Of wind and breath
As wind is to breath, breath is to wind
and we in turn to the many things
met along their way.
What is this
there that takes
each breath’s empty end
and lifts it to the next?
Children seem to know
what we struggle
to remember: a world created
reveals the self
who dwells there.
Each life’s living
moves beyond itself.
Each always more.
I’d vow to give up the nonsense,
but I’ve vowed before
so many things
that maybe nonsense
defines them all—but, this morning,
I could not see, but knew
to be near, a crow unseen called
that any vow I might have made
brimmed to full
Hope has a role, I suppose; but gratitude offers firmer ground.
Legacy—what the poet said—
that things left behind
wake silence lain latent
in presences now gone.
She said, the world sometimes confirms,
mostly not; but adjustments, though fleeting,
can be satisfactory—the secret: to not demand
that the unplanned
can’t be enough.
The prayer flags are frayed. Sunlight splays
the porch railing, lays along fingers holding a pen.
Blues pour from inside shadows, a dove calls
from shaded limbs, and that orange and black butterfly
holds the warmth of wooden siding.
Colorado Springs means friends.
Stepping into the morning air, the limbs of the pine
still, the sky blue, silent, he stops, breathes,
thinks of prayer, of the hum within the hush of himself,
of beginnings already begun, intentions recalled
and day already complete.
And yet again another of the poets moves me to sentences
like these that pour from pen’s end to white and lined and dimpled
pages creased by the weight of telling thoughts
impressed—sprung organic from logic-sparked currents
through tongue and fingers in directions well-taken to follow,
if what we want to know of is ourselves in the world.
Listen here, watch just a bit more closely that guiding working
its magic, even if seemingly silent, even when directed center.
Watch. Sentences rock.
The last day together tends to quiet
the walk for the Sunday paper,
accent pancakes and coffee
and make music of its own enough
to dampen the need to disturb the air
that brims to full that hold
Taos to Santa Fe
in the darkened room,
we crack the blinds to blue
sky sun light
garnished with powdered creamer.
Beggars can’t be choosers, they say,
and the Masters
did not wish to be—what a fine way
to start our stay
here in Taos. We tell each other
of our dreams.
Poet-teachers and what they’ve done with the pen
is not as compelling as what has kept it moving
for them—I listen for that.
In the tangle of nerves that passes for norm,
we turn another way, lean in to trace each shift full through
to its end, to the next. Everything real is here.
Through the blinds I can see sunlight on shadowed leaves,
scattered spores of blue and the earth-toned stucco wall
of the living room patio faintly dappled.
Like trying to capture air in a screened box, we try to keep
time, even when there’s nothing to hold, living as if
loosing count of our heart beats
means we loose life.
A teacher once said the depths of the natural functions
of all we are, of all we behold, are as deeply integrated
as impenetrable. But we can encounter telling glimmers,
if only we take them as given, and let them go as they will.
The Pueblo at Taos Mountain
has been inhabited since 1350 AD.
Those who live here now
still drink Red Willow Creek.
And to the west, the Rio Grande
cuts gorges into the earth.
Time is long here. Days hold everything.
Prayers for South Carolina
The Santa Fe River runs the city center
from east to west, reaching steadily
for the Rio Grande which runs its way
south—even before the smoke settles,
televised pundits attempt to advise
that guns are not the problem.
But river banks reveal history
as readily as day’s flows speak
to current circumstance.
Time listens to both.
“From here on,
The Navajo people
make morning offerings
with words like these,
so I might sing with mine
of the aspen at the river
and the willow too,
of the juniper’s fruit
tangled in vine,
of the promise of heat
at water’s edge,
of reliance given
and of frequent touch.
May everything be beautiful.
Words reveal our conversation
with the world—the poet’s job, to listen.
It’s July…the first…and
after morning’s walk, still within the reach of a single stick of incense,
mind touching page, on and off, here to there, breath unlabored, writing.
Coffee cools, the pen moves—questions rise, pass, rise and pass
again—off-pink petals watch from along the fence.
Then, on my knees, sunlight whispers,
across my hands a testimony, a record
of personal witness. That all manner of meaning
need only be taken as given.