To Join the Living

Spring is rising
as mountain snows melt,
seeking out what lingers
of melancholia and fear
stored in winter dark.
We launch into the river,
skirting between freighters,
under steel web bridges,
finding our pace
in the wind driven chop.
Time to come out
and feel the urge
of falling water,
the hot touch of sun,
to join the living
as our old friend waits
in his ice clawed cave
brooding over December.



Watercolor by Eilish Hynes


Beyond the Door

Cleansed of stress
and ill feeling,
root fed and purged,
I relish the inner space,
the sympathy with what rises.
Deep green has touched the earth
though cold winds stir the sea
and spring waits
while the ancient balance
holds the churning wave,
the tall swaying trees.
Letting go I am found,
emptied out I am full;
beyond the doors between us
a land rich with peace.




Steady Voice

The winds are up from the south
pushing white caps over gray water,
a Pacific storm reaching over the Olympics
and Vancouver Island to the inland sea.
Most of the shorebirds are hunkered down,
Canada geese tucked into lee cover,
otter laying low in thorn lined bowers.
There’s excitement on the wind,
as if the ocean were breathing upon us,
carrying messages from the far east
of change and new life.
Gulls flare up into the gusts
but no sails within sight
and we too take shelter.
The sea has begun to roll,
the long fetch of southerly wind
bringing the broad channel awake
yet far below in the stone-lined canyon
the dark is unperturbed, the water still.
The depth does not roil as the surface churns,
a steady voice in the gathering gale.
I want to arc like the gull, dive like a whale
into the darkness, but I keep my post,
calm in the great change upon us,
finding myself in the wind, the wave
and the deepest sea, vast and unmoved.




To Pillar the Deep

Before the altar of morning,
with the rise of spring
in grey cloud rain,
the soul rests in silence,
steady and full as the sea.
The long arc of history
compressed to a tremor
passes through bedrock,
yearning for the unmoved.
To pillar the deep,
strengthen the stillness,
heart and mind
become quiet as leaf,
weightless as bird,
fountains of peace
for the earth to live on.





Into the Garden

The songs I sing
to keen budding branches
filled with winter
and darkness of root,
I silently sing them,
the trees only hear me
as they ready to open
in cold March air.
From out of the earth-tomb
the beauty of color,
feast for the sky gods
and we in our task
to break the old crust
and rise like spring flowers
into the garden
quicksilver and fair.