081817.mmm

…….

Often

Not too often, but enough

I think about what death will be like

And I hope I’ll be lucky enough

Among other things,

For a few minutes,

Maybe not too many –

But a few,

To imagine my exhaustive to-do list

Bursting into shreds or flames

And I hope I find this exhilarating,

Or humorous.

My favorite of poets one said

We all leave this life unfinished.

I had never considered it,

And I am grateful to think of it –

Going out mostly living,

Not mostly dead and waiting –

What could be better?

I try to witness each dawn and sunrise,

This is my religion –

Always reinventing –

Always beginning again.

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Carry On

.

They were river 

River was his language

All of them

They were many

Under the surface a philosophy

Mysteries he would share with me.

That place a chrysalis.

.

Now is desert

What is called river in desert

He would have named creek.

.

But desert speaks to the me without him 

Its life-preserving drops and vast openness

That seem uninhabitable.

The old shaman said 

You must put your root down deeper to live.

Here root is what is needed to carry on.

Here root is my language.

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…..

Clouds roll over the snow caps

Desert floor below 

The energy in the air shifts and charges

In this place the people are not.

Those that were,

They were known as the

People of the Wind.

.

What happens that someone arrives?

Curious storm, rolling down like the tide line 

That voice scratching across the earth uninterrupted 

Wind song 

Shaking the one like a pocket full of mouse bones

Who, who are you? the invisible ponders

Rattle, rattle. rattle, rattle,

Like chattering teeth.

.

The wind has fists in this land,

Pounding down in burst and cackles-

What are you doing here?

Are you

Are you a people of the wind?

What are you doing here? scratches the creaking, pounding ponder.

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Through the dark, through the wind, through the snow

Deserted.

I know where it leads, the

Desiring, plotting, and striving, the pushing and rowing.

Redevotion, quietness and truth

Reverence for higher things–

Deepening understanding,

Meditation and stillness, the only refuge from the shocks of fate.

New beginning –

Dormancy now.

Wait for signs of spring.

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The moon in this season has incredibly long fingers

Like chopstick-shaped driftwood weathered on the shore

Those fingers are picking over my bones, white bones

Long, white, driftwood fingers

My bones strewn everywhere from mountain range to mountain range

Across many trails and journeys 

Where my heart was so sure a home would be found

A respite from the razors of the wind 

But left out all mushy and vulnerable in the name of hope

An inexhaustible winter

Laid down my body, bone by bone

And now the moon

Picking them like an instrument 

As if some magic could wake them

As if some song could dance them in this cold, cold wind 

And start my heart singing again with all these stars.

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There’s a trail the free range horses cut

At dawn I follow it

Wearing moccasins like my mother did before me

So I can feel the earth below

My mother now walking some unseen place under me

A reflection each step.

Every place has its own rhythm

It takes time and attention to find it

Rubber soles cannot feel it

Rendering so little of the dance on this side.

Take off your shoes 

And remember who came before you

Let the ancient rhythm be the mirror under your feet

It’s hard to feel lost once it’s found you.

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Vulture Tribe


I don’t live anywhere now.

I live nowhere, 

everywhere in between.

.

This morning the music of vultures 

high in the forest,

so many voices.

Early sun through shiny, tall blades of grass, 

glimmering trees,

a simple breeze makes the world shimmer green.

Because I live nowhere, I can be here. 

.

Life is here.

Death is over a few more ridges, occasionally comes knocking,

just to remind me how close it is.

Most people live as if they’re never going to die,

they cannot understand my living with vultures.