Saturday, September 29, 2018

Cry Aloud

Photo Steven Federle: Conflagration at Clear Lake, 2018

A voice said, "Cry aloud!"
and I said, “But what shall I cry?”

Shall I sing to the people 
a song of spring,
hills aflame with green,
dry grass igniting 
with joy?

In darker days, 
when the high meadow fell fallow
and flowers of the valley 
dried to dust, 
I thought you'd turned
away, took your giving hands
to other lands.

Despairing, I wept, 
stung by tears
from angry Hell, 
and doubted 
your love. 

Oh, forgive me, pity your child
and make your enduring rain fall

on the riotous grass, 
on the bold crocus
and passionate 

Photo Brian Federle: On the Pacifica Path, 2014

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Lazarus Waiting

Photo Brian Federle: Mendocino Sundial 2016

falling sun, life swarming
in the liquid light
as I gaze west, through trees,
over houses, over slatted-fence,
towards the waiting, unseen sea.

a foraging bird drops to my mown lawn
(taking note of my still form)
and pecks out her meal...and flies away.

My apple-tree bends towards heaven
new leaves unfolding;
surely it will be leaf-full by Easter!

so I’ll wait for the world to turn
yet another slight degree, for the lines
of golden light to lengthen towards me
and then end in gentle night.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Vanitas Folia

Leaves quickly fall
now that November
is nearly done. 

From behind a glass door
I watch the dry storm,
blanket the ground,

Useless appendages
liabilities in the wind,
cast-aways await
the hollow scraping
of my wide rake.

Yet in the tree
hope for reprieve, 
wave and rush 
sure that bright color
can distract, delay death
with brilliant 

Monday, September 10, 2018

September 11th

“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will.”  Thomas Merton


Rushing from shower to sink, I heard the TV
blare its usual chatter of news and advertising
as we made our hurried preparations
for another busy day,
when I saw it:
dark smoke rising into the blue New York sky.

And I stopped, all schedules forgotten, transfixed
by high flames scorching glass and steel.

Calmly, the newsman speculated
about airliners and tragic accidents,
when the passive camera caught it, the black spot
flying straight and sure as a bullet, piercing
the second tower in a shower of orange flame and shattered glass.

This was no accident,then, this morning violence, and I wondered
how many people were already at work when,
pinned by burning jet fuel and melting steel, their busy day
suddenly ceased in searing red pain and numb darkness?

I wanted to go on with my own day,
to hide in the comfort of my routine,
but I could not turn away when I saw jumpers
drop to merciful deaths;

I saw a suited businessman,
pale in white dust, slowly plodding
through a deluge of drifting memos,
clutching his briefcase like a life preserver;

I heard the shrill, muffled
sirens of ambulance and fire-trucks,
lost in the dirty fog of terror.

And I knew in that moment
that we all are New Yorkers,

we all are falling into our dark, quiet center
where, sinless and without fear,
we encounter God, Yahweh, Allah,
The Eternal,  

as our shattered bodies rise
through flames of anger
into the pure, cool, forgiving
September air.