These Gathered Wings

Spirited away in the dark night,
I travelled to distant lands, other times
of strange expectation.
I return tired, the night work
taking more than day.
Crows circle in the morning wind,
the light of the sun a golden streak
on the rippling sea.
Always the going and return,
my heart wants rest,
to come still beside the moving water
and know I might remain
even as the tide rushes south.
To navigate the works of man
has been my love and calling
yet now I want to find mooring,
a deep set anchor in this sheltered bay
and settle in with the ancient stones
to weather fast the storms of winter.
I’ll grow like moss upon the rock,
speak each day with the quiet trees.
Silent as eagle I’ll stare across the sunlit water
and let the warmth find me
inside these gathered wings.



photograph by Linda Ethier



B Flat Blues 🎶

Before first light
trucks clang on the street,
the noise of traffic,
a glimmer in the east.
Wind stirs the trees,
hints of yellow showing
in the slow turn toward autumn.
I’m ready to let go the burden,
the many faces of might have been,
and take heart in the morning.
The B flat blues plays
somewhere in the distance;
as leaves fall
that mournful sound
turns the pain of regret
into music.



photograph by Louis MacKenzie


Marrow and Bone

The way you travel
on the time bound planet,
to follow or not
the deeply rutted road
or find yourself
in a dark wooded valley
unknown to everyone
but yourself.
When stripped down
to marrow and bone,
the only resource
what you harvest
from within,
stay with the river,
wear down your boots;
remember freedom
is not for the weak
or easily frightened.
That cabin in the far clearing
with smoke from the chimney,
keep walking pilgrim,
it may be yours.




Path of Gold

I haven’t yet turned
with the trees,
holding back
against cold air
and blanketing clouds.
Not wanting winter rest
nor root darkness
I struggle for light
as the sun moves south,
before the bath of rain
and darkened cave.
Holding on,
yet knowing
I will follow
the path of gold
and let go
to the waiting earth.




Quietly the Darkness

Day and night begin to balance
in the slow turn to autumn;
hints of yellow and gold,
fog on the water,
sunlight dimming.
I go toward the dark
ready to release
and find again the roots
that feed the world unseen.
Earth has spread her leaves
in the great dance of summer
and now the rhythm changes,
a lower octave begins to sound.
I have shaped and made
what I could of clay and light;
soon the rains will come
filling the rivers,
blanketing the mountains,
winter to teach
once more of origin.
Gracefully the leaves will fall,
quietly come the darkness.





Kindness Like a River

Night slowly retreats
as moon and stars set
while in the east light shines
through a hole in the clouds.
Time is on the march
or so we’ve thought;
behind the ticking clocks
imagination fuels the way,
crushing each gate of limitation,
laughing at the notions
of heaven afar.
Heaven is kindness
waiting like a river
for us to join and flow
through the canyons
of time and place,
returning once more
the human blessing.
If we visit distant worlds,
seeking something
far and away
they who live
in the vast brilliance
will only smile
and ask what we have made
of garden Earth,
how we have tended
our home among the stars.




Intersection of Grace

On the long road
between then and now
highways of violence,
intersections of grace,
messages from the world
of the broken, hopeless
to go on, while the earth
sings beneath a night sky
electric with memory.
We belong to every body,
every soul
bearing the weight
of fractured desire.
We all limp together
though we fight
and shout our anger,
as if we were strangers,
as if we didn’t know.
The antidote awaits
in the deep folds
of an ancient blanket
ready to warm us
through the frozen winter,
ready to remind,
even terrify us
with the knowledge
of who we might be.




Hummingbird Wings

I scan the water like eagle,
looking for the tide within the tide,
her presence in the sea.
When she asks what I want
I say to be here
and she smiles,
finding beauty in the wave,
knowledge in silence,
joy on hummingbird wings.



photograph by Cedric Fox


To the Horizon

There may be a day
more promising than today
sometime in the future
but why wait?
We look to the rising,
put sails to the wind
though weather be dark
and ominous.
This craft of ours
sturdy yet slight,
carries faith as fuel,
direction by the stars.
Our ropes strain and break
yet we mend on and continue.
Of course we can be foolish,
commanded by a higher regard,
but we find currents
to guide past shoals,
winds to steer into open water.
Storm fronts will not deter,
nor the lack of safe harbor.
There is a port
sketched on the map
we carry in our hearts.
To the horizon we sail.




Tendril of the Oak

Settled in below the morning fog
within the motion and noise,
I sit quietly gazing
at gray skies and summer green
as an old stone or rough-barked tree
finds center in the earth,
patience within unrest.
Angels protect this silence
for it roots to the heart of the world,
joining those caverns to the light above
and one slim tendril reaching out with peace
on the great oak of life.