Sheep roam hillside
Beneath soft summer skies
Aware of the knife in the barn.
Sweet grass underfoot,
Shepherds guarding each step,
Sheep eat their fill...
For a time.
My mind knows the truth, that
Men wear sheep masks,
My heart dulls the pain
And the blade.
There is no justice.
You are free to choose,
But you are not free.
Dynastic powers manipulate
Our beautiful world,
Corrupting what could be.
I’m sick of superficial civility,
I’m sick of powerful elite,
I’m sick of insatiable avarice
Burning flesh from human beings.
There is no justice,
There never has been,
There never will be.
I’m a strong man, but
There’s a heaviness
Upon my chest and shoulders
Making it difficult to breathe.
I want for a gentle humanity,
I want for the quiet tree.
Angular marina jetty rocks,
Brown from harborside light reflection,
Find symmetry in a quiet night’s waterline,
Extending the image of a rock barrier wall
Hiding in the North Pacific December sea.
How many days till the tsunami?
How many days to live dreams?
A pelican’s aloft squawk rattles the shadows.
The deep water keeps calm for a while.
Lake ice melts in the shadows of spring birch,
Amid a new heart, smiling
Like a clear night Alaskan-sky half moon.
Let the water hold you
Let your spirit dance carefree,
Play the music loudly
As your skip from then to now.
Pray the sky will save you
Pray your mind forgets,
Trust the glassy water
Hiding monsters in deep depths.
Some will love you truly,
Others fade in winter’s thaw.
The river is part roil and froth, like love
Persistent in finding a way,
Dangerous in all its beauty,
Tranquil ‘round unknown bends.
Don’t stand idly by on distant safe shores
As the wonder passes you by.
Descend the rocky banks cautiously,
Dive headlong into the magic, and
Don’t forget to breathe.
Love is every footfall toward the distant mountain,
Anxious and incomplete.
Are we so different from the mountains?
Reshaped by stormy days,
Born of colliding forces,
Immovable, yet temporary.
I am deserts and mountains and birds,
I am love and anger and want,
I am, and I am not.
Air currents lean toward the setting Idaho sun
Shifting to and fro like adolescent dreams,
Shadows wrap ‘round the bend
Darkening the lapping waterline
Softly flowing toward the rising sea.
A fisherman casts hopes with a practiced flick,
Someone splits fresh fallen kindling
As magic warms the river rock circle, and
Ignites the lovers’ lust under a rising waxing moon.
River days fill the boater’s venerable spirit,
River nights refresh his simple soul, and
Tomorrow’s morning dew washes clean the past.
He walks slowly near to the canyon’s edge,
Sees a lone lizard tiptoe on burning rocks, and
Birds alight from blue freedom
Circling waterfall cirque nests before landing.
Hot afternoon updrafts carry his weathered soul
High overhead the snaking river,
So many years of meandering water
Carving white esses in desert brown walls,
Walls painted in petroglyph red honor
Of those who walked near to the canyon, and
Breathed basalt Idaho Indian fires.
If wandering winds find shelter in your heart
Thank the birch and sweet Alaska rain,
They have known love too—
Unafraid heroes caped in forest green—
Silent in rugged determination,
Graceful in their sway,
Sprouting buds of ancient hope
Until overwhelming the forest’s grateful soul.
Saying things you regret makes them
Setting desert Idaho sun between us—
With cirrus alight in kaleidoscope high strata
Whispering memory is often the better lover.
Pine trees carve tender soft angular light.
Birds cross the fading sky orange to black.
News swirls into the world
Video after video, unending,
Spectacular displays of force
Of one upon another
In ways that haunt our belief in each other.
But I’ve seen with my own eyes,
And felt in my own life,
Wind lifting birds in the breeze.
So I demand of myself
To be kind,
As best I can.
As you move boldly from this time to next
Focus on the steps,
Firmly advancing your decision
Despite true worries undercutting your confidence.
Know that love is a swifter current than fear,
And that billowing rapids grant many safe passages.
Trust in those who prove their loyalty,
And judge not the jealous others silently praying for your failure,
Their duplicitous smiles fading steadily in the growing distance.
Duty to adventure is imperative
In the greater life you seek,
And from the windy mountain precipice
You will see the valley muddy footprints
That brought you to now—
A most beautiful now,
In an uncertain late afternoon sky.