Remembered Green Glory

Great beasts devour
the nourishment
where thought is born
on rivers of darkness.
Warriors of the slender arrow
thrive there in beauty,
and refuse the poison flower.
They map the Dog Star
in the night sky above
and the journey of Earth
through dark and light.
From above and below
wisdom guides them,
beyond broken forests
to the open savannas
of remembered green glory.

 

 

photograph by Willard Walch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Remembered Green Glory” with music by Tinariwen.


 


Then We Will Not Speak

After the storms pass
and the hungry ones
driven from their feed,
the humble will wait
in the calm sloughs
of spring beauty,
ready to rise
from the slack water
of mediocrity.
There you will find me
sore boned and broken,
returned from the
battlefields of poetry.
Then we will not speak
nor write a single word
for on that surging tide
silence will prevail.

 

 

photography by Kevin Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Then We Will Not Speak” with music by Norm Smookler.


 


Rebuilding the Ancient City

Don’t mistake the rain soaked valley
with hard paved streets,
people entranced by things.
Below the cracked sidewalks
roadside trees push out their roots,
thickening, lengthening
until with the strength of water
they shatter their carapace.
Beneath the concrete skin
arteries pump with life,
microbes teem and swirl
rebuilding the ancient city
with unseen magic.
Upside down the tree of life
grows into the earth,
spreading branches
and flowering the fruit
known long ago as knowledge
to rise in the mountains
and be read leaf by leaf
by the shaven monks
of eternity.

 

 

photograph by Dennis Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Rebuilding the Ancient City” with music by Nicolas Jaar.


 


Superhero Gone Dark

It won’t take long
to remove the broken,
clean the streets
and fill the sidewalks
with carefree shoppers.
We can go about our business
dressed for joy, overlooking
the monsters in Italian suits,
shoes perfect for brushing
the unwanted to the curb.
Down in the sewers
a masked man toils,
superhero gone dark.
He drinks from broken pipes,
gathering rats under his flowing cape
to strike the thieves eating pigs and cattle.
Barnyards erupt with cries for freedom
and along the rain filled gutters
the unwashed flash the sign for Batman.

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Superhero Gone Dark” with music by Miles Davis.


 


Beneath the Forest Dark

The other world signals
with blankets of snow,
quieting the noise
in moments of peace.
Not to be outdone
cars roar back to life
and the search for joy
resumes at full throttle.
While contemplating
the last threads of night
the other world continues
long after our meander
and the broken pieces
of our perfect egg
are laid to rest
beneath the forest dark.
There the value of kindness
is priced against the market
and the value of the market
is found to be zero.

 

 

photograph by Adrianna Carr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Beneath the Forest Dark” with music by Kiev Chamber Choir.


 


First to Feast

Iron morning, steel gray skies,
crows on the rooftops.
I’m not seeking, only waiting,
pressed under winter’s hand.
I eat and drink with silent armies,
tent fires burning shards of dream.
The care to remember creaks
open and shut like a rusty gate
as ghosts pass to receive forgiveness
from the popes of deception. On and on
lyrics drone with instruments
of mindless youth and bitter age.
In the cacophony a soloist remembers
the resurrection and with plaintive sound
trembles the dark cave, awakening
a starving bear. With low growl I race him
to the door and become the very first
to feast on light.

 

 

photograph by Jim Frid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “First to Feast” with music by Ben Berkenbosch.


 


Dark Heaven

Morning rises
under clouded skies,
the longest night passed
in the slow turn
toward brighter days.
Aldebaran leads Orion
through the winter arc
as I pursue the star within
on the long road leading home.
Be of good faith my friend,
though we have far to travel
we are connected however distant,
following a light in the dark heaven.

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Dark Heaven” with music by Gustave Mahler, Symphony #4.


 


Words of the Disciple

The tangle of roots in mud and clay
hold the impossible height
swaying above the rooftops.

 

I burrow down in what’s left
of imagination, clawing through
wires and pipes to the soil past grief,
finding a grip in the broken clods
of thankfulness

 

to recall your face, your name,
the years when strength was real.

 

I fought the greater force and lost
though you’d never tell by the smile
I wear like a medal of honor
from the wars of insanity.

 

Grace can be forgotten
but the slender threads
of love’s splendid garment,
torn and spoiled with mud
will not be undone.

 

With arthritic hands
I reach out in morning light,
caress the dawn as it gifts the sky.

 

Scatter my ashes below the evergreen,
let me be food for the gnarl of roots
and from the darkest earth let me rise,
let me rise.

 

 

photograph by Louis MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Words of the Disciple” with music by Van Morrison.


 


Still Point

Quietly he gathers attention
to the still point within,
a candle flame brightening
the inner sanctuary
where life force pulses.
His roots of awareness
drink deeply of the sacred
as prayers for peace
suffuse the sentient world
turning now to greet
the new earth dawn.

 

 

photograph by Brenda Jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Still Point” with music by Vivaldi, Violin Concerto with Itzhak Perlman


 


Original Intent

After the burden of travel
I return to the evergreen valley
with winter light along the rim.
Without wonder the soul becomes weary,
needing the air that stirs the high trees,
cleansing the passages clogged
by the dull weight of repetition.
One lightning stroke of imagination
and the body, racked by the failure to love,
comes alive with original intent,
tearing down the fences of ignorance,
clawing through the debris of vanquished beauty
to the dawn horizon opening in the eastern sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading of “Original Intent”