Sisters of Peace

The need to fight, to oppose,
is older than red rock hills
rising from the desert landscape.
Springs of violence swell
from a righteous vein
to spread upon the dry ground
soaking evening’s quiet.
A crescent moon softens,
the dipper points to north star
but trouble’s impulse continues.
Across the stony ground
and abroad the night sky
comes the inspiration to lay down arms,
to let the calm of ancient light
bring healing to our troubled thoughts.
Over and again we choose our nourishment,
the paths we take on the fields of Cain.
Perhaps one night, may be this night,
we might follow Orion to discover again
the Sisters of peace and become once more
a home among the stars.

 

 

 


photograph by Robert Aughenbaugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Sisters of Peace” with music by Franz Liszt

 


Within the Womb

Hidden now
the green life
and pulsing energy.
Gone to root
the life of trees,
as bears sleep
in burrowed caves.
Single bird song
breaks the quiet,
calling out her joy
to the cold gray sky.
Where I go
a greater light
within the darkness,
the treasure
of winter’s rest
curing my impatience,
as beauty grows
within the womb,
weaving colors
from the silence.

 

 

 


photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Within the Womb” with music by State Symphony Capella of Russia

 


World Anew

A flight of crows
silhouette the morning.
Red skies to the east
speak of coming rain
though the air above
is clear and blue
as cold snaps
the power lines.
The old earth
claws for purchase
yet the turning
reaches from furthest star
to the roots of trees,
a new heaven
poised over the horizon,
beginning even now
to shape the world anew.

 

 

 


photograph by Sandy Brown Jensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “World Anew” with music by Kate Power & Steve Einhorn

 


Tending to the Birth

December 29, 2020

 

The comfort of peace
salves the weary heart,
restores the soul
long absent from
the green earth.
Quietly we rise
to the morning
ever new, with
words of thanks.
Tending to the dark
night’s birth
we let the angel
find room
in the home
we tend
as place
for the eternal.

 


Through the Dark Night

The valley lies in darkness,
the earth pulsing
with great mystery.
Trees vibrate in this pulse
as do the widespread seas.
Deserts shift in waves,
animals move in migration.
On the outer rim
the earth turns quickly
while at the center
there is stillness
and a silence
reaching through stone,
sand and water.
We may be spun by the wheel
or return to the core,
to the place of emanation
where life is born.
The forces move in procession,
water, air, earth and fire,
cleansing what must pass,
giving form to what is asked
from the deep heaven.
What may we bring to this altar
but our breath of thankfulness,
alive and enduring
through the dark night
to the living day.

 

 


photograph by Sandy Brown Jensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Through the Dark Night” with music by Samuel Barber

 


Time to Remember

Sun breaks far to the south
barely surfacing on the horizon,
the earth starved for light
as solstice approaches.
 
Forlorn as a whining motor
the trudging path meanders,
seeking any truth left
in the crater of the godless.
 
I recall her innocence,
the pale green eyes and delicate skin
inviting the surrender
of my testament.
 
Following the trail to the altar beside the river
hawks circle in clouds of mist,
the water running cold and pure.
If I enter the freezing stream I may die.
 
Reaching back in the ancient tongue
to go forward, solitary as crow,
what I seek lies beneath the earth,
above the cold winter sky.
 
Now is the time to remember.

 

 


photo by Kishan Upadhyay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Time to Remember” with music by Syntaleta

 


Signaling Grace

Rain clouds sift across the valley
in the late days of autumn.
Stripped bare like the plum tree
I lean into the weather,
welcoming the changes
wrought once more
on the yielding earth.
The spreading fear of death
crowds the space for life,
yet around us the earth
surrenders its green leaves
and soft grass for the plunge
into root and darkness.
In the sky geese travel
with the faith of feathers,
following trails across
the wide arc of heaven
to the wet marshes
of their winter solace,
signaling the grace
awaiting their descent
onto the cold fields
of November.

 

 


photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Signaling Grace” with music by Erik Satie

 


Imagine Their Returning

Winter storms arrived
lifting the sea, tearing
through the tree tops.
Funneled through
opposing islands
the channel winds
sound their presence
in a deep pulsing thrum.
I linger within,
relieved from the buffeting
as tiny birds flit in the brush,
gathering the last seeds and berries.
I’ve put away what I can
from the long summer arc,
a storehouse of brightly lit days
and star-filled nights,
of green grass
and the smell of corn.
The cave of winter
is dry and warm
with body heat.
I’ll dream of bear
and sleek otter,
of eagle, rabbit
and nattering crows.
I’ll remember
those who are gone
and imagine their returning
in bright young bodies
free of scars and harsh feeling,
eyes open and eager
for the thrill of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Imagine Their Returning” with music by Van Morrison

 


Shadow Dance

Green has turned to rust
as November winds
scour the island,
baring the trees.
Winter approaches
yet I linger,
hearing voices
call from caves
within the earth,
their invitation
to dream again
and share the dark.
With masks carved
from bone, fires lit
by ancient faith,
they dance
in slow circles,
holding the earth
in all its imperfection.

 

 


photograph by Jim Frid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Shadow Dance” with music by Ry Cooder

 

 

 

 

 


Pale Blue

The sound of the tide
on the ebb like a river.
Gulls feeding, crows
calling nearby.
With only so many
mornings to be alive,
the sounds and smell
of the sea bring joy.
The earth has made
a place for me,
the wanderer.
Thankful to the bone
I reach out
to the trees and
flowing water,
letting the woven nest
of place hold me,
sweetly, like the pale
blue of a robin’s egg.

 

 


photograph by Patrick Orleman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Pale Blue” with music by Nature.