as long as I am here
      no one can hurt you

tell me tell me tell me
right here right here
beside the feeling, feeling this way
I am, I am right here with you.

her face like a flower,
open, golden sun inside.

she shakes her head
but the dream remains,
seeing is nested here, won’t leave.

in this dream, her dream
her hands, they make shapes
in the air, touching air
they make shapes and
it was you, her hands touching
curves, reflecting you.

oh my dear
love described by the clouds
by a moon, by a star, by the sky.

      as long as I am here
      no one can hurt you

her hands, her feet, climbing
the ladder.   here she comes.
coming up to you.

open.   open your arms.

yes yes.   tell me tell me tell me.
colors fill my ears.   fill me, yes yes.

tell me I’ve been lied to
say to me again, it’s not true.
real seeing, seeing you.

her hands became ears
hearing the shape of you.

my feet shake the dirt.
come, stand close to me.

not arms.   wings.

the dream was swimming.
filling her face.   her face.

      no fear my darling, I will be
      with you to the end of things

      no one can hurt you

as long as I am here,
I am.


           the picture is inside your head.
my room can be a cave with windows surrounding it.
I shelter here.   I reach out from here.   I listen here.

although it’s true, I listen more better outside of here.

I was gonna say, I get tired of only listening to only
myself when I’m here alone.   oh, but such a lie.

          when am I really ever alone?

          I forget, but no matter, here you remain with me.

I have lived in this room.   I am gathered in this room.

I share myself, beginning from this room.

I make pictures for you to see my room.   see me inside.

see my walls.   the orange sky blue barn, the procession
embossed so slight, almost invisible, but that’s the point,
the flower inside a dream, two faces in clay, one you could
almost touch for real, feathers strung in a circle to be worn,
the temptation of Christ, everything.

oh, and books.   didn’t realize at first just how much kin
they represent till I took a picture of two of them.   more
then history, as much as family, how I measure the wrinkles
of my skin.   as good as any stocked cabinet of the kitchen
could possibly be, being more than starting, but coming
to understanding endings too.

I have worked to share some flags.   here see me
waving to you.   I love you at least that much.

Sometimes I walk out to the balcony, second floor.

I am every different shade and shape of green.
I am the rabbit who hides himself.   I am the coyote
in the dead of dark night.   the ears show up first.
I am a black cat curious.   don’t stare.   not polite.
I am a white butterfly.   one, just only ever, one.
I am a ferryboat, barely visible.   big horn starting.
I am the train that rumbles the dirt like it wants
to be an earthquake.   I am remembering the sea
in California, in Big Sur, Henry Miller and his friends.
that bookstore in San Luis Obispo.   thanks.

I am lost.   the better to be found.

I’ve been wanting poems I want to write.

I am an old abacus my grandmother gave to me.
I am a jar of scramble brush from a dry hillside.
          oh, that scent.   summer hills breathing me.

I am an old ocean wave.   but we don’t last long.

I am waiting to live.   I am waiting to die.   I am
waiting to know the difference.   I am grateful
for friends, for a woman named Julie.   I am just
plain grateful.   I try to be a good idea.

I try to not mind being sad.   I think that
gratitude is the natural state of existence.
more than once I’ve fallen, scraped my knee.

then I remember you.   in my room.
in Italian the word stanza can mean “room”.

if you were going to look for me

I’ll be between the words like a picket fence.

I’ll be taller than your feet but shorter than your shadow.

hold your face real close.   closer.   the view is better.

one finger will find me sooner than a hand.
mind the colors.   don’t trip.   they’re left all about.

I’ll be the one standing there, a confused look on my face.

ask me the time of day.   I won’t know.   a sure give-a-way.
excuse me please.   is that you?   yea, I’ll smile back

whether or not it’s even really me.   I guess sometimes.
I was meaning to write something meaningfully.   but that left town.

here’s the stray dog that stayed behind.   good boy, good.   fetch.
still trying to recover grace.   but nope, no luck.

however I’m not far and I’m easy to find.   would you like an orange?

      ask me if I’ve anything profound to say.

      I’ll tell you about this cat and dog
      who live in Tillamook Oregon.


my eyes become colors

      I hear colors with my eyes.

      does it need being said?   I am not indifferent to beauty
      wheresoever it arrives.   big colors, big skies.

      so maybe it’s not really sky I see, so much as color wanting to be big.   and sky is big, so we’re seeing and saying that.   you see?

      I love the process here, maybe more than the result itself.

we can see stories perhaps.   although not the usual kind.   these were stories first, then the words were found following along – more wily wolf than dog. there should be a name for what-kind-of-feeling-this-is.   we’re still waiting for that name to arrive.

sometimes colors come and the words don’t arrive for a long long time.
but the colors know to wait.

we need to see.   to see up close.   every stroke of color, there, every motion of your hand, they come from home and circle round home again.   there is no more open window than this.   we need to receive.   we need to be up close.

          that’s the way sky is meant to be seen.   up close.

sky is needed to host this thirsty bowl.   blues, some of them containing sun, ocher that you’d wish to embrace you coming home, mystic purple turning violet, just a little, shy earth brown eyes and reds already sliced into pinks.

listen.   sky doesn’t want being sad.   although no, none is said.   like with god,
all things allowed.   isn’t that obvious?   drink color instead.   it would be herculean not being of good heart.   take the path close at hand.

we sit by the fire of resting sun while the story discovers our world anew.

there’s water, there’s a continent, there’s a rising sun.   there’s fingers and
a hand.   there’s a crow watching everything.   there’s a fox, an albatros.

          maybe we fall in, instead of down.

          maybe color is its own gravity.


            please fully enlarge images for best image view

painting by Kerfe.   beautiful.   PLACEHOLDERS she called the post.   please, go see and read yourself.   presented here with kind permission.

now to be fair, this picture said to me, make me big, really big.   so I did.   many times its native birth size, I did.   a question, a desire to savor every color stroke, not to miss a thing.

second image is the California Big Sur coastline.   I adore.

home schooling

life is learning.   or a brick.   float, don’t float.

else why not be another thing?   maybe a bird, maybe
a tree, even a fish.   be like the rain.   a billion times.

I understand the high summit climber, the diver
who goes deeper than, jumping from an aeroplane.
       the man who has to touch, everything,
       no matter how close to the precipice.

       just gotta risk being swept away.

       just gotta know it’s all for real.

I understand the risk.   death is only a little thing.
write a poem.   each poem contains one birth one death
and the voice in-between.   just like milk in a glass.

death is when poem returns to a river.   like we’ve
already done, time and time again.

but hey, so what was it like before you were here?
          like that.   not being in your shoes.
we are the bump in the middle of time.
all comes circling back, these questions afore we begin.

      what is this place?
      what are we doing here?
           and me?

          here’s the homework.

ask.   listen.   take what you get.   really.
you already answered.   check your pockets.’

          the dog didn’t eat your homework up.

          yum yum.   you did.

small wisdoms

leave shyness pass.   it is a lie.   neither does it shelter.

be visible.   people will come to you.   listen.   they will be served.

no need to lean into the light.   light will find you by itself.

when you ask, trust the answer you receive.   you already know.

understanding is no requirement for happiness.   acceptance is.

words were born to fly.   don’t keep them in your mouth.

light will fill any shadow if you stand in the right place.

a lie is not a sin, but it is the long way around.

big yellow bus

I’m willing to eat a big yellow bus.     In heavy traffic or light, maybe
like godzilla would, Japanese tourists and all.     Vitamins you know.
Especially the digital cameras, they’re really good.

I’m willing to eat tulips in winter before they’re even sure of themselves,
just a good idea waiting to burst forth on the plate.     A little maple honey
really sets off the colors under the tongue.

I’m willing to eat clear blue sky, bright sun white buffalo with roosters
on the side, clouds squeezing rain, sponge cake whirlwinds with
lightning bolts, perhaps even a little snow.     Sugar of course.

I’m willing to eat self-doubt, frenetic historic tales whispered into
rambunctious sleep, the captain’s first mate, a curry dish, steaming
bowls of salted misconceptions.     Buttered words for dessert.

I’m willing to eat a country mile, where the river elbows close.
Maybe it never happened the way I thought but a windy feast
is as good as a fox in the chicken coop.     Licking lips.

I’m willing to eat the moon.     Would you like a slice?
Can you guess the poem prompt?  Write a poem that begins with the line,
“I’m willing to eat…”.


      Too ripe a pairing, photo to poem, to resist reposting here.  No children on that bus these days, just vegetables from a local grower to the Saturday Farmers Market in town.  Go say hello if you’re in this part of the Edmonds Washington world.   Say you saw them here.


plain talk don’t matter much

      like salmon do, swimming upstream, that’s the job.   salmon do it, why not me?   although do remember what happens to them afterwards.
      pebbles and eggs.

plain talk for folks who don’t much care for impressionistic abstract stream of consciousness free association kind of stuff.   is that you?
only forever lasts forever.   nothing else.   nothing.

there’s these folks who say, once upon a time there were no stars, only hydrogen with a little helium perhaps, oh yea, and some dark matter scattered unevenly throughout whatever whatever was.   the hydrogen was appealing to gravity so some of it gathered together too.   in clumps.   bigger and bigger clumps.   are you following?   everything is still all and totally dark, no light.   in time enough hydrogen got itself heavy and heavier, pressing in on itself.   you can kinda do the same with your hands.   gets warmer, doesn’t it.   so did the hydrogen, till that moment, a great ball of it ignited and began to burn.   now, now there was light in the universe.   first time, you understand.   there was a very first single star.   imagine that.   but good ideas, they repeat.   more and more first stars began to shine.   and in the shine, things began to move more and more, and more stars came to heaven.

      we are a speck of dust upon a speck of dust.

      we are but a sentence in the book of the universe.   so it is incumbent upon us to write the best sentence we can do.

that’s where we are right now.   so many many many galaxies, each with so many many many stars within their gathering.   over more time, galaxies they get attracted too and fly right through each other, changing each in many many many ways.   and that’s where we all are right now this very instant.
lots of stars and lots of light.   beautiful, that’s what we think to ourselves.   and we are right.   beautiful.   we live in the age of stars.

but all things, yes Virginia, they must come to an end.   many many times stars have grown old and died – some few into mysterious big black holes that make us wonder even more – what is all of this and who are we.   some just turn to a sort of burnt out coal and done forever too.   now some some far away day all the hydrogen will all get burnt up by stars and their lights will all go out one by one by one trillions of times.   almost black.   but not black holes we now understand, they evaporate slow slow slower than that, in so doing release a little heat, which we can also call a kind of light.   now that will take an even long long longer time and we certainly by then will also be gone like the stars.   but yes, eventually even the black holes will run out of steam.   the universe will be all dark and without heat.   no stars, no us.   like it was in the beginning.   perhaps.   we’re not sure.   but we won’t be wondering then.   so that property you’re thinking of buying as a long-term investment, understand long-term don’t mean very long.   and surely, not forever no matter what you think or want.

I wonder what god thinks of all that?   do you?
and in case you weren’t sure about your participation, yes Joni Mitchell was right.   we are stardust, billion year old carbon.  we are golden.   literally, all body, all of earth, this was once upon a time in the middle of a burning burning star, the molecular result of consuming hydrogen.   all this dirt, all these leaves, all these limbs, you and me.   no stars, no us.

so, you see the poetry of existence?   everywhere.

      two cats in an alleyway.   they’re not mine, one is black, the other stripes of grey and darker grey.   I shutter my eyes so they won’t be afraid of my gaze.   does that work for you?


            please fully enlarge image for an amazing view & see below

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech)

This dazzling infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows hundreds of thousands of stars crowded into the swirling core of our spiral Milky Way galaxy. In visible-light pictures, this region cannot be seen at all because dust lying between Earth and the galactic center blocks our view.

Full size TIF quality image (beyond stunning)
          are you feeling any less lonely?
Joni Mitchell, Woodstock, or if you’d like a little more, Shadows and Light

if you know

if you know when, you won’t know where.

if you know where, you won’t know why.

if you know the name, you won’t know who.

if you know your big left toe, you won’t know how soon.

          being stubbed again.   unpredictable.

if you know the path, you won’t know the wolf.

          a basket of apples.   or grandmother’s house.

if you know analytic geometry, you won’t remember anyway.

if you know German, you won’t know how to type.

          odd but true.   my reality says.

if your teacher goes for a smoke, your painting improves.
          you even win a big blue ribbon prize.   so there!

if you’re a deer on the beach, you won’t get eaten by a rabbit.
          I swear by a stack of bunnies, this is the truth.

Turtle island I call that place.   glad you saw the turtle too.
          life.   as good as it gets.   promise.
if you try to understand, you’re in for a surprise.   boo!
          or boo-hoo.   you been warned.   another choice.

step on a line.   break the rules.   circumference.
you go.   no, you go first.

          no matter what.
being a shameless restatement of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
          inaccurately.   certainly.   momentum don’t know where.


            please fully enlarge images for best views

MBA webcam views of Monterey Bay used with permission.   please support the Monterey Bay Aquarium

show me

show me how you sit.
show me how you raise your hand.

          how do you shape a prayer?

show me what grasps my finger,
newborne ripe, unwavering.

show me a broken finger, now healed.
show me where you sleep.

will I see a beginning or end of a universe?

show me a needle and thread.
show me a basket you made by hand.

show me coincidence.
show me reasons why.

show me the bottom of your shoe.
show me counting to ten.   fingers or toes?

          show me a golden thread.
show me your feet when you first awake.
show me bare roots.   waiting rain.

show me the palm of your hand.
show me where thoughts germinate.

show me a broken wing.   does it still write
words inside our sky?

make me a painting that sees my face.
show me an ocean made of plums.

show me syllables, spoken words in a bowl,
one perfect sentence.   listening.

show me that.
pine tree needle basket and stone arrowheads, made and found by Virginia, my mother, close to home when she was young.