Second Birth

Christmas 2022


In the season of snow
I pull against the restraint
of weary nights and biting air,
looking out across the valley
at the towering firs,
green against gray morning skies.
Crows gather on the hill top
in chestnut and gum trees
stripped for winter vigil.
Feeling more tree than mortal
I reach out to the wet earth,
gain purchase in the soil
and from dark root strength
lift each branch toward light.
Suddenly I’m airborne,
soaring into the beyond.
Mineral and animal yet
with spirit woven in my wings:
the joy to rise, a weightless grace
and a second birth of holiness
on this Christmas morning.



photograph by Thomas Kast

















Reading of “Second Birth” with music by Vince Guaraldi




Santa Shaman

Under steel gray blankets
the land rests,
soaked in winter rain
as cold air cleanses
the approach to solstice.
Santa shaman
roams with reindeer
in starry night skies,
drops through smoke holes
to deliver his gifts.
Not for gain this season
but surrender to darkness,
the terror of our souls
silenced and stilled.
On this night
the wondrous approaches,
softened to kindness
by immortal birth.



photograph by Louis MacKenzie


















Reading of “Santa Shaman” with music by Angelo Badalamenti


Instead She Flowers

Autumn sweeps the laden trees,
spreading treasure on the ground
we cart off to a distant mill.
The soil aches for return
of what began in spring
and came to summer fullness.
You’d think the earth
would long ago surrender
but instead she flowers,
rising from meagre dirt
to fill the sky with color.
So down I go to feed the dark
bereft of autumn gold,
hungry for the nourishment.



photograph by Jack Leishman

















Reading of “Instead She Flowers”


Treasure of the Forgotten

Inner life is a tiny gear
in the machinery of the world.
Many perform in the factory,
giving themselves to production,
the wheels of commodity and exchange.
Yet in silence there are messages
meant only for the soul,
hieroglyphics that speak to the destiny
of the wanderer who is not lost.
On Cold Mountain there flows a stream
turbulent and vital over ancient stones.
Surrendering vanity you come upon poems
written on water and the long suffering earth.
Your legacy may be lost, your wealth dissolved,
but on those sharp edged slopes,
in that round roofed sanctuary,
lies the treasure of your forgotten Self.




photograph by Alexander


















Reading of “Treasure of the Forgotten” with music by Mikko Hilden