Beside the Gray Sea

The land is wet
from last night’s rain,
the long slow drink
having eased the stress
on trees and grass,
for robins to unearth worms
from the softened ground.
Beside the gray sea
under cloud filled skies
I inhale the green world,
lungs drawing deep
amidst bird song
and rushing tide.
Come now my friend
does this not spark memory,
speak to the time
when arm in arm we walked
with no thought of separation?
Such are the rites of morning,
given to us without redress
by the fountain of the living earth.





















Reading of “Beside the Gray Sea” with music by Valentin Silvestrov


Words of Morning

Words of morning
come like light
on the water
while day awakens.
No longer in shadow
seeking and furtive,
but open as the sky
and color green,
reaching in,
flowing out,
tender as the tide
to meet you.



photograph by Louis MacKenzie



















Reading of “Words of Morning” with music by Maryliz Smith


What riders from those darkened hills,
what breaches known on once calm seas?
We journey toward unseen precipice,
entrained by soothing voices intent upon control.
In the night, waves of supplicating energy
urge us to prepare, to break the spell
and turn away from the downward spiral.
Contemplating the ritual sacrifice
practiced since ancient times upon the altars
of stone, of war and now in consciousness,
how much must be surrendered
before the incantations of the tender heart
free the restraints of blind conformity?
The voice of protest sounds within,
calling from the inner earth
with love’s magnetic impulse.
Adventure will not soothe the hunger,
nor the drug of acquiescence.
Riding the tiger of life’s passion
take heed along the watchtower of your highest vision.
Breaking scar tissue requires pain and fortitude
yet beyond heartbreak there is life,
a river to cross and green land waiting,
ripe and verdant with the fruit of your immortal soul.




photograph by Sandy Brown Jensen



















Reading of “Incantations of the Tender Heart” with music by Olga Kharitidi and Jim Wilson


Only We Can Know

for AnneMarie


The past lies in shadow
waiting for the lanterns
of our yearning,
the desire to remember
who walked before
in these footsteps.
Of course there’s a debt,
a tribute or remittance
for sacrifices made,
punishments suffered.
Their sins are bottled,
their gold in iron-bound chests;
we have our own lives
yet we are not alone.
Soulful and sentient,
we climb the hills
to dimly lit cottages
as rain falls unceasing.
Perhaps it’s time
to rescue the boy
from his isolation,
the grandmother
from her sorrow.
Only we can know
but we won’t know
until we seek
and in our seeking
there is mercy.




photograph by Javier Aragon























Reading of “Only We Can Know” with music by Patrick Ball