Holiness of the Unseen

Ice shelfs divide,
green land turns to desert,
winds churn vast ocean.
The veil of the mundane
torn to fluttering rags
reveals the depravity of isolation.
From the abode of silence
the tuning fork of the almighty
gathers sound into one unerring pulse.
As the temple of artifice crumbles
the holiness of the unseen
breaks through dismal cloud
and the earth is covered
with the sound of birds.




Ancient Shore

I speak to you in the gray dawn
knowing you here in the quiet,
there in the cold morning air;
between you and I
only this moment
of sacred space.
Path of the immortal,
pulsing with energy
recreating the ancient shore
here and now.




Mia Stalnacke Photography


Rivers Resist

Smoke rises through brick and clay
into a grey morning
the color of frost.
Ice layers the streets,
cold penetrates into our nest
beside the gas fire.
It takes more than flame
to keep the weight of winter
off a fearful heart,
to stand like old trees
faced into the wind,
swaying from depth of root.
What comes looms shadow-like
over bright aspiration,
the inevitability of glacier
against our stick-built domain.
Let what will not hold
dissolve into the grey sky,
what will break go down
maple soft under winter’s weight.
Rivers resist the freeze
because they flow.




Path of Winter

The sun begins its journey north
as days slowly lengthen
yet hope is scarce,
a sense of dread
weighs upon the people.
Words can help but not to heal,
something older must be found.
Beneath the earth strength gathers
dark in stone lined caves,
not the time of rising but of rest.
Ice can break the oldest trees
but within their roots
the force of spring awaits.
Go down with the rivers,
the deep peace of evergreen.
Restore from the root
and let the well of darkness fill.
What must come will find its way
as we follow the path of winter.



photograph by Patrick Orleman

photograph by Patrick Orleman


Endless Renewal

Sky brightens as the morning warms,
smoke from a chimney lifts in the air.
Ground’s unthawed, the ice is gone
yet the planet’s fate demands our care.


Serious times, we preach to the crow
perched on a power line over the street.
Scarred by abuse the land still breathes,
rivers run course through rock cut deep.


Plowed over grasslands, the heartbreak of concrete,
bird-sounds forgotten and thoughts of our birth
each bear forgiveness and something like joy
in the endless renewal from the heart of the earth.





Gen. Wesley Clark Jr., middle, and other veterans kneel in front of Leonard Crow Dog during a forgiveness ceremony at the Four Prairie Knights Casino & Resort on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016.