Radio Giza

I tune into your station
on the wireless radio,
hearing your voice
within the static.
The old rhymes
and sing-song melodies
distorted by the sounds
of Humpty Dumpty
and the Forest Witch.
I remember harmonies –
boys on a street-corner,
girls in the nuns’ choir,
sounds of Christmas eve
and the stories we’d tell.
I could turn up the volume,
shout back over the confusion
but the smell of water
and sight of long-tailed birds
keeps me grounded,
tuned into what’s playing
beyond the uproar,
radio station Giza
and pirate broadcasts
from the high Andes.
The ancients knew,
the voices they heard
still clear and pristine.
Just turn the knob,
tweak your dial.
There’s music playing
that all the king’s men
will never hear.



photograph by Hana El Zohiry
















Reading by author with music by Ahura


The Crossing

The call goes out
from high places
to lush valleys,
broad deserts
and tide rushing seas.
To fashion anew
from broken bones
and ash filled cauldrons,
from the sore tried hearts
and tender feelings
of so many who’ve
gone before.
This is our time,
perilous and difficult
as the Red Sea,
standing between
impassable waters
and the forces of night.
Fear not the voice rings out,
this is your day to live,
to find salvation.
Not to another world
of vain glory
and false promise
but this world
with all its imperfection,
crossing over now
to the green land
and jeweled city.
Steady your hearts
and let the peace
of the eternal flow
to open what lies
before you.
The crossing
is in your hands.



photograph by Joshua Earle

















Reading of The Crossing with music by Sting



Stand Fast

Sun glints on the broad sweeping sea,
the waters traveling in a strong tide
following the gravity of the moon.
On the earth’s surface
forces pull and people yield,
giving themselves to the urge
of the crowd, the stories
to believe and follow.
Like the old track of the moon
we’ve been trained in gravity,
in what will allow our weight
to be supported by the mass.
Shamans around the night fire,
prophets at the city gate,
warriors who know their inner hearts
and the priestesses denying vanity
know the trap and refuse
the pull of the herd.
Every truth will be found false,
every demand to follow will wither.
Ride on alone if you must,
seek the high ground
above the roaring tide,
the rock rooted deep
to the earth’s core.
Shine on like your brother sun,
humble like your sister moon.
These are the days of earthquake
and upheaval, and in these days
stand fast and be unmoved.




photograph by Sandy Brown Jensen


















Reading with music by Bob Dylan


In the Fiercest Night

The winds have laid down
after a black night howling.
I went out to the darkness
and the roaring winds calmed me.
The moon showed her face
behind racing clouds
and I was brightened by her light.
The sea pushed onto the rocks,
the sound of rushing waves
reaching deep into my heart
offering peace.
No need to remain defeated
despite how harsh
the troubles suffered.
Life will raise you up
if you speak your desire.
The dark night
and punishing wind
may frighten and roil
but that magical germ buried
deep in your bloodstream
signals your birthright
and in the fiercest night
your joy everlasting.



photograph by Edward Curtis





















Reading with music from Indigenous