Friday, February 02, 2024


Sometimes my eyes fill

with tears

of gratitude

for such simple things,

the candle,

the down comforter

wrapping me from the cold,

the crackle of fire 

soon to heat the house,

the hot water flowing 

into the tub outside,

the day's work done,

the spin of the washer 

making the cabin vibrate,

the freedom to stop 

the meditation

and write the poem,

the seamlessness 

of this whole illusion.


Repost: The Sacredness of the Ordinary

 Today was still another sunny spring day although a storm is supposed to be heading in. I decided to stop fretting about water, river cfs, and snowpack and get some work done before the weather hits. I planted the rest of the herbs and brought up some old rusty tin roofing I want to use to make life impossible for the weeds around the edges of the garden and where I foolishly planted mint--a task I will regret again and again. It felt so good to be moving the body, lifting, carrying, digging and hauling and the air was soft and just the right warmth.

So I sat for a while on the porch of the cabin when I was finished. Samson came over and lay down and Fatcat came by to get pets. My sweet companions seem to like it when I return to old habits and sitting on the porch is certainly one of them. I waited, eyes half closed for the sun to move behind the locust tree, gently looking out at light and shadow and early spring and hearing the dog pant, the cat purr, a distant frog and the wind beginning to rise, expectant with rain. 

Then came a long moment which lasted while in the back of my consciousness was a running murmur of tasks done and undone, wishes filled and unfulfilled, hopes dashed and still persistant. But the light and shadow of the day, the familar companions, the sweet air were held and accepted and loved in this very ordinary moment in this very ordinary day while the astounding fierceness of my love of life seared my heart through for a long period of timelessness which itself was bounded by dog pant, cat purr, frog croak, wind chime, light and shadow. I recognize once more the sacredness of the ordinary.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024



A bird sits on the

temple roof

singing its sweet throated



except tot he heart

which hears

Love your life

Live each moment



I go down to the river as I have so often gone, for years, seeking solace, confused and hungry for insight, or just hot and sweaty, wanting a cold plunge into the deep pool.    I sit and stare and wait for quiet to descend.  It isn’t prayer in the “now I lay me down to sleep” tradition because I know no one to pray to except maybe the universe itself, and that at the moment seems too immense to call upon.  

It is the end of summer. Seed pods rattle or hang empty swaying in the breeze.  Rusty colored leaves from the alder already are lining the ground and blond grasses bend and droop in the small path, leading to the water.  The false solomon seal, the poison oak, the berries are all dusty and tinged with yellow or red.  It is the ragtag end of summer mirroring this ragtag end stage of my life.  If the leaves of the oaks are slightly curled and stiff with age or worm chewed, or damaged with leaf spot, so my body has missing parts, is stiff with age, functions more slowly and with less vigor.  This is just the way of life on this planet.  We  deal with it as we can.

When I was young I used to feel this time of year was so sad, the end of summer meant back to school, to routine and to letting go of the wild free spontaneous life surging forth all around me.  But at this age, I realize it is not sad; it is sublimely peaceful.  All that can be, has been accomplished.  The push for sun, for food, for water is finished now and one leaf need no more crowd another.  The plant world gives us this lesson every year which we in our culture so little heed.  Nothing more needs to be done.  It is a time to stop striving and to let many things fall away—time to watch the water flow and see a leaf fall.

Whether this particular body, sitting here today, will feel the wild spontaneous surge of life come forth this spring is a mystery.  This thought floats over the deep peace I feel just as the river’s slow current glides over the deep pools where the salmon lie, waiting the fall rains which will take them back to where they came from.  The depths are not disturbed.  This too is a mystery.   I am here, alive, in the superb and magic stillness of summer’s evening.  I bask in the still warm sun.

And I know that once the world’s hurly burly overtakes me, as it will, I will forget the stillness which is always there.  I write so that if I am too feeble to get to the river, I may at least get to the words.

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