Until I Return

Gray seas, gray skies, wind over water
as ocean reclaims the inland sea.
Trees fall to their roots
drinking deeply of the early rain.
I gather my regrets and drop them
into the swirling cove
for the crabs to feast.
Carrying what I can
I journey back to the mainland,
the memory of salt and horizon
stored for winter.
Don’t blame my complaints,
there are bird wings in my thoughts
of moonlight and silence.
I settle in beside the fire
but don’t forget you,
dark nights and earth spirits
with me until I return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Until I Return” with music by Boccherini


 


Leaving No Trace

Birds flock on the tide
while dark clouds of rain
are driven onshore,
clearing skies over the island.
Gracefully they circle and land,
circle and land, gathering.
I sit quietly, sipping
on the early hours
of soft light and shadow.
The silent earth, teaching
deep root and letting go,
lightens my footsteps
until like the ancients
I leave no trace
but the imprint of kindness
left on the souls
I’ve dared to love.

 

 

 

photograph of Sweet Medicine by Rebecca Hynes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Leaving No Trace” with music by Ahura


 


From Cradle Return

Into the lush night
of a waxing moon
rich with silence,
I walk with certainty.
The well of earth opens
and down I go
to the caverns of peace.
Surrendering sword and shield
I stand beside ancients,
everything I’d learned
become a child’s story;
from the undisturbed
wisdom lights the stars,
births all creatures.
I find myself
a glimmer in Her eyes,
a spark in His fire
and from Their cradle
return to the dark night,
witness to Their love.

 

 


photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “From Cradle Return” with music by Nanci Griffith


 


Descent to Winter Root

The early sun breaks
through eastern clouds,
lighting the sea in a wind driven tide.
Trees begin their slow descent
to winter root, the forest quiet
in chill morning air.
I let go of the island,
of what I love above ground
for the season of goes within.
Sees Far says you strain vision
when you desire too much;
there is no poverty
in the root cellar of the soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Descent to Winter Root” with music by Oregon


 


Painting Van Gogh

The moon rose beside Saturn,
shining pale light on the autumn sea;
later the sun lifted bright orange
painting Van Gogh
on the ebbing tide.
I dawdle with seabirds,
feeding on color.
One day I’ll pass with the tide
but why taint these hours
while here for the feast.
Bring your sadness and regret,
the loves you might have known.
You may be the food
the gods will relish
and turn into morning light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Painting Van Gogh” with music by Vivaldi


 


Earth Magic

The sound of wind across the sea,
the lonely cry of gulls,
earth stirring in first hours
as I arise from the dream time,
humble before the forces
of light and dark.
Night the healer,
day for bearing gifts,
I’m quiet before the altar,
morning prayers
formed without sound
as the sun star rises
bright upon the water.
When asked for light
light is given,
when tired and worn
night is my friend.
Earth magic present
in the deepest folds
of time and place
where wind moves
across the sea
and the knowing
keep to silence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Earth Magic” with music by Norm Smookler.


 


In Gathering Light

Day rises with quiet breath,
sun bright in cloudless skies.
The sea is still, flooded to the high mark,
collecting strength for the ebb’s return.
Like the cormorant hunting these salt waters
my net is dropped in morning hours,
fishing for peace on the new earth tide.
Disturbance in the world is great
but below that roiled surface
ancient forces are at work
in the kingdoms of sea and stone.
From the silence, waves of contentment
spread across the earth and water,
feeding the innocent in timeless grace.
My nets are full, the harvest rich,
peace it is I bring to harbor
spread before you in gathering light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “In Gathering Light” with music by the English Chamber Orchestra


 


Call and Response

The planet’s dial
clicks another turn
as the air cools
and we move into autumn.
Walls of stone step down
into the changing tide,
steadfast in their ancient vigil.
With the thirst of brown grass
trees thrum their cloud songs
drawing end-of-summer rain.
Beside the shore
a quiet blessing,
mantras repeated
waveless as an orca
through the silence.
Life it is, I call to the sea
and from the sea life returns
as a flight of crows
pass in morning light.

 

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Call and Response” with music by Jefferson Airplane


 


When I Return from the Sea

From cathedrals below the sea
dark images float up
in the bellies of fish,
devouring sunlight
on the rippling surface
before descending with color
to undersea grottoes.
One day they will rise
and I will go down
to visit the spires
and vaulted stone arches,
to suffer my thanks
for the gifts of safe crossing.
Kneeling in the depths
I will ask for my life
knowing she will grant it
and when I return
I’ll give you the story.
Dark images, painted with color
in a symphony of silence,
that’s what I’ll give you
when I return from the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “When I Return from the Sea” with music by Sting


 


Kiss of Peace

Filled with moonlight,
I stand quietly by the sea.
Under shining stars
the night’s dark embrace
leaves the kiss of peace
on my grizzled cheek.
I scratch my thanks
on the morning tablet
to cheer our footsteps
as we wander in the miracle
of life on Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Kiss of Peace”