Sunday, July 30, 2017


“And the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept . . . . what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” 
Asian Journal of Thomas Merton,

I see the world

as it is, as I think
itis, as I want it
to be:

bright mornings,
shimmering lawns, trees glowing
golden as night dissolves
to glaring day.

I hear mourning doves,
raucous crows, roar of lawn-mowers,
distant whisper
of traffic

and believe these prove
that I alone can end a night
of anxious dreams
with quick breath and
eyes wide open.

But one day, stepping
through terminal veils of pain,
startled, pulling back the black curtain,
in the unexpected rush of ecstasy,
I’ll discover the truth:

my never-ending
communion with

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Soft July

since you've been gone the days
are silent

except for the rush of wind
in our apple tree.

See how the fruit hangs
heavy, pulling low
the branches;

so I’ll wait in the shade
of soft July
and think
of you.

(9 July 2014; revised 7/29/2017)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Suisun Creek

Suisun Creek
riparian forests.

Hungry trout ,
liquid lightning, flash
as stonefly nymphs dart
past brooding periwinkle,
blackberry groves,


(25 July 2011)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Narrow Road

The narrow road
flows down the valley,
past hedge row, vineyard, orchard,

red farmhouses and
white mansions;

their black fences are lines
defining isolation

from the grey shacks decaying
where rough life once rejoiced!

I enter our little cemetery
where you wait
for my simple gifts…..

home-grown flowers,
a prayer,
a tear.

I’ll visit again

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Enter the Sanctuary

Photo: Apple Tree in Spring, Steven Federle

To find love I must enter into the sanctuary where it is hidden, which is the mystery of God.
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation:

Deep in the tangle of branch and leaf
I move to the core, to the dark shaft
that draws life up from the muddy ground

to blooms sprung to being
by the ascendant sun,
open, imbibing morning light
like new wine, drunk with love.

Here I seek You
in Your green sanctuary,
hiding, gleeful,
anxious to be found.

(14 May 2012)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.”— Aeschylus 

on this 4th of July morning
the sounds of sleep,
peace surrounds me.

Birds call, content
in the gentle, warm wind
of this summer day
dedicated to remembrance.

I can see you now
when I close my eyes.

I took you to the parade!

You were just two then,
clasping my hand
as the big firetrucks rolled by!

Amazed, smiling, happy.

Perhaps later today
I’ll find some flowers
red, and white, and blue
to cover your marker

to make you smile
and take my hand.