Something Sturdier Than Shiny Hope

painting-with-light-1044985_960_720I’m not going to speak of shiny hope
it has troubled us for too long
tripping us down the stairs
leaving the bruises that stick around
——-
we want to jump over truth straight to hope
that we bought in the marketplace of shadows
that’s why it has no legs
and will collapse as soon as it gets out of bed
———
we can’t get there without touching the ground

let’s stop jumping
start crawling
stop running
start digging
stop chasing
start creating

and then, if grief and all its cousins
should arrive
embrace them like long lost loved ones
——
When the lights turn off
will we stumble
or will we have learned to believe
in our own breathe
and the dirt under our feet?
will we have practiced how to say hello?
——
we need something sturdier than shiny hope
exchange it
for the eyes of your own dawn
looking earth in the face
saying, “I remember you”
—-
mix the kernel of your true heart
a spark in the vastness
with the clay of where you live
deep with dreams

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Loyal to the Earth

IMG_6219I want my words to be loyal to the earth

a celebration
like the spots on a fawn
prancing through new pine
or a new dawn dancing past the night

I want my words to be as soft as a bunny’s butt
and feather grass
smooth as madrone skin
a woman’s inner thigh

Yet also, I want them to be as hard as wild walnuts
tough as granite breaking feet
and egos
deadly serious like a lightning strike splitting spruce
climate chaos
carrying away the normal
on waves beyond control
as prickly as a yellow jacket
or poison oak, that’ll leave you itching for weeks

Words that wake you up
like a cold splash of mountain creek on your morning face

I want them to lead you gently into the arms of your DreamGiver
an owl’s hoot under dark skies

But also startle the rut mind
like a buck launching from the brush
Or a bright red snow plant popping up among the ice cups
in the fir forest,
an eager phallic invitation to Spring

a surprise double rainbow after the thunder storms,
when “OMFG!” seems the right response

I want my words to be stained purple from picking wild blackberries
and juicy plums in June,
Or sexy like a peach rose opening
borage bringing all the bees to the yard

I want them to allow the wind to blow through
its invisible currents carrying secret scents
tickling the hair on your forearms

above all, I want them to grow from the soil,
telling truth, loyal to the earth

 

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

Forest Poet

forest poetThey’re casting for the role of forest poet

I wanna play the part
weaving words like vines
that look into the face of love and fear
among the redwood trees

it’s only slightly mad

not on any high school
career-planning curriculum
college major quiz
or drop-down menu

I wanna play the part
of the forest poet

have morning tea
with animal allies
and titillating conversations
with flowing creeks

Notice how the light
and shadow dance together
playing tricks
on the leaves of
unfurling ferns

compose poems
as medicine
for a world caught up

a bit strange
they say

stranger than sports fans rioting
black friday madness
or making gas-powered leaf-blowers,
landmines,
or little plastic scented trees for cars?

so let others play the part of
politician, programmer,
engineer, janitor,
office manager, military officer,
designer, carpenter,
athlete, mailman,
gadget-maker.

They’ve all got their place.

It’s just that I wanna play the part
of the forest poet

I wonder, is it needed any less?

Knock on the Moon (Full Moon #6)

IMG_4305Once more I step into the sky
and knock on the moon:

“Knock Knock.”

“Anybody home?”

“Would you like to come out and play?”

No answer

Turns out there’s no door on the moon
Number of entry points: zero
Only craters that masquerade as doors

the moon is a unified solid mass
a moving mystery
who reveals herself in phases

And bereft of water

That’s what the earth is for
and why it is misnamed:
should be called Planet Water

Do you ever wonder what would happen if
some stray drop of water
from an earthbound tide
would be drawn to orbit
and slowly seep into a tiny crack in the surface
and find its way downward
into the heart of the moon?

where a memory of that ancient collision
remains buried in the bones of her lunar body
that awful planetary cataclysm that birthed her
and split the primordial union with her mother?

It’s amazing how long a hard rock
can go without water

It’s amazing what water can do
given enough time

For now, a crater is as deep as one can go
with no doorways to knock upon