Dare to Appear

My eyes so full of plum trees
and their pale pink beauty,
the weight of gravity
seems to fall away.
Rooted to the ground
old branches swell
losing their dark comfort,
daring to appear
in the gray March sky.
Each flower born
from the earth’s
deep knowledge,
unveiled and risen
in the warmth of first light.






Winter Hymn

Rains and morning dark
softly soak the city.
In the mountains
forests rest white
and unperturbed.
Snow laden trees,
streets washed clean,
a timeless hymnal
open to the sky
in the deep throated
song of winter.



photograph by Patrick Orleman


Myrtle Tree

Smoke rises into clear skies,
the morning cool and bright.
Yesterday’s weight drops
like a long heavy train
uncoupled from the engine of desire.
Thankful for the deeper healing
we rise from dark rooted soil
wet with winter’s love
to greet this day, open
like a myrtle tree in spring.





Spark of Life

Across the heaven
a line of light
opens the day
while another
marks the night.
Beneath the skies
we sleep then wake
alive to the morning.
The voice of God
rises tender and sweet,
a green sprout of corn
to comfort us
while seeds of the eternal
take moisture from the well within
and a spark of life
struck on the old stone of faith
fires the miracle
of our deepest dreams.




photograph by Patrick Orleman


The Heart’s Desire

Songs of going down
will have to wait.
The drawn curtain pulled back,
a window looking out
on an uncertain sea,
waves steep and frightening.
What has never been will be,
what corrupts finds no solace.
The old psalms comfort
but new music rises.
There, off in the distance,
a hand waves, a door opens
and what I have been rushes by
like wind above the water.
Against all odds
this is a good time to raise sail.
Let the heart’s desire crack on!






Hammered Gold

Part of me is held by earth,
part follows the wind
with the gray clouds of winter.
I race with high geese,
follow the crevasse of night
until light breaks
and with folded wings
I return to the cold wet land.
Straining for freedom,
desiring the cave,
I am loosed and unloosed
as ghosts tell their stories
and trees speak in silence.
Like hammered gold
I am forged on earth’s anvil,
shaped by storms
that furrow the sea.
I bring you this peace
deep into winter root
and release my bare-branched truth
upon the morning.





To Light the Dark

Across the miles
and hours of time
we connect on lines
invisibly woven
throughout the earth
and to our thoughts.
I speak to you
in your sorrow,
to what is broken
and may never repair.
Our bodies may be scarred
but wounds do heal.
To make the muscles work,
the nerves continue,
we build a fire
with the plans of our construction,
release our designs to smoke and ash,
begin anew with unmarked tablet.
Amidst the pain and grief,
the lost and never to be found,
there is this flame to light the dark,
dissolve the way we’ve held the world
and guide us into tomorrow.




photograph by Patrick Orleman


Before Light

The morning calls grey and darkling
while night travels west
seeking the ocean
and another long journey
across the sea.
I rise once more from sleep
and travel to the heart of the world
on a colorless landscape.
Before light I think forgiveness,
of all who began this journey
and the few who yet continue.
What can we do except love
all that life has given us
and cleanse this darkness
of our own misdeeds
while the world yet sleeps
and waits.





Placing My Prayer

The moon rises
before the city wakes,
her bowl turned up
waiting to be filled.
Raccoons roam the streets,
deer browse the river,
the green world silent
beneath sheets of pavement
as I place my prayer
on the altar of darkness
for all who inhabit the night.






Along the dark wet avenue,
plying your way with other pilgrims,
your radio on morning news,
I reach out to you from this window,
the small rectangle you won’t notice
as you pass a thousand others
in brick and wood.
Through thin glass I see you,
know a portion of your travail,
even your joy. I wish you life
my unknown friend.
May your headlights guide you
to something like the place
we once called home.




The Mummers by Rima Staines