Sunday, September 30, 2012

from a dark room

Van Gogh, A Lane near Arles (Landscape with Edge of a Road), 1888

“Our spirits were made for light, not for darkness.” Thomas Merton

This dark room

comforts me.

Tender eyes
are safe here from
the hot autumn wind.

Dark tears cleanse

as I gaze out
to the shimmering street
where rises the sacred scent
of yellow flowers,


and sweet.


Deep in the twilight grey
I wait
for black night to drop
and completely.

At the end of the day,
hope is measured
one careful procedure
at a time.

is not kind in winter.

Too early It comes,
and stays much too long.

It brings fear,
red eyes
and stinging tears.

Lit by throbbing numbers
night probes your veins
one pulse at a time,

as your shivering soul watches
from cool blue bars
gleaming in the distant ceiling.

Stroking your hands
In the fading day’s light
I pray
for one more

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Three Trees: Autumn

The Three Trees: Autumn Claude Monet, 1891

thin limbs,
wind drifting,
sun melting straw
autumn’s frost

form is septolet....syllabic verse, 1-2-3-4-3-2-1

Monday, September 24, 2012


“Real self-conquest is the conquest of ourselves not by ourselves but by the Holy Spirit. Self-conquest is really self-surrender.”  Thomas Merton.

Look to the west
and see how your eyes
must narrow
or turn inward
to shut out
the glare
that precedes

Hills wrapped in haze
lose all definition
become flat, devoid
of fold or crevasse.

No sudden rise
blocks your way
to the edge
at the top.

Surrender there
to the light
you enter

the night.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Feed the Fire

We will never be fully real until we let ourselves fall in love - either with another human person or with God.  Thomas Merton

Close to you
I see you breathe.
Your sweet breath
is all I need
to feed the fire,
living desire!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


On this perfect September day
these California hills rise,
joyfully to pacific skies,

but from my high ground
I gaze across this sun-drunk city,
across that strip of shimmering bay
to distant, wild Marin hills
where a thin, white line
lingers among ancient redwoods.

I see it shroud them in white silence.
It obliterates even  
the radiant, waning sun.

This is winter.

His cold fingers will soon reach
into our happy lives,

our bright denial.