Weaving a New Pattern

A cold northerly wind follows the ebb tide
water and air temperature equal
at half the human Fahrenheit
pushing back the effort
to lessen the long grip of winter;
Junuary we call it above the 45th
with wool and fleece still in force.
Somewhere in the deep cavern
carved by the Mississippi
bedrock is fissured, fractured
by the forces of pre history
and the latest Gulf war
signaling a step in evolution
or the end to a failed experiment.
I put my hands upon the Earth yesterday
with saw and shear saying yes or no
thinning madronna that thrives on this rock
fighting back thorns and strangling vines
building rock surrounds for seedling trees
against the threat of my own predation
using rake and cart to comb and brush
the energy of desire down through the tools
untangling and weaving a new pattern
speaking to Her in the simplest terms
letting Her know if I go or will stay.




Oceans of Morning

One day of summer and again skies are heavy laden,
air cool, water gray green and impassive;
otter and I are alone in the cove
his speckled head popping up
scanning the shore for predators
before arching his back in a fluid S
diving below for an unseen depth.
I want to travel to such places
beyond boundaries and fence posts
where passport and citizen are unknown
and bull kelp form temples of new ritual.
The northerly winds pick up the tide
helping the ebb in its long journey south,
spread water like a sacred manuscript
in cuneiform writing from the ancient of days.
Letting thought settle I decode the message
telling of a poet determined to live by the sea
and the music he would see and hear
played upon oceans of morning.



photo by Linda Ethier



Summer Solstice

Madronnas wave in the breeze

leaves and branches lofted like sail

in a fluid green lattice

flowing with sea force

wind and tide, sun and cloud,

half moon arcing across Mail Bay

the quiet tangible, visceral,

nurturing yet invisible

except fluttering leaves

and the deep well of solace

lifted from the ebb tide, stirring

into the raised arms of the world.


Into the Forever Reach

Steady rain on the island
drip, drip, drip.. awakening
swells across the channel
ocean lifted by wind and tide
surging to the lunar pull
always lifting, rising
until gravity drops
and waters rush back
glad to be home again
but only a respite
waiting upon dark night
with stars above the sea
listening for moon song
to travel once more
into the forever reach
toward union.





Gaia’s Lover

She called out from an island,
one among many of the inland sea.
In first light he raced with the ebb
keen to remain with the current
for the miles yet to travel,
yet as she lifted the veil from her beauty
he startled and turned, his gaze
then his boat, paddling toward the vision
of rock green and towering trees
like fresh water to his salt stained skin.
She marked him with a fleeting vision
and though he joined the rushing tide
he vowed beyond reason to return.
The courtship lasted years
though his future was fashioned
that first summer morning
to love and be loved by an island in the sea,
to live within her ever changing temple,
to let her spurned beauty
be the wealth of his life,
her waters his deepest solace,
his prayers for her most passionate;
strangely unnoticed and sorely abused
for her his simple attention matters most,
to be witnessed and seen in all of her phases,
admired and loved as a sentient being
in the tender regard of a true lover.


Calm in the Rapids

Together we hear the waterfall
like thunder in the distance;
rapid after rapid
the spills and breaks
have worn thin our gear,
our determination.
We carry an image in our hearts
of a green valley beyond the precipice
yet the fear of what approaches
runs through our nerves like water.
We cannot reverse; the river calms
opening a space to recover,
to gather what we need inside.
We look to each other with a smile,
a joy that can only be human;
we won’t turn back
the river is guiding us.