When You Find Me

Blessings come slowly
like soft light
in early morning
or the dimming skies
of nightfall.
Prayers are heard
and answers given
though they rise
in their own time
like the crocuses in spring.
I wait in the earth,
the long winter dark
my old friend.
Extend your faith
to the deepest roots
and when you find me
below the soft wet soil
drink deep.



photograph by Sandra M. Jensen


Between Dreams

Let it be dark,
this cave of contemplation.
No light need enter,
no warmth.
Outside winds howl,
the distant noise
of breaking ice
and cold shot trees.
Having given up the sun
and taken to the cavern
I say what stone says,
the weight I’ve carried
laid down in darkness.
I breathe slowly
between dreams
with heart at rest
in the slow beat
of winter.




Crazy Enough

(for William Stafford)


Birds below the winter sky,
their wings etched in black
against the thick gray blanket.
In leafless months they’re visible
in rooks and nesting branches
as they come and go in the wet morning.
Their patterns marked above
the crowded street, where cars
move in straight lines, the birds
cover and cross by their desire.
I weave them together in my thoughts
as peace chiefs of the great prairie
offered prayers during the horror,
when the buffalo were ridden down,
the grass altar torn apart.
Warriors said their prayers were crazy
but the old ones told them
their prayers were not crazy enough.





Wearing the Darkness

In the last days of December
low clouds move slowly
through shades of grey,
the soft beauty
of a northwest morning
after days of rain.
Earth wet and breathing,
evergreens stretch their roots
as birds circle in the cold air.
I’m glad to sit by the fire,
wearing the darkness
like an old hooded sweatshirt,
worn soft in just the right places,
warm enough for winter.