To honor a dear friend who passed from this earth recently, a wife and mother, teacher and artist, an inspiration to many of the indelible link between justice and compassion.

I remember this thin wiry girl

hair braided back from the fire in her eyes

looking out with an unrelenting question

on the stubborn visage of injustice

demanding equal time in the sun

nourishment for the wild flowers

beside the rusted tracks of a long gone train.

She was a force to be reckoned with

more comfort to the hard luck hill jacks

than the elite through which she passed

her presence a singular virtue

discouraged at times but not deterred

walking in fire with the grace

of a street wise angel

seeing through the masks and misery

with a flaming promise to somehow

make art of us all.


Portion Left Behind

Part of me remains on the island

a serpentine shard of soul

wedded to the immovable

standing against the gray fog

crawling up the channel

more rock than flesh

more gull cry than voice

I hear it far away

feel it in my wandering feet

reminding me what must be given

in love’s subtle measure.


Full Tide of Her Presence

The sea is a flowing gown

diaphanous and filled with light

behind her subtle movements

a touch of all that was intended

in a moment of extraordinary birth.

Beneath the surface, within

a seed clothed by the fruit

the eminence of all this life will be

when the old hunger dissolves

and the full tide of her presence

floods our souls with the peace

of one desire.


Beyond Certainty

The old ones knew direction

charting their course

from an inner map

rich with silence.

Awake to the night

traveling with the moon

they found distant islands

beyond the grasp of certainty.

I ask for their guidance

as I set out on the morning

feeling their comfort

with the unformed unknown.