Poverty of the Pilgrim

The ocean lifts its skirts
to follow the moon
and across the inland sea
a great wave of water empties.


Running like a river
toward the opening void
the bays and coves
throw themselves into the chase,
the vast expanse giving up its wealth
for the poverty of the pilgrim.


I toss my importance into the tide,
the swirls of the ebb gathering the weight
like a thin branch on the water
lifted by the passion of the sea.


The little I have passes
in early light without goodbye,
leaving me exposed
like the weed covered rocks,
weightless and dry,
open to the mystery.




Finding Some Comfort

I wake up with the world,
climbing out of the dream
into the freshening wind.
The tide is already rushing,
seabirds busy on the rocks,
a lone seal fishing in the current.
The day won’t wait for me
which helps defeat gravity once more,
light the gas stove with fuel
that’s come ten thousand miles,
brew tea that began in India,
put in a few drops of honey
from the Oregon highlands
and ignore all this mystery
for a walk out on the point
to greet the sea and the tide that’s moving.
I can feel all the places my bones have been broken,
the arthritis a gift from my ancestors
but next to the stones that kneel in the sea
I’m barely a blip in the long song of time.
Some say we fell from a place on high,
some we rose from the murk and sludge.
I say I’m living, in and out of time,
asleep and awake in the arms of the spirit,
finding some comfort like the grey momma seal
astride a green rock out of the tide,
feeding her pup in the cool morning air.





Avoiding the mass,
afflicted by crowds,
isolate and internal
I circle the beloved,
an orbiting satellite
without friction or gravity
in the silence of space,
surrounded by stars
yearning for home.





Say the Goodbye

Wind drives up from the south
against the ebbing tide,
the surface chalked with waves.
I look out from the cabin
until the hour comes
to leave for the dock.
Time for another goodbye,
constant as the rain
and about as welcome.
Shaped by the moon
I empty again and again
trying not to wonder
when the seed of joy
will find its season.
The wind might lift me off this rock,
carry me to the ocean beyond.
I could get lost in water
and swim among whales
but for this morning
I’ll just head down
to the long wooden pier
and say the goodbye.





Scraped Bare

Hollow as a reed,
empty of the hoard,
wealth of silence,
rock of faith.
Live this life
with thirst,
scraped bare
for the rising.