Surrender has already happened.
You did not do it.
Before this breath,
a boundless invisible flower
blossomed all around you,
releasing the miraculous pollen
of the ordinary.
Enjoy the fragrance called
'Just What Is.'
Don't worry about who
surrendered, who fell into
this bottomless ageless cup
of sweetness,
and is still falling, still falling
through utter silence...
If Truth could be spoken
by words and thoughts,
this earth would not be teeming
with trees, birds, mist,
distant mountains,
the glory of dust.

Naked Beholding

"Behold the lilies of the field, how they grow." ~Jesus
Jesus wants you to really look
at the wild poppy,
the lake, the mountain,
to see the gentle explosion
of your own wonder,
a torrent of sparkling pixels,
particles of bliss in the void.
Keep perception nameless.
Turn the ordinary
into the miraculous
with a pure naked beholding.
Enter the wilderness of breath
where subject and object
meet like lovers in a kiss,
and your Bodhisattva mind
is blue sky unclouded
by thoughts.
There is no world of things.
Take a walk in deep silence,
each step a healing gift
awakening the seeds.

Photo of Mt. Rainier by Alex Noriega


However you worship,
take a blessed breath
of the newborn light
that is never even one
moment old!


To those who are alone
on Christmas,
please understand
that we are
all alone,
yet we share
one breath.
It is our core, our
essence to be alone.
And our aloneness
contains the stars.


Why does the flame
in the temple of the heart
need no oil?
Because it drinks
from the radiance
of the Self.


When the mind stops
names and stories
onto the ordinary,
miracles arise,
"I" and "it" dissolve
in the wonder of Thou,
and a raindrop has
no boundaries.


Listen to evening fall.
Listen to darkness come.
Listen to the stars.
Beyond the farthest faintest sound,
listen to silence.
Listening cleanses the mind
of thought.
Listening awakens
the sparkling grace
of the present moment...
What was that troubled dream
of the world
swept away
by this breath?


The only question that matters is,
will you hold your last breath
in resistance,
or give it away
in gratitude?
The answer is how
you do it now.
Each exhalation a departure,
each inhalation a gift.
Dying and living are not two.
At the still point between
it is always solstice.
Take in the Winter moon.
Give back the night.
Listen to the birthless seeds
singing to the sun
all through the long
good darkness.


You got in here by following the rules.
You'll get out by breaking them.

It's a privilege to be born in a body,
the weight of skin, ephemeral
and dark as ununoctium.

But your greatest adventure is beyond
the rim of light, unboundedness.

Dear one, when you go, please leave
an echo of your song, the way a fallen
petal leaves the scent of jasmine,

so that those who truly listen to
what's hidden in silence will close

their eyes to savor this breath
and hear you call from deep inside,
"Don't follow, just dissolve."


Please, no more saviors.
Please, no more heroes.
We don't need them now.
If everyone simply does
their own task
with care,
whenever possible
performing small acts
of kindness,
the world will blossom
with a mad sweet fragrance!

Journey of the Magi

Drop the reins
of your mind.
Let the camel of your breath
lead you.
Follow the star that rises
over the mountain in your brow
through the empty desert
of longing
into the dark valley of your chest.
Something unspeakable
is born there,
and a lady is gazing down
into the straw
where beams fall upward
into her face, that face
bemused and grateful,
not so much with a look
of astonishment
as of certainty
that nothing could ever
surprise her again.
There, you could bow
and drink from the well
of wonder
gushing out of the earth.

Painting: 'Adoration of the Child' by Gerrit Van Honthorst,
1620, Uffizi Gallery, Florence


"If the birth of Christ happens not
in me, what does it profit me?"
~Meister Eckhart, 14th C.

Christ is born
as the light of
pure awareness
in the womb
of silence between
your thoughts.
Now be the mother
of your own heart.


O my Soul,
why do you belabor
this petty distinction
between darkness and light?
Find the Beloved
who is nearer than your body,
whose joy was yours
before night or day.
Sun, moon and stars
rise and set in her silence.
Have you not tasted
the whole sky in a breath?
From brilliant threads
of invisible love
spin all these worlds
in the space of your heart.
Consider that you, you also,
could mother creation
just through the work
of being still...

Madonna by Masacchio


You don't have to melt
until you are ready.
Every pain in your flesh,
every numb stiff resistance,
every emotion of anger, envy
or shame, each staunch
opinion or belief
is just a part of you
that is afraid to melt,
afraid to lose I-dentity.
You don't have to melt
until you are ready.
But know this, friend:
when every particle dissolves
you are not gone.
You are God,
watching your glorious body

Demon Kiss

Kiss your demons
and they will turn 
into dark angels.
Drive your dark angels away
and they will return
as demons.
Lust is not a demon
but a dark angel filled
with un-created star nectar.
Anger is not a demon
but a dark angel filled 
with healing fire.
Grief is not a demon
but a dark angel who carries
an ocean of love in her jar.
Depression is not a demon
but a dark angel whose
river of wisdom runs
deep under the earth.
Addiction is not a demon
but a dark angel bearing gifts
of empathy and compassion
beneath her broken wings.
If you do not bow
to your dark angels
you have to act them out
and they possess you.
But if you bow to them
they breathe through you
and dissolve into the energy
of awakening.
You possess them.
Beware of 'enlightened' teachers
who claim to have no darkness.
They lead you into the darkness
that they hide...
A true teacher
will never estrange you
from your dark angels.
A true teacher empowers you
to taste the wine of night
and bow to your own humanity.
Then you are blessed and born
on earth.


Please make mistakes.
In your golden latticework
of wounds
you look more shattered
and beautiful.
A trellis of cracks
on the mirror of God
gives each reflection 
intricate wings.
One appears as many there
because we dare to stumble.
Surely, love grows vines
on the arbor of our
broken places
making wine of sorrow.

Photo by the surrealist, Martha Macha


Truth is wild and free.
Truth is not known
but un-known
through boundlessness.
What is meditation?
It is not concentration
but expansion,
the opposite of concentration.
Not effort but surrender.
Not even the effort
to be effortless.
The vast blue space
of divine awareness
is already here.
Just be light as a cloud
and dissolve
in the Sky you are.
The first and last instruction
was given by the sage
Ashtavakra: "Layam vajra,"
Dissolve now!
This is not a poem.
It is just the Truth.

Your Name

Stop being so intelligent!
Putting capital letters after your name
will make it taste no sweeter
on a lover's lips.
The wisest teacher tells you everything
in a single syllable
whispered in your ear
for the price of a flower.
Whoever spoke the moon and stars
into their joyous dance
first held all that could be known
in a breath of silence.
You were there, spinning in that
womb of prayer.
Why do you claim to know anything
when you can't even remember
your true Name?

Painting by Mahmoud Farschian


Keep returning to Me here
where I am You.
Don't feel for something in your chest.
Don't look for the comet trail of a breath.
Don't pray.
Just fall through the 'O!'
where every prayer begins.
And don't push out the shadow.
Let her ocean of darkness en-womb you,
tumbling your jagged crystal brilliance
into a rounder saltier stone,
opaque transparency embracing
the confusion of the un-resisted storm.
Please, don't try to still your mind.
Silence is already here,
preceding the moment
when you look.
You ever rest where songs arise.
All instruments attune
to one trembling note -
my Name -
the sound of not trying.
Don't kill desire.
Only dive into crimson chaos,
the poise between your ventricles,
where countless pistils glisten
at the center of the musk rose.
Don't you remember?
You've been releasing this fragrance
into the garden
for six billion years!

Photo by Kristy Thompson


Mary, you thought He was
the gardener,
But He was the garden.
Every seed knows this.
When Creature and Creator
both get thirsty,
you meet here by a well.
He loves you because
you've had countless paramours
yet you remain alone, lingering
between breaths.

He asks you for a drink.
Here's the secret -
You are his thirst.
The well is your own chest.

Painting by Frank Wesley

Remains (A poem from 'Wounded Bud')

Of your mother and father all that remains
is you.
Of the bee and flower, just honey.
Of the master and disciple only
a quivering white stream
pouring from bowl to cup.
Why ask if there are one or two?
Compare us, my beauty, to melting snow.
Give up perfection, take up laughter and tears.
Drown in what you are.

Why Sing?

 Music is the breath of the planet.
 Bend and be hollow.
 Why have you received this
 gift of longing?
 To let some vast green Spirit
 play the frail reed
 of your body...


"Everybody must get stoned!" ~Bob Dylan 

Green gets high on gold when sun finds a vein.
Stillness begins spinning, begets
electrons in an alder leaf.
Fir and white pine lit from roots up,
an underground fix of blood red mushrooms.
Off her axis Earth wobbles, but this dizziness
isn't her fault: Blame God,
first pusher of all that moves.
In the beginning, pastel-winged
moth angels passed out cups of this stuff
at the feast where we conceived
galaxies hanging from magnolia twigs.
Was it all in our heads? It still is.
Now we nod in a fuzz of stars,
this quantum snow.
We're drifting nuclei, connected
by dilated gazes, learning to mingle
our roots like giant fungi.
This is not about chemistry, friend,
it's more sublime, and soft
beyond all substances.
It’s about the heart’s astonishment,
this organ of joy, and our addiction
to the silence in trees and stars.
Rumi used ecstatic wine, and that’s all right.
But we mainline pure consciousness, uncut.


Anger is an energy
that attracts more anger.
Intelligence is inversely
proportional to crowd size.
A single animal behaves
more humanely
than a multitude of men.
Therefor keep faith
in the Alone,
curled up in the woods
around your own
sharing your perfect milk
with one stranger
at a time.


"Once the truth is realized, then even desire
is Brahman." ~Yoga Vashishta 37

Love your desires.
Do not be afraid of them.
They are frolicking waves
of emptiness
in a sea of contentment,
bright atoms of silence
clustered like galaxies
to make your body
whirl in the dark.
At the core of each breath
the mallet of the sun
strikes the bell of the moon
without a sound.
The burrowing larva,
the bursting camellia,
the overflowing cloud,
a white dog splashing
through puddles of mire
to chase a laughing crow:
they all know this.
Why don't you?
You are here to get
mud between your toes.

Breath of Creation

Breathing out, I fell
into the swirling darkness
called "my heart"
where galaxies are born
from the black womb
of silence.
Breathing in, I filled
my night with stars.
Owning nothing but this
vagabond breath,
I lack nothing.
Stop looking for it,
whatever it is,
and your inhalation too
will sparkle with
inexhaustible wealth.

The Sadness

The sadness of a lost moccasin.
Angry mud that needs a hug.
Barefoot darkness, seeds of light
between your toes.
The mountain is made of wind,
wind is made of river,

tears of sod.

At the tip of a twig
plum bud
made of white sky.
Winter of coyote.
Night of forgiving.
I hear your howl,


“Asánasthah sukhám hridé nimájati:
Repose in the natural happiness of your heart."
~Shiva Sutras

Right engenders Left.
Left engenders Right.
They call each other names
that pollute the air.
Don't be fooled.
This is not action, but re-action.
You won't find power
on either side
because power is here
in your chest
where breath begins,
before names are called.
Peace happens
not through resistance
but awakening.
Yours is the mystery
of an infinite circumference
whose center is wherever
you choose to flower
namelessly, in wonder.
No one can rob your pollen.
Your radiant petals protect you.
Your fragrance is joy.
Now return to the seed of light
in the mothering dark loam
of your heart.
Come home.
Create silence.

Photo: Kristy Thompson


Existence is grace.
Breath is gratitude.
When Jesus said,
'I have overcome the world,'
he meant, 'I have surrendered.'
The night is about to pour
her swirling chalice of stars
into your chest.
There is no radiance, no joy,
not bottled in your tears.
A raindrop shakes the earth
and a ray of morning sun
piercing the Winter sky
is an annunciation
to the virgin silence
of your heart.
Dear one, just being aware
is abundance.
All you need to do is
stop complaining
and say thank you.


“Bijavadhanam: Nurture a seed." ~Shiva Sutras

Don't miss this opportunity
to cherish the bliss
of deepening darkness.
In the freeze of November nights
seeds hold their tiny stars
They await an invisible sign
of warmth, just as we do,
patiently yearning.
Yet this yearning is for
something here
in the present moment,
is it not?
To form an opinion
about the future
is far deeper ignorance
than simply not to know.
Fear is the believer.
Courage embraces
the unknown.
I see stillborn roses
hardening into fists
on their bony elbows.
But when I listen
I can already hear their
fragrant yellow and crimson songs
in the black loam.
Right now, friend,
you could be floating
in waves of possibility
on the deathless ocean
of this breath, just crying,
"thank you!"

Photo: Withered Rose by Martin Lau


Surround your loss
with deeper loss.
That is the secret
of the hollow seed.
Lose everything.
Become the void.
Break into flower.

Photo by Kristy Thompson

Soft Spot

Your first breath was full
of your enemies' atoms.
You were intimate before you
became each others' nightmare.
You are never not "them."
You have the power of the unborn
because you are always just
one moment old.
From the soft spot on your crown
where your infancy never healed,
let glittering filaments umbilical
flow on waves of probability
conjoining your better angel
to the navel of a policeman,
the vein of an addict who sleeps
on a Memphis sidewalk,
the pituitary of the Chairman
of Goldman Sachs,
the Chicano broccoli picker's amygdala
from whose malathion-crusted palms
you receive your voluptuous salad.
Need I say more?
A holographic fiber of your
golden hypothalamus
connects you to the vagus nerve
of Donald Trump.
99% of you is beautiful.
Almost whole.
Why not claim the other 1
as your Self?


Love is the vision
of the heart’s eye
seeing all
that separates
as mirage.
Fall in love
with love itself.
Fall into the sky
beneath your ribs.
Open the single eye
that sees only one
where the blind see
night and day,
worm and butterfly.
Feel your way
into moonlight,
awakening the bud,
the fragrance, the bee,
the honey, the wound
covered in honey,
the blade that gashed it,
the terror, the wine
that spills from pain,
the healing darkness
that welcomes home
the fire,
breathing in them all
and breathing out peace.


This moment is the rim
of nonexistence.
We live here
tipped and poised
for pouring out.
Why speak of safety?
Only the past is safe.
Revelation of the Word
happened yesterday.
Berries, moths, the skin
on hot milk wrinkle
and perish; their light
returns to the cooling stars.
Darkness nurtures us now.
Plunging into the shadow
is grace
because we have no idea
what we will find there.
Be a chrysalis after the worm
dissolves into unknowing.
Perhaps a glistening
rainbow will unfurl.
Perhaps not.
Taste uncertainty
here in your sternum
like a blade.
Feel falling itself:
there is no ground.
Ripen your surrender
into sweet bruised fruit
at the seedling hub
of the turning seasons.
Repose a little while
in the nameless.
Then offer your prayer
for this fragile trembling
thing that emerges, the earth.

Another Word

I am searching for another word
to describe what happens in the chest,
another word for the peony

and the motionless explosion
of its blossoming.
I require another word for musk

and for the gutted breath, for what love is,
whether you are stroking a woman's
peach fuzz or the wild curve of

the planet at sunset, another word
for the stain the sun leaves on emptiness,
an edible vibration on the tongue, a

sound not unlike pollen-glutted bees,
how eyes become lips for the soul.
I seek another word for the womb

and the luscious darkness of 3 A.M.
I seek a syllable denoting 'just this,'
the refulgence of now, and how I am

a multitude when I am alone. I seek
another name for melting, no louder
than a sudden inhalation, a coyote growl,

the midnight effluvium of frozen swamps,
a syllable for the sweet decay in a late
September garden, fetor of crisp consent

in wounded apples releasing their juice,
a spell for what happens in frosted gourds,
sobriquet for a gaze at the moment

of death, susurration for the way
light sheathes in darkness, yet no more
mysterious than 'cocoon,' or 'amaranth,'

a kernel of silence wrapped in thinnest chaff,
sibilance of She-tongue cultivated
like a grain for eight thousand years,

then brewed into the title of my ancestor.
I seek a homophone for 'hearth.' I want
a garden in my throat. Let this tongue

be a green stem groping the thunder
of the harvest moon, or a mushroom
risen from infernal loam. I want a word

that means both 'keening' and 'silence.'
It must contain the echo of breaking.
When it strikes against the embryonic

hollow of an ear, that unborn conch of
listening inside listening, nothing more
need be spoken; for such a word is the nectar

of fermented loss, perfected by yearning,
the last sound of this poem, at which I,
my dear, am distilled into your teardrop.

With Your Own Heart

"Commune with your own heart and be still." ~Psalm 4

Commune with your own heart and be still.
Do not make a mystery of this.

The source that draws you home is who you are.
How could it be otherwise?

Let the one who remembers awaken
the Sun itself with a whisper, "So'ham..."

All living creatures hear that music
just a little, a rippling of the stillness

in your chest,
a warmth
where breath begins...

Politics 101

The revolution is to breathe.
The radical act is to be present.
If you want to practice deep faith,
don't even try to be kind:
Kindness is your nature.
Everything arises
from mysterious wholeness
beyond thought.
Ideology dissolves
into a smile.
One thing nourishes the world:
your secret joy.

Songs to the Master

There's a sky-blue rose
with petals softer than the air it blossoms in
springing neither from earth nor heaven
but from the darkness inside
where real gardens grow.
It winds about the trellis of this body,
I am tangled in its fragrance.
If you're thirsty as a honey bee,
you can taste love’s nectar here.
There's enough for everyone.
And if you'd like this flower to grow in you,
speak to me in silence:
I know where the seeds are.

Beyond the marketplace, the streets
of past and future, hope and regret,
under wild stars where all paths
finally tangle in green darkness,
there’s a garden where No One
waits for you.
He will do to your soul
what a fountain does to sunbeams.
Let me take you walking there
in the cool of the evening.
We'll feast on purple berries and sing
all night, then wake at dawn to discover
we have somehow wandered
into the heart.

I only understand the silence
between your words.
I sleep in the night of your eyes.
Your breath brushes my brow:
I’m ocean-tossed, drowning.
You graze me with a glance:
I'm shocked by a new Creation
where only dancing is allowed.
How close can my head come to your toes
before it shatters into spirals of gold?
Lift me up, I'll turn into a fountain.
Step on me, I'll be the sky.


What are you to the Left of?
What are you to the Right of?
Why do you need a point
of view?
Love is pointless.
Just for this morning,
just for this breath,
why not let your politics
dissolve into the sky,
the sky of Presence
above and within you,
the sky in the hollow
of your bones,
the trembling blues
between your atoms,
with no boundary
no center, no opinion,
the One who
gazes back
from the eye of the storm?


"And if you offer even a leaf, a flower, a piece of fruit, or a little water, this I accept as the deepest devotion, because it is given with a yearning heart." ~Bhagavad Gita, 9:26

I bow down to your feet.
Now I bow down to a speck of dust
that falls from your toe.
Now I find you in a withered leaf,
a silvery slug trail,
an abandoned cocoon,
the mess of love making,
goo in the eye,
a dog's gaze, that stillness
at the rose's heart
centering a storm of bees,
and my own unclenching hand
so lightly holding
this night full of stars.
I bow to you
not only in the creature
but in the edgeless fractal
where the creature's name expires
in the breath of the Uncreated.
And the You that I find there
is I, Beloved, crying
thank you, thank you!
I bow to you for perfect freedom.
I bow to conquer the world
with my surrender.


Become empty and self-luminous.
Fill every cell of your flesh
with a flame of beauty.
Don't forget to meditate,
dance and sing.
Don't forget that every breath
is the most sacred gift
you have ever received.
This too is your work, the play
of opening, releasing your pollen,
dropping your petals and falling
back to the root.
Whether the day is rainy
or golden with glory,
become empty and self-luminous.
Fill every cell of your flesh
with the blue sky
of astonishment.

I Voted (Election 2016)

I voted.
I voted for the rainbow.

I voted for the cry of a loon.

I voted for my grandfather's bones
that feed beetles now.

I voted for a singing brook that sparkles 
under a North Dakota bean field.

I voted for salty air through which the whimbrel flies
South along the shores of two continents.

I voted for melting snow that returns to the wellspring
of darkness, where the sky is born from the earth.

I voted for daemonic mushrooms in the loam,
and the old democracy of worms.

I voted for the wordless treaty that cannot be broken
by white men or brown, because it is made of star semen,
thistle sap, hieroglyphs of the weevil in prairie oak.

I voted for the local, the small, the brim
that does not spill over, the abolition of waste,
the luxury of enough.

I voted for the commonwealth of the ancient forest,
a larva for every beak, a wing-tinted flower
for every moth's disguise, a well-fed mammal's corpse
for every colony of maggots.

I voted for open borders between death and birth.

I voted on the ballot of a fallen leaf of sycamore
that cannot be erased, for it becomes the dust and rain,
and then a tree again.

I voted for more fallow time to cultivate wild flowers,
more recess in schools to cultivate play,
more leisure, tax free, more space between our days.

I voted to increase the profit of evening silence
and the price of a thrush song.

I voted for ten million stars in your next inhalation. 

LINK to hear a reading of this poem on SoundCloud
Photo: Valley of the Palouse, Washington State

Don't Keep It

If you find happiness,
don't keep it.
Dropping your happiness
is bliss.
Holding on to it is suffering.
The gardener who lets the seed
fall into the ground
gets the greens.
Now what is this ground?

The Way Up

Precious the dung.
Holy the manure flower.
The baby burp of your mistakes,
the coffee stains in your blood,
the wine in your tears,
the Reese's wrappers
hidden in your bra,
this swollen bud
of your impeccable soul,
filtered through loam and loathing.
Compost your sins,
don't try to cast them out.
That just postpones
the fester of sweetness.
Here is what happens in tombs
and bridal chambers,
among mushrooms and lovers:
wounds ripen into juice.
Be the fertilizer.
Fracture your seed.

This is the only way up
to the rose.

Evening Meditation

You have no choice.
When you breath in,
wings soar through your spine,
turning your path into a spiral
of melting stars.
Where were you going? Why?
A rare migrant flies through the open
door of this empty cathedral,
trapped for a while and
fluttering ecstatically against the rose
window in your chest.
No choice, no choice!
When you breathe out,
some gray veiled pearl of a lady's face
pulls on the ocean
in every cell of your body.
You can't tell whether you are still
or dancing.

When I Stopped Grasping

I would ride a ray of gold back to the sun,
thinking, this is who I am.
Then I would follow a breathful of stars
back into the night, feeling,
this could be real...
But when I stopped grasping for fire
and fleeing from shadows,
when I gave up the path of healing
and came home to my wound,
when my song vanished in the quiet
like a wisp from a blown out wick,
plums ripened in the dead of Winter,
corpses seeped honey from fragrant graves,
millions of chimes rang from the hollow
in a thistle seed.
How do you know that this is not
the dream of a mouse
squatting in your old socks?
Or that it's not the sexual longing
of an earthworm?
How do you know that a grain of sand
isn't a palace of carousing angels
who laugh like crystal at the size of your mind?
In the previous age, the senses
were windows and doors
through which color, music and frankincense
entered your stillborn emptiness.
Now your eyes, ears, nostrils and tongue
are fountains pouring a rainbow
out of the packed black silence
between heartbeats, the fragile vacuum
where lilacs and lilies die back,
to drink from a terrible sweetness
that is neither light nor dark.


It is solved
by sinking deeper,
by seeing the problem
from within,
where it is not a problem
but a tremor
on the surface of our
oceanic wholeness...
This is how God calls
waves of Herself
back home.

Photo by Kristy Thompson


Let a breath of Thou
sweep the I from my heart,
O sparkling emptiness!

If I do not heal
my own awareness,
how can I heal anything
of which I am aware?

The moth folds her wings
on a petal of blue lupine
the raven complains
from the misty pine
this tear kisses
my cheek for no reason

Earth is not purified
by politics
but astonishment,
dissolving desire
like a cloud in the sky
that was never not
already blue.

Return to the crystal
of no-thought.
Bathe the world
in wonder.
Not working more
but needing less
cleanses our water,
soil and wind.

Let a breath of Thou
sweep the I from my heart,
O sparkling emptiness!

Photo by Wang Wusheng, 1984


There are no right angles
in these hills, no parallel lines
in the mossy limbs
of the ancient forest.
Why do we draw borders
to pierce and divide
this sacred tribal soil?
As if rivers are not enough,
as if mountains and valleys,
the blush of fractal change 
from prairie to high sage,

the golden explosion
of alluvial marsh lilies,
are not boundary enough
for a real country…
Yet for all our nations,
we inhale the same air,
drink one water,
coalesce the breathless
dust in one body
with eight billion colors.
At night we touch
the same stars, at rest
in one silence,
drift back gently,
laden with the same dreams
into one ocean
of blood.
Collage of my words by Rashani Réa.
Chalk mandala by Caryn Babaian, Academy
of Natural Sciences,
Drexel University.


Do not seek the counsel
of one who answers
all your questions.
Seek the silence of one
in whose stillness
no questions arise, whose
fragrance draws you
to the nectar fountain
gushing from groundlessness
in your heart's deep core.
Scatter your petals
on those brown feet.
For every step you take
toward the Friend,
those feet have taken
ten thousand toward you.
You have come here just
to lose yourself
in that bow.

Berry Walk

Here is the good news
for a Sunday in June.
There is no solution.

Your life is not a problem
to be solved.
This is the Gospel

for a morning when
the salmon berries dangle
in their sable caps,

luscious from the green-gold leaves.
If you do not take a handful
and smear them on your tongue

the deer will do it, the deer
will come so silently to steal
the beauty you do not see.

In virescent pools of fern on
this, the hottest morning yet,
the cool sour huckleberry’s fire

will succor you. And given
the wild possibility of such a world,
is it not the best news of all

that there is no conclusion,
only survival, in the never-ending
chaos of your faith?

Photo: Salmon berries in my hand on
a woods walk in the Northwest forest.