Today I am tired—
Tired to marrow of bone.
Though the road is beautiful,
It’s a long, hard journey.
Like an inchworm or turtle,
Progress seems so slow,
Yet always I keep walking,
Trudging, moving forward.
How far have I come? How far, O Lord?
How much further yet to go?
Like a wide river,
I need to meander slowly,
Stop expecting to be a raging
River, roaring ocean.
Come afternoon, I will walk
Along forest path into bright meadow.
I will lie down
Beside near river,
Listen to clear flowing water,
Relish sweet surrender as shadows grow.
Come with me. If we fall asleep, though bone weary—
The world will pay the price.
Let go of hate.
Our hearts do not need the heavy burden.
Think not that you are alone.
There is Presence even in the silence.
Ask the stalwart trees who
Breathe within the luminous breeze.
Even though you need to rest when tired,
Stay awake, for if you can read this poem
Your work is not yet complete.
In Memory of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014)
He was the Magus of Magic—
Taking the same world others have
But seeing an all-night rain of yellow blossoms,
Cattle born bearing the brand of their owner,
Clusters of grapes containing the secret of death.
Such febrile dreams where love and suffering
Wrap pleading arms around redemption,
Endlessly cycle back on themselves—
He was placed in ordinary time yet surreal,
Where reach of imagination outdistanced logic.
He sensed within scent of jasmine
Invisible ghosts—why are we so blind?
Uninspired, we live in drought—
Trapped within reality’s clear lines
While his vision blurred boundaries,
Saw how miraculous and monstrous
Are equal parts of ordinary days…
Already he is missed… again
Reminding us that love
Resembles cholera in capacity to inflict pain
But that we survive not by love alone—
It takes imagination and exuberance and an
Endless inventive mind.
Last star over the hills
Has been swallowed by silence,
Prolonged thunder plainly heard.
Cold wind is not hindered by bare tree.
Where is the rainbow now?
What hope disturbs the death—
Imbalance of evil bloodies the Earth.
How does one hear Silence?
Do you sense the Abyss in this?
Where is your heart? Where are your wounds?
If not, how many deaths does it take
Before you notice the absence of beauty?
Last night I woke in eerie light,
Felt called to walk barefoot outside—
Face turned up under full Moon
I heard a nightingale from nearby hill
Sing and sing such lovely tune.
So small a throat! So small a throat!
Yet between gusts of wind
She pitched a sound whose clarity
Flooded this side of sense with grace, elevated common
Earth that was otherwise merely dense.
Was there effort called forth from this bird?
Did she struggle with every breath
To sing beneath Moon’s light to sanctify
Night with soaring sound so clear and fine?
Or was this her sigh of wordless prayer—
Escaped her heart in ways
She could not help nor stop,
Moved to celebrate the shining Light?
Secrets don’t just sit there,
Though they may be silent.
They slither like a garden snake.
Worse are those with venom,
Coiled to strike arching through the air.
Standing by pools of water,
Beware the moccasins ready to seduce,
Rattlers hiding among the stones—
Be careful not to startle
Reptilian fight or flight response.
Then there is the grueling stress of
Pythons wrapped around your lies,
Constricting blood and breath
As they tighten, tighten more—
Serpents sleeping in your past.
Please, do not plead ignorance
Nor split the trembling air with forked tongue.
Pay attention to your dreams,
Spilling grace incarnate from your sleep.
Sit among lanky trees in early morning
As mercurial forms appear within the fog,
Clarifies as Sun burns haze away revealing truth.
Outside, where bitter wind blows hard,
Straight line drawn upon the road.
Beyond is where wild things live,
Roar of hungry beasts heard within the dark.
Inside cold house where hate resides
Other lines from veins are drawn in blood,
By sweep of sword before lined sky,
Screams are heard before they die each day.
Deep inside the Soul a clean line drawn,
Contains a Word where truth breaths free,
In death-still darkness finds a rising Light,
Hope standing strong beside eternal dawn.
All lines drawn upon bare ground
Pass as dust beneath hot Sun,
Divide the One to Two unfound
Till at last a greater Whole becomes.
Walking down to the lake
Late at night in the blue of the dark….
I stood alone on the dock
With full Moon ready to rise.
Moon and I sat there
Facing each other across the water,
Looking into each other’s eyes…
“A lovely night,” I say to the Moon.
He appears to pay no heed at all,
Refuses to budge or turn his head,
A lazy candlelight shifting from red
Like an unwavering spotlight shining there,
Evolving in silence to white, to silver
Unblinking like eternal stars far overhead.
I couldn’t resist his kiss.
Do I hear a whispered word….
A sigh he might be sad or cold?
Suddenly a deer appears from the dark,
Footsteps stop as she turns her head.
She sees the water flowing
And stares at the great white Moon.
Is she also enchanted as I am enchanted,
Opening heart to the world with love?
She lowers her head as though in prayer,
Demurely prods at the ground,
Silently submits to the kiss of the Moon,
Then slowly she moves on.