Sunday, May 30, 2010

First Day Sonnet

At the Meeting for Worship on First Day,
In the midst of the stillness and silence,
When self-centered thoughts have fallen away,
I find myself open to the presence;

The presence of the light there from the start,
It is the presence of eternity
Found within all created creatures' hearts,
The gentle touch of mercy and pity,

A constant cascade from the source above,
The source of all wisdom and all that is,
The fountainhead of a limitless love
That holds nothing back, that endlessly gives.

It's beyond all our words, beyond our conceptions,
It's the source of forgiveness and of redemption.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Thank God it's Friday. Now the weekend starts.
He's off to have a few beers with his friends.
As he leaves his desk he quickly departs
As the work-a-day world comes to an end.

His friends, already there when he arrives,
Order for him a cool, refreshing mug,
They greet each other with some strong high-fives,
Though one of them misses; he's such a lug.

He likes this bar with its chips and salsa,
Which balances the bright and foamy froth;
One friend tells him what he thinks of NAFTA
Another that he's dating a girl goth.

This place is like a temple where they can retreat
And where they can recover from the too long week.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I try to pay attention, just like my
Meditation teachers told me to do.
But, like a flock of sparrows in the sky,
Distractions arrive, they find their way through
My best strategies for concentration.

Dogs will turn at the sight of a rabbit,
And in the first cold wind leaves will scatter.
I might drink a mocha out of habit,
While an off-hand remark makes me madder.

It's a huge task to make the mind steady,
In some future life I might be ready,
But for now I'll have to rely on grace.

Obscurations resemble a great storm,
Even so, they feel familiar and warm.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Time's Flow

Standing there upon the darkening sky,
A platform of luminous clarity,
The tides of blossoms and of falling leaves,
Pausing at the changing of the seasons,
At the intersection of many realms.

Heard in the moving and breathing vastness,
From everywhere in particular,
The long sound of a low, deep and clear bell,
Wavering and tense, yet gentle and kind.

Something other and not what we describe,
Resembling a hastily seen rainbow
Wrapping around the fertile fields of time.

Transcending our autobiographies,
Gold waves of light from the drum of the earth.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the Coffee Shop

Every morning in the old coffee shop
Among newspapers and old memories
They lecture each other the same old truths.

It seems they don’t know how to listen much
As their voices merge in strange counterpoint,
Muzak and radios in shopping malls.

Coffee steam rising into the cool air,
Toast and eggs vanish between conclusions,
All around them the world disappearing,
But words hang like shields in front of their eyes.

Even now, how many friends can they name,
Gone like morning fog or breakfast coffee?

Their passionate politics do not leave
Even an echo among the mountains and stars.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Long Term Care

I am more anxious ev'ry single day,
As I get older rain keeps falling down
And turns to mud the path that was my way;
With ev'ry step I slip, losing ground.

I thought I'd feel calmer after sixty,
But it is not so, fears only increase;
Everything seems tentative and iffy,
The only certainty the great decease.

But even that hovers in the future,
A wished for sunset on an endless beach,
A fantasy of elegant closure,
A fine farewell that lies beyond my reach.

It isn't fear of dying that disturbs my sleep,
It's that the Grim Reaper will take me piece by piece.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Found within the heart
There's a kind of glow
It's easily missed
Be still and you'll know

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shadows at Dusk

Dusk now absorbs the shadows of the day,
Before the rising moon can light our dreams
I pause and remember the way you smiled.

A buzzard eats a possum by the road,
At the edge of a clearing in the woods,
A grandfather clock strikes the wrong half hour.

A withered apple tree sends forth blossoms
For the last time and for the last season
An old man reads a book of poetry.

Walking through the quiet ancient graveyard
A moss-covered unreadable marker
Disintegrates into the yielding earth.

Wading into the river of vast space
I embrace the place of your begoning.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Entering the Real

There's a place I go,
I visit it in my dreams.
I am at peace there.
I confess, it feels more real
Than this daylight world of strife.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Still Life

On the wall
By the closet
In the corner of the newly cleaned hall

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The morning after
Three days of incessannt rain
The air is vibrant
Pools of water on the ground
A slight stirring of earth sounds

Monday, May 17, 2010

Luminous Silence

Darkness when the moon is new
Allows all the stars to shine
When words spoken remain few
There's a love that is sublime

Saturday, May 15, 2010


A night of no dreams
A morning of thick darkness
A peacock cries once
Trying to bring back the moon
From wherever it's hiding

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chance Encounter

I saw an old friend
I hadn't seen in ages
On a corner street
We promised to stay in touch
Then went our separate ways

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Laundromat

I enjoy watching
Clothes tumble in the dryer
At the laundromat
I'm reminded of sunset
And its swiftly shifting hues.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Night Life

In the quiet house
Hours before the dawn
Among the shadows
A cat makes his rounds

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ordinary Morning

Sunrise as the day begins
Silence permeates the house
Alone, with a cup of tea
At peace, nothing to espouse

Friday, May 7, 2010

Morning Friends

Breakfast thoughts
Starting the day
The regulars at the corner cafe

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blossom of Time

As the day draws to an end
As the month comes to a close
I turn to look at a vase
Blue and gold with one white rose

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On George Fox

I will walk the path of peace
Though the world chooses war,
Strife and hatred and deceit --
War within my heart has ceased