Path to Totality

eclipse public domain imageFor a single shadowy moment
we gather under one big sky

as the munificent star
that feeds us all
plays cosmic hide and seek
with grandmother moon
and all her earthly relations

stirring cottonwood leaves
with a chilly morning breeze
and tricking birds into nightsong
as the light fades

the silence of
a sacred pause
falls upon the land

perhaps for a moment
we forget all the lies
that divide us

on our path to totality

as we gather under
the one big sky

No Lies On The Mountain

 

WP_20130604_020On the mountain
there’s no sales pitch
ego, image, or lies

the rain is wet
the sun is hot
snow is cold
rock is hard

things are what they are

You can’t change it
nor doesn’t want to change you
It’s implacable
yet not stubborn
It doesn’t tell you what to do
or what to be

which means who you are
arises unadorned
like shards of obsidian
out of the earth

The mountain is one giant rock,
one impenetrable I AM
whose body consists of
a billion and one different I AMs
of every possible hue, shape, and texture,

And is that not the way of all things?

The mountain supports your every step
meeting you where you are
it pounds you with every step
meeting you where you are

Rocks refresh you
with their smooth, cool morning faces
and burn you
with their sharp, afternoon tongues

Rocks appear as hearts
and daggers pointed at your heart

Stones lift your sorrows
with their strong shoulders
and can crush your limbs and spirit
with their unrelenting severe gravity

Rocks feed your body and soul,
but as much as you try
you cannot drink a rock,
any more than you can drink
the sweet western wind at dusk

The mountain is not your ally
nor is it your enemy
it just is

how refreshing

(Photo is looking south at Guitar Lake from the approach to the summit of Mt. Whitney)

Sacred Mountain Dust

sunset_lake_mountain_scenery_landscape_nature_water_natural-1350240.jpg!dWho has the ears to hear
your sagebrush story
of death and rebirth
growing in your gut
as the world rolls on?

Who has the time for
a mountain moon coyote
howling in your bones
as the world floats on by?

Who can feel the warmth
of a juniper bark fire still blazing
beneath your breastbone
as the world turns?

Who has the eyes to see
the wild paw prints still
tracking across your heart
as the world races into the future?

Have all the sharp voices yet
drowned out that clarion call
clear as the morning star
pulling up the sun?

Have all the rough rags
of the routine already
washed you clean of your
sacred mountain dust?

Or does a little speck remain?

Does a bright song abide
within the heartbeat
of your delicious desert dawn?

If so, let it be the seed note
of your magnificent symphony
sprouting through the
concrete of the world
as it pours itself along your path

Desert Vows

Inyo_Mountain_WildernessThe ceremony really begins
when tears
of remorse
fall into the desert dust

like a long-awaited thunderstorm
releasing all the heavy, old stories

and ends with tears
of joy
swelling like the waxing moon

which is how Life
committing to itself
looks on the face

Why some take a wedding walk
and others a funeral march

is not for humans to know

Anointed with essential oils
and wearing a desert gown
some hold hands with themselves
carrying a bouquet of sagebrush and mormon tea

Anointed with blood and sweat
and wearing a torn mountain cloak
another holds hands with death
and a bouquet of heart-shaped rocks

The Great Inyo sun shines on both
with equal regard
the great witness
to the vows

which are the same for all:

Thou shall not abandon thyself

Do you take this Beloved,
lovely creature of the earth
to have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do us part?

and with an exchange
known only in the bones
of the land
and the wellspring of the heart

the Yes
is born
once again

Tender Beauty of the Breakdown

IMG_4895The sacred mountain is calling

‘Tap, tap,’
the bell beneath the breastbone beckons:

“Come, be naked and empty
under the big hard sun
stretching horizon to horizon
of your true home.

Dive deep into the Great Inyo Sea
into the mariana trench
of your unadorned self.

Crack
like scorched soil
ready to receive

Die to all the worlds
to which you don’t belong,
leaving them to drift in the sage wind
of the high desert
as offerings to the land.

Cherish the tender beauty of the breakdown
the sweet beauty of the rebirth.”