Shadow Dance

Green has turned to rust
as November winds
scour the island,
baring the trees.
Winter approaches
yet I linger,
hearing voices
call from caves
within the earth,
their invitation
to dream again
and share the dark.
With masks carved
from bone, fires lit
by ancient faith,
they dance
in slow circles,
holding the earth
in all its imperfection.



photograph by Jim Frid


















Reading of “Shadow Dance” with music by Ry Cooder






Pale Blue

The sound of the tide
on the ebb like a river.
Gulls feeding, crows
calling nearby.
With only so many
mornings to be alive,
the sounds and smell
of the sea bring joy.
The earth has made
a place for me,
the wanderer.
Thankful to the bone
I reach out
to the trees and
flowing water,
letting the woven nest
of place hold me,
sweetly, like the pale
blue of a robin’s egg.



photograph by Patrick Orleman


















Reading of “Pale Blue” with music by Nature.


Light that Lives

Awake in the early hours
while the stony earth sleeps,
I drop a line into the inner river,
my bone hook baited
with the scored flesh of faith,
aching for another glimpse
of the golden light
that lives where darkness
cannot reach.

















Reading of “Light that Lives” with music by Secret Garden


For Ray

We once were children,
your playful face full
of innocent humor.
Everything was funny
until it wasn’t,
but when faced
with the brick wall
of who you were
supposed to be,
you cleared the way
with the honesty
of your choice
and became the person
you always were.
The playful face returned,
that smile to let the world know
you understood the joke
and would have the last laugh,
not at anyone’s expense
but from the reservoir of joy
you found as a man
at home in your own skin.




Raymond Masseaux
1948-2020 RIP


















Reading of “For Ray” with music by Kenny Burrell


Strengthened in Darkness

Bathed in the dark
I take to the forest
with starlight high above.
A crescent moon
brightens the southern sky
with Mars and Jupiter shining.
Betrayals fade to insignificance
beneath the streetlights of home,
the reset sadly negated
by the modern glare.
I treasure the night,
luxuriate in its beauty,
resting like the sea
between the flux of tides
to let the strength of darkness
bring peace into the coming day.




















Reading of “Strengthened in Darkness” with music by Nicolas Jaar


Where the Timeless Waits

After the storm
white and gray clouds
drift lazily north
beneath shafts of blue.
The sea ripples
with the rising sun
in a light breeze,
the soft awakening
breathing easy
after strong winds
and sheets of rain.
I open to the light
like green moss shining,
letting thought focus
on the near distance,
seeing through
the web of things
to the source beyond.
I fish the morning
like a dolphin
in the tideline,
where the food is rich
and the timeless
lies waiting.





















Reading of “Where the Timeless Waits” with music by Van Morrison


Currency of the Earth

Autumn fog covers the sea,
gray water quiet
with barely a ripple.
A lone seal fishes
along the rock shore,
a raven tears at his food.
Glad to be hidden
I stare at the water
as dolphin arc
in the tideline,
gulls perch and wait;
foghorns echoing
the only sound.
Moments of stillness
precious as gold,
currency of the earth
rich as starlight.
I rest here
in the falling mist,
entraining myself
to silence.




















Reading by the author with music by Van Morrison


Beneath Our Burdens

Veiling the mainland
fog shrouds the distance
rising in mist
off the sun lit sea.
Green moss sparkles
on dew laden ground
while the trees
and steep roofs
slowly drip.
My heart rests
like calm water,
luxuriates like moss
in the morning dew.
I’ve shed my skin
and speak with crows.
Stones talk
and I listen.
We’re asked
to be as birds
or like the sun,
to release our stories
and rise with the earth
like fog off the water.
Beneath our burdens
there are wings.



photograph by Robert Aughenbaugh






















Reading by the author with music by Aaron Copland


True Solace

Blanketed with smoke
and now fog,
visibility near zero,
nights are winter-like
in darkness,
day to an arm’s
reach of vision.
Tiny sparrows
flit about in the trees,
the sound of geese
echoes in the bay.
Turning within
to unfailing light
fear unwinds,
the true solace
of the dwelling place
beyond all harm.



photograph by Thea Patten





















Reading of True Solace


Trail of Smoke

Stirred awake at dawn
smoke blanketed the island,
the forests of the Clackamas,
Santiam and McKenzie
lifted into white clouds,
passing on their trail
to the other side.
So many old friends
who knew my name,
sheltered me through
turmoil and grief.
I rose and walked
to the rock point
in early filtered light
to stand on the shore
and honor their journey.
Orcas exhaled
in deep bass sounds,
a line of them
near and far along
the smoke laden channel
signaling farewell.
Years of standing vigil
beside mountain rivers
leaving this life,
their mantle passed,
carried on the wind.


















Reading of “Trail of Smoke” by the author with music by Little Wolf