Tuesday, October 27, 2015



"May it be a light to you in dark places,
when all other lights go out."

we see merely a fleeting refraction of that Light
glowing sometimes in the eyes of lover or friend
or glistening briefly at dawn just before the sun
edges its fiery rim slowly above the horizon
or lacing the deepening shadows of dusk
as those brightest first stars begin to shine

I've heard rumors of that Light now and then
a refrain sung so piercingly sweet   so aching pure
my heart could no longer fit inside my chest
but broke free   opening out like a radiant blossom
expanding till it encompassed both earth and sky!
yet no such image can possibly contain it

my mind strains mightily but can't find words
for this Reality reaching forever beyond words
a Beacon that's guided me through living hell
inspiring hope when every hope was blasted away
infusing courage though I stood paralyzed with fear
a dazzling shaft of Eternity bursting into time!

found and lost   found and lost   found again!
the greatest wisdom isn't gleaned from any teacher
it's only learned through being--all other knowing
trumped by our soul's transcendent revelation!
everyone's a sacred vessel--a Phial of Galadriel
the Light that saves us    is the Light we are


     "The Phial of Galadriel" is, of course, from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings. It's the sacred gift Galadriel, Queen of the Elves, gives to Frodo when he and the other eight members of the Fellowship journey through Lothlorien on their way to Mordor. Frodo later fends of Shelob, the horrible giant spider (for a time) with The Phial. It seemed to me Galadriel's Phial could be used as a symbol for the Divine Light of our own souls, and that's how I deployed it in this poem.

          SWEET CLOVER

I'm back inside the fold today
munching sweet clover again
grass of blissful coming home

yesterday I thrashed about
oozing self-pity and bitterness
turning away   blaming God

Divine Light won't gutter out
Grace cascades unquenchable
yet I felt splintery   bereft

how could it go otherwise?
how could I be safe or whole
estranged from my inmost Self?

today though I scoured my soul
tearing down its rigid walls
flinging wide the brittle gates

my stubborn ego caved to One
Who envelops like atmosphere!
I breathed in   opened   bowed

now I munch the sweetest grass
holy sustenance grown for me
clover of blissful coming Home


     The gleam of Divinity is always there, at the core of my being. But I have a thousand ways of blinding myself, alienating myself from my Eternal Source--self-pity, bitterness, fear, rage, etc. That's what I know about hell. Yet I'm never "damned" unless I choose to be. And when I finally choose not to be "estranged from my inmost Self", then I find I'm back inside the fold again, munching that sweetest grass--"clover of blissful coming Home."

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


                 ISN'T THIS THE TIME
                 (for Charles Stonewall)

isn't this the time--right now!--when you
can no longer keep yourself from dancing
since every molecule's bursting with soul?

isn't this the time--right now!--when bliss
breaks out all over     and the nightmares
snaring you release their strangling clutch?

you leap up suddenly     both arms raised
splayed hands harvesting fistfuls of Light
thrum!  go your bones--they will not stop!

isn't this the time--right now!--the waking
when doubt disappears     when the faces
of flowers beam     swiveling to greet you?

O this is the time--right now!--that heaven
ignites a vision in your eyes    and you see
through every guise   the exaltation of love


                               Handfuls of Light

     Virtually all my drawings either inspire a poem or, as here, are inspired by one. In this way, two sides of my creative spirit--apparently the masculine and feminine--come together and dance as one.  Expressed through companion pieces, each then helps to illuminate the other, evoking together a larger visionary synthesis.

The City At Dusk

             THE CITY AT DUSK

visible from space    the city at dusk
scintillates    a capsized constellation

or it may be the galactic mother ship
arriving in splendor to gather us home

drugs    knifings    drive-by shootings
still plague    devour    but camouflaged

with enough distance even the worst
goes veiled in the bedazzle of miracle!

stark silhouettes braille against the sky
set aflame by sunset's guttering glow--

bare trees    the crisscrossed branches
stitching together twin firmaments

glyphs that spell  "as above so below"
arteries binding the city to the stars


    In this instance, the drawing inspired the poem. There's a paradox here. So much crime and violence go down in our cities every day. Yet viewed from a distance, in the softening, luminous light of dusk, the city appears magical! I allude to both realities in my poem. But the drawing especially evokes the magical dimension. Here's an example of how companion pieces--poem and drawing--together can express a greater richness of meaning and experience.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

River Of Love

                    DICED VEGGIES

like a finely calibrated antenna attuned
to a single exquisite frequency I receive
the most delicate nuances of your soul

even those tiny bright earrings you wear
glitter in my thoughts--scintillant as stars
while the silver polish coating your nails

matches precisely my raptest admiration
you express more shades between white
and black than Eskimos perceive in snow

this world spreads many gaudy banquets
cakes gussied up to deceive blinded eyes
and ensnare groping hearts     no matter

I'd rather taste your artfully diced veggies
--bits of love you prepare so impeccably--
than gorge myself on that feast for fools


      In matters of love, often less is more--at least that's the way I experience it. In style, I'm attracted to subtlety, nuance, refinement, originality, understatement, elegance, the minimally indispensable. Such qualities engage both my senses and my soul. When sufficient time and space leaven a relationship, enough room is left to savor what's unique and beautiful.


did you ever wonder
why love can be so blind
such a hit-or-miss type thing?

Jack's pining away for Jill
too bad--Jill yearns for Jane
while Jane worships Joe!

and how forlorn a dog acts
abandoned by its human
it will never find a home

sometimes a rushing river
bursts upon us--but we're
too flimsy to contain it

we can't control when
it overwhelms our banks
or predict where it will flow

if even the tiniest runnel
of Love's elemental torrent
cascades through our heart

we've got all we can handle
keeping our head above water
just snatching a breath or two


      I've been swept along, swept away, by Love's "rushing river"; and even though I wound up bruised and gasping on the rocks, I realize, for a time, I was flooded by a God. Anyone who's felt this irresistible power of Eros pouring through them toward another, knows what I mean. We only can say "yes" or "no" to election by the God. And if we say "yes", then love's river possesses our hearts. Wherever it takes us, for better or worse, there we must go...