Monday, October 31, 2011

The Proving Grounds

(for Frank Ritcey)

Fastened to the ledges
with nothing at all,
the rams come to the grass
windswept and willing
for thunder and bone

There on the proving grounds,
a calculated hierarchy
of seed and fury, the world bends,
tilted and heaved
under the ecstasy of thrusts

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Gap

fair-weather days and nothing
can settle in my dull head
I have vanquished the theives
with a will to steal my peace
and shove me back into the dark
and brooding pools that gather
around my feet

all about  me the spacious blue
dome of the world,
no splintered mind of too much past
and too much future
I have lived this destrcution
long enough, lingered to
to sip the bitter waters
of what cannot be undone

but nothing can last after all,
moments of presence come and go,
that place to slip into when the sailors
call to me, enter the gap, my friend,
that space between your endless thoughts

Thursday, October 20, 2011


to see a dying thing,
to know what has come before,
journeys of Life taking form
in the observed, moments
of intimate reckoning of
a world we don't understand

we come to death
with our own storied existence,
to weep, to suffer, to release
we will all know it, face to face
until a kindness touches our
own pale cheek

and in the end, there will
be something more, journeys
do not cease to be, but soar seamless
into the unseen, infinite space
that surrounds us all

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Salmon Song

They lay there hook-jawed and crimson
side by side in emerald pools
From a far away sea they came
these survivors of the silvery schools

How far they come
to love in clear water

love in clear water

Tired bodies torn and tattered
in their hidden world they do not cry
They are the progeny of a thousand years
and will sow their seeds and die

How far they come
to die in clear water

die in clear water

They lay there hook-jawed and crimson
side by side in emerald pools
From a far away sea they came
these survivors of the silvery schools

How far they come
to give life to clear water

life to clear water

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


breathe in the woods
and leave the world behind

something stings, organic blessings
of life turning inward, the slow rapture

that begs you to thrust your hands
deep into the belly of a thousand years

know that you are nothing in such certainty
but falling leaves and dreams

catch yourself worrying about a future
that can never arrive

bury yourself in the sweet decay,
roll about like a child unwed to time

get up and dance with the rules and drama,
spin them off into space

take a bow with your dirty knees
praise the scabs when you were alive

breathe in the what you lost
and shout at the moon that never left you

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Table

light so soft,
the candles steal a dozen years

music so still,
the voices trace the panes and sills

suffering surrenders
for a moment's touch

and love a sip
from the sweetest lips

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Ruined Man

He stood up from the curb
and scuffed toward me,
a ruined man cradling
convenience store coffee
in grubby outstretched hands
As if handcuffed and I held the key
Bearded and filthy and musty,
a black hole of gums
mimicking some language
Ginger-eyed like a cat,
something feral at large
in the neighbourhood
Social grace beaten back
to the primal forest
I was afraid of him,
to be infected, stricken or leapt on
But there was something else emerging,
compassion mingling like smoke
I stood there before him
holding parts of myself
like a good father touched
by the spiced eyes of a child
He spoke as a human being,
calm and eager to tell me
that he wished no money
but only to realize his dreams,
grand designs to show the world,
to prove that he had a place
as an artist among us, some measure
for his living, some purpose to appease
a life lived wrongly
But I had nothing to give him, no hope,
not a dribble of reason or counsel
Then like a fool I glanced to my watch,
a lame gesture of urgency
He seized my arm and I caught
the sun in his savage eyes,
glimpsed the farthest reaches of the Earth,
cinnamon dunes and curried seas,
those eyes that had always known
my melting in the raging fires