Many Rhythms

You have known many takers, known many givers, walked many pathways, crossed many rivers.

You have known many husbands, lovers and wives.  You have died many deaths, lived many lives.

You have been a seeker, you have been a finder, you have found the forgotten and remained a reminder.

You have worn many costumes and fanned a few fires.  You’ve tidied the mess and untangled the wires.

You have been the wild, been the idle, swung up in the saddle and borne the bridle.

You are the gardener as well as the flower.  You are eternity and also the hour.

You have written the song, invented the singer.  You are a happiness giver, sadness bringer.

You have climbed the wall, slept on the floor.  All this you have done, and more.

All these things, I too may be.  All these things, I too might see,

though it’s true we come from different places, though we look through eyes on different faces.

Many roads, one destination.  Many rhythms, one vibration.

 

Water Wheels

Did you see the old gypsy woman?  Did you hear her kindly greeting?

She spoke in hushed tones of a winding path,

and she winked at your bones by the village bath

where our skins grow dark beneath my Lord, the Sun –

where we’re bound together, where we join to be One

with the wheels of the water, the moon and stars.

There shall never ring laughter so bold, such as ours.

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.

What I Observed Last Wednesday

Evergreen trees take a solemn stance,

seem to long for rain in their crooked row,

seem to pity the quivering cottonwood leaves,

and decline to change for the coming snow.

 

Away To Callaloo

Away we went to Callaloo,

where the sea is a glittering diamond

that never goes to sleep,

and the rising sun brings promises

no one could ever keep.

With empty pockets,

me and you,

away we went to Callaloo.

 

Away we went with naught to lose,

where water falls in clear cascade

wherever it is able,

and buttered toast with marmalade

is on the breakfast table.

With broken dreams,

just me and you,

away we went to Callaloo.

 

Away we went and left our shoes

to try their fruits and steaming stews,

to see what their tomorrow brings

we left our shoes and other things,

to walk the sand and eat ice creams

with empty pockets and broken dreams,

just you and me, and me and you,

away, away to Callaloo.

 

Marrow

 

You were caught in me

like a fish on a hook.

I tore you away,

threw you back to your world,

wounded to the insides of my bones.

 

In anguish we part,

my companion and I,

and stationed here upon this hill

we watch our tangled knot untie,

withdraw, resign, be still.

 

The absence of the muse

is the artist’s darkest hour.

I wish my tears were rose petals,

but they are not made of any flower.

The Middle Way

May we not lose courage, may we open the flower of our own nature.  If we go or if we stay, may we find the Middle Way.

May we overcome contradiction without trying to resolve it.  May we feel what we’re feeling without needing to dissolve it.

Everything I thought I knew is just a stroke of brilliant blue, baptized by the earth and clouds.  Sparkle in my blind eye flatters, sightless seeing all that matters.  Every moment amazes once you’ve learned to sing the praises.

Wood and water, stone and leaf, time’s a terribly quiet thief.  World turning, changing me, all that I will ever be is sea and stars, primordial soup, tattoos and scars, then bones, bare bones, among the sleeping broken stones.

May we trust in gratitude, learn compassion, seek forgiveness.