Behind the Gate

Fog settles on the valley
as autumn fades,
leaves turn and fall
in the time of letting go.
I sit warm by the fire,
at peace in the change
like an old monk
preferring the calm,
the descent into root.
The world calls this empty,
the slow slip into darkness,
yet here in the quiet morning
soft light etches the fog
and the well of life flows full
behind the gate of silence.





Deep Rock Island

The night is a mystery
with tides swelling past
in dark shadow,
Mars a red pearl shining,


the dew so heavy
each blade of grass
beads luminescent.


The trees awake
with sun gone down,
sharing knowledge
with the stars.


I could drop into the sea,
wrap myself in darkness
or journey with the trees
to distant light.


Instead I’ll sleep
and struggle in dreams,
stone for my pillow.


Morning comes,
great father rises in the sky,
birds flutter about,
wind brushes the shore.


I live in light and dark,
opening my throat
for the song from within,


lost and found once more
on the deep rock island.




The Search for Joy

I searched for joy, I did,
sometimes in the wrong places
and some that held a measure.
I searched in the sorrow
of what passed
and painful births
of what was to come.
The trees gave to me
in their unheard voices,
as did the streams
and rock strewn hills.
I thought I’d find it
defeating enemies
but even in victory
joy escaped.
I found it in two daughters
and see it still
in their shining eyes
and in a partner
whose blesses our steps
into each day.
I still search in the night,
walking among the trees
in the blanketing darkness
and on the point beside the sea
as the sun slowly rises.
Yet now that I’m old
I’ve found the hidden place
where it rested all along
like calm water and a fresh breeze
lifting me from within.





Woven Together

The weight shifts,
the stone of grief
lifts for breath.
Stories of sorrow
press the earth
as lights come on
across the city
and dawn tints the sky.
We are many
yet in our pain
we are one, one family
of the poor and wretched,
the rich and famous,
woven like cloth
by our joy and suffering.
This lifetime or the next
we will meet again,
our tears the water
of life’s deepest well,
ten thousand Buddhas
journeying together
to the farther shore.



Artwork by Eilish Hynes