Walking Hand in Hand

Between the storms
thick clouds break
to reveal patches of blue
and light to the east.
The sound of the wind
diminishes to near quiet
leaving an absence to the ear,
a sense of what is coming.
We confirm with our eyes
yet it is the invisible wind
that moves the sea,
the ubiquitous spirit
that supports all living.
From the depth of darkness
and morning light,
in the rushing wind
and touch of the eternal
there is the power
to bridge despair.
The sea will part
despite our trailing enemies
and threats of impending doom.
We may lean on the staff of faith,
footsteps guided by an inner compass
centered in Zion and certain of Eden
as we walk hand in hand through the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Walking Hand in Hand” with music by Steve Earle.

 


Campground of His Ancient Home

Digging through the underbrush
he cut his way through thorns
to the clean swath of river.
Guarded by boulders
and shear stone walls
the blue green water
flowed protected and fast.
He laid down on the gravel beach
and drank from the river,
his thirst of many miles
defeating all ceremony.
In the far distance
he heard Grandfather’s
hi yoka hey calling to him
and the sound of Grandmother’s rattle.
He had come so far to meet them again,
to sit in their cornmeal circle
and know the truth of his battered spirit.
A cool wind blew down the canyon
refreshing his washed face,
causing him to look up
to the distance he had yet to go.
All doubt was gone
for he could hear them calling
and picking up his worn pack
he set off, gamboling the boulders,
ready to strike through any barrier
for the campground of his ancient home.

 

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Campground of His Ancient Home” with music by Little Wolf

 


Hooked to Bedrock

Gray seas reflect the cloud filled skies
as autumn light begins to fade
along the northwest coast.
Winter cold is settling in;
winds increase into light gales
with only gull and crow
flying above the shore.
I draw in with the forest,
letting my soul find warmth
by the inner fire
as winter opens its story
without remorse or prejudice.
Shingles have blown from the roof,
a few windows crack
yet the four corners are strong,
the house unmoved.
Put your faith on the shifting tide
or far off horizon on summer days
but within the arms of winter
better to find your footing on stone,
hooked to bedrock like the old juniper,
shriven and worn by many years
while holding the grace of life
for the thankful earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Hooked to Bedrock” with music by St. Petersburg Chamber Choir

 


Storing Honey

Quiet and still
the island rests,
summer’s movement
on land and sea
abated by the cool air
and shortened days.
Breathing in moisture,
exhaling in rhythm
with the trees,
I slow my desire
for motion and sound.
Layered like clouds
and deep as the mountain,
the one life will find me
at peace with the giants
beneath the earth,
storing honey in my soul
from the waning light
as the land turns down
into autumn.

 

 

 

photograph by Willard Walch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Storing Honey” with music by Ry Cooder and Ali Farka Toure

 


Time of Descent

Darkened clouds cover the valley,
welcome rains arriving
with the turn of season.
Gently comes the fall
as vibrant green fades
into russet and gold,
a quiet time, not a death,
a time of shedding leaves
and descent into root.
Even the old growth must yield,
allowing life force the way back
to the benevolent earth
where wisdom lies deep and still.
When we let go we fall
into arms of belonging,
embracing root and darkness
and the germs of new life
that await our resting souls.

 

 

 


photograph courtesy of Thomas Kast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Time of Descent” with music by Jay Ungar