I glance above
Lattice work of autmn branches
Trace the sky
Golden light through feathers
of two birds in flight
Flitting moments before the fall of night
Swept down from the heights of these hard-scrabble mountains
The winds of inspiration blew once again across this furrowed brow
Rattled these patched up bones
Drawing out these words, these movements
The best of life bubbles up this way,
not dragged out like some old worn out cliche
On that rocky bottom, in the murky airless depths
where the weighted chains of despair
always drags a heavy heart
Lies that trigger, hidden in the detritus of our best intentions
That stirs the wind that lifts us once again towards light.
Odd to think we must pass this grim review
of all our follies best forgotten
as a path to a state of grace restored
Chutes and ladders, I know that there's one other way
Bon vivant, right there in my hand
Just see the forest for the trees
Share this laugh with me,
the kind that just bursts out unbidden
at the wonder of it all.
The wind is my reminder
of the passing of this time
every moment marked in nature's breath
as this world washes over me
This wind takes no notes, no names, no prisoners
Rushing forth to fill our lungs with life
Bear our cries
and rinse away the dust with rain
That gift borne so grandly
in magnificent streamered packages
From dust to dust, our moment so brief
The wind just dances with the joy of it
Myself just dancing for that's the way one moves
connected to the heart.
A heart so full with the giving of it,
the filling of other hearts
Trickle down, ripple down
My own little river in nature's greatest flood.
This path I walk
as vines meander, though growing toward light
purposeful steps, on playful soles
Sometimes I feel I catch up with the moment, a synchronicity of time,
where place, intent and elements converge.
Then away, just beside it, dolphins off the bow.
Gone again, how can the kaleidoscope not move?
Long lines worn in the weathered face of the land
Gathered trails unnumbered, spilling down
Join in homage to the sea
Life stream from the mountains
Ushered in those canyon walls that measure time
In the depth by which they hold the water's flow
If wisdom is measured in moments,
and an eon just a hand's width in the height of those walls
How could we begin to grasp the knowing there?
The grandfathers, glowing red on the sweatlodge floor
gather us around to journey farther into ourselves
to hear the spirits that dwell in every creature
every plant, every stone, the water and the air
All my relations
Such are the steps along the red road,
and now these steps that lead to the water's edge.
In the shadows of those cliffs
far beneath that craggy lip
did the river call your name?
As the waters lapped on polished stones
and little specs of life went about their busy way
did you feel the canyon watching you?
Did you look down through the smooth river skin
Into the torrent underneath?
Did you see the passion of life churning there?
The latent power of love, restless, undenied
The power to move mountains
Suddenly exploding over boulders
The grand expression of light and sound and smell
Then a deep pool of contemplation again
Silent drifting on those scheming currents
daft beneath a blazing sun
Welcome guest, or vain intruder?
How did the river call your name?
Hush, hush, the wind it calls to you
What sentiment is borne upon that breath?
In tune with that narrow slice of sky
Harbinger of the seasons
Carriage of the prayers of man
sung within those canyons from the very first
Dame of the dawn, dancer on her own
Marks her step across the gravel stones
Massage the sins that came before
With your soul caress the earth
That in turn stabs and tears
That in turn is the softest, sweetest path
Footprints in the sands of time
footprints on the edge
numbered here, just a blink in time
When do the steps become your dance?
When is the journey sacred?
Perhaps this is why the river calls your name.
Pulling on threads,
resembles my growing these days
The gentlest pressure
The slowest motion forward
I've come so far that now 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
like this knowing of you
When you told me how you had come to choose another,
my heart, it did not fall.
It just flew, it flew away
and all the love that you inspired there
was flung about the world
How sweet the knowing, despite the flesh contained.
Spokes above me, when I opened my eyes
Illuminated from behind, slightly, soft glow
dawn? or the moon.
My rain, over the edge
through cold air, but no frost this morning
Her rain, so soft almost a mist
but with droplets that float like snow for hours
Inside my canvas nest, before a potent little fire
that is cloistered in steel and cooks my meals
crucible driving moisture from the wick that is my house
I move within a hula-hoop there
a beautiful connection between idea, and motion
In a conscious and easy grace
that honors my muse
This is the center of my life now
Luxurious carpets and aromas,
the softest warmest bed I ever could desire.
A disc, this space, three man-heights wide
On a square just larger
Floating waist high above a sea of grass
Deer come to this place,
slipping in from the wilds that line the creek
to eat apple fall,
moving in perfect grace as if they had no choice.
Egrets commune among them,
bringing gossip down from the geese, the ducks
Funny, I never see them land, or leave,
ethereal vestiges from magical skies, my kin
I've been told, it floods here, in longer rains
Late at night, in my bed as the heavens pour down, I know the water is rising.
They say water in your dreams bespeaks the sub-conscious
am I awake? water underneath me, water heavy in the air,
as an idea, all around me like shadows in a dream
During breaks, bereft the din, I hear the creek roaring in the fields
and the trickle sound of water working past the barn
and under fences
For some, it is the sight of new fallen snow in the morning
But I, upon a lake where just before was land
Quite soon it is gone from beneath leaden skies
and frogs chorus in the night
THE WEIGHT OF US
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
SALVE FOR WINTER
EYES THAT SEE THIS TIME
I soak through these walls
of urban confusion
that defer redemption
And a gentle, carnival mood
pervades the air
Oh, the wind, and wicked ways that come
Up from the south, the hordes
Raised to be soft, and mean
Primed on thoughtless violence,
weaned from thinking, then cast into bitterness
by the betrayed promises carefully presented
in grand performances but reneged wholesale
by subtle yet sweeping disclaimers
A golden carrot forever out of reach
The stepstool of prosperity crumbles underneath
The lessons of war just old newsprint in the mud
Around us desperate hordes
Driven by hunger and retribution
Lash out in desperation, neighbor's fist on neighbor's throat
As in any violence with no consideration
that the citizens trampled underfoot are brethren, wives and daughters
whose halls harbor the beleaguered candles of love and wisdom
Last redoubt before these winds of change
so here I am, in this place, this time.....
There's a gash there
in the landscape of my heart
a deep chasm red
Filled with every number
of fear and failure
across the fair and rolling hills
that make up this beautiful world
To pull myself out,
but not away from
For the gorge is perfectyly flat
upon the face of it
and that is where the center needs to be
What is a ball of light, but the sun?
What is the moon, but a poem?
Heavenly bodies revolving, ascending
What is falling, but leaping onto wings?
And what is a feather, but a glimpse away from fear?
The grasping hand pushes away the floating feather
To open, and receive, is this not love?
What is love, but a cup that spills?
These tears of mine aren’t love?
Must I tear the very soul to feel the whole of it?
I must be out of my mind to come down into my heart!
Ah, if it is not madness, it is not love.