Mendicant Dreams

Wraith-like, twisting
My dream sweeps out
With menaced urgency

Lighting on some
Ancestral shrine
Where my soul longs to be

The grasses, bending,
Supplicant
Whisper how I should stay

The grave welcomes
A mendicant
Who cannot find his way

But I will be there
Soon enough
The tomb – what’s left of me

For now, I am one
With the clouds
Beside
The Irish
Sea

A Sea-Grass Elegy

We come, but like the wind that blows,
We pass. Into our hibernation,
Hidden in recesses and in nooks,
Until the passing crowd goes mute.

We reach, but like the grass that waves,
We’re firmly rooted to what we can do,
The limits of our kind,
And scarcely see beyond our patch of land.

But: every other Saturday,
In full imagination,
We stand upon a pedestal
For our great peroration,
And rustling and whistling,
We lightly brush the ground,
Our eyes turned upward toward such stars
As never can be found —

We try. We spread our loving arms
To take in all that we can touch;
But tethered to our practices,
It’s all just undulation.

We breathe, but like the mournful sea,
Our whisperings don’t reach the ears
Of all the many, focused on their vanities
And cares.

How is it we cannot escape
These harnesses that bind us?
Why can’t we move away to where
Our loving ones can find us?
Was there a rhythm I could beat
Or melody I knew of
That taught this secret to our souls
You’d see the great debut of
This majesty, this honesty,
This all-too-often sought for —
And we could lay down arms for winning
All that we had fought for —

We sing, but like lonely gulls,
We cry for all we cannot say,
And live to see another sunrise
Of the few we’re granted.

We live, but like the wind that blows,
We pass. Our lives, an oscillation,
Hidden in our stretches of the earth,
Until our waves pull back from shore.

The Dirt In Our Choices

Your favorite little place, that so few people knew about. Somebody’s small business. A place that always felt like home.

You noticed things there, of course. When the floor started looking a little dirtier. When it took a little longer to get service, or those occasions when what you always liked to get there wasn’t available.

Then, one day, the “closing” sign went up. Not long after that, a “thank you for your business” sign was placed outside the now-locked door.

You think of all the times you went there; but more, you think of all the times you didn’t. When you chose other businesses, places that were a little newer, or maybe a little flashier. And you think back to that dirtier floor, and you wonder: did I put that dirt there? Was that dirt a result of my choices?

All our choices have dirt in them, I’m afraid. Those corrosive elements we carry with us that foster life in their original setting, but are inimical to life when transferred. The business we don’t visit. The family we don’t call. The friends we don’t reach out to when we think maybe we need to.

Even the better habits we never get around to forming.

Life is a cycle of openings and closings, starts and finishes, births and deaths. What makes life meaningful is what we do with the time in-between. We can’t stop the gears from winding down, but we can, maybe, not add quite so much dirt onto the gears.

Your favorite little place, that so few people knew about. Somebody’s small business.

And a choice that’s not there to make anymore.

Morning Wakes Upon the Hill

The morning wakes upon the hill,
The moon awaits me in the glen;
I set out with a frozen will
To talk to you again.

The world is just a funeral fire,
A ceremony of remorse;
And still I’m climbing, ever higher,
Set upon this course —

I asked you for forgiveness once;
You set about it with good grace –
But you’ve been gone, and now your ghost
Moves softly through this place

Of missing leaves, and morning mist.
Mid echoes of intention,
I take the path that upward lies
Defying such convention

As would dictate a different course.
I knew you back when love was life;
And life was not enframed by death
And peace was not entombed in strife.

We can’t recapture innocence —
For once it’s gone, it’s gone for good,
And all our striving, in a sense,
Is just so much misunderstood

By others; and by (often) us.
How can it be the trees still know?
They lose their splendor; still, they stand.
And every single path will show

The wisdom of the rocks and trees,
The solemn beauty in the soil;
Where love is not some rash disease,
But more like liberty in toil –

To live, to grow: these are our days –
To strive to know as many ways
To scale the hills as we can find:
And integrate the body-mind

Into the whole ’twas meant to be.
Whether on mountainside or fen —
As morning wakes upon the hill,
And moon awaits us in
The glen

The Yearning Season

We seek, at times, we-know-not-what,
Empowered by our yearning;
A season’s born and dies away,
The restless earth keeps turning

We scan, we search, expectantly,
Just hoping that we’ll see it —
The future that we long for, maybe
We were meant

To be it