Forked Darkness in the Room


I stand there feeling truly afraid
That she will turn away, close the door,
Forever walk away and not turn back.
She wavers, pauses at the threshold,
Without blinking, hardly breathing,
Blue eyes, shaded, stare blindly into empty space,
Body tense, rigid,
Thoughts curving crookedly,
Obliquely through her mind. 

Impossible to discern her intentions,
Her motives, for good or ill….
The price she pays to hesitate
At the edge of the invisible wall,
Walking close to the border of night,
Forked darkness hiding a dreadful hole.
She appears to vacillate,
Struggle with the implications
Whose dimensions cannot be known—
Possible permanent fissure of the heart,
Anger resting against an unforgiving heart.
Risking spiritual suicide, this bitter burden,
This brokenness beyond repair.
Like someone banished, shunned,
Standing unwelcome in my own home,
My heart filled with hope, praying,
Wishing that love will triumph,
Wanting to be patient, give her time
To consider, trust, open,
Listen to her deeper voice.
Standing in the middle of the river,
Cold water seeping close to my bones,
Never felt more vulnerable,
Never more afraid of what might come,
Shivering, waiting, lingering in the room.


Nothing Else Matters

For Ross

Nothing else matters
If the lake of the mind is
Lashed into waves
By the turbulent winds of the world…

Nothing else matters
If the waters turn muddy
So the bottom cannot be clearly seen…

Nothing else matters
But the mind be clear, calm, steady
So the soul can be sensed in the silence…

Sit and breathe.  Let the mind run on if you please.
Let the monkey jump as much as it can.
Wait and be patient as if nothing else matters…

Focus on the lake, the stone, the sun,
The tree and the river as itself…
Immerse the bucket of water into a deeper well
As if nothing else matters…

Dreams Are Never Always Slow

For Gail, Wilma, Sally, Janet and Chris

Dreams come as night creeps from hour to hour—
Never always slow, dreams come and go
quickly in the dark, then fade within the light,
Burn within mind an image or song….
Visions giving voice, curving round retina,
Climbing up against closed eye,
Speak in unknown tongue to be discerned
So blindness can be restored through deeper sight.

Dreams yearn to speak to conscious mind,
Approach invited as poor guest to share at table
Stories from a foreign land, whispering past,
Sources from the deepest well now cast
Upon the heart of stones, move softly,
Spreading balance into reasoned air,
Not gold, but truth…. reduced and clear as day.
Like ointment for fragile eyes, a feast,
A sword to wield resisting sleepless haste,
Waking joys to come, sole comfort to the dawn.
Sun of morning touching body’s mountain flank,
Dream clouds of whitest sheep for shield of peace,
Resting voices once denied, now rising, released;
Raining upon broken remains… forgotten, seeking,
Aching, waiting in the dust of mundane day.

Singular Witness to the Sacred Pulse

For ten thousand years and more
The limestone boulder rested
Against steep hillside, reflecting in
Slow, patient ways known to stone— rising from
Ocean depths, fashioned of ancient life,
Fallen first in clay then fossilized to rock,
Occasional shells and images of plants
Still visible, captured, bound in solid form.
No one ever informed the stone of its mission.
Perhaps it avoided ways of seeing its own destiny,
Blending into landscape, preserving prehistoric
Ruins as it praised the silence of passing time.
Sheltering past life for millions of years, compacted,
Mysteriously intensified by desert heat in barren
Endless conversation between ocean deep and
Scraping ice, wild Sun bearing down, cracking
Curvature, a shape that lacked symmetry, lacked beauty,
Lacked linear simplicity, stern of color, unremarkable,
Roughly holding secret purpose of such density,
No one had sufficient imagination to discern.
God’s eye has ways of seeing and seeking satisfaction
Unknown to human minds.  Within the Circle and the
Sphere, God finds a sacred use— never giving itself
Completely to the eye yet holds height and depth
Together, rolling mystery without beginning or end.
The light that day, so long ago, was surrealistic—
Reflecting, diffusing, enveloping, hiding hallowed secrets
As it rose across the hills, calling forth new frontiers,
Surprising Time itself with possibilities never seen before.
As lightening flashed and dark storms swirled,
Eternal hunger seemed to rise and seek direction.
Soldiers brought the broken body to the threshold—
A cave within the shadow of the hill used as crypt.
By torchlight laid the bloody body wrapped in cloth,
Then choose the hospitable stone to block the way,
Forever seal the entrance.  Without regard for reverence,
They strained, rolling the stone home.
The world of souls was dense and powerless to
Retrieve the life or penetrate depth of inner tomb.
Only in Absolute Abyss of darkness, with no need
For human desire or healing touch did Light gently
Open up the space, invade the hellish silence of death,
Befriend the dark with fragile care of Love and Grace.

Alone, the limestone boulder beheld the miracle—
Became singular witness to wordless unfolding,
Sacred pulse silently at work until Creation found
Fresh inner form, New Earth conceived…. 
Deeper meaning born within a holy spark,  
Forging something marvelous never seen before….
Stone overcame weight to move mass aside,
Revealed hope of life transformed,
Visible for the first time even to angels:
Strange possibilities exposed,
Breath splitting underworld asunder,
Finally completing the unreserved passion of God.

When the Day is Finally Hushed

After sunset, when day is finally hushed,
Birds no longer sing their praise to glorious sun,
Deep water of the lake found profoundly still.
Basking in solitude of evening stars,
Only then am I gently held,
Enveloped within spacious arc of arms. 

As heavy stone of day is rolled away
Thoughts expand within wider silence….
Discover inner space to contemplate fresh
Promising open-ended possibility
Giving deeper truth to shallowness of death—
Unfolding beyond horizon of distant hills….

Spoken only in whispers,
Never loud “Halleluiahs” more appropriate to day.
At night in murmured tones does resurrection come—
Only absence of light
Allows the eye to see another world,
Opaque veil parted in the quiet dark….
Hush!  Be silent and take notice of the Great Perhaps….
Become quiet and hear the plaintive, sacred note of
Possibility begin to breathe. 

How Fine the Cursive Stroke?

For Jacob
Ah, Impertinent Youth,
Who asks the Poet to write a poem
Less elevated, less refined…
Requests a poem about taking a piss
Out on the green grass in afternoon sun.
Piss Off!  Write the poem yourself!
I want to know whether you unzip or unbutton?
Do you grasp with left or right? 
Firmly seize within the fingered hand or
Loosely hold in open palm?
Are you proud of size and weight or
Do you hesitate to say if you compare to Dad?
How strong the stream?  How high the apex of the arc?
What shade the color of your urine’s sweep?
Does sunlight form rainbows as you water grass?
Do you piss alone or with friends for distance do compete?
Keats’ stone is etched, “His name was writ on water”.
Do you write your yellow name
On winter snow or summer dust?
How fine the cursive stroke?