Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Olive Trees

Vincent van Gogh, The Olive Trees, 1889

olive grove
at the end of life
down the end of the lane

bright gold sun
at the top of the sky
draping blue shades under trees

dark green leaves
silver underneath
wind shimmer even in this glow

and the aftermath of night
is the reason we go on
under the olives in the hopeless garden

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night of power

first steps under heaven
river of stars eddies, swirls
constellations moving to new forms

first taste of water
deep black underground river of stars
sparkle tin cup brimful clear

first light the lake
blue through standing pine altars
of green, loon calling, calling

first morning of the world
sunlight on birchbark a whorl of time
the oldest land spirits step quietly

through pine stand altars green and grey

bring ancient woods
under a fierce minted moon

scattering silver spots
on a leaf-blown path

old old wind

this night of power:

wind high in trees
fire bright
stars wheeling
northern lights
shooting stars

By firelight, candlelight,
starlight, and sunlight,
Who created us all in the beginning,
receive us all in the end.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015


hardly possible to ignore
each eye-opened dawn awaking
world born first time anew each day
the first day new creation
rebirth yes too but also
each day new day each moment a new

first hours each morning chill
maker arises from dream—
spinning wollen thread hiking mountain vale
cooling purple-red stories out of day's=blood
hiss of summer's wind-tossed trees spun into melody—
to make new day something out of nothing
birth creation reconciled gap between
mulberry and morning-glory
all green-gold before first tea

what will it be today
scarf or hummingbird cloak
irony of a night soul forced awake
at dawn or at least when sun hits tent
creative friction anew
in span taken for tea to steep
what will you maker have made
by then
so rarely spinning words from hoard
when melody alone fulfills
tease meaning from the film flicker
cinematic sequis spun into light
rope burns and orgasmic joy
rhythm creaking swings of childhood
symphony of vertigo spin till fall on grass
druids shrouded in acid hazmat cloaks
long silence of birdsong sibilant pines
each new day younger or older than the last
unpredictable change of hair red gold white

how did we walk this far again anyway
by each awaken make a new day
so far beyond where cardinals stay
aflicker red from green to grey
such habits pull my hands and break
a form down

to nothing is my dawn allegiance
creation's light fall on what he makes
each morning formless until most made
first artisan celebrates each day anew
first day of creation every day
birds flicker in the fever of living
each second vibrate pulse into being a billion motes
time of slow god and slower hanging tree

pull back now
these darker screens on which to paint
careful what you make manifest each early dawn
last moods that linger shadow all your day
what maker creates both dark and light
a round of wheels cycles spinning tops
magnetic field and solar wind
elegant particle dance
no wonder old ones imagined sun gods in such light
when every day's a new creation
new imagining new world new life
what will he make fresh awoken
this first hour of new universe made
dawn of new life lived

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Gratitudes Thanksgiving 2015

I made it a practice to write Gratitudes instead of New Year's resolutions beginning several years ago. I find this practice very challenging this year, after a year in which I pretty much lost everything. Literally. I won't bore you with a list; the highlights include losing my home and most of what I used to own; leave it at that for now. Suffice to say, I feel challenged this year to be grateful. Writing Gratitudes cannot be easy: while it's easy to be grateful when you're at a feast, it's far more difficult to find gratitude when you have nothing. But that's when it really counts.


The list of my circle of close friends who have helped me immensely in this past year—in multiple ways on multiple fronts, some big, some small, every little piece adding up to a whole greater than the sum of its parts—is a long list full of wonderful people. I'm challenged to make a full list, because I don't want to leave any names off accidentally. So please, all of you, accept my profound and eternal thanks. Thank you. THANK YOU.

I'm grateful to have what I have left, for what I have now, every little piece of it. I have a vardo, a nomad's wagon to live in, and destinations to go and visit, and a road to travel. If the folk in one town start to be a problem, there's always another town own the road.

I had a really good Thanksgiving here in CA with best friend and best friend's family and circle of friends. Not merely a great food feast, but good conviviality and lots of excellent moments of laughter and music. Thank you.

There are people I think of as family. My family-of-choice. Most of them know who they are. I'm grateful you're in my life. Thank you.

I'm grateful simply to be alive. There have been several occasions in recent years when that was no sure thing. There have been a few times in this past, difficult year, when I've come close to that edge. My mental and physical health have been fragile, or, to be blunt, on some occasions this past summer, outright broken. I've spent time these past few weeks on the road rebuilding the equilibrium and stamina lost to several months of trauma that, to be blunt, not everyone I know could have survived. Nor could I have, without immense support from my closest friends. Thank you.

I'm still here. I want to be here. The future is no more certain now that it has been. I have no answers. Life is lived very much day to day. Don't ask for more than that. And thank you.

Nothing is resolved. The road is not closed. I will have no truck with false or toxic hope. I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist, and I've become a hardcore realist. I wait and see what develops. I will not pretend to embrace optimistic resolutions I do not feel, or believe, or have any faith in. Neither will I close myself to grace. I am always open to grace, and I have received many, many gifts. I am still here.

Thank you.

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