F1BE77AC-D31D-464B-9B57-8CC22C9A0327Don’t ask me why
the river and her tributaries
converged in me
pouring mountain hearsay
into the ears of the sea

Don’t beg the reasons a bear
roamed into the den of my corrugated heart
taking turns hunting
and hibernating
through the wildlands within

Why a Sitka spruce sat up straight in my soul or a Nutcracker turned up
in my whirling blood
and squirreled secrets away
as snacks for a winter minute
is not for humans to discover

It is enough to know
my paws are alive
and my tongue arrives
at the wonder of things
spilling out like fresh meadows
after the storm ——————————————————-
📷 : art at Arcata Healing Arts Center


That Tide Your Heartbeat

e7b97da6-241e-4aad-87a1-81c7107decbdRemember when you doubted?

Back in the season of smallness
when the Big Trust
was a secret password
known only to the society of saints?

Remember when your narrow
Image looked back at you
from the Distorted Mirror of your tiny house?

And when you smashed that mirror
with a mountain heart
and used the shards to carve an Image in the sands of time
that even the Mighty Ocean could barely contain

the sun and moon
became your peers,
the tide your heartbeat.

And now—
now you dance
sometimes as the shoreline
sometimes as the sea
sometimes as the raindrops
on granite peaks

inhaling hardness
exhaling softness

with starlight falling
through your finger tips
and whole galaxies underfoot.

My Name is Belonging

0aeb9f55-99b4-4c88-ac8e-959652afd7a9They say the first step is admitting
you have an addiction

So here goes —my name is Mystery,
I’ve been here a million times
and Yes, I take heaping spoonfuls
of galaxies straight out of the jar
when I should be sleeping

I gulp in the seasons
whenever I see one one sitting out
on the table

My name is Abundance,
and I swallow fat Oceans
calorie-dense forests
and whole fields of lupine
when I think no one is looking

My name is Curiosity,
and I look under rocks
and climb through dark caves
running my hands against the wet walls

My name is Insatiable
and I chew on entire mountain ranges
just to get high

I have no idea what they say
about the second step,
I wasn’t listening.

I was too busy sitting
on the edge of the cliff
watching the sun retire
and caressing the bark
of the madrone tree.

My name is Belonging.

That Skunk of a Raven

6391c0ca-5bbf-4cd5-bbe6-a26bdc66c124They say as long as it’s not a poem about Nature or god forbid,

Whether in its burning purity
Or complex unrequisitions

So don’t expect nightingales here
I’ve turned all my warblers to ravens
and put in an order for dread
or the heavy metals of a world bent on celebrating gross and dark red things
and punching at all the Others
it thinks lives out THERE

But it boomerangs back as a dark bird singing sonnets
summing up the kerneled heart
inside the fist

I climb down the tree
watered with freedom
seeding its uncompromising truths in the shade
shaking out eternities of tunes
from the raven-lit branches

The opposite of love isn’t hate
but indifference, it says
and there’s no room in these wings for that

That skunk of a Raven squawks something about how every tune is a love poem
even the damned curses

Every word a wild word
and challenges me to defy him

How can I argue with someone like that?

All Manner of River

20197C5F-7096-4B50-9A5F-461E80A5BF5EDedicated to  my buddy Walt.

You bold cedar,
nourished by the river,
the river nourished by you,
fed by and are no less the river.

Your undying roots,
the strength of your limbs
living the athletic purpose of your trunk
saying, “To the sky!”
as much as your lover river says, “To the sea!”

Your needles and the sheen of your needles
you bark and the thickness and hardness of your bark
your manly cones erected skyward
in purpose and pleasure.

Yes, you too enjoy things.

You rocks grey and white, blue-grey
and all manner of red, rose, salmon, crimson
without which you would be incomplete
bringing every bold ray into yourself.

You lichen in manifold delight
gold and orange, all manner of green–
dark green, light green, grey-green, lime green
brown and silver,
and because you long for every hue
you draft yourself the inky absence of color, night black
against your grainy lover rocks.

You wet and soaring river,
your shape, texture, weight,
your undulating curves
and sumptuous taste.

Your prodigious femininity
and smooth fluid shapeliness of your giving in
your belonging to everything
your unbound generosity
your gigantic urge towards your lover sea.

The thousand faces of you:
rippled and roaring,
uncontrolled and uncontrollable,
misted and mysteried,
calm and quiet,
trickled and tranquil.

The flow of you I shall assume
each drop belonging to you
is as good belongs to me.


32652C81-BF85-464A-AC16-E6CC80D563AF“There’s no reason for us to believe the Sun will not abandon the Earth,” I reply.

“Other than that everyday
the Dawn is delivered on time,”
she says, crooked in smile.

“Look, the Worms come in battalions, dancing.

There may be no Return.

The underbelly is winking electric.
and the sun is making a bow—
Perhaps THIS is the last day,”

I sing a such a cold Melody.

I say it is ‘I’ that sings this.

She has a warmer lyric:
“I’m stocked wing to wing
thick with Desire,
though Desire’s end be Death’s friend.

In my last place, the lights went out,
and I don’t remember
what came before.

Only Blackness and then Something dissolved in me—a torture sublime.
Then, the New Dream.”

“What’s the New Dream?” someone said.

Without a word, and with smiling wings in Orange delight
Butterfly performed a one-Woman play
for me and the god
in the dusky Meadow.

And the god knew himself
it was just enough
no more, no less
to redeem the final Day
and the longest Night
whether or not
the Sun returns.