Friday, December 15, 2017

A feather tumbled from the Christmas tree
And then a moth loosed up and flew out free
They came and spoke, as if they could,
Grow voice to speak from balsam wood:
There are stories here of days and times
That you might know from verse and rhymes,
Of quiet rain and searing sun
Of long nights passed and days begun
Of vigils held and moments mourned
Ovations received with outright scorn
Of births and deaths to celebrate
Not marked by stone to dedicate
The lives and times of pure plain stock
From wind and snow and earthly rock
The same old story daily told
The same great novel never sold.
And so they stopped and talked to me
This evening from the Christmas tree.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

November Butterflies

What do butterflies know?
Of November days that seems of spring
Warm slanting sun
And blooming dandelions blossoms,
Open late for
One last dance,
Egg yoke yellow
With toothy florets,
Offering a free final meal of nectar
Before the butterflies, white and yellow,
Choose a loose bit of bark
Or a rolled leaf
Or a silken sleeping bag
To slumber the winter away.

Safe in their dreams
They are thankful I suppose,
And I am not surprised
By this mutualism:
Kindness begetting kindness
People might learn to call it.
Empathy at an evolutionary level,
It works both ways
Such prosperity,
A win-win
In these late warm days
Before the struggles
Of the dark cold coming winter.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cup of Tea

Could you bring me a cup of tea?
And sit with me for a few short moments?
The view through the window reveals
The dulcet pasture
Now vacated by the cattle
Now the domain of squirrels
Secreting hickory nuts.
They are manic!
Or perhaps just being squirrels
Flush with the wealth of the mast?

I will place my hand,
Warm from the cup,
On the soft skin on the back of yours,
Knuckles and sinews
Stories of your days
Some of which I know
As I was there with you.

An empty cup
Signals the end of this moment,
Something will call you off:
 to tend to a chore,
 to empty your mind
 or to refill it.

The pasture will call me back,
there's a bird at the feeder...
As a gust of wind
Rattles the window panes.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Black Vultures

I am in my hidey-hole
and I'm waiting for the speaking world
to call to me
I know it does
at least it always has
the rain and the ravens
black vultures too
as they pass by sky high
and then return circling easily
I see them again and they see me
I know they are speaking
wing against wind

I knew a dog once
who was sick I think
or maybe injured
the world will kick you and
take you down
It is bigger and meaner
she might have said
and this dog was my dog
and she would crawl under the house
into her small sanctum cell
a dark sanctuary
when she could take no more

I am in my retreat now
I may take a trusted hand
and follow
but I cannot take that next step alone or at all
nor lead nor love beyond
this small world of wounds
and into
this battlefield of unimaginable loss

there is no god
and I find myself praying to her
to open my ears
and let me hear.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stepping into the Unknown

A caterpillar quickly walks by
my morning meditation,
Compelled by forces that are secreted
from the casual observer.

What do I know of you?
That you are a white and black ghost
Of late summer
Foreshadowing things to come.
That you are playing your part
Spontaneously, yet
Well rehearsed,
Guided by a deeper knowledge
Inherited over countless generations,
And that you will soon be something quite different
Changing effortlessly, so it seems
As your destiny requires of you.
No preparations,
Nor choices,
No fears
Of what is to become of you,
Nor anything beyond simply doing
The next given thing.

You are the Buddha bug
Stepping into the unknown.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hummingbird Reflections

There is a nectar feeder near the window
It calls out to the hummingbirds
The sweet siren's song baiting the birds near
And as the hummers approaches
They seems to see themselves in the reflection of the window
They hover and hum their song too
Sizing themselves up:
What do we have here, they might say?
Can it be so self aware, I wonder?
A swoop and a dip seems to chase this phantom flyer
Illusion vanquished
Ego satisfied
Momentary domination
Of this small universe achieved.

Later on,
On the nearby open porch
As I sun myself
Eyes closed in fretful meditation
(I too am trying to keep my universe small)
A hummer visit me
Flying close
Perhaps less than a foot from its curved bill
To my face.
It hovers in inspection
Churning vortices of air upon me
Regarding me:
What do we have here, it might say...
And why do you come to me, I might say
Are you my spirit guide?
Are you me from some other side?
And am I confronting  my own reflection
Through your sweet siren's song?