Winter Stew

Gathering slowly
Earth welcomes
the fallen leaves of autumn,
golden brown
in their descent.
Summer’s harvest
for winter stew, heated
in the dark cauldron.
I toss in my regrets,
the many failed chances
and remember you
in the silence
while the elixir
comes to boil.

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Winter Stew” with music by Hermanos Gutierrez


 


Choirs of Knowing

Rain clouds pass over
and Orion appears in the eastern sky,
the first signal cold is near.
Inured to the temperature
I walk out on the wind whipped point
to relish the bright lamp of Jupiter,
the glowing red of Mars, and the array
of stars in the vast spread of cosmos.
As one voice from the silent planet
I send greetings to the star nation,
to all my kin in the realm of the Maker.
Somehow, across impossible distance,
their signals reach back, tremulous
and shining with songs of the light bearers,
choirs of knowing in the deep dark of night.

 

 

photograph by John Fowler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Choirs of Knowing” with music by Maryliz Smith.


 


Soul Cavern

With gray skies and cold air
the sun moves south on the horizon
as autumn reaches into the islands.
Settled into the stillness
the lonely sounds of geese
echo across the bay,
the morning quiet rich.
Bird wings flutter in the trees
while I put away the tools of summer,
burrowing into deep earth silence
where the soul cavern awaits.

 

 

Photograph by Jim Frid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Soul Cavern” with music intro by Sinead O’Connor.


 


Safe Harbor

Waves tear south
under high winds,
white caps and rollers
stretch across the channel
as gusts envelop the cabin
like a ship on the sea.
I sleep with the sound,
wake up in the roar
and light my lamp
for those out in this weather.
Storm tossed and driven
hope may be forgotten
yet safe harbor is near.
Come in from the cold,
here there’s a fire;
forgiveness will find you
if you follow the light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Safe Harbor” with music by Woody Guthrie.


 


Light in the East

In early morning
I sit alone with the sea.
Only stillness,
dawn color
and the wind’s whisper
in the high trees.
As the day rises
I calm the thoughts
that come with wakefulness.
To empty the vessel
is to invite the Guest
in a space sacred
with silence.
No words are needed
for presence is all
and with light in the east
I am lifted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Light in the East” with music by Sinead O’Connor.


 


Let the Wind Correct

The winds of autumn
cause the seas to surge
and strip the summer leaves.
The prejudices I won’t release
are torn by these winds,
tearing the flesh of soul.
Thinking that I’m right
leads often to wrong,
skewing the compass
that would guide me.
Not as wise as I would like to be
nor so strong as I pretend
belief became defense,
uncertainty led to disdain
so into this storm I venture out.
Let the wind correct,
the rain wash me clean.
What may be lost should go
and what remains
of the good earth
will bind us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Let the Wind Correct” with music by Van Morrison.


 


The Dear Companion

Autumn rains refresh the earth,
restoring color, lifting worms.
Along the northwest coast
forests breathe more easily,
the misted seas mysterious
in their changing garments.
While the sun is hidden
and the land grows still
I ask for grace not to be misled,
for patience in the slow descent.
Though we travel at night
the stars remain our beacon
and if we choose
love the dear companion
as we make our winter journey
to the soul renewal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “The Dear Companion” with music by Enya.


 


All the Grace Needed

Low clouds bank the island
though the rain has stopped
and skies begin to clear.
Summer dried the ground
so the land drinks deep
these autumn showers
as trees begin their winter sleep.
I hasten to put away
all that must be stored,
my heart racing
with a quickened pulse
while quiet winter approaches.
I am going to root once more,
the leaves of summer falling
as I surrender to the cold embrace.
There is just this moment,
of sunlight through the clouds
and the gray sea shimmering,
that speaks of life
and all the grace needed
for the road ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “All the Grace Needed” with music by Secret Garden.


 


Garden of Remembrance

Fog envelops the islands
as the changing air of autumn
blankets the sea with mystery.
Quietly we sit within the shroud
recalling the night sky passage
as crows haunt the trees
and we wait upon the sun.
Our path obscured,
our greater home hidden
but as we travel the ancient road
the garden of remembrance draws near
where fog lifts, the shroud pulls back
and we find our way once more
by the light of a brilliant star.

 

 

photograph by Brenda Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Garden of Remembrance” with music by Chick Corea and Gary Burton.

 

 

 


 


Nurture the Garden

The clouded sun
lights the sea,
gulls cry out
their morning welcome
and the daily news arrives.
The greater the disturbance
the deeper I reach
to nurture the garden.
Watered with silence,
fed with forgiveness,
the harvest is of spirit
and upon this altar
I am lifted.

 

 

Courtesy of Aldo Leopold Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Nurture the Garden” with music by Kiev Chamber Choir.