My Poetry


The Sacred

Step boldly into your life
each moment awaits your participation
invites your engagement.
Give yourself generously
If not now, then when?
Sing full-throated
dance wildly
let your poems express your deepest longings.
Let your rage shake the mountains
your scream pierce the heavens.
Weep deeply that your tears
may water the parched earth.
Let your full-bellied laugh
disturb the neighbors.
Let your tenderness melt every boundary
'til all that remains is love.
Let the simplest of things amaze you.
The extraordinary
plays hide and seek in the everyday.
Find the pearl in the mundane.
Quench your thirst with that which
barely calls attention to itself.
This very moment is all there is
it awaits you in its entirety
invites you to surrender
to swim in the vastness of possibility.
There can be no peace
if you insist this moment
be other than it is.
Sometimes a sorrow, sometimes a joy
sometimes a delight, sometimes a horror.
Feel them all the way through to their departure.
Soon another guest will arrive
welcome them all.
This precious existence
is a hearty stew
each ingredient for your nourishment.
This very moment
this very breath
this very life
so very sacred.
It is enough.

December 14, 2010

Why Stand Against War
(A poem to celebrate the life and memory of Helen Callbeck)

Because the grass cannot breathe
when matted with blood.

Because a mother's grief knows no end
for a son torn from her in war.

Because as each bomb explodes
a baby burrows into her mother's breast in search of comfort.

Because the madness of war
turns our towns to rubble and our hearts to stone.

Because all over the world children's songs are muffled
by the terrifying screech of cries of revenge.

Because despite all our differences
we all bleed red and cry tears of sorrow.

Because the wind moans
with the agony of lost limbs and tormented souls.

Because bewildered dogs howl in terror
as the roar of fighter planes pierce the cold night air.

Because our bodies are fragile, our bones break,
our tissues tear, and our heart weep.

Because that which is destroyed in minutes
takes years to rebuild and is never quite the same.

Because wildflowers arch in vain toward the sun
whose warmth is blotted out by the ravages of war.

Because patriotism drenched in the fury of war
blinds the eye toward life's beauty and mystery.

Because every rocket fired is but a theft
from those who are hungry and without shelter.

Because the first casualty of war is the truth
and the truth is that war disfigures our souls.

Because there is no flag so large
to cover the crime of killing children.

Because dear Helen and Louise are a lifetime weary
struggling for peace and have earned the right to rest.

Yet despite the trampled flowers
Spring will triumph.

January 5, 2007

Love Poem

   Are you willing to be wounded by love
for love's sake?
   Are you willing to visit its secret places
to get lost along its tortuous path
unadorned by road signs which point the way?
   Are you willing to savor its nectar
knowing you might get stung?
   Are you willing to be enchanted by infatuation
to be drunk with ecstasy
to real with the dizzying delight of romance
which are the portals through which we must pass
on the way to love's inner chamber?
   Are you willing to live love's uncertain outcome
to walk along the perilous edge
knowing one can never keep balanced forever
knowing on one side is sorrow
on the other is joy?
   Have you not yet learned that for all your yearning
you can never touch the joy of love
until you are willing to go to bed with sorrow?
   For high and low come joined at the hip
and innocence is the chaff
which lies on love's threshing floor.

April 7, 2000


Curled toes dug deep in the cool sand
the broken fragments of ages past
weathered by time
and crushed by ocean's thunderous might.

Windswept bits of yesterday
piled deep beneath my probing feet.

Sea-gray, sea-cold late summer day ocean
thunder crash on brown, briny rocks
with the untamed yet measured rhythm of ageless time.

Beneath the steel-gray sky
salt spray hangs in misty rapture
falling in soft droplets
which delight my cheek with gentle kisses
whispered invitations
and the promise of eternal tomorrows.

And the ocean rumbles on
with the wild fury of infinite creation.

From mystery onto mystery
from wonder onto wonder
does my existence unfold before me.

I stand before it in silence
with the quiet celebration of a grateful heart.

January 29, 2007

Five Haiku and Two Short Poems

Without a whisper
clouds drift across the full moon
we two/too are silent.

Ripple in the grass
playful cat about to pounce
just another day.

Leaves fall in autumn
greet them with an open heart
death awaits us too.

Waiting your return
the new moon turns full again
frogs sing their love songs.

Frozen winter lake
smoke rising from the chimney
snow geese flying south.

Dogs are happy out of both ends
a happy grin up front
and a wagging tail behind.
Who can resist such charm?

Torn from my homeland
brought in chains to a new land
the African soil
clinging beneath my fingernails
and longs for my deliverance.