To Begin

monkey jumpTo begin
requires a leaping

not a crawling,
a creeping,
nor a sleepwalking

It is said:
you get to the top of the mountain
step by precious step

It’s true – I’ve proved the theory.

But to find YOUR mountain
to decide to walk it
with the authority of your two feet

that is the Leap

and then to commit
to not returning
to the old place

So stand up and put on your jumping shoes

whether it’s a soft or hard springing board
is irrelevant
if your heart is ready:

Leap!

Leap up and lick the sky
with the genius of your tongue.

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From Root to Rising Sun


IMG_6795done with compass, chart, and map
diplomas in the ditch

throw away the lights
so colors can appear

throw away the dictionary
so what is there can be declared

the route I read runs from
root to rising sun

dirty enough to stay clean
crooked enough to clear a path
still enough to go where is needed
quiet enough to hear the fierce wind

digest the questions to percolate the answers
die enough to let them live

what could it possibly mean
to refuse?

Mary Oliver’s Truancy

FullSizeRender[1]Only record she ever broke was
for skipping school
because the Ohio hills had more to teach her than her teachers
Or her broken home
red rage running
from her dark family of things
to which she didn’t belong

Wandering the forest with Whitman
in her knapsack
hunting fish and clams
berries and words
She traveled to the moon and back
with her pencil
HER one wild and precious life

Giving the world 50,000 words
foraged from the landscape
lining the pockets of hungry souls

We now have a thousand mornings
of wild geese
and big-eyed grasshoppers
calling our soft animal bodies home
loving
on bright summer days
because of Mary Oliver’s truancy

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.”