A Plea to the Ocean

For my daughter Becky

On the beach
under the shadow of the hour of leaving
I dabbed the eyelash from your tear-stained face,
examined it on my finger tip.

“Its a wish”, you said.
So I wished
that the prayers
I’d attached
to the rocks
we’d thrown in the sea
would be washed by the waters
to whatever corner of this world
you visit.

And find their way
by osmosis
into the unsuspecting bodies
of friends and future lovers
strangers too
destined to enter
your life
at fated moments
to keep you healthy
safe
and shining
in a world that needs your light.

The greatest blessings of my life
include the first moment
you opened your eyes
cradled in my arms,
and that love,
painful, profound, unceasing,
which moves me so
to protect you,
not because you’re weak
but because you are so strong, 
wise beyond years
a precious force of life.

My tears are for all the moments we have missed
and the ache of leaving you again.
The tears are for me
the beating in my chest, for you.

“If I were to have a little girl
I’d want her to be just like you”
says the man
on the film
on the plane
that takes me away again.

I do,
and you are.
Just like you
is more than I ever dreamed
could touch my life, and
bless this world.


This poem, and 15 others, are contained in a chapbook, Songs of Uprising, available in the store.

The Gathering Tribe

A light is glimmering in the dark,
flickering and growing firmer, 
constant now and stronger
by our stories,
told and retold they keep the shadows at bay.
Our hopes and dreams
roll back the gloom to expose
the possibilities once obscured
by ignorance and folly.

Pay attention to the eyes
of every new acquaintance.
Linger awhile, perchance the
ancient pact reveals itself there.

Hold each embrace a moment longer
lest that breath, that softening
tell of the vow we made
elsewhere.

And listen please for clues
that we share an ever-present longing
for wholeness and an end to suffering.

In these ways and more
a scattered tribe is refinding itself
and what it means to be human,
agents both of death and destruction
and the birth and recreation
of our common future.

Sweet the miracles
available in our midst,
tender the space for our communing,
for your hero’s journey
and mine.

Our shared vision and
the inner knowing arising in us all
makes available enough light
for us to see and be seen
by another such gathering,
another glimmering in the emerging web
of light
of you and me,
of hope.

Your Love

The waves relentless in motion will one day cease

The mountain proud standing will some day crumble

Even the sun inexhaustibly generous will one day dim

But your love will never die

No distance can erode your love, not out-of-sight nor the crossing of oceans or plains, no configuration of galaxies or stars can deflect your love for me

Best of all there is nothing I can do or not do that will reduce your love for me, no forgetting no pretending nothing of that called sin. I can turn around turn away turn off or turn in and still unceasing without question or reserve you will find me again always forever.

Sands of Time

If the earth would revolve

But one degree faster

I’d see her smiling face

 

If dawn shared my longing 

And ran toward me

I’d quench that longing in her love

 

If I could speed the hands of time

We’d fall together again

For how long have we been apart?

 

Meanwhile the sun inches over the horizon

Right on time.

Another Man's Funeral

You upset my heart

with your grief, poetry

and toasts to your late comrade

 

You disturbed my world.

with your undisguised thirst 

for literature, beauty

social change and vodka.

 

The last of the beat generation

unapologetically raging for justice

standing for possibility.

You threw down a challenge

 

I came with condolences, and heard

About a life lived full and bold

Authentic, cut short 

before the passion expired

the words ran out

 

I came with lilies and left with questions 

culled from another man’s life 

pointing their accusing fingers 

at my vanishing days

and undone deeds.

 

Who will gather in what room

when my time runs out?

To keep this beat alive.

Message for a New Age

A new star touched the Earth last night

invisible even to watching eyes and

blessed us with a new opening.

For one whole revolution,

four and twenty hours,

we were bared open

in a star kissed moment

 of boundless possibility

betwixt the ages

- planet – people – all -

 

The new star,

quite unlike the old,

carried away the ancient gods and

time-worn promises of salvation

that were with us at the end of time,

and left in their stead

a delicate new space,

inviting, precious as parchment snow.

 

Which gods choose us now and

how the dreams we write are manifest

may just depend upon our offerings and

the visions carried aloft

in a thousand upon thousand new prayers,

and upon  the future warriors,

trained and ready to love

 - and love again -

life in all her guises.

 

Our midwives, the elder brothers, say

“Do not be afraid of the changes coming,

know only that

All Is Good.”