Precious Gift

The sun comes bright
over the awakening city
as we rise to daylight
with memories of what was,
hopes for what is yet to be.
We walk alone but not apart,
each of us cells in the larger body,
moving together despite all distance;
blood here, breath there,
taking nourishment,
releasing what’s unneeded.
It may seem wise
to believe yourself alone
but this is the origin of despair.
Remember who lives behind
those drug hollowed eyes
staring up from her sidewalk bed,
the soldiers dying in mud squalor,
the ones who answer the siren calls
in the panicked night.
You make a sacrifice for the body
or perhaps you won’t
but if you know the precious gift
join me in a prayer
for all who walk the earth
upon this sunlit morning.























Reading of Precious Gift with music by Van Morrison


Camas Waves

Camas spreads in lilac waves
beside a slack tide sea;
seals fish along the rocks,
gulls plaint their echoing calls,
songbirds sing from the thorny brush.
Snow covered peaks rise in the distance,
the sky pale blue with white clouds
barely moving in a windless sky.
Divining the peace in my heart
most of me lies below the water line
in the depth that silence brings;
part rests above in the high branches,
still as an eagle looking over the beauty
of this green island home.




















Reading of “Camas Waves” with music by Maryliz Smith


Cup of Peace

I’m up early for the hour of quiet
when the awakened earth softly steps
into the garden of becoming.
Sunlight touches the sea,
trees drink deep in the forest
and I sip on the cup of peace
offered to each searching soul
who rises with the dawn.





















Reading of “Cup of Peace” with music by Aaron Copland


Carriage of Soul

Eagles sing in the tall firs
as light bathes the island;
songbirds call out,
the air rich with music.
I’m not as quiet as the trees
though my roots sink and spread
in the web of beauty.
I tried cleansing the world
but my work was here
scraping the rust
off this carriage of soul
and filling it
with the sound of birds.























Reading of “Carriage of Soul” with music by Bill Evans


Hunger for Peace

Strong winds sway the trees
while a full moon lies hidden
behind layers of cloud.
At dawn light rain
showers the metal roof.
From a far distance
the hunger for peace
crosses the sea.
What can I do
but receive the message
and let my begging bowl
of quiet be stirred
by the morning wind.























Reading of “Hunger for Peace” with music by Taj Mahal


Open to the Stars

High up the tall mountain
a cap of glacial snow
shines bright in the setting sun.
The waters lie calm between the islands,
warm air tinged with smoke
from the fires north in Canada.
Still as a hawk, I sit studying the sea,
learning to breathe with the tide
and gather in light like the gnarled trees
that line the wind stroked shore.
I’m empty of misgiving,
releasing what’s left of vanity
like snow upon the mountain
offered to the sun.
Daylight vanishes,
the Earth continues eastward
and down upon the rough hewn rock
I lay open to the stars.



photograph by Kyle Goetsch






















Reading of “Open to the Stars” with music by Bob Dylan


As We Continue

Dolphins fish the tide line
while I drop a threaded coil
to the dark within,
my hook baited
with the worm of desire,
the waters of imagination
stirred by the cast.
You are down there
among the remembered faces
looking up to the light
that shines in darkness.
I remember your gifts –
the paper wrapped parcel
as we said goodbye,
the rosary with a silver cross,
the treasury of your open heart.
You rise for one moment
then return to the deep sea
where the beauty of so many
rests in peace
to feed the living
as we continue.




















Reading of “As We Continue” with music by Patrick Ball


She Offers Herself

Though you’ve wandered far
and forsaken the familiar,
who called you to become
like the earth long enduring?
She waits in winter dark,
alive in the night
beside wind driven seas.
She offers Herself
to all who approach Her,
a gift beyond reckoning
bittersweet and rich
with the presence
of the eternal.
























Reading of “She Offers Herself” with music by Maryliz Smith


Before the Sky Grows Dark

Massive white clouds
bank against the mountains
while a blue gray blanket
spreads over the sea.
Nootka roses bloom
as the camas wilt and fade.
The chitter of birds in the forest,
the cry of gulls across the bay
and the slow beating of my heart.
The ease of love
where Her face is unveiled
in shore grass green and yellow
waving in the ocean breeze.
Is that enough to draw you near
before the sky grows dark
and night closes in?




















Reading of “Before the Sky Grows Dark” with music by Van Morrison


On This Quiet Shore

You won’t find me in those old haunts,
the cobblestone streets above the river
where metal bridges and railroad tracks
lead to the iron bound city.
I acted the fool, irresponsible and careless,
but there was method in my madness,
following the stars and dirt roads
to be with wild geese and towering trees.
In the distance fog banks cover the mainland,
ferries sound their deep throated warnings
yet here on the island the skies are clear
and a great orange sun brightens the land.
I couldn’t scrape the city clean
nor my own heart on those unforgiving streets
but I’ve found a home on this quiet shore,
swept by the tide and ocean wind.
The grass is soft and night skies dark
while into the silence the old songs rise
with a place for you beside the fire.





















Reading of “On This Quiet Shore” with music by Boccherini