Almost Paradisical

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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Coloring Outside the Lines

I heard a story yesterday from a young man whose chorus teacher who told it in class one day. The teacher was this child.

During a kindergarten art session with crayons and a coloring book page and instructions from the teacher to carefully stay within the outline, a child decided with purpose to color beyond the outline. He figured that if he cut it out afterward along the outline he would have a piece filled in perfectly. 

His teacher came by, looked down and saw what looked like a rebellious and deliberate mess. This child deliberately had flouted his instructions. The teacher held it up for the class to see and told the other students that Johnny was disobedient and had colored badly. Don't color your page this way, he said. The entire class laughed nervously. 

Johnny kept silent, but knew in his heart that the teacher couldn't imagine what he knew the finished product could be. He knew he was right. He cut out his picture - pleased by how it turned out. 

I wish every child had the strength to withstand such onslaughts. Most people are crippled for life from these experiences. How many artists could there be in the world with this kind of knowing? 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Wheel and I

Inexperience begged for
a wheel with years
of practice and mastery

I perch awkwardly
on the bench, settle in -
and breathe in the fact

that a lifetime's longing
is coming to pass
here and now

Looking out the window
hosting red geraniums I see
a deer framed

Elton John sings in the background -
he's the only one to witness
my tears as

I take clay in my hands
and throw it into what I hope
is the center of the wheel

Wet eager hands cover clay
One foot kicks hard to make
the wheel spin silently

Hovering, I press and pull
the lump toward my belly
where butterflies flutter

This moment bends me
into a prayer - one I've
been waiting for so long

Village Potter

George Lowe serving as Village Potter - Holden Village - 2016 

Poet of Pottery

His hands
shape clay into
mugs, teapots, planters,
and bowls

For three months I've
watched his hands mold

ancient earthen magic
without effort it seems

lumps of clay
centered on the wheel
wait to connect with
his heart and hands

intimate knowledge
blends with
intimate touch

transformation begins
with strength and
finishes with a caress

George Lowe - Village Potter - Holden Village - June 2016 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

How Seers Do Durable

They carry heavy packs -
without much to sustain them

It's all uphill

water crossings
and murmering rumbles
make it slippery
to balance in a place where
fire charred what once was
and mine remediation violates
these mountains once again

The  work is crippling -
consider the three pronged
politics that push back against
every new, good thing

Exhaustion must set in
like a bloody cowl one wants
to shake loose.

Still, I witnessed
them stop and ponder a flock of butterflies
sipping moisture from the mud
in the middle of Main Street.
He stooped down
urging one winged beauty
gently onto his forefinger.
It lingered - savoring the salt -
the salt of sweat and tears?

In one moment, I caught
a glimpse of the enchanted
children they must have been.

I hope they keep seeing like this...
because only beauty will
save this place -
this place waiting
under heaven to be born
again, again

They keep sheep dogging the
remaindered flock to
move forward  - steadfast
in doing what they do

For such a time as this...
they came
they stay
they look ahead
for what will be a
durable, enduring

Hart Lake

Wild flowers crowd the trail with color bursts
berry bushes begin to bear juicy weight
water falls over granite high above
rocks crunch

we hang our hammock
underneath the tinkling leaves
of two aspens and swing in
the shade love provides
while deer graze
close enough
to see long lashes. Curious,
they look
deep into our eyes.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Burnt Spring

If hope was a color
it would be green.
It breaks through
charred wood,
burnt roots and
bleak landscapes of
black, architectural stands -
 limbless trees whose
peeling skin bears
witness to the silent,
weeping sap.

The morel patches are being groomed and enjoyed. Green patches appear in the scorched parts around the village. Railroad Valley is blossoming in patches - after the Wolverine Creek Fire. Deer are looking for places to birth fawns, bears feed, cougars are curious and hummingbirds flock to the feeders we put out to lure color to our porches.

Holden Village - May 2016

Labyrinth at Holden Village

I entered the labyrinth last. Ahead of me Lamb's Ear
kept her hands behind her back, Sangria
Red wiped a tear, Dark Truffle's hair
blew in her eyes, Cracked Pepper offered
his arm to Cypress Point when she needed
an arm to lean on.

I began to soften as I passed
Brick House. Clothesline Fresh seemed ethereal
Seascape looked full of peace.
Tea Light and Prickly Pear paused to stare
over the bluff and take in the roar of the river
together. Juniper Stone simply sat. Brass Patina walked
fast but lingered on the grass near the end.
Weathered Canvas wore down the path with his
intensity.  Pink Chocolate and Graham Cracker Crust
held back the skip inside. Sun Valley and Fresh bread
secretly delighted us all by stepping light.

I stopped to look at the silent group on the neighboring
knoll. They looked tangled together in an elegant, swirling knot.
I instantly fell in love with them. I saw each one full of beauty.
Sunshine haloed their heads. Surprise wiped
the lens of my inner eye. My heart flopped open.

Sheer Pout had never looked lovelier, Creme FraĆ­che
looked contemplative, Soft Sunlight glowed, Dogwood Petal
had peace wrapped close. Sugar and Cream let the tears fall.
Tranquility noticed the birds singing.

Could I now engage with Foggy Mirror? Or have tenderness for Midnight Bayou?
Or want to sit with Leather Chair? Or eat with Crushed Red Pepper?

What struck me hard in the chest is the vivid colors they wore - not the
proud colors of Triple Crown jockeys or Tour de France pelotons.
They wore bruised purples, wounded reds, scarred whites, hopeless grey, lonely
blues, passionate oranges, generous yellows, and safe browns.
Supernatural love flooded us all with soft pink light. Maybe
the labrynth gave them rose colored glasses for me, too.

I do not believe "community" works like implied. I've come to detest the word. All it means is being lonely with a lot of other lonely people - all the time: working, eating, worshipping, sessions, programming, planning, etc. 

Communing is different. It's creating space, listening, attending, becoming intimate, engaging, being present with, caring, being generous and loving the person in front of you. I can't bandy this word about carelessly. It takes time, effort, will, margin and wherewithal dripping from the overflow inside a person. I decide to do it.  And it is difficult to make it happen in community. Ironic? Yes! 

It is possible to live in community, look like you're in community, and talk the talk of community without communing. Ironic? Yes! 

I hope supernatural love takes over and fills me anew......whenever it is now. When I lack love, I'll find my way to the labyrinth to get untangled again. And see with new eyes. 

Holden Village - May 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Attending a meeting to end world hunger 
is required. Letters to congressmen 
are suggested. Donations encouraged.
As a group we walk silently to let 
the stories of suffering ones sink
in. Faces are solemn --
looking noble and progressive and socially

I'm angry. I never have liked things 
shoved down my throat. Nothing penetrates. 
Instead of writing a letter to my congressman,
I write this to remind myself to stand 
firm and committed to 
the better and harder thing: to treat the suffering
person across the table, across the room,
across the street - with love and offer them
nourishment both tangible and emotional. 
Right here, right now, there are hungry
and wounded ones who need attended to. 
Don't tell anyone I'm one of those. 
But it's not as easy as writing a check
or sending a letter. It isn't quick either.
It takes consistent chunks of energy 
and time. It can't be checked off a list
nor can one brush their hands together 
with a satisfied smack. The results aren't countable 
statistics, data to prove in print. The rewards
aren't forthcoming. Sometimes we don't know
the end of the story - because it isn't written
yet. But I persist in believing one person
loving one person at a time works. 

Why is the suffering
in some other place more appealing 
than the eyes hoping to catch ours 
two feet away? 

Meet Me At Wonder

He watches grass grow 
lime green and tender.
Did it just uncurl a tip
within a nano second
and stretch toward the sun 
or did he imagine it? 

She looks at the night sky
in wonder, not calling it worship
nor thinking anyone is out there
pleased to receive her awe. The 
Star Breather doesn’t care. 
Wonder is a good place to