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.

 

 


 


Son of the Morning

Son of the Morning
thought Custer at the Bighorn,
ambition like his hair
a trap of fool’s gold.
Better to become silence
beside the roaring river
where pride turns to soil
and the old ways still hold.

 

 


 


Spring Cleaning

Creeks are grey with snow melt,
the forest floor wet with rain.
Spring clears the winter tangle,
brush and debris carried away
to rivers already full
and rushing to the sea.
I’ve gathered deadwood,
the wasted energy
that needs to pass.
Let me wash with rivers,
pristine once more
like a deep vaulted canyon.
Below what departs
only stone
and in that silence
I am whole.

 

 

 


 


Ceremony of Spring

The ceremony of spring
swells in winter darkness,
blades of grass
parting wet ground
on the altar of beginnings.
Incantation and incense
formed by the morning
and braided like smoke
lift into the four winds
as signal for the earth
to rise and awake.

 

 


 


Ancient Wheel

Winter’s gift
returns to the valley,
rain soaked ground
drinking deep,
evergreens lifted
to gray skies.
Mountains gather
early snow, rivers
their wet season run.
With the sun far south
daylight is dim
yet under the soft hues
and blanket of rain
an embryo of new life
forms in earth’s darkness,
the gift of life reborn
cell by soaking cell
as the ancient wheel
slowly turns.

 

 


 


Rushing to Meet the River

Dawn comes to the valley,
houses lit with early risers,
a garbage truck roaring to a stop.
Headlights carve the remaining dark,
white edged clouds outline the sky.
Black winged birds fly east
awake to the morning call.
Out beyond the mountains
sun breaks the horizon,
warming the high desert frost
and a ripple of peaks to the great divide.
Wolf, coyote and a wave of creatures
stir and find their legs, begin the hunt.
Sturgeon circle beneath the dams,
salmon wait past the break
for a flush of cold water on the new tide;
even the steel towers seem inviting
as they reflect new light.
Press your ear to the ground,
you’ll hear the earth thrumming
with the bass of deep stone
and something like joy
flowing through her veins
as she rushes to meet
the river of the morning.

 

 


photograph by Sandra M. Jensen


 


Bird Song

Birds return to the valley
crossing the sky, filling the trees.
The winter storm has passed
and though the rain continues
something has changed.
The slowly swelling branches
of the plum trees stretch out,
drinking in the cool air
as the earth awakens
to bird song.

 

 


painting by Eilish Hynes


 


Living in the City

The cobblestone streets and sidewalks
were hard, with blood in the cracks.
Old buildings held the cries of mothers
and children, the laughter of immigrants.
It was the only world we knew and though rivers
ran below the rock palisades the earth had forgotten us
and we were left to fight it out beneath the streetlights.
Somewhere above the glare we believed there were stars,
that a moon still graced the sky, but we were looking down
and around the corner braced for the next raft of trouble.
Sometimes there would be songs on the corner
and girls in high heel shoes, their legs showing
beneath a red skirt, click click clicking for our attention.
We were desperate for love but usually settled for a brawl.
I remember all their names, their faces, wish I had been
a better friend, loved that girl a little stronger,
held her tighter until that pulse between our legs
could find the joy that only came at midnight.
Out of time’s cloud I hold them dear,
with all the faults of exiles in a stolen land,
wanting to go home, wanting to be loved,
wanting to live the one life we still could dream.