Thursday, March 31, 2011


turn like suppliants
and bow before the vital sphere
laden with yesterday's rain
and colour that seems
not at all from God's hands
but by some form
of shop floor contrivance

Yellow so natural
and pure,
as if by our own hands
and self-absorption
have lent paint to the world
to satisfy our drab desperation

In the artificial collective
we need not experience
the luminous flare of petals directly
but duplicate the marvel
and give meaning to beauty
in the foresaken vases of institutions

Do daffodils know their own loveliness,
their true natures
and the ordered columns
of nodding heads
and the perfume
of exquisite pleasure that they are,
that is their essence,
their gift?

And the answer is
to know them,
breathe them
and thank them
for the realization of seduction
and the immediate recognition of perfection,
the absolute attainment
of being without judgement

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Indian Plum

Rising from the stark days
in the sleeping woods
the mint green leaves
emerge like wings
between the eclipse of winter
and the teasing spring

Squeeze the soft down
between fingers,
inhale the essence
like honey from a spoon,
bow before the nodding flowers
too small to cherish in a vase,
purity and white

Know the sanity of sunlit moods
and the melody of wrens
praising the swell of life
and the sacrament of purpose
that fills the empty spaces

Hear the lyrics of your sadness
like voices from a stream,
lean to the feral gardens
and to the stories
unfolding in wedded rhymes,
awaken and be pleased

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Return

I long to reach my home and see the day of my return.
It is my never-failing wish.

- Homer, The Odyssey

Set sail for the far shore
in the windless night,
be afraid until the sun finds you
wanting nothing but a breeze

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something About Water

It seeks us out
to balance the hard
work of our lives,
sets it all right
as if it knows
that our peace and innocence
rests in the still depths
and has always been

We stand before it
like a child with a boat,
willing to set sail
and marvel at the reddening
that gathers dreams

The currents of despair,
longing and redemption
will toss us all about,
fling us upon the stoney shore
until we plumb the waters
one more time and remember
the salt in our tears

Monday, March 21, 2011

Deka Lake

They greet us at the door
with their good dog and warm
their grandson's wonder with a story 
of ospreys and eagles,
a moose on the road into town
They take it all in and remember
that it belongs to them

The sweet pine drift and that cool
sting in the nose, forest smells
and what the world sounds like when
everything has stopped, birds and the wind,
songs of the earth they haven't
heard since the last time

There is exploration where everything
is green and bursting, paintbrush
and columbine and lupine,
rein orchid by the burning barrel
and at dinner more stories,
gifts of the storyteller
and rhubarb pie from the one
who holds it all together

The lake is idle and the boat
is tied to the dock with easy knots,
fishing rods awaiting their glorious hands
but the fish don't know yet, rainbows
and lake trout and kokanee,
know nothing of a boy's eagerness
Still they look up to see how the loons
run down the lanes until their far-back feet
leave the tension of water

Hotdogs roasted on sticks at the firepit,
a sizzle and blister then buns and mustard,
nothing ever tasted so good with a view
that looks over the lake and eternity

In the end there is goodbye
and they turn in the window
to see them one last time with the lake
behind them, as solid as anything
they will ever know
I sound the horn at our special place
and they know it belongs to them

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Divides

when there is only black and white
justice must search out the shadows
for dead reason, peril to the unwary

the lines of separation define
nothing but the adjudicator of polarities

look closer and see the colours
that run like blood between us all,
tones and shades and prisms
reflecting one whole world,
infinite and varied and splendid

we are a tapestry, a unified spectrum
of uncountable truths where justice
serves the tenets of compassion, the one
indivisible presence

Monday, March 14, 2011


a childhood memory of an evening song,
caroling Peterson called it,
he knew of such things

and the sublime shape
all proportion and balance,
slaty perfection and terracotta,
brick-red in the mountain ash
with its freeze-dried berries,
a heady fruit for the good flocks
that come to gorge and pose

how they work the lawns
in the spring with that tilting eye
and still circumspection
then the hurried march - repeating
stabbing the earth and rearing back,
pulling a worm much too big
for its gape, a cartoon extravaganza

so close to us, just look out the window
you can see them everywhere when
the weather chimes a new beginning,
a comfort to us when lost and uncertain,
robins singing the praises of their short lives
when the world forgets such things

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Language of Trees

reach with your limbs
hold up the sky
you are my arms

rooted to the earth
against eternity
you are my legs

bend in the wind
never will break
you are my resilience

a song in the crowns
the melody of history
you are my keeper

a breath for you
is a breath for me
you are my life

a thousand years to grow
a minute to die
you are my legacy

the wail of your fall
a weeping in the forests
you are my language

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I sat with you for the first time
in the light of an alien shore

I loved you more just then
with your whispers and prayers
when you looked up to see her
streaming through the high-up glass

And the things that you show me
without words is a grace that breaks my heart

We both lost someone and the world
knows of such things, what dies
and what is revealed, how I can hold
your hand that once held me

A father teaches his son how to cry in the end

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Last Cold Days

There is something in the thicket,
beating hearts quiver
in the last cold days

A snowflake cannot find its place

Ice on the lakes pull away from the shore

Buds swell like a rising love

Birdsong has no motive,
only the faint hope of renewal

And the cat knows that yearning
but cares not for the rise and fall of nations
or foot prints on the moon

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Cost of Oil

The river moves over the old stones
and sings to my world

I will not listen

I will not pray for the brown eyes
who cast their hearts into the riffles

I turn away when they come to bless
the crooked fish

I will not recognize a thousand years
because I spit into the green pools

I do not know the poverty
that makes them stand beside me

The river moves over the old bones
and the melodies are dying

I will not see

I do not see my reflection
or the sheen of my recklessness

The river moves

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


the day ends
and the world
is liquid behind
my eyes

the dreamer
finds his place
where faces change
like shattered suns

if I open my eyes
and I am alone,
kiss me before I find
you out and die

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


What is empty of all reason
is what brings a man to his knees,
the cold blade against his throat
when he asks the world to help him
wash the blood from the streets

he is cut open

as he holds his children so
that they may see the end of
fear and the beginning of free
uncertainty that has no death

she is cut open

as she stares into our rooms
with her hand out as they shoot
her brother in the head,
standing still, brother and sister

they are cut open