Monday, July 29, 2019

Bloom Like the Wildflowers

Bloom like the wildflowers,
as if you had no choice.
This wreck of a world deserves
rampant beauty and cascading love
and desire that scorches the flagrant banners of cruelty.
When did we lock our hearts in cages?

Our true hungers hide in our minds' cages
building machines to devour wildflowers.
These are the fruits of a nation's cruelty.
Don't pretend that the subjects of tyrants have no choice.
Songbirds and honeybees can still feed on the remnants of love
and build the intricate homes that the earth deserves.

A bare floor and a cold cell is all that a man deserves
when he turns away from children sobbing in cages.
How can this stark wilderness grow love
when our  combat boots trample children and wildflowers?
Count the moments on your rosary. Each one is a choice,
a momentous leap, a tango between kindness and cruelty.

When a tiger devours its prey, is that cruelty?
Is animal instinct all that the soul deserves?
How can we call it instinct when we have the power of choice?
Even animals twist into insanity when they are kept in cages.
If we poison monsters and devils, will they vomit up wildflowers?
When they die, can their rot and decay fertilize acts of love?

These days, people sneer at the idea of love
and feed on glorious visions of cruelty.
The streets teem with hatred and nobody hands out wildflowers.
The boiling ocean simmers  - the only soup our failure deserves,
made from the bones of sea-starved whales that become our cages
if we embrace despair and squander choice.

In a moonlit desert, pilgrims wander past the hope of choice,
searching the sands for wisdom, mistaking mirages for love.
This parched place needs no cages.
The landscape is its own cruelty,
a desolate and lonely shrine that no supplicant deserves,
a holy land too harsh for wildflowers.

One day fields and forests may overwhelm our barren cruelty.
The earth's great dance of existence deserves
nothing less than the partner of its choice.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Edges Dipped in Sunlight

I am in love
with the edges of growing things
dipped in morning sunlight

the post-dawn slow unveiling of translucence
on round and burnished leaves
or faintly feathered grasses
or gilded dots of nectar-heavy blossoms
awaiting the pollinating pilgrims
who briefly sojourn here
to make their morning devotionals
with me

The simple glory
of this light-kissed verdant place
can resurrect my fallen heart.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Summer Haikus

Shadow of a crow
glides across my garden
mirroring the clouds.

The morning sun burns.
Already a noon-time heat
soaks shoulders and neck.

Persistent breezes
tickle lilacs, whispering
Remember my kiss.

Blue heavens open
welcoming hummingbirds, treetops,
and hopeful soul songs.

Peace in the corners,
like tender shoots in springtime,
grows only with care.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Trees Said "Yes"


Walk with me, 
the shadows said.

And the trees said

Watch with me,
begged the dark, cloud-marbled sky,
until the night is weary 
and dew beckons 
like honey-drops from the lancing thorns,
and the church-bells ring through the chill air
and the dawn lashes me with stripes of gold.

Watch with me.
Walk with me.

And the trees said 


Were you listening when
the trees said 

the sky said 

every singing bird 
fell silent?

Were you speaking when
the earth groaned

the fish burned

our frozen past

Were we weeping when
we drank ashes

swam in sand

the jungles collapsed beneath our weight?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Traveling Sinuous Rivers

I have gone traveling sinuous rivers in solitude.

Am I still a traveler
who watches
who teaches
who learns?

I begin to remember
how I hid
how I mourned
how I laughed
how I loved

I feel down corridors for myself
and shake hands with someone I once discovered,
silently wondering

Am I now the person I have spent my whole life becoming?

Written on the way to a college reunion, 
with thanks, for the final line, to
Mary Catherine Bateson's "Composing a Life"

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Budding Future

Springtime and I can see the future -

Poised between rose leaves
Topping the sceptered iris
Couched in the peony buds
Dotting the fat clumps of waving raspberry stalks
Casting a cautious glance from the slim limbs of the smoke tree -

The Future:
promising - unruly - explosive

Flower buds keep their promises
unless the world turns too cold.

- May, 2019

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Waiting Crow

There is a crow that sits on our rooftop
nests in our chimney

on most days

today he calls to his tribe
sable ministers crossing sunlit skies
wounding souls with sound

Suffering is real here
in this now-world there
in the will-be

on most days