Soft Assurance

The feeling comes with morning,
first light creasing the horizon,
quarter moon high
and the star cast of winter
bright in the still dark west;
the intimacy of this hour
lives through the day,
feeding through travail
the nutrient of patience,
making sure I don’t forget
even when I do
the life began long ago
alive in the night sky,
speaking like a lover
with the soft assurance
of dew, cold air
and the openness of dawn.



Soft Assurance

Photo by Jack Leishman


Pulse of the Deeper Sea

Rain plunks loud on the metal roof
then slows to the drip of the eave
as rain clouds pass to the far mountains
filling rivers with their autumn run.
The sea rises then the wind lays down,
during the breaks the rest between waves
breathing slowly as the earth quiets,
the need for intensity diminishing,
silent and still on the pulse of the deeper sea
the water below, dark, impenetrable,
home to the unknown
as clouds break and shafts of light
reach down then fade
and the next storm approaches.




Smell of Sawdust

Some people seem to know themselves early on,
prepared to find their way through the maze.
I mostly wandered, following until a path ended,
retraced another route, asking questions,
picking up the few clues I was able to find.
I do know where I am now and who has been looking.
There’s comfort in that and some gravity
I shift and employ where there’s reason to help.
I meet the mapmaker from time to time,
enjoying our conversations, very simple and forgiving
about the way his information’s overlooked.
There’s the start and there’s the finish,
the navigation up to you.
Lots of people will sell you directions
but they’re like a subway guide to New York,
interesting but not much help if you choose to walk,
stay above ground where the sky still opens,
faces along the street more and more profound
as you age and understand their predicament.
Bring some kindness to it, the road’s not easy;
give what you can without losing yourself.
The best work is still like a sanded board,
rounded over and smooth to the touch.
You bring your hand and eye to the wood,
feeling your way along the grain,
the smell of sawdust sharp and pleasing.




Years of Silence

We get used to winter’s gray lid
when sunlight becomes a memory,
color fading into the mash of leaves
on wet streets and sidewalks,
the ceiling of our expectations
coming down like rain.
Standing still we’re old growth trees,
catching mist in our moss covered branches,
roots shot through with years of silence,
falling into winter’s sleep
to grow the many songs of spring.