the sun-tipped babe in the forest leaping through the clover green. Your golden lockets touching the paleness of pure ivory skin. Your eyes glowing with the coming of me.

I see you there in secret hour. I hear you call out to me. Say I, beg for me. And I cry again, the tears counted no more in the circling of eternity. I cry for I am here, and you still call. I cry because I have never left, and you still fear. I cry because our merging has just begun and each inch is my deepest agony.

For I long to grind into you fully and form as one. For the union to be complete. For the unloved to feel entirely open in free-flowing ecstasy. For the enchanted one of my destiny to linger not in the chamber of daylight gone but in the bride-groom’s nest of freedom realized. To dress you in my own clothing and call you again the one I love. To dress you in my own skin and then taste what I have made.

If only your eyes would open, and the treasure could burst forth. If only your dream were not my dream, and together, the drummer’s beat was not buried beneath the trappings of our own pitter-pattering trail to nowhere.





In the darkest hours

The world moves

As master puppeteer

And puppet


Disappointed in the performance

The drill and the hole

The very duplicate of the invented peg

Shriveled slugs


Inhabited by falsehoods

Illusion that claims fact

Trapped in the twined ball

Eyes closed

A fiber in twisted imaginings

A race to nowhere

Like the wheel set free

Down the endless hill

A contest


Within a magician’s spell

Cast out

When each is born blue

A prized ribbon

Left to unravel and bleed

In the reign games

A veil aching for recognition



From this place

Phantom ink scribbles


With vulture-tinted egos

Thousands born apart

Behind the layers

Where tears


Through the labor

Of birth