Saturday, February 28, 2009

The watched pot

I've been watching this pot for a while now,
but I guess that saying's true --
it's not going to boil as long as I stare at it.

But look,
There's something here I want.
Surely there's some way to get it;
if I stare hard enough
and long enough.

Maybe I'm just window shopping.
I know I can never have it
but there's no harm in looking, eh?
Doesn't matter where I get my appetite, eh?

On the deck outside the window,
a small bird sips at the dog's water bowl
and flies away;
another day of freedom.

* * *

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spring melting

Like light
through snow-laden branches
the joy comes,
slowly at first,
a sparkle here,
a warmth there,
some golden glow begins
to pluck away cool strands
of fading dark,
and soon the slightest breeze
will dislodge the fragile web of winter,
dropping it down through thin limbs
like a net, to capture
unsuspecting crocuses below.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mountain God

We who live
in close proximity to you
know your looming presence,
though more than half the time
you are obscured by clouds
of doubt and self-interest.

How is it
that we can continue to traverse this road
day after day
and never draw closer to you?

* * *

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dissolving Otherness

We are Other,
you and I,
yet they are We,
to them.
They are separate,
and yet together;
We are separate from them.

What will it take
for all of us to become We?
A puppy chasing its tail before us
til we all dissolve in laughter
and the borders dissolve with us?

Or some hideous ball of flame in the distance,
driving us to cling together in fear?

What hand will you extend,
and how will you extend it?
If there is no room to climb the stairs,
What steps will you take?

Who will start to build our circle of trust?

* * *

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Living Water

Wait --
Why didn't you tell me
It wasn't your forgiveness that mattered,
it was mine?

All these years
I've been so thirsty
I could taste it --
that longing for cold clear freshness --
and it was there all along,
just waiting for me to forgive?
That one?
I could barely stand to share a pew with him.

And yet,
the moment came,
I didn't think I could do it
I asked for your help,
I said the words --
(well, you said them through me) --

and, oh,
the pure sweet rush of it:
like standing under a perfect waterfall.

thirst quenched,
lapping up the droplets of love
still splattered on my upturned face,
I see him now --
that symbol, of all the pain that was --
and rejoicing spills over me,
overflowing into a hug of celebration.

I'm growing thirsty again:
Find me someone else to forgive --
Just not that jerk who cut me off at the stoplight,

* * *

Monday, February 23, 2009

Avoidance mechanisms

Because the sea calls,
I must go;
push off from the safety
of land and hard sand,
into the rocking of waves and deep waters.

Hand me an oar,
I'll push off from the shore
and use it to keep
this precarious illusion afloat:
that I have any control at all;
that it is my own strength
that keeps me on course;
that I have a destination of value.

Wait, look, there -- is my paint chipping?
Must fix that,
can't go out today,

* * *

Sunday, February 22, 2009

When I open myself to you

The whisper of your breath
stirs against my cheek.

Tiny hairs begin to quiver;
muscles vibrate,
strings to your celestial guitar.

Your voice resonates in the hollows of my bones.
Waltzing with joy,
constellations whirl through the empty spaces in my cells
til my fingertips explode with blossoms,
cherry petals
quivering with the promise of ripening fruit.

* * *

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The artist's lament

Midday in the piazza,
nobody comes,
the tourists are all eating lunch.

I live for my art,
I'm burning - especially in this hot sun -- for my art,
and for what?

My financial umbrella is shrinking rapidly,
just like the ozone layer,
and even when they do come,
they do not buy.

Perhaps I should fold my easel
and walk away.

But what will happen
to all the unborn images
in my heart?

* * *

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dim the lights, please

All my heart's a stage:
I am the audience,
humming with anticipation;
the arrogant diva,
hogging center stage,
proclaiming "me, me, me, ME!;"
the stage manager,
rolling her eyes and going for the hook;
the aging thespian,
stumbling in the dark backstage,
wondering which lines I'll forget tonight;
the young lovers,
cooing in the wings;
the anxious novice,
trembling with stage fright.
You man the lights and sound,
illuminating it all,
amplifying each perfect note
highlighting each missed entrance.
Dim the house lights, please --
I cannot bear to watch.

* * *

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bright copper pennies

You scatter us like wishes --
Coins in a fountain,
Seeds in a garden,
Sheep in a field --
Then watch us as faithfully
as the widow watches her pennies,
using each to best advantage.

Watching my own pennies,
tending my own sheep,
nurturing my own garden of wonder
I feel your tender hands
patting down the dirt around me,
offering the trough of water,
rubbing me thoughtfully in your pocket:
Spend her here?
Spend her there?
Save her for a rainy day?
My copper slowly glowing bright as sunshine
while I wait for your decision.

* * *

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Where do your dreams take you?
I am resting in the shade of a garden,
the air lush with birdsong and waterfall.
Light frolics in the branches
and dances on the cobbled walk.
I breathe the rich green scent of spring,
lightly spiced with new pink flowers
and the hint of the sea,
never far away.
The cool grass sings beneath my naked feet,
and a breeze of spirit lifts my hair,
tenderly caressing my cheek.
your hand in mine,
I rest,
and breathe your song of love.

* * *

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Come to the light

Looking across this as yet unbridged divide,
I see that I am not alone in my yearning;
that all creation reaches out for you,
that even the sun casts her burning gaze
in your direction,
and that you,
in turn,
reach out for me as well,
stretch inviting fingers of light across the water,
luring my eyes to this gate
which, as I now focus,
I begin to realize is not a door at all
but an invitation to the lush garden beyond,
to the tree of life,
who bends her branches in seductive arch
whose curve is echoed in iron and stone.
Come, she whispers,
walk on the water.
I believe
your faith is strong enough;
come to the light.

* * *

Monday, February 16, 2009

The allure of the inaccessible

It's foolish, I know --
I can't get there from here --
and even if I could,
what would be the point?
The steep rocks and raging sea,
my clumsiness and age
prohibit any climb,
and, should I reach the top,
the view beyond would simply be
pure nothingness.

And yet these obstacles --
these rocks and thorns,
the fog, the channel, the crashing waves,
the breakwater that protects me --
each adds to this magnetic pull:

why must we always covet what we cannot have?
Why can't we just look,
and appreciate?

* * *

Sunday, February 15, 2009

When did we become the lepers?

You say God may not cure but always heals.
Where, then, is the healing
for our arrogance?
While millions turn out empty pockets,
scrabbling for change
we jet to Mexico on company time;
paddling in place,
beckon the pool boy,
who stands at the ready,
holding silver trays of mint mojitos.

Perhaps he will retrieve
that diamond earring you carelessly dropped in the water;
deliver it to the elderly parents your cleaning lady supports,
living in poverty on a nearby hillside;
surely its redemption
could feed them for a year.

Who but the lepers wear lipstick and earrings
to swim in the River Jordan?

* * *

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Unsafe to cross

This distance I feel --
the space between us --
surely it's not that far,
the water not that deep,
the current not that strong.

This bridge we once constructed --
hand in hand,
log by log,
labor fueled by love and longing --
when did it become unsafe to cross?

What natural disasters
ripped the boards from under our feet?
How is it we stopped trekking back and forth,
failed to notice as it dwindled with disuse?

It seems to me the pillars are still standing:
Do you think, perhaps,
that we might build it up again?
Or shall we continue standing on opposing shores,
tossing love notes like feathers into the wind?

* * *

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Liquid Unity

carving tracks of fire
through my daughter's windshield,
slides down a mother's cheeks
or lifts the goose
who leads her family homeward
through the rippled mirroring of dawn;
feeds the rootedness of coming spring
and races through this narrow channel
with the slow rise and fall
of a heartbeat echoed in the tide.
subside --
echoing the rhythmic flow of oneness.

* * *

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


What bright moon
slices through the trees
to cast her golden net across the water?
Who is it,
that calls us to this liquid wholeness?

* * *

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inside looking out

Here it is again,
the snow,
etching its bright patterns upon the curve of beach;
creating white space on the window page.

Warmed by inner light,
breathe the flame of love,
ignite these old wet logs
and burn away loquacious fog.

But no,
I cannot set this cold blue world on fire,
only you,
only you.

* * *

Monday, February 9, 2009

A balanced life

You call us to the balanced life,
a classic composition,
the bright yellow joy of spring
offset by purple clouds that threaten storms;
the deep green of presence --
of all that is, that lives, that grows --
grounded by the blood-red losses that haunt our pasts
or draw us into the future
beckoning our thoughts and fears....

Help us to stay in the now,
to hold it all in tension;

help us not to stray,
to find the unseen deep blue core within,
the reflection of you that lies in the stillness;
to lie here, crushing blades of grass
and watch as flowering begins.

* * *

Sunday, February 8, 2009


The fog is lifting;
I can see the blues beginning to lighten up,
feel the brush of cool damp across my lashes,
blowing away the gray,
and though I can't detect that distant shore
or see how close it is --
and I know it is --
the grass at hand is greener now,
the driftwood no longer looms --
bones in a dark graveyard --
but glows with wooden hues.

The sand squelches underfoot,
less audible now above the foghorn's drone
as the clatter of gulls across the way lightens the air;
senses, heightened in the gloom,
subside to whispers, sifting through remembered pains
like pages of a book,
fluttering to rest.

* * *

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kierkegaard's folly

As the old Vermonter says,
you can't get there from here.
That road you thought you were traveling,
that goal you thought was so clear?
It's all a dead end --
or so all the signs tell you.

I have to say,
from here it looks like an impossible leap,
an unbridgeable chasm;
are you sure you want to risk
taking that last step into the unknown?
it's inevitable...

of course,
you turn around NOW,
seek out a different path,
sniff around a bit
and find the road that does go through.

Because the mountain will still be there waiting,
and there might be a better way;
another way to get there
from here.

* * *

Friday, February 6, 2009

Open Wyd

Stained and graying,
worn with years of lift and lower,
and lower,
my visage carries hints of ancient lineage,
of castle and keep,
of chapels, moats, and black-clad knights.

Means to an end,
spanning the gap from you to Other,
I link invisibly until,
in opening to some large or lofty vessel,
some thought orthogonal to your own,
I block your passage, your routine;
breaking the ordinary.

Watch as larger lives than yours
float or churn through deeper waves
below my surface as you wait.

Consider heading home some other way,
or, going back to my bascule beginning,
clamber down and launch some bright canoe
to follow where this river leads.

* * *

Thursday, February 5, 2009


God winked at me today,
lowered her lashes,
one eyebrow raised,
a deliberate come-hither glance
burning across the space between us;
I felt it,
that widening of the pupils
when something within you
responds to the sultry whimsical query
from the other side of the bar;
that gleam of interest,
a fiery warmth of welcome and longing,
flaming in the deep blue gaze of Other.

* * *

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Promise in the light

Staring out across dark water
I see the lights of a distant dock --
a resort, in fact:
the night air,
lightly scented with the music of their dancing,
slides toward me
concentric ripples of sound:
they are partying;
I am alone.

But the camera,
swaying to the music
as it peers across the water,
sees each gift this solitude carries;
a platoon of wise men,
their offerings of mercy and insight;
life's feast of many flavors,
served in the silence by burqa-clad waiters,

or possibly a procession of Marys,
each bearing her own promise of rebirth and resurrection.

* * *

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In the still of the night

From the deep blue stillness
you call to us;
your voice echoing across the water
that joins us,
earth to sky.
Your beacon of sound
shines across the silver sea
guiding us homeward.

I hesitate to set out
in this tippy boat,
yet know I have neither the courage to dive
nor the strength to swim.

Have patience with me as I sit
paralyzed with longing.

* * *

Monday, February 2, 2009

It is what it is

Capturing those interior moments,
I get that there are shadows
but must they loom so large and dark?

Get out the cropping tool,
tidy it up,
build a perfect square for maximum impact on the page...

But no, each piece I try to crop --
the dark shadows on the left,
the inconsistent patch of light below,
the blankness of the wall above --
each contributes a steadiness and balance
to make the image whole.

Darkness, blankness, inconsistency --
all serve to build a perfect frame;
accentuate the light within.

* * *

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Coloring between the lines

We found a turtle on a log one day,
brought it back to our room.
Couldn't sleep that night
for the noise of the turtle
slowly circumnavigating,
bumping against the walls,
looking for the way out.

Something slow and ponderous in us
is drawn to the edges.
Some Higher Authority knows
and builds a fence along the way
so we won't fall off.
Who is it that longs to leap over the fence,
to color outside the lines...

and why?
Are we looking for escape?
Or just originality?
Do we expect to find enlightenment
out on the tipping point?
Or just a different perspective
on this liquid unity?

Surely we who seek alternative paths
can see that we are not alone...

* * *