Falling Apart Into Wholeness – The Book

collection of poetry by ira chaleff

Falling Apart Into Wholeness – The Book: Overview

This is my fourth collection of poetry by Ira Challeff. It’s beign published in my 75th year, and in the first year of the Coronavid-19 virus. I am entering an age of disintegration. As my body experiences the slow unraveling of aging, the society in which I wrote the poems in this volume is also unraveling. Yet, it is also an age of integration. How is this possible? Others have explored this phenomenon in prose. I choose to explore it through poetry. I invite you to join me in this exploration and may a better wholeness emerge from the rearrenged pieces of a post-Corona world.

Falling Apart Into Wholeness – The Book: Readings by Stephen Macht

My friend, the esteemed actor and an ordained life cycle celebrant, Stephen Macht, does me the great honor of reading a few of the poems. His sonorous voice lifts each poem from the page and offers it to your soul. Thank you Stephen.

Falling Apart Into Wholeness – The Book: Endorsements

ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH, SAVORING EACH POEM AND NOT WANTING TO GET TO THE END OF THE BOOK ANYTIME SOON!. This collection of poetry by Ira Chaleff is simply wonderful. It speaks to all of us – about life, about time, about love, about aging, about cherishing those we love – including ourselves. Ira Chaleff’s poetry is intimate and, at the same time, universal. HIs language is so visual, so stirring. It’s not often one comes across a book of poetry that is as stirring, as moving, as enlightening, as these poems are. I just bought another and am excited to present it to another poet to see how she responds. I know it’ll move her as it did me.

Stephen Macht
Amazon.com, November 15, 2020

THESE POEMS TOUCHED MY HEART AND MY SOUL. This collection of poetry by Ira Chaleff is absolutely wonderful. Each one spoke to me in a very personal, deep and meaningful way. A perfect gift for one’s self especially during these challenging times. Uplifting and beautiful.

Torrey Pines
Amazon.com, October 23, 2020

WONDERFUL POETRY. This is a great gift for the thoughtful and persistently optimistic, even in troubled times. Great study of the intersection of global upheaval and personal vulnerability, and how we keep going and learning all along in this journey of life Sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, always sincere and carefully chosen words.

Amazon.com, December 10, 2020


Wholeness is not perfection.

It is the emerging patterns
and the unarranged parts
seeking their completion.
It is touching them softly,
to better map our understanding.

As I fall apart,
I turn to these patterns
and lift them with the language
currently available to me,
aware there are many tongues
and an infinity of lived dialects.

I offer you a codex
in which these patterns are examined.
I invite you to explore the words
that reside within you.
Together, we may yet discern
the wholeness of our ripening evolution.

Ira Chaleff – April. 2020

Falling Apart Into Wholeness – The Book: List of Poems

These poems were written in a zig zag of years between my sixtieth and seventy fifth birthdays. I have organized them in categories that loosely form a progression toward the fullness of consciously accepted death, which invigorates life before letting it go. These are not all the poems written in these years, but the ones curated to comprise a transitional journey. Most of the poems have not previously appeared in anthology, though less than a handful were included in the chapbook, A Rare Love, published five years ago as a gift to dear friends, while one tended to the dying of the beloved other.

  • Framing the Theme
    • Fragile as Grass
    • As I Fall Apart
  • Poems of Love
    • Love Notes
    • Ecstasy (The Guitarist)
    • This Is That Moment
    • Swirling Around A Center
    • They Read To Each Other
  • Poems of Being
    • Here
    • Wick Your Tears Gently
    • In Service To A Higher Beauty
    • Praise The Aesthetic
    • Traces
  • Poems of Irreverance
    • What Do You Do?
    • Did You Know
    • Ira’s Universe
    • Racing Death
    • Reading The Damn Paper
    • What Is It God?
    • Masterpieces In Melbourne
  • Poems of Warnings
    • One Day
    • Walking In Shoes
    • Living With Death
    • It Started So Innocently
  • Poems of Aging
    • Evening Light
    • Stories
    • Pointing
    • When I Had Hair
    • We’ve Become Old Women
    • My Dog Is Old
    • We Are Passing
    • When We Are Wise
  • Poems of Loss
    • Too Affected By Death
    • People Fading Away
    • Pointing
    • Bubbles
    • My Sister Still Lives
    • Apology
  • Poems of Preparing
    • Dew
    • At A Certain Time
    • Preparing To Fall
    • Falling Softly
    • The Witch of December
    • Burning Candles
    • Fading
    • I Have Concluded
  • Poems of Dying
    • The Terrible Edge
    • Can I Die Beautifully?
    • Fighting Deat
    • Agony
    • All Creatures Want Comfort
    • There Is Something To Do
    • Whose Faces?
    • Fall Where You Make A Difference
    • No Good Point
    • Today Is The Day
    • Now I Am Ready
  • Afterthought
    • Wholeness

Falling Apart Into Wholeness – The Book: Featured Poems

We Are Passing – In this season of life, memorial services are more frequent. My friend Janis Gillham Grady organized a celebration of life for her father Peter Gillham and for her sister Terri’s loving husband Fernando Gamboa, in Southern California. Janis selected one of my poems and beautifully set it against pictures meaningful to their family (click on images to enlarge).

Other books by Ira Chaleff

A Celebration of Followership

Intelligent Disobedience

The Courageous Follower

The Art of Followership

The Limits of Violence

Falling Apart Into Wholeness – The Book: How to Order
Collection of Poetry by Ira Chaleff: Falling Apart Into Wholeness
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