Saturday, May 17, 2014

To open windows...2014


Most often,
just blue streaks.
But they hop too.



coming in touch
with another’s

And furthermore, when

begin to chafe

and one does not
think to run,

maybe even



The calendar says spring,
but outside, petals quietly pry

open the crisp grip
of the last of winter’s chill.



May breaks 
with salmon-gold 

and feint splotches
of dusty white

buckeye blossoms 
beginning to bloom.


Have you ever noticed,
on these mornings when

windows have been open
through the night,

how dogs bark
almost-songs, how

children’s voices
waver the air, how

auto engines
turning over

sound the signature
of comfort ?


For Hayden Carruth    5/3

I wouldn’t have thought of it that way
if you hadn’t have spoken like that, but yes,

“acts of love,” gestures made in spite of ourselves,
because of ourselves, in light of their “impossible 

indispensability.” The unmistakable,
if mysterious, clarity of intent

to give in kind,
of that received as gift.



Night’s winds drop away in the space of a breath.
At the turn of the head, morning’s quiet pulls eyes skyward
to the last of the stars to hold.

What might it mean to be readied to die into the light,
to be taken in to a way of death beyond shadow,
a singular sliver of light, lingered, then slipping back.


fog is air gone
to water not yet—still,
we breathe, get wet


Last year’s kale served us most of four months
in soups and salads, stir-fried and mixed, and crisped
in the oven for the grandkids,

never once complaining, nor wavering, neither asking,
nor receiving anything in return,
till now.



You’d think at seventy
I’d have given up following
this pestering pull, but here find myself
sitting on the floor, knees folded, thumbs touching,
breathing—not wondering, until now, how
much more might be left to let go, figuring,
as before, I’ll somehow know.


For the Poet-Monk, Gensei
--don’t call my poems, “poems”    5/12

The early signals of truly warm days
are as distinctive as the pull of a known name
just before its sounding,

an unmistakable taste, prior to, that somehow
nonetheless fully partakes—like the earliest hint
of heart’s wonder, the flutter before flight,

like the shadow that prefigures
the moon’s halo.


Buckeye Canyon
San Bruno Mountain   5/16

The grassy slopes are mostly brown now,
summer’s color, studded with shrub,
oak of all size and bay in canyons and gullies.

Even without traffic, trails have turned
to hard pack that lasts through till winter.

Walking in this place on weekdays,
one will meet with many spider webs
and invisible pockets of nectar filled air
that speak to the long held influence
of native buckeye. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Colorado Springs Journal

April 2014


We’ve changed, sure, the age part easy after forty years,
now two old men fumbling around dark roads off the airport,

two white beards flapping into morning hours
over wheat beer long gone warm—we’ve changed,

to be sure, but been given more
than the flash of an evening
to figure how much space, time,

really mean between friends—that first meeting of eyes
having already told how little.



Sweet, the light the morning lays among the pines, needle thin
touches of sunglow green against the brown, barren slopes
of winter’s restless waiting for a fickle spring.

Stocking caps, open coats, day packs, pass over cemented walks,
tracing movement toward the endless stretch of high mountain prairie,
matched only by the arced mantle of cloud-brushed, pale blue sky.

Time collects in times like this, mountain sentinels at watch at the edge
as past pushes to present, sends signals to a future just beyond reach
but just there just the same—a soft yet certain immediacy

where regret holds no weight and the simple nod
or bow are the work and the spell of wonder.



The walks are clear at first light,
last night’s snow on porch rails, in patches
on the grass.

High clouds whisper of future blue and the pen
threads thanks for the myriad reasons
that bring me here.


Here in Red Rock Canyon Open Space,
where Sand Canyon Trail loops to another
known as Contemplative—where deer watch.


The Knowls at Sweetgrass4/18

At 6,000 feet, boiled water doesn’t hold its heat,
so cups of coffee shouldn’t be let to linger too long.

At 6 A.M., pink brushes the sky, frost the shingled roofs,
and bared branches search the air for signs.

I’ve chanted Buddha’s name many places, many times,
and there’s always a resonance in the chest.

Though it couldn’t be said it’s always the same,
there’s this resonance deep in the chest.

It feels like the sounds of home.


Mt. Cutler Trail—6,000-7,200’

Walking slowly up through the rise of red rock,
he says ashes will be dropped here one day—the few
who know now include me—snow falls.


Garden of the Gods—4/19

For Kathi

Wheelchairs have their own way,
pulling at times, and at others
needing a push. Either way, though not testing,
they let you know their mind and thus expose to you
your own—strengths and weaknesses
turned in the touch of the same sun
ready the path for the new work—no one let go,
no one left behind.


Most always, Pike’s Peak hovers.
Sometimes it hides as passing clouds
find their way around. Sometimes,

on days like today, it glistens
crinkled snowfields,

while along the streets, in the corners
of earth-scratched yards,
trees begin to bud.


Easter Morning

As grey turns to light, the sky
restates its promise; as the lamp
behind my head reflects its shadow
in the window looking out, the pine
lets go to stillness; as the petals
of the flowers on the table at my side
open, songs of renewal return;
as the hands of the heart
spread the wish to restore,
old friends dream of healing;
as the scratch of the pen
marks the swirl of prayer,
birds take to the air.


North Cheyenne Canyon—for Ted

are you brothers,
they asked,

Yes, we said,
Blood Brothers,
best friends

(different mothers).



The full around completeness of hour
upon hour fully lived

resists even the most well-intentioned
attempt to word—fractured

fragments, restless guesses, flutter
mute—tongue and pen

gone silent—nothing left
old man, but to bow.


end note…and yet…

the match in flame is as fire-full
as forest ablaze, water’s drops whole
as ocean, a single breath, a passing thought
complete a silence as sky.

Ask, if you must, where
the moment takes us, but not
what’s missing.