Dry Ridge Trail

The old man put aside his sadness
to listen to the stories of the stones
who told him of the joy
below dark green water,
of how trees feared earthquakes,
of the tiny ant that bit his grandson,
and to write her story
as if it mattered…

Because only two rivers meet
and creeks are a mile apart
in Oregon they call it Dry Ridge
and up from where the rivers join
the incline soaking his shirt,
switchback after switchback
to the looks far point
where big trees stand,
then across the cold north face
rocks slippery and unsure
to Grouse Creek tumbling free
water turned white
through the true green forest,
singing her song alone
down the steep incline
of her cloistered hideaway.
He spoke to the trees, to the boulders,
to the flowing water and brilliant moss
thanking them again and again,
saying goodbye as if it were the last time,
each step back picking up stones
until with all his weight re-gathered
he returned to streetlights
and behind them faintly visible stars.


Voice Within All Things

Huge clouds cover the valley
light disguised behind a veil of gray,
energy dropping ominously, a barometer
of war and poverty, of a once free creature
whose invention will not overcome the truth.
With no answer for Earth’s distress
he picks up a stone on the beach
and listens for its story.
Unable to stop the machine
or the deep rumbling fault lines
he opens his heart to a simpler gift,
the voice within all things.


To Lift My Color

The plum tree fires pink fireworks
into the gray skies of Febru’ry
lavish petals filling the gnarled trunk
with no apology for color so audacious
Earth herself awakens below
the broad swath of cement.
I greet her across the open street
daring to lift my color with hers
into the face of winter.


Oregon winter


Our One Desire

Gaia sends her signals from deep within
tremors of neglect shaking her wounded body,
asking for help in so many ways
yet only drama compels attention
in these days of Narcissus.
She is not a mechanism for study
nor a faulty watch we can replace.
Is it possible the beauty she gives
is intended for us, to soften our hearts
and release our spring color?
Like Aladdin we possess a magic gift
to create from the wellspring of our hearts.
How would it be today if our one wish,
our one desire was for her?