Sunday, October 1, 2017


found my watch today, after several days 
missing, time taken with it, leaving me
well, me left behind, timeless 

and free, you’d think

but for that empty wrist, bothered
to raising itself toward my eyes
time and again chasing time

simply no longer there, simply lost

so i’ll have to admit, it feels good 
to have it back, them back, or 
to be back with them

for as limited as time may be
it feels good to be taken in 
again, to be here 

to be, now

to be me


bitter-sweet, the tang of knowing dust
left where it lies, better to see
where we’ve been 

latent flavors rekindling taste


kubose sensei

when years ago we met in the temple
in chicago, close to elevated tracks

arrived late, a portrait of his teacher
hanging on the hondo wall

he spoke of the movements of his
even then long life 

each preceded by someone asking

he was fortunate
he said


life itself, the big screen, asks
all the right questions, like them or not

leaves open options for advisement for
the questions that follow—answers

are not so much touch-stones 
to stem the flow, as buoyed branches

passing to show the flow
will hold you


“if you don’t speak up, we can’t hear you”

            jim james, singer, song-writer


tuesday the 26th of the month
of september, darkened mornings
quickening sunsets

a book somewhere closes 
as words’ pours to the page 

loosen their hold



less than a week back, in groves
of bristlecone pine, high-desert trunks

multiple millions of years of bulked 
and twisted rings

as quiet, as unobtrusive as 
evening’s snow-dust fall

to bare face skin 
and graveled ground 

all alike, never to be repeated
ever again


to return to doctrine too long after
the fact 

is like tracking back

once favored boots now too tight 
for the longer haul

open sky calls for differing resource

yet seminal music
melodies pathways

familiar, nighttime 
or day


the sun slips below the ridge
leaving adrift the chill held secret  
on drafts held still 
before the fire-faced gift 
known to us only in shadow


lingered among the thoughts 
of years of varied teachers

the heart 

pressing thorough through

with trust

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

august and september

august and september 2017

real teachers 
and there are many

tell their way through examples 
of normalcy

that we just kind of get

just hang’n out is key


—relief reservoir, emigrant national wilderness—

clearly a grandfather, the old juniper pine
muscles into open sky

with a trunk five feet wide and more 

branches shoulder and extend 
twenty to thirty feet of tangled arcs 
of protective canopy 

reaching almost enough 
to touch the ground
encircled there 

where we stand 
and stroke rough red bark

sleep under limbs
lie over roots

there linger within 

that vital living, who refuses 
only to refuse


on the trail beneath 
east rising granite 

sunlight slides over 
to catch aspen 

sending signals 
to breezes 

singing to us all 


—lower relief valley—8,000 ft

camping west of granite dome
west of north flowing relief creek

on a rock promontory
of eastern exposure

the moon bright enough
to take starlight away

gives it back, when leaving
to set

we dream here


reading, even words that speak deeply
is invariably another’s life

writing is always mine—true 
but not truth enough

as writing is gathering the given
and chewing it with the pen

digesting ever-changing mixes 
of sense and sign 

into new living

always a matter of us and we—
me, ok, but never just mine

that’s why


listening to pine cones drop

counting needles
stroking bark

who these beings are

how they speak
their story


we don’t wait for first stars

figuring they and friends
will be there when we rise 
in night air to pee—as we do
they will too, rise that is

these are things we know
out here


reading poems 
in clouded morning air

settled flowers along the fence
along the street

purple marked green
against grey

the reach of roots

breath beneath embodied skin


the wanderer’s way
is not limited to high country  

walking there is walking here where 

the actual turns plans to dust
widening wonder emboldens feet 
curiosity trumps answer
and true songs sing 

it’s all just enough



that which in the ordinary course
of events

catches the attention in such a way
that you yourself know it has

been caught—and somehow 
sometimes words


—the way i see it today—

to exude quiet
without, necessarily, that word
or its sister silence

to un-encumber words 
accessible there to be read  
and spoken as readily as

the un-choreographed flows 
that mark our living as such—

poems bubbling there 
as they do 

for those who share 
their timeless 


what desire is that 
which falls right there
at your feet


staying home is not so much decision
as happening unfolding, not closing
circles, but telling layers deepening

borderless possibilities uncluttered
by tending now the timelessness 
silence speaks

pursuing its own sure-footed 

of unbridled celebration



counting well-placed stones
in steep trails of shifting dusts

summer sunlight cures
the last tears of hidden springs
of latent promises, whispers 

of winter’s slow approach 

nights growing longer 
stroke by stroke


someone casts a name
and somehow it catches and 

the way we follow casts further 

our names a’new

Sunday, August 27, 2017

perpetual suspension

july into august

leaves dance with breeze  
with broom and me   but none of us 
wants to follow


to understand  
live quietly 

read after working
the garden

scribe poems 
pulled from tangled roots


a pause to consider this president

because ten words of vocabulary 
might suffice ten second
attention spans 

but when three of the ten are 

peoples’ lives are diminished 
far more than 1/3 

far more than those
simplistic three


perpetual suspension
stable instability

we are 
both called
and urged

but is
the point
in the 
end to


the night before this   words slowed 
to stop

a teacher somewhere said to sit 
the way earth takes pain 

as leaves   to let it there 
to hold   to grow

in light of the myriad dreams
heavens wish

for the wholeness of us all
listening   sitting 

in moon lit breezes
of awakened joy


to climb a thousand feet is no small matter
for old legs that somehow nonetheless
find themselves again lingering in fogs 
along the road along the ridge   giddy
in the belly at the aloneness of it all

where rock and dust walk the whole 
of the distance to where 
eyes no longer see

a thousand feet   into chill 
into the fluttered caress
of summer fogs


up sonoma way   just below 
where river begins reaching west

shiloh district cemetery 

takes mid level fog 
august mornings   listens 
to low flying geese

and the quiet pass of herons

gates are locked after dark 
ample space left to the side
for walk in’s i suppose

and beyond the chain link fence
to the far side of the grounds
horses graze   swish their tails 

just above 

where heaven meets earth


reciprocal fields of energies 
animate even what we call inanimate
routinely carry unimaginable depths
of detailed movement anyway

makes one wonder wonder the point
of distinguishing one 
from the other


chia tao speaks of the abode
of unplanned effect

where self encounters ground
before intention's disguises

that place where choice comes 
to rest



wisteria takes the fence along the ditch
aside the road 

in waves of curling tendrils 
and clustered purple white petals 

blown to erratic dance streams 
on traffic breezes  

that work this favored thoroughfare 
to highway one oh one

fresh corn sells down the way   horses
and ponies graze   the cemetery holds
what quiet it can 

and wisteria 
whatever hand is offered


a volume pulled from the shelf opened
to a page of light lifted breath
from another time

breathe together its further fullness 
now and here   as ours


the shower

the women gather
this afternoon to celebrate

and all that flows
from that   not for men
but to follow

at the edge
of knowing the gladness
of true center


earthlings   if
the universes
and all they are
were not exactly
the way the are

right now
we would not be

think about 
this guidance
not so much to figure out
but to learn to follow
the how already there


many seem unable to engage 
a given moment without calculating 
reason or weight 

pre perspectives
often cut to the quick
by quiet eyed revelations
of often unexpected
equations of love

why I don’t salt my food


choreography that suggests
to hold what it wants to show
fails its own test

by virtue of beauty’s movement

every step requires trust  

only the next step carries


earthling   i wouldn’t say
genetics doesn’t go deep
but that we don’t follow 
deeply enough   why
insist so on being 
apart from


that sakaki fellow   nanao   his first name
first language nippon   followed by biology and stars 
not to mention self taught english and a smattering 
of what he calls desert rat 

that sakaki sat in caves sometimes   sustained
by who knows what and green tea   he said first 

slow down   second   do a good job