Tuesday, January 19, 2016


                     I HEARD YOU SAY IT

did you say it?    I heard you say it    this Joy
we feel now busting out--it's enough!  it's all
we need    this sheer Joy of Being    this Grace!

did you laugh it?    I heard you laughing!   Yes!
with such irresistible play    your zany voice
drawing forth my own scandalous laughter--

a hilarity zinging from the Cosmic Big Bang!
no thoughts    words    or meanings    just bliss
here    now    always    this uncontainable bliss!

did you kiss me?    I felt you kiss me    kiss me
like the full moon kissed last night    kiss me
how grass kisses each spring when it sprouts

did you sing the One Name birthing all names
our Secret Name    which only silence knows?
yes    you sang that Name    our Holiest Name!


     In these gloomy, stormy months of mid-January, we can let the weather's dreariness seep into our souls. But once we realize that the ultimate Source of our happiness, our Joy, is never outside us, but always and forever fountaining forth from the inmost core of our being--then we also know we have the power to return home to that Source whenever we choose. Such Joy is our birthright, the essence of what it means to be human, and Divine.

                         SLAPHAPPY PSALM

You're not here    but everywhere    there's only You
in the rhythm of my breathing now    the grace of
Silence singing    the dance of my fingers on keys

You're the Secret my scandalous inner child knows
that Cosmic Joy for which he willingly throws away
all his glitziest playthings    even mimicries of love

You're my Clown's Face flipped on its ear laughing!
My Flash Gordon Decoder Ring    a wild Jump Start
as my soul's dead battery recharges at forty below!

You're the Apple tossed up    but not plunging down
the Ecstatic Maypole I cavort round like a holy fool
the Jigsaw Puzzle I'm boggled by    can never solve

You're a Whiplash Windup on the pitcher's mound
that tasty Sweet Spot where my bat smacks the ball
the Sting of the line drive I just snared in my glove

You're Outrageous Bliss    the Universe's Bull's-eye!
the Tickle    the Giggling    the Joke    the Punchline!
inside  outside  upside  downside    there's only You


        Where does God live, if not in every single moment of our lives. Experiencing Divine Presence means waking up, raising our consciousness, staying centered, savoring every instant. When we can do this, we realize that each sensation, each activity, each encounter, is Holy. When we can do this, then each breath we take is a prayer of gratitude, a psalm of praise!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016



getting old    living alone    another winter
wind cuts deeper    ice more treacherous
night slices down from beyond the stars
how much I long to hold you in my arms

sister   father   mother   brother--all gone
only I've lasted of that splintered family
yet their ghosts still haunt my journeying
how much I long to hold you in my arms

I'm a deathless spirit in a dying animal
bones crack--chilled by the cold and dark
spring's far away    hope seems orphaned
how much I long to hold you in my arms


     We all know them, don't we--those times when inner and outer weather converge to an almost despairing loneliness. Emily Dickinson wrote: "There's a certain Slant of light,/Winter Afternoons--/That oppresses, like the Heft/Of Cathedral Tunes/--Heavenly Hurt it gives us--/We can find no scar,/But internal difference,/Where the Meanings, are--". To be human is at times to feel that "Heavenly Hurt." What makes it bearable, if we endure humbly and patiently, is the rebirth which may arise from such depths.


dead winter    leaden sky
     the lake frozen over
          my heart too 

          then I see it

       tangled among
the fir tree's branches
       broken open--

       a milkweed pod

inside    bursting loose
    feathery chutes
      awake    unfurling

   the seeds are ready

   the seeds are ready!
look    how they spill
         into my hand

       I release them

my heart laughs
      they float free
        on the cold wind 

whirling!    dancing!


    My heart is ever waiting for spring, for renewal, for rebirth! The smallest sign, even in the dead of winter, is enough to lift my spirits. To see those milkweed seeds whirling and dancing on the cold wind! They reminded me, revitalized me. As Chief Seattle said: There is no death. Only a change of worlds."


Tuesday, January 5, 2016



at certain times    if we're graced
with a small favor from the Gods

these words we stammer    whether
joy or pain    love or awe    catch

just the momentary    aching gust
of one of Their own pure outcries

it's then we breathe a vaster being
we're raised for this soaring instant

above our tragic deafness    lifted
to that sphere where all is singing!

music so rare    so piercingly sweet
we can hardly bear it    but we do


     Where does the most soul-piercing music come from? It's not a human invention. We're born to be antennae for signals from a higher, wiser, purer world. And when, even in spite of our smaller selves, such Heavenly Music does break through our earthbound consciousness, for this timeless instant we're lifted out of our animal mortality, into that vaster eternal sphere where all is One.

               MUSIC OF THE SPHERES

images are useless at showing the invisible
words pointless for saying what's not here
but they're all I have    so they'll have to do

without seeing emptiness    hearing silence
we go crazy    things and noises eat us alive
the inner lifeline to our Holy Source is cut

there's a Melody surpassing every sound
a Radiance too intense for incarnate eyes
a Meaning beyond the senses or the mind

Bach comes closest    Glenn Gould serenely
nails it    playing The Well-Tempered Klavier
note after note probes deeper into Mystery

yet not all the way    never to that shudder
of Boundlessness    like visions and poems
they lead us to the brink    inspire us to leap


                              Music Of The Spheres

      The music of Bach has long inspired me, and none more so than the First Prelude of The Well-tempered Klavier. So I suppose it was inevitable I would try to evoke that "Heavenly Music" in both poetry and art. First came the poem, then the drawing. Then I lugged my boom box to a local poetry open mic, where I recited my poem, to Glenn Gould's playing that Prelude--while also exhibiting my drawing! It was a marvelous multimedia trip, and one of the most fulfilling experiences of my creative and spiritual life.