There’s no need to extinguish the fire—
You’ll go further if you let it burn,
Float upon the updraft of the heat
Until lungs expand from what you breathe,
Eyes open as you see below, above,
All around within surrounding cloud.
For one hour, retrace your steps,
Walk backward, hover in the moment
As a hummingbird, wings beating
Faster while stationary than one can see.
Move as quickly until the portal opens.
Then take stone staircase that appears,
Walk the steps alone, one at a time,
Upward into brilliant air.
Hold within your hands a cup of sand,
Observe the spaces between the grains
As Universe expands— reveals
Ordinary miracle known only within
Dreams that no one has ever dreamed.
Do not fear sharp tilt, the lift that seizes
Upon approach of mountain heights,
Soars into and then beyond all wheels of time.
Those who prepare for your coming,
Who watch as destiny comes true,
They are the ones who silently guide,
Though they hesitate to change your fate—
Now, the rest is up to you….
These are uncertain times,
Where courage is required to see the stars,
When we must tease the mind to imagine
What the fearful cannot think. To hope,
To listen for faint whispers in the night.
Many before have reached for heaven,
Unable to see what lies beneath their feet,
Fail to open heart, incapable to take the risk
To reach too far, bound within their hate,
Limited by lack of vision,
Unable to see the streaming light,
Acquire the art to live in motion,
Knowing depth of stillness within
Each measured beat of pulsing human heart.
Can we begin to extract ourselves
From whatever knowledge brings defeat?
Can we find the quiet word within our lives
To bring us past our ignorance?
How much essence of reality can we stand?
My love, if as they say that love does not die
Then I have lately loved you dear,
Closer than yesterday, closer than an hour,
Closer than my sense of self….
If as they say, love lives now and forever,
Surrounds beyond the gates of death,
Then truly you are in my heart
Even when you are not here.
You are with me and yet so far,
So far away… my breaking heart
Holds you close, my love, still seeking
Through light in mirrored distance,
Lonely mist where you are lost.
When I sleep, I hear your words in dreams.
Asleep, I am not deaf or blind—
In sleep, I come awake to you,
I see your beauty appear before closed eyes.
I hear your silent voice break through,
Leads my spirit to sense and touch,
My breath to pant again, smell your fragrance
About the darkness of the bed….
Here you are, my love, forever close.
Burning peace deep into my rest.
In morning, as I blindly rush
Toward other beauties of the day,
Forgive, I pray, my infidelity….
Times I stray away from you,
Forget and cannot see you close,
Fail to sense your breath or
Hear your memorable words as
Whispers in the breeze across my face.
My love, remind me
In my hunger and in my thirst….
In my waking step and in my
Dreaming sleep at night—
Entwine yourself within my heart
That I may know true peace.
There is now so little time
Yet time enough to act responsibly,
If only there were those with honest minds.
But I fear, in the crudeness of these last hours,
They are incapable of reason or prudence.
With heads bowed down in prayer, they fail
To see the insanity that reigns within them.
They talk. They make faces.
But they do not understand the consequences of inaction,
Give every indication of never having read history….
The only courage they have is the
Courage of their convictions, and they are blind
To the possibility that their convictions are false,
Are illusions that bring us closer, day by day,
To a precipice of despair and failure.
The danger is they lose themselves in submission
To false gods, and cannot admit their blindness
Even to themselves, especially to themselves,
Secretly hoping to be martyrs….
They destroy themselves upon altars that do not exist,
Hoping to triumph by resisting what they do not understand.
What they do not see is is
The utter desolation they now create.
There is so little time, but afterward
There will be years and years to grieve,
As the wheel grinds past, leaving hope bereft.
Those who hunger on empty streets
Will pay the cost, the homeless who shiver
As power passes in its course— so much wasted.
Others will come to build upon the ruins,
Looking back in incomprehension,
Shaking their heads,
Cursing those who did not speak,
Those who had power but failed to act
While there was yet time.
When the world is turned upside down,
Only then will the surrender be seen
For what it is, an utter absence,
A brokenness deliberately caused
Not by evil, but by wrong convictions.
Why it is that darkness should be
Associated with death,
I cannot say… the answer
Lies hidden in ancient myth,
Now lost deep in half-light,
Older than Pharaohs, pyramids,
Crouching Sphinx in drifting sand….
Older than Anubis waiting,
Buried in the anxious vertigo
Where startled animosity waits in fear.
By light of day, nations waged war,
Sacrificed blood, poured
Upon the field, ground bones
Of nameless fallen who had fought,
Died exhausted, dread upon
Ashen faces, eyes closed to ageless time….
Immense loss charged against
Eternity for those who prayed their grief.
Among all God’s creatures, only man
Divided shimmering stars into
Twelve houses, drew such lines of
Constellations across invisible light years
So that fate could be discerned—
Gazing beyond all forgotten dreams.
Generations between the intervals,
Still darkness comes upon end of day,
Restores in sleep a tranquil home
Beneath starry spaces of the
Unseen soul, blind as we are,
Unable to bring into being
What cannot be seen in waking life.
Standing on the bank of a wide river,
The current quickly flows,
Eddies opening, closing, vibrating,
Passing as fear flows against the heart,
Impossibly fast until I cast off the past,
Take the step into moving blue water,
Enter the ever-present flow of life.
Only as I float with the flow,
Become One with the current,
Swept away from certainty,
Take the risk of swimming,
Dive into the nature of life itself,
Fluid, miraculous, alive—
Only then do I surface fully alive.
For Mary Ann and Charlie
If truth be told, and why not tell the truth this day,
We are now old enough to…
Thank God the open, loving heart is eternally young.
Though our eyes be cast in shadows
We have walked distant paths to know the
Value of coming home to read in bed or
Playing songs upon guitar
Of love that loves the pilgrim song in you.
At night, amid the crowd of stars,
I look for the smile shining brightly in your face,
I love the years that brought you
Where you are, so dear to me this bright day,
The one I’ve waited for, to pledge our vows
Among this small crowd of treasured friends,
Knowing that within your hands and eyes and heart
I find the beauty of this day
Brightly standing next to me,
Knowing that you are my love….
My private space, my welcomed grace,
My leap of faith, my solid rock,
My lasting hunger and my cherished thirst,
My sacrament of bread and wine made flesh.
If truth be told, and why not tell the truth this day,
I say to you and all those here:
I love you as my own soul….
On this day I pledge the risk of daring future years,
Down to the waterline and further out to swim,
We’ll spend our hours, our days, our years
In our going and our waiting,
In our toiling, in our walking, running, laughing days,
Together every day….
Let us travel, hand in hand with love.