Light casts red

August,

the light casts red.

Dry season wilt and crunch, yellow

becoming brown,

and hungry fires chew acres

to miles

of hillside and range.

Fire’s satiation point moves further out

each passing year

as our own deafness to species and spaces

beyond our own grows.

Dim the constant noise of phone, computer,

bottom line, app and sale-

play a role smarter than consumer-

and how life continues from here may

be more inclusive, open, mindful

and naturally sweet.

The fires have much to say.

Advertisements

Now

He slams the door behind him.

You think, Good riddance!

When next your heart stops and breath catches,

out comes a gasp, What have I done?

Melting down, falling to bits, the world goes

from complete sense to non-sense,

and it is on that iceberg of moment

(and each drifting ice island following)

when wondering, Is this true?

might most gather you back together in a form

strong enough,

wise enough

to hold all the sensations and feelings

threatening to tear you to pieces

to be with Now,

an actual fullness of Life

for which you have the grandest capacity.

This day

This day he walks slowly,

approaching in nearly a shuffle.

Handing me a candy- the kind once known as penny-

saying, this aging stuff, not so easy.

I used to think, he shares with a soft shake of his head,

I could stay a perpetual teenager. But not so.

His health, not good,

the poetry, music and culture

having always fed him

no longer enough.

Or so it seems to him, on this day.

Clutching a small handled paper bag, one somehow

always carried,

he steps away, looking emptily into distance

not physically there,

leaving me with a golden,

foil covered chocolate coin never to be eaten

and an appreciation for his difficult facing

of what he long imagined

could be outrun.

Where is your Beauty?

Where is your Beauty?

Surely not

in the new shoes, fresh haircut,

expensive manufactured perfume or

endless product

product

product

pushed, hawked, manipulated into your brain

tinkering with insecurities secret and unspoken.

Your Beauty,

your Beauty! exists. Period. No one sells it to you,

convinces you of it, holds it over you, or

wants you solely because of it-

that sort is no kin of Beauty, but mere poison.

The posh tie, synthetic cologne, hippest beard or band-

they’ll not birth Beauty either.

No mask is She. Neither bought nor sold,

She is spark, and giggle, dance step and honest stumble.

She is inspiration,

your in-spiring moment to moment.

Nurture these and Beauty rises, rises,

a river filling thirsty banks longing

to sing her praises.

Flock

He

a sheep

like us all

walks, one day,

in a new direction.

Sheep don’t do that,

leave their flock.

In this he becomes a black sheep

turning away from name, money, easy street-

which isn’t so easy.

With him, now, he carries weight

of blame, criticism, and no one bothering to ask

why.

Years, many, pass.

His children grow, not knowing the stories he never told,

seeing him as just another sheep folded into the flock.

They wander for a path of their own.

One, separating from the rest, looks back

wondering

why he never asked why.

Broadness of day

What must she have done upon discovering

her husband’s sexuality

with their daughters?

At which point, what year, and how-

in broadness of day, in sneaking through night,

along whisper, twist, and shadow never confirming?

And complicity? Suspicion?

Imagine the toxins pumping, daily, through veins

related, betrayed, confused, abused.

Where,

its beginning.

How,

its end.

How.

Through bright sky

The swallow dip of joy,

swift arc and cut through bright sky,

has been on lengthy migration

to lands unnamed.

Yet the time allotted here, however long,

confined in concrete, noise, requirement and excess

may finally break me of this place.

What follows out

of the daily abrasions of adjusting

while not giving everything and nothing away

may open space enough for that swallow

to return truly

home.

Come back

In search of meaning

but having to pay the bills.

Needing to matter,

but busy cursing the neglected dogs keeping you awake.

Reaching, yet thick in mud,

being with a sideways mess of months of days

and snarled in the wonderment of

what, in hell, this is all about…

Coming back, returning to echoes of your own one body,

again, again, again, again,

the home your fantasy conjured

minus the straightforwardness and glitter

of safe comfortable forever there

except it is precisely that in folly

and learning and diligent removal of concept

and heavy cultural residue.

This is home, your body, waiting,

waiting

for you to come back

to what is real, always with you, and still

strangely

not known.

Family legacy

Never defined,

merely assumed,

the answer to the question

of family legacy.

Is it money?

Name?

Philanthropy?

Power? Fame?

Keep digging, for it resides

well beyond the surface of things.

Might it be anger, abuse,

enslavement, enslaving, addiction,

a thick poison, barely visible

yet acutely sensed?

Might it be secrets held, shames and generations of fear?

Likely, aspects of these remain

and are being carried-

whether or not it was chosen.

The question then emerges from distant,

unvisited places, whispering

as warm mother to sleeping infant,

And what would it be for you

to transform

such a legacy, slowly, steadily,

with loving devotion

so as to soften- just a little-

the burden of a misunderstood life

with a dash more kindness, and fist full

of intent.

Far from easy, and miles east of glamorous,

that work may be your simple, impossible,

and singular gift

with the breath you borrow

here, one day at a time.

A slurry of nettles and skunk

While sitting in a slurry of nettles and skunk,

a confused mess of fury and grief,

I had to remember,

remember those I know well who will do anything not

to change.

Clenching to what doesn’t grow,

but metastasizes, brings more comfort

than trying it all, somehow, differently.

Yet the questions weren’t born in them,

and time with practice have taught them not to find any stirring

since the familiar is the balm that keeps the abyss

from glistening up and pulling them under and out,

as it is for me now from a slick, hard cornered rock

I seem desperate to hold.

Time and body say, release this faithless fight and self-loathing,

those committed shackles wielded by the past,

and give in, set adrift and enter

what is unimaginably larger than the Seen.