within the folds of her holy dress

Radiant Grace

Radiant Grace by Shiloh Sophia

In the folds of your dress
your holy garment
I bury my head
Smelling the sweet fragrance of your love
My little hands hidden in the layers of fabric
I try to be consumed and folded into your dress
I want to disappear into your being-ness
I pull up a fold and surround myself with silken fabric
Soft and giving, silky and strong
It is dark like your skin
and in these folds I can imagine
All the world is well and
I hear your soothing voice
speaking words of grace-filled wisdom
into my aching breaking heart

The pilot light of my heart goes out sometimes
I whisper into your gown…
I feel worried about the future
And all the pain of my life
and all my brothers and sisters
and the four legged and winged ones
what is to become of us?
My tears press their salt into your fabric

I dreamed last night I was re-organizing
the ocean floor because it needed to be done
and I knew how
breathing underwater
fish swimming by, I set about my task
feeling I was working for you

Mama, I am forever working to reorganize
things that seem as vast as that
I try to remember to rely on your strength
and then exhaust myself through forgetting
Oh YES, just ask your Mama for help

Here amongst the soft rose scent of your dress
And the golden embroidered stars brushing my cheek
I gather my courage to face another day
So much to do! I feel it, and so they call me the
DenMother as I am always worrying after
the chicks, cubs, and golden tiny fish
some have hurt fins and feathers…

And this week, Mother, when my kitty
went to heaven unannounced I cried
for every death I could think of
She coughed twice and died as I sat
There helpless to bring her life

And it is because I miss her,
She of 14 years, my companion
And furry light in my home
Who no longer sits at my feet
As I write these words
That I bury my face in your dress
Seeking the comfort of a mother

I don’t know what you do with kitties
in Heaven. But whatever you do
I trust it
And that you have received my kitty friend
Into the folds of your holy dress

Shiloh Sophia

Dear Ones,

I wrote this last winter when my kitty Shiniata died and every time I read it I cry and so I don’t post it. Finally, I have two new kitties and am healing from the loss. Who knew how much one could grieve a pet? SO MUCH. Here is a picture of her – and this post is in honor of her. Next week I will share photos Chiquita Bonita and Santiago of the Black Madonna.

The painting above was created last weekend in a group of wonderful women from around the country in The Beaded Lady workshop with my dear friend Elizabeth Gibbons. She truly held my heart all weekend – the Black Madonna and brought the medicine of her Radiant Grace.

I am on the way to Berkeley today with a dear friend. I am filming Alice Walker reading poetry from her new book to be released on October, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing. I should be posting the footage on her YouTube channel next week. If you want be at one of her poetry readings and book talks live – check it out because we are hosting one of those events in San Francisco at Yoshi’s. More on this next week.

I hope your day is blessed. That you feel held in the ways you need to feel held. And that you nurture your own heart in whatever way you need to.

With love,

Click here to learn more about my work, paintings and vision.


my kitty of 14 years, Shiniata