Liberation by June

IMG_0295“Liberation is not something
you just mark on a google calendar,”
I said

when she announced that she was going
for liberation by June
by any means necessary.

An ambitious witch
if I ever did see one.

Can it be climbed like some Mt. Freedom
one foot in front of the other
up the meandering trail
like some peak you bag?

“Well, if it can be done
you’ll do it.”

She caught the virus
from some poet
with head in the clouds
and feet in the mud.

“Watch out,” she said,
“liberation might be contagious.”

“I will. But surely you need the proper gear,”
I said.

“A map, good boots, and a compass at minimum.
What are you packing?”

“I’ve got my own map
and inner compass,” she said,
“but it’s what I’m not packing
that matters most.”

And she pointed to the floor
where all the things she left out
of her pack lay in a slapdash pile:

Dried Guilt
Instant Shame
A big bag of cannots
and several packages
of Others’ Voices

“I’m going light-weight this year.”


Walking Womad

IMG_5896This is dedicated to my beautiful mountain friend, Cat, who I’m thinking about as she embarks on a major surgery today. Sie ist eine wahrer WeltenWanderer und eine wunderbar Wilde Frau!

When she speaks
you hear it
because it jumps
from the center of her chest
straight to your own

eyes beaming
fierce love
like a wildcat
sweet light
in the darkness

having walked the wilderness
her scars
are strong like her memories of
the highest passes
flowing through her blood
and bones

anchoring her

as she climbs yet one more
mountain today

in her favorite season
when she can
be with her bees
and their liquid sunshine
and caress that first little pumpkin
in her late summer harvest

#behumanstaywild #shehasthebesthashtagsever

No Lies On The Mountain


WP_20130604_020On the mountain
there’s no sales pitch
ego, image, or lies

the rain is wet
the sun is hot
snow is cold
rock is hard

things are what they are

You can’t change it
nor does it want to change you
It’s implacable
yet not stubborn
It doesn’t tell you what to do
or what to be

which means who you are
arises unadorned
like shards of obsidian
out of the earth

The mountain is one giant rock,
one impenetrable I AM
whose body consists of
a billion and one different I AMs
of every possible hue, shape, and texture,

And is that not the way of all things?

The mountain supports your every step
meeting you where you are
it pounds you with every step
meeting you where you are

Rocks refresh you
with their smooth, cool morning faces
and burn you
with their sharp, afternoon tongues

Rocks appear as hearts
and daggers pointed at your heart

Stones lift your sorrows
with their strong shoulders
and can crush your limbs and spirit
with their unrelenting severe gravity

Rocks feed your body and soul,
but as much as you try
you cannot drink a rock,
any more than you can drink
the sweet western wind at dusk

The mountain is not your ally
nor is it your enemy
it just is

how refreshing

(Photo is looking south at Guitar Lake from the approach to the summit of Mt. Whitney)

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

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