The wind blows hair

Across  my face 

as I walk the country road

And in its trace

There is no self

But that self which I have known

Since wind first 

sent those strands

To dance across 

The the blank screen of my mind

And set some delimiter

Of space and time

In  vastness  undefined.


The who that sees

This dance 

Is neither young nor old.

This who has no containment,

No set of aching bones

No heavy worries, 

No sorrows in a storm

No glances set askance

To see some form 

That blocks the light–as solid

As the stones


It seems to be the light itself

That witnesses this flight.

This luminescence shining  

From the flowers in the field

Has nothing it must yield

To learned impossibilities

Or sticky sensibilities


The who this is 

That fills with soft delight

Is all there is.

I’ve known it since a child.

The other who with edges tight

Has vanished

And will only come to take a seat

When once again demanded

by love and life’s

most irresistible commandments

Before fading 

into night.


Ruminations on a Death in the Pyrannees

There he lay
on his back
No breath,
so still.
The chill that spread
To my touch of fingers
on his neck.

Blue around those lips
Which had spoken to us
With such joy,
such anticipation
Of things to come
A friendship just begun
As we’d climbed
With bubbling sense of jubilation
Through dry oak leaves
Along the trail.

The feel of his cold jaws
between my still warm hands
The small face
With eyes
Closed tight
Gazing nowhere.

The smell of morning breath
On such insensate tongue
Such intimacy
With what had become
A rigid object
containing nothing
But what was like the ground
Where he had dropped
That life he had been living
With such spirit
Such flights of choice
Having gone from this place
Of flesh and bones
Of minerals and stone
Freed from bounds
Of cells and voice.

Pressing the chest above a heart
So still
Again, again
Pounding on the door
Of a room
Emptied of all
Its personal effects.
All family photos, letters
Rugby clothes
Lettered tee-shirts, shorts and pants,
Even rumpled bed.
Nothing there to mark
The warmth of all he’d lived
Just empty chambers echoing
With all he‘d sensed
All he’d become
Since first breath
Filled his lungs.

Hearing voices calling out his name
I called out to all I hold within
To bring back the breath
Of this body that had contained
Such spirit, those words that
Promised more to come.
My own breath now
For moments
Came in gasping gulps
Set with tears
And strain.

No answer came.
Just murmured words
and breathing
Of those whose love
Had intertwined with his
And who will still be hearing
Echoes of his name

The Woven Cloth of Love

Long form lying

legs stretched

Waking from 

or waking into

Darkness from light 

Or into light from dark

Swinging up ( or is it down) gently

Swinging back.


Pulling threads of each place

Into one another


Thoughts and dreams

Catching hold of thread ends 

from where I’ve been 

Into what is seeming now

Until some last part 

of that long story

Becomes part of what 

I know 

And soon 

will carry onward


I see my son 

At seven, swimming 

Towards me

In a deep and winding  river 

With a dark-skinned friend.

Swimming well, returning 

from a first day 

At some new children’s camp 

To come back to our summer group

In a house on some small lake.


Standing on the forest floor,

Brown leaves beneath my feet

I see now he is trying

to be self-contained 

As he sees me on the shore.

He calls to me “The camp is fine!”

As he clambers up the bank;

While  I  bend

to wrap him in a towel 

brought to keep him warm

his friend climbs out with frowning face

to join us, blurting

“But they’re not nice at all!”

With those words, my son’s brown eyes

begin to shine

Unshed tears becoming

moons of light

As his heart swings wide 

And he tells me of the disappointments

and the wounds

they have suffered

All day long.


He shivers and I reach down 

In the gesture of a mother

Lifting up her son

And he puts his arms around my neck

As I pull him to my chest.

He wraps his  thin strong legs around my waist

And I walk with him in warm embrace

His head against my own 

His friend holding the fingers of my hand

As he walks close against my side

And my son gently cries and tries his best

Not to be too harsh

With what has caused such pain.


Filled  with love and sorrow 

I walk along 

Until we both dissolve 

In mid complaint

And I am left with

All this love and this regret 

To weave 

As gleaming threads 

Into what we call

The day.



Back to writing. That’s what there is.

So what am I learning?



My mind lets so much slip away from it these days, it seems to have lost whatever stickiness it once had. I am barely worthy to be here amidst all this beauty. The humility of being so miserably human, I must watch for the smallest signs of how to move
from the breeze that blows the winter grass.


Oh how I wish for what is done 

to be undone

Oh how I yearn for light to come 

before the blooming dawn

The light that shows the beauty that surrounds us

The light that shines through all that binds us.


Minds are clouded. Hearts are bound

While all we really need to do

is turn around

And see the face that’s there behind us

Thawing all the ice that binds us.

Loving eyes that melt all blindness 

And watch each step with loving kindness.


Its presence is there in every tree

In earth that crumbles down the scree

Its dark, damp fragrance filling me

With such stirring desire to break free

As if I were a sprouting seed

Casting off a leaf of weed

To find the sun from which I feed.


We need. We need

But it’s for each other 

That we plead.

It’s for the bleeding 

Face before us

Sorrow, fear 

In every tear.


Pull her gently 

To your breast

There oh there

Is where she’ll rest.





New Year’s Wish

As this old year passes

May peace settle gently

in all of our hearts

and may the virus of love

become a pandemic.


May we shed our anger

And our fear

as the year breathes out

its last breath.


And as the new year comes to greet us

may we find joy in each other

May we play and laugh together

As children

Even as each day

We open any closed door

In that vast space inside us

To feel, at last, the suffering of all

And let our hearts

Truly break.

In a Circle of Azure Light

I had just seen the half moon 

In a circle of azure light

And then a planet blinking 

Through the branches of a tree 

That danced with the singing wind

When the tinkling sound of bells

Reminded me that  goats

Were grazing  still

In those dark deepening 

shades of  night.


How can we have such beauty 

And still close our hearts

To love.

How can we have come here


 for this little moment on earth

And still not hear the dove.


What are we doing

While we careen

 down the roadway of hate. 

How are we so distracted

By the ways we have 

Had to create

Such divisions, distinctions

Protracted conclusions

Based on emotions 

We never examine

Or sate.


We repeat the mistakes

Of the humans before us

The conflict the horror

The strife

Despite all our casings

Of advanced technological life.

We have come for the beauty

The grief , the delight

Even the horror of night.


But we continue to turn to our neighbor

As if she has not done the same

We call her by some other name

So that all of the sorrow we’ve felt here

Can have someone different to blame.

Ya Quddus, Kadosh, Kodesh



Holiness seeps in quietly

And soaks through every cell

Until there is nothing  left

but peace.


It has found me

WIthout warning 

In the midst of morning run

When a fragrant tree of  spring

The calling of a bird, 

Migrating in the air of every breath

Opened the flow of universe

Through doors of birth and death.


It has found me wandering 

In forests wet and green

When the patch of moss laid bare

under a curve of log

sent up its gentle scent.


It has awed me in those places

I least expect its grace.

In the midst of some cathedral

Built on dogma and distess

In the arches soaring upward

 We imagine flight

Where by some simple curvature 

of time and space

The vibrations of so many hearts

 Transform boundaries into light.


It has settled on me 

In the home

Of those women I have known

Whose every breath 

Has come directly

Through their beating hearts

In the  touch of hand on head

Cradled in a lap.


Yet it eludes me!

I forget it

When It is here in every moment

I wait to find it somewhere else

In memory or anticipation

In travel and in pilgrimage

Where the confluence of 

Time’s rivers 

In unending transmigration

Have left some silt of love. 


I seek it

Anywhere but here 

Where it nestles

Gently, present yet unknown

Its strength like  waves 

of  warm sweet breath

Of hibernating bears 

in caves.



This morning, in being still
For perhaps a moment or two
Everything was achieved.

All that wanting
All that noise
Bothering my body
Constantly crowding this mind
all day long
and maybe
Into the night
And in the silence
I accomplished
the whole of my life’s work.

When my mother was settling down
Into her last sleep
She murmured,
“I have accomplished”
And in floating away on the tide
Into the vast ocean of stillness
She found that that was that
And smiled.

What I find in the silence
Is that all this activity
All these mistakes
All this awkwardness and floundering
Is magnificent.

I swim in it.
I give way to what I am and
what is becoming of all that
in this moment

As in the waters of hot sulfurous springs
we find again the flowing emptiness,
the joy of finding we are nothing
All the noise we have drawn in
to make our way
wherever we have come to
is gone.

As when, in those days
and days without endings
between the worlds,
we floated in stillness
Beginning only now and then
To sense somehow
through the beating rhythm
Of everything we knew
to feel the vibrations
that would eventually
capture our soul.

Sing to the Weeds of Spring


Weeding in the garden

 at the end of day.

A day of rain that came and came 

and then stopped again

just as evening turned

And sun returned

Opening a window 

onto that brief passage

 of spring to summer skies


I weed the onions 

and think how grateful 

they now seem 

for all that space and light.

They will, I know

Suddenly expand and grow.


I do not pull weeds

But thin instead the plants

that now compete 

With those onions 

we planted, gently, in the spring

that I wish will grow

as big and sweet and strong 

As ever their heritage will allow.


The plants I pull

become the soil 

that will then nourish

All this ground 

And flourish from our toil


They are equal to the onions 

But take another place

In this garden

That will, with all that grows

 nourish blood

And become 

in time 

our bones.