Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fountain of Fire

“Just as it is impossible for a man to see his face in troubled water, so too the soul, unless it be cleansed of alien thoughts.” Thomas Merton

Closing in
the ancient wind sweeps
still waters, turns clarity
to confusion, joy
to primal fear.

I seek my face
but see only a blush
on the river’s edge,
red betrayal seeping
from deep within,
from a wound unseen.

Cleanse me, O Fountain of Fire, 

still my fears
and again I’ll see
my face
washed clean
by grateful tears!

Saturday, July 7, 2018


Photo: Brian Federle, San Francisco Homeless, 2014.

my secret door
deep in the dark
I face you.

We are

I have no place
to hide.

I don’t want
from your steady

You see right through
my petty lies--
into the truth of
my shivering

You know me
and yet

you love me!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

On the Razor's Edge

Photo: Brian Federle

“Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love.”

Gazing into bright desert space
we see endless highways, distant
mountains we never reach,
sharp hills, steep cliffs
as we move closer,

to the pacing sun,
creasing dark canyons,
casting amber light
into the gauzy sky —  

yet our dark dreams trouble
the faint stars; the reeling planets
throw wide nets over
our haunted, lost souls

when, morning at last,
we begin again,
pursuing the tumbling edge
of this turning globe

believing that
it will never end, will never
will never

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Intricate Psalms

Photo: Brian Federle, Sun in Clouds, Hawaii 2016

Clearing the tallest
eve of the big house,
the sun overwhelms.

Then the mockingbird chants
intricate psalms

All praise to the
lord of the sky

and with glory
fill the land!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Warm Morning

Morning hush —

Heat builds,
leaves glitter.

Into pure silver
dissolves the shade.

Birds call
winging it
to higher, darker places,
any eve
where tattered night
may hide,

seeking retreat
from day's clear,
searing eye.

(9/2011 - 5/2018)