How Poems Arrive

Swarm Landing Poultry Ducks Waterfowl Water Funny

They arrive
like a coyote calling at 2am
during the Full Cold Moon

I step outside to gather
the yellow and orange leaves
that the fierce
winter wind has thrown to the ground
with such a flurry
that I miss most of them

but some I catch
and arrange in a pattern
not as pretty as they looked on the tree
but I’d rather them not go to waste

poems can arrive like those
little waves on the lake
after the duck lands
or
a barely audible whisper
from an ancient grove

or louder, like a chorus of crickets
the rush of a river,
a flow over falls

A poem can burst open like a seed

or often just settle in slowly
like a deep breath
and climb up spirally
a bean vine
around a pole

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Leaking In Like Rain

IMG_7027I’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 create a total of 107 Forest Haikus and mini ‘zen’ poems over the winter. I’ll share in groups of 5-10. Here are the first few:

Not the only one
dancing naked in the rain
joined by Mister Newt
——————————————–
Going on a walk
enjoy your mid-day orgy,
lovely ladybugs
——————————————–
Light from autumn moon
casting shadows from redwoods
across my bald head
——————————————–
November redwoods
an unspeakable silence
jet engine roaring
——————————————–
Look, there’s a rainbow!
covering my shit with dirt,
I’m in awe of both
——————————————–
You dropped some feathers
Mister Peregrine Falcon
I’ll keep them for you
——————————————–
Just a few days old
and walking across the sky
my baby moon
——————————————–
I’m learning some things
Not sure what it is quite yet
leaking in like rain
—————————————-
No protection here
November’s got me knocked up
with baby poems
—————————————-
Deep autumn sitting
coyote yipping on verge
of liberation

When Mud Was Our Friend

IMG_6992Remember when we used to run toward the rain

back when we were in love with the world
and it returned the favor?

when we couldn’t
let raindrops fall to the ground
without our tongues
getting in on the action

or pass a body of water
a pile of leaves
without jumping in

and mud was our friend?

and shin bruises
arms drawn with scratches
numb fingers from
staying out too long

were love bites from the world

and just the clouds in the sky
could evoke a song?

now, is it that our only sunset
is the one that’s a perfect 2×4
through the Device
with Valencia filter
that we heart?

our only storm the one
we can prepare for
adequately informed by the “they say-ers”
three days hence
so we can
take cover?

the only mud found
on our Goodyear tires?

no mud shalt touch thy feet!

I’ve heard that once in a while
a happy moon person comes
out to play in the sky

but to see her,
you have to put some things away

I don’t know if it’s true,
but I might
take a peek this month

I just might even try
to run towards some things

Drinking the Season

IMG_6974November comes to the forest
as an ocean on the head

something finally dissolves
and a man turns to mist
as struggle takes its leave

most birds play it safe
but some brave birds still sing
the rain makes the kid in them
get up and dance

Their whistle and the tappity tap tap
on the roof of the 20 square foot hut
are the only sounds

though sometimes the man swears he can almost hear the moss
grow by the minute
greening boulder
and bolder yet

conquering the forest
with Greenness
and thereby
settling it once and for all

drinking the rain
as the night drinks the dark
and the man drinks the season