Gnarls & knots

Gnarls and knots-

twistings of difficulty and experience

train the tree toward ancient mastery.

R i n g s

spread in stilled ripples-

water’s character in wood.

Toes wrap in dark, salted earth below,

fingers stretch through blue air above.

In storm, drought and calm

echo countless ancestral voices

from forests long ago gone.

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In the saddle

At a beginning,

with the closest solitary prayer being

“I don’t know,”

my hips work to keep the rest of me in the saddle.

Movements in the sky-

valley fog, and clouds weaving high through the hills-

live their nature in waves, currents, and vanishings,

grand teachings of the cycles of continual change.

Sometimes, I wish I knew.

But, unintentionally, artfully, that greatest illusion

has been set on the shelf-

a furry trickster friend

who flashes me a smile, and snaps his tail

at the most wicked, and absurd times.

I don’t know becomes

a delicate, gritty daily worship.

Trying to get home

Through the night, and every inch of its darkness,

you keep trying to get home.

Missing buses, the next being the last

before a no service emptiness of midnight.

And the priest you met was no priest behind that supermarket,

but a desperate man wearing inside out shirt

with black short sleeves and shabby collar.

Waiting, waiting, wanting and anxious

with one goal in mind,

standing alone at the bench eager

to get to the end of the line when you can start walking

a long stretch of highway

in the wee hours

to a home that no longer exists

yet is the one place to which you know the way.

Border dancer

Are you a border dancer,

never wanting fully to be here and

forever a passionate sliver of now,

sipping the drops, and drinking the deluge,

wondering what place you actually occupy?

It’s a slippery stick

meant for the ripeness of the forest floor,

unintended for adolescent hands.

What feeds does not come from you-

one so easily confused, acting comically small and guilty.

Real nourishment soaks in with time and respect

from Beyond-

origin of nectar and mystery, the breast milk

of endowed life in service to the Gods.

Leave the stick to its mushroom duff

where growth and decay follow ancient rhythms.

Dance there,

the place unnameable, infinitely creative,

and belonging to no one.

Underground wiggle

An underground wiggle,

earthworm-sized, easily missed,

and loud enough to wake ears primed

for uncivilized silence, whispers

in the last hours

of a year angling for its restful grave.

Without words,

the new year spreads vital language

through gritty, and fungal layers.

A hibernating, loved and longed for

movement in recent seasons

promises to return-

and the buzzing, flavorful potency builds.

Halfway through

And what if it turns out,

or turns in or turns about,

that you find yourself starting over

-o-v-e-r-

at roughly (obscurely) halfway through

-as best you can tell-

the life you’ve been given?

Did you miss something along the way?

A flowering path, a waterfall dive, a hollow

to watch stars fall?

A tricky switchback, a higher climb, a conversation

with a person you ignored

(or whose shoes you noticed but whose words you never met)?

The questions fill every available basket.

Meanwhile.

An unobscured landscape has poured itself out

before you.

Maybe there,

there is the place to begin.

A lopsided egg of a moon

A lopsided egg of a moon

invited me into sleep

even after shutting the curtain against her light.

She stirred wakefulness,

and a sloshing fancy of dreams,

dreams of time travel and remembered people,

an upsurge of unknown futures and staccatos of history.

New land, an unwritten life, and no one to catch me

disturbs digestion,

but moments come when slow, long-distance swell

breaks overhead,

washing my shoulders, sucking at my ankles,

shifting immense vulnerability to a salty, and fresh excitement.

Ghosts

If the light in you diminishes, wanes,

withers,

and you become a shrunken version of yourself,

be sure of this-

Ghosts are feeding.

If confidence gets tugged into the nearest pit,

and mockery replaces spark-

cynicism having leaked its silent poison into your veins-

ask not what is wrong with you

(a honed Ghost hunting tactic)

but sharpen those warrior skills to track,

sight,

and disarm the immaterial and deadly spooks.

You can start by slapping a sign

on the inside of the front door saying,

Ghosts, piss off!,

while laughing at their familiar, but fruitless, methods.

If you need more time

If you need more time

for the new birds to find you,

take more walks with your awkward, fledgling self.

Squawking and flight, a generous song now and again,

will always surround you.

Being the only of a kind in a place

opens more relationships than you might think, while

flavor of faith develops

with your stronger listening ears.

It is needed as you continue, seeing ahead

and noticing the talon prints you’ve left behind.

Human walking

Born from uninitiated folk,

as most Westerners are,

creates holes in knowing that let icy winds enter.

Weaving oneself back together requires attention,

a briny commitment, earthly,

sight of an old fist-width rope tying the now to a millennia of then:

the family line.

Mostly invisible shoulders carry

the wobbling essential unformed

human walking known as you.

Start asking questions.