Dedicated to my sister, Jane (1944-2014)— Until that day when we are joined as One.
Come join me in service to the Earth.
Let us woo the nations
Back to sacred relation with the soil,
Floating in clean waters of our senses,
Hands digging in direct contact with the natural world.
Leave behind all that is abstract in your mind.
Where we go we will fall in love
With whole of Nature and Cosmos,
Resting in beginning, ending of each day,
Trusting only what we experience—
Wordlessly in sight, taste and smell.
Let us feel the wind
As it caresses our faces,
Allow the ground to be our ground
That sustains us safely
Through every storm,
Walking slowly, humbly under white clouds,
Cleanse the soul in holy rivers,
Rest in silent stone of sacred mountains
Under canopy of stars of day or night—
Hear the lush but simple melody of Life.
Together— never as one alone,
We will breathe in a world of wordless meaning,
Sleep and wake in a living world
Where violets bloom in spring—
Walk in service to the Way,
Finally find ourselves
Within great shimmering eternal web of Life.
Bowing before my Buddhist teacher,
I asked him to explain
Essence of Buddhist teaching.
He stepped from his chair
And slapped my face.
Dazed, I understood….
Words are only words.
Beware your mind’s self-cherishing.
Standing alone on the banks of the Nile
I looked one night and saw Orion’s belt,
Three bright stars revealed that starry space
No limit knows, shining forth
Among a hundred ancient constellations,
Billions of galaxies and stars more numerous
Than all grains of sand on this small Earth.
Looking back, I saw through five thousand years
A million gods or more, each guiding
Vital souls who live within a flowing stream,
Birth to life to death to eternity,
Blessed by One Deity Supreme.
Do such mighty magnitudes oppress or bless
Little cosmic space in which I find my breath?
I hold within hollow palm one grain of sand
From Sahara desert, from mountain, from exploded star.
It comes to cause me wonder, opens eyes to see,
Ponder journeys small and large, slow and swift—
Life’s mysteries held within one tiny grain of sand.
What now gives you pause to pray, dear reader?
What steers your destiny when you close your eyes to sleep?
Standing alone in the Holy of Holies of Abu Simbel,
Hands upon Pharaoh’s High Altar where only
Mighty Ramses or High Priest could enter,
Heart opening in wordless prayer.
Surrounded by voiceless ghosts who linger still,
Face images of Egyptian gods carved in granite—
Contemplate ancient ones who first
Conceived eternal life that lies on other side of death.
Here blood sacrifice was made to please the gods—
Now I stand in tee shirt, shorts and plain sandals.
Ask all who worshiped here be forgiven—
Pray the gods would forgive and bless me, too.
Suddenly, tears fall upon my cheeks,
Drop upon ancient altar
Carved into rock 4,000 years ago,
I sense a holy presence that has always lived here—
Called or uncalled God breathes within this sacred place.
I want to sit by you,
Watch you sleeping
Inside cave of darkness
Where dreams visit.
I want to watch your breathing,
Listening as you sleep,
Heart beating slowly, touch,
Sense the love within your veins.
I want to hold you through the night,
You my reflection and joy of life,
Share your visions as you sleep,
Closed eyes fluttering as you dream.
I want to feel the very depth of you
Vulnerable while you rest at peace
Through each dark hour of night,
Exhale your day in twitch upon your face.
I want to sleep beside your warmth,
See that moment when your lips surrender
Liquid breath of cool night air
As you relax, let go of every care….
I want to watch you, sleeping
As your body lies beside,
Protect your naked back
Until you wake with morning in your eyes.
Oh, Egypt—for three days I have been away,
Washed your dust from my feet
Yet still you haunt my dreams.
Sleep offers no relief from my thoughts of you.
Your water overflows its banks to flood
My eyes, my feet, my thirsting heart.
I long to smell the dust of your ancient deserts,
My soul alive and living under your stars.
What have you done to me?
You appear before and after, encompass left and right,
Hold my body and mind within your protective
Dark eyes that seize me in enchanting grasp.
Are you my future or are you a wonderful memory
That begs not to be forgotten or assigned to the past?
I am helpless, caught swimming within blue Nile,
Your ancient tombs and gods alive, breathing, searching,
Protecting my soul from fatigue and cold.
Give me, I pray, an answer.
Under the eye of your blazing white Sun
I long to live each hour.
No longer am I enthroned in power.
The choice, the outcome is not mine to control.
My heart is open and bleeding when I hear your call.
I am ready to kiss your feet. What is your Will of me?