I Want So Much More

 burning tree

                                                                      For Claire

It’s a baffling work to know what to do,
Even know what you now see in the world—
Objects that are stone cold sober and real
Yet deeply burn with love and mercy for an entire cosmos,
Most of which I neither see or feel.
I am blind. No wonder I want to see….

What is out there I only glimpse
With eyes of an animal, for I can merely
Take a child and teach her to gaze
Not upon a world that is wondrously wild
But measured and still unknown.
I want to do more. God knows I want so much more….

Who sees a garden without looking for flowers?
Who sees the magical space which holds flowers
That endlessly open and offer
Fragrance freely given with such amazing grace?
Sometimes I awake and I am there, always alone…
When I am there, I have no voice,
Cannot find words even as I feel the wind.

Speak to me. I want to hear.
I’ve sensed your whisper touch me,
But always I want more.
Speak to me. I will be here, listening.
Let me find the meeting in the hidden place,
Learn the mystic wisdom imparted in silence,
Always within that holy space….

One Day I Shall Write A Poem

Change in the World
One day I shall write a poem
About youth, age and folly—
And the incessant evolution
That marks our time on Earth.
Like birds blinded by the Sun,
We fly indecisively, seeking
Memories lost within the distant valley.

Though obsessed with dawn and evening,
We observe the unstoppable passing of
Life and death and life again,
Tapestry of flowers so intricate
We wonder if there is meaning
Pervading, whispering hidden subtleties,
Yet never does it fade or die.

Here I rest among April mornings,
Content to see tardy trees begin to green,
Still leafless for another week or so.
Before long May will warm them
So that every naked branch will soften,
Delight in budding groves where I roam
Confused, yet awake to all living dreams.

Standing on the summit of common pleasure,
I hear the stream singing, each liquid moment,
Pouring itself toward summer’s warmth,
Wild growth and fields marked by birch—
Large yew at the edge, resplendent with age.
If only I could make this place my home,
Years after I am gone and in my grave.

How many more Springs
Before an eternity of long winters…
Where I lie secluded and deep in slumber?
Blossoms of fruit, fragrant yet unformed,
Slowly ripen to yield themselves,
Passing from summer’s heat to
Sensations sweet when full promise comes.

There are such mysteries hidden,
Waiting in the weary world— sublime,
Felt within human heart yet unremembered,
Lost in the mind, mislaid in multitudes of empty rooms.
Still it is a blessing to be a living soul,
Fever of the world hanging upon each breath,
Slowly changing the world more than we can ever know.

Silent As An Empty Church

Silent Church
Leaving the safety of the road,
I walk out into desert,
Feet shuffling through sand.
There is only silence here,
Silent as an empty church.

Cliffs made from red sandstone
Look down upon my thirsty body.
Higher up is white limestone—
Where once an ocean flowed.
No more lapping sounds…
Only the scorching sighs of summer winds.

One day my own body
Will be like a dried river,
Bones petrified to stone,
Worn down, hobbling along in
Rivers of sandstone—speechless, broken.

Back in the days when rain fell,
Fish swam upstream among green rushes,
Flooding along deep valleys,
Finding their way to the sea.
Now their fossils lie under my feet.

How do we keep up
With all that’s gone before?
We cannot bring back water
From limestone made from dried bones,
Compressed now into mountains
Shimmering as diamonds in moonlight.

Does it help to close our eyes in prayer?
Will God summon water out of stone?
I fear my faith is worn down, exhausted,
Dry as dust in the stifling heat of noon.
When my bones are transformed to stone,
Will those who still speak pause to say “Amen”?

Glistening in the Dark

GlisteningStrength is needed to endure,

To stare into the overbearing darkness.

I do not speak of the flaming sunset,

Nor the glory of morning full of hope.

I refer to the long cold of winter gloom

When presidents and potentates strive forth,

Chaos rules and truth cannot be told.

 

Most among us get depressed,

Cannot face the loss of light,

Eyes closed to even the North Star

That orients world of wonder

From thickness of the dark,

Foretelling of sickness and doom.

 

Stand solitary, give attention

To all the various signs and visions….

Focus eyes upon whatever sparks may gather.

They are barely visible, these glistenings.

Consult both fools and wise ones,

Those who hunt alone in the High Country.

 

Learn to lean into the wind that blows

Across oceans toward hidden leeward shore.

Study the emptiness of deep space,

Breath deeply of the cold air, stay awake—

Do not allow your eyes to close or dilate

Lest you miss the omen of the single star that glows.

Fierce Beauty

Fierce BeautyWalking a black lab at night is a wonder
When snow is two feet deep,
More so when sallow Moon
Slowly begins to turn bright silver,
And all the world is hushed.

High above drift shadows of clouds,
Lake half frozen as it holds
Its covey of swimming ducks,
Shoulders of hills watching over
Fierce beauty that blankets Earth.

Lights from cars miles away,
Like halos of saints or angel wings fluttering,
Cast haze upon the naked trees.
But it is late March, snow upon fallen logs
Only visiting, like frogs will do come June.

The air is cold, but not frigid,
More like gnarled hands of an old woman,
Sitting alone in winter’s chill, remembering
Her wedding dress, forever white—
Still shining in the fading light.

Ready for Spring

Ready for Spring

Sometimes when you’re all ready for Spring,
Daffodils and tulips ready to bring—
Suddenly clouds move down from the North,
Winter returns with incredible force.

Blizzard comes with howling wind,
Two feet of snow makes all the trees bend,
Then ice to make the shoveling hard,
Only drifts visible throughout the yard.

Again and again, life changes direction.
Even prayer fails in attempting correction.
So trapped inside with intense spring fever,
Remain in the lodge along with the beaver.

Run, Young Bull

bull-at-sunset

Run, young bull, out upon the greening fields,

Dance black against the blazing sky

As though the madrigal’s tune is

Felt upon rough hide, sharp hooves tapping out

Code faster than blacksmith’s hammer hits the steel.

Let life flow as fingers of rain upon your

Massive marbled ribs, before the butcher

Comes to thrust quick blade, trembling into heart.

 

Enjoy your prime, Sweet One, before man

Obliterates life and stalks of corn

Reach high in sultry July heat.

Life for you, far too short for young bulls.

But do not fear the Spring,

Beware that time when hay is gathered

In bales and staked against the winter’s breath,

When Eagles fall still at noon,

Serpents bury into ground.

 

For now, put your shoulder to the ash,

Scratch hard against the solid bark;

Forget lament that old river knows in its flood.

Run out naked on broad range,

Feast upon the gentle rapture of full moon.

Kiss the pebbles in the stream

When drinking in the midday marvel’s heat.

Have no fear when breathless lark

Begins to sing the end of spring.

 

But when the Sun begins to carve

Toward southern realms,

When year aches from amputated months—

Gone within raw wind as memories lost,

Where sometimes seems more simple just to die

Than survive cruel thrust of knife….

Forgive me, but useless is the wordless prayer

That takes no notice of your bleeding heart.