Fierce Beauty

As the body dissembles
the soul recovers
strength from the inner well,
the old way of falling down
into life, the ageless source
that holds the bones,
keeps the heartbeat,
a flame within each cell
alight with the knowing
disease will free
as it burns away the shell
for the sprouting coil
to break surface and unfurl
with all the fierce beauty
of the green.



Fierce Beauty 2


To Love What is Close

I found this place
before winter snows,
green and tender
with the wet smell of life,
the ground soft and open.
Resting here with old wounds healing,
the impulse to go on
quieted beside the river,
limbs like drooping cedars
ready to let go and touch the earth.
The pass ice is melting,
the way across the mountains
opening for spring
yet I don’t think I’m going.
The smell of apples
and litter of oaks
enough of what I want,
nurturing the urge
to love what is close.
I see the mountains
from where my roots
tangle in soil and stones,
going down into dark
among the ancient trees.



Still Meadow Men


Tir Na Nog

He spoke to me though from afar
his voice both near and quiet,
reminding me of the green slope
and north the sea, shining and alive
with ancient music,
a place near him
and many gone before
who traveled to America,
to cities where they’d never rest
returned now, like Tir Na Nog
forever young in the old land,
looking over the ocean,
the soil wet with rain
and grandfather full of peace.



Underground passage, Knowth Ireland

Underground passage, Knowth Ireland



Like the counterweight
beneath stone columned bridges,
the mass of years moves slowly,
cast from rights and wrongs
and the willingness to love
until only ashes remain.
I am not the daylight crossing
or a road filled with important travelers
but the mass below that lifts and lowers,
put to use when the rivers rise
and tall ships need pass;
dropping with faces and stories
of departed dreams and ancient bones,
relics of another time weighing me down
so the iron bridge may lift
and what must travel on to continue
on the broad river to the sea.




Burnside Bridge


Solitary Prayers

The soft sound of dry snow
on the long incline to Devil’s Peak,
white curves and outcrops
above the tree line,
unforgiving, solemn,
windswept to the far distance.
Solitary prayers like
mist blown snow,
lifted in arcing curls
into the cold air,
crystalline blue
above the tall mountain.



Play the Ancient Drum

I’ve outlived many beliefs
and though they’ve passed
I’m still here
with more than a few skins
shed behind me;
slow of step,
creaking to arise
I call to my ancestors
to guide me on the old road,
play the ancient drum
and stomp across the heavens
so I will hear and know
how to walk these miles
and behave like a man.



Ireland, Stone Ring