Thursday, July 30, 2015

Holy Water, Watering Me

I want some external signal
   a blaring light, but
I'd settle for seal eyes peering from
a wet head popping up
starboard, or a black and white dorsel fin
cutting the surface before my
bow, or a flailsome tail breaching behind me,
or an otter floating on her
back cracking shell fish - all unconcerned
and undisturbed by me
paddling by. But,
the one my soul loves resides
inside. I have no need for
external reassurances
after all. The water dripping
off the tip of my paddle is enough
to wet me through. And the salty
tears, too.

Kindlingsfest 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Familial Love

Her lyrics open the roomful
of hearts unfamiliar with invitations
beckoned by ethereal vulnerability. 

His words pull sacred cows down. 

The ease between them 
along with simple affection 

and the way they frame and build the other up
is more vital than the illuminated art they brought.

Our world needs to see how a beloved woman's 
eyes shine when her gaze lights on her lover. 

David and Sarah Dark - Kindlingsfest, Orcas Island Washington - 2015 


This poet repeatedly edges
to the holy mountain looking for a father
to direct him and experiences pilgrimages, 
yes, more than one, worth writing about. He tortures 
me slow because women are banned from 
this sacred rock. He spills the decorative 
foam from his coffee on my white shirt
when I tell him his writing
pissed me off with jealousy
all shades of green. He wants to 
make amends by sopping up the 
mess - but I'm leaving it forever and 
might even frame it. Little did he know
he already fixed everything when he 
sang Steve Goodman's Spoon River 
the night before, surprising us all 
with his rich, winsome vocals. I also forgive
 him the ease with which he spills
vulnerability all over the 
stage and into the sound system
 when he reads another 
idiot psalm to us 
with a voice resonant 
enough to etch wood grain. His
words need stored up if we're to be
 saved from suffering during the next 
seven year draught.

Scott Cairns - Kindlingfest, Orcas Island Washington, 2015 


I'm like a bird 
bathing with abandon 
under evergreen shade
in a sun rimmed bowl
filled with clear water 
churning me
 clean and new - morning 
after morning after 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Paddling the Snohomish River Estuary

Did I enter a movie set?
Derelict boats caked with years 
of neglect and tugs who haven't pulled
anything for such a long time
they've forgotten what they were built for -
sit moored to an ancient, still 
floating log raft dock that runs
this stretch of the river, a corridor hidden
from landlubber's view. A boat grave
yard for shy, hiding, hermit crab people
who sense or hear my paddle as it dips 
feather light strokes. Do they keep watch 
all hours? As I move upstream
they peer out dark openings 
wary and on high alert, somewhat 
territorial, but then return
friendly waves as I come abreast and 
pass on. Their boats wallow and groan
on the turning tide. Moorings 
pull and stretch, aching to follow
me back to the scouring sea. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tears Run

while I sing
lamenting troubles heaped.
Over and over I recall
ten thousand reasons
I have to be thankful. Bless
the Lord oh my soul I belt out
with my hands reaching -
no matter how incongruent
and ludicrous that might
be in the light of relentless catastrophe.
Maybe my gratefulness morphs
it into a eucatastrophe, a gift
in the end. I can not see the end
of this story.

Surprise me.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dear God

You know the famous painting
on the ceiling of the Chapel
the one where your finger is
reaching to touch the finger
of a human
breaching the distance
stretching to love and remind
the earthbound you are
              the great I Am -
the curious one who cares?

today would be a good day
for a painting's idea to
translate into reality. I'm not asking
for a miracle or changes or a different
outcome to this nightmare. All I want
is a touch - the merest contact -
your fingertip to my fingertip. Will
your skin warm my frozen despair?