Biking in Bellingham


delicate light dances
between cheery leaves
the breeze greets us
along the gravel trail
city streets full of
happy people
our sweaty foreheads
blossoms rain upon us
dandelion wishes
braid our streaming hair
this day of cosmic greens
and blues finally here
the sun’s promise revealed
in our oft-forgotten midst
thighs burn from
our breath mellow as
a fawn
the soul

(c) 2013

feeding on luscious


the soul drifts in and out
          of ravishment
          fantasies of namelessness
when reception of the world
          full of mellowed greens
          and wild blues
is brightened
sensation heightened
          cool water
          sweetly scented wheat
when eyes feed on
          luscious color
          majesty of nature
palms and fingers seek
          soft allure
when the whole self
          joy infused


(c) 2013

day after mania


open eyes, open
to the blue world
stay awake to look
around and see
what you did yesterday
in feverish amusement
drove 50 in a 25
laughed the whole way
spun out of control
10% cautious observer
90% wild, hungry
for sensation
color saturation
speed rain body touch
couldn’t get enough of
brash raw elements
10% sighed relief
upon arriving home
90% climbed the roof and
danced atop the skylight
stomping until it cracked
drip, drip, drip
open eyes, open
you are in deep
the ramifications
start now

(c) 2013



summer gorgeous summer blossoms trickle from the trees like snow mixing in with our hair as we run and jump in celebration of the sun fewer clothes to hamper our movement warmth penetrating our bones thawing winter stiffness crickets frogs children all sing the praises of freedom delicately spiced air buoys our every hope and need for relaxation we let go a long-held sigh worldwide all people of all cultures exhale in unison

though summer travels the globe differently

the olfactory sense is closely linked to memory when we inhale the wind we remember that wind from decades before when we smell Old Spice we remember being hugged by our fathers or if our fathers were dead or in jail we remember friends’ fathers or the rare compassionate neighbor who felt sorry for us in the fifth grade that one act of kindness and picture of the person we still hold onto in summer we remember the best parts of our childhoods occasionally summer days were dangerous and it got too hot to go outside and some old people died mostly however summer saved us we remember the times when we ran or roamed watched fireworks swam in a lake got sunburned even if our childhoods were marred by tragedy injustice or physical restriction we all ate barbeque at least once laughed with siblings or long-lost cousins and chased them with the hose or splashed in the pool in summer we found our glory

our freedom from hurtful actions and words

even if we were victims of the most horrific crimes if our sisters were killed in Birmingham or Baghdad if we were forced to be child soldiers and carry guns or our parents made us do drugs with them we all breathed in the dust of a dried up earth felt the sun burning the napes of our necks our shoulders and cheeks we watched the shapes of animals morph in the clouds and giggled in the middle of a daydream if only once

this is our common kinship

summer was something that took us outside of ourselves a blessing a momentary release from pain even if our uncles or grandparents kept us in most days to protect us or hurt us there was still that one bike ride we will remember forever the one special time we got to pet a horse visit a farm climb a tower go on a hike the times we gathered dandelions smashed rocks open looking for gold sucked on the ends of wheat saw a sky filled with bats or hot air balloons got stung by a bee and cried for our mothers who may or may not have been there to hear us the times we ran with other people’s dogs watched television outside threw a baseball or football were chased by turkeys marveled at a wildfire or lightning storm

when we were this close to falling into a river

when we inhale summer we remember our ultimate connection to our innocence when we were truly blameless and good before we knew better before we adopted the erroneous habit of carrying vengeance we remember when the world was wondrous if only for intermittent spurts like the time in between sunrises blinks or hiccups and we held our breath in anticipation of summer for the fun and brightness it brought for its solace

its release from the various prisons that are made for children

we all know summer a universal grace too hot sometimes too short always it invites us to remember the texture and scent of honest luscious joy that is our collective birthright and unstolen dream


(c) 2013


I imagine the benefit
to being a famous poet is you become known
as “Poet” and writing poetry becomes
your job, and you can still be wearing
your pajamas in the late afternoon
a whole poem under your belt
in just one day—
the eight hour poem
which you may or may not love as much tomorrow.

As Poet, even free verse
has pulse to it:
inhale, exhale, inhale and so on—
the cadence of sonnets, haiku
keeping the beat that matches
the metronome constant in your head
the timing of your walk
seconds of your breath.

As Poet your office is the world,
the instruments of your profession
convenient, portable:
a folded receipt pulled from your purse
on the train. Three words come to you—
what you see, hear, smell.
You write them down, smiling,
confident that the idea will mellow
until you unlock it tomorrow
or tonight, feverishly, in bed
when the beast choreographs
itself into a terrible wholeness
through the drafter’s lens
the Poet’s mixing bowl.

A cup of coffee or spiced cider
will keep your hands warm and ready
to participate in the distraction
of glorious form.

As Poet, you are in charge of keeping
the rhythm of the world
beating steadily, honestly.

A simple art
sweat and joy
’til death do us part



(c) 2013



In daunting storms and high tides, it screams.
At lazy times it sleepily dreams
while in peaceful hours it rests in silence
as we mourn humanity’s ugly violence.

The half of beauty is ineffable
this struggle of ages unchangeable;
alas the poet’s loss to decipher or notate
to crystalize and create.

The task of the poet and philosopher
is to package the wonder of the world
to chronicle the meanderings of the heart
like Yates, Ondaatje, Boland, Sartre.

Or as in the case of Wordsworth
to capture Nature’s mirth
to make real, enliven, concretize
heartache for the mist and fireflies
cliffs and wild flower smells
nostalgic river swells
in which the poet took delight
considering this bounty his birthright.

Every rose and lupine succulent
a gift from the glowing firmament
God’s melody and Wordsworth’s lyric
food for humanity’s aching spirit.


(c) 2013



Resonance of freedom, soulful starlight wonder
gunned down on the balcony of
the Lorraine Motel
April 4: the horror day
the mournful, God-absent day.
King of The Dream mowed down;
his body ripped from the world.
Echoes of the bullet vibrating still
in Memphis and all around.


His spirit endures, remember.
His divine call everpresent
as long as…
As long as we recall him.
We must recall him,
Vincent Harding demands.
As long as we walk with him,
seeking justice together,
his wisdom will guide us
for King is still poignant.
He is still relevant.
He is still possible.


This sweet, emboldened man
of magnificent stature
our brethren
our kin(g)
belongs to us, all of us, if…
If Love is what we bring across
our thresholds to the world.


(c) 2013




Dreaming thoughts that soberly dance
We bid goodnight to your “soft dying day”
Eyelashes closing tenderly at last
Together poet and reader lay.


Our stringent fears unfold in grace
Through myriad possibilities we sift
Centuries apart, we lustrously embrace
Stanzas in rhyme behold the gift.


What aggravating distance in time we mourn!
Our shoulders to fingers outstretched
Love fancies your heart bright and words reborn
Hence it is justified to be so enmeshed.


(c) 2013




This land has a sensual quality.
Inescapable allure.
Its softness
vastness waits
to be engulfed, pursued
wandered in/among
to be marveled at.
Ah, the luxury of sense!
The act of beholding this land
gives not just a momentary thrill:
it sustains beyond sight.


Driving 10 minutes out of Great Falls–
what you see, stand in and dance through
(the swaying wheat so soft you could roll in it
and caress yourself against it)
will stay with you for days, years in retrospect
depending on the degree of your openness
the manner in which you absorb its beauty
how deeply you accept its grace.


There among the wheat, next to a lone tree
reverence sweeps across your face unashamedly.
The big sky takes hold of you and weeps.


The climax is sacramental:
A perfect release into God.
The scent of frolic potent
as the body shutters
then calms quickly into bliss.


(c) 2013