NO LONGER HERE

BF023298-E638-4D0D-BD69-D4F196FAC58CThose birds I still hear?
Those birds are no longer here

We’ve taken all their homes, I fear

(Feathered songs for which I long
Each day one more gone)

Those stars we no longer see?

They too have disappeared by degrees
behind our screens of light they flee

(Fire songs, for which I long
Each day one more gone)

Vast silences no longer heard
They’ve gone with all the birds
Replaced by all the noise and words

(Quiet songs for which I long
Each day one more gone…
gone)

Invitation

E3E975F4-4E37-41AC-8E35-C86E1ED8EFF5Did you grow a new bird, forest?

Or you bird, did you sprout a new song

Throwing spring melodies into the late winter day?

Are you a message from that savior, Change, or a ringing
from my dreaming blood?

The birds and first bees cast their innocent and dangerous invitation:

Come and play, track
your labyrinthine questions
through the lambent turn of the season.

Alliterate your arriving with your own alluring lure.

DON’T FOLLOW ME

433C3A84-97D4-4644-8329-7CC2D1D5F465I can show you where the old oak lives
but not what dialect is spoken there.

For that, you must sit
and be a friend.

The canyon I fell into
and climbed back out of
is mine, not yours.

The up and the down of it
are well-earned creases
in my palms and around my eyes
like companions on the pilgrimage.

But they are not your ups
and downs.
Your canyon sings different songs.

Don’t follow me. Don’t
follow me into the silent cave
or over green valleys with falcon eyes.

Follow your own bird in your own sky.
Carve your own cave and grab your ears.

Do you think I alone know the sharp cry
from its beak, or how it flies
with that great soft stretch of wing?

Do you think I know better than you?

If today is not the day
to trust your ancient whispers,
when is?

HERE YOU CAN LAUGH IN FEBRUARY

078423B7-B365-4E70-B78B-3931A5746861Here you can laugh in February
the unexpected is to be expected—
a midnight creature leaves
bay nuts for you
and the creek is singing for its supper

woodpeckers and owls
tell you what time it is
but what about the new birds
that weren’t here in dark December?

You might think that February
is dreaming spring,
the equinox on her mind.

It’s easy enough to do
but not to get ahead of ourselves
is a good morning task—
February is dreaming February.

The season is laughing
stinging nettles
and coughing up hail

The month is grinning meadow flowers as pink ox eyes at dawn

and yes, a yellow saluting
affirmation of the still slanting sun
inching higher in the sky
day by day by day
like a toddler learning to stand

urging the arroyo willow
and wild currants
to see who can bud best
by the end of the month.

No, I’m not opposed to opening
my sun-starved belly to it all
skin smiling wildly
with mild stone fruit
freely singing its scent
into the canyon breeze
breathing.

Breathing
like only this season can

so see it while you can:

a one-tree performance
of Pink Petal Extravaganza
as the western wind applauds
and kicks his heels up
to play the eucalyptus
like a harp
and runs his fingers through
Cedar’s long hair
when he really gets aroused

and they seem to like being tickled in that way
letting out a moan
now and again
as if stretching for the first time.

It gives one ideas
on a February morning
here in the Nearby Faraway
which is not unlike a thousand
other mornings
that have come before
and will come after.

But it is.

Bright and Awful Symphony of Things

From an ancient spruce these poemlets float
like a black flock
writing sleet-soaked secrets
in the silvery winter sky

Faster than sound, they chirp
A slickening thunder woven
with a frightening light
so close even your cloven bones
run up a lucky tree seeking shelter
called love,
fearful of getting struck

But it’s no use—
The tree conspires with the throat of the birds
whose wild words
are wrapped in a destiny
in which there is no safety zone

So you might as well loose your copper raptor
into the moonlit night unknown
and soar beside them
stretching your thirsty ears on their lambent wings

And lend your glistening feathers
to the bright and awful symphony of things

The Undressed Yes

C70A0DB7-5469-42A0-BBB4-115EFBE81808Today I post my 500th poem on Rumi and The Shadow! I can hardly believe it. 

I dedicate this poem to my Inner Beloved and Rainbow Eagle.
__________________________________________________

For the No, I’ll stay restrained
Remaining all the same old strange
But for the Yes that feels fleshed
I’ll be the New that’s oddly blessed

For the Yeses that are weak
I’ll be the claw, I’ll be the beak
Pecking at the no’s and nots
Tearing all those noisy knots

For the Yes that is still stuck
I’ll take my talons, rip it up

But for the unbridled Yes
I’ll chirp like the firstly bird
Singing up the morning light
Until the thing itself takes flight

For the undressed Yes indeed
I’ll beat every wing in me
With all my rainbow feathers flocking
Giving all my hearts to hawks

And for the best and brightest Yes
I’ll be the falcon fearless flying
I’ll be the eagle eye so keen
And soar the Greatest Show yet seen