my eyes far seeing home again

a visual poem of home where I was grown, not born shy but later was, didn’t learn what I should’a learned, then left, yet tethered, where mom yet lived, the way she did, where I came back again, then again, and cried sometimes quietly, privately, till that day, her last and held her hand, the way it should be, human care, and now what remains is dirt and grass and trees, a trace of water here and there, and unseen, that scent, oh that scent of warm Summer manzanita scrub with its deep red sloughing parchment skin, else brief Spring when green is the color coming home, again, another circle, till when I might return, a foreign bird.   my bag of words.   like this beauty is.


                  think of all the many strangers

                  now tumbled kin, on a stroll down

                  the mountainside.   some bear

                  green in remembrance of water

                  past, where footsteps are landed

                  now.   near too rich a beauty for

                  one life, one breath to inhale.

                  still, I recognize this face.


catch and release


   words are meant to fly, so
   don’t keep them in your mouth
Oh No, I know, it’s a color I mustn’t

admit to having in my pocket, somewhere

between a lovely shade of lavender, and

but did I already say, a rabbit in the hole

or was it hat?   yea, it was hat.

reach in deep if you want the ears.

I remember now what I forgot.   is that a fib?


I can hum jabberwocky too, my way
three times before you spell

       miss issippi.   lovely girl.

wait, no no no – it’s fall in love

at the drop of a hat
that’s me.    good boy, fetch.
if you knew me, you’d know
I’m not that polite afterall


my hand in the light

call me moth.
a pale reflection of something

almost lost.   I am like stars overhead

at noon.   I am a white flag in your eye.
whatever does that mean, no,

you, you answer first

else, I am a flicker that you missed.
I am not the moon.

I confess, I like being near to flames.

are you burning my friend?
I get to see Light reflected

back into me.   landing here

I get to know this unseeable face.

I get to know, it’s me.   but

it’s also you.

we bloom

the language of rain

there was a woman who pronounced herself – I am a multitude.
true said for the many of us here.

rain speaks with many tongues.

where does a circle start.   understand.
there’s a trickle coming from the arroyo wall,

climb down from the adobe home, empty plastic
bottles in hand, fill them full, not so light climbing
back up again.   yes, respect for water.

fresh running creek from mountain snow,

cold, shining wet, pure enough, cup your hands,
drink.   valley walls, hundreds times taller than me.
a long walk, thirsted, water satisfied.

silent white geese gliding down to land,

only the sound of air on feathers, where land is a lake,
come to rest.   we say a flock.    we say float.

land breathes, deep and shallow, both,

land is filled with rain, resting, like geese I suppose
moving up, rising high, eager for thirst to return.

ocean too, adores gravity, yet loves the sky,

here, my body is given up to you.   drink of me.
granting every wish of water circling home again,
rise, fly, soar, swim in heaven’s blue, turning round
like an ocean in the sky.

clouds.   more than counting understands.
now rain becomes a bloom on the mountainside.

        purpose well spent.    circular.
sometimes it’s hard to be small when the world is so big.

        thank god, rain speaks to all of us.
image:   Please expand this image to it’s very most full size.
                More than first meets the casual gaze.   Promise.   see the people?
photograph of the Sonoran Desert in Southern California by Cindy Knoke
Please visit and follow her website.   Cindy is a quietly gifted observer and photographer.   She seems able to see and show the nature of nature.

with thanks also to this season’s uncharacteristic generous rains.
image used with her kind permission

mother has more than only one day

Mothers.   what am I doing writing this?   my mother is gone.   many years now.   but she yet resides here, inside me.   this morning I read two poems by my friend, Bridgette.   if I thought I was at peace with my memories of my mom – I was wrong.   Bridgette’s poems opened my heart more than I was before.

I understood my mother’s life was not all easy.   maybe her relationship with her own mother wasn’t all so loving as it might have been.   wheresoever her pains originated, she passed them on to me.   not by intent but just because that’s who she thought she was.   I did the same.   I swallowed her pain, made it my own.   it lived with me many many long years.   colored me.

here, nearer to the ending of one life, I see better now.   Bridgette is right,
that relationship, mother & child – it is complicated.   40 trillion times or so.

a teacher of mine once said, we are each doing our best to express love, as best we understand what love is.   neither time nor place to detail or debate, but when I look, this looks like true.   obvious enough that how some of us understand love leaves much to be desired.   but within our individual realities, that’s how we try to be.

I remember in young childhood nights when shadows seemed too ominous, it was mom’s name I called out, quietly lest the shadows hear my fear.   but it was mother who heard, who stepped out of bed, crossed the short distance, her voice to comfort me.   love, no shame.

life is both ways, all the time.
artwork by Paul Nzalamba, “Love”

thirty poems number twenty nine

sheltering     this pacific grace
I was here.   when the storm arrived.   I was here.

not long walking here.   alone.   well, not alone.   wind touching me.

making me more real, more like the found ocean inside of me.

each wave, a horse, white mane painted face.   continuous.

best shelter is a roof, no walls.   company needs enter unafraid.

no judgment cast.   only rain on my face.

not nice to say

and not angst, because it’s not
sometimes you just gotta be brave, stupid as that is

          does pain need a place to be pain
what was your first ever memory

          not in body, but in the outside scene
a grilled cheese sandwich seventy years ago

          walking west down the street, away
they called it Murphy’s Peak, just a big old tooth of a hill

          from grandmother’s house.   why there.
do you believe what you hear.   a ruckus noise.

          safe home, yes, but short arms length
now promise, at least six feet away, yes, upwind

          otherwise.   like.   a black lump of coal inside.
it was Christy’s house, lusted to be just outside the door.

          even wished for – is how black it was.
so this magician, he reaches all the ways in, pulls out another hat.

          children see the truth.   why didn’t I.
lay your young hands upon the radio.   listen.   believe.

          but I knew a child would see it in me.
stand to the side, they are bigger than you.

          age what, maybe ten.   decided
we built a fence.   OK.   it was a wall.   no permit.

          no children allowed in my life.
crazy-cat, that was her name.   the very first one, ever.

          because I couldn’t explain.
laid out end to end, starting here.   how long is a memory.

          I wouldn’t dare.

should have remembered all of it.   to tell the truth.
unless you enclose a space on all sides of that space,
then it can be said the space goes on forever, which
is a whole big heck of a lot.   I’m exhausted.

then we ask, so how many spaces can there be.

is that a good question, you think.

it’s a mouthful, I apologize

no children were harmed in the making of this poem
we’ll call it fingers interlaced, if you like

thirty poems number twenty eight

forever then
She stands in silent stone, I stand bleeding, warm.

She is gone.   I am here.   touch.   I breathe, I respond.

who’s got wisdom now.   I’ll lose mine, soon enough.

I used to admire permanence.   I did.   past tense.

what is forever now.   uncomfortable?

what was before, is now and
dark matter, meaning, we don’t know.
but something.   we’re pretty sure.   then
spider webs.   no light, but Light gathering.
stars, then rocks flung all round about.
then fish, then us.   we were from the
beginning.   implied, you see.   who and
where is that intention do you think.

do     you!          hear it whispering
image:   Cleopatra

thirty poems number twenty seven

a very very small instant of truth
       what’s come over me
look, look at the world, all of it

everywhen and everywhere, so

many lives lived and living.
billions.   how could I ever choose

who to be.   but maybe I did.
this one.           me.
I think that was pretty fucking brave all things considered.
postscript.   I do have rules.   my own.   these thirty were unofficially meant to be five or six lines in length, that’s all.   me learning to be brief.   already broken, a little bit.   but now, a BIGGER bit.   but you see, it just belongs here in this family.   so be it, as they say in bible talk.