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Wolf Moon

1.
Moon
seascape
sand
white as snow,
waves,
not sage,
reflecting its glow
golden
shimmer
falling
over these many years.
2.
In my heart
I yearn for mountains
brisk prairie wind
bringing
the scent of winter
where silence
of deep snow
is broken
only
in the dark
where elk
venture
to feed
under
radiant moon glow,
hooves
digging
for meager
vestiges
of fall grasses
bitter
and dry,
but sweet
from need.
3.
Far from
sea level
my heart
moves
ghostly
singing
its winter
song of change
of transformation
of hope
of a new tomorrow:
notes
falling
over mountains
deep
into the riffles
of a river
whose banks
cradle
every whispered
wish
every pathetic lamentation
year after year
holding swift
so firm
and constant
as Venus,
illumined
tonight.

4.
I remember
your hands
around my waist,
your pull
like a gravitational
spiral
drawing me
deep into your flesh
until we lit up
like a comet
furling
into nothingness
spinning
far beyond
time,
yes
under a moon
not unlike tonight’s –
we were young
wilder than the wild,
and yes,
we howled……

Under the protection
of the pena of Juaica,
blessed by this sacred
rocky outcrop,
where the Muiscas
once offered sacrifices
to the goddess,
Huiaka,
that they might have
healthy
abundant crops,
Here, eucalyptus
grow tall
as if reaching
toward another dimension
one rumored
to open past
this magical portal,
and fields
fill the horizon
at 8,000 feet.
Green upon green
sweet valleys
and rocky meadows
come alive with
dots:
black and white
gentle bovines,
bells tied
to their necks
ring
in morning light:
a melody
of freedom
roaming
grazing
till sunset
when
the mayordomo
in his mud laced rain boots
whistles,
rhythmically
prodding
them
toward higher
ground.

Up on the hill,
he’ll take a
swig of aguardiente
from under
his ruana
sit
against a post
stare
up,
find the first star
and smile
at the brightness
of this Andean sky
grateful
for a Friday night
where soon
compadres
will head down
to the village square
to celebrate another
week,
and the
labor
of love
on this fertile land.

Here life is simple:
rising and ending
with the sun,
years marked
by crops
of papa
maiz
frijoles
yuca,
enough
to fill
the bellies
of children,
and some
to spare
for the dogs
that now begin
barking
their song of gratitude
to pacha mama,
to the kind hand
that fills
bowls
with arroz
bits
of carne
or leche
whatever they might spare:
these loyal canines
belong
to no man –
they guard
all
announcing
the onslaught
of north winds
or a sudden tremor,
yowling
more efficient
and on point
than any emergency system.
Small,
low to the ground
long black coats
their pointed snouts
scenting
moist dirt,
perritos criollos,
governing the roads
at night
patrolling
alerting
until a final
communal gasp
fills the valley
with quiet,
all is well:
time for quiet,
for the men
have returned
to their warm
beds
bellies full,
kissed their mujeres
with Friday breath,
left their boots
at the door,
and fallen
into dreams
of fertile fields
as soft
and giving
as the woman
by their side.

Here, on the island…

It has a technical name
judgmental –
as if nature makes mistakes:
“inversion,”
but “aversion”
is should be,
since man
sees
what he can’t
dominate
or subjugate
with disdain
utter-
not able to tether
these creepy
crawly
clouds
that dampen,
soak,
envelope
this barrier island
like the sheerest cloak
of white silk:
it blocks
even the brightest sun
lifting gulls
past
masked
palms
eerie
phantoms
barely
visible
as I walk,
sand
cold
moist
clinging
riding
my toes
like
fine
glimmering
infinitesimal
quartz:
I laugh
at having
diamond coated feet.

The ghost like
dew
clings to my hair
swirling
curls
as tight
as sea rope,
a cape
of sea foam
frames my tired
shoulders
propelled
by the rising wind.
I turn my back
to this chill
only to see
a faint shadow
of a full moon
fading
in and out
gold
on white
come
gone
like its shadow self
on this winter solstice,
where once again
I fall captive
to the longest
night
dark
if not
for this
mist
which
envelopes my heart
so it may
glow
pure
innocent
agape
once again
at the mystery
of life.

 

Crossroads

 

New age
no age
years
fading
into shreds
of sunset
thin
like sweet peel
persimmon:
skin
of yesterdays
shedding
into night shade
past live oaks
leaning
toward
a rising moon
tilting
long worn
limbs
witnesses
to torrid winds:
they bare
scars
woven
into tender
shapes
where mourning doves
roost –
a last coo
echoing
as dim
as waning light.

Not far
waves crash
along
a shore
restless
moving
shifting:
one footstep
gone
as fast
as the next,
water
kissing sand
long
hard
ruthless
leaving
ghost crabs
running
for cover
a sudden
moon beam dance.

I stand between
land and sea
like
a stuck pig,
longing
for new wings
not looking back
not daring to look forward
I scan
the horizon
linger
smelling
salt air
tasting bitter
fruit
sweet for being
alive.
Now,
I will not waste,
hesitate,
resist,
dally –
this gift
will not simply fade
meekly
quietly
into the night.
I swear:
to burn
bright,
fire
smoke
rising
past
mountain peaks
bursting clouds
rain
falling
to the greenest earth
where creatures
may graze
freely
in new times.

 

My Sweet Boy (for Seamus)

Daily I look to see
if you’ve shut
eyes
once last time,
stretched out
or curled up
under the southern sun,
foot pads
worn with
our many walks
over many years:
on sand,
city pavement
gravel
mud
through sage
into forests
ferns waist high
desert glades
well worn paths
new discoveries
over felled logs
surprising
antelope
deer
coyotes
elk
alley cats
city squirrels
seagulls
terns
stopping
for heart stopping
mountain views
resting on forest stumps
rushing into ice cold lakes
crashing rivers
down into deep
valleys
sniffing out
jack rabbits:
tail high
legs strong
ears alert….
13 years
and hundreds
of miles
just the two of us
you, my brown eyed
boy,
now so heavy
and slow
like the old bison
we once
surprised
in the gulley
meandering downhill
hooves slipping
on crevices
head bent low –
left behind
by the herd
eyes dimmed
looking for a soft
and shaded place
to lay his head.
Yes,
I check past my
tears
to see if your eyes
still shimmer
as you dream
long into the day
legs running in place
like the ghost
you will
all too soon be…….

Same path
so many times
wandering
toward
clearest
of waters,
its rolling sound
carried by
breezes
wafting
down the cliffs:
sweet invitation
to meander
savor
body dancing
in the sweet step
of time,
years,
even before time,
ghost steps
carried our souls
here
to once again
clear the grime
of grief
and
fear.
Its the same
melody
today
as yesterday –
sons in tow,
now grandchildren
to these shores
kissed in fall
by brown
golden hues,
in summer
bursting busy green
winter
pale white
against gray skies
spring
timid green
dotting
melting snows:
rivulets of life
streaming
rushing
toward you.
Step by step
over the years,
dogs,
tails raised
following
deeply buried
scents
hearing
sacred song
marching
determined,
leading
running.
Year after year
we meld
into this pilgrimage
to whisper
our secret
long held
magical words
of love
only you can hear,
you answer
with ever present
messengers:
red tailed hawk,
osprey
coyote
raven
and once,
only once
mama grizzly
with two cubs
crossing the river
as lightly
as doves.

So many silent
conversations
here:
unspoken
desires,
long lists of fears,
expectations,
dreams –
asking for a sign
yet knowing
none is needed.
If only the wind
would
wind
words
long
into the years
so our song
might never
stop
like the love
that marks
our aching
hearts:
may they
sing on
into the newest of times
and we could
all say,
as once you did
“if time where space
I would walk home.”
For here
by the Madison
we will always
wait
long into the years
decades
millenniums
past
time itself,
wait
past our very selves
in the dust
in the clouds
in the earth
in the soul
of this river
you so loved,
We will
wait
until
our laughter
rolls free
into
sheer space
a song
as full
and glorious
as that
of the meadow lark,
wafting
thin
into the galaxy,
where
time
disappears.

 

Raven of my Heart

White upon more,
dry thistle
poking
through a blanket
of snow:
early fall
storm
blinding
the sun,
mountains
erased
in an instant,
eerie silence
pierced
by tiresome
winds…..
No land creature
dare
venture
out
plodding
scratching
earth
for any green:
they’ve bedded down
wisely
somewhere
in the hills
or down low
in the gullies
But low
and behold
the skies
where only
the brave venture:
an eagle
drifting high
scanning
for movement
using precious energy
to forage,
not far past him
an osprey
headed to the river
looking
for trout.

It’s a barren landscape
of bitter cold
white
upon more,
when out
of the sky
drops
a raven
down
unto
her frequent perch:
our roof beam
jutting out
into the heavens
over the prairie,
like a ship’s prow.
I hear her
scratching
at the snow
for a better grip
and it resounds
in the eerie silent
afternoon.

Morrigan,
goddess
have you come
to warn me
of the war
below,
of the senseless
killing
of your earth,
skies
water,
the plodding
steps
toward
our own destruction
we, the senseless
stupid monkeys
who shit
where we lay?
Goddess of war
shape shifter
what can you
bless me with?
Teach me a trick
to hurl these dark days
into blessed light.
Phantom queen
help me
in this looming battle
to change our fate.
I pray
to you
like never
to the not
so benevolent
God.
Cloak me in you dark
feathers,
set me adrift
over these turbulent
times
let me drop my wrath
to open my heart
and wield
my only weapon
of love
to shield
this ever changing
world.

 

 

Night Tales

 

Wrong turn
right moment
Montana
dirt road
onyx
night
October
new moon
looming
round
each
unknown corner
rotating
in its axis
a giant
Halloween
totem
making us
giddy with life.
Tired from
the day long drive
we become
boisterous
filling the night air
with secrets
shared
before
and now again,
like so many
gems
hurling
words
on a long string
of years shared
laughing
at memories
knowing full well
we may have
turned
a phrase or two
changed an ending
exaggerated
or simply
combined
moments
to create
another
as perfect
as this one:
lost –
not really
on a late
Sunday night
driving
in
we guess,
the right direction
with the sound
of a hurling river
on our side,
dog nestled
in the back
humble
and
ever trusting
we will arrive
before the moon sets
or coyotes
roam the roads.

Yes, we’ve been here before…..

City of Roses

It’s a slow love affair
filled with
days
of blushing trees
burning
incandescent
illuminated
by autumn’s failing
light.
I learn the city’s rhythms
over miles
of walks
hypnotized
by changing hues
and ever longer,
but still warm
showers:
little flutters
caressing my cheeks:
wet, but all be it
gentle.

The city woes
me slowly
hiding
winter secrets
whispering
intimate
morning songs:
whistle of long
heavy trains,
passing through,
mysterious
and un invited,
scrub jays
jostling
loudly
over territory
above
swaying
maple trees
and in the furthest
reach
of my open ears,
melodious
chimes
from someone’s
balcony.

It woes me
this city
with its fragrant rose
gardens
hidden
in every direction
where it
wafts sweet
pungent
` perfume
like
an elegant
experienced lady
well versed
in breaking hearts.
I fall slowly
like a young
lover,
fall
hard
enticed
by her rich palate
as she showers me
with darkest
smokiest
pungent
coffee
and delicacies
from far flung lands
served
plainly
from metal carts
where city folk
congregate
as if to fill
desperate appetites.

Miles on my shoes,
I learn
my favorite routes
visiting
` pastry shops
bakeries
small groceries
filled with treats
from far flung places.
Never leaving home
without a bag
just in case…
and almost always
the street offers
a gift –
one person’s
unwanted
gem
for another
to delight: offerings
found
on just the most
needed day.

I would call
this lady,
tricky
at best,
hypnotic as least,
even
exotic
in a stilted Anglo Saxon way,
awkward
but forgiving
of fallen souls
who these days
harden her edges
with eye sores
of abandoned homeless camps
strewn with human flotsam
in the endless flow
of desperation
which now
blemishes
her streets:
her secret is
out,
every rose
has its thorn.

But I still love her
in my own
deranged
fashion:
she has taught me
how to let
the rain
clear my soul
knowing
in my deepest
darkest
hour
it is the coolness
of clouds
that keep
me
from burning
too soon
too far
too long.
Now,
I search out
the shade
like
so many a rose
knowing
my bloom
fades
as each day
drifts
into dark night.

 

 

Today is a Good Day

In the absence
of light
I find a hidden gem:
it’s my heart
unbound
free
rolling
a pink pig
of
untethered
hilarity
gleeful
wondering
where
i’ve been
so long
in senseless
grief
gripping
fleeting
so called dreams
desires
boundless
needs,
when it’s all so damn simple:
look left
look right
then up
down,
in that measure
is all:
already yours
breath in
and taste it.
Beam
happy
as a pig in mud,
dance
turn
this dirge
into a rollicking
melody
of joy:
life is too short
for anything else.