Under the Miller’s Wheel

Who am I fooling,
the earth broke me
on the wheel of time,
ground me like winter wheat
for the coarsest bread.
Grind some more
I said in my bravado
and the earth was glad to oblige,
passing me under the miller’s wheel
until fine sifted flour.
Now make me food for all that lives
I dared in my foolishness
and again the earth was glad
to bake me in her oven
and serve me to the people.
Buttered and brown
I pass through faceless masses
until a small sad eyed child
receives a crumb, lifetimes pressed
into one moment of bread,
and put to his mouth I am whole.

 

 

 

Walker Evans photograph


 


Candles

Certain only of uncertainty
I browse the rooftops
with black feathered crows,
seeking sustenance
among the ignored and forgotten.
The ancient temple in ruins,
the one to be a dim-lit dream,
yet within on the altar
of the forever now
shine a thousand candles
lit by untold prayers
of thankfulness.

 

 

 


 


Bearing Point

Amidst the passing cars
and rush of doing
there is silence,
a bearing point
to comfort and guide.
Look up from your footsteps,
beyond the troubled horizon.
That soft light in the distance,
it is for you.

 

 

 


 


Born in the Eyes

No tears this morning,
no wonderings
like fallen leaves,
only a delicate sense
whole and alive
in the cool air
as smoke clears
and fires dampen.
We ride the tides
of pulse and change,
yet there is harbor,
a peace that rests
in silent earth,
within each wave,
to hold gently
what may come
and with grace
release the bones
buried and past.
We were here
when first lines
were drawn,
and now a new draft
traced on the horizon
as we behold once more
the birth of a dream
born in the eyes
of the eternal.

 

 

 


 


Now Here

Sunlight filters through late summer trees,
the dry earth brown as a doe.
A bird calls in the distance,
the soft buzz of life in the wood
where roots descend to moisture.
Nootka roses glow in green,
seals calf their young
and the earth slow breathes
as the August moon approaches.
There’s haze on the distant mountains
but the sea air is clear, tide ebbing south.
Far away the noise, the hustle,
the need for pace and movement.
What is empty to the hungry is full,
what is silent, rich with knowing.
Nowhere to some, now here to others,
weighted like stone, light as bird wing,
sinking with tree roots deep into the earth.

 

 

 


 


Language of the Night

Trees reach up
to the starlit wheel,
speaking to distant worlds
from the solitude of Earth.
Our loneliness, our fears,
our faith in new life
born upon the open sea,
from the parched ground.
The stars speak back,
brilliant in the night sky,
of communion and distance
with the intensity of light.
Down to the root
their language travels,
of the separation
and future yet to come.
Above the canopy
distance closes.
Owl is witness,
those abroad in darkness,
and quietly they continue
while we sleep.

 

 


 


One Life

Here in the presence
morning light speaks
on a soft breeze
through the open window –
we are one life, connected
as the leaves of the plum tree,
thankful to the root.

 

 

 


 


River of Life

As the sacred seal opens
ancient power flows,
forms that emerge
thin outlines
of the rising force.
Long furrows of the dead
and yet to be born
wait patiently
for the quickened touch
of the here and now
to break the chains of time.
Vultures carve winged forms
in the clouded sky,
creatures pause within the sea
and below the earth
stone layers shift and move.
With silence to guide
the gate draws back,
the mortal frame trembles
and the river of life begins once more
to shape its way through Eden.

 

 

 

photography by Jim Frid


 


Climb the Hill

Returning to this world
of terrain and shape
from the timeless
I absorb the morning
like a hungry traveler,
drinking in new light and cool draft.
I move arms and legs,
listen to a crow busy with the news
and put on the old harness
to enter the day’s furrow.
The soil grows harder each year,
long rows bent to the shape of the earth
as I walk along behind the plow of memory.
Perhaps today I’ll undo the traces,
find a fresh path across the meadow
to the clear creek running,
not sow or reap but cast my lot with the birds,
with badger and browsing deer.
Perhaps I’ll trick the dark form waiting
at the end of this long row,
leave the dream to cross the moving water
and climb the hill to paradise.

 

 

 


 


Language of Light

The tenderness of a soft breeze
dapples the morning sea
across the broad channel.
Seals break surface in their forage,
dolphins show black fins
in rolling breaths
stirring the silence.
On the wind, the water,
the trembling earth,
a new-day testament
begins again,
written without words,
without sound,
in the language of light.