Monday, September 23, 2013

September's End

We sit with our backs to the east.
A small house in a small town, overlooking

a small valley,

homes on the opposite slopes
looking back.

Mornings—if early enough—you can trace
the sun’s progress by looking west—hill tops first,
the softest touch. Then the slow pushing down
of shadows out of the way reveals
flashed signals of the sun’s rising presence
igniting east-facing windows like bursts of light

shining out from the earth itself.

There was a window out there
morning last

with strength enough to light the whole of our interior
with warm-glow—made me to turn and to smile
in silent amazement

into the source. The sun, you know,

has its own sense of time, its own sense of space,
its own sense of our individual contours. And although
we are a part of its broader concerns,

the best we can likely do is as best we can to attend
to its finding us. And to rest

in that attention
to where we are and to when.


Ah, good friend, you’ve set me free
in sun-soaked by-ways, along wind-stroked hills,
and narrow corridors of shadow graced with light.



There is intensity of focus that comes of us
as natural and as certain and as easy as winds

that drench the face and the edge, the back
and the very end point

of every needle of every pine
within their reach—and then to all the rest,

they breathe the wish that blows behind
their rivered and rippling kiss.


Vows we find we’ve made:

looking back, I’d have to say,
a long-standing inclination toward silence
and the solitary, from birth even, yet always as these
are drawn through the intimacies of the few, the nuclear

and as carried on within the broad strokes and patch-work
of the greater quiet—the urge to acts of mutuality,
of respect and consideration and the wish to understand

these enduring visions of love at play
in the daily comings and goings that define the ordinary,
the universal, the connecting groundswell of commonness

that is our collective humanness—and this,
it seems for me, is the center-less center to which
I have leveled my most heart-felt claims
of citizenship.



Near-ecstatic revelation

The lift of our living within
              the firm embrace of holy name

is found

not on the in-breath,
                    but of the out-going.



After far too long a time
trying to prepare for seventy,
I’ve somehow come to let it go
to itself—this turning grace
called aging—and, 

as it does what it does and what it is,
to use the best of all I have as such,
and as I am, to see it through
all the way through its grace filled,
self-fulfilling way.


Whose voice is it
you think
you hear,

And so
of the words,
yours too?


Often after the fact, I pull back in wonder
at the somewhat frantic nature of the search
for that which I already know to be there, yet
nonetheless continue to need to reconfirm,

like seeking out the earliest cast of the sun’s rays,
as if to assure myself the warmth remains
there in the light where last left—and for us,
the spoken name is like this too,

the emergence and re-emergence
of the warmth of embodied memory
made manifest; no less a flicker
than passing thoughts, but tangibly so.



implies connecting and also connection,
it implies greater numbers of, and so,
addition, so then, progression
and causation, relation and variety—

it implies abundance…

and so in such a world
might well then serve
the preferred expression
of gratitude, of praise

and of prayer…and…


the deep


in this one


of our


John Muir Wilderness
                   Fleming Lake--Elevation 9,700 feet

The mountains here drop their shadows
just as the rays of the coming sun begin to arrive,

water offers ripples to the first gentle gusts,
and pines ruffle and wave. To follow the urge

to sit at the edge in a place like this is an act of faith,
a free-fall ride on the wakes

of star-streams—birds swoop and twitter, answers
brittle and fall, frames and reference shift

to the boundless possibilities of the humbled few
who discover the truly praiseworthy.

Here, it’s not asked, how old one is,
but exclaimed: How far we have come!

Here, the wise are those who hold their tongue.
Listen to the rest.

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