The Elders Are Confused


You call us unruly children,
but you confuse us!

First, your cousin came,
eating insects, drinking honey,
preaching re-thinking,
shoving stubborn heads
under cold Jordan’s

Clearly possessed!

Then along you come
laughing, eating, drinking,

with sinners consorting,
singing songs of paradise
to prostitutes.

So what’s it to be?

to John’s dirge?

or dancing
to God’s piper?

(8 Dec 2011)

Meditation at San Damiano


San Damiano retreat Center[2]

dark veins fill my sight
lying dendrites firing doubt
through my fragile faith,

denying all escape

but as these steps rise up the steep hill
and converge into the unseen sky

I climb
to my blue redemption,

and free.

(20 Aug. 2010)

School-children in the Courtyard


Like red flowers they sit
awash in the sounds of the day
the frantic machinery of the garden,
saws, growling blades leveling
rebellious weeds.

In the blue breeze,
they nod.

the ascendant sun,
sovereign of the living afternoon,
showers them
with a solar embrace

and gently rocks them
all off to sleep.



Desert Sign

restricted by this hard,
grey road
I speed past green scrub,

tenuous roots contending
with hot, graveled earth
for cool, deep waters.

Above the bleak plain I see,
steeply rising in folding
rock and rolling ridge,

shadowed mountains converge
into liquid
desert sky.

Fill Your Life with Bright Morning


Fill your life with bright morning,
breathe deeply the wave-kissed breeze
and run until you no longer touch the earth.

Pay no attention to the darkness that lurks
just beneath your feet, the swirling vortex
pulling you down, drawing your singing blood
into the unknown land. If you hear grieve
the morning dove, say it’s not for you he sings;

oh, fill your lungs with the pure,
cool hope of spring!

(23 March 2015)

Capitol Corridor


The Capitol Corridor moves heavily through the dark,
crossing the thinly guarded streets, blaring, berating
impatient drivers waiting for flashing poles, sparking
their rage as they glare at watches. The ground shakes,
rolling earthquake, Cyclop’s eye, headlight throbbing, crushing
bright straight rails, pounding diesel relentlessly hauling
into no-man’s land, receding rails guarded only by brush
and grassy grade and two white wooden crosses, with a basketball
and a balloon for the lost children; caught in the sweep of flashing lights,
they first see the flash, then feel pain, and then blackness swallows them whole,
the suicide, the missed warning, the lost opportunity, the crying
mother searching deserted tracks. But tonight nobody’s here, no
despairing child, drifting, desultory, home no longer an option; and so
undeterred, the silver and blue train rolls heavily on to Sacramento.

(Posted 12th May 2010 by )