Some of my feeble attempts
Some endings stand out more than others
Others are commonplace and fade from memory.
Some are known at the time...like the last time I talked to my mother
Or when I last held my red-haired love...
Other endings aren't known, but are
Only recognized as such after the event.
Like when I last saw another striding
Purposely out of the terminal to board
The plane in that little
Would I have run to her and held her
Close one more time if I had known?
Or when I watched you wave goodbye
From the rear window of that departing car,
How could I have known it was the last time
And that you were forever lost to me?
And the last time that I carried my daughter,
Or held her little hand as we walked along.
When I let go of her, what would I have done
If I had known
It was the last time?
Once I was full of words and ideas bubbled forth and I
Gradually the words describing my inner panorama
became inadequate and trite
meaningless and redundant.
And my talk
with silences that grew
I became silent
and a calm filled me
and I felt as a broken
on the edge of a rocky precipice
overlooking great mist-swathed distances
with gnarled roots gripping
the stony heart of the mountain.
Shall I leave in the summer
while cicadas shrill and
The nights are full of gardenia
Or shall I leave in Autumn
with Crimson maples and
The harvest moon?
Perhaps in Winter with
the sting of sleet and
the rattle of bare branches
in a hopeless wind?
No! I want to go in
early Spring with
crocus and nodding daffodils
in a light mist with
rain dripping from the eaves...
I burn, can you feel the heat?
I am consumed with intensity,
With a special desire to live
The air about me crackles and pops,
My hair stands on end, I clench my fists,
I grit my teeth.
Stand aside! Time is short.
Short for love, short for tasting and thinking
Time grows short and
I stand here empty-handed.
Where are my tools? I must be about.
I must do!
The God I Know
The God I sense speaks not with thunder
And not with a roar,
Not with words
And not by mighty displays.
He speaks with a whisper,
A lift of the eyebrow,
A slight inclination of the head,
He speaks through His works,
Through the shape of a dolphin,
And the intricacies of a feather,
Through the mechanics of an ocean wave,
And the pattern it leaves on a sandy shore,
Through the colors of autumn leaves,
And their paths as they flutter to the ground,
Through things high
And things low,
Through things wide
And things narrow,
Through the imprint of a shell
On a sandy beach
Through my daughter's smile...
The God I sense speaks not with thunder.
(Friday, December 8, 1989)
A Crack in the Egg
Walking a dark city street, wet with drizzle
Strewn with litter, importuned by beggars,
I passed beneath a half-dead tree,
And raised my eyes and saw, through bare branches
And city's glare,
Orion striding through breaks of scudding clouds
And rifts of interstellar gas,
And suddenly I felt the earth turning beneath my feet
As it sped through an
Heard the music of the spheres,
Saw the Winter Solstice looming
And felt the rhythm of the seasons.
And I stopped, stunned, and wondered
Why I was here and not
Striding along some deserted strand,
Hearing the boom of the breakers,
Feeling the crisp whip of the wind, or
In some dark forest breathing the perfume of
Surrounded by dimly perceived mysteries.
As I say, I paused, and then I walked on.
I awakened the other day
And gazed into the mirror before me,
Wondering at the lined face and
Grey hair of the person I saw.
I was in a strange room with
The light of a westering sun
Streaming through a window,
Shining red on half of the face before me,
The other half dark with shadow.
Why...the last I remembered,
I was young and running along a beach with
Waves pounding and the cry of gulls
Sharp in the cool air of dawn.
I could feel the sand under my bare feet and
The chill of the water as I splashed through it.
I was afraid of something that ran behind
On my left,
Something which was gaining.
And now I was here.
A door opened, "Why are you just standing there, Daddy?"
A little girl with pigtails stood in the doorway,
And behind her a shadow moved.
Perception of the Nature of Being
The veil twitched aside
Revealed the Tao,
In the glistening
Drop of dew
Quivering on the blade of grass
And in the seething stars
Of the boundless Milky Way.
When you ponder the
Calendar of your days,
Do you recall the times
Of strife of betrayal
Or...do you recall the
Quiet calm times filled
With beauty and tranquility?
I want to see you
Drenched in moonlight
On a white-sheeted bed
All hollows and curves
Peach blossoms on water
Carried on the current,
around the bend.
New tender leaves
Spring from the maple tree
Felled by a bulldozer
The pallid moon
Is shattered and broken
Bare branches, wet, cold
Revealed after the rain storm
Tore off the golden leaves
The sight of bare branches
Against a leaden sky
Catches at my heart.
The great wind with a
Roar and great rustle of leaves
Immersed me in a whirlpool of gold
As a child
On the way to school
My pants were painted
With daubs of yellow
As I walked through
Fields of nodding flowers
Falling snow blankets
The forest in a silence
Of whispering flakes
Great ranges of
Snow covered mountains
Stone and wind
Fill all time and space
Inside we feel that
Something is out of
Kilter, out of harmony
While all around us
Like a blind man we feel our way
Through an inconceivable
Searching for that something
That we know must be there
The midnight gale
Stripped the maple of
Today, a wind
Out of the Southwest
Blew hard through the Fir trees
Sending little seeds whirlygigging
Through the air.
I was drunk on
Moonlight and honeysuckle
And the fragrance of gardenias
Filled the warm Texas night.
After all the years between us
Won’t you give me a glance filled
With something besides that flat emptiness?
Kept from roosting
By the sharp winged
Racing the Night
Sitting in my car listening to good music
A Tear and A Farewell,
I looked out at a silhouetted tree,
Black against pink blowing clouds and saw
A pair of ducks, high above, scudding swiftly
Before the wind, racing the night
And I wondered , why in January a pair?
They disappeared into the
Gathering gloom and left the
Bare tree alone against the sunset and
I watched the swaying limbs and
Swift wisps and tags of clouds and
Somehow it seemed to speak of a
Higher truth, a basic verity
That underlay all that I saw.
And I watched and I waited
But no matter how I tried,
It remained elusive,
Out of reach, but nevertheless, still…
And what may I say?
What may I say.
Am I truly an aging man
Trying to recapture a lost youth,
Or has my nature remained
The same, only needing the
Proper sign, a refreshing rain,
Warm soil and a rich earth
To sprout the seeds lying dormant within?
All things spring from God
When He sends joy
Let us catch it as it flies.
Late at night, I sit in the glow of
The computer monitor
Communing with distant people
While outside the wind lashes
Rain against the windows
And water runs from the eaves
Thinking of all existence as an ocean
Of energy with matter merely one
Expression of this sea and
Life as a ripple expanding outwards from
The ripple passes leaving behind the substance.
Kiss me for the last time
Like it was for the first time.
Kiss me like you’ve never
Kissed me before.
Kiss me like you weren’t
Kiss me like you really want me,
Like there was no past,
Only the Now.
I feel as if I have been asleep
For many years and now
Unexpectedly, I feel the spring sap
Stir in the trees and hear the
Wood Thrush fluting in the dark forest.
Where have I been for so long
And why do I now waken
Like old Van Winkle with
Bird nests in his tangled beard and
Chipmunk stores in his rotting pockets,
Peering through crusted eyes at a
World grown strange.
What awakens me to these
Strange sights and half-remembered dreams?
Reminding me that
Once I burned like a brand and
Flamed like a star against a dawn filled sky,
Before falling hissing into the Western Seas.
What kindles these quenched embers
And fans that flame that once more
Arriving home from work late at night,
I pause on the porch
Listening to the light Spring rain.
The lilac blossoms fill the air
With their sweet fragrance,
Water runs gurgling off the eaves,
A solitary frog croaks his
Song of love.