Sunday, July 27, 2014


to blue space, 
rising beyond reach, past 
simple comprehension, they 
shelter or imprison, lift me up
point the way
to escape, to
the thin 
edge of

Saturday, July 26, 2014

This Rising

I wanted to be the thundercloud
pounding fury in electric flashes,
but impatiently the earth pulled me down,
and trapped me, like silent, winter tule fog,
pausing over dark, delta waters

until I rose over the darkening valley
and observed the crescent moon
ascending over seaward hills,
effervescent disc
dissolving into death,
while radiant, scimitar edge,
rent the black night.

but now, in the pure air at last,
just beneath the black vacuum of my limit,
I discern the elevated host,
this consecrated, bloody body,
in the agony of redemption,
in the glory of this perfect moment,
this nexus of heaven and earth,
this rising.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Brother Sun

Through soft summer grass,
oh, hear the breeze
whisper the past
and what’s yet to be.

Oh, wanderer through
soft singing leaves,
let brother sun
ignite your bright dreams!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

French Park Creek

Deep in the woods
down the steep trench
we call to each other -
to the creek we descend

through green shadows rushing
over shallow, smooth stones,
to deeper, dark  pools
where love lies, alone.  

Hand in warm hand
we run, holding tight
and laughing we fall
to our own secret night.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Nearly Ripe

Nearly ripe, these green apples
hang heavy
from our bursting tree,
the warm evening sun
glinting through swaying branches.

They will be ready
in about a week.

Then I’ll slice them into sweet crescents
and their taste will dance upon your tongue
with all the secrets our tree has been keeping,
its living leaves,
its smooth, grey bark,
its very roots
grasping deep
into our dark soil,

and these glowing, green apples
I will make bare and white and moist
a love offering like perfect wine,
and your taste will delight
in the sweet, green love
of the earth.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Russian Army Gathers at the Ukrainian Border

armies in the night, steel
wheels scrape
the sacred earth.

Gogol once rode here, troika
flying over drifts, wind
blistering his open lips
as laughing he drew in
the Russian cold.

So many dead souls,
to be bought and sold . . .

for Russian tanks.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Rough Sailing

Photo: Angel Island, Steven Federle

deck rising,
waves tossing
taut life-
lines, cold-
sailing, salt-
air, dark water,
by gale, by moon,
by jealous
of earth,
but hold firm
flex legs to keep
your balance
your next
exhales life
like wind
roaring with

Holy Mountain

For God is everywhere. His truth and His love pervade all things as the light and the heat of the sun pervade our atmosphere. Thomas Merton

From this small mountain
folded valleys glide
to shining waters.

Flowing like quicksilver,
dark rivers run free
to the sun-drenched sea.

This is your holy mountain.

I seek your gentle voice
where the small birds rest
on thin branches.

See how their breath
arouses the storm?

Fluttering wings
can make shudder the world,
to passion stir vast
twisting winds.

Though I am small
and dying,
make of me
a pillar of fire,

and I’ll descend from these heights
to flood the dark valleys
with your living light.

Wide Iris

Sun glares,
summer simmers, flares
sears the savage sky.

I scowl
contort my taut brow
to block the cutting light
from my too-open sight.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cathartes Aura

Walking to my car 
on a warm afternoon
up on the high hillside lot
close to the cliff drop,

I see rising beneath me
the bird,
wings spreading six feet,
head naked and red as blood,
white beak hooking invisible winds
to fill the creamy hollow of under-feather,

lifting on thermals
before my eyes,

when two small blackbirds
dive from unseen heights
and viciously caw as they peck
the black back.

Top guns, fighter aces;
these lords of the open sky
sharply turn as the heavy buzzard wheels
through dark pines.

I clutch my keys
and stay to watch the fight.

I want to see how, with curling feathers
and piercing rage
these small beasts
protect their living nest. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July Morning

sun shifts my shade
to the left, to the back
of my small

a distant jet
rises to pure blue.

hear its roar diminish
from proud power
to whisper
to nothing.

I obey
the sun.


“Eternity is in the present. Eternity is in the palm of the hand. Eternity is a seed of fire, whose sudden roots break barriers that keep my heart from being an abyss.”  Thomas Merton

Beneath me lies Denver,
Thrall of stasis,
Tenuous lines
Fading to western chaos –
A glint of light, then darkness

Dark mountains leap up at me
Then fall back silently Into
stony blue gorges.

High clouds brush my wings.
I have captured the sun!
Glittering, I release it.

Listen to the Song

“We must learn to respond not to this or that syllable, but to the whole song.
Thomas Merton, Faith and Violence

Light grows
as vowels flow
from trembling throats;

crystal night shatters
their piercing notes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dry Lake

Photo Dry Lake by David Saltaire

Rain lurks 
behind clouds 
too thin 
to send drops,
surging waves.

 flash floods go north, 
to green Seattle, 
easy landfall, 
where no resistance is 
 ever given by 
sandy bottom or 
rocky shore.

There the ancient
desert lies
beneath tons 
of breathless redwood,
dreaming of hot, 
days, dry

Oh Emerald City, 
so unaware of the pain
and joy of drought, 
endless blue days 
of aching sky,
harsh eye 
in January

as slim clouds 
rush by
of a shower, 

only to evaporate 
to dusty twisters.