Oak Tree

andrew-ruiz-35037-unsplash
Photo by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash

Its aged roots like umbilical cords
never severed,
still pushing into the womb
of their earth mother.

Its stalwart trunk
at the centre of the dancing
leaves, belled
with acorns.

Its free splay of limbs
that invite
no posturing of the soul,
human or not.

The buried questions
that find their way here,
some even answered
in a mutely mysterious way.

This is the great oak
whose address I remember
whose gnarly throne of silence
I ascended once in a dark hour

when the moon, with a fatherly hand,
drew an amazing gasp
of stars
down around my shoulders:

the light by which the bark of my body
listened, then became the listening
of lobed leaves
for more than wind or rain,

became the long roots
longing,
until I too reached from the earth that held me,
with praising hands.

This is a poem from my first chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.

Morning Blessing

Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

One large glass of water daily
before the endless cups of green tea,

a glass that stood wrapped
a long time in my father’s two hands,

head bowed to it, eyes closed
to the rest of us at the table.

I didn’t know what he thought
or felt or said to himself right then

nor how thirsty I was
for a silence so meant

until I felt it filling me too,
slaking the cracked creekbed

of rushed and ordinary days.
Fifty-five years old and home for a visit,

back in the cradle
of his slow kind hands.

This poem won first place in Pandora’s Collective 2012 contest and is included in my new chapbook “Irresistible”. Only two weeks left to reserve a copy here!

“Clear Night Over Treadwell Bay” – Nominated for Best of the Net 2017

Photo by Luca Baggio on Unsplash

A couple of hundred miles up the coast
two weeks into a summer of cruising
we end our day of fishing with a movie.
But the shouting and shooting carve sharp
initials into the tree-deep silence here,
so I step outside, right onto the glittering
dance floor of an olive-black sky
on a clear, good night. My mind whirls,

words falling far away, then my fears,
then even the best of the best in me, all
dwarfed by this lavish sprinkling of stars:
confetti of the gods, tossed long ago upon
a lifted veil—marrying me now to the
faintest glimmer of worlds beyond ours.
I gaze, it seems forever, a moth burning
to remember a dream wings can’t forget.

I am thrilled to have this poem nominated for the Best of the Net 2017 Anthology by editor Cristina Norcross of the Blue Heron Review, where it appeared July 2016!

Stealing Eternity

Waking up in the night
before the bugling of birds,
no child’s screams
tracking the 3:00 a.m. train,
no trucks or buses
bellowing into the valley
from the mountain highway,
no siren, for once,
gathering all who can hear
into its grief,

just silence
so deep
it speaks
to your stammering
heart,
sinking past the debris
of words,
washing over you
like a river-rich sea
the rocks.

Your family sleeps, unaware
you are stealing eternity
for an hour.
By the time they rise
you will be ground into sand:
a beach that can hold
the jump and jaunt
and slow toe-kick
of all their footprints,
until evening’s flood-tide.

This is the title poem from my chapbook, “Stealing Eternity”.