Archive | Poetry


IMAG0449 - second cropancient pieces
float to mind
presenting  impulses
prompting the pilgrim
to look toward home

time chastens
the victor
and yields the victory
to her who supposes
life everlasting

she has won the medal
and still covets awards
to hang on the wall

but they all hang on her heart.

photo by Joshua Hallissey


Through A Window, Gladly


Fairy Dust

Will the children find
how shaky all things are
and the gods who are their parents,
all illusion?
What will I say then?

“All of it, my dears,  all of it
is nothing but fairy dust
created by a head
in search of its own dream.”

Where would I be then?
In the midst of this day
or at the end of it, charged with life
pulsating within me.
Tired to be sure
but marveling that in spite,
despite everything,
life is sweet in any dimension.

I am  as real as these fingers
on this keyboard,  as real as
the smile that crossed my lips
when the computer commanded
“please wait”.
Or as real as the work I see surrounding me
that I may never get to.
I do what I see is mine to do.

I am committed as clearly
as I more nearly see.
I write as I more nearly think.   I think.
And I hear what is mine to hear.
So am I real?

Only to arms around me.
Only to those in whose memory I live and
will continue to live.
And as alive as I am in my progeny
whether here or elsewhere.
As I walk, I am.   As I think, I am.
And as I love, I am.
This is how real I am.

And if what I participate in,
including this,
is illusion, so be it.
I would hope it would be a life giving illusion.
In the face of no hope,

I would be hope.


How Much Better It Would Be

Blue wall hangingHow much better it would be
for this noble planet
if we cherished her like a lover?
Or loved her as a mother
who adored her child
and wiped the tears away
with a soft linen?
Or as a father
whose arms surrounding the child
are as steel beams supporting
the frame of the tallest building?
Who would not want these for himself
if he could articulate
what would heal
the dichotomy within?
Too few of us around
who love our home so fiercely
we would protect her vital organs.
The sun sometimes
is hidden from man
and the moon embarrassed
to see its light dimmed with shame.
When patches of earth split
from the shock of no rain and dust rises
and rolls across open land,
we wish then not to shake dust
from our boots but to greet
a sunrise in splendor.
Offer me this, the Earth Mother says,
that you will raise your arms
only to surround an Other in love.
Promise me this, again she says,
that the swords will be laid
at the foot of the evergreens, now
and a boot will never crush
an Other’s right to live.

And I will forever cherish your children.

August, 2013


Excerpt From A Journal Entry

Christmas PhotoAugust 13, 1990

I write and say. . . . . .

It is necessary for me to ask why;
otherwise the peeling of my heart has no purpose.
Why implies a reason, doesn’t it?
So don’t start by saying it is not enough
just to live and breathe and see and feel the anguish
of hurt that should never be;
implying that this life and earth are not enough
in themselves because we might get too lazy?
I can’t believe that.
Just looking and feeling the North wind is enough
to stir my senses;
to lift me from my bed to get on with living;
to raise the dust out of corners
too long neglected and lift
the filthy and sweaty labors and point out
that these are gifts of life in themselves.
These are the beauties along with the first snow
and the harvest intact and sealed and the
presence of souls who find a reflection
of what they hold dear in the eyes of an Other.
These are so.   I say these are so.
I say because such a world exists
and there can be a large measure of happiness
in just such a world.
Or you think not so,

because what I dream is a rose in a field of weeds?


Dog Days of The Lion

When at the end
of the dog days of the Lion
and the garden is again
conducive to prayer,
arrange the knees
bent in homage to the winter.

It is time to pray
the garden into being;
the stage for the winter solstice.
It is time to oil the tools
to store in barns designed to hide
the hot and humid days
that made breathing difficult.

Spent flowers, weeping willows,
short term annuals,
having already died
their unceremonious death.
We pickup, clean up
the dried up dregs of the summer days,
and live to breathe again
the freshness of a cooling breeze.



Camelot Moment

The words we chose to speak
could not be construed
to be words of great love,
but they were.

It was with gaiety that we chatted
about the commonplace
and laughed a lot.
We were happy.

I sat in my chair
at the dining room table
and watched with joy a moment rare
in our shared history.

My coffee cup
had been refilled so many times;
its taste was cutting sweet.
You had risen from the table
and in the space that was
the middle of the kitchen,
were moved by some unnamed force
to do a jig.

In the fragmented second it took
to blink away a laughing tear,
your form transformed
and there we were and yet not.

With feet doing your
ancestral dance in mid-air,
your solid body was no longer solid.
A maze of dancing atoms and molecules
took your shape.
Your color took on their transparency
and I thought how fragile you are!

It was just a moment
but eternity practising
and you were back into
the time frame we both knew as you.
I could not tell you what I saw.
The rules of this let’s pretend world
are hard to break.

I sit at this desk with
magically moving molecules,
drinking coffee from a supposedly
solid white cup and saucer
and holding tight to a yellow pencil
at a time when the rest of the world
sleeps and weeps.

Knowing the mountain
is only a thought form
and with a little faith in my ability
to move it, I could.
With our prejudices
we mightily construct a world
to please or not,
as our self image directs.

But in this brief Camelot moment,
I know that in that sacred space I saw you
so utterly defenseless,

I never loved you more, nor me.


I Sought My God

I sought my God
in pleasures great and small.
In beautiful places one was told,
He would be found.
I have traveled much this world
to know if God be found
across the sea, in foreign lands,
I had to seek.

The Roman soil was holy,
surely He would be there!
Though history stirred my senses,
my soul of God was bare.

The ancient Orient
was found to be mysterious
with holy rites for everything.
Surely God would have to be
but I found him not.

My journey seemed so fruitless,
though no greater sights I’d seen,
than ancient ruins pointing to God,
but God was nowhere I had been.

Returning  home I walked
my fields so late at night,
content that I had searched with might
in places far and near for Him,
but found him not.

But doubt within me stirred anew
and forced my face up to the heavens,
while to the ground my knees were bent
and heart and soul with God were rent.

I found there is no barrier
between my mind and my God.
He dwells in me and I in Him.
Eternal  truths forever stand
though time our visions dim.

Foolishly for years I’d sought
my God in places distant,
in books reread to catch elusive meaning.
For me this road was right,
for mind and thought were measure.

Each man must travel the road alone.
The way is clear, the journey long,
but oh the peace!
My mind has ceased its endless turmoil,
my feet their endless motion.

There is no death in this Great Plan,
just a passing on to greater things
of mind and heart and soul.
Inadequate are the words of man,

but my heart in great anticipation,  sings!


Effort Becomes The Way

Take ye  and do likewise He said
and I believed Him.
When effort becomes the way
and in a blink of an eye,
becomes a pleasure, nay fun,
one becomes suspect.

For in layman’s terms
work is not pleasure
but desultory means
of making a living.

Woe is the pilgrim
who in life respects
the physical means
of procuring sustenance.
That in its secret
one finds the ultimate answer.
That virtue is in the labor

and beauty is in the doing.

August 2013


At Fifty One

This morning I took spade in hand
and dug the young and fragile marigolds
out of their crowded rows
and thinned them out.

With dowel in hand
I lifted these slender stems
into holes I designed for them.
I eased their change in residence
under a cloudy sky promising rain.  It did.
And their trauma was lessened
and their root protected
and in confidence they grow.

Yesterday I gave birth to new ideas.
Was it only yesterday?
I handled with great care their birthing.
I planted and thinned and transplanted
and kept them from flying
when they had no wings.
But when it was time,  I let go lightly.

Now it is another birth-day.
I will shed roles chosen and
and choose new ones.
I open myself to new ideas
and wear them hesitantly.
I will tell you of my journey
to this space in which
I find myself at fifty one,
knowing I am Creator and Creature both.

Having birthed ideas
whose essences are cosmic,
having nurtured the earth’s marigolds
whose roots are hers
and to know in the moment
how beautiful and right
it all is . . . . .

and could never be otherwise.

1982- even then I knew it to be my life’s journey-work



Conscience is
a mouth guard I wear
to keep my heart from spilling
onto the cold, hard ground.
I would want my words
to meet your thoughts,
to brighten your furrowed brow
and dismiss the fear
from your eyes.

But only when I see
an invitation to speak
will I let loose the guard.
This is what I want to do.
All I need is one moment
of invitation and I run
like a greyhound chasing
the tail of a rabbit.

See me chancing
to have you run with me
when all I wish is a someone
even for a brief moment saying

I meet you here.



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