Thursday, May 28, 2015

Storm at the Wheelwright Museum


















Up the narrow, foothill road
we hear thunder and see tall clouds
churning the hot desert sky,
as lightning in gleaming metal spears
thrust from slate-grey nimbus
into the bleeding body of earth.

But our road is still dry,
the rain falling
in tall curtains
between sharp shafts
of bright sunlight.

So we drive higher
to the museum at the top,
to see the soul
of a murdered nation.

We park on the gravel
when, at last, the sky breaks,
and running for the door, laughing
in the unexpected warmth of pounding rain,
we fly into the hogan,
safe from the storm,  
and still breathless,
we walk through dim galleries,
gazing at Navajo carpets,
their patterns whispering tales of
life and love and loss.

Urgent hale beats the roof,
drums, like wild hearts, urging war,
and thunder responds
with volley of angry cannon,
when sudden darkness
swallows us
power shifting
to the avenging storm,

and, bat-blind, we drift,
touching walls
reaching for any door,
because all art is utterly useless now,
all beauty unknowable
in this uterine cave

where all we can hope
is to find our way out
and be born again
into the sodden world.

(13 May 2011)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Palace of the Governors

Along the wall,
deep in the shade
of the Palace of the Governors
Indians recline,
casting invisible lines
with slender wooden rods,
nudging their rings of soft green
and glittering silver, hoping
to catch the eye of
a lingering tourist
fishing
for a spark of interest.



But every angler knows
that if you show
your desire,
the fish
will pass you by.

And so they idly glance
into the bright, busy
city square beyond
as we slowly walk by,
nodding politely,
inspecting their rings
gleaming like lures,

when at last we come
to the smiling potter.

Gently he pulls us into,
the curving, perfect void

to touch this black-ware,
to feel what it holds:

the smooth darkness of
everything.


(11 July 2011)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Graduation Dance

Graduation Dance

The gym was dim.

Red and white balloons
glittered in the dusk
while flashing lights writhed
on the dark floor
like enchanted water-snakes
gliding through scented fog.

This was a celebration dance!

Eighth grade done at last,
they stepped, hesitant, into the roiling
teen-age sea,their synchronous, bobbing heads
attuned to the be-bop rhythms of the city (not their city),
and the lusty calls of the hood (not their hood).

Smooth gym walls echoed the dj's mechanical angst
endless, relentless beats, the racing heart of the machine,
artificial sighs, nano-seconds long and gigabytes wide.

The boys, spinning on heads and leaping from hands and
flailing legs, showed an athleticism
never seen in PE,
while the girls huddled in their own dark corner
and planned their move;

their fashion walk,
legs strutting ahead
of swaying hips,
heels clicking the hard, dark floor,
as they stalked right up to the foul line

where boys were spinning and leaping
through throbbing lights
to the tribal, primal beat.

So the girls turned,
hips flung in defiance,
and sashayed back to the wall,
staring hard at the gaping boys
over their swaying shoulders.

(28 May 2009)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pentecost



When you left us
I saw how the clouds parted,
rent curtains,
as you cleared earth’s
drossy smear,
and passed into a heaven
bright beyond
our wildest imagining.

Bereft, fearful, we
shut tight the door
against wolves’ howling
and waited for you
to keep your promise.

At first it was a whisper,
the sea-ward wind
prying loose our
weak walls,

but soon the song rose, until
its power overwhelmed us
with chords of faith,
and, afire at last,

we spoke!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Endless Summer


The hot, autumn sun
spills effulgent;
dark branches, roused,
glow lustrous as blue day.

Burgeoning trees
cling to verdant leaves
denying impending
vermillion days.

Summer's love abides,
warming laggard blooms
under the flowing fern.

Summer will stay for now;
Winter patiently waits
to renew the ripe world.

(12 Sept. 2012)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Evening Star Rising



Evening star rising

into day’s fading sky,

alone, serene,

and wondrously bright,
surpassing dark hills
to cerulean night.

(7 May 2012)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Closer to the Edge

closer to the edge
where day and night merge,
marriage of land and sky
not one thing or
the other;

that’s where faith hides --
blushing bride, wayward child
waiting to be found
and taken
home.


(15 May 2015)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Sea of Love






“….it is a sea of Love which flows through the One Body....”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation.

The sea of Love
fills my lungs
courses through
open fingers
warms glowing
heart, pulses
blood-lines
through diaphanous
skin.

In in the surge
of mother-sea
I wait
and grow
and emerge
into who
will be.

(22 April 2013)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Aubade: Your Eyes


“In an age where there is much talk about ‘being yourself,’ I reserve to myself the right to forget about being myself.” Thomas Merton

When I look into the mirror
I see the perfect mime,
moving left or right, mimicing
my vanity as I comb thinning hair,
check wrinkled skin for new blemish,
try figure out who I am;

but when I look into your eyes
I see long drives, mountain roads
rising to clouds, ocean mist
washing clean the highest pines
as the eastern sky
grows bright with
morning.

Your eyes
enfold me.

Like the rising sun,
your love renews
my aging day.

(3 June 2012)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Benediction



They came suddenly.
First I heard brash honking,
and then, craning my neck to the limit,
I saw them, wide wings moving in perfect formation
as powerfully they stroked the grey air, assertive necks stretched,
like golden swimmers, low and big, they barely cleared
tree-top and roof,but rapidly crossing my small
portion of earth, soon clearing my eastern
fence, the geese were gone to visit
other neighbors; and wondering
at my good fortune, I felt
contentment and deeply
peaceful, and I
smiled.

(22 July 2010)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Glance Down

and see how new grass
lifts green glory
to absolute blue.

Look how swarming gnats
dash in passion,
vortex of life,
swirling whirlpool
in liquid light.

The jay waits
on shadowed fence,
as jeweled hummingbirds
float
in a sea of roses,
nectar drunk,
May-mad.

(1 May 2011)