In Passing

How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness

and the closed bud shrugs off
it’s special mystery
in order to break into blossom:

as if what exists, exists
so that it can be lost
and become precious

Lisel Mueller

Cho is standing for what is precious and ephemeral – he is his fine self, always ready for love and trouble.

The Peacock’s Tail

Seventeen years ago I walked at night
Into the melee of the Durga festival in Kathmandu
Dressing for comfort and compliance, I had filled
All my ear pierces with earrings and put on a skirt.

Mind and heart willing to participate, I saw
A dog wandering, another dog mounting and mounting it as
Traffic circled around and around. The humped dog hit by a car
The humper left and another took his place to drag
The dead out of the circle and proceed to eat it.

I sit here now remembering that oft-remembered night
Reading my journal of that moment, being with my then-self
When what was on my mind was Being, Becoming and Participation.
I was there to experience, to fill my heart with possibility.
I wrote, “everyone is my teacher, each circumstance its own teaching,
I have only one foot at a time to walk a path. I walk as tall as I am, I fill
Space only as I am, the walk is the Way. The Peacock doesn’t look back at his tail,
He knows what is there and acts accordingly.”

Life has me now as it had me then,
It has all my interest and most of my courage.
The truest sun shines on me and the only moon I know
Guides my heart while the earth offers me what I can make of it.

When We Talk

this drawing was made by Susan Schell during my year-long training with her in Authentic Movement (1988)

There is much to say about talking.
I don’t know that much about it myself
Except that I have always been mystified
by the amount people say to each other,
and the little I can think of to say,
and that children born to me could ever
learn a language from the amount I talked
to them or anyone else.
My husband would come home and say
“You haven’t opened your mouth, have you?”
And I hadn’t, but I didn’t say anything.

I knew, I Knew, that hurt came from talk.
Love comes from glances and life shared,
not necessarily stories. Although I know they help.
I say I know but I only just know. It wasn’t always
so, but then I said that. No, I wrote it with my mouth closed.

The “words can never hurt me” was never true.
Not for me, not for a lot of people. One whole school
year when I was six I sat outside at recess
next to a tree. Another girl sat under the same tree. We
never sat together. I don’t know who she was.
But I feel comradeship with her,
As if we had talked and talked.



This Land


I feel my own fearlessness
In the presence of angels.
It feels like neutrality,
As if I could have anything
Happen at this moment,
In this moment.
All possibility is in this moment,
And any of it would be acceptable.
It is a strange choicelessness
That obscures desire.
I have known desire all my life.
Like a close second cousin living
At the center of my being,
A fourth eye to my longing.
It has been the hand of lack for me
All these years. And now it sits
Around the table in a cloud of smoke and
Argument, heated conversation.
In a mind gone to flowers, every one,
Learning has come to the land of Nod

Let Go


What do you live with every day?
What lives in you?
The thrust of the bird through the air,
The storm coming,
A date late, time given up.
Do you hope you’ll be given
Something to take home?
A golden retriever of dreams.
The net cast around the treasure?
Are these the stuff of your dreams?
Dare you hope for what is real?
For what is here? For what you
Could be? The mechanics of want,
The stomach’s growl, mind open.
Where did you put the pencil,
The paint of your dreams
When did you let go?

Turtle Island

They call me Turtle Island.
Look to my back for your support
Look to my sides for your nurturance
My eyes are your friends
My wisdom is your learning
When I stand you are steady
When I lay my eggs you are welcome
When I swim you are free
When I grieve you are forsaken.
Call me to you, call me to your heart
I will be with you as you let me
I will be there for you as you know me
I will be around you as I am in you
I will be in you as you are in me.

Seek not the swamp of your fear
Lift not the paddle for protection
Open to the light that shines
The wind who blows
Take with you the courage
Of your everyday Truth

The Poetry Of Love

Poems are not like elephants
Or at least I don’t
Want them to be.
Soft and elegant as the elephant
Is, it’s too big. Too grey.
Poems, the ones I want, are
Here, now and to the point,
And colorful.
The difference in my step
when I know you love me
is a poem. That makes me
A poem. And a step. And I love
The love we share, you and I.
The Me in Us – oh, this is getting
Big. Not like the elephant,
But the color of one.

When I said elephant I think I meant horse
they can be close to the same color but
they take a very different course
just as I am with you
just as I am without you
like the horse in the field grazing
with the sky ahead and behind
you are here with me when you’re not
the rest is in my mind

Today let’s look inside and see what we see;
if I had the courage of red to give myself
I could wear the blue gown my mother
made for me when I was ten,
I could hold the stalk of hot iron
my father proffered me at eight,
my hands would grasp the knife of my
sister beside the spoon of my brother.
Would that make us a family?

Roll Me Up

Roll me up
In the hammock of your heart
Hold me close
With the fine ideal
Of our connection

We are two
In the same time
Referencing a common sight
Looking at the waves
Of our sharing

Kneeling each to each
In the lamb white
Of our common
Communion, like all creatures
Of this earth

We are foundlings seeking
Home, subject to the test
Of time lengthening
Our grasp of what it means
To be here

I roll
You roll
We meet and part
Meet again
Over and over

Always subject to all ways of our being