poems, blessings, spells, etc

Please feel free to use any of these resources for your personal or public needs. We appreciate attribution to “author, enfleshed” – written or verbal. Our poetics library aims to be a collection of spiritually and politically grounded poems, blessings, and spells to support individual and collective contemplation outside the bounds of a singular tradition.
You can also view our ‘liturgy library‘ here for resources geared toward Christian communities and worship contexts.

We love hearing how enfleshed resources are used or resonating with people. Send us a message anytime at info @ enfleshed.com.

Blessing for hair loss
by Rev. Molly Bolton

Bless the scarves
The kind stylists
The friends clicking on clippers
The towel around your shoulders 

Bless the sunhats, and ball caps, and beanies
The headbands
The hair pieces
The buzzcuts

Bless the shiny scalps reflecting the moonlight
Bless the sunscreen rubbed in at the edge of shorelines

Bless the days when you look in the mirror
and see all the iterations of you that used to be.
All the carefree styles that have gone before you.
All the days when your hair was an afterthought.
When you did it just how you liked.
When you didn’t worry about the wind blowing in the wrong direction
or lifting your scarf away like a kite.
When you didn’t squint and wonder how others would see you
because you’re not sure how to see yourself.

Bless the I don’t give a fuck days.
When you feel in your bones your sacred worth.
How your body, like the oak tree, like the creek in your backyard
ebbs and flows in seasons.

Bless the days when your hair loss signals the root of the struggle—
the cancer treatments, the hormonal changes, the alopecia, the PCOS, the chronic stress,
the toll pregnancy takes on a body, the society that tells stories of shame.

Bless the days when you look in the mirror
and see the scope of things—you, on a planet swirling
like a marble in the ocean of the cosmos.
The strands of hair falling from your head, string theory. The confetti of being alive. 

Bless the days that are woeful.

Bless the creams, the foams, the treatments, the vitamins.
Bless the patches, the thinning, the shedding.
Bless the letting it go.
Bless the letting go.
Bless who you were.
Bless who you are.
Bless your becoming.

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Grieving Takes Times
by Robert Monson

*There is no one way to grieve. Despite any cues that might try to convince us that it is time to move on or that our grief “shouldn’t be that deep,” grief comes to us in many ways and at many times. Sometimes like a gentle caress and at other times like a torrential downpour. How we choose to mark time in these cycles of grief are sacred, beautiful, holy. Consider this ritual for when the waves of grief come to you.

In my grief I recognize that something was cut off. Something precious. An expectation, a desire, a job, a loved one There is a chasm between where I am now And the object of my affection. I acknowledge this with my whole heart Knowing that I can be honest here Transparent here. Loved here.

*If this helps you to accompany the ritual, please consider doing something related to cultivating living. I buy flowers regularly as something to help connect myself to the present and to beauty. When I attend to my flowers I know that I am rooted here in the present. When I touch the petals of the plants it helps me to acknowledge the grief that I am experiencing even as I experience beauty.

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Blessing of the precious mess
by anna blaedel

darling one—
you precious mess—
you exhausted, grieving, hollowed, hallowed, hallelujah of a human—
today, if even for a moment, may you feel:
your own beating heart
your own courageous coeur
your chest rising and falling with breath
which is spirit
which is lifeforce
keeping pulse
marking time
finding space—
regardless of how you are feeling
no matter what you are capable of
or not—
and, just for a moment
may you find rest
a bit of ease, held
in that sacred rhythm
that cannot be
without you
because you, you precious mess,
have breath and heart and lifeforce
pulsing through you, yet.

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Tough Mind/Tender Heart
by Robert Monson

*I first encountered this phrase in a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. Here is my poetic reflection.

A Mind of steel.
Is that what You want from me?
A resolve against thinking
Contradicts my own?
Or maybe
This mind within me should be
Steeled against foolishness
That is spewed daily
And threatens to take me down into
And into
But I know You can’t possibly want me to
Maintain a heart of softness
A heart that feels like feathers, lightness, and flesh
Instead of the solidness that develops from seeing hate
Displayed openly.
A tough mind and a tender heart
Are opportunities. Commodities.
Things not easily obtained
And maybe that is the point.

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Ritual for Black Joy
by Robert Monson

Our joy can be summoned sometimes. At other times it can remain a distant stranger, far from us.
For the in-between times, rituals can call us home.
I open my phone and scroll until I get to my favorite selfie. A selfie. I take in the screen.
Surely I am no accident. Look at me. Good-Just How I am. Who I am.
I look at my favorite pictures of my family. I soak them all in.
Phone down now I turn on some of my favorite music.
Sometimes I dance and at other times…like now I sit and let the music wash over me.
Digable Planets floats on melodic wings all around me
and enough tension is relieved so that I can…smile.

Looking at photos. Listening to my favorite music intentionally,
these are just two on-ramps in this ritual that honors Black Joy.
I massage my neck and take it all in.

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For those we have loved and lost
by Robert Monson

For those we have loved and lost along the way.
How our hearts ache at the memories.
The echoes.
The whispers.
The promises uttered.
Whether it be death, or time,
Or circumstances,
Or painful realizations that now find us
At a distance from loves that we cherished

We exhale
We mourn
We remember
We light a candle
We take a walk
We yell
We cry
We cook
We go and lie down

For those we have loved and lost remind us that we are here living
And breathing
Open to the light.

– Robert Monson

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A blessing for letting go and stretching beyond
by M Jade Kaiser

May today offer you what your spirit needs
to evolve, to expand, to unfold.
May it stretch you, but just enough.
Not by force nor demand,
but like an invitation that opens slowly,
too careful to be rushed.
May you be brave enough to loosen your grip
on what you know and perceive –
on what you have learned from fear
or inherited from lineages of cruelty.
May you give thanks for all the sources that gifted you
with survival and wisdom, perspective and protection –
but not let your gratitude unnecessarily wed you to them forever.
Everything has a season, a context, a place and a time – even truths that have freed you.
Maybe there are some things that served you well for an era,
but not any longer.
Maybe it’s time to rethink, reshape, review.
Maybe you’re ready to release another untruth
handed to you early on,
meant to keep you in line, in order, in compliance.
What might be replaced with acceptance
of your power and potential?
For the sake of your own becoming,
and also, us all.
Your soul-work is essential to the labors of love –
collective and eternal.
Material, relational, and communal repair are all forms of healing
made possible by souls entangled
in shared longings and commitments.
So may this day feed you and challenge you,
surprise and comfort you,
that you might have what you need
to be courageous, to be humble,
and to let your soul grow.

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by m jade kaiser

Do you believe in ghosts, holy and haunting?
Touches that reach beyond our constructions of time
Stories uncontained by the arms of history
Presence that spills over, palpable and potent
Beyond our rigid binaries of ends and beginnings
a mysterious fluidity among realms of living.
Lives leave traces among us
Relics summon them without our even asking
A coffee cup. A collar. A mere suggestion of a scent.
Imprints and remnants dance and weep in our midst
Spooky residue in transitions of matter and spirit
There is grief that outlasts death
Horrors untended, still screaming unheard
Love that aches for more time
We mostly move through our days unnoticing and arrogant
until something peculiar animates our senses,
disturbs our illusions of severed connections,
and untidies our certainties of knowing and fact.
A wider web of life ensnares us
sticky and elusive.
Every fragile thread,
weaving a cosmic tapestry,
across planes of existence.
Call it heaven. Call it hell.
To this hallowed tangle, we belong.

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A ritual when feeling unwanted
by Robert Monson

Directions: Feel free if you are able or willing to turn on soft instrumental music.

“Who loves you?”

Let us allow this question to sit.
I allow this question to float to the top of my mind and heart.
Gently. Slowly. Rhythmically.
Acknowledging the loneliness.
The ache.
The barren.

“Who loves you?”
It’s ok to acknowledge the music playing, and allow the soft melodies to envelop like a blanket.

“Who loves you?”
Finally allowing this question to pierce through.
It’s ok to think of and observe the names and faces of those whom you love and love you back as they come to mind.
There will be some surprise at some of those making an appearance as you meditate here.

“Who loves you?”
I rest firmly on the fact that if nobody else does, I at least love myself.

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My queer agenda
by m jade kaiser

Every time the word “gay” rolls off my tongue…when the words “queer” or “intersex” or “trans” or “nonbinary” or “bisexual” bless my lips…no matter what I’m talking about, I am also, always, sending a love letter, casting a lifeline, praying a prayer, and yes, obviously, waving a flag. So many generations of silence and slurs, of words of violence and of quiet, lonely does-anyone-else-in-the-world-feel-this-way? My heart could burst every time I speak the imperfect but earnest attempts at finding ways to communicate lineages of “us.” Every word, a reaching toward each other. A “you’re not alone” or a “we got each other” and a “isn’t it divine, being this way?” It’s never too early to start teaching this love language and planting these seeds of assurance. Just thinking about it makes me want to sing the whole queer lexicon to the tune of ABCs to every new born baby. “Asexual, Bisexual, Cubs, and Dykes…” Train a child up in the way they should go, says the scriptures. And I want them all to go queerly, go freely, go in belonging. I want us to raise a whole generation of kids who never learn to hate themselves. Or to treat others like monsters. Or that there’s anyone even god is against. This is indeed part of my queer agenda: To expose children as early as possible to all the possibilities of their beautiful becoming. To leave no doubt that whichever way their love blossoms and their gender blooms and their body unfurls, they will be protected, cherished, celebrated, loved. In the world as it is, to even begin to balance out all the messages otherwise, these things cannot be said enough. So we say them in every form they take across languages and cultures. We say them as early and as often as we can. We say them, especially, when they’re not welcome. We say them with all the love we’ve got and we will never, never stop.

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Not nice
by m jade kaiser

Not nice.

No more nice.
Nor excusing.
Not passive nor placating nor patronizing.
No more of what makes tomorrow more of the same
when it could all be different.

Not nice.
But still, tender.
Tender like “in touch with pain.”
One’s own. Others’. Ours. Everyone’s. (but particularly and differently.)
Tender like knowing from experience.
Tender like there’s too much at stake not to be.
Tender like fiercely fighting for
the soft parts of us trying to make it,
the possibilities of right relationships,
the justice that changes everything – roots deep.
Tender like chosen family.
Tender like abolition.
Tender like the love in accountability.
Tender like “you’re not alone.”
Tender like laughter.
Tender like death, in its right time.
Tender like spring.
Tender like all the earth
asking us to please,
come home.

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Blessing for the cosmic whole
by Rev. Molly Bolton

May you, in some altered state
of sleeplessness or psychedelics
or come-to-the-edge coming apart,
access a cosmic view of the whole: span of

sapiens, a sweep of your broom
on the back stoop. Empires rising and falling
like breath and your life: a flash of sunlight
reflected in a hummingbird’s ruby throat.

A cicada grows for seventeen years
underground so it can sing for two days.
The Appalachians were as tall as the Alps
before they softened into bosoms.

This singular morning, raspberries melt magenta
in your oatmeal, honeysuckle hooks
to the chain link fence, and you, stubbornly
refuse to add to your suffering.

When you sit waiting for your beloved
who is making you late for dinner,
may you have the fortitude to break the quiet
by cueing up their favorite song. May we drink

the jolt of pleasure that comes
from remembering we are alive,
soft sheets of moss
supping from the same rock.

– Rev. Molly Bolton, enfleshed

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Unsentimental love
by m jade kaiser

May the love I am learning to practice
not be so sentimental that it appears to lack direction.
This love is moving with purpose –
not toward a transcendent unity of rising above
nor a god of come-together.
But down into the depths of everything
where power, pain, and possibility push and pull us
toward or away from transformation.

May there be no confusion that what I mean to say and do
is love according to principles that set free.
Literally, learning to love in the direction of abolition.
And also, learning from love that unbinds
those deep-down parts that cling fearfully to what deadens and destroys.

May the love I am learning to practice
be tender, yes.
But also unafraid to bite.
May the sharp teeth of its determination
cut through every layer and legacy of
of all that has been done and undone in its name
and fiercely declare its truth.

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Blessing during infertility
by Rev. Molly Bolton

Amidst the heartbreak of the world,
and destruction caused by structures of domination,
you yearn to nurture life in your womb,
to hold a baby—warm life—against your chest,
to parent a child with kindness and love;
your gift to this world.

Your heart reaches out and blesses those whose desires
do not include birthing a child. You yearn for them
to have access to healthcare and for their dreams
of flourishing to be realized. Your heart reaches out
and blesses all children, that they may be safe
and cherished for who they are. That they may be nurtured
by communities and their planet home.

And now you, a child of this planet home yourself, receive this blessing:

Bless every way you already nurture life —

Gardens weeded
Pets cuddled
Niblings delighted in
Hands of beloveds held
Cups of tea made for friends
Deep breaths taken into your belly

Bless every way your body already creates —

Poems swirled into the corner of your journal
Summer squash sauteed with garlic and basil
The shapes you form when you dance in the kitchen
The art you make
The humor you find
The intimacy you co-create with the bodies of others

May you feel accompanied in private moments of pain —

when the test is negative again
when your cycle refuses to align with the moon
when you line up medication on the counter
when you schedule another appointment
when every person at the market seems to have a belly ripe with life
when every person at the park seems to have a child on their shoulder

May you feel held in your grief
May your anger have a safe way out
May unwelcome commentary roll past you like water over a river stone
May your relationships of care comfort you
May Inner Wisdom infuse your discernment
May you be connected with the resources and support you need
May your relationship with your body be tender and kind
May you feel deep in your bones that your longings are valid
May you know that even as you grapple with what feels barren…
with what sometimes feels like death itself —
you are life, you are life, you are life.

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Following the passing of more anti-trans legislation
by Rev. M Jade Kaiser

Each time they write us further into struggle:
scratching us from the list of their protections,
severing the lifelines upon which we depend,
slandering us before crowds aching for an enemy – 
we mourn the poison of their policies and proclamations.

Time collapses in the sharing of our grief.
Elders and transcestors come with their knowing wisdom.
Bringing their lessons of survival
but also the joys they cultivated in the sanctuaries of their own making.
Futures, too, unfold around us.
The children who will hope to bloom and blossom freely,
beside us, within us, before us, call us to courage and care.

Planting our roots in the long lineages that made us,
we remember: we are a people both tender and fierce.
We will not hand over our soft hearts to their rigid minds.
We will not let our precious lives,
our sacred offerings,
our holy fight
be extinguished by their violence.

We remain:
Capable of taking care of each other.
Connected to the wisdoms we bear.

We remain:
trans beloveds and gender wonders,
glorious in our divine incarnations,

Try as some may to restrain our power,
we are accompanied across time and space.
We are ferocious with love for each other.
And we will remain.

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Bits, pieces, and other small offerings

We are made of contours both enduring and ephemeral. We grow and shed, transform and heal, at different paces, in infinitely varied rhythms. We are each and all invited to love that which is mortal, and to protect what we love. We are invited to shed the stories that no longer serve us. We are invited to grow, and to rest. We are invited to linger in the threshold portals between this moment, this life, this world–and the next–with imagination, and creativity, and dream. We are invited to cultivate seeds for collective life lived otherwise.

– anna blaedel, enfleshed

Watch flowers bloom.
Feel the slow pace of growth.
Mind the difference one day can make.

Anna Blaedel, enfleshed

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Baby blessing in community
by M Jade Kaiser

This liturgy might be used at a one year birthday party, a special gathering of welcome of an infant at home or a meaningful location, or altered to be used at birth.

What a joy it is to get to come together in celebration of a perfect little human, newly among us. [full name] [describe personality] [Example: James Joan Rushing, aka JJ, who was born on October 8, 2020, came earlier than expected and has been surprising their parents on the regular ever since. A few of their favorite things include: climbing – especially things they shouldn’t. Fine art – particularly, finger painting in blue. And dancing to Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ first thing in the morning and immediately after napping. Two years old with impeccable taste already. They are funny, quick, and gentle.]

Today, we are here to take a moment to share in a collective welcome of [name] to this world and into community. We pause in gratitude for who they already and who they will become. And to remember the privilege of sharing in life together.

Author adrienne maree brown writes, “We are never I. We are of lineage. Of collective. Of era.”

Like all of us, [name] is born into a larger story of “us.” And like all of us, their lives will be shaped by the eras into which they are born [mention a few moments of the present that will shape them – good and hard and honest] We acknowledge and celebrate the gift, responsibility, and delight of getting to be chosen participants in their story. Companioning them through this era, supporting them in their roles in shaping the era’s to come. Helping them grow in the directions that will serve both them and the common good.

There is no doubt that this one has been born into a capable lineage and collective. One rich in [three words to describe their immediate community like generous, supportive, and delightfully irreverent].

Born to [describe their community in terms of siblings, family, pets, friends, land, etc – example: two older siblings, Jo who is five and Tab who is 8, who have loved JJ since day one with more tenderness and patience than anyone. To parents who are caring and wise. To a larger thread of family that embraces them. Family present here, immediate and extended. Family that loves them from a distance – their Grandpa P and Grandpa D in Florida, their cousins in North Carolina, and their godren in Illinois. Family whose love remains even after death. The presence of their Grandmother Lee who died right after JJ’s birth is especially present today. They are born on land, precious and stolen. Originally tended by the Sauk and Meskwaki people, JJ will be raised in a community committed to return and repair. Learning together how to mend legacies of violence, and nurtured by the waters of the Gulf that will teach, hold, and shape them.

And they are born, too, to a wider community of beloveds – a circle of friends cultivated by their parents with intention and care. In queerness and shared values. With joy and laughter and mutual support.]

[Name] these are your people. And they claim you as theirs. And having each other is no small thing.

There is so much that we cannot promise – so many things we cannot control about what you encounter and how you will be treated and who breaks your heart and who supports your dreams or what they will be. But this we can promise – you will always be held in love, no matter what. No matter what. This collective, this lineage of which you are now an inextricable part, will be with you and for you – your flourishing and thriving.

We will support those who care for you, [parents/caregivers names]. Collectively, we will play with you. Learn from you. Apologize to you. Grow alongside you. Help to meet your needs – material, relational, emotional. And most of all – we are here to assure you that whatever struggles and pleasures life brings, whatever questions you wrestle with, and identities you explore, you will not be alone.

As [name] grows in their own unique directions, may the blessing of this community assure them of their worth, be a comfort to them in life’s hardships, and supply them with an abundance of reminders that there will always be someone to whom they can turn. May we make it so.

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Blessing over a meal
by Rev. Molly Bolton

When Together

We honor the labor, known and unknown,
that has brought nourishment to our table.

Thank you plants, [animals], and minerals—
who, in dying or shifting form, allow our living.

We relish the company we have with each other—
each person, worthy of wellbeing.

In sharing this meal, may we be present to the ordinary wonder of living
and sustained for the work of compassion and care.

When Alone

I honor the labor, known and unknown,
that has brought me this nourishment.

Thank you plants, [animals], and minerals—
who, in dying or shifting form, allow my living.

I cherish the presence of my own company—
my body inherently worthy of wellbeing.

In nourishing myself, may I be present to the ordinary wonder of living
and sustained for the work of compassion and care.

*The word animals is written in parenthesis because some who are vegan may choose to remove or alter the language. However, even when meat is not on the table, in many cases, animals have been displaced or otherwise affected by agricultural processes and systems.

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rituals of remembrance
by anna blaedel

rituals of remembrance are holy—remembering is resistance in this world of fast forgetting, where we have to fight for our lives, our names, our bodies, our loves. we need to remember each other, and remember our beloved dead—our dear ones, our sisters, our lovers, our teachers, our kin. but more than remember i want us to savor each other. to reach for each other, alive and enlivening. to remember how delight is our birthright, too. how dreams they write off as impossible are etched in the marrow of our bones. how their deadly violence still and won’t and can’t keep us from dancing. how every day and way that we delight in each other is worth remembering, too, because it is divine, how we delight in our aliveness, delight in the worlds we are crafting, delight in the love we are making, patterning new rhythms of home together. and so we remember the forces that keep us alive—forces of mutual aid and abolition, harm reduction and trans care—forces we can and are enfleshing, so that we can have lifetimes upon lifetimes to savor each other.

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queer dinner blessing
by anna blaedel and m jade kaiser

dearly Beloveds, queerly Beloveds, we are gathering to imagine the world differently.
we are gathering to enflesh the world otherwise.
to say ‘yes’ to new possibilities to live tenderly,
to think expansively, to do daily life with ferocious love so that life can live and breath can breathe.

Beloveds, do we not know all life is cultivated by insisting that we can’t and won’t be satisfied by the norms that suffocate,
the habits that poison, the patterns of relating that deaden?
Beloveds, do we not know the Sacred is restless? the Sacred is restless in us.
we pause to pay attention and nourish strange practices to let the Sacred work her queer magic through us.

Beloveds, do we not know queer magic means dreaming of more than fitting in?
we can’t simply settle for a place at the table if the table is built on binaries, exclusions, hierarchies, and control.
our collective future depends on being in this together.

and so with holy urgency, we extend tables and we turn them over,
we claim our place with stubborn dignity or refuse to take a seat.
we reach for our lover’s hand while stuck at the table,
or leave the table altogether and head to the park for a picnic. so that no one is left alone.

so, blessed be the queers, the freaks, the misfits, the outcasts and all those who cast their lot with the strange.
blessed be the meal before us, the earth that still pours forth its abundance, the food that nourishes our bodies.
and blessed be this gathering, that emboldens us for this holy labor of otherwise living and love,
for the sake of collective survival and also, always, joy.

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litany for becoming
by m jade kaiser

To become is a life long process.
Nothing is constant,
not even the self.
We evolve in the midst of narratives meant only for some
and ways of being made narrow by fear and power.
We must, then, have the courage to listen to the truth of our own lives,
to the wisdom that comes from within –
responding without resistance or need to control,
but with welcome and curiosity.
This is what ensures our becoming is an unfolding
of our truest self.
This lifelong labor cannot be carried out alone. It requires help
from friends, and lovers, family, and creaturely companions
who bear witness to what makes us come alive.
And say to us, “Listen. Look. Feel. Pay attention to that.”

Many: This is loving and being loved.

Telling the stories.
Sharing in the memories.
Giving thanks for the relationships, understandings, and experiences past
that have shaped us to this day.

Many: This is loving and being loved.

Celebrating new beginnings that excite.
Holding risks together.
Leaning into unknowns with the promises of support and companionship.

Many: This is loving and being loved.

One: Listening to the future calling uniquely to each of us in the midst of all of life’s noise.
Helping one another find our place in the shared labor of collective life.
Supporting each other in what it is the world’s ache is asking from us.

Many: This is loving and being loved.

To say, for the first time,
“This is who I am.
This is the truth of my body.
This is what I know about myself.
This is my name and this is where my path is leading me.”
And to have it heard. Have it received. Have it affirmed.
And then,
to say it again,
and again,
as we change
and as the world changes,
and to have each proclamation greeted with an open-armed embrace:

Many: This is loving and being loved.

There is no me without you.
We shape one another.
The Sacred that birthed us
weaves our lives together
so that we can only find ourselves through shared becoming.
For my journey and all its winding ways.
For yours.
For all the saints who labored for what is,
all the kin whose lives made ours possible.
For all those yet to come for whom
living our truths today will mean breaking possibilities open for them tomorrow:
We pause. We give thanks. We acknowledge.

Many: This is loving and being loved.

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by m jade kaiser

Whatever else you might say about it,
Love is queer. queerer than Queer.
Which is to say, it flows more freely between and betwixt
then even our strangest surmise.
Don’t be afraid to let it unravel all your preconceptions.
It’s ok to grow aflutter at its notions of
possibilities yet explored, worlds yet revealed.
Go ahead and let it win you over (and over again)
with all the gestures of affection scattered promiscuously
throughout the land and waters, across species and friendships.
It wishes to beckon all of us away from the
tired romance of hierarchies and domination
that know so little about what it means to be alive,
why we are so unsatisfied,
or how to tend longings that span generations.
Be forewarned, however.
Like all that is queer, risk is involved.
Abandoned into such arms, you will find yourself
at odds with gods and empires.
Their wrath is not to be dismissed,
but neither are we, the queers and the queer –
Love and all the peculiar power
of those who find and cherish each other
materially, affectionately, relentlessly.
– M Jade Kaiser

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On father’s day
by m jade kaiser

To all the fathers and fatherly,
who break cycles of toxic masculinity,
and disrupt destructive generational patterns,
who model love that is soft and strong,
who are patient while teaching
and humble while learning…
To all the fathers and fatherly
who love without condition
and share equally in the work,
who support all the queer and trans littles,
who stay,
who play,
who apologize,
who take their place in laboring beside others
in the collective labors of liberation –
within, at home, and throughout society,
Thank you.

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On mother’s day
by m jade kaiser

A mothering force of life,
ancient and alive,
calls us into being,
nurtures us with care,
strengthens and supports us.

For all those through whom this lifeforce mothers,
we give thanks.
For those who teach us to be courageous and kind,
who hold our grief and fight to make a way with and for us,
who love us when the world doesn’t,
who encourage us to share our deepest most authentic gifts for the sake of the collective whole…
We are grateful. We are blessed.

And too, we bear truths more complicated in these collective observances.
The grief, the erasure, the distance, the queer and trans antagonism, all the forces that leave those who mother under-resourced, criminalized, isolated, or afraid for their children – given or chosen.
We choose to linger in the both/ands.
Blessing and grief.
Honest and complex.
Tender and still learning, each of us,
what is to mother and be mothered,
and love well our teachers,
human, plant, and creature.

by anna blaedel

on this day
this day that holds so much
when we hold so much
and hold those who hold so much
who have held us through so much
may the pressure to feel
this way or that
crack open
allowing a softer, more complex holding
so many pain points—
so many points of possibility, too

thank you to those who give body and soul in the midwifing of more livable worlds
those who lose sleep and rise early and work late
those who teach us to read, and cook, and build, and plant, and tend
those who tell the stories of who we are, and were, and could be
those who wipe away tears, listen deep, offer wisdom, open to learning
those who fight for the kids who need sanctuary, shelter, and a soft place to land
those who sing us to dream with lullabies that are hymns of revolution
who remind us how beautiful the small moments can be
how miraculous this life is, so shot through with horrors, and so beautiful still
each lunch packed and snack made
each garden planted and bail fund raised
each turn toward collective, toward liberative, toward sacred, messy, uncertain aliveness

every act of care, for infants and elders and everyone in between
welcoming home
midwifing movement
birthing a world

in which we can heal the traumas that cross generations
we can learn to mother ourselves
we can build a world where mothers are chosen and choose,
and mothering is honored, the holy labors of love that set us free

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Trans day of visibility
by m jade kaiser


The way it begins as a child – this right to call into question the very things they call “natural.” Or innate. Or fixed. Those stale assumptions that have been woven into every aspect of everything. We take that thread. We undo it. And yes, so much falls apart. We say, “bless.” We say, “you’re welcome.” We say, “my god, it feels good.”

The way we let change work its magic in us. Language. Bodies. Names. Perceptions. Resisting the illusion of control, we surrender to the gifts of all that wishes to unfold, unfurl, (un)become. Even beloved things. Our lives are a testament to what can flourish in letting go. In refusing to play the games. In climbing out of the confines of the expected and moving willfully into the lands of strange, wild, unruly.

The way all it takes is a whisper. Something within that unsettles us into a different direction. Calls to us like a path home. The power that lives there, in the listening. In the saying “yes.” In the agency born of the deepest kind of knowing. Impossible things become possible. Even more so, together. The way we call that “god.”

Hated for the way we exercise creation. The way we learn to love ourselves. The way we practice metamorphosis, recreating ourselves from the inside out. For the sake of our survival and each other’s. Our lives rewrite some of the oldest stories. We awaken this power in others. They fear everything that we wish to (un)do.


In a world that so boringly,
so violently,
so stubbornly insists
on its stale and narrow gender rules and regulations,
God Themselves is a state of constant transition.

Though many try to tame Their wild,
make Them into the image of power,
and fix Them permanently to one static being,
They are change in a world that loves control.
They take our attempts at definitions and confuse them.
They trouble our most basic assumptions –
about ourselves, the earth, each other.

God, unwilling to stick to a single form for our comfortable comprehension.
Incapable of making Themselves so flat.
Their names are always changing.
They are a multitude of incarnations.
Our Deliverer from the status quo.
Our Liberator from ordinary logics of power.
Our Invitation to live into the abundance of possibilities within and around us.

What a blessing,
every trans child birthed unto us.
Precious glimpses.
Holy encounters.
Glorious invitations
to recognize the image of God –
the gifts of being and becoming so much more than what’s placed upon us,
the possibilities for living without losing a part of ourselves,
the desire to know and be known,
vulnerably, truthfully, entirely –
alive in all of us.

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Trans day of remembrance
by m jade kaiser


ancient and still becoming,
tired and resilient,
children and elders
precious to each other,
We remember
across borders,
through words that fit and don’t,
in the midst of layers and intersections,
violences of so many kinds.
We remember lives, names, stories.
We remember our parts
in the webs we grieve –
the ways and times we have been more of a friend
to white supremacy or colonialism,
capitalism or misogyny, ableism or fatphobia,
anti-sex worker biases or cultures of policing,
or our religious institutions that weave through them all
than to those on this day we call kin.
We remember what causes us to betray.
We remember we are capable of solidarity, true and lasting.
We remember more than death, more than what deadens,
but we will not let their cruelty be forgotten, erased, dismissed.
We remember good days for each other.
We remember love that surprises.
We remember our beloveds, resting, haunting, remaining.
May there be comfort among the grieving,
reflection among the privileged,
and loyalty, courage, and power
to move and make us,
hold and heal us
in the directions of
trans flourishing,
collective and within.


Trans day of remembrance and resilience – an intimate and serious thing.
A necessary ritual for the ones grieving all year long
the perpetuation of unnecessary death.

May remembrance not be in vain nor in vanity,
coupled with conscious complicity in the structures that enable and encourage the destruction of life.

May participation in mourning precipitate working for change alongside the living.
Let this grief make way for resisting whiteness centering itself this day and others.
Let this ritual be a practice of collective refocusing on the roots of sexism and transmisogynoir in manifestations of anti-trans violence.
Let the visibility of this day,
the complicatedness of what it has become,
the chance to recenter its attention,
tell the entire truth
about what creates the conditions for such death:
The class realities. The prejudices and policies against sex workers.
The theologies. The misogyny.
The politics of respectability.
The colonialization.
The transphobia in all its forms.
And the white supremacy from which so much of it is birthed.

Over these,
and all they steal,
we weep.

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10 intentions to enflesh in the new year
by anna blaeel and m jade kaiser

  • I will disrupt the destructive stories and beliefs I have internalized, and cultivate habits of body, mind, and spirit I wish to grow in the world.
  • I will remember we are of the earth, and pay attention to how I/we can (re)align with the earth’s rhythms, seasons, and cycles.
  • I will seek out, savor, and share food that brings me pleasure, nourishment, and connection.
  • I will approach other human and non-human animals with curiosity and respect, honoring and learning from their unique embodied wisdom.
  • I will pay attention to habits of thought and action that are rooted in individualism and separation, and actively seek collaboration, cooperation, and solidarity.
  • I will shed aspects of religion and spirituality that diminish collective aliveness, and turn toward, reclaim, and open to practices and beliefs that enliven.
  • I will say yes to generative desires and ordinary pleasures, and no to pressures and prejudices that stifle.
  • I will prioritize care–collectively and intimately–in how I relate to every body’s unique vulnerabilities, limitations, and needs.
  • I will cherish and celebrate that which transphobia, racism, misogyny and other forces of oppression demonize.
  • I will resist exploitative expectations and invest in endeavors that serve the common good.

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