I have a friend called Robert Pell

Who stands among the trees

No other man could I twice fell

Who'll still take blows like these


He joins me early mornings

Soon as I rise from bed

He lives to hear my sword sing

Lets me stand upon his head


But his evil twin La Morte

Tries to catch me by surprise

At best by luck he's kept at bay

Though he plots for my demise


This cursed fellow that I dread

Seems to lurk beside my eye

But when I go turn my head

It is Pell that I do spy


And still my friend called Robert Pell

Stands prouder than a tree.

No other man could I twice fell

Who'll serve the likes of me





Water from her gentle hand

The season spills to autum

A cooler breath will frost the land

The green of spring forgotten


The larder’s filled, the woodbox brims

A library stocked anew

The shears and hoe are stored away

As the leaves fall with the dew


Soon there’s time for contemplation,

The days that came before

A moment traced in relaxation

A glimpse beyond the door.


I might have seen a lover,

For sure I saw a friend

I touched, and then I lost her

And can’t find her again


Light slips through the branches

Not yet time for growing dark

So with patience and sincerity

This season I will mark.





The afternoon light slips through the clouds

and lays on the shimmering sea.

Ancient tides roll from shore to shore

and back again in timeless dance

Washing holes in worn and broken shells

Like the wisdom of time blowing through

the fanciful notions of youth,

a force that knows no rebuke,

Like wind that whispers upon the land.


These are the elders who guide me from despair.

These are the forces that smooth the scars of men,

these are the hands of time

Voices on our shoulder with every day

that lay a path to guide our very souls.




Flying past, the freeway air,

Flying past, the casual glances

Flying past, the time

Swosh, the morning’s gone

in a streak of afternoon

Even the evening pause slips by

Like the hordes of people who never, ever touch me


Fiercely freeze the moment

narrow the eyes and flow in the silent music

Enrich the soul with the perfection of appreciation


Resume, flying past, the time

Like the skater gracefully flowing

Seemingly detached, over the determined solidity

of asphalt and concrete


So much like my life, sailing over the rough spots

Wishing someone would join me.

Is love only to be found down there, hard on the ground

With life flying past?





This cup, well worn, is emptied of this day.

A flavorful bouquet of sights and scents and sounds

Brushed to my lips by the gentle sweep

Of daylight across the land


Each morning new it is there before me

Mysterious brew of failures and successes.

Curious mixture of fate and chance

Wine of life.


One day may find me heady,

Another bring me ill

Neither could I fear to live

Either I shall drink my fill.



Item 10/20/92


Living now, alone, after so long. My daily motions take on their own signature as the traces of a partner now gone fade quietly away.

Motions, once familiar long ago, well worn and trusted, become customary again. The desires that drive them see them gestured forth as duty by the hand of hope, awakening new appreciation for the beauty of life, for it's fleeting and fragile existence. This is the hope that cradles my soul as it subsists on morsels of love and tenderness, so that someday it may thrive again, nourished by the love that only another soul can give.





I’ve often wondered why

I’ve had to spend so much time alone

Not by choice, but by calling

To clean our room for you, my love

Come home!



This cricket in the shop, quiet at first
Crawled into that safe spot, stretching his legs
Little crick here, couple more there
In time full song, to keep himself company.

My own little corner, just out of the deluge
of rain and less comfortable things
Make my cricket sounds, old songs
Too long left a whim unsung.

The cricket knows the shoe might fall
And fears might hold me back too
But we both know, my little friend and I
A little music just might get us by.



Like a window I'm on both sides of
where the views appear to make such little sense.
Striving in the cattle chutes
described as the path to success
What silly calisthenics, that could never be me.

This spirit soaring through
such a remarkable existence
Infinity of mind
Infinity of heart
Cradled in the touch of every breath.

Addled dreamer, there's bills to pay.

But the real commerce is in the soul
What effort brings love forth
To birth the nuturing moment

The pistons of industry may churn
And sweep me along until I've the courage to leap away
But I'll never board that train where blinders are the toll
And the riders have no say



Do the stars contemplate our fate,
One for every possibility?
Does the sun ride heard on us all,
Our fate astray when we hide in the shadows?

A leaf before the breeze, awash in the flood
Consumed in our fire, then we bow down to the ground
Flotsam in this sea of possibilities
Jetsam on fate's shore

What a lovely journey,
That lets me smell the rose




The sky, somehow, has learned to speak my words
   A tableau written on the air, as temporal as any emotion
   transformed and dispersed before the breeze

A day of shapeless gray, some afternoon of drifting, buoyant dreams
An endless track of mundane expanse
Exploding in colorful glory,
   Slipping into black

The light returns, as it should
   Trodding, softly at first, on a carpet of gratitude
   A whole new page before me,
       and this story written anew


I close my eyes and I am falling, falling
Everything that is anything detaches itself
from everything else

Tumbling jumble of jewels and daggers
pillows, food and hard, hard stone

There is no grabbing, touching here
my hands are mute, when these eyes are closed
I have no control within this world
Hobbled in my own home

I look on in a state of bemusement
this menagerie in flight
Looking on in terror, if I think to control
in admiration, when I've no need to be impressed

Eyes closed I spy my love - behind some shifting glass.
Startled, always, when I glimpse it there
Startled motionless, unreaching
A world there! unloved?!
Or just unknowing
that it is loved?

I close my eyes,
in some attempt to understand my path
but my logic holds no power there

Yet every fiber knows its role,
performs in familiar harmony
with each and every piece of me

This sphinx within, stone faced
showing all the cards and revealing
not a thing about the mystery.

Eyes closed I lay me down
down beneath warm blankets
immersed in the last sanctuary
before a world turning cold

Oh, sweet nest of dreams

A perfect world there, grandeur in the safety of illusion
Yet not a wink of it turns darkness into light
until my feet hit the cold hard stones
and the baker mixes honey with the bread

Bank that fire, burning me inside
engine of creativity, industry
Stow away the handsome props
The marquee is bare

Perhaps its because I got a little too good at it, this life
The tidy, comfortable routines, kind platitudes.
Perhaps some casual surrender
Stole the thunder from my skies

But where did the color go? A landscape subtly drained of vitality
The flavor in a meal not shared
Passion but a promise, muttered in the air. Yeah yeah.

All the banalities of everyday life take center stage
since my lover moved away.
It just doesn't hold the same allure
trying to impress myself

Why is it so underrated, this giving of love,
when it adds such richness to a life?
It should be so easy, but its not.

Everybody wants their lot,
but jelousies and fear are poised to stake the turf
and challenge every trespass
on land they never really own

Watch the breakers roll along the sea wall
That is my love, wanting in
Endlessly patient, absorbing every small surrender
little rocks and sand relinquished

Yet I stem the tide, despite everything I feel
for what gain have I to displace another's heart
just to make some room for mine?

So gray it is, and flakes of white drift down
Under the longest, darkest nights of a year
A wee, and knowing smile,
it is in music, and in the hearts of friends
That I find my grace again

The power of what I can do
The joy in welcoming the sun
The promise of love - oh yeah
My own breath


If one could weigh experience
If the things we learned had mass
Would the density be proportional
To the things that come to pass?

From Gandhi's life in India
To Shakespeare's subtle pen
Would that frail man weigh ten tons
And ten times ten again?

And Buba's simple musings
Just an ounce or two
Added to his ample girth
Of an earnest 302

But mine is measured thusly
In the callous on my hands
And the way my wingtips cut above
The contour of the land

Time erodes the memory
Intuition guides me now
The light of my experience
Gentle pulling of the tao

Lessons lost, and new friends gained
Blood splashed upon the door
Seasons wear the leather down
'Til the heart can feel no more


Throw paint across the Arizona sky
As though the clouds weren't beautiful enough
Watch it dripping slowly off
Washed to indigo, then night again

Such is the flame that blazed my heart
Already full, then brilliant
Settled into the kindest rapture
And left me this most heavenly shade of blue

Alas the autumn winds blow
A sigh across the land
Ferrets line their dens for sleep
And the sap settles in the ground

And so my heart gathers close it's glow
Dreams of far away are stowed
I smile, to myself, for this love I've known
Warmth to get me through the winter snow


Pulling on threads resembles my growing these days
The gentlest pressure
The slowest motion forward
I've come so far, the changes become so fine

But of late, I've broken a few -
Holding on too tight
Or wanting, even a little, too much

And some I just hold in my hand
Not pulling at all,
a notion perfectly suspended
this knowing of you