Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Love for each day

love for each day bringing light
love for the darkness of each night
love for the pain of death and losses
love for the challenges life tosses
love for the birds in the open sky
love for the earth that does not lie
love for those who love us back
love for those whom we cannot crack
love for the sweetness of our dreams
love for what is not as it seems

Monday, February 27, 2006

Of owls

beneath skies of lavender and amber —
colors of changing season and day —
I walk under a black locust tree
and crane my head to see
in the dusky light

the cream-colored pantaloons
of a great horned owl
perched, unmoving,
on the still leafless branch above

I look this great bird in its
startling yellow eyes,
and from within its cupped face
it looks back, unruffled,

until suddenly it turns, calls,
raises up on well-dressed legs,
tracking with particular focus
the arrival of another owl
landing on a far, outstretched limb

they converse in a series of postures,
turnings of the head, standing up and down,
slight wing gestures, tossing out
rapid-fire staccato call and response,
until she glides off into the smell of coming rain

in dreams I fly with owls in a darkening sky
we call to one another through the purple air,
speaking of the things we know,
of our love for each other and for the world —
isn't this the way it should be?

Photo by Michael McDowell

Friday, February 24, 2006

Owl feathers

From a few poems I was enjoying again this week, old favorites. Click on the links to read the complete poems.

"But I also say this: that light
is an invitation
to happiness,
and that happiness,

when it's done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive."

— Mary Oliver, in Poppies

"And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn's beautiful body
is sure to be there."

— Mary Oliver, Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith

"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on."

— Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Thursday, February 23, 2006


under the inconstant moon
we walk our two square blocks
before we say goodnight

you check for messages
posted on every corner
and leave your own replies

for me you reserve your
small chuffs in the throat, breaths, and sighs,
long gazes from your intent brown eyes

or a cold nose suddenly under my arm—
Romeo, in wagging your tail, you wag mine

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


how is it that I can long for you
when I don't even know what you are—
how does imagination take flight as if
launched from the tip of a fragment,
like a shard half buried in the earth
revealing only a tender line of blue along its edge

a shard that if pulled up reveals
its small self, an unfinished history,
related to other shards that will appear
as the fertile earth heaves everything up,
as every season reveals more and
soil, stone, everything is carried slowly upward

its crackled glaze gleaming white and blue
this shard lies quiet in my palm,
the smokey edge dark against my skin
like a feather, like a wing, like a story
speaking not with words but with
the whispers of vision and gesture—

from this hazy line, like a poem, like a dream,
like a bird that spreads its aching wings
to reach for the light that breaks
through morning's bank of clouds
gold upon blue upon blue,
I reach for the thought of you

Monday, February 20, 2006

Night offering

take a drink


watch the flame
the candle


take a drink
my heart


watch the flame
my soul


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Battle of the bands

In response to Tom Montag and his "Lines for February 19" - go check out the original!

Left. Left.
Left. Left.

Right. Left.
Right. Left.
Right. Left. Left.

Right. Left. Left.
Right. Left. Left.

Right. Right.
Right. Right.
Sun. Cloud. Cloud.

Sun. Left. Right.
Sun. Cloud. Cloud.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Owl feathers

"If I love something I do it, and if I don't, I don't.
I think that this is the most important choice that any of us can make in life, in art, in history; to do the thing you love.
If you love it then while you are doing it you are a true expression of yourself and your time and your story. You are authentic."

— Lina Wertmuller

"If you listen,
not to the pages or preachers
but to the smallest flower
growing from a crack
in your heart,
you will hear a great song
moving across a wide ocean
whose water is the music
connecting all the islands
of the universe together,
and touching all
you will feel it
touching you
around you. . .
embracing you
with light."

— John Squadra

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hints of spring

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

February snow

snowflakes tumbling
thick and generous
falling fast through
creamy morning air

in the snow underfoot
crisscrossing bird track,
rabbit track,
squirrel track,
rapidly being covered again

and in the middle of this,
high in the branches of the sycamore,
snow falling all around —

birds —

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

May you be blessed today and every day with a richness of love.

For your enjoyment today:
an article on the "profoundly bizarre activity of kissing."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Morning light

this child's face
turned to me in morning light
sleepy eyes like soft stones
under water,
sun alight on the curve of cheek,
curls splashed across the pillow
as on a warm sand bank —
my heart rushes like the river

a face
turned like this,
in light refracted
through watery glass,
is a breath,
is a prayer,
is a heartbeat

Friday, February 10, 2006


(in memory of PT)

and someone found you
there on the side of the hill
lying in the dry grass
no one heard the sound
of your body
against the ground
or saw the clouds
for a moment
move the wrong way

but the sun rises
every day, every day
I saw it just this morning
in the east
buttering the snowy hillside

when spring returns
the blackbird will sing
its reedy tune
in the rushes by the river
and I will think again
of you

Photo found at www.in.gov

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Made up words

Last night in my dreams I was writing a word that does not exist in the English language, but I think maybe it should:

"selece" (seh-LEESS), meaning "to serenely accept and release."

Can you of an English word that carries the same meaning? I can't. Which leads me to wonder how we might be different if we had such a word to use.

A very young friend of mine made up the phrase "sploojl splotch" to denote the warm place that a person or animal leaves behind after sitting a while — a coveted spot during our northerly winters.

Have you ever made up a word and used it?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Little prayer

break my heart,
split it wide,
and let grow
the things inside.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Strong current

he holds her like a woman
cradled against his shoulder,
her curves and the
soft shadows of her hollows
warm and subtle,
but the voice is his —

every pluck, every buzz
of a resonant depth
that vibrates the skin
and stirs within,
the drag of bow
a slow
touch that feels its own
tender friction,

his hands move up and down
the smooth neck,
tendons flexing
as fingers slide and reach,
finding precise beat
and intonation,
pulling vibration
from the depths of
a rounded belly —

song of pulse,
song of throat and hips
and soul,
song of earth and tides,
of hush and sigh,
and slow undertow


I'm out of town briefly this evening so don't know if I'll be up for posting tomorrow.

Monday, February 06, 2006


to and fro, to and fro
a creeping doubt
a halt and freeze
and crippling ease

for want of paint
an eye was closed

for want of sound
a throat was closed

for want of words
a mouth was closed

no more —

unbolt —

fling wide the doors
and let the flood
of roiling love
and blinding light
ravage these
untended halls
let them rip
and tear and splash
loud and rough
along the walls
and leave behind
a slip, a slime
in which such tender
roots may grow
white and thin —
o, white and thin, begin.




Saturday, February 04, 2006

Owl feathers

"Every person is a special kind of artist and every activity is a special art."
- M.C. Richards in Centering

"When we try to pick up anything by itself,
we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
- John Muir

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
- Albert Einstein

With that, I'm off to play and sing - happy weekend to all!

Friday, February 03, 2006

El Yunque

we walk through layers of green light
upward along the muddy trail
rivulets run among rounded brown stones
and red dirt under boots
from leaves, from the air
small frogs sing
vines entwine the tree trunks
that tower over us
in an enclosure of softly glowing
sudden splashes of red blooms
like bursting stars
hang suspended,
leaning out,
wanton and unrestrained,
among the myriad green leaves

reaching the ridgeline we suddenly
break out into open sky, bright
above stunted and gnarled trunks
pressed back against the earth
as if by seasons of great wind,
aware that we now
tower over a diminutive
fairy forest of tiny, bent trees,
huddling undergrowth

and looking out into that precipitous vastness—
the wall of trees that held us missing—
a panic of vertigo overtakes me
I press back into the roughness
and solidity of stone outcropping
frightened by my desire
to walk out upon the sea of fog
that laps the steep slope of forest
and lines the valley between ridgelines,
so gunmetal and opaque
it invites a step

like the slow heave
of a soft grey ocean,
under bright and limitless sky,
the dense fog shifts
revealing across the gap
an improbable periscope,
a stone tower
thrusting up through the
grey and the
endless green

a simple gesture that restores
my bearing, my feet planted
under me again on soft red earth
and again I hear
the rustle of countless shining leaves
the frogs singing
patter of lizards
my breath

Photo by RiffRaff

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dream: touched

sparking synapses
manufacture of sleep
I believed

dreams like echoes
sounds stretched
over gaps
I could have sworn

veil of sleepy uncertainty
haze of particular
sensation definite

your hand, there
three dimensions
and warmth, texture

beyond physical weight
real, illusory, both,
meaning and message
coursing electric

livewire jolting
defying expectation
tapping our code
I turned, asleep, heard

here, now, from
gratitude, and
love, love, love


and I woke
to empty
wrinkled sheets


I and the Bird #16 is up over at Dharma Bums' nest. Your own private Birdstock Festival of Art and Music (including a poem of mine) for those who enjoy birds.