Wednesday, May 30, 2012

O Copper Moon

O copper moon in cobalt sky,
brush back confining trees.

Climb Jacob’s silver stairs and rise
on sparks of angel-fire, free.

Incite in hidden, mystic night
God’s own sacred, fearful delight!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

On a Razor's Edge We Live

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

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 and reeling planets
throw wide nets over
haunted, lost souls

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

and we believe that
it will never end, will never
will never

Saturday, May 26, 2012


layer upon layer
pounding out
charged and ready to strike, 

cold winds blow,
bright rains ache 
ready to flow.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Opening the morning drapes,
I let in
streaming gold
to rout night's shadows.

Renewed, the sun glances
through bright autumn trees,
through this naked window,
transparent and radiant.

Subsumed into the ruddy world,
the humble window draws me out
into the glory of this autumn morning.

But at night
the window
is self-conscious,
ashamed of glaring,
naked panes

reveals a mirrored world
simulacrums darting through ghostly rooms,
crossing empty space in hurried fright
to draw closed the curtains
on this fearful night.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunset and Fog, Suisun Valley

blue haze
fast fading day
cut-paper ridges,
saw-tooth hills
scrape raw
the black maw
of space,

while pockets of fog
narrow valleys fill;
for giants
in these sun-
set hills.


голубой дымке
быстро угасающего дня
сократить бумаги хребты,
пилообразный холмы
очистить сырье
черная пасть

в то время как карманы тумана
узкими долинами заполнить;
для гигантов
В этих солнцем
набор холмов.

After the Storm

Light surging down
glistening lanes

gleaming torrents
consuming the rain

the blazing sun
floods the damp valley floor

from somber penumbra
the bright star breaks forth

radiance shatters
the storm’s dark pall

The sun drowns dull night
In its flashing flood-tide.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Do You See?

When your spirit goes
to the glowing

do you feel terror
as you hunger for

What do you see
in that bright, distant

Do you gaze through dark pain
into heaven’s living

Monday, May 21, 2012

Through Thin Windows

Through thin windows
I see young leaves
rising to twilight storm,
blue mist shimmering
on quick-silver street,
as glowing grass drops 
into blackening copse. 

With Stygian hand
has night claimed 

declining day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

San Francisco Bay Excursion, May 16, 2012

Fullsail Sloop Seaward under the Golden Gate Bridge

Photo: Angel Island, Steven Federle

Photo: Blue Boat, Steven Federle
Photo: Blue Boat and Signal Light, Steven Federle

Photo: Rough Water Steven Federle

Photo: Fog over Sausalito, Steven Federle

Photo: Angel Island Immigration Station "Golden Mountain"
Steven Federle

Photo: Lines and Mainsail, Steven Federle

Photo: Rough Water and Mt. Tam, Steven Federle

Photo: Ropes, Steven Federle

Photo: The Fog Descending, Steven Federle

Monday, May 14, 2012

Anniversary (November 24)

The treasure of trees
golden mounds
on the green ground.

Urged by the morning sun
yellow leaves
coruscate in chilled air
with the afterglow of a summer
well lived.

But thirty-two years ago
the light died
when dark death’s hand
seized your struggling heart.

We buried you,
bright treasure,
under still
green grass.

The mud from your grave
clung to our shoes
as we wept our grief
in bright puffs of white breath
ascending like incense
into the good sky.

And thirty-two years later
I still choke on bitter sorrow.
still sting my eyes.

But looking through the bright window,
I see in November’s gold,
a faint reflection
of the enduring glory
that lights your
endless day.

Author's Note: In Memoriam,  Arthur Federle, 1910-1978

Friday, May 11, 2012

Georgia Forest

This Georgia forest,
is sundered
by winding highway
into green canyon walls.

Dark pines subsume
the mid-day dusk;
black trunks thrust
into red forest floor

when, with sudden, golden shaft,
the faithful sun splits
its sullen core.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


O fill me
with your breath.

My soul
will dance
like leaves
glad in your breeze.

In green morning
will I arise
to sing your gladsome song.

O call me
and I will
rush to your side!

Deep in your holy wood,
will we walk -
you leading the way
and I behind
in your sacred shade.

Monday, May 7, 2012

In My Silence

In my silence I hear your song,
gentle breezes
filling tender leaves.

O feel my prayer,
my failing despair.

In my darkness I feel your breath
echoing my heart’s
steady beating,

O fill my emptiness,
my dying,
with eyes
like stars
consuming night.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Next American Idol

Is it true that all my motives have meant nothing?
Is it true that all my desires were an illusion? Thomas Merton

I want to ride the wind,
feel the rush of pride
as I stride front and center,
to  become the next
American Idol!

My flame rises high into
the summer night sky.
Garish and bright
My eager stars spread
the heat of grandeur
the light of illusion.

But in the soft dawn,
in the morning rain
only smoldering
lies remain.

desert sketch

Dust-devils rage
across the dry sea
as deluded Lucifer

while in the blue distance
a sharp mountain looms,
granite clouds
wrapping its slate grey peak
in a slowly winding storm.

As valley demons spin 
their dusty lies,

rocky peaks 
and roiling sky
in radiant 
righteous light.


The evening wind stirs
our high, green trees,
whispering down the westering sun,
as shadows scale our eastern fence.

The sun surrenders its May heat
to a cooling Suisun breeze,
while already looming
on the eastern horizon,
rising from the gentle green swell
of low delta hills,
the copper moon vaults
into the cobalt,
its ascendant mastery astonishing
even the wading, gazing egret,

as on the other side
of our slowly rolling planet,
the bleeding sun declines,
searching the sea for healing.

Thus, from conflict and transition,
come poise and redemption.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Question and Answer

“God, with You it is always the same thing! Always the same question
that nobody knows how to answer!” Thomas Merton

What should I say
when night ignites
your question?

You ask me
again and again
and patiently wait for my

but I don’t understand.

How does the faithful moon
ascend, transcend
night’s fatal space
with love’s perfect,
forgiving grace?

To your dull-witted child
oh, give your sweet breath,

and my answer I’ll shout,
my joyful

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I'm waiting for summer to start.

I want to see through emerald leaf
how the young sun rises,
how waking birds nod
to the familiar sky
and sing to life their bright day.

I'm curious.

When will the stoic snail finish
his pilgrimage
into the cool shade
of this airy fern?

And in blazing noon
tell me
if the fussing wren still
flits or throws back
feathered arms
behind downy head
to siesta.

But most I want to feel
the precise moment
when blushing sun
spills his red life
into the gentle arms
of his dark love, night.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cold Sailing

Wave enfolds wave.

With rolling swell
we rise and fall.

Through deafening static
of storm-struck air
I hear the rigging’s
ringing fear

as under the bridge
titanic ships
plow darker paths
shadowed bay.

With sails engorged,
we fly away!