Tell the Truth About the Season


fall leavesIt is important to tell the truth about the season.
You can try to live summer in the winter
Or morning at midnight under the full moon
but eventually, the season is revealed.

It’s Fall.
The world takes a deeper breath
and a sacred pause

It’s raining yellow bay leaves and brown needles
in the redwoods
they’ve slipped on their autumn coats overnight
dropping yesterday
to the ground like an old story
that no longer makes sense

They know when to let go
offering the best of their beauty
as gifts to the land
and the next season,
each leaf an invitation
to follow our own turning

It’s Fall.

The world takes a deeper breath
and a sacred pause
to peer backward and forward
a moment of transition

We will harvest the things that can be harvested
But we know the things that must fall must fall
for the new ground to be prepared
with the composted remains
of what no longer serves

It’s Fall. Can we finally tell the truth about the season?

In the midst of the big race,
the world takes a deeper breath
and a sacred pause
while the leaves of the empire fall out of our hair

You know of which empire I speak
the one whose summer’s shoulders brought
great gifts: all bright and fast and furious
and juicy and sexy and convenient.
And more. It always brought more.
whether the more was what we needed or not

But it promised too much
and took too much
and now the Great Descent has commenced
the Great Unraveling has arrived

There will be a buttoning up
a shrinking of the afternoon
a shedding

It’s a moment to tell the truth about.

Perhaps we fear winter
because we don’t yet see what new spring awaits
but press your ear to the ground
of your being
and you will hear:

seeds of the new dream
already planted
in the soil of our gentle, beating hearts
seeds of belonging
planted in Deep Time

and we know
there’s no way to spring
but through the lengthening dark and cold
and wet and unknowing

Let’s tell the truth: it’s Fall.

The world takes a deeper breath
and a sacred pause
and if we allow it,
so do we


Trees Grow Out of My Body

nature heartTrees grow out of my body
I’m not sure if I planted them
or if they planted me
all I know is that
an oak tree grows behind my ears
soaking sunshine into my skull
a nut falls from my sternum
each time I take a breath
a sapling takes the space between my toes
sending roots earthward
drinking up autumn rain
into my belly
awfully cold
but refreshing
when the east wind blows
the canopy of my
my head sways gently
to the left
to the right
do you catch my drift?
buckeyes from my eyes
do you see what I’m saying?
madrones out my finger tips
do you feel me?
they must think I’m soil
and I haven’t tried to convince them otherwise

The Man With the Green Ukulele

IMG_6156This is dedicated to Wallace Stevens (inspired in part by his Man With the Blue Guitar) and this girl I used to know.

The man bent over his ukulele,
an alchemist of sorts.
The day was black

The audience said, “You have a green ukulele,
and you do not play things as they be.”

The man replied, “Things as they be are changed upon,
the green ukulele”

And they said then, “But play, you must,
a tune beyond us,
yet of ourselves as well,
a tune upon the green ukulele,
of things exactly as they be.”

“I cannot bring the world quite around,
Although I patch it as I dream.

I sing of trees at dawn, replacing night,
and by that turn black to green,
but can’t quite reach the notes to sing,
the things that merely seem,
Although I patch it as I dream.

And if to serenade almost to what seems,
is to miss, by that, things exactly as they be

Say that is the serenade
of the man with the green ukulele.”

Err on the Side of Dirt

mg_0461_s2_by_tobiasrichter-d7dvarzA wild-haired poet lives inside you

with mismatched socks

And he doesn’t really care about

how the sun looks at noon

and how smart you are

Or what your retirement plan is

He tends to err on the side of dirt

and should he dare to venture towards the sun

It’s because of the way it creates warm air to lift the feathers of winged beings

and builds green things and gently pulls them towards itself,

like Krishna and the gopi girls

Put Your Ear to the Sky

sunset-dawn-skyan awe-full silence
fills the moment
between the time
of the cold, well-done night
and the not-yet

like the space between notes
cannot be held

at that first glimpse
of pale, creeping pink
and strange orange glow
after the long, dark season
of your dreams
put your ear to the sky and listen:

bum-bump, bum-bump

the eternal spills into
the horizon
stretched like a
string about to break

bum-bump, bum-bump

the faintest of heart beats
of the world being born
once again
like the most gentle of

cracking subtly
into a precious first breath
after coma

a gasp

soon it will be
on to the next note
the full musical score of the day

but if you take it seriously
with all the joy and play
your heart can bear
the first light is all
the reminder you need

and if you blink
you’ll miss it