Old Body

This old body has its aches and pains,
but even weeds have blossoms, sweet
peas among wild billowing poppies.

All in all, it's worthwhile having bones
to give light a trellis for entangling itself,
having ligaments to give the stars

a cranny where they fall and lodge
their smaller selves; it's not so bad, this
swollen loam of blood and umber marrow.
We're like peaches with edible fuzz.
I can caress your belly, run my finger
down the fur, smell hay just after rain

and watch the willow arms of the valley
mist with a whisper of creeks
into her shaded bed. All in all, the flesh

is no burden, and it's good to have a body.
There is nothing illusory about it.
Even an old one, especially an old one.

This body makes prayer possible.
Not a petition for weightless space, but
thanksgiving for the place where I am.
~A poem from the new book, 'Savor Eternity.'


Every flower reminds us
of the highest truth.
That is why we love to gaze
into the rose.
Love is what happens
in a heart that is merely awake,
when it isn't doing
anything else.
Millions of stars spilling
from that fragrant hollow,
like pollen.
O dear one, why do you
keep forgetting?
'Tat tvam asi.'
You are that.

Before You Were Born

Before you were born,
you were the watcher
of countless galaxies
spinning inside you.
Then you asked
The Great Question:
What would it be like
to live on one of those
infinitesimal worlds?
And here you are, little one,
here you are, crying for milk!
Yet all the possible stars
are less than a droplet of fire
in the fallen blue bowl
of your gaze.


Clear and boundless
as the sky.
Solid and focused
as a diamond.
Mind silent.
Heart singing.
Feet bare
in the wet grass.


You could ramble
into the forest
and pick
a wild berry!
Have you ever tasted
such dark
ancient sugar?
This tartness is the world
because it is where
you choose to rest
your attention,
placing each creature
in the cosmos
of what's noticed...
Over billions of years
earth yearns to bear
and bring forth this tiny
juicy sphere,
her concentrated
tear of time and hope,
filled with black moons
of sweetness just
for your tongue!
What will
you give her
in return?

Photo Credit Link

Sky Embrace Storm

Sky, embrace storm.
Let there be a stillness
around the whirlwind.
Breathe in chaos, breathe out
impossibly transparent
turquoise blossoms.
Ignite yesterday's cinders.
Burn them completely under
the andirons of your breastbone.
A gentle sigh releases
your eternal spark,
an infinitesimal diamond
dense as the wisdom congealed
on a corpse's brow.
Intelligence without words.
Understanding without thought.
Today's forecast: sunny with rain,
and no distinction
between sorrow and joy.
Now rest in a darker silence
where opposites do not contend,
but sun and moon, gravity and pinion,
taste of blood and fragrance of peony,
the beast beneath the white robe
and the benediction in the eye
of the executioner
are all declensions of a single verb
singing your assent to be whole.
Let those long-estranged lovers inside you
renew their ancient marriage vow
against the sound advice of
all your relations.

Photo: Lovely troubled weather seen
from my village on Puget Sound


Between here and there
is the nowhere we're usually
On my way to the mountain top
breakfast at Twede's in North Bend,
the diner where David Lynch filmed
Twin Peaks.
A diner is not even one peak.
More like a vale.
But that's where we hang out
before and after.
A little further up the trail
I hear a low-frequency grouse bong
under ripe huckleberries.
"Ascending" now I hear
a high-frequency marmot whistle
from a glaciated rock pile.
Gone, gone, gone beyond the air
where trees can grow:
Gaté Gaté Para Gaté.
Chugging for breath I touch the sun
at the dazzling summit.
But who am I kidding?
There are thousands of mountains
I'm still not there, and not quite
here either.
My knees hurt, but I'm moving
from valley to valley.
The peaks are in between.
Meanwhile, right where I Am,
the donuts are fresh and warm.


It is 3:34 PM Pacific Time,
the exact moment of the solstice.
Like an arrow, the axis of love
pierces the center of the sun,
the spindle of the earth,
the meridian of my heartbeat.
The moon pours cool ointment
over the wound.
Wherever there are rims, limits,
horizons, now
they overflow with dark
sparkling nectar.
Drink from me.
Art by Randall Roberts


Any creature who can say, 'I Am'
is filled with the Creator.
This is a great responsibility.
There is only one commandment
for the birds of the air and thee:
Put no noun after the verb to Be.
If you don't understand this,
go outside at dawn and listen
to the golden warbler singing about
the Sun that rises in its tiny heart.

O Surrenderer

O surrenderer, martyr yourself!
Die for love and become
a purple anemone of the Negev.
Be dew on a scarlet poppy
dissolving in the sun.

O Surrenderer, make the haj,
the journey from grape to wine.
Leave your father's encampment
in the dry hills of the forehead
and wander into the valley
of your chest.

Circumambulate the heart's black stone
and change it to flesh.
Meet every mother's child
dressed in a pilgrim's gown like yours.

O Surrenderer,
give the alms of your breath
to the poverty of yearning.
Laugh five thousand times today,
for laughter is the secret prayer
revealed on the day of judgment.

Let Joy convert the nations
and gather the ummat al-mu'minīn,
not by the sword, but by soft words
in the book of healing
lettered with flames all murmuring
out of a single sound, Salam.

It is good to fast from violence,
O Surrenderer,
dawn to dusk.
Refrain from doing harm to yourself: 
that is the real Sawm.
When our mind does no violence
to our heart, we treat others
with dignity.

O Surrenderer, martyr yourself
for peace.
Does your own beauty not shine
like the golden sun
from the face of your enemy?

'Savor Eternity': #1 New Release In Nature Poetry

Poems are maps
for getting lost in your heart
where everyone can find you.

Come and be wildered.
You don’t need to ask the way.

Which way does the magnolia bud unfold?
To the East or West? Right or Left?

Please touch the whole world now.
Awaken in every direction at once.
Be the radiance you seek.

Let's create a Heart-Wave during the release of 'Savor Eternity One Moment At A Time'! On its first day, (6/17) the book reached Amazon's "#1 New Release in Nature Poetry." Thank you, friends.
 In the second day, we reached #1 New Release in Inspirational and Religious Poetry.
Your heart isn't just a pump: its an energy-field radiating from the core of your body, suffusing the entire planet. And as you spend a brief moment in your Heart, you repose in the eternal. I truly believe that a poem can be a portal to this healing Heart-radiance, which is the purpose of my little book.
Link to Amazon through this PUBLISHER'S PRESS RELEASE, where you'll find reviews, sample poems too!
As an added bonus, you can also buy my first book, 'Wounded Bud,' at half price during this Heart-Wave! Just go to my Amazon AUTHOR'S PAGE.  

Landscape As Lover

Your nakedness my native ground,
a wild forgotten garden gone to seed, 
your wheaten undulations, mountains rilled  
to breasts of brown by slow dark-silted time.

Ancient disciplines of listening trilled
your secret valleys with lark song, inlaid
each poppy and pale iris with ruby and jade
chiaroscuro, blossoms for each weed.

As minstrel, I would amber you in sound.
Were I a poet I would turn you on
a rhythmic lathe to rhyme.
An artist, I would layer your dark skies

outrageously in tints of amaranth and fuchsia,
brush the chalcedony ocean of your thighs.
Were I a virtuoso I would lean
your body’s umber swollen cello,

balanced on one foot, against mine
to hear your hollows resonate, and strum
your tautest string like this,
then pluck some lower, darker tone...

But I’m a lover, glutted by minutia.
I glory in you dust, your fallow
landscape of half-opened lips, your softest loam,
the raindrop of your kiss.

River of Pain

This very morning
I sense the subterranean
river of pain
surging through each atom
of the earth, my tear
an ephemeral monument
of transparency,
naked in the vast dark tide
that flows into the smallest
oceanic cell of flesh.
This very morning I surrender
to a luminous un-knowing:
that this is not my pain alone
but the ancient wound
all humans share - the wise
arterial blood of our ancestors,
the terrible gasp of the newborn,
the unsealed gash of what
we've all, in our ignorance,
done to one another,
and the redounding ache
of unnecessary blame, that
throb of wanting to forgive
and not understanding how...
I surrender to the certainty
of the Uncertain, the faith
that I must surely find
a wellspring of Peace
gushing out of my chest where
the piercing is deepest,
as I follow the river of pain
to its source and welcome
the woundedness of the creature,
birth pang of primal
separation from the One...
I am here not for Joy
or Sorrow, but to kythe
the abundance of the Whole,
to say Yes, this must be a world
where pain and beauty are
inseparable lovers.


We meet in each other's faces, arguing
which of us is mirror, which the original.

“I am only a reflection of your beauty.”
“Not so, dear one. I image you, but only
in a shattered glass…”

Stop this false humility, both of you!
Deference is a mask of pride.

You are both the infinite light that has
no likeness.

Every Other is a pool for drowning
in the Self.


Too beautiful, the peonies
in your garden! Oh yes,
enjoy them, be half

distracted but keep
some attention stored
in your chest.

Don't let this seduction
rob you utterly
of that other darker flower,

its shades of fire
quieter than thought,
kaleidoscope of nameless

inner fragrances,
the one that has always
already blossomed

deep in your body,
wound loose as light itself
on a trellis of bones.
Photo: Peony on my dining room table

Song of the Very Old Man

I was embryo rippling in the amniotic sea.
A barnacle jarred loose from womb wall,
first fall, tide wanderer, I called
like a lost dolphin to no one in particular.

A fang of sperm tasted my membrane like a grape.
Was that our first share of darkness, double
occupancy? Or the formless foreboding
of a body, where the shadow-mist shape-shifted
its furious sphere from God's sleep?

I fell again into a slumber of fire, reeled into
the old roundness, an eely string of eons
coiled in neutrino, imprisoned in tear.

Look at my wizened thistle blown among the rocks.
I’m toothless and bald, with a beard so long it drifts
among fungi and celia, rooting my downy mildew
in valleys I carved with glaciers of patience.

Now I’m a Cascadian stream, dangerous as a serpent
uncoiling to the Salish Sea.
Blessed fools pour father ashes into me
and vial my sulfurous balm to carry home hot
and belch back for healing and fecundity.

I molder in your lymph node and tear duct.
I swizzle each leukocyte, engulf your HIV.
I blast your nostrils with green bastrika,
then wash up the fetus you indwell
on the shores of the salty mother.

I’ve rehearsed your heartbeat in my death rattle,
tethered its rhythm to a quasar.
When I hold my breath, your soul is suspended
in a song of ancestral memories.
Then I sigh, and it is your name.
You are born.

In my berry garden your ovaries sprawl.
I am the ancestral whale who swims in your milk.
My virescent landscape is truly within you.
Walk on me, each step a faltered healing of
the earth that dangles from your ribcage.

Beat your breastbone with my old heart.
Fall inward like a moth exhausted by its lover, the flame.
Make centuries whirl faster in circles of stillness.
Will my drinking song awaken you again?
Didn't we visit and kiss before we had mouths?

The playmate who chased you to ecstatic exhaustion,
the wizened padre whose knee first dawdled your sex,
your grandmother’s empire bequeathed in a tuft of hair,  
all perish and wind in my body like ciphers
of milkweed in a breeze from the North.
Now breathe me and fill the bellows of your species.

How else should the music of a galaxy move
one proton of your blood?
How else should the wise become fools?


You saw the pure white light
of the great liberating dharma-kaya:
congratulations on your OBE.
But the animal guides were not impressed.
"Out of Body" won’t dip their bread in elk marrow.

This is why the totem shark bites off your head,
an act of compassion to deliver you from concepts.
Freed from liberation, you tumble back into embodiment.
Ruthlessly committed to not making you spiritual,
the Panther means business.

She stalks you, forcing you from wound to wound,
your feet keeping silent on a discipline of hidden sticks
in the green mausoleum of the birthless forest.
She wants you to taste the actual pain of death
spawning indomitable green nipples out of a nurse log.

She wants your paws to grow voluptuous black callouses
that can grip deciduous loam and flaming cinders
in the dream-time, where virgin serpents spiral
through the hollows of your genitalia, squeezing
your liver in the coil of twisted twin shadows.

Blessed are your feline familiars who destroy, awaken,
sting like nettles, licking your thought-bones with sensation.
Jesus had to learn this from the desert too.
He didn't simply say, "be empty."
He said, "Eat my flesh."

Now slither naked, rooted in baptismal dew.
Tingle your amygdala with well-aged moss wine.
Whirl in a song of the snow-melt stream, clattering
angelic stones against your red cedar body.
O quester of visions, don't be fooled by
mocking birds who cannot imitate the Raven. 

The Ayahuasca fountain is your breath.
Enter the canyon of your loins, verdant with
chacruna, passion flower, chalice vine.
Discover the groundless valley of psychotropic tears
distilled into womb brandy through synapses
of starlight in your vegus nerve.

Now locate the sepulcher of silence,
where Gods lie naked and exhausted by resurrections.
Twine them on the trellis of your spine.
Who brews bittersweet juices from the cactus that buds
in the furrow of your missing rib, if not you? 
Here the sun sets, here it rises – your breathing.
Celebrate the nectar you are.

This dance began in one atom of your sacrum.
Why travel from moon to moon?
All journeys are over but the hallowing of now:
ancient stillness with no center.

Your heartbeat is the shaman's drum.
Bury your knees in heaven below.


I keep returning to 3 A.M.
Millions mingle here,
some plunging toward slumber,
that verdant mist of crickets,

others rising in curves of
radiant oblivion
that bend to no asymptote
of thought or word

in the womb of no practice,
no prayer, where tree frogs
listen but do not peep,
and raindrops neither cling nor fall,

suspended in their glistening –
no sigh of “Thou,” nor inhalation “I,”
but a trembling stillness
that enfolds the green earth

like an infinitesimal tear 
in the vigil of my eye
that has never closed
since the birth of wonder…

Dear one, by mere silence 
be reminded how our work is
simply not to fall asleep,
the task of love.

i Am Wonderful

I'm not getting any younger,
not getting any trimmer, or smarter,
or richer this morning,
just getting more wonderful
thanks to the Swainson's Thrush
who finally came home to the lilac
now that it's Summer.
And thanks to the tiny green frog
in my geranium, whose songs
begin at midnight.
And to a swollen gardenia bud
on the hopeless gnarl of sticks
I threw away last Fall
in their black plastic pot.
One might say it has come
"back to life," but really,
what never leaves cannot come home.
It's only our attention that goes
and comes back, not the river
of stars gushing through these twigs
of all things green...
What's important this morning
is neither to be young nor old,
rich nor poor, nor a wise one, nor a fool,
but to be wonderful.

Your Heart Is More

Your heart is more than a pump.
It is a hollow vina
in Saraswati's fingers.
Your heart is an elixir
whirling out of its cup,
irradiating the meadows,
illuminating the wings
of the goldfinch in flight,
casting crimson on distant hills,
entering the immigrant's tear

as a grain of the sun.
How pearls are made?
Why don't you listen
to the hum inside your flesh?
Why don't you confess
that your mind is nothing
but the melody that rises
from your body, hieroglyphs
of smoke from a burning coal?
Whatever is happening
in your chest, don't name it,
just release the fragrance.
Why not drop your petals,
a disheveled rose,
standing naked and uncouth
before the whole garden?
The scent of you
awakens distant galaxies,
intoxicates the unborn
for seven generations.
The shower of sunbeams
falling upon you is your
formless organ.
Just stop believing in edges.
Then again, if all you want is
to siphon blood and breathe air,
that too is a miracle
vaster than it seems.


Om Shrim Hrim
Sarasvati Devyeh Namah.
She is the downy softness
deep inside space.
She is the tear that
crystalizes emptiness,
the Lady who greets your
last breath
when you blow open
the door of night.
A lost bird sings to you,
longing for the nest you wear
like a crown,
rings and ripples of the diver
ebbing back to this
disappearing center that you are.
The owl returns, alights
upon your naked body.
You are that tree which attracts
flying things who need repose.
Dolphins surface in your uterus
to take their first inhalation.
Where do they come from?
The world inside.
That finch you saw today
in your garden,
dipped head-first in wine,
flirting with the firmest young pears
was another of
her countless hands
gesturing that all is well.
Now dare to soften your gaze
and see the one who sees.


Your lover is waiting
in the bridal chamber
between heartbeats
rapt in veils of night.
You won't have to take any vows.
There's no question of staying faithful.
This affair only takes a moment
but lasts forever.
The ceremony is breathing.
Of course its not all a bed
of roses.
Beneath each bright red petal lies
a dark passion, the delicate
singed edge of death.
How could there not be shadows?
Abandon shame.
Savor the salted spark in every tear.
Unhook the reason choker.
Throw away your artificial pearls.
They are not true gems that began
as trapped cinders of pain,
burning droplets
in the purgatorial cup
of your emptiness...
God made you naked
for something more real,
shimmering green up inmost stems
Under sheets of silence
you murmur heavenly secrets
about our eternal dissolving.
I won't tell, I'll just listen.
And to the wedding guests I'll say,
'No gifts please,
just offer your bewilderment.'
Now come to bed, sweet soul,
surrender to the One
you are.
This new book I offer to the Goddess: LINK


This little bowl of tea
could bring peace
to the world,
to all my ancestors,
to a hundred unborn
generations, if I
hold it tenderly
like a planet in the
ancient open space
of my palm,
sip the bittersweet
darkness and taste
what Is, without words.
Tea is mind, mind is tea.
Give thanks with a breath
of silence, in no
hurry to go.

Photo: my tea bowl, made for me by dear friend Bevin, a student.

Soft Spot

From the soft spot in your crown
to the sap-dripping root of your spine
runs a nerve down whose core
the lightning bolt hums.

Let that blue fire incinerate your mind.

How could a single thought arise
in such spaceless brilliance?

Kali will guide you.
Reason is not required.
Your backbone is her wand.

We are all sparks
thrown off from that burning neuron
at the center of the soul:
Song of the wood thrush,
tangle of devil's claw,
sunbeams frozen at this end
into mountain tops...

Vagabond comets, crazy angels
gazing over the edge of entropy
at horizons of derelict light
curved in a morning dewdrop
on a blade of alfalfa.

Words like 'You' and 'I'
have been scorched into silence
by wonder.
Nothing remains but swirling cinders.
We no longer call it 'death.'

Grasping the enormity of the disaster,
we know that we cannot control
this laughter that creates the world.