Jewels in the Sky

Autumn LeavesGlistening jewels coat
the tips of trees
which light the skies
with lofty ease.
Priceless Rubies, Topaz stones,
and Mandarin Garnets
in orange tones.

Each will be sold in silent bidding
with votes harnessed
from a passing crowd
of wide, uplifted eyes
whose currency, only fitting,
is to be pleased-
sometimes out loud!

Later these gems
whose fiery flames
burned without heat
and singed none but their stems,
these dazzling comets
will fade and fall
down to earthly feet
whose toes will curl
deep into the ground
and stoke the coals
for next years round.

Mandarin Garnet
A Mardarin Garnet.

Candle in my Lantern

Candle in a Lantern

The candle in my lantern
burns days, years and nights.
Thoughts of being lost
flickers the flame to fright.
Memories of my lover’s
pale, musky loins sways
its pointy tip to dizziness with
swoons of rapturous flights.
The idea of his demise nearly
strips the spirit off its wick.

So I soften to pictures of
pleasant, sunny trips;
lolling hammocks
between two strong trees
near a gurgling, mossy creek.
Yet the flame still falters,
feeling turmoil from some distant shoal.
Only when I cease yearning
does its white spear hold center,
filling the breath within me
with his hot, clear glow.

Chamber of Peace

The phrase “chamber of peace” was coined by a friend, Orbella, during a discussion of methods and meditations on balance and spirit. We all need a place of safety and peace to which we can retreat, either from the world or, in some cases, from our own doubts and insecurities.

Amid the clutter of pots and pans
clanging in the kitchen, caked with dried
leftover soups and liver paté,
leaving rough, raw hands…

Amid brassy pitches
of out of tune bands clamoring
for attention, strident dissonances
shorting the circuits of all switches…

Despite snags and tears,
bleeding cuts and bruises
on body and skin from shards
of bitter thoughts and cares,

paralyzed by leaden fears, clogged
emotions stuck half way
up the pipes, trembling,
wheezing through the fog,

daring not to stare too long
at heavy, brown clouds,
daring not to covet their rain
for its fresh, cleansing songs…

Within these brambles,
these thorned villages
cramped along thin rails,
barely seen amid the shambles,

there resides a place,
cool and hidden, reposed
within the cacophony,
filled with grace.

When feelings become impermeable and stuttered
we can resort to this floating chamber,
retreat to its valleys of peace
and breathe deep, clear air, unfettered.

Signage and whistles
retreat to the distance,
snares and hissing cymbals
are barely missed.

Here the quiet music is sweet,
while vistas of a rising moon
browse over murmuring fields
singing with golden wheat.

Pastel petals of fragrant gardenias
fall from the sky, brush our cheeks,
crave the pain from it’s
wretched peaks.

Ravaged skin is smoothed with creams,
burned vision is soothed with drops
of moist, sweet oils
from the purest dreams.

If fear preys yet again
with curling shadows,
talons spread in quivering threat,
it is allowed to pass clear through us,

for we are transparent
through every cell, invisible,
quenched of thirst, unfurled
heart filled with love inherent.

Skin sheds boundaries,
wounds heal as pain dissolves.
Never tired, never trembling
we claim our inner country.

Within this purposeful place,
we find our heart’s intentions.
Cleansed, free and infinite,
we reveal Spirit’s delight.

Rhythms of the Seasons

Enjoy! And best wishes for a joyous holiday to you all!

machine of faith

The rhythms of the seasons hypnotize us
as they go ’round and ’round and ’round,
faster each year as we age,
building to some distant, palpable climax
while receding from another, past.
Faster they spin, compelling us to fill fragile days
with meaningful events,
(love may deepen,
hate grow brittle,
poetry more necessary)

To and fro, light to dark, the pendulum swings
stupendously, irrevocable across the map, throbbing
in every molecule with its unabashed preponderance.
No sooner sweet Summer arrives in her full sensual glory
and vapid dissipation, then by the slightest incline,
the longest day tipped, we star the slow, poignant slide
to the depths of Winter.

Thus we arrive again at this valley of Yin,
whose darkness and gravity turns us inward
to our sweetest, softest, most delicate
center.

As if by sheer will (and hope and need)
we nudge the gyration back toward light,
we indulge in glitter and compassion.
We reward love needed and given
with earnest countenance.
We search our souls for cheerful ways
to decorate the days.
We celebrate the counterpoint of our lives,
barely pausing to reflect
over the abyss which lies beneath
the fragile music we make.

The photo is of a small section of a large, useless, tinkling, colorful machine. It was built over a period of 25 years or so, part by bit, by a man who made it just for fun, and for his children’s entertainment. Now it’s an obscure tourist attraction. It’s housed in a little hut, perhaps 20 ft by 15 ft in the middle of nowhere, next to his house, where his wife still lives. I think he was a farmer. He used found objects and toys and trash, whatever caught his eye. It all fits together in some way. When turned on, the whole thing whirs and clicks and clangs and flashes. Being in the middle of Bavaria, it was normal and appropriate to find a crucifix perched in the middle somewhere.

There is something comforting about this scene, which is almost alter-like. The colorful chaos and glitz surrounds the peaceful icon. Sorry it’s the wrong icon for the season, but I sort of like the twisted irony of it.

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Spring Light

My eyes drift to the garden,
Lifted by soft citrine light
Toward the Witch Hazel’s
Glow, lonely and bright.
Fed by waning day’s lazy rays,
Among burnt brown and grays
This courageous bush
Harassed by Frost
Beacons by it’s spry gleam
Giving patient solace to
Weary winter dream.