Friday, December 30, 2016

New Day

The sun breaches the near distant horizon.
It peeks over the ridge,
Eyeing its prospects,
Betraying its brief assignation with the night.
Goddess like it rises from its bed of darkness
Bursting full bore
Claiming the day by
Awaking and stirring the lake surface,
Which in cold hours and cloud-crowned darkness
Has been puckered and stiffened,
Driving the frost into its shadowy retreat
(Where it sulks late into the day)
Searing the ice into instant vapor,
It is swiftly
Setting those grey waters afire.



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Angel Cup

Damn, I cracked the angel cup.
-Don’t make too much out of it.
How am I to know that?
-Well, it’s just a cup.
Ya, but… it was a gift.
-From her?
-But that’s history now, a long time ago, no?
Ya, but now it’s not…perfect, like it was.
Ya, it fit my hands just so, and the angel…
-Reminds you of her?
Ya, and how we were.

Solstice Oak

Two men are felling an oak tree nearby
And the rooster tail of wood dust                                                                                          
Grinding from their saws
Is showering us in spirits.
Piece by piece
They deliver them,
Back before acorn and leaf,
Forward into the ether.
And drop them down
Bark and limb
Onto the waiting earth,
Weaving them again
Into the web,
Sending them onward
In a succession of forms,
Seeking the essential unifying light
Hard found on this
The darkest day of the year.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Wind

The wind corrugates the pond
And strafes out a texture to this day:
Dry and wild and northerly it
Lifts up loosened leaves
Late to this dance
Then drops them back without a care
And so they sink and cascade down to
Where the light is liquid thick.
They slumber in this graveyard bed
So mired in winter’s long nights pace
Waiting for the southern breeze
Waiting cold and still.



Monday, December 12, 2016

Murder and Mercy

It is cold December
And the big fat flies
Crawl and pace against the inside window pane
Seeking some sort of release and passage
To a destination
That you and I know as their certain doom.
They bother me
By some memory jogged of rot and wretch
And head the registered list of things
That I must distance myself from
These vectors of the world unclean
Messengers of dark fear and terror.
But it is their life,
Their way unchosen,
And who am I to judge
And unilaterally arbitrate?
And so I shoo them out the door
Fool flies soon frozen,
Or dispatch them
Quickly with a swat
Of murderous mercy.
I am a calculating brute
Of mood and moment
And so must also register myself
On that list of the things unclean.



Sunday, December 11, 2016


The pond is giving up its heat
Slowly returning summer’s energies skyward
Into the ink black polar night.
Molecules no longer keep pace
With the liquid state and
Soon will morph into a more solid form
Creeping out into the misty waters
Like some frozen tsunami,
Slow and thick and firm
Enough to bear my weight perhaps…
And if I didn’t know better
I might just defy reason
And walk upon this watery illusion.
And on that day the
Fish will be looking up at me
Suspended in the dark below
Puzzled by this shift in our realities.
We both will live this frozen life
Of slant-light days
And star pricked nights:
They will pass the time and swim
While I will watch and wonder why.




Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Chipmunk Way

There are chipmunks meditating
Bunkered deep in stonewalls…
Waiting most breathlessly.
Are they dreaming of cheek pouches
Swollen with seeds?
Do they wander mindfully back to sun-streaked
Mornings and warm-velvet days filled
With the wood-chucking of their songs
As they earnestly shared
Their secrets with the universes?
They know that I was listening then,
Tapping my toes…
Can they help me now?
Can they tell me
What I need to know?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Be Calm

Be calm and spend some time
In a place that lets you feel
Safe and comfortable.
You have my permission
To say “I have my permission.”
You know where your places are.
Mine is near the water
At the edge of possibilities.
It is also in the forest
Where oaks stand strong
Offering kind shade
And pines whisper their peaceful mantras.
It is in the garden where
Green life makes itself new every day.
It is feeding the birds
And watching them
Mindful of their industry
Joyful of their exquisiteness.
It is in a book or a story
That I might live in for a moment
Some so well written that
I cannot turn the page away from its beauty.
You have these places.
Go there now
And again
And take a friend with you if you can.
Be calm,
You may find a better way.

Monday, November 14, 2016

I Hope So

I hope so…
Perhaps it is enough?

On that day there was a great sucking sensation
An unwitting flight into a new reality.
I was filled with such fear
That it drained me dry,
You too?
And the shock showed itself
Like the bottom of a pond
After the dam had broken
All desiccated ooze and mineral mud
Rare to the light
Hard on the eye.
And there seem no sense to it
No way to mend the vapor
No pumping of the hearts
Some so broken and failed
That they had lost their prime.
The impossible newness disoriented some
With its sound and its babble
Enraged some with its sight…
There were tears and
Eyes swollen and red with rage.
And only a few at first
Stood and stared
Stood in the day
New and real
And saw what it had made of them
And so they nodded and knew
They knew what was needed
They knew what must be done:
They needed to do more.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016


See how it wanders then waits?
See how the harsh edges blur in soft focus?
See how the light from within shines?
See how she waits in the water?
See how they gather in great beauty?
See what we already should know?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Simple and Sentimental

I like toast.
It is nearly the perfect food.
The crust is a must.
It must have tooth.
It must speak as I eat.

Something about food from the fire:
Bread browned, almost burnt
Flour from grain
Grain from seed
Seed from sun…
I return the heat
And release its wonder
Coming close to holding such
Solar secrets upon my tongue.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Stay

The nightmare is the first foolish step.
It is the frog folding his towel before stepping into
The slowly warming pot
It is the car careening with no working brakes
It is the emaciated bear on the melting ice flow
It is the child lost and bleeding
In the rubble of a once safe home.
It is choosing to be slovenly selfish
Lazy and stupid
It is the quick sand sucking,
Sucking at my feet
And it is the first foolish step
Which we choose to take
Every day.

And so

I close my eyes, to have a stay
Of all these things that have come my way
I blink and turn and seek anew
A different, better point of view
Erased but surely not ignored
The selfish hate which I abhor
I quest that you and I can find
A better stronger peace of mind
And look within where such resides
A common good found on all sides
And if such hope may have its day
We struggle less, we have the stay.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Foggy Glass

I see you seeing me
I have wiped the mirror
Or so it seems
The foggy glass still shows unevenly
Bending lost light through
Needing soap and scrapping
Looking for the wabi sabi
The truer reflection
Worn sculpted shaped eroded
Visions and revisions
Caught in this newer morning light
Bent and blended
Hidden identities are summoned:
They are
Charged and electric.

Friday, September 9, 2016

River in the Sky

Look up just now
And you might see
Catching your eye
As they did today mine
A massing of migrants
An assemblage of blackbirds
Winging by the hundreds and thousands
Schooling in a serpentine stream
Moving within an imperative dream
Flowing with an efficiency found in such unity
Wide as a river and miles and miles long
Drawn high aloft by imploring instincts
Defying death while affirming life
An avian stream
A river of life
Passing by in the sky.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Falling Down

Falling down has its upside
If you happen to roll over and look up
You may see what passes you by when
You are more normally squared to the ground.
There is the moon
In its comings or goings
Pale and ghostly blue
Dodging amongst the clouds
Which seem to sluice both north and south
Condensing and vaporizing
In a passing cycle-dance.
And then there was a tiny, downy feather
A lesser avian cloud
Donated by some passing Chickadee
Falling and rising
Pulsed by Brownian movement
With no sure destination
Moving into the great soupy sea
Of innumerable objects
Specks of dust so small
That may join and grow into sky spectacles  
Of storms and rainbows
Crossing the heavenly horizon
And finally beyond the eye
And into the realm of dreams.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pin Head

Reality check.
Looking around the universe
There is a lot to see.
I wonder if you and I see it the same way:
Exactly, somewhat, or what planet are you from?
Sometimes I see butterflies;
They hatch from their pupa
And fly away.  On their very first day!
Looking good
They navigate the wind,
Skirting through the hickories
They find an invitation to a flowering meadow
Full of nectar,
And fuel up.
And all with the brain the size of a pin head.
They make their way;
Some over generations and continents.
My brain is bigger
Maybe 1400 grams
About 3 pounds
Smaller than a whale or an elephant…
It took me 20 some years to grow it.
Several school and many lessons later
I may be smart enough to riddle out
Butterfly realities,
A little.
My brain is like yours and billions of others
Intelligent but maybe not all that smart.
We spend much of our realities
Building flying machines
Burning fuels
Poisoning bugs
Shooting guns
Killing things,
Homo homicidal,
‘Cause our bigger brains think it is the right thing to do.
It’s our advanced reality
An unrepentant reality
We do it and cannot stop
So it seems.
Here’s an idea:
Spend a few minutes with a butterfly.
They won’t mind a visitor.
And then answer the question(s)
That stir in your big brained reality.
You’ll come up with a few.
I am wondering who the pinhead is
In this universe.



Saturday, July 30, 2016

Baked in the ovens at Victoria’s Secret

It was a short passage of time
And too much of it misspent in wanderings,
Administered poorly it seemed,
Passively spent
And fearfully squandered.
And now more often than not
In full blown retreat
He looked for a savior.
And for a brief moment or two
Mostly at the suggestion of others,
The well-intended
As well as the institutional sages,
It was suggested that he’d find his savior
While brushing his teeth…
What a burden to bear.
Clearly this was false hope
He construed
As his redeemer
The one who would guide and comfort
The one who would lift the load
Didn’t look like that at all,
At all.
She needed to be slightly saintly
A servile savant
And a recapitulant,
A babe, bold of the garden
A righteous earth mama
A Babylon sister.
Now weary of being at point,
He wanted to pull over to the side of this road
And just yield,
And to lose this long hauled load
And replace it with a warm womanly cookie
Baked in the ovens at Victoria’s Secret.







Thursday, July 21, 2016


Some scientist would tell you
(Maybe it was me?)
That the fly that crosses the room
Zigging and zagging
Bobbing and weaving,
Its wanton wanderings,
Is doing exactly,
Exactly as nature has intended;
No foolish effort
No wasted energy
No time ill spent.
And every effort, if observed and considered
Is purposeful and practical in its life ways
And brilliantly, blithefully
Evolved and adapted for its sure
Successful mission in the life of a fly.
So stretching this truth to its probable bounds
This wisdom of the ages
Dances and displays all around us each and every day
There, but for the asking…
And so I consider the efforted attentiveness
That can be given to such study,
If we open our hearts and minds,
Or the foolishness found in our human ignorance
Of such wisdoms…
Can we learn to live and be fly-wise?
Or is our peril folly
And likely to lead us to
Our ultimate demise?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Firestone Cycle

Lie to me about my truck
But do it well.
You are well practiced
So don’t cheat me of a first class deception
Filled with transparencies and travesties
Lie to me
And do it well
Because I do not want to linger
In your smoke screens of untruths.
And if you are going to cheat me
As part of this sweet deal,
At least don’t leave me sitting in your waiting room
TV blaring about some other bodies
Who have been lied to and cheated,
But only to the extent the FCC
Will allow CNN to pain our tender hearts.


Your truck
Might be done
Blah- bla-bla-bla
If not today maybe tomorrow
(Such is sorrow)
“Thank you for your patience,” says she.
“It’s an old truck,” says I.
So maybe, maybe
Come on baby!

I am envious of the cat.
So relaxed as to seem like and inert black puddle
With the exception of the last three inches of his tail
Which sometimes goes
Twitch-twitch, thump-thump
On the hollow wood floor,
Drumming out a meaningful message
That I think I can comprehend
As we speak a common cross species language:
It’s a story of anger.
It’s a release of much frustration.
My day ties its slip knot tighter and tighter on
Muscle and sinew,
Spirit and soul
And I have no terrible tail to release such frustrations
And only a masseuse’s elbows and knuckles
To free my nightmare molded muscle memories.


Outside the waiting room window
There are English Sparrows
Passing their afternoon
Bathing in the sun lite red dust.
They nest down, splash and play
Flapping and preening their grey-brown feathers.
Can sparrows smile?  I think they may.
For now I continue to sit
In the less luxurious waiting room at Firestone.
Management might consider a dust bath for us
The abandoned.







Thursday, June 30, 2016

An Attempt

Shall I make an attempt at beauty?
And if not
Am I spent without purpose
And such a fool to waste
Precious gifts
Precious time
Blinded by distractions
And sent off course
Have I been had?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Playful Persuasion

I like people
Who gently unbalance me.
No need to rock my world,
Small pebbles and sand
Will do just fine.
I don’t want to be staggered,
Just gently danced to the beat of
That different drummer,
Swirling and laughing
And gasping for breath,
A playful persuasion
That leaves me smiling to myself
And wondering:
What just happened here?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hate and Love

You throw your shit
And some of it comes my way
Shame shame.
And bits of it stick
On heart and hands
Of the simple and the good
It is tarry-vile and it burns
Deep down near the core
(Is that your aim?)
Near where we dearly hold
Hope hope
And it is  so very hard
To wash it and be free.
Why why?
I do not understand
Why you are so cruel
With your tools of power
Running hot
Stirring and brewing hate.
And gut deep I am sorry
For these times of so much sorrow
As it is painful madness
This I know
This I see.

But I do not join you
No no
Will not can not
And so
 I stand against your loathsome course
(There is even a tear for you)
I am I am
Not weak with fear
But strong with love
As there are better futures
And so a better day
And as for me
I choose I choose
I choose to go that way.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I Am Small

I am small
And today I will shrink a bit more
Distance and time doing their duty
Fraying the cords that still might connect
As we unspool across the universe
Splaying the rooting vines
That are no longer growing.

There is no fault,
 As there is no grip so strong
That does not at last work loose
We hold on
The gap grows
We hold on
My gravity is gone
We hold on
Free falling
As the great world spins.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Peril of Feral Pigs

Feral pigs in Hawaii don’t negotiate.  No they don’t.  They don’t compromise, they don’t mediate, they don’t find common ground, they don’t seek a Nobel Peace Prize, no they don’t.

What they do is squeal, grunt, mate, and most especially dig.  They dig…and dig…and dig.  And your sod or mine is their common ground.  “Dig we must!”  is their motto. They are genius at that.  They have evolved brilliantly.  They are nature’s rototiller.  They uproot grass searching for delectables; worms, grubs, tubers, etc. They can take a level area of grass and within minutes turn it into minor mountain range.  And if you add a bit of rain water, a quagmire, that makes the Okeefanokee Swamp look like a spring time puddle soon develops.

If humans could get these sod busters to plow in a uniformed manner, John Deere would soon be out of business. 

There are no “alpha” predators here, and I sure hope that no one brings them in…been there, done that. 

Can you imagine wolves in Waimea?  Mountain lions in Mountain View?  Me neither!   So it is left to humans to assume the role of mighty hunters.  And there are folks who do this deed with dogs and knife or guns.  It is a noble heritage.

And it seems like there are over a million pigs running helter-skelter on the island, though I’m not sure who is keeping count.   By comparison there are about 180,000 humans.  If the pigs ever got organized we’d be in big trouble.

So here in my backyard I am left to assume the role of alpha predator.  Trouble is, I’m more of a beta kinda guy.  All we are saying, is give peace a chance…

One non-murderous tactic suggested is to pee on the grass where they like to plow.  This doesn’t seem to work, even though I’ve processed many gallons in the cause.  On a brighter note my kidneys are in tip top condition.  I am nothing if I am not well hydrated!

So to the family of pigs that have moved in under my house, I wave the white flag and surrender to my new ungulate overlords. 

Looks like I will be keeping kosher from now on.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Have you considered pollination?
Would you consider cross-pollinating with me?
I envisage you someone
Free and untamed,
A single solitary dandelion perhaps
Radiant and re-imaging,
The sure summer sun.

Growing strong and bold:
“Screw you,“ you say
With your toothy smile
To this large green lawn.
You are my dream mate in fact
The true Miracle Grow.

And later after spring has folded
Into summer,
If you have folded into me,
Stamen and pistol,
We will ascend as seeds on high
To spread our weedy beauty
‘Cross the wide wild world.



Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Claim

I have lost my load
Is that so bad?
Like some trans-Pacific freighter
Dropping a container of rubber duckies
From a storm swept deck.
They will wash ashore
Someday down the line
And amuse us with the stories of their travels
How freely they have tossed about
In gyres of whales and pink plastic bottles
(These, the signatures of our times.)

So now you may have notices
That I stand up taller some
A freer man by fortune
Not stooped with such burdens and bundles
(That I took on somewhat naively…
Such foolish freight.)
And even the weigh
Of those more righteous loads
Which we carry on our way
Seems lighter and so much brighter now …
So mourn not for my labored loss
Oh men of Lloyd’s of London
(Of which I will not make a claim)
It’s the morning of a newer day
The storm has passed
And nothing seems the same.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Listening to the Rain

There is nothing I can do today
But listen to the rain
No need to force the issue much
So I will take what comes my way
And as it washes through my mind
It conjures up a dream
An ember from the night before
And of different day
Of someone who I made appear
Or maybe she was real?
I do recall and fondly so
That she was soft
And warm
And so
Playfully we fit and joined
Like puppies in a velvet pile
And ego-less we found our way
With nothing left except a smile.


Black Sand Beach

I saw you
From the black sand beach
Dancing to the sounds
Of the great Pacific orchestra.
You were naked,
So close to an ancestral form
Naked, standing upon a ragged rock
Dancing in a mermaid’s dream
Gifted with two swaying legs
Perched above the roiling surf
Swaying with the great gear rhythms
Bonding body
Land to sea
Linking the beauty of eternity.
I searched my heart
Now opened wide
But could not find a way
Sweet dream
To love you any more.





Monday, April 11, 2016

Warning! This is not a poem.

Barnyard Musings

I was walking across the yard this morning to look into the chicken coop. Something of a raucous nature was going on down there, which isn’t unusual.  Chickens seem to spend a lot of time gleefully marveling ova the laying of an egg, maybe: “How long have you been holding that one in, or my-my-my if you don’t mind I’d like to sit on that one later, or oh my aching ovaries…”  In any event, on the way across the grass I stepped in dog crap.  Nice and fresh too, that tarry conglomerate consistency, with the stickiness of super glue (super poo?) 

Fortunately, I was wearing my barn boots, so I didn’t get any on the cuff of my pants.  Unfortunately, I was wearing my barn boots, which have treads deeper than many canyons in Arizona.  So for the next few minutes I was doing that dance, you know the doggie shuffle; dragging my foot through the tall grass, looking for a puddle to dissolve some of this sh*t, a stick perhaps to scrape (notice the word crap is in the word scrape?)  it from between the labyrinth of cracks and crevasses, while at the same time hopping on one foot, while at the same time trying not to step on the same land mine again.  Been there?

I must mention that this is not the first time recently, for me to have this special event.  The last two occasions were the moment or two just before I entered a vehicle.  Once the door was shut with windows up, all occupants got the pleasure of sharing the olfactory by-products of the lower gut of a canine, which might have originally been dog kibble, plus a thousand and one other edibles available at ground level.  Let me just remind you that this is a farm…lots of interesting objectionable objects on the ground and dog-reachable.  Some real taste sensations…  And have you noticed that dogs are not all that discriminating? No, not at all.  So apologetically out of the car I go and now I get a chance to do the dog-do shuffle by the roadside, to the amused pity of most ever passer-by.  We all know what that scene looks like, right up there with drunks puking in the bushes and little boys peeing onto the rear wheel hubcaps.  I swear I saw a couple slow down to get a better look, camera in hand.  I fear a posting on YouTube is next.

But alas, boot passably clean, I found my way to the chicken coop to check out the hens and see what the ruckus is all about.  We worry about the potential of a Mongoose, those sly opportunistic devils.  They too are willing to wade through a fair amount of excrement to visit the chickens, and snatch an egg or maybe a hen…

And then to my surprise, I discovered two Mourning Doves caught by their own devices in the empty section of the last coop.  Maybe they were enticed by the chance to fill their bills with a bit of chicken scratch?  I, of the prefrontal lobe, have determined that they got in through the wire mesh, but in panic, were flying from one end to the other, helter-skelter crashing and freaking out even further, then flying and crashing again.  Not a good strategy for escape. First dove to second dove: “ok, that didn’t work…ok, that didn’t work, ok…”  But eventually, befuddled and exhausted, they dropped to the coop floor, and there within minutes, simply walked over to the wire mesh wall, stepped through, and discover freedom from this claustrophobic cage.  Duh!

So am I witnessing a moment of avian Zen, some sort of dove dharma?  Maybe, maybe it’s that easy.  Maybe we all should stop thrashing about and avoid the panic, and find our freedom?  Or at least watch where we fly, or step.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Eyeing Dawn

Lying in bed
Staring out the window
 Slit-eyeing the dawn,
Which seems shy at first
Pale and damp
As if it is working up the nerve
To approach
To show itself
Wishing to ask the night if it
Might like this first dance.

And then some slow moments later
It gusts and rains nervously
Growing so full of itself
That it is now undeniable,
Still gray but emboldened
Filling with pallor
And blushed with a touch of cheeky color:
The new day dances,
Wearing a carnation boutonniere.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Not So Bad

Everything is hard
Before it is easy.

Just look at those birds
Picking out the seeds
In the driving vernal snow.
Hunkered down downy
Staying strong
Full feathered and waiting…
And HA!
There it is
The Sun
Dosing us all in its
Everlasting glory.
Improbable, yet dependably warm.

And they know like we know:
Not so bad,
Becomes oh so better,
As hard cold snow
Becomes easy heat.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Great Green World

The day,
Gray by way of fog
And squirrel bottom clouds,
Is asking me to walk around
The blossoming maple,
Linger longer
And watch for the moment
Of the inevitable eruption
Of the great green world.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Springtime Maple

The maple stretches far out over the pond,
Though rooted deeply in the nearby hill side
It is telling us, it seems
That it likes to keep its feet wet.
And so it is doing well
Where fate has planted that one glorious seed

Springtime maple at Long Pond
From which it sprouted.
-Some others have also prospered
While countless have floundered-
All things not being equal
When wind wills seeds to fly.
Today the seeds are just a dream
A plan within the springtime scheme,
The buds will drop and soon go by
As the sun creeps higher in the sky,
From pond to limb to pond once more
As trees can change from rich to poor,
And flow from life to life each day
And on it goes by nature’s way.




Thursday, March 24, 2016

Over the Sink

Is it simple or is it complicated?
Just now, leaning in over the sink
While eating toast
Crunchy and crumbly
Simply saving time
(Can that be done?)
Or at least avoiding the effort
Of wiping up
Sweeping up
And washing up
(Such acts of civility)
I’ve been told it’s “a guy thing,”
Although the truth be know
I’ve come to like these cleaning tasks;
They offer a slower pace with sure results,
A simple pause and singular moment
(And with a lesson if you like)
And when they are done
They are done.
So try not to make a mess of it…
 Or at least clean up after yourself
Leave it a little better
For the next “guy.”


Friday, March 18, 2016


It’s Mike’s birthday.
The day he began to be.
Mike and I love helping verbs.
The Big 23 begin with the two most important:
We both love the Beatles, as well,
Who sing to us, so wisely,
Let It Be.
Was and were should be used cautiously,
Shall and should, respectfully.
Am is now,
And I have found it a better place
To Be.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Leap of Faith

Standing on the lip of the earth
The waves below pulse and pound
Grinding the lava rock
Into green sand.
Every rock tells its story...
These upon the South Point stage.
To the newly arrived, like us
Everything is far away
And out of reach
Antarctica 5000 miles to the south
And the ocean below
By contrast a mere 50 feet.
You say,
“It is like looking through the wrong end
Of binoculars.”

Crazy and foolish?
If you choose to see it that way.
But we know it can be done.
It’s been done before,
A leap of faith,
An expression of joy,
Life affirming, exhilarating,
Bonding and beautiful.
I take your hand in mine,
Come on…”