Monday, July 22, 2013

This Enfoldment of Earth

There is a pocket in these hills
where the fog drifts every day
on its way to the sea.

In this perfect little enfoldment of earth
the joy of sun
and water
and land
have come into a perfect song
that swirls and surround me
into sleep so fair
even the Divine would succumb.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year three

This is my third year of making a book for my folks of the poetry I have written and pictures I have taken over the course of the year. This year's book is titled This Course of Grace.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I feel like
at any moment
I will quietly slide
into another world.
My mind is already
halfway there, you see.
Just move this bit, here
one inch over
like so,
and, Boom!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mind the Recoil

Stop negotiating with terrorists:

the terrorist friends who hold your heart hostage
wanting just one more ounce of empathy
for the dramas they have created

the terrorist job that poisons your mind
with its biochemical weapons of ethical dilemmas
and adult daycare demands

the terrorist body who will never let you rest

the terrorist mind
who tells you that fear is now your mantra
who is judge and jury and executioner

the terrorist idea that karma has you trapped.

Stop negotiating.
Breathe slowly.  Aim true.  Shoot cleanly.
Mind the recoil.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Soldier Heart

This is a jagged tear, my friend
flesh torn of teeth and grit -
worn down to bone and break.
You think it will not pass,
that you won't survive
and I promise you, dear
I promise that you won't.

The you that you were before
is dead and gone to this world.
He could not survive through
this present grief.
Betrayal and hope are the bitterest of foes,
destined to share this fallow land
of our hearts.

But this field is where we warrior on,
every minute from now is hard fought victory,
the most important work we do.

Who will you build from these broken seas?
That man,
that man waits for you to find him.

Know that not now,
not tomorrow,
but further on
wholeness and love sit in silent expectation
for this soldier heart you will forge.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Promise of Wings

Grief is this wet veil
that chokes the air of love from me
closing tight against my mouth -
a dying kiss.
I must let go of the dream of you,
all these things you never were,
all that I blindly hoped.
This death grows my second lungs
and stifling as the cocoon may be
there is a promise of wings,
of a world governed not by
the gravity of you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


A flavor like wild honey begins
when you cross the river. On a sandbar
sunlight stretches out its limbs, or is it
a sycamore, so brazen, so clean and so bold?
You forget about gold. You stare—and a flavor
is rising all the time from the trees.
Back from the river, over by a thick
forest, you feel the tide of wild honey
flooding your plans, flooding the hours
till they waver forward looking back. They can’t
return; that river divides more than
two sides of your life. The only way
is farther, breathing that country, becoming
wise in its flavor, a native of the sun

William Stafford
from The Way it Is: New and Selected Poems

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Some Penance

On what day did I become
so hungry for friendship
that stars shrunk slowly from
my sight?
Was it the day we met?
It might be so.
For every day hence
my stomach growled
for food that did not grow in you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ein Sof

Has every life apart from you
been this way?
Every breath aching with grief,
How am I to bear it?
Your absence has shorn any
wing that might grow,
the bones grow dense
and lose their hollow flight.
I cannot escape my own judgement
and must find more careful hands
to cradle such a fragile heart.
I fear I slay it
with every turn.

Narrow Lonelies

What were we before this?
Before all body, before self -
inside Confluence, what were my bones?
Did lines of narrow lonelies
knot and wrap around themselves to shape me?
Can I unloop myself now to return to them?

The truth is, we are fluid in cement forms,
once moved and changed,
we're battered, re-formed, re-made.
but never those bones again.

You wait for me to see that
apart from you, in this place,
I am lonely lines no more.
And this mystery of labyrinthian knots I have become
is unerringly steering me back.

I will return to you
whole, my love,
and we will knit new days from these tests of strength.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

This Course of Grace

I do not know what hand
stays this course of grace,
slow as I am to move through this life.
With dim eyes, indeed, did I see
the true movement of love.
Though separated by the heaviness these bodies contain,
present and waiting it has been.

To field and ocean and back again
my patience runs
yet you sit, ever gazing at this progress.
You are my sea, my land, my rain
my sun,
my endless graces.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Garnet Weight

I am always, always looking for you.
Down streets and stranger's faces,
in the rain
in the beating of my heart,
I'm searching.

Knowing I will not find you here
is relief,
a garnet weight that lightens
to jet over time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fires In the East

There are fires burning in the East
where the mountains seem unlikely mothers
to bear such heat and flame.
Still, they are alive inside you.

The showers of ash blow thick and cloudy
slowly creeping the sun from its roost
to reveal a new lush land
where the shadows of beasts are broken,
shed into gravel quarries
for our tears to make dust.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The River and the Axe

There's a river that rises within me
swift waters make fallow the ground I hold
and bring an ocean's tempest inland
to this world.

Great magic has held these banks,
floods pressed low beneath the levy
and confined by ignorance,
a necessary amnesia.

But rapid waters in this embrace
have lost not their alacrity.
With an unknowing hand we have bound
that which will remake our bones.

But now, now - our grasp loosens.
And as the waters rise to eat our shores,
the Great Axe has begun its cut -
from above it shears blindness away,
descending to meet these waters.

And what of man will be left
when Axe and earth do meet?
Some newer form, perhaps -
with new sight? a truer voice?

Even as I press my eyes to know my fate,
I feel only unabetting land,
rising tide,
and the wind of god's descending hand.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Trick of Light

The day is a snow-grey, low-cloud,
slush-slick sort of place
to rest a weary summer ache
strained from carrying the weight
of your sunrise.

I fit well here amidst the snowbanks
and soot-soaked roads,
free to be mysterious and black
when thoughts take me down into the shadows.

It's cool where we are, this trail and I -
echo-y and still.
Not a place for a sun ray as bright as you.
But I think you would be surprised to know
that this grey place carries its own cloak of light.

True, it is not your brand of golden spikes
that burn my skin,
but more like smoke that bends the trees to bear,
suddenly lifting from the forest floor,
tricking the eye into seeing flame
where only vapor and evenings past
have come before.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Always Ever

I could explore you forever,
weaving myself in and out of your lines
and pathways.

Labyrinth confessions will become our
Navajo tongue,
encrypting that which is not
for others' hearts.

I am always for you, though,
never far,
never gone.

Always, ever,
this path is ours.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2nd Annual

My second book of poems! This one is titled Dryline Boundary.

Only 6 days from order to door. Blurb is sure fast!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Such Remorse

She does not see the deep, wide ocean
beneath her feet, full of savage things
that nip at heels and turn her wide eyes
into pools of memory amidst
the seaweed locks of hair her skin
has grown.

It is this untamed wilderness
that entreats the soul to break free
of the unending barbed wire fences
of which our minds are so fond.

Every discover is, really,
How do I make myself free?
repeated again and again and again.

No wonder we cry with such remorse
when we knit ourselves into
bone and skin once more.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The unknown into being

What do you know, my friend,
of ancient texts and sacred signs?
That the whole of life was known
and lost again
in these white deserts and mountain climbs.

This holy flower knows naught else
but the pattern of the universe
set into motion from our dreams.

Dream well.
Dream large.
Dream the unknown into being.


There is a path between these blades
lined with watchfulness and quiet wonder
through which I will journey back to myself
in ever increasing infinities.

Even as my steps move me away from you,
you are the fabric that has bound these feet,
wet and sodden from the day's humility
and limitless joy.

Thank you for these teachings, these brave
convoys of unerring love.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I dreamt of you last night -
14, beautiful,
Your face your mother’s.
And not.
Some mother face we’ve never met
but bright and full of love.

You knew I would come,
announced it with a smile.
And all those in between years
when we didn’t meet
were forgotten in that look you gave –
all encompassing,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You Think Just So

I don't usually preface any of my poems, but I thought I might say a small word about this one. That word is: Ambien. I sometimes write after the Ambien has kicked in. This is the weird kind of stuff that popped out the other night.

Sometimes it is magical to be suspended in someone’s mind
like a cobweb forgotten in the dusting,
still taking notes on the day to day.

Day 26: “She still sets her glass on the edge of the sink
I think she hopes it will fall and shatter, the pieces
Some mess of an abstract artists brush
Insinuating that a thought went into the destruction.”

But really, the more authentic tale
is that their minds are just tangles and warring traumas
fighting for release and shockingly absent of any documentation.
No numbering systems for the blind behaviors which, after awhile,
are tedious and dull.

Shall I tell them, “You are free! You are free!
No longer required to brush your hair just so,
or react just so,
or think just so.

"The whole world of thought and connection await you!
Whatever colors you want may go together,
there is no one here who
will tell you different."

Most minds are these tangles.
But some, these ones I live for,
are great symphonies of light energy and flow -
passages of thought as beautiful as wild African sunsets,
endangered just so, too.

There are elegant strings of light
that move thought and emotion and body all at once.

But we cannot stay for long in these places,
they are only for the wild wild owner to wield.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fine Sands

These things we thought were holding us together:
strong backs, bone and nerve, tendons and cartilage,
naked need, blood and vessel - they carry us only so far.
Two million beats, that's all we get.

It's a strange sympathy
broken down by weight and sun,
born into a new light
by eclipses and precious seconds of dark.
Run headlong and strong, my love!
Run into the waves on the edges of us
where we are battered into fine sands
and stripped down to nothing more than the bright,
burning essence of what we always were -
two million beats to start again.

Into the Folds of Me

This place
this place that burns me
with a name,
the quiet sigh of golden field
and pale lilac sunset clouds.

All these hills do
is climb gently into the folds of me,
ripples that span lifetimes
and bloom gently
when pressed by trodden foot
into crop circles
and tilled earth.

Stalks askew,
I leave paths for you to find.
Through time you must puzzle
us together again.

I do my part,
limited as this flesh has left me
in these burning hills,
to rip a veil from the space between us,
from this separation I have imagined.

How cruel,
in the face of this beauty,
that absence is what
our minds would birth.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Solar Flare

These things we push away from us
dirty, scarred, ripped and torn
are half shells of truth
stripped down to the bone,
their wings now debt.

These learned, sidestepped paths
that took me down to those hollow veins
and shone in a grimy light
the ways in which I was

Not this.
Not this.
Or that or this,
knocking every one down with splintered bats
from sidewinder curves
and misses
and outs.

These will not be soul-breaking labors.

The births that mark time on this strange tree
have no power to make me less,
only more true
more true
and more true.

Every revelation
a solar flare of deeper law
that brings me home.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hafiz, again



Where we live

Is no place to lose your wings

So love, love


Watch this, too. So, so beautiful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Holding Form

There are seams in the drywall
and dimpled, popped-out nails
resentful of holding things together,
straining against their purpose.

And then there is me -
succumbing with every stuttered beat,
every line of light.

Everything holds form around me
in divine recognition.

It is the most joyous work
I have ever done.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Abiding Yes

It is a deep sinking into the earth
it is energy, raw and primal
you cannot dip your toes, only dive

so you must be ready
as ready as you can be.

There are hands to hold
and ways to find
but this bottomless grasp,
this symbiotic link

it cannot be forged.

It is an abiding yes,
pure intent.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Than Either Or

the truth is
there are more than these two choices
more than either/or

branches upon branches,
thousands of doors
leading back to the one way.
every word I write takes me there

and you -
you bring me there, too.
every meeting a new lesson
in the ways of myself.

thank you, my teachers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Great Pulse of the World

I think maybe the path
and the trees and the leaves
know me better than man.

They have no business to worry
no advertising save pollen
set free in spring's breeze.

I do not compete here
in this cacophony of woods.
The brook and stone
and moss covered floor
let me take of their green
and ivy'd shores
even as I bleed for them
and share my warmth.

There is no contract writ
between our beating hearts,
only the great pulse
of the world
to rule our breath.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Everything Shines

I spend days
trying to dig out
some semblance of a beautiful thought
excavate it like an emerald
smuggled thoroughly
hidden safely
in a dark pocket.

I'm seeing it all wrong.
all wrong.
I only have to look at it
to make it shine.

This must be the key.

everything shines
when it is truly seen.

Friday, April 15, 2011

There Is a Sleep That Rests In Our Bones

There is a sleep that rests in our bones,
independent of time,
waking only when the fullness of life
has brightened our door.

It is the demon we learn to love,
the spectre and weight of the price for this flesh,
the patient of grief who claims us all in our turn,
the knowledge that sorrow can't stay.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Anchor Stone

I can already feel myself
tethered down to you,
this strong anchor stone
in my shifting sands.

How do you navigate me,
as solid as you are,
when I am changing thus:
everyday new?

Maybe you are the blade
that catches my tempest,
transforming movement
into the stored energy of us.

I do not have to name it
only claim you as mine,
this weighted
anchor of love.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward . . . and nothing collapses


I swear I see now that every thing has an eternal soul!
The trees have, rooted in the ground. . .the weeds of the sea have. . .the animals.

I swear I think there is nothing but immortality!

-Walt Whitman, excerpts from Leaves of Grass

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Great North Road

Where did I begin?
From some Great North Road,
through the womb?
That is the place from which I come.

And here.
Here there is light in every direction
an undulating river of light that plots my course.
There are stone walls to guide the sun and
the Great Arrow
that leads me home.

But who am I?
I am a builder of clay
some boulder of time
who erodes so slowly,
so carefully.
Every intent gets woven
into this vitreous stone
upon breaking,
has made the proper sacrifice
so that I may begin again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Ledge

We all rest
on this ledge
believing a lie
of brokenness

How long until
we do not forget
that we are whole
we are one
we are free

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Just sit there right now
Don't do a thing
Just rest.

For your separation from God,
From love,

Is the hardest work
In this World.

(excerpt from "A Cushion for Your Head", The Gift by Hafiz)

Friday, April 8, 2011


In this haze, this
morning of loss,
what would you have me surrender?
When faced with
this road
and that
do I choose this lightning struck trail,
so seemingly ruined?

Do I place
into the burning house
and let it consume me,
rid me of all passion,
all suffering?

I say,
if sorrow is the price I must pay
to see flames of stone
built into this heated land,
I will walk plainly
through fog bank and rain
and let only my knowing
bring me to this House of Fire.

Consumption is a god's task.
I surrender the burden easily.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This Body of Time

This body of time
that moves outside of me,
a great flowing ocean
of adamant possibility -
tighter I clasp
white-knuckled and grasping
like holding on to air
without wing or lung.

It is all beautiful
Nothing will escape,
least of all

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Light at Last

This cairn that buried me
these thousand years
is cracking,
freedom, inescapable
and fearsome,
bites at my heels.
An angel archaeologist
chips silently away at
petrified bits,
flesh and bone made
and precious gem -
a shining prism
turned to light at last.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Stronger Heart

There are waves
that touch me in this emptiness,
great forms of light
and meaning.
I struggle to sort ill intention
from blindness
and to accept that consequence
disregards them both.

I fight to learn how
to take joy as it comes,
to travel that lemon yellow
stream of light
to a source I know as myself.

I would not
that I had less Sight
but stronger feet,
a stronger Heart
to witness the blindness of men.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Go out into your heart. . . "

Summer was like your house: you knew
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.

The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.
Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.

-Rainer Maria Rilke
Rilke's Book of Hours
(Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Parent Arms

Comfort comes in such strange languages -
the arch of a pendulum's swing,
the faces of forgotten gods,
the gentle sway of smoke in this stranger home.

it comes because I ask,
my reach short as a child's -
the Universe unable to do nothing less
than respond with parent arms,
gather me close
and whisper love in my ear.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dryline Boundary

In the woods of my heart
I wait for you.
It's some promise I made
many lives past
echoing through valleys
and broken streams
over cracked crags
crossing my dryline boundary.

You are the squall line of tempest
that hems me in,
the strong hand that shutters other storms
who might swallow me whole.

Together we are the earth and sky
the wind and the scrying rain.
All you are settles into me,
even from this distance.

You are the coming love,
my gravity wave.

Friday, April 1, 2011

An Unexpected Grace

I am far out to sea,
newly wrought from when I had you last.
I have been reborn, reshaped
and set to sail into new currents
I mourn you still.

My phantom pains are sneaker waves,
the past colliding with the matter I have now become.

1600 days since you were taken and torn
but in your place
(that emptiness where you once lived)
filaments of the sun have been strung,
mapping out a blueprint of sorts,
a new topography that lights the core of me.

It is an unexpected grace.

What could not grow in your waters,
what I could not birth then
now escapes through my skin in finely stranded echoes of light,
an indirect labor
in the harbors of these new lands.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

No Coda

Your name is my prayer.
Surely gods tire of this
single syllable I speak.
It is the only refrain I afford,
no coda,
nothing repeats -
just the thousands of ways
I can speak your name.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


There is a quiet, dense
forming inside me.

It is the key to all hidden things.

Somehow, mysteries
now shimmer faintly for me
at the edge of sight -
a world of shadowed,
irridescent, gossamer threads.

Ostensibly, there is some door I pushed,
not knowing its destination,
whose threshold has, not wrongly,
brought me to myself.

She is a flawed, grasping,
Divine thing
called forth from fevered nights.

Mystery no longer, she is Known.

She is who has been beneath my skin
all this time.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Line You Drew

I am the water that covers the line you drew,
a puddle that overflows
to become stream and river
and in my time I make a divide,
a separation you must cross
to find me again.

The Curfews of Man

Confess me,
fallen as you are,
all waxen limbs
and feather thoughts.
Together we are
the pure brilliance of youth
dying a knowing death.

On planted cords
your absolution overflows me.
Oppression releases in torrents
and new seas are made
in the hour.

Our merging hearts
become the new light,
a new world bound bright
whose boundaries
reach further
than the curfews of man
can contain.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nothing But the River

(for Jena)

Nothing can stay in this place you made
for we are all larger,
in thought,
in quark and motion,
than space could ever hold.

Nothing can live in this sameness
where breath is stopped
and change is choked back,
for every particle of us
and becomes.

What was, what is, what comes
is not more or better,
is not lesser or dead.

See the water of your hands.
The truth is that.
There is nothing but the river
the rocks
the water
the white capped rapids
the seemingly placid depths.
They all travel
from this place to that place:
stream to sky,
rain to bush,
back again,
but never still.