Everything Is A Cloud

IMG_0351here in the clouds
atop the mountains
an altogether different world
floats on by

spend enough time
among their passes
and valleys
and you realize

even the mightiest
of these granite giants

are clouds

slow-moving
ever-flowing
shape-shifting
apparently solid
but transient
clouds

like everything else

soon enough
they will meet the sea

carried by the tide
to the other side

a reminder:

that one stable thing
exists
only in the mind

Rose and Rising

IMG_4542Bright heat
has me drifting
into dark cool spaces
hiding

but this delicate rose breath
riding
evening’s cool breeze
lifting
relentless heat
stirring
something in me
still breathing

touching me there
I begin a blossom affair

ascending with solstice
your sweet peach scent
sending shivers

lighting me up

lingering
admiring
your unfolding layers
conspiring
to pull me in

I see you there
shining

sweet
light
delectable

edible?
I take a nibble

ouch
hurt a little

impressive thorns
perhaps born
of many wounds

yet you dare to share
so much of yourself

I see you

drawing me in
until the sun sets
once again

As I ride the waves
of your aromatic aerial offering
over the horizon

Ode to Our Sun on Summer Solstice

summer solstice

I have a such a soft spot for You,
our sole solar sidekick and savior

today you linger longer along
Your solo stellar sojourn
sliding so surreptitiously
through the celestial sphere

spinning like samsara
You give solace and sustenance
with spectacular style
You serenade our sleepy souls
shake off our sluggish stupor
and scare away the shadows
to seduce us from our sheets

so today I salute You
and offer this sentiment of celebration

(Image Credit: Source)

 

Rilke-Soaked Dreams and a Vulnerable Mountain Heart

IMG_4512A year ago this week I was trekking for 10 days in the Olympic Mountains.

I was struggling over several long, hard days climbing up the side of the mountain, the trail often obscured. Though it was June, winter was still up there.

I was struggling with heartache: my partner and I were estranged. I was struggling with trust and jealousy. I was struggling with my inability to fully receive love. I was struggling with ancient wounds of abandonment. I didn’t understand different kinds of love and connection. I was struggling with meaningful livelihood.

I arrived atop in a lake basin and pitched my tent above Heart Lake. I became stuck there for several days – it was cold and rainy and snowy. I was getting increasingly wet. In the clouds. No sun all day. Fully soaked. Boots undryable. Spending the day in the tent. The only warmth was from a little backpacking stove.

The clouds from every direction merged, climbed, surrounded, hugged the crevices everywhere. I couldn’t see anything. I was aware that I could soon be in danger of hypothermia, so knew I had to descend as soon as possible, if conditions didn’t change.

But I had a deep feeling that I didn’t want to leave the mountain top and the lake until all was revealed. Something was coming.

Finally the sun appeared on the 4th day. Joy! My first real moment of excitement! I was able to get dry. When the clouds opened up, I could get perspective. I could finally see Mt. Olympus. More importantly, the image of Vulnerable Mountain Heart kept appearing inside me. It had appeared a few days before at the beginning of my journey – it was now deepening and speaking.

Vulnerable Mountain Heart. What is it? Deep cosmic heart of vulnerability, source of love and strength. It’s the heart that stays open, that feels what it feels, that rests easy with what is, that doesn’t need to react to save itself, has no fear, that knows its strength in vulnerability, and therefore its wholeness and power.

Vulnerable Mountain Heart is unearthing and resurrecting our archaic connection with the natural world. That connection critical to healing ourselves, our communities, and the planet. It’s about meeting ourselves authentically, with nature not just as context, but as collaborator. A mountain doesn’t care what storms present themselves. It merely accepts and receives them, unphased. Mountain Heart is about embodying our strength and power, overcoming fear, and accepting what is.

Yet at the same time, by being willing to connect with our vulnerability, we allow healing and growth and remain compassionate. It’s about recognizing and feeling our old sacred wounds and finding love and power in that place. And it’s about liberation from unhealthy patterns inherited from our family and culture. Finally, it’s about listening, opening, and resting in uncertainty and change, and unfolding our authenticity layer by layer.

After a week and a half up there, I walked out of the rich, green Hoh Valley a changed person—richer, stronger, and more clear. I knew it was an unfolding story. The day after I hitchhiked out of the forest, I found myself in the city lying on my side getting a needle stuck repeatedly in my arm—I was getting a mountain heart tattoo in Olympia.

It did change me, but since then I have often strayed from that wisdom, sometimes so far off that it’s like I’m in the clouds again. Fear causes pain to ourselves and others. Can’t see anything.

It’s not a one time opening.

It’s choosing love over fear, moment by moment.

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?

Everything Arrives On Time

IMG_4391“It’s the wrong season
for this unfolding,
this bright and painful
spring apprenticeship
to cracking
and bursting forth,”

I whisper heatedly in the blossom’s ear.

Because, damn, I could have used your purple body-heart wisdom
when the harvest moon
peaked over pine mountain
high over strawberry fields

back in that simple season of music and fire.

Where were you when the caterpillar
was wandering around in that big garden
eating the wrong things and
stumbling over its entangled legs?

The blossom replies:

But does the full moon ask
why it wasn’t whole last week?

Does the apricot tree
complain of its flowering?

Does summer arrive mourning winter?

The big hard sun dissolves all
and calls forth new things
in the silence of summer’s eve

Perhaps everything arrives on time