DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Friday, August 31, 2012


The moon, of course, is always
 there -- day moon, but it's still there; behind the clouds but
it's still there.
                            --Richard Siken

She is going deaf,
 one part of growing old,
heavy as a sigh.
It's always there, a dim figure
like the moon, absent at noon
but nevertheless, always there.
At night it lays itself down with her,
runs into the pillowed darkness
under her ear, a ringing of bells
that fills an absence of sound.
It is something from her aging brain, filling
the enormous void, woven like a bright thread
through her sleep, like ripples from
a thrown rock in a pool of water.
Some part of it is music, sometimes
a string quartet playing a high c-sharp,
other times the reedy whine of a clarinet.
Quieted by day, it sinks like the stone ghost
of the moon, meandering at the edges
of light, but still there,
always there.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

God Can Weep

God Can Weep

Because we have opened our mouths
and they are not filled, and we have, from
Grandpa's Dentist, a gorgeous smile, and did not
have to pay twenty thousand dollars for it, and because
we can't afford not to hear, yet our ears
are dull of hearing 

we have foresworn ourselves, and by our oaths
have brought death

and because Syrian warplanes leveled
a poor neighborhood, burying scores of people,
among them women and children, under piles
of rubble, a hell was prepared for them,
and the killings took place under a late spring sun,
and the people who tried to remove the bodies
were shot,

all flesh is in his hands, and he will do
as seemeth him good. 

And in Mexico, students pondered
their next step, to build
a human fence.

The mountains did not flee before them,
and the rivers turned not from their course,

and the economic recovery is the weakest
since WWII, the consumers are feeble and exhausted,
and their pay checks are shrinking, and they are broke
and nearly homeless, and

Enoch went forth among the people
and cried with a loud voice, and all men
were offended because of him, and said:
there is a strange thing in the land, a wild man
hath come among us

and anti-nuclear critics are crying that executives
on the board that regulates radioactive waste is akin
to having the fox guard the henhouse,

(a wild man hath come among us)!  And the Lord
has cursed the land with much heat, and the barrenness 
shall go forth forever.

Of course, there is Global Warming, the melting
of icebergs, the rise of oceans, the withering of corn,
and the price tag for wildfires has hit $50M.
Does it matter?  Does it matter?  Does it matter?
Does any of this matter?  Do you have any
of the following symptoms?  No Woman
Should Have To Suffer The Way You Do.
Why haven't we been told, generation upon generation?

It came to pass that the God of heaven
looked upon the residue of the people, and
he wept; and shed forth tears as the rain
upon the mountains.  Were it possible
to number the particles of the earth, yea,
millions of earths like this, it would not be
a beginning to the number of thy creations
from eternity to eternity.  How is it
thou canst weep?

In their son's room, they found a sandwich bag
full of oxycodone and acetaminophen pills.  The problem
is now more deadly than car crashes. You can read
all about it in the papers:  Our beloved, our dearly beloved
brother, uncle, friend, passed away at his home, died
as a result of being stubborn and "stirring the pot"
for six decades, died, and the garden's been watered,
the lawns are mowed, and dad's gone fishing.  His ashes
will be placed in Wise River, Montana, at the flumes.
I have passed life's greatest test and I'm home again,
after a long and valiant struggle....

Enoch knew, and wept, and stretched forth
his arms, and his heart swelled wide
as eternity; and all eternity shook.

There will be a viewing.

Teach your children.  Amen.

--Deseret News, August 15, 2012
   Moses  6-7


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Be Water

Be Water

I teach my sighs to lengthen into songs,
Yet, like a tree, endure the shift of things.
--Theodore Roethke

among things invisible
yet seen, water
is but one thing invisible,
but real,
taking the shape
of everything it touches:
cups and pools, barrels, throats,
fishbowls, seabeds....

you cannot imagine it,
even in sleep, when dreaming
gives a shape and color,
a weight to ghosts
that have not color nor shape
nor any measurable mass
but a mind gone wild.

can you imagine:  what becomes
the field and the tree, yet is neither
field nor tree?  What fills the pot
that boils the rice,
yet is neither pot nor grain
is a shape-shifter
that might as easily
itself, take on
the body of the cup,
the blood of the dreamer.

even science, in all its halls
and universities, measuring velocity,
weighing mass, discerning temperature
(all things as invisible themselves
but real as curiosity or love, as courage,
wind, or breath)
cannot tell how a thing invisible,
of no describable boundaries, remains
itself, unseen as a spirit
in a mirror, assuming the face
of everything.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sola Gratia,

for I wrote it with disappearing ink,
and afterwards
I could not read what I had written.
And it was as if a great cloud
had drifted over the place
where you laid me,
and the skin from my body
flew like flags
from your fingertips,

for this is what I remember
as if it happened yesterday.
This is what I remember:
that gravity is a sad thing, a thing
that is always holding other things down,

is a cloud that drifts
both inside and outside our brains
like thoughts,  that might be
real, until you think to observe them,
and they disappear at once,
and at once the Word
that is God begins to appear
and disappear like something else
that might be real.
Sola gratia.

Sola gratia.
We bathe ourselves in Holy Water
and it becomes our flesh, we drink of it
and it becomes our blood.

Once we were sparks
blown apart
by a tornado, a solar cyclone
of smoke and ashes,
the stardust of our own creation,
and every wave of every particle
that we are remains in this world
forever, and those electromagnetically
charged particles, every vibration
 will go on forever

 (but which may, in fact,
be as near to us as
our own skin).
We crave forgiveness as if it were a drug, we
need to be fixed,
like old bicycles or broken lawnmowers,
mi perdoni, mi perdoni, mi perdoni,

all of us falling like dominoes, 
men, trees, and animals, all
swallowed down the Black Throat
at the center of every galaxy

to become, ultimately, angels,
each in our own light
stored in tiny coded Planckian bits
of precisely coded information
waiting on the boundaries of grace
to be reconstructed
as stars, planets, and people.

I think I remember now
that what I wrote was a prayer,
or something like a prayer:
mi benedicta, 

for we are risen, and rising,
and whole again, risen from the abyssal
plains and muddy sea beds
like Phoenix, the salt of the earth
clinging to our wet backs
and shining.

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.