Always Coming and Going


Here is the next installment of my Haiku project.

(I’ve  been immersing myself in the Japanese masters, Issa, Bashō, Buson, Shiki. The haiku form is deceptively simple–more difficult than it appears, if you want to abide by some traditional conventions. My goal is to birth a total of 107 Forest Haikus and mini ‘zen’ poems over the winter, sharing in groups of 5-10.)

Can’t make up her mind
Always coming and going
Winter sister moon
Hey Mister laurel!
Keep an eye on my bedroom
I’m going moon-gazing
Traveled so far, then
Got tangled up in the pines
Mountain mistiness
On the mountain top
Forgot to pack my breakfast
But not my ego
New season, new menu:
Moss and newts, mushrooms and slugs 🐌
Prices are the same
Slightest western breeze
Brings these marooned maroon nuts
To the cold ground: “Whop!”
After three days rain
Put out shirts and solitude
to dry in the sun
Lavender dawn:
Wonder whose it is?
When did you arrive?
I’ve been here the whole night long,
Winter web spinner
Hazy winter sun
Issa makes a good pillow
Basho a footrest


Once I Cursed the Dawn

sunrise-1513732_1280Once I cursed the dawn
—waking wickedly—
for stealing
my dreams away

Once I praised the dawn
—sighing smilingly—
for chasing my nightmares away

Then, one dawn
I awoke without a whisper
nor curse or praise
dripping from my lips
But sat sittingly
setting three cups out
on the BigDreamTable
for my guests, invitingly

Now, I awaken wingédly
tasting tea with the dawn
and the dreams
and the nightmares —all of a piece
with me and my sittingness—
strangely entangled
upon a morning
met morningly:

closed mouth
open hands

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

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

Mud Green Flowing

Every week or so I harvest a few of the micropoems I wrote that week, often inspired by nature or writing prompts (such as @Microprompt and @WrittenRiver, or my own new @NaturePrompt, on Twitter).

img_2896My creek overflows
from mad rivers in the sky
on loan to the earth
for a while
everything is mud
and green
and flowing
my three favorite species

We run free
in the pine grove
among abandoned farm equipment
no time exists
only play
with frolicking raccoons
sharing secrets with
sunset bats and possum people

the trail unfolds meanderingly
for days
until something ancient awoke
in me, shouting
“I am mammal
clear & bright
made to move”

I never could
draw a dream
but that’s ok
because I have
and the space between them
holds them up
like an offering

At this hour
before he who wakes us
opens his eye on the world
nothing has yet stirred
a moment of repose
the source of the ten thousand things
crisp silence
ripe stillness
will carry me through
the doing of the day