Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Deeper current

google image
The ocean
Was never afraid
The loose end of its bieng
A dream unseen far beyond
The beginning of time
Long before life
Paid the price to seek
Its own ransom

Mortality, is common
Pennies rolled as money
Every wave spent on its shore
Finds one moment to be heard
To sum up all of its travels
To name all the birds that rode its back
And all the fish that silvered its belly

The water that carries the wave
Is not spent on the shore
The water that carries the wave
Lives without judgment
And returns to the sea
Joyfully offering itself
To each new wave to be
Its body, to be its voice

Unseen to the waves
Are the ocean's tides and currents
Different from its waves
Tides only visit twice each day
But like the waves no two are the same
What we cast onto the ocean
On an outgoing tide
Is pulled apart, inspected and then
Returned to us or stranded
On our neighbor’s beach
While the waters are drawn once again
Through the teeth of the moon

Deeper currents aren’t known from the surface
They are hard to find and harder to visit
They are the engines of the tide
And are never superficial
We can’t just wade into them
Laughing with friends in delight
A false joy that overrides the truth
Spoken by each wave as it finds its shore
Deeper currents demand strength
And courage and commitment
If we want to visit

Sometimes our life seems
Little more than a wave
A grand experience
Ending in a single song
Sung upon our shore
A ripple on a sand bar
Marking us as over
Our watery essence
Returning to the sea
Offers to serve another

To find the deeper current
We must dress to prepare
With a mask and fins and regulator
Taking our own air in a tank
And our own suit to protect us
Dressed in this way
Behind our own mask
We know we are alone

Two divers together
Always have different experiences
Did you see the pair of angel fish?
Did you touch the green sea turtle?
Did you pass by the school of Barracuda?
It is different for everyone
So much to experience
But every so often
I float into knowing
We are not alone

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Searching for Silence

Searching for silence
Dreaming of a quiet place
My mind plays
With a warming sun
The view of water
The fragrance of a dry forest
The taste of summer salt
And a mountain stream
Of gentle thoughts

I was wise enough
To trim all tags of obligation
Before I left to find a quiet
Gentle peace in this secret place
Then I drew myself out
From the middle of
A conflicted life

It was my mind
That was tired
Not my soul
Lightened by
Its loss of burden
Mind fell asleep
Exhausted from living
Its own well-wishing
But self-serving lie
Happy to leave this ship
In the hands of my soul
Alone for a moment
On the safe waters
Of a gently ordered nature

After all… what trouble
Could an other-worldly soul stir
On such a quiet and peaceful sea
And within such a familiar harbor
My mind expected
That quiet would come
So it slept soundly and safely
Outside of its storm

But not my soul
I noticed as I found
My peaceful place in nature
That although my stream
Of gentle thoughts
Seemed real enough
Before I arrived
It was as fixed as a written book
When floated against
The unrehearsed will
Of an authentic living world

A world that stood up
From its quiet seat of tiredness
To let the wind play the trees
Then push past my body
Hurrying with excitement
To answer its own question
That was rushed from the breath
Of a rising sky of cedars
Grouped at the edge of my yard
The wind ran by to
The orange colored lilies
Growing in the planted garden
Their faces new to the world

The wind had only this moment
To let the lilies answer the trees
In their very own way
With the voice
That the wind brought for them

No other moment
Could have answered this question
No other moment
Could have offered the same truth

Songs of birds were fit
Into the music of the landscape
Joining the conversation
Just where they belonged
Even the dry flutter
Of a red dragon fly
Was important to the piece
Each found note unique
In its purpose and its sound
Nothing wanting
And nothing wasted

I probably missed
More than I heard
And not knowing just when
A bird’s song would come
Or how it would arrive
Or what it would say
Never diminished the joy
That shimmered upon
Its unannounced arrival

For the first time ever
I didn’t long for a scripted
Flow of gentle thought
That painted a false world
For me to see
A place for me to die

Instead the music
Just became louder,
More full, more complex
And more magic
Until no voice
Could possibly be heard
Beside or within the music
In this peaceful and alive place
Where I found my own heartbeat
And my own breathing
Had joined this perfect music
Playing together with it
As if they had never
Been apart

Friday, June 19, 2009

Forest Vine

Everything is connected
Each word each leaf
Each poem drawn
And held together
By the thread
Of our own experience
And the longing of
Our own soul
To follow the vine
Back to its root

Even just to find it
Growing tangled
On a forest floor
A living string
Connecting all things
That we know together
Breathes possibility
Back into our dream
Of returning home
To find it lit
By our own heart

If we are lucky
A forest vine can be lifted
Cleanly, unbroken
And laid upon a page
As a painting, a poem
Or a song
There for all to see
Or hear and follow
For just as long
As its leaves stay green

There is nothing
As frustrating
As a vine found whole
But too fragile
To be withdrawn
From the weeds and grass
That lock it to the forest's floor
Hiding both the origin
And the destination
Of that vine from view

Bits and pieces
Of our unified truth
Stretched and broken
By an expectant pull
Silently denies the continuity
Of this simple miracle
The one that brought us
To where we stand now
Holding the broken vine
Unable to grow or change
In this moment
Unable to fuse itself
Back together again
Unable to lead us back home

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


artist: Ben Houstie 1995

How did you ever come to carry such a heavy pack
And why did they send you out to walk alone
Dressed in camouflage on such a very hot day
To walk along a path that follows our peaceful city’s beach
Where children play

Where adults invite warm sun and pleasant thoughts
To sooth their bodies and their minds
I forgot that our country is at war
130 have died in Afghanistan
Children is who they really are
No older than my own son
Why when there are so many lost items
Of real value to the soul must we fight till death?
It just buries what is lost even deeper than before

I am so sorry for my friends
Who are parents to children
And for their children who have died
Keeping this place; this land free
My heart is sad for that
As if it were my own child
That has been lost from view
And from change forever
You soldier; are so alone and you are so brave
In this burdened hike you make
Alone with your thoughts
I wonder what you think of me

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


A thread so thin
A force so subtle
How can I know
If it really exists

Unable to see
Over the top
Unwilling to plumb
To the very bottom

I hang
Between time
And timeless

My shoulder
Touching others
Instantly knowing
Unable to pretend

Bubbles of emotion
Lift me
Toward the surface
Of this pond

Just where the pond
Was shivered
By a whispered breeze

Drawn out
By the smiling sun
Cradled in its arms
And set down into life

On a jamb packed train
Of joy and pain
From start to finish

Flowering me
A new color
A new shape
As intended

The same question
That drew us into life
Becomes the stream
That carries us back

Into the pond
Where our center
Joins again
With all others

Is our truth
Quiet and strong
Or do emotions still
Lean upon us

The answer
Resting deep
Within us is clear
For all to know