Almost Paradisical

Pursuing the poetical, paradoxical, metaphorical, lyrical, artistical, noetical and mystical.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Questions on the Threshold

I will not teeter on the edge.
I decide to back up and bound
this open
Plug nose.
Close eyes. Bounce
off the springboard -

                                                into the d

unknown -
over the cliff
of uncertainty where the next
step isn't shown till the previous
one is taken. Pray for
updrafts to catch my fall and a soft
landing. Bruises yes, but please,
no scabs or broken bones. I want
to go. I said yes. Will it maim me? Or will I be
crippled for life if I don't

Friday, September 11, 2015


Forced jihad is not able
to stifle boys playing soccer
illegally. They kick up dust
to guide an imaginary ball -
aiming at the goalie who can't prevent
it from slamming it into an imaginary net.
Their jubilation when they score
makes me feel like
someone mixed tears with a handful of the dust
they play on - and plastered my eyes with clay -
to see again. A miracle.
Humans practicing creative
disobedience. Daily they die - making music
and dancing to it in homes no
longer private or safe or free
from censure.

A fisherwoman selling fish
in the town square would rather
have her hands cut off than wear the required
gloves - another crippling defeat for being born -
a woman. Sock laws are forced upon
encumbered women already trapped,
tripping over veils covering them
from head to foot.

No amount of fabric keeps men from
violating what it covers up. Dark secrets breed
malignancy. Boredom racks up rules and more
rules which will not save them from their lust. They
relive Salem's past - because of fear and mistrust.
Who's next? It could be one of us. Turn your neighbor
in. Turn against a friend. Turn and point a finger
or a gun.

A town full of aimless people stifled
by legalism, robbed of poetry, books, music,
art, and beauty  - is ripe for plunder. But there is nothing
left to pillage, only ugly dust. Intruders
conquer in the name of Allah and true spirituality.
What a joke. Westerners are to blame for the fix
they're in. Our evil spreads to them. Ha. They can't see
their own capacity for depravity? We are recovering from spiritual
abuse ourselves and still suffer the consequences of atrocities
we've committed. We can't help untwist their troubles
or untangle our own cluttered mess.

I dream a dream too. I wish we could gather
by the river where mercy runs - and weep together,
break bread and pass it around with the correct
hand - regarding eastern customs.  Someone might
bring strings to strum and we sing, or hum -
if we don't know the foreign words.

The movie TImbuktu left me stunned. It streams on Amazon Prime. I want disturbed like this. Bravo to the ones who made it. Legalism in any form does not work. Ever. Rebel. Say no. Never. I had a grandmother who claimed to be a christian. She forced jihad on our non-muslim family. It wrecked us. But not forever. Each of us is slowly healing and becoming whole, and holy - because we know about being beloved by a God who laughs and plays and dances with us……on green grass, on mountaintops, and beside still waters underneath the stars he made. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tidal Currents

Deckled edges flutter
as water walls bash into the whirlpool
swallowing throat-fuls of velvet
foam frothing and curling
wild pandemonium
deep into its sucking

Coupeville / Port Townsend Ferry - September 6th, 2015. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Wheeler Oregon

Stay at the Old Wheeler Hotel. Katy nourishes and nurtures her guests. The view from the breakfast room is soothing. The atmosphere invites new friendships and stimulating conversation. Bring kayaks and hiking shoes. We saw thirty five pound fish caught in the Nehalem River Estuary. The water trail is lengthy, winding and twisting through marshland filled with wildlife. Seeing Manzanita and Nehalem from the water instead of the road is a picturesque treat.

Oswald West State Park is a lovely beach 10 miles north. The swinging bridge leads to the cove - a beach flanked on either side by craggy rocks pounded by surf. Watch surfers. Make a bonfire. Poke around in the tide pools and dare to enter the cave.

Ride the train from Garibaldi to Wheeler, or the short version to Rockaway Beach. The whistle calls. Puffs of steam soften the iron wheels and track to a dreamy state and take you back in time. People wave. Children wave. Merchants wave. Whole hearted greetings and a welcome like this eases tension between your shoulder blades. If you tend to lose heart about the condition of our culture and wonder what will become of us all….take heart. People still do. Play. And recreate in natural surroundings that restore. Go. Come along. Do.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On a Bench at Seattle Center

He had clean clothes, a cell phone,
and a full backpack. His tone
was engaging and friendly
when he approached to give
Loverby kudos for nibbling
on my ear as we sat on a park bench
by the water fountain watching
children dance, drenched.
The conversational tape
repeated the same worn out
track getting stuck and
coming back again and again
to homelessness and spankings from a brutal
mother whose holiness required
them both to enjoy the punishment
disguised as discipline. He witnessed paternal
incest destroy his sister as she gave
birth to his biological sister
convoluted as niece. He knew the
color purple too, not as a book or
movie - but by the bruises of war,
and the rejection of two wives. He cried.
I wanted them to be real tears. I wanted him
to feel heard and seen. Isn't that better than
money? When he got around
to get what he came for, our simple and firm
no  made his anger
flair - all his goodwill
flew away stirred
by his flailing arms.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Give me silence
without a hum -
no words trafficking,
highjacking, jamming
the quiet begging to heal like

Give me silence
floating like a feather
unworried upon gentle swells
obeying the quarter moon's
tidal ebb and flow,

Give me silence
and teach me to wait  -
for without a spigot controlling
release I spill brokenness
like a stricken, breached

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Westport Washington August 2015

When we need real waves 
and working docks we head to Westport 
where men wearing yellow waterproofs
suspended from their shoulders 
still stack crab pots 
and pile nets in particular 
order. Their calloused hands drag
bounty from the sea caught thirty miles 
from shore. Working boats with 
booms and full fantails take on tons
of ice and return with invisible waterlines
heavy with a day's catch. 

This place doesn't need a ticket. There 
are no lines and the parking is free. Watch masters of fillet,
pelicans, seals, surfers, and dad's building sand 
castles with their children. Starfish decorate the rocks. 
Look for block and tackle, boat cats sunbathing in portholes,
raccoons washing dinner, patches of ingenuity,
kites, and seal lions appropriating buoys for
their own territory. 

I wish the merchants wouldn't try to sell contrived 
baskets of shells from some island far away
wrapped in cellophane. Stale salt water taffy
strikes an unnecessary pose as well. It's one of the last 
places that doesn't know how to advertise 
their obvious assets. Secretive on purpose? 

Westport is shabby and worn. It stinks of fish at low tide. 
Hallelujah and amen - let it continue to be. 
Seagulls are as lazy as rice christians and it seems
they are incapable of hunting because fish guts
abound. But when was the last time
you saw a baby seagull? The remains of a telephone 
booth and rotting hulls hide around every corner. 

If you go, take your bicycle. The trail along the beach
will lead you to history where you can still climb lighthouse
stairs and touch the brass and glass and stone. Stay 
at the Marina Cottages and wake up early
 to a harbor working hard right off your porch -
 no posters, no movie set, no props. 
Take your camera, aim and shoot for real. Let 
the mournful fog horn sounding at regular
intervals at the end of the jetty 
guide you.