Sunday, November 30, 2008

Journey, Cleansing

The fact is, I am blind. Not that I don't have eyes, but I know the world can be seen in another way, more true than I can see. I know because I once saw that way. Now all I have is memory of memory. I call seeing that way "seeing through God's Eyes". There is such a complication surrounding all that. I have never been able to do justice to the whole story. Still, the fact is, I am blind, but I have a memory of a memory of seeing.


Tapping cane, I'm blind,
Insistent, I'm going home.
I still know the way.

The voices tell me, "Stay!Stay!"
Chatter in many dim shades.

I tell them, "Shut up!"
Such a stir I cause - fades.
Now I hear the road.

If you are blind, other senses can get more acute. I walk around my house in the dark for practice. I want to sit loosely in my senses, be able to slide around in them, have hearing matter more, or the tactile senses. Actually hearing does matter more, and the written word entering through sight is a weak sister to the spoken word heard with open ears.

The ancient Aryans who settled in India knew that the beginning of the universe was a Sacred Sound. Hmmmm. The Big Bang. Of course that is considered to have been an explosion of and then coalescence of light, yet the suggestion here is that the sound that event made is what is sacred.


Baptism is not only Christian. The idea of washing, purification is universal. Carl Jung built a psychology of depth and placed certain visions in the deeps as connecting features across individuals and cultures, past and present. He called them archetypes. Baptism is one of them. This complex reveals the persistent understanding that ordinary existence is marred by detritus which must and can be removed in order to enter the holy, that there is a barrier between us and God that can be washed away. Say it another way. There is distance between God and me that can be washed away. Baptism is the start of a journey toward intimacy. Immersion. Womb. Gestation. Birth.


May I take one reed?
Here is my heart's last promise.
Hold it in token.

I am due this next cleansing.
I shall lay beneath the wave.

When I become breath
I shall use the reed's passage.
Like mist I shall rise.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Worker's Story, Living Water

A day in the life of a worker. I like the sound of this job better than my own. I must admit, however, my job isn't so bad. I have done it for longer than I care to mention, and while I am the odd duck there, I am pretty much the odd duck anywhere. I get to be creative, the good news when I have enough time somehow, the bad news when I don't. Still, I wouldn't mind the short life of some of the other worker bees on the planet.

A Worker's Story

I sip blackberry
Nectar with my long dark tongue
In a morning dream

Of flying forth as ordered
By the agents of my queen.

My belly fills up
And there's gold dust on my legs
Waiting for flowers.


The water cycle lies at the heart of life - not water itself as much as its passages and transformations. The amazing fact of this cyclic movement of water, driven by chemistry and heat differentials both within and beyond life, deserves worship as far as I am concerned. Lewis Thomas among others taught me long ago that I was best positioned for a chance at real understanding if I got easy in reversing my viewpoint. It is possible perhaps that Creation is made for me, that I am to be steward, in service as royalty is called to service. Yet it can also be quite the other way around, and that I am created in the service of (fill in the blank), in this case the water cycle. My servitude is paid for in the fantasies I am permitted, the illusions of central position and autonomy among them.

Living Water

I seek the quiet
Found in between, in the green
Splashes, falling rain,

In how drops lay on moist grass,
In how morning opens thus.

Later I rise as
Vapor with rising mist soon
To be clouds again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What, Confusion

I visited Motel Zero. On the day I wrote the following poem there was a whimsical photo that reminded me of trolls and here is what I wrote.


Two plus two equals
Four and a little green troll.
Two what? And two what?

For that matter, from where and
To what end should a troll go?

My head hurts, hard thought.
It's what I get for climbing
This rocky face as if.


Here is a poem written from lover to lover now absent.


I thought I saw you
In the mist of the morning.
The sun floats in it.

Where the sun floats, there beneath -
I thought I saw you smiling.

A trick of the mist,
Of the light in the misty
Morning, of my heart.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Speaking Truth, The Committee

It is common and probably right to think that just as I am I cannot come before the Lord to speak the truth. First I need to know the truth, no small feat. Next I need to become pure in some deep sense that reaches beyond all the petty gains and losses of the day. Finally I need power, not to influence the Lord but to withstand Him, his holy presence, reputed to burn away all lesser substance. This would not be a problem in any measure, if it were not my deeply sensed calling that I am one who is supposed to stand directly in front of the Lord and speak the truth. Of course I have no idea how to accomplish this or when.

Here is a poem envisioning who I have to be, and when such a thing is very close.

Speaking Truth

The dragonfire
Does rise, a tide within me.
I sniff smoky air.

Beside me, the blaze. In my cave
I stir, open golden eyes.

Soon I will depart
And wing to heaven. I will
Speak truth to the Lord.


I am not skinny. My hair is mouse brown. At least I still have most of my hair. In between my ears, I am not alone. I have

The Committee

It's really crowded.
Too many of us in here.
Sweaty, noisy too.

I want to see out my eyes.
There's a brown crowd in the way.

I lose who I am
Sometimes. I become someone
Skinny, with blond hair.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Deep Song, God Grieves

The spiritual life is a dialog. I read a German Christian theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx. He basically said among other things, if I don't have a God who answers, then get a new God. What he meant of course is that in the expanding wisdom of the spiritual life, eventually a person finds his way close enough to understand the dynamic of the inbreath and outbreath. This is a result of the encounter with God. Intimacy is the basic capacity of the spirit. In this tone,

Deep Song

You have found me here.
Your sweet breath is on my neck.
I am not my own.

My heart has opened Your way.
My soul has changed before You.

I practiced so long.
You broke my frozen borders.
We meet in deep song.


Sometimes when I am playing keyboard or guitar, there is a moment like that.

This next one was written last September 11. But it was actually quite a long time ago that I got it that God is also infinite empathy. Thus without question

God Grieves

I am bewildered,
That more than anything else.
That's how I was born.

I saw the far towers fall,
Knew they were still occupied.

It's how I know God's
Eyes, like mine, fill with tears, spill.
God grieves, God still grieves.

The first line speaks of my bewilderment. I am completely sure that bewilderment was my first infantile and emotional response to life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Open Wider, Hatchling

Sometimes when I write I get overtly spiritual. I went through a period when I felt the right word for what I write is not really "poem" but maybe more like "song" or "psalm". I don't insist. The following poems were written a day apart, so I was in a mood. But so were some others at the time. They touched me and these poems were my response.

This first poem deals with a notion of spiritual life that is actually echoed in at least some of the martial arts. If life is too big, the spirit too warm, the light too bright, the adversary too severe, the pain too intense, then open wider. What happens then is that there is somewhere for the encounter to go. Don't hold back. This is counter-intuitive, though perhaps not to experienced mothers in the middle of giving birth.

Open Wider

Where am I? Empty.
Stripped of form in the holy,
What is left can't hold.

I shall not shut down, not now.
Open wider if I can - yes.

When I return, I'll sing.
I'll step easy in gardens,
And I'll remember.


That remembering is a real problem. How am I to remember an encounter too "large" too "holy" to fit in my form?

Each moment is new. There is a real sense in which the entire whole (holy) thing is created entirely in each instant. This is true of experience in the way the brain works (there are intervals of duration which are too fast, can't be experienced, and so our apprehension of things is literally more like movie frames than we think) with the smooth flow of things a filling in of the gaps. I happen to believe that this is merely a mirror of the cosmic process, though the gapping is very small and quick. I believe that quantum mechanics basically forces this view. It makes a kind of quantum "sense" to know that I am brand new this moment, in truth a


Inhale, exhale, yes.
Breathing the rainbow's glad sound.
I am now fertile.

Long ago I was other
Than I am this golden day.

I hatched under God,
Who melted me, my Mother,
My Father, my Love.

Monday, November 24, 2008

True Fate, I Am Not Sad

Here are two autumn poems, one in the outside aspect, the other more an inside job. Trees came up and so did snakes. The first is in the basic "tea house haiku" style. The second varies it a little.

True Fate

A solemn slow walk
Into the fading of green
That bids me come forth.

I open. I see colors,
The gifts of autumn creatures.

I see my true fate.
Among the gifts of God's time,
My soul's a window.


I Am Not Sad

I shed like a snake
But have no fangs, no poison.
Many lives, long gone.

I slither to the table
And dine in costume as if
I too were real.

I am fantasy, shadow,
God's chosen old fool.


I will only say that I relish this new found ability to enter into costume. You will see that I do this often. I like being a snake, a heron, a kangaroo, a caterpillar. If it is indeed hallucination or foolishness, well eff em if they can't take a joke.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Reply To Mary

Thanks to Sensei for alerting me to Mary Oliver on this day.

I am completely fond of Mary Oliver. She writes at the edge of things. Two more steps and you have to have wings. There is no more ground beneath. Or she writes at the center of things. Open your heart and find life so intimately present that joy is the only sane response. For example,

The Journey
Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

In Reply To Mary

It startled my heart.
My eyes, shocked, opened to you
As you danced for me.
You danced my soul's truth
Even though I know there's more
Than that in this world.

I've been told often
Many other truths that stand
So firmly planted --
More than opinions
But less present in my soul
Than this dance you do.

So I thank you for your grace,
For your beauty, your wild life.

You came not for me
But for the wind, the stones, stars,
For the love of things.
I have come by chance
Or by grace or by design
Not my own, come here

To change through you this moment,
Through this holy gift you give.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Calling Forth My Light, Not This, Not That

I am just enough Celtic in sentiment and lineage that the wee folk are part of my thing. I am happy to invite them into my poesy as well as into my life. Sure, Faerie doesn't REALLY exist. Well... but I want them in my life. Wouldn't mind a few grays also as long as they didn't do weird things to my body. I grew up reading my Dad's (and then my own) F & SF. I WANT life to be strange like this. Anyway, one day the Starfish put up a photo of bell-like flowers and that married with my wish for fairies. Here's the result.

Calling Forth My Light

Fairies ring flowers
Like churchmen ring steeple bells
And dew sprays like sound.

Calling me to devotion,
Fairies lead me to my knees.

They dust me with love
And touch my cheeks, kissing me,
Calling forth my light.


The following is the result of my tendencies toward the Hindu views of things. I am not especially fond of the Western apology for polytheism when the apologists want to point out the superiorities of Hindu philosophy (indeed, Vedanta is a superior analysis of consciousness).

Instead I like the wet and sweaty, meaty and gritty realities of Gods and Goddesses. There is a tendency in me toward that breadth of divinity, not crammed all into one God, which seems stifling to me. I am only writing of my instincts. Philosophically I am conscious of the polytheist, panentheist, monist and monotheist positions and know the Western proclivities that culminate in modern Judaism and Christianity. I know that Islam at least initially, just like Jainism in India are each attempts to gather us into the whole. Bahai also tries for that. In the east, Buddhism pointed out that you can be fully spiritual and dedicated and bypass God entirely. And yet I LIKE to chant to Brahma and Shiva and Durga and Parameshwari and Rama and Ganapati. Once I asked quite sincerely for a new language and was offered Sanskrit. Wow.

"Not this, not that" is the more common translation of the Sanskrit "Neti, Neti," a sacred phrase. You might notice how close "not" and "net*" are. This is no accident. "Net" and "not" are members of the class of Indo-European language family root words, such that at least linguistically the speakers of Sanskrit and most European languages are related to each other. This is so thoroughly mappable beyond all possibilities of chance that specialists in linguistics have confidently created a whole science around these connections and their ramifications.

Not This, Not That

I have no real name.
Born one way, gone another,
No, not this, not that.

I flow windswept and contained
In this waking dream of mine.

I was solid once
But burst in too much warm truth.
I now stream away.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Raise Me Up, Not A Trace

One of my heroes is Jacob Needleman, a fine professor in the Humanities (Philosophy, Religion, liberal dashes of psych and soc) in San Francisco, SF State, I believe. Professor Needleman has guided my thinking over the years. Over at Froth From Walt, Sensei suggests to Walt that it is time to post excerpts of the good doctor's fine work fairly often. This poem came from one of those times.

Raise Me Up

On the sea of worlds
I float, low in the water,
Heavy with my burdens.

I recall life on dry land
In some other warmer realm.

I wish truth from there
To lift me here, raise me up,
That I may be good.

AA says, the whole of the program lies in this phrase, "Trust in God, clean house."
That was on my mind when I wrote this poem.

Not A Trace

Just do it! Keep on!
But my heart fell out back there!
Look, red sprays show where!

Pause, breathe in, hold, let it go.
Amble back and do the work.

Cleaning as I go,
I leave nothing behind me.
Not a trace of mess.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Balance, In Loss I Rise

I have recently discovered the possibilities of shifting my point of view. This first poem is an exploration of just such a shift.


It's question, answer
The air and me, a grand dance
Of love, stance, loft.

On the base, two solid paws,
One long supple tawny tail.

I have landed here
From a great height, puff of dust.
I stand aquiver.


So something happened, I forget what but someone was in grief or in remembrance of grief. I wrote this but was unhappy with it in its original form. I have tried to rework the parts I didn't like. I wrote a few of these 8 liners and several haiku before I caught up with the idea that I should save them off for myself, that something was happening. These poems to me are different from anything I have written before, and I feel a sense of urgency about them. I have no idea why.

In Loss I Rise

When God cries, each tear
Contains an angel - mercy
Descends in this way.

Oh, I have lost all, and more.
I weep and leak, grow lighter.

In loss I rise, meet
Descending angels, embrace.
Angels share their wings.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Half Step, Movie

I don't know about you guys but I have a know it all attitude that is hard to shake. I have a story I tell myself about how that came about, and it might even be true. What matters, however, is the arrogance it leads to and the price I pay for that. I have been working on this especially since 1981. Occasionally I get free. More often I can at least apologize. Sometimes I actually successfully make amends.

One Half Step

So my destiny, and yours, is the Way.
And you and I go as we are, we need not quarrel.
The philosopher's knife and glue-
The lover's incense and heart-
But I'm right, I cry,
Exactly one half step ahead
On the million mile journey.


I never know where I might find Him. Surprise is one of His ways. There is a sense of humor here somewhere. He seems to like practical jokes. Oh by the way, here is the "classic" 5-7-5, 7-7, 5-7-5. It seems to me that this form also calls for three thoughts, with the middle linking the first and last.


In the dark empty
Looking for my company,
Finding where to sit.

I sniff the air for popcorn.
I listen, curtain

Fade out, and then in
On pure white, on the iris
Of the eye of God.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Promise, A Modest Sun

I have become enchanted with the haiku form, the 5,7,5 but was not satisfied with the brevity of the three lines. Then I read and came across an old form of haiku that was recited in the tea houses. 5-7-5, 7-7, 5-7-5. This form was apparently used by poets who spoke them back and forth as a form of play, perhaps a challenge or even a kind of duel.

I realized at that point that I did not have to stick tightly to the forms, though I know that there are those who do. I began to play with it in that tea house spirit, where in a sort of way the poems are conversations back and forth. This fitted superbly with what I was doing, finding my own way in the blogs, because I was and still am writing in response to the fine work I find in the blogs that I attend.

I am beginning in this post to resume what I started in my inaugural post. I started following blogs last August. By the end of August I had begun writing poetry as a solution to finding my place in the comments I was offering. This was defensive. I am far too argumentative and far too undisciplined to engage my blogger friends in prose very often. So it was the end of last August when I realized that this style really fits. You will notice that I often deviate the form one way or another but the lines nearly always are either five or seven syllables long.

I love the strong English words, which are most often monosyllabic or bisyllabic. They are also most often etymologically rooted in older English, Germanic, and Norse as distinct from Norman French or Latin. These words make for long lines. They also often show themselves to have ancient heritage in the numbers of different meanings, different senses in which they can be taken. Thus keeping to these words often expands the possible stories compacted within very few words. Just a suggestion.

The Promise

Dazzled by the light
Found in the pack God carried
And left at my door.

I asked Him in but He left
Me again, again with gifts,
And look, a promise.
This hand written note says "Peace."

Oh, I am thirsty!

A Modest Sun

Stretch and reach, further!
Feel the bones, feel the sinew.
How my hot heart beats.
My face turned toward
Early light, a modest sun,
I must wait for noon.

All this hides beneath the green
Ferny surface of my life.

Monday, November 17, 2008

To You My Love This Season

It was year's end, a couple years after my affair with my muse ended, and it had proven true. I had kept the gift of poetry. Even then, having moved on, with a new lover, and she a new muse, even so the fire of words are still in me. After five years we too are no longer together, but are still friends. My last lover gifted me with music, leading to choirs, to solos, both instrumental and vocal, to the repair and return of my 1967 Martin O-18 guitar, to better music all around. Still in 2003 I was able to write this to the Maid of the Deepest Moon who once was everything to me.

To You My Love, This Season

Ever in my heart, I am grateful for what has happened between us.
It is a piece of the soul's story, a flowering of the Beloved, eternal.
When you take me in, even a little, the present tense of the Infinite
Returns and lifts me into Beauty. I say my love, you illumine my sky.

Truly not you as you struggle here and now, no not you like that.
Truly you as you cascade through all time and space, as we all do.
Maid of the Deepest Moon, you shine, you light a symphony of love -
And me, the Man of the Northern Wall, alight for all time through this.

This is what you have given me, what survives chaos and all pain.
This is what I celebrate in my best moments far beyond our dream.
As I travel on, when I can remember, I choose to sing the moon
And stars and the perfume of you lingers near my heart, calling me.

I shall never be lost again, not as I once was. Now I dance
To songs I know to sing. My heart stays open for you and beyond
To others as I must, following the call bigger than you or me
Until we meet at the other end of this time and claim our true home.

(This is why I pray I do not depart ever in the chaos
Of lost love, but if depart we must to keep the truth alive.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Love Is A Timeless Arrow, From The Vial

Here are two poems that were written quite some time ago, part of the second of two readings I gave at the Carnegie Center as part of a poetry program.

Love Is A Timeless Arrow

I go to the center of me and I find you there.
One step at a time. Hold steady, my love.

I look for ways. I travel on the celestial waves.
I pass stars. Everywhere I find love for you.

Love is a timeless arrow loosed to fly to God,
Then falling back unerring to pierce me through.

From The Vial

On this Monday morning
I breathe in the essence of your soul
From the vial I have kept near the picture
I have of your breath as it comes
To me from your kiss.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sacred Snake

In the deep green dark
I say you can't see me now
Winding on my way.

I am coiled inside, awake,
Ready to burst into light.

In the deep green dark
I sway to the beat of God
Calling for true home.

Ancient Amber

They say that as you get older time flies faster.
That is not what is happening for me here.
I am caught like a fossil in ancient amber,
Perfectly preserved, suspended in golden light.
In the deep of passing time, I am frozen in flight.
On view for any who look, I reach for love.
I am caught in the amber of love’s distance.
Time has stopped for me mid flight.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sacred Wings

I sit quietly. I am a monk with a vision before me.
The clouds of my time are departing my foggy heart-
An instant that opens. I accept. Here is my true story
Of timeless space and ageless love. I am two, not one.

I sit still here, and yet am far flung into higher glory
There to share with the winged holy ones my flight
Beyond the slower days of solemn monastic time.
Though I am now far beyond me, still I sit, quiet.

You have called me, called me out and I fly.
You have held me by my sacred wings with a song
Of your sacred wind and I sing to you of light.
I sing of my twinned soul soaring into your sky.

I live ever within my sight of you though I sit here in this holy day.
There I weave the song of love, and here I weave as well the way.

A Small And Delicate Thing

Because I am here thinking of you---
I woke with you in my soul again this day.
Sitting with you is where God found me.

Because I am here thinking of you,
I remember the heart of my Vows. Yes.
I mean to walk my walk with you with God
And do the next thing as carefully as if
It were a small and delicate thing
I dare not break.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

At The Edge Of Departing Things

I am poised on the edge of myself gazing at the wind
As it shows in the billowing shape of departing things.
I think of taking the leap, of leaving the husk of myself
As I climb the column of air, holding onto the swirling
Swells, the subtle complex lines of the world I know.

This is what has become of me in my time here.

There were dreams and changes in the dreams,
Changes beyond the dreams and all, all I held
Close, fashioning saddles of the shape of them.
Saddling up, I rode the backs of these smoky beasts.
They turned as they willed, exhausted placed me

Here at the edge where I can touch the outer air.

Listen! The soaring birds call up the wind of my sight.
I have kept them close by sharing my life with them.
I give to them what I can of me, of dreams I have held.
All the while I have sung songs like this one,
Echoes of the music in the beat of my heart.

The sounds of me and of the birds weave a spell
So wild and wondrous, I have never measured up.
(I once heard the reach of Your voice as it called
Me from an early fall, and gifted me with songs
Like this and so I sing in all the holy ways I can.)

I fly with birds. Our weave folds into windy space.

This is what has become of me in my time here,
Here at the edge where I can touch the outer air.
I fly with birds. Yes, I fly with birds.
Our weave folds into windy space.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stealing Stars, What I Have to Say, We Will All Fly

I was really in love when I wrote these poems, back in 2000 or so. I tried the magic of wooing with poetry, and had the time, and so composed hundreds, of which some are actually poetry instead of sketches. This is sort of like photographers who take hundreds of pictures to get a few dozen really good ones. Those sketches worked equally well between us, in our private language. I didn't get the girl in the end but I certainly have most of the poetry and most of the emails they appeared in too. It is probably a very good thing I didn't get the girl. The task we had set ourselves was indeed a success, took two years, but I had to fall completely in love to do it. I knew it wouldn't work in the end. Even so knowing, it is not how I was permitted to act but instead had to behave as if there was a real chance, or else what we were doing would not have worked. And of course that meant I had to believe in the face of knowing it would not work. I lived in conscious denial, saying basically "Surely God, in Your mercy, in the Name of all that is right and good in this world, You will permit me this woman."
Instead I was given the gift of forgiveness.

Stealing Stars

Goddess Moon, shine for me here below.
Shining, oh Moon, let me love you in that light.
I promise you this, a single bright star,
A far star, found beyond the portal of grace
That stands in honor of all the holy loves.

I promise this star because I am the thief
Who stole it long ago that I could keep it
Safe for you. Oh Moon, look at you now. You fly above me.
Look down. See me. I feel you there beyond and above.
Ever farther, I go ever deeper, I burst open, blossom.
Hear me shout my higher joy, I burst wide open.

There is nothing to match your shining being,
Nothing ever in all my crowded crafty lives.

Shine again for me and I will steal
Another star for you and yet another
Til you are graced with heaven's diadems
And blaze above the entire world
The brightest in all of Heaven's glory.

What I Have To Say

Father Sun, Grandmother Sky,
Mother Earth, hear my call.
I am here within You.

This is what I have to say.

I will stand here at the stillness.
I will witness what I see.
I am open to Your Ways.
Give me the tools, give me leave
That I can bend and trim the Tree
Of Life and keep the Deep of Days.

Then I will turn with a gift of love
For the Goddess of the moon and stars
And I will truly touch Her heart.

This is all I have to say.


And this poem came to me in the spring of 2006, having a successful brood of house finches who nested in the old Christmas wreath I had forgotten to take down. That nesting pair prompted me to get a bird feeder, sunflower seeds and a water pan. Mom and Dad never trusted this, but their kids sure do. They have come back and brought friends, and that led to goldfinches and so many finches led to the occasional birds of some other species who will eat sunflower seeds in a pinch. I am really pleased except my car is punished from sitting under the wires nearby... I pay this price willingly.

I believe what I say here.

We Will All Fly

Today a bird sang and amazed, I understood.
My heart birthed so many small white flowers
That the perfume around me was intense, overwhelming.
Each flower seemed perfect but I looked much closer
To discover the small spots, discolored and hopeful-
Not perfect but instead a flowering hopeful perfume.
The bird sang and I understood the hope in her song.
Even this wondrous bird with just one feather broken sings.
That is how I knew the secret was revealed to me.

If ever there is a perfect moment, a time when one
Small thing is actually revealed without blemish to be
What it is in all purity beyond all need of hope
Then gravity will cease in the joy of it and the world
Will end, amen. We will all fly then on singing wings,
God's Permission granted to us at last,
Permission to soar in that holy sky.


It is such a silly question. Why would I ask?
I sit under this late summer tree in the dust
Of autumn coming. I seek you, seeking truth.

I watch for the turning leaves, as if I could see
Green depart and drier colors stay behind,
As if finding that is finding you, or truth.

I call for you to approach, to take me up
As if you would provide spring’s return now.
Can we fly above, skip this winter's coming?

So in this late season’s light I am a holy fool
In love with you, with truth, entranced in song.
I have called for you, called for life beyond.

Yes, a holy, silly question, now that I have asked.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It Rains In Oregon, It's Always Something, My Heart Will Know

Early this year a friend named Mick organized a poetry reading series in a local art center. This building in Oregon City was once a Carnegie Library donated to Oregon City as were similar buildings donated to smaller towns around the nation by the Carnegie Foundation.

The library moved years ago due to lack of space. A local group interested in the arts took the space over for a year, a grant from the city, and organized a number of activities to utilize the space. Mick talked them into Friday night poetry readings for the spring.

Mick invited me to help, and to read at the first session. The following three poems were part of my program that evening.

It Rains In Oregon

Rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
Oregon January day, not much to fill it.
My heart is damp, growing old.
Ah where are you, oh where are you?
In the sun in the dry in the warm.
Where am I? I am here, oh yes,
Still here, growing cold.

It's Always Something

The small folk are in charge of where things are
In my house. I don't understand the rules.
Where my keys rest, on what surface they should be
Goes according to them, not according to me.

I really try to get along. I really mean this. No, really.

Today I rejoice with wide eyes. Today I found my keys
Right where my best thinking said they would be.

(Now I hope the small folk haven't moved away
In protest of some willful violation of mine-
Perhaps instead I find my keys seemingly unmoved
Where they are through some act of mine they approve.)

The simple blessing of found keys, you would think
Enough, but I was still late for work. Road gremlins.

My windshield is newly cracked in the lower right corner.

My Heart Will Know

Do I like lemon cucumber? Do I? This is Rodney's
Question for me tonight as I last minute trim the unruly
Clematis on the trellis that guards my open door.

There is jasmine there too, and in my heart the spring
Memory of the blooming duel of beauty and perfume
Dances with his question of me. He offers me food.

While I fill the bin with trimmings that go in the morning
To the mulching place the city offers for my shed greens
I think on a neighbor who is kind. Rodney is kind to me.

We settle, Rodney and I on tomatoes. In the gardens
He tends there are armies of tomatoes and I know
I find kindred in the ripening of these fine red soldiers.

I shall eat a squad or two and my soul will fill and my belly will
Fill as well. I am told there is tonic in tomatoes. Oh yes.

And my heart, oh my heart will know I've been invited home.

Surface Tension, The Golden Mean, What Drew Me Out

This inaugurates The View, and I will be posting poetry. This poetry will have appeared often in the comments on other blogs - this site becoming the online archive.

Surface Tension

Man that hurt! I tried
A gainer but landed flat.
My back, oh, my back!

Well no, that never happened
But the fear is ever there.

Stand at the approach
And feel the hole wide open
In my freaking gut!

The Golden Mean

If I ever found
The Golden Mean where you said,
Behind the dogwood
Where that squirrel buried it,
I would stop acting foolish,
Running all around,
Pointing fingers at goblins
I made up from scratch.

What Drew Me Out

I had to climb out,
Packaged like that, broke the seal
Jumped down free but smeared
With the bottle's red contents,
Looking for a bath, looking
For a larger home,
Looking for your constant heart.
That's what drew me out.

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