River of Life

Let the morning come
in unveiled glory,
let darkness speak
and tell of mystery.
Let the day be what it will
as legions of despair
find home in their beliefs
while the river of life
pours on through deserts,
through rock-lined cliffs
and featureless prairies,
through land without end
until pouring through every heart
with the force of the eternal.
The day, the darkness,
despair and the great river,
all come on the tide of morning
with the unblemished faith
of a newborn.




One Day

One day
the peace of the earth
will fill my body.
I will know the river,
the roaring of the sea
and a calm green glade
where ferns wave softly
beneath towering cedars.
I will be the earth
and all her inheritance
from aeons past
through dim lit future
yet with gentle rain
falling in the valley
she tells me sweetly
that one day is now.





Through Dark Hollows

Surrendered to the morning,
the coming day and pressure to do,
I leave the night, the darkness
that wraps me in its blanket
teaching the art of dreams.
To love the light, the soft touch
of spring rain on open leaf
is to join the green world
and all that’s rising, yet
part of me remains in root,
following water down
through dark hollows
and coarse layers of stone
to the unerring food of silence.



photograph by Willard Walch


Words Like Soldiers

We can’t catch the dawn
or chase night to its safe retreat.
We face an incoming army,
troops of words like soldiers
marching across the once green land,
the music of poetry driven underground.
Their forces move in lock-step
as we withdraw into darkness
with stories of ancient times,
leaving behind the dry dust of logic,
a wasteland of abandoned dreams.
Who will remember the fires at midnight,
the heroics of song and verse?
We join with stone in the birthplace of water,
awaiting the earthquake of color
upon whose shattering tide
we will one day rise.




photograph by Jim Frid


Sure as Sunrise

When morning comes
light will change our dreams,
the thoughts, the images
of the self we’ve known
and free us to the open sky.
Every fingered bead
and candle lit
leads us to that moment.
The hour and the day
or who will be there
no one knows,
yet it will come
sure as sunrise,
written upon the morning.





When the Light Darkens

When the light darkens
the path twists,
becomes more difficult.
What will rise must have root,
the grace of a flower.
Let the earth be your ally
and the patience of stone
flow through you like a river.



photograph by Louis MacKenzie


When I Awoke

The night so long
it seemed the darkness
would never fade,
the light on the roses
and soft glow of the trees
only a memory.
When I awoke
I went to the window
and looked out to see
pink and white blossoms,
rain drops like luminescent bells
hanging from the dark cherry wood.





One Who Walks Within

Born to wonder,
our original memory
a secret code
of symbols and runes
letting darkness nurture,
dreams become talisman.
Emissaries of an ancient light,
born from the mother
on a rushing tide
of blood and water,
we find ourselves
naked and shivering
on an unknown shore.
We learn the stories,
speak the language
until one day the body
within the body
emerges from its chrysalis.
Stones rise, seas lift,
the veil of mystery rents
and the silence of the ages
opens once more
to the one who walks within.



photograph by Eilish Hynes


On the Wire

No way out
of fine balance
on the long thin wire
between the towers
of then and now,
of what has been
and what must be.
Carrying the weight
of seventy one years
I can’t look down
like once I did,
can’t let my mind wander.
Every step precise,
each movement of arm and leg
careful and disciplined
with the tension of symmetry
as the far tower approaches.
Like a kettle over flame
I boil but not too much,
let the intensity build
but not spill over.
I sleep on the wire
and wake to another day
above the chaos,
intent on the journey
and treasure of this moment,
splendid and free so near disaster,
crossing the void to what waits beyond.



photograph by Ann Foorman


Fed to the Earth

The world awakes
to headlights,
the sound of birds
and coffee makers.
In the dimly lit east
Venus holds her place
as the night sky fades.
I look from my window
through the bare branches
of the plum tree.
Just one of the heralds,
I call in the morning,
cranky with pain
and dull of thinking
yet like an old wolf I rise,
crane my head into the sounds
and smells of whatever stirs.
I see black winged crows,
hear the roar of a bus,
bless the pilgrims
on their morning journey
and announce myself
to the gods of the day
lest they forget I’m here.
Watching the dark dissolve
my old self drops away
into the web of root and rock
and I’m fed to the earth
for the flowers of spring.