A Wilderness

I felt the rough palms of those laboring hands,
      hands that supported me and showed me each way.

It seemed natural, the bridges that appeared
      at my feet as I sauntered along, a wondering child

gazing into wandering skies. I stumbled through
      time, in the procession of days, to unknown heights—

following the paths they cleared for me.
      Through the dense fog, the carved curves of the thicket

led me to these rolling pastures. I knew not
      the weight of life, ‘til it was my own hands that grew

marred and callused. Once, under a black blanket
      dressed with silver suns, I suddenly felt life in every shadow.

Alone, I watched the glowing eyes of coyotes reflecting
      the firelight. Lost in open fields, I inherited a wilderness.

I move onward down each nameless path these
      laboring hands clear away, day by day. I gaze into the

rippling streams that run through the hills, and I wash my face.
      Some strange figure kneels before me resembling my father.


I Am the River

I hear the river, as the river hears me.
   I am the river rolling quietly.
      I am guided by the anonymous banks
   that slither upon the face of the earth.
Swelling, I have spilled out onto the land.
   A torrent, I have devastated beautiful things.

      I see the river, as the river sees me.
   I am the river flowing steadily.
I carry many memories that ripple away,
   absorbed in the reflecting waters.
      Receding, I hoard my treasures in the sands.
   Run dry, I have left the weak thirsty.

I know the river, as the river knows me.
   I am the river moving effortlessly.
      I cannot turn back and I cannot be still,
   for I am always changing.
Maintaining, I was made with ancient hands.
   Open, I have a mouth that seldom speaks.

      Many streams have made me.
   Some run along side me
for a time.
   One day I will end at the delta,
      and I will at last become one with the sea.
   I am the river, as the river is me.


Winter Song

You tear the blankets
from the branches.
Bitter, in the sharp moonlight
they are nude and mute.

Quickly! Desperately!
Your harsh hands sweep
the field, the river, the valley,
until all is painted gray.

Snakes burrow with the roots to
escape the frigid forest floor.
The deep dirt is warm,
while the crust whitens.

The hills shiver silently
as a gloomy sun hides all the morn.
Fallen seeds patiently wait,
and are devoured by ice.

Winter is a time for dying,
the cold winds sing.



Falling leaves,
a gentle breeze
wisp’d across the crooked walls.
I walked the quiet rooms
alone, as soon
I’ll bid farewell to each—
cursed to miss them all.

Here lives history.
Glorious memories will fade
in changing scenes to winter.
Through sleepless nights
I will recall bright
the lights of moments I may see
but may not enter.

So much has dawned
through mornings’ fog—
the songs of birds mixed in our bawling.
Dreams have so born
and met death, so worn.
Here, waking to silence, in ease,
ears hear crows sparsely calling.