This Is Earth

This is Earth, sell your house.  Go on, do it.  Just see it through.  How will any change ever truly come about if you don’t sell your house?  There are many thoughts inside your head that are not true.

This is Earth.  Give away all that you own.  Don’t be afraid, just begin.  The rest will take care of itself.  How can you ever breathe the true breath of the world – drawn way up under your collarbones – if you don’t give away all you own?

This is Earth.  Release all that is expected of you.  Forget everything they want you to be.  Close your eyes and make the brave discovery.  Do not let the noise of the world drown out the voice inside you, the voice that is to be held by you, above all the other voices, whose speech only you can understand.

This is Earth.  Know what is home to you.  It might be someone’s face held in your hands, or the music of waves crashing.  Keep your path, and the feeling of home, close.

This is Earth.  Do you know what you must do?  Only surrender to the door through which you must go.


Book Country

I’m excited to announce that my book WALKABOUT is in the October Top Picks of Book Country (a division of Penguin, and a writing community).  I like to imagine WALKABOUT as sort of a coffee-table book.  Several posts from my blog are included in the manuscript, and the book has garnered positive reviews so far!  Thanks to everyone for your support of this blog.

Gratitude and Grace

The hills, how they roll. Softly sloping emeralds bejeweling the crown of August with its high corn and sunflowers drooping their heavy heads, like me, in silent celebration, a noiseless halleluiah.

The world, how it glimmers. How it appears to be sitting still, beneath the fingertips of the sun, as if some new form of incredible light has just sprung into being and is shedding itself over the garden of the universe.

My mind, how it flickers. Static with the commotion of its ten-thousand children. Thoughts whirling, dust rising in the wake of a stallion’s hooves, the crackling energy of a storm at sea, bending me as if I were the bough of an evergreen. The flailing curtain of rain opens its mouth to speak: “What have you lost sight of? Reclaim your honor. Fall to your knees. Be true to your journey, your gateway, your Self.”

Summer’s fragrance, how it settles. How the cool sheet of its kindness comes to rest against my feverish thighs, as I try, all the while, for a little gratitude, a little grace.   

These Rising Rivers

My heart moves so fast that it almost has me scrambling after it.  But no, we are connected – it can only run so far before it’s left with no choice but to wait for me, jerked to a halt, a dog reaching the end of its leash.

That said, once I’d seen you off safely and on time, I went back to the bed you slept in, still warm with the aliveness of your body, and I wept and wept.

The whole history of my life stood before me: a spiral, a cathedral, dirt road, river.  A sacred calendar, its entirety known only to me, only thought of as sacred by me.

I can withstand the sun and wind, I thought to myself.  I can withstand the intangible, the horror, the splendor.  But not this rain, these rising rivers – Oh Transcendent Energy, haven’t I seen enough rain?


A Measure of Grace

When you empty the wheelbarrow

of rain-wetted weeds in the spring,

when the seashells along the garden wall

inspire you to sing,

think then, old friend, of how we once were,

and how years have fallen at our feet.


When the world empties itself of me and you,

and our lifetimes dry up from their mornings of dew,

with the breath of the sun on the shimmering leaves,

remember then to say your prayers.


When the cat has his nap near the creaking porch-swing

and I’ve emptied the ‘barrow of earth in the spring,

I’ll think of you, fair weather friend,

and how there’s a measure of grace about you.


By day, a daydream ponderer who never gets his fill,

by night a barefoot wanderer who’s wandering still.

With my bamboo wind, rocks and rain,

what a lucky so-and-so I shall be.

Wayfarer Magazine

I am honored and pleased to be the feature poet for the summer issue of The Wayfarer: A Journal of Contemplative Literature.

If you would like to read my poems or check out the magazine to see if it resonates with you, simply click on the link to the free e-edition.