Diaphanous Thread

IMG_5848sometimes it’s only when
you take a walk with death
that you discover
that sacred diaphanous thread
your caked mud feet
and the golden sun

the only map you need

And looking back to survey
the territory
with its obsidian shards
and dusty
evidence of a battle
now clearly seen
with the eyes of an eagle
and the heart of a mountain
you realize the thread
is you
and has always been there


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

Where I Live

WP_20160227_009I live under a plum tree
in a butterfly nation
balancing the things that pull

watching bees dance
through the oxalis forest
until settling on
the bright purple thistle flower

I live
in a redwood grove,
dancing naked in the cold winter rain
dreaming deep time

I live
at a cold heart-shaped lake,
just past Hurricane Ridge
warmth and wisdom
returning to my bones

I live
beside a city lake,
writing the wrong things

I live
on the musical road of the north
leaving behind
a cocoon carcass
but spinning another
with silk too thick to break

I live
in limbo
with four wheels
chasing the fantasies
on the edge of the West

I live
in a room
haunted by death
under a giant live oak
not knowing where
she’ll be in the morning

I live in an attic,
waiting to see
if she’ll finally come home

I live
on a rooftop,
playing fiddle with a sunset
hearing the sound
of a world breaking

I live
in a driftwood shelter on the beach,
absorbing waves
that never cease

I live
on the shoulder of a marsh,
arguing with mosquitoes
and storylines

I live
in the guest room,
deepening friendships

I live
in a cemetery,
confronting death
so I may live

I live
in a field of rattlesnake grass,
threshed like wheat,
only kernels remain

I live
among bay laurel & madrone
and a quirky Quercus
falling asleep to owls of the old
waking up to tweets of the new

I live
on a mountain pass,
seeing where I’ve been
and where I’m going

I live in
in a red rock canyon,
descending so I may ascend

I live
on a jagged foggy sea cliff,
ebbing and flowing,
but rooted like iceplants

I live
beside a creek, naked,
cheerful banter
with a yellow warbler

I live
at the edge of an alpine meadow,
sprouting like wildflowers

I live
on a hill overlooking a bay,
gaining perspective
breakfasting with wild people

I live
on the sandy banks of the river
serenaded by frogs
and a simple flowing song
tucked in by the milky way

I live
on a pine needle carpet,
grounding groundlessness
soft and spacious

I live
on the thrilling threshold,
stepping into myth
truer than fact

The Woman Who Sings Over Bones

CizZjcGWEAAhy_AShe sees the wounded ones
and gathers up the bones
from the ground below
scattered among twigs
and ancient stones

she gathers the bones
like a bee that roams
collecting pollen from many homes
Then sowing what needs to be sown

Her pockets overflow
with bones from
creatures both known
and unknown

she sets the dead
on the altar above the hearth
and begins her song
of fire and earth

Her cupped hands hold
a delicate warmth
a most precious thing, behold:
a tiny spark forms

she breathes in slow
begins to blow
singing a charm
the red flame grows

it begins with a whisper
and ends with a roar
she sings from her heart
sings to restore:

“this passion is yours
this passion is mine
a spark of earth
a spark of life
be free
be seen
be whole
in awe
in all

some hear her spell
and return to life
their skeletal state dispelled

others have not yet grown
the ears to hear
out of fear
so remain mere bones

She smiles and asks a simple thing:
“what else is there to do,
but to love and to sing?”

Image Credit: From Art of Enchantment