Sculptress of Forgotten Form

During the winter season, I would travel with the Duhalar reindeer people and stay with an old shaman called Tsuyan. On odd days of the waxing moon, she would go into a trance and transform herself into a reindeer bull, flying off to a place she called the Dark Heavens: a twilight world full of light, sounds and voices from where the ancestors reveal their hidden messages in the form of birds and beasts. ‘We exist in relation to three things (she would say) …nature, animals and the memory of ancestors. Once we forget, the guardian angels abandon us and we invite demons to take hold of our destiny.’ – Hamid Sardar


Her ungoverned hair and heliarc gaze
speaks to a fierceness
beyond the curtain of power
the unbridled desire of moon
and tide to move full circle
to have her whole self be known
whether or not she dances in solitude
though in the storm driven ocean
and delicate blue camas
on the cliffs above the sea
her yearning is present
a delicate hand extended
to one who will love
her fury and her peace
and the way she carves her self
as sculptress of the forgotten form
in the disappearing beauty
of her wildness.


Years in Just One Place

The edge of the rock leads down
from the inland hill
like a spiny tendril to the sea
tapering until the finger tip
joins the rise and fall
of wet tide and ocean
as if to receive the tender feeling
of what once was and still may be
the rock more nerve than bone
surface coarse but through it
a gift of connection
to something old and kind
as if some choice were set in stone
a frozen wish from long ago
pulsing with a slow quiet,
believing in all that is to come
through grief and despair
the assurance of many years
in just one place.


Born on the Tides of Forgiveness

A mass of logs swirl in the cove
the cyclonic force of the tide
carrying the raft of trees out into the channel
as effortlessly as they were brought in
the reciprocal flow of energy balancing
opening and closing the doors of creation
vast spiraling currents feeding and being fed
loving and being loved by the tenderness of Earth
father and mother to us all in this time
when the debris, the massive waste
strewn behind our shining machine
must be lifted from the stones of survival
into the broad and fast moving current
of what will come forth as surely as the child
for the contractions have begun
Her waters broken open and flowing
all of creation born again
on the powerful tides of forgiveness
into the unknown beauty awaiting.

Waldron Island, January 2010


As Near As Flesh Will Allow

Waves pile into the cove
and wandering logs forced to the rocks
while across the channel white caps ride
the wind driven tide in its winter high
gulls and sea birds laying low
as he is in his warm cabin
the poet part of him at peace
like nowhere else, the nearness
to her storm filled beauty
a solace, satisfying the wanderer
his eyes entrained to look for her
rise and fall in the gusting wind
feeling at home in the cold sheets of rain
as near as flesh will allow.

Waldron Island, January 2010


Starlight of Eden

We travel a magic vessel
through night sky and ancient kiva
to inner earths of unseen beauty
closing our eyes and turning loose
of the world we’ve accepted
spiraling through apertures
to places beyond dreaming
where the source of water
meets the nearest sun
and our healing touch
begins the end
of all that’s gone before
our voices waves of energy
along the curvature of her dome
through the breadth of her body
sparking love to her long desire
in the starlight we recall as Eden.


Path of Stones

Foresters blazed a wide trail
up the steep grade to a rock point,
Angel’s Rest they called it
for relief from the climb.
Along the swath two bodies wide,
a narrow path intersects the broad way
a thread that was the natives’ track
before the roads of industry,
the trail barely visible
to the place of power they knew,
of vision quest and high plateau,
snow crested peaks in each direction
from high desert to the river and sea.
They lined their path with stones
their mark a long angular sinew,
delicately connecting place to place
without the woodmen’s gash.
Those days are gone but the track remains,
a faint and subtle path of stones
placed so long ago with reverence.



At the crossroads a weathered pilgrim
receives alms from those who stop
pondering which path to take
their worn maps changing
as they look into his eyes
knowing the choice is now
always now, which future to create
leaving small gifts for the old one
as they travel on, their hearts renewed
by the fierce strength of his mercy.