Troubles are the Rocks

When dark gives way to day
and the city stirs
with the sound of machines,
I pause and take inventory.
Considering the peace I foster
and the good fight
that has its rewards,
I ponder my stream
in the river of life.
Troubles are the rocks
by which the river sings,
the pebbles of my years
adding to the joy and sorrow,
the poignant music
flowing in these winter days
to the gathering sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Troubles are the Rocks” with music by the Celtic & Irish Folk Wanderers

 


Empty Bowl

There are things I want to give you
that I forget at the sight of your handsome face,
so mature yet tender to the world that’s coming.
No one can spare you heartbreak
or bring the joy that you deserve
so I sit here with my empty bowl,
filling it slowly, drop by drop,
for the days when you will thirst.

 

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Empty Bowl” with music by Andrey Korolev

 


In the Unknown Distance

It’s not a wide path
and it’s not straight.
Thorns and underbrush
tear at your clothing,
the ground rough with stones,
in some places bog.
Once in a while
you break out
to the bend of a river
where you stand clear
on a cobbled beach
or on the tip of a ridge
where the surround
of mountains
and forest green
come into view.
Those are moments of joy
and you store them
like dried fruit
in the depth of your pack.
Then you walk on,
not looking back,
with faith that somewhere
in the unknown distance
the village of belonging
will welcome you home.

 

 

photograph by Brenda Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “In the Unknown Distance” with music by Bonnie Raitt

 


For I Am Water

Tall firs alive with wind
as crows circle in the gray sky
and morning rises.
What strength of root
for those green sails to wave,
their masts held stable in the ground.
I hang on with aging roots,
the soil around me without comfort,
knowing my time may have passed
and I a ghost left above ground.
Cautious of becoming bitter,
acidic to the green world,
I grow quiet, dissolved in silence.
Then like a branch lifted by the wind,
I understand my errors are become
the roots that will hold me,
sorrow the knowing of the river,
how it rises and falls yet moves on.
I remember springs in the mountain cleft,
shining brown rocks where I stepped and fell.
The soft spread of green where creek joined river,
then the mile wide flow toward ocean sound.
There is no stopping, only the slow bending curve,
the high bar of gravel, for I am water
and where the river goes, I go,
onward to the welcoming sea.

 

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “For I Am Water” with music by R. Carlos Nakai