Magic in my pores

IMG_4494The fresh air works its soothing
magic in my pores. I breathe in
rain drizzle and salt spray.

Seagulls veer overhead.
The sun shines a glimmering
stripe over the Cascade Mountains
in the bay beyond.

The day has passed
indulging in passions and care.
Soaking, cooking, playing music,
reading, yoga. Now it’s time
for the most attended arrival.

I have sat down, picked up
my black journal, uncapped
my fountain pen, and started
writing.

I let words flow without searching
or effort. Images flit across the mind
like black and white birds flying low
and fast over the water.

They thrust their wings and bodies
forward and back in a tension
willed toward freedom, love,
nurture.

Each year the seasons turn
the wheel of time, arching
their smile in chromatic hues
over the months.

In her own bird and beast,
flower and tree, resonate
from nature’s call.

Responding to an inner will,
a promise to the gods,
or a drink from the tree of life.

Like them, my words are willed
to grow, transform,
move toward what is felt,
yet unknown.

Saltiness invades my mouth

IMG_5586Saltiness invades my mouth
in a sudden outburst,
and then—as if a motion in the slow
advance of the pawns—dissolves
on black and white squares:
a game as old as time itself.

Outside the rainy day sits
with its hat on the horizon,
brooding over the northern landscape,
spruce trees swaying in the wind.

The ruthless sweep of the Queen
captures the battleground, leaving
me awash in the flood of my tears.
A small distilled ocean releases
the feathery web of inner emotions.

Above my head the stars sparkle
in a radiance invisible to my daytime eye.

We seek the language primeval.
To dance under celestial movement
of stories told again and again—shaping
and shaped—at times long forgotten.

Drops form patterns: on the windowpane,
my dotted reflection.

Particles

Particles of flesh weave
the texture of my shell
in the ebb of the tide,
under the watchful eye
of the moon.

Air, water and fire united
to mass, weight, earth
in a pattern so infinite
it mesmerizes my gaze.

They constitute in an ever
changing unison of form,
colliding into elliptical swerves,
like super eight volcanoes.

I am here, under the toes of elves,
nimbly fingering my inmost being,
from molecules so minuscule
they elude my consciousness,
to veils so vast they expand far beyond.

And when the light goes on,
even if just for an instant, I absorb
bubbles of effervescent geometry
before my close-lid eyes.

Manifesting the archetypes
of an awareness I did not know
was mine.

Colors so bright, so ethereal,
like flowers blooming,
the next moment gone.

Only to find a knot in my spine,
a grovel in the bark of an old tree,
its growth arcane.

Roots of my being break through
to rivulets of energy, a dimension
so warm, so beautiful
it fills me with ecstasy.

In the bliss of a moment’s kiss
the body electric sees itself:

alive and held
full and empty
finite and eternal
one with all creation.

I open my eyes to the darkness of the hall
and sing within my being
to the forces above and within.

The truth now lies instilled
in a wave of tears.
Salt and earth sediment together
as kernels yielded from years of forming,
on a journey where love and trust
are linked with the fibers
of a mesh that resounds
of beginnings.

A fleeting overload of sensations
fills me, sucking on breast,
the fuzziness of a peach.

Thin grasses swaying,
coated by a white mantle of ice,
nod translucent to the tangerine glow.

The disc of light makes its way
above the horizon,
while my heart exults
in the force of creation.

One stem at a time
I sweep and arch from sky to earth,
cloud, grass, pebbles and stream.

In the violet hour I sing
to the harmony of the seraphim sky,
surrounded by the symphony
of all creation.

Its oneness brims over
and holds me
awash in a transitory glimpse of eternity.

I wave to the oncoming night and the star filled sky.
A salute to that emptiness
that is fullness.

Friendship

Coffee cups clash
and music plays
in the background:
a rhythmic unfolding,
a geometry of sound
like fractals of the mind.

Voices hushed and hoarse
whispers and clamors
outside the grey street:
Seattle winter.

The siren sings of love.
In the distance I spot a friend
approaching. Movement of souls
learning to know each other.

A ripple made by a rock
in the water,
its expanding concentricity
makes me aware of space.

Magnets pulled by a force
of struggle and pleasure.
The trickle of a bead of sweat
on my skin. A pearl glistens
in the landscape of fine hairs.

Its roundness seeking perfection,
in a precarious second before the tension
gives way, where form
becomes content
and wave is water.

The boundary so fragile,
an ever becoming streamline
that connects me
to a girl in a woman’s body.

In the wide expanse
longing becomes embraced
with its shining newness.

Eyes, arms, lanky legs;
I take it in and want more.
Sharing thoughts, memories,
the feeling of affinity soars.

My heart pounds.
In an attempt to quiet it,
my mind focuses,
observes and flies upward,
over the arc of the horizon.
It swoops with eagle wings
to grasp the essence of its being:
consciousness.

Learning to sip tea. To take it in
slowly. Step by step.
To listen. To hold the other
in your presence, allowing a reflection
to flicker in the mind’s eye.

Snow child

photo credit Josh Hays

from the Russian Fairytale Snegurochka, The Snow Maiden

the snow came
twirling, dancing
in infinitesimal patterns
of the finest geometry
each its unique design
an imprint from the heavens
of sparkling light
as though faeries dancing
in twilight tremors

there is a muted softness
in the air I breathe
as though echoless and magical
in the distance the laughter
of children playing
perhaps I will make my own
snow-child come to life

eyes sparkling
with sapphire clarity
and the glow of life in her cheeks
only it is with care
and the caress of compassion
that my arms might bend
folding to enclose but
not to grasp
in that fine dance
that is selfless love
sending forth on the
seraphim wings of freedom
wild and longing
into the candor
of a wintry night

Every tree does shed its fruit

Dedicated to William Blake

In the dark passageway carrying the light
Aglow my cheeks a rose of pale opalescence
The globe in my hands, I whisper in the stillness
As though in but a second I could
Hear the humming of all creation

Small hands clasping the pitcher
Life flowing on the inside
Captivated and captured

Suddenly askance
In opposite directions turn
Face, hands, feet
Something or someone
Makes its way down the alleyway
Catching me by surprise

Surrounded by shadows
Looming and tall
The liquid spills, the flames roar
The whispers swish and swoon
Shutting me in their golden cage

With a shout I encompass myself
Held together by the magnificence
Of opposites without
I land on green grass

It is moist and while the early dawn rises
I contemplate that every tree does shed its fruit
Time passes and leaves wither and shrivel

The fruit I bore, in its arc of creation
Laid shining and dappled
Thrust out of springtime love
Lust, dew, music
And when summertime came
Shining in fullness
It hung resplendent on a leafy branch

Yet time, the mystery in its making
Has walked serendipitously forward
Falling into autumn
Leaving the skin to shed on my plate

Consumed by the law of matter
Metabolism, digestion, process
Serene and lonely
In the harvest hour
I lie with the fruits of my experiences
Chewed into decay and waiting to be
Transformed into winter thought
Unique and Eternal

I open my eyes

I open my eyes
To the new day, new year
Sunlight pours through the window
We honor each other’s presence
And delight in each other’s arms
Scent, skin, touch
I am in love
And it wanders through my being
Spreading like ripples in my
Atomic flesh and blood
Bubbles of wholeness singing
In cosmic harmony

Hearing the words of angels
And facing all in the moment
Calm, compassionate
Vehemently happy
Life full to the brim
Of cause, desire, ideal
Truth, possibility
And yet also struggle, loneliness, sadness
Possession, envy, jealousy, greed

The shadows allowing transformation to happen
Toes of a toad
I sing to the world
In a newfound language
Hoping for the myriad colors to mesh
With the infinitesimal beauty of coral
Jellyfish, peach, blossom

The thin red line that harkens
The coming sun rising
Over the desert plateau
The rainbow arching and spanning
From my heart to my mind

I heard the mermaid echoing in the distilled blue
Saw the starfish in the underworld
And words sprang like a crocus in the snow
Gently beckoning new life
This new year
New beginnings in which the voice resounds
Clear in the stillness
As the hope for fresh tears
Dew drops of this land
Mother of my mind
One we sing in the holiness
Of all

I am the wind

I am the wind
Whistling helter skelter
Through the leaves
The sand on the shore
Washed by water
Again and again
The footprints of all the feet
Big and small
Swaggering and pattering
That compressed me
And left a little portion of themselves
Imprinted in my life
On my mind
Like a watermark of their
Thoughts sailing on a string
Ballooning into the blue sky
Pulled by a man on his bicycle

I am the woman you held in your arms
And whispered to
I sang to the waves
Wished upon a star
And placed my prayers
On the wistful smile
Of the harvest moon

The days are waning
And so are the years
Looking forward and back
I take a big breath
And look into the hourglass of now

In the stillness I hear your heartbeat
Its relentless rhythm
Taking me back
To the beginning of time

I am the child you once knew
The sunbeam on the afternoon wall
And the sound of the traffic
Droning everything else out

The landscape of pure ideas conjured
By the openness of space
As time widens

The country where all countries meet
Where boundaries are defeated
And love is proclaimed
Where the scent of the morning sunrise infuses the day

I am the loll of the sail in the evening dusk
That windless moment
When all seems captured
In a perfect frame

I am the picture within
Some days the picture of Dorian Gray
The exterior sheaf leaves way
To the inside feeling old
The body unworthy of the cycles of nature
And yet to breathe in the stillness
To sigh and wonder
Each year brings new gifts
The heart opens a little wider
Defying definitions I swing
Into myself
Into this life
Given and giver
Created and creator
Taught and teacher
Drawing out of the mold
The expressions, the laughter
The oohs and ahs of learning
My jewels before me
Glistening in the sunlight
I count them, polish their Inner beauty
And sometimes even wear them
Shimmering in the moonlight
The heart opening and closing
In the acceptance of breath
Transition, process
Anew

Swimming in a fish bowl

Swimming in a fish bowl
the poem whirling
caught on the rim of my tongue
set loose it lisps
as I sing, my heart is Celtic
a harp, a knot
a sail ballooning in the wind
the Isolde of my mind
on the sandy shore
scanning the pebbles for emeralds
green levigated glass
how many stories lie ensconced in a beach
the centuries piled
in interwoven intricacies
thicker than lace spun by nimble fingers
small pink hands
as I clap the sound echoes back
into the mind
its chambers deep
door after door opens
releasing the witness
to myself
in a branch bare from leaves
the October wind howls calling my name
in an arcane tongue
wooing my hair
smelling my body
the skin that shines of the years of my life
in this moment mine to keep
a cycle repeating within
a tidal wave led by the moon
in the answerless abyss that is creation
neverending, never stopping
only change to be embraced
for a longing
for a weltschmertz moment
in a glimpse of hope
a daisy–petals widespread
the toes of my feet heading earthward
as a downward facing dog to the sun
saluting the essence that is
my true self immortal
unique, ever changing
divine
one

Yesterday my name was mint leaf

Yesterday my name was mint leaf
Cool and crisp
An oasis in the turquoise stillness
The cries of the flycatcher above
In my pale green

Today my name is abyss
Wide and void over the wild expanse
A tornado cracking
Over the mouth of a volcano
Its molten center about to release
Destruction and creativity at the core

Tomorrow my name will be Shiva
Yellow in the noon hour
I cross the shadeless square
Holding the handle of my pistol cocked
Poised to take flight

My father called me Jesse
A bandit in making
Leaving me to unfurl
And shed the skins of experiences
Lives lived like indelible
Watermarks on the soles of my hide

My grandmother called me “gioia”
A joy to her heart
Her voice an echo in the sunny afternoon

Sometimes I was also the oximoric giant dwarf
An outgrown baby swathed in silly innocence

Today I look past the broken eggshell
At what lies ahead
Sifting seeds through my fingers
They are earthy and warm

The story is there to be told
Of the nameless mother who
Lost in time, forgot her story
And now it is ours to unravel
Through capsules of life
Ours and hers
In a mouthful of bliss and a tear of hope