Morning Tableau Vivant

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Light flickers across the dirty tablecloth

filtered through water and leaves suspended in air moving

as the sun rises from behind the mountains of the east.

Romeo and I sit behind the window,

awakening slowly to the beat and the heat

of chachalaca wings drumming from tree to bush,

recently up from the depths,

cackling earth-mother-in-law songs,

tales of the brood,

that twine in the vapor of freshly poured coffee,

as yet, too hot to sip.

The summer grasses tingle in the crystalline breeze outside,

becoming rapidly overwhelmed by the day’s spread,

oblivious to all our thoughts and regrets of the past,

all our intentions and worries for the future.

A dove coos from somewhere distant.

A gecko flits across the aperture and catches a tired moth.

Romeo, lays in my lap, eyes reflecting mine,

and touches my lips with a flick of his little dog tongue,

proclaiming love to be more important than anything

and always just enough,

dissipating all those ancient dreams

left in the darkness

crumbling beneath the feet of the dawn,

leaving only what is

waiting on the step outside the door

of the next breath.

8/23/16

Invisible Thread

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They are not wolves,

or coyotes or jackles

with their long histories in the natural world.

A terrier or a spaniel or a hound

really has no home in that much larger place,

at least not in their present, modified form.

A wolf belongs.

He has his purpose within an ecological system,

the wilderness from which he was born,

his connection is clearly written

in the spirals.

But for dogs,

like the humans that breed them,

that link has all but vanished

and the wild place from which we emerged

thousands of years ago

has become a foreign country.

Perhaps then,

that is why we both,

even though we are of different species,

seek one another out,

cling to one another,

care for one another,

and love one another.

Perhaps

that is also why,

some of us

seek God or solace

in the untamed, uncorrupted places of the world,

far from the complications of the crowd,

to heal, when we have been emotionally wounded,

or have been somehow cut off from others

whether as a result of our own foolishness and confusion,

the designs of others,

simple happenstance,

or the inevibility of death.

Perhaps,

it’s because when we are alone,

when we feel our smallness in the universe

and our separateness from nature so intensely,

or when we look within

in the solitude of meditation,

that we can also feel the unseen connection,

no matter how distant,

between one human and another,

you and I,

family, clan, friends

or with another animal,

or God, or nature,

or all that is more than ourselves.

Because our need for love,

is so great,

so strong,

that to live without that connection,

even with a small dog,

who shares that same need

for that same tender, invisible thread,

……is simply unbearable

Campfires

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I awaken this morning

in the cave of my being,

perhaps not quite ready for the light,

not quite prepared for the surface,

I lay on my back

tenderly testing this new reality

with shallow breath and coiled tongue,

as if it were a coal,

still too hot to touch,

not yet cooled

from last night’s fire.

Where have the wheels

hidden beneath night’s carriage

taken me as I slept?

What cold and distant constellations

have been traversed?

What country do I now inhabit?

Will I find the same familiar trees,

the same mountains and seas,

the same beloved faces?

Or some new other,

yet to be explored,

transformed from the ashes of yesterday,

when we burned down the house

in the radiance of your smile,

which now, once more,

I feel blazing on the lids of my eyes.

8/11/16

Tromp L’oell – for Monet

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Now that the storm had passed,

the rainless wind buffets and bluffs

in half-hearted gusts

rattling the branches and leaves of the trees

free of lingering droplets

left behind in the rush.

While a beautiful calm blushes

between gushes,

glimpses of a world in glimmering reflection

in a shimmering mirror of newborn puddle and pool,

already awake, already stirring with life,

and glistening on the surface of everything,

lovely and wet as a first kiss,

a moment of purity and peace that was hidden

but visible now,

left behind in the wake of the violent tempest.

There now is the hillside, green and brown,

reborn again,

rippling below itself

on the tenuous tension of water’s surface.

A glimmer of sunlight breaks through,

expanding everything,

just for a moment,

and then quickly disappears in retraction

as yet another gush of heavy air

trembles the leaves once more.

Now it reappears,

in a wider gap, remaining longer this time,

glinting yellow in the fertile wetness of all

those ripples and dripples

yet running down,

seeking stillness on the edge,

just for a moment,

only a moment,

one moment,

teetering on the brink,

so temporal, so fragile, so incredibly complex,

so different from the last.

as the first dragonfly skims across

and hovers,

taking it all in.

8/7/16

Windmill Falling

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I flail wildly at the air

like a man falling from the sky

with a thousand arms,

with a thousand hands grasping,

wanting, wanting

to see,

what I cannot see,

to hear,

what I cannot hear,

to smell,

what I cannot smell,

to taste,

what I cannot taste,

to touch,

what I cannot touch,

to have,

what I cannot have,

to know

what I cannot know,

to be,

who I cannot be,

where I cannot be,

wanting what is not,

falling,

like a windmill with arms and legs,

spinning, spinning,

ever out of control,

like a cyclone, a maelstrom,

or a child in the midst of a tantrum

wanting everything

and receiving nothing,

until at last,

in the calm of my exhaustion,

my despair,

my utter hopelessness,

when all my tears have been spent,

nothing remains,

but to return

to the eye of my eye,

the I of my I,

that most feared,

honest and secret place

where all that I am,

and all that I need,

resides,

my sweet home……

this moment.

8/3/16