Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Riding Shotgun

change is the only constant
i’ve been told
so why is there so much in me
that is intransigent
the habits of years have carved
ruts in me that the
wheels of my life follow without question

if i am honest i’ll admit that
i am not the driver
of this crazy runaway coach
yet honesty is terrifying
it requires a release
of the reins

god smiles
cracks the whip
and suddenly we bounce from
the crooked way
and are racing across
the badlands
the wind in our hair
laughing
leaving the would be thieves
far far behind

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

We’re Going Wrong

sheltered from the
bitter cold and
the flashing blue
i drive past my
dreaded brother
being handcuffed
against his car
while cream sings
on my cd player
we’re going wrong

Posted in Musings

Listening to recess while waiting at Checkers

My Latino friends who taught me how to (really) play checkers called it a “chanchito” (piggy) when you were able to trap your opponent’s piece so it could not move.

The distinctive checkerboard decor of the Checkers where I wait outside for a burger reminds me of those long ago days at the drop-in center playing games, trying to build peace between gangs.

At an elementary school across the street, I hear the screams of children at recess. I resist the urge to reach for my phone which is my goto habit when I am waiting. I would simply obsess over the news of the most recent school shooting.

Instead, I try to remain present to this moment of waiting. I feel the sun’s caress on my face. I think of life and checkers. I ponder why there seem to be no kings on this checkerboard, why it seems we all are chanchitos trapped in an endless cycle of violence.

I mourn.

I remember.

I wait.

I pray.

I listen intently to the joy of children at play.

Posted in Musings

Labyrinth

I have come to the realization that I am lost and will forever be.

I ran out of string years ago. I still remember the feel of the rough twine slipping through my calloused fingers. I could have turned back, followed the gleaming cord back into the familiar light. I chose to continue on, to crawl deeper into the dark caverns. Now I am captured by the endless maze of my inner underground.

This is not a silent place. I hear the whisper of past conversations and forgotten songs, captured to repeat in the endless rewind of memory. Yet these voices too begin to recede into the depths and the heavy quiet of that other Voice.

I am afraid, but that is to be expected. There are creatures here, forged of memory and pain and regrets. They hover in the shadows just out of reach until my outstretched hands blindly touch them. Then they draw near.

They join the others who follow me, a different sort of retrieving line, as together, hand in hand, we make our way down into the fearful, revealing dark.

Posted in PEACE GROOVES

Between Mercy and Learning How to Pray

alas i am not unencumbered
nor unencumbered should i be

perhaps it as a goal has
in itself become a burden
a distraction from
the one necessary thing

to simply crouch
here at the callused
feet of the master
the hint of a future
resurrection of someone
precious to me
hovering above in the
air of busyness
between mercy for
the stranger and
learning how to
pray

(Luke 10 and 11)

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Category 5

i have rarely been gentle with myself

at times my inner storm bursts forth and i lash out at those closest to me

it is a cyclical pattern as predictable as the spinning cyclones birthed upon the waves each hurricane season

o for the calm that resides in the eye
to trust that change will come in its own good time
that the divine does her work with or without my help or obstruction

o for the will to simply stop spinning and listen
the patience with my broken self and the brokeness in others
whose perceived stagnancy
reflects my own
and spins the inner rage
which so often overflows
in word and deed

o for the silence
that follows the whirlwind
that calls me forth from
the cave of my
skewed assumptions
into a spirit
of deep love and
quiet grace

Posted in Art & Photography

The Way of the Leaf 74

I am indebted to trees.

Not simply because they supply the air I breathe, but because they literally give their lives that I may create crafts of beauty and grace.

I originally started this photo series as a way to notice the intimate details of life, the small things as it were. It has been almost exactly a year since the last posting. Yet, whether I post or not, the practice has definitely changed the way I see the world.

“The trees of the fields shall clap their hands…”

And their bright leaves fall.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

The Words That Arise

when my beliefs
fall around me
like leaves
when my body
aches with the
weight of the years
when i long for
the pains of this
mortal flesh
to be washed
from me with the
morning rain
which runs
down my windows
when this gray morning
is somehow comforting
to the withering one within
i turn again
to that which
has sustained me
over the years
the words that arise
from somewhere and
sprinkle down around me
like an oil of blessing
and in the scribbling
before i begin to fade
back into the
walking sleep
that is my
existence
i find that
what i know i must do
yet am somehow
paralyzed from doing
is somehow
a lighter thing
that alights upon
my shoulder
to whisper of what
it can be

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Bay Morning in Stereo

to my left
the sound
of birdsong
to my right
the voice
of a child

i open my eyes
to the warm breath
of the rising sun

in the distance
a dark speck
upon the water
becomes a
creature
seeking
sustenance
in the depths
captured
by starfire
upon the
waves