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.