I mind an avenue of trees
rising deftly beyond the sun
and the sense that today
is tomorrow, and tomorrow
has quite capriciously gone.

I remember the leaves
tickling briskly the tips
of my calloused fingers
and how I marveled enviously
at their ever changing colors.

Intently I stared at the blue
of the sky overhead,
distinguishing at last that
precious moment when clouds
turn colder than snow.

But what mattered most of all
as the fallen leaves settled
beneath my feet and found peace
was the recognition that green
is still green and always will be.

Except when it is blue.


stubborn winter

Stubborn winter drags on and on it seems
transiently coming and going, an itinerant artist
drawing frigid lines on a dull grey canvas
while I … aimless, I sit and stare in wonder.

Have I ever seen the sky descend so gently?
But then, how could I even know?
Is it possible that each flake might evoke
such a distinctive image floating in my mind?

Of course not. For how could it do so?
It is not for the enduring elements of this world
to impress themselves on my ephemeral thoughts
but for me to pay them the heed that they deserve.

She does not know

There is at times a darkness in the sky
in the lines and the shadows of the clouds
that bleed into the braes that range us in
and color the very horizon in fears.
I see her watching and weaving this darkness
into patterned purpose shrouding her thoughts
and I so wish to turn her gaze far away
from the clinging stinging soul of doubt.
For it is clear to me that she doesn’t know.
She looks at herself so unappealingly
unapologetically rejecting her very being
her skin her bones her hands and bands
all of which i love and know so well to love.
Quite suddenly her smile will vanish fitfully
fingering tresses without even noticing
how gloriously her loveliness rises above
the maliferous banality of the world of man.
But she?  She truly does not know.
Yet I would have her know, have her know
so much better how skillfully her heart
sings hymns of love and longing and joy
that make my very heart to tremble.
I would have her see herself as I do
this beauteous woman most fair and airfully
attending the verdure ripe with wine and song
caressing the leaves of each needful tree.
Though still she does not know.
My love gently breathes lilies into bloom
and teaches the water fairies to dance in tune
while the world around her harkens and hails
this pail and prettiest of maidens true.
And though she may not know all of this yet
but I will most gladly quite madly spend my life
teaching her how fine and wonderful and worthy
she is to be loved as love was truly meant to be.

the heart of the world

the soul of this people
is criticially changing
arranging into i know not what

the mind of mankind
is swiftly maligning
aligning along the cruelest axes

the heart of the world
is drifting unminded
towards the coldest usefulness

scratched and carved
and assiduously mangled
into clearly utilitarian purpose

a world debated by thinkers
and tinkers and polished politicians
into cleverly calculated intent

as the sun rose this winter day
my worn heart knew—
it is time to speak at last

of something quite new


mystery evokes the patterns of trees
enchanting the sun with their prayer
reverent and keen these spires of green
deeply enthroned with such rooted care

grasping at soil and stones and time
while dreaming of heaven’s high vault
verdantly dancing on breezes and vines
through canopies lustrously wrought

tenderly touching her fingers exploring
gently caressing their too worried flesh
the earth heaves sighs like leaves adoring
in voices redeeming this world to be blessed

Salinas 20 Dec 2012

Man and Nature

is this your face swollen with mastic
your lethargic words imparting naught
your eyes half closed and dull as plastic
awaiting bugger all, you silly old sot

“one foot at a time” were wisdom indeed
for one impartially rooted in nothingness
forever lacking a goal, bereft of a creed
unimaginative even in what you confess

an electrical jolt might do you some good
though lobotomized your brain still resists
even the slightest defiant act that you could
have managed with feeble unclenchèd fists

I would fain offer you yet some guidance
to emancipate your overly stimulated soul
and release you from this intransigent trance
but I know you to find my words rather droll

so with your permission, in lieu of aught better
one thing I must say before my patience dies
should you ever break free of this fetid fetter
revisit at once your most interminable lies

strive to embrace what you must have known
in youth, in childhood, perhaps in the womb
a truth that was vibrant before you were grown
but now seems destined for naught but your tomb

that the world you inhabit and seek to ignore
is far older, wiser, and more lovelier than you
so open your eyes, man, and choose to adore
a miracle of motherhood, good, kind and true

Salt Lake City 14 May 2012

From Alpine Lake, California (1984)

A Dream

it is not until the chaos shatters like plaster potentates
and silence descends once more over this concrete realm
that I surreptitiously sense, clever me, the unintended tide
of mindful peace raped and buried beneath callous clay
sheathed in aggravation and lewdly perpetual plastic

for a time I am so taken aback by the sudden stillness that
I want nothing more than to wander unhindered unseen
relishing the man-forsaken beauty of a world untouched
surroundings unconquered by greedy grasping seekers
of gain and gaudy jewels and lascivious extravagance

but the silence has revealed a greater mystery besides
some unexpected boon that boldly travels with winds
that even now do seek the dismal dust of plutocrian past
to disperse and thereby my bitter bruised spirit to uphold
leading me forth on paths unseen to I know not where

my once weary eyes now eagerly peer through trees
in this thickly wooded vale stretching out from the foot
of a majestic mountain whose peak I have never seen
so brazen and bold was the city that once stood here
jealously sealing from view the outside world of green

deeper into the forest I wander, following the breeze
that is more than air billowing around me, but a song
yes, a song indeed, I now discern and am enchanted
my steps quickening as the excitement swells within
longing to reach the source of this most perfect melody

when at once the trees part to reveal an idyllic meadow
gently cradled on all sides by the maternal forest eternal
nourished by the warm fatherly illumination from above
and fed by a stream which was in fact the very source
of the music I had sought, clear waters lapping a lullaby

obediently my legs bend and breast-bared I sit at once
and await sleep to come, warmed by waves of sunlight
but mischievous mother has one more secret to share
yet hidden to me beneath the canopy of brawny oaks
across the sweetly babbling stream whose song I crave

now at last do they descend from broad branches high
onto the grassy stage before me their arms entwined
their bare legs boldly beating the air in rich harmony
of sensual movement and subtle love-granting grace
these fawns of the forest, these alley dimmed dancers

I sit and wonder at their beauty, but more than this
I ponder their utter familiarity to my urban-crusted soul
and at once I realize in harsh humility and ponderous
shame that these too were of us, these nubile creatures
whose selfless nobility had earned them abject rejection

cast out were they for being ever naught but themselves
the very essence of humble humanity, life-affirming
nature-adoring colors flowing from an impious palette
solicitous I rise to my feet, spirit naked, and step across
and impishly they, without a word, embrace me as one

Salt Lake City 11 May 2012