The birds alight



Firmly rooted in the strength of grace

the birds alight on the stiff raised arms of poets

balanced on one foot in the spaces left standing

between the tenuous structures that remain


Insubstantial and vaguely reminiscent


The flooding waters begin to recede

as the detritus of the displaced

live on in our frightened prayers and their own cardboard hollows

carrying the burden of our collective magnificence


The sun arrives late as the dogs and donkeys

shiver in the new light … in the heat

in the washed out fragrance of urine and slowly drying fear

their familiar trails erased how will they find home?


Tree limbs with radial fractures leaves crushed

a chaotic maze of leaching chlorophyll

roots holding to rocks waiting for loosened soil

to settle the wail of a child


The water heavy with suffering, eddies in wrong places

weary from the seizures of epileptic unbalance

made other and reduced to an inventory of unfamiliar relationship

to wood to concrete to flesh


the eye looks for one familiar thing in its place with another

a chair and a table, a table and a glass, a glass and a pitcher,

a single glass and a pitcher the thirsty eye raised

to rest for a moment on a recognizable sky


the sun comes up

and the birds continue to alight

on the stiff raised arms of poets



Artist: Max Ernst


He, with speed, once descended

he, with speed


He, with speed, once descended

beyond reach of the voices echoing his name


He fell into a charnel river, its current carrying

him out to sea where, becalmed or turbulent,

He could find no sleep, no relief.


Assuming the contours of nebulous complexity

In despair he sank deeper into this watery world

which loosened the skin that bound him to lost memory


Sleek and facile now, he glided with a grace that was genuine

belying the anchor that weighted his heart

Until drawn by a patient star he swam in the shallows

where one day he was tempted ashore.

Too long untouched by sleep he emerged on dry land

with a prayer on his lips anointing the sand with his tears and sorrow.


Blessed by engagement with sadness he listened

his heart beat in cadence

with an emergent compassion

his prayer now in sync with the blighted terrain

he began to feel this sorrow was shared

Of a single heart ever beating


With a mind accustomed to formulating events and endings

Closer and closer he circled towards this endless wellspring

his newly trusting heart cycling up and down the mountain of tension

creating momentum and joining these opposites


Holding his own

between speed and a still point of being



Art: Alice Wellinger

The condition of unrestrained motion

wild garden


Is there no place for the heart and eye to rest?


fatigued by the unkinder textures of  human engagement

I squeeeeze

into the spaces in between us


while the world of substance shifts

& tilts …

a kaleidoscopic mish mash

as it rights itself

Us along with it

with our names and rulers akimbo

all free falling

in the fields of wild light


A little spontaneous unedited hello!!!


I miss these Sunday mornings together when I don’t get here. Prose has me boggled and busy once again, so this is my space in between….the place my heart rests! And my eye feasts! The photo is from a walk in a local unweeded garden…perfecto!






Riding the currents

sleeping through storms

treading water in the dark


sparks of harmonics

fly from my pen


my hand

the sentient animal

of my heart



An older poem …. words float and land. improvisational rhythms. their own kind of precision. different relationship each time. they’re just there….perhaps have always been


Artist: Turner


Long Lake morning

mist 2


Pileated laughter

jostles the morning mist

I run my finger along the boundary line

enjoying their agreement



Meher Baba Retreat Center. North Myrtle Beach, SC


In my house of open windows



“…. for a conditioned love loses its infinity, and in losing its infinity love is no longer love. In short, the highest expression of love as found in Hafiz’s poetry – is for love to create another perfect in its composition, without any bounds or conditions, infinite and completely, eternally free.”


her waist

that God

created out

of nothing

is so slender

none created

can embrace it

In response ….

In my house of open windows

When you enter the garden

and sing to me of your sorrows

in harmony with the songs

of the night birds

I weave each sorrowful note

into a carpet of prayer

for us to lie on


our Beloved



Photo: “Deep South” by Sally Mann

Translation of Hafiz by Peter Booth

“Dante/Hafiz Readings on the Sigh, the Gaze, and Beauty” by

Franco Masciandaro and Peter Booth


I send my voice out until breathless…



There is a mountain

within me

An inheritance

that has now become a polished stone

nestled in flesh,

in blood rich organ


A nameless sadness, it nestles close

real as the moon’s rise,

born within

a pit in the stomach

a seed in the heart


“Take this strange sorrow from me. It is bottomless,” I cry

as I walk up and down

the mourning side of my mountain.


At the top of the mountain

I yodel like a fool…

sounds and sobs issue with spittle and tears

I send my voice out

until breathless


But not spent


In the quieting down

I understand this weight is a broken seam

that can not be healed

It is the rend in the garment

of the turning in and the turning away from.


This broken seam can only be mended

cauterized by the flame that burns

in an open heart



Artist: Johan Christian Dahl  1821


becoming Beauty



Becoming Beauty

face up floating

in a sea of glass


Beauty lies below me

 in the elemental caprice of

sunlit patterns reflecting sky


Beauty circles above me

in clouds collecting salted tears

We all become the ocean when it rains


Beauty walks behind me

with gravity leaving footprints

Its strength the shifting sands


The wind of Beauty

blows quietly within me

ever seeking itself without measure



The source of this gorgeous photo is unknown


Fragile still

max ernst


Fragile like smog shadows rifling valleys

the mountain holds its breath


Fragile like feverish water

the ocean aborts the moon’s children


Fragile like bees loosing direction

and stamens playing their last hands


Fragile like children born overwhelmed

by viruses perplexed


Fragile still

like a flower 

self-sewing in the garden

in blooming will make no mistake

intelligence in its unfolding



Artist: Max Ernst


The unbearable awkwardness of three



Doubt and Belief silently argue

as they sit upon a box


Trust joins them

adding 3 wheels to the box


giving much needed mobility

to their ping-pong debate


everyone’s muscles still tense

when they pass Hope or Violence


as they meander

around the countryside


looking for the exact spot

where their grief is buried



photo credit: unknown