She whispers my name... Only I can hear

Monday, December 15, 2008

Crystal Moonrise

Warm above
Cold below

Fog
Rain
Sleet
Snow

Ice

Branches groan
Complain about the weight
Shard sharp
Growing glistening
Tempting fate

Nature’s pruning
Cold shears call
Do the work
Limbs laden fall






Ice day
Sunbeams stray
Off frozen treetops
And grass shards play




Until day's end
Darkness descends
To hush the Moonrise
Crystals bend
The shimmering beams
To me they send

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Eldest

If there is time for another pilgrimage

On my journey Westward
I would like to go to California
To meet with and visit some very special very old personalities.

No

Not in Hollywood
The souls I would like to encounter
Are those of trees…

Bristlecone Pine Trees
To be specific

Sometimes called Joshua trees
Or Methuselah trees


They can be found in
Joshua Tree State Park
The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
And Inyo National Forest

Among other places




Photo courtasy of the US Forest Service

The Tree in this picture
Was already over 3,000 years old
On the day Jesus was born

The oldest Bristlecone Pine (estimated to be between 12,000 and 14,000 years old)
Is the oldest living inhabitant of this planet

Pictures of this tree are not available
As scientists are unwilling to reveal which is the oldest
Fearing that souvenir hunters will kill it

Scientists are interested in these trees because they do not grow old
In fact they still produce pinecones and seeds with a viability equal too that of a young tree.

There is the distinct possibility that if their habitat remains and they are not killed by man, that these trees will live virtually
Forever

They have survived jungle like conditions, floods, and years of drought, desert conditions, grazing animals…
They lived through an ice age; they witnessed the coming and the going of the Native Americans

They have survived fallout from the testing of Atomic bombs in Nevada
Showing no signs of ill effect from the high doses of radiation

So while millions of others
Make their pilgrimage to Anaheim
And it's bright promise for adventure on "Mr Toads Wild Ride"
Or the sights and sounds of "Main Street USA"…

My trip will instead be
A pilgrimage to this place
So that I may touch with my own hands
Speak
Commune
Experience
The very somber and noble presence
Of the Earth’s oldest living inhabitants.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Reflections



In the sheerest

Of moments

She puts on a show

So impressive

Awestruck

I stand

Enchanted

I forget

What is really going on

Until

The

Leaves

Are

.

.

.

.

Falling

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Aldo

I am planning a trip to Iowa one day
More than just a trip – a pilgrimage…

While millions of people travel to Graceland
To visit the grave of their fallen idol
Elvis
I will be heading west.

Seeking a small town lost in the heartland of America
Burlington, Iowa to be exact
Somewhere in Des Moines County in the township of Burlington Lays Aspen Grove Cemetery
Somewhere in this sacred place a small stone marks the final resting place of Aldo Leopold


Photo Courtasy of Aspin Grove

No throngs of tourists
No wailing women throwing themselves on the grave
I doubt very much that there will be a souvenir stand
Perhaps there will be flowers

Native flowers I would hope…

I find myself compelled to go to this place
I was never one for pilgrimages before…

Perhaps I simply long to reassure myself
That someone like this really did exist in a real and physical sense
Not a character in a story
Not the subject of a documentary
Not an invention of the media

Just a man
Plain and simple
He lived and then he died
As we all must do

His wonderful insight continues to be, through his written word
His body now lies in this quiet corner of Iowa


When I was a child
I was already beginning to show great interest in the
environment
And for all things living
I grew up in a fishing village on
Long Island
Surrounded by the vast wasteland of the American suburbs
On one side
And the vast enigmatic Atlantic
On the other
All just a stones throw from the world’s richest and busiest city

But I spent my summers in upstate New York
On my family’s Tree Farm in Cherry Valley
Among the trees my grandfather planted
Immersed at an early age, in the
ideals of conservationism.

It was paradise for a child
I consider
myself to be among the luckiest people on the planet
For having such an
opportunity
City mouse AND country mouse all in one
That was I

I spent a lot of time with an old crippled farmer named Jack
Helping him with the chores on his tiny little farm

I learned about the animals
Cows
Pigs
Chickens
Horses
Geese
Ducks
Turkeys

More on
Jack another time…

I watched things grow
And die
Generation to
generation
Season to season

I planted trees
Pruned trees
Thinned trees

I learned to fish
Catch frogs
Find water
Make fire
Tell the time by the sun and stars
Tell the temperature
And predict the weather
By listening to insects

I connected to
the Earth
And the Earth connected to me

Now I am sometimes described
as an environmentalist
Sadly, most of the time that carries
A negative
connotation
An Environmentalist is seen as
A wacko
Revolutionary
Tree hugging
Anti establishment
Nut job
Hippie

Stemming
from a drug induced
Counter culture
Flower power movement
That began
in the sixties

Now I might just be
Some
Or even all of those
things


But first
And foremost
I am a conservationist

Earth
First
Nature first
Environment first

I did not learn these ideals
From hippies
I learned them when I was a child
From my grandfather
And my dad

The conservation movement did not begin in
the sixties
It came out of the dustbowl era of the thirties

It began
in the mind
Of people like

Aldo Leoplod
Somewhere along the line someone put a book into my hands
Different than most books I had read
And I read a lot

Over the years this book became dear to me
The concept that you could see things from the point of view of a tree
Or a mountain
Was planted in my mind

Not man against nature
Rather man - as a part of nature

That the land was more important
Than the things we put on it
That there are consequences for failing to remember this
That the consequences can be devastating

The book is called “A Sand County Almanac” and it contains some of the written works of Aldo Leopold.

Aldo was one of the last “frontiersmen” carrying forwards the ideals and traditions of the homesteaders of the mid-west
Looking out for livestock he was an avid hunter
Man against nature
Making the farm work
Against all odds

Not the kind of man you would think someone like me would idolize…

But Aldo was different
There are more than a few people on my list of heroes who got there because they put the truth above their own beliefs
Accepting things for the way they are rather than for the way they wanted them to be

People who changed their way of thinking
When confronted with a truth they had not before perceived.

Aldo was such a man. He made the transition from frontiersman to conservationist in one abrupt moment of clarity; which among other things, he wrote about.

His philosophy changed from “man against nature’ – to man as a part of nature
And he is recognized today as the father of the modern conservation movement

Both my Dad and my Grand dad were followers of this movement
As am I

Aldo not only influenced the way I think, but also the way I write
I cannot change that for he is now a part of me.

The story entitled “Thinking like a Mountain” comes from his book – “A Sand County Almanac”
It is a true story and a heartbreaking story

But it is also the story of a man making connections, seeing the world in a new way and then changing his way of thinking as well as his way of living.

He would devote the remainder of his life to protecting the environment – and to making those connections clear to the rest of us.


Thinking Like a Mountain
By Aldo Leopold


A deep chesty bawl echoes from rim rock to rim rock, rolls down the mountain, and fades into the far blackness of the night. It is an outburst of wild defiant sorrow, and of contempt for all the adversities of the world. Every living thing (and perhaps many a dead one as well) pays heed to that call. To the deer it is a reminder of the way of all flesh, to the pine a forecast of midnight scuffles and of blood upon the snow, to the coyote a promise of gleanings to come, to the cowman a threat of red ink at the bank, to the hunter a challenge of fang against bullet. Yet behind these obvious and immediate hopes and fears there lies a deeper meaning, known only to the mountain itself. Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.


Those unable to decipher the hidden meaning know nevertheless that it is there, for it is felt in all wolf country, and distinguishes that country from all other land. It tingles in the spine of all who hear wolves by night, or who scan their tracks by day. Even without sight or sound of wolf, it is implicit in a hundred small events: the midnight whinny of a pack horse, the rattle of rolling rocks, the bound of a fleeing deer, the way shadows lie under the spruces. Only the uneducable fool can fail to sense the presence or absence of wolves, or the fact that mountains have a secret opinion about them.

My own conviction on this score dates from the day I saw a wolf die. We were eating lunch on a high rim rock, at the foot of which a turbulent river elbowed its way. We saw what we thought was a doe fording the torrent, her breast awash in white water. When she climbed the bank toward us and shook out her tail, we realized our error: it was a wolf. A half-dozen others, evidently grown pups, sprang from the willows and all joined in a welcoming melee of wagging tails and playful mauling. What was literally a pile of wolves writhed and tumbled in the center of an open flat at the foot of our rim rock.

In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy: how to aim a steep downhill shot is always confusing. When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks.

We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes - something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.



Since then I have lived to see state after state exterminate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolf-less mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddle horn. Such a mountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. In the end the starved bones of the hoped-for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers.

I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf's job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.


We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness. The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes, and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run. Perhaps this is behind Thoreau's dictum: In wildness is the salvation of the world.

Perhaps this is the hidden meaning in the howl of the wolf
Long known among mountains
But seldom perceived among men
Excerpt courtasy of Dead Trees

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Miniature Forest



Down at the river
Along the old railroad line
Which is now a bicycle path
Way up behind Niska Isle

These are backwaters
Of the mighty Mohawk
Where beaver and muskrat
Hold up for the winter




This place

Niskayuna

The name a native term
From the Connestigiune tribe
Meaning
Big river flats blessed with corn

This is farmland still

Here and there
Works of the old railroad
May be seen


Slag from the ash
Of burning coal
Can be found alongside the path

Man has touched this place
But nature adapts
Bends the works of man
To her own will
Over time

As with the rusty iron bridge
That connects the farms on Niska Isle
To the mainland



It replaced a much older bridge
Made of wood

Here and there
Posts, pilings and footings
May still be found

And so it was
As I unsuccessfully
Attempted to photograph an Egret
Beside me I noticed
A fading wooden post


A closer look revealed

The miniature forest










Thursday, September 25, 2008

Night Flight

Tropical depression
Gathers her winds and rains
Moves on to keep appointments
With the St Laurence
And the Grand Banks off Nova Scotia
Clear skies and sunshine
Move in

The Sun falls low
A barely discernable chill
Belies the stillness of the evening
And speaks to me
Of a North wind
Blowing high above
I can feel it from here

I am not alone
Down at the river
They feel it too


The high winds send
Thin wisps of cloud
Scurrying Southward
Painted with fading sunlight
Red pink orange yellow violet

As Darkness
Fills the deep places
Under brush and bush
I see the full moon
Lifting limb
Over the treetops

From the river
I hear their voices
Not the usual tenor
For this time of day

They carry an air
Of excitement bringing
Tonight the voices do not settle
Into the evening singing

Instead they escalate
And I feel a thrill
As I realize
What they debate

Night Flight

I settle back into my chair
Bracing flannel
Against a growing chill
In the expecting air

It is a good time
To be connected
It is a good time
To be

The voices from the river
Rise to a crescendo
Then fall to a quiet clamor

Moments later
I hear them above
I strain to catch a glimpse
Of a black wedge
Against indigo and moonlight
As they pass overhead

Canada Geese
Can sense North and South
In a blind fog at midnight

They know the stars
Can navigate by them
As ancient mariners did

They know the topography
And the landmarks
Can recognize them
By moonlight
From thousands of feet in the air

They know the weather
Can sense the shifting cells of air
Sense when to hunker down
And avoid storms and headwinds
To feed and for the journey south, prepare

And they know
When the time is right
To catch powerful tail winds
To speed their journey south
Even if it means flying at night

Some will make south Jersey
By daybreak
A good three hundred miles or more
From where the river sings to me



Candlelight
Comfort
I settle into my chair
Choice morsels slow cooking
Over hot coals
Good company

As the night progresses
More flights pass
Some right overhead
Some further away
My heart leaps
Just at the sound
And Dingo looks up at me
Knowingly

It is a good time
To be connected
It is a good time
To be




Friday, September 05, 2008

Big Magic

I walk outside
Coworkers complain
Complain about the heat
Complain about the humidity
But I don’t

I sense
Something familiar
In the Air


Big Magic…
I can feel it
Smell it
Taste it

I can hear it
In the rising breeze
Unusual for this heat

The others do not notice
They say


"Hot out, for September"

I scarcely hear them

There is no mistaking it
Water and Air
Busy at work

They speak to me
Of the Ocean
Over one hundred fifty miles away

When you grow up by the shore
The Sea Air becomes a part of you
You do not forget it

Tropical storms
Send memories to me
I know it
As soon as I feel it

It will be raining here soon

The Hurricane winds hold
Waters gathered
From the coasts of Africa
And the mid Atlantic
Bourn on a throne of air
Aloft by the sheer will
Of the wind alone


To be distributed here
On the East coast of North America
Thousands of miles away
Expending the energy
Of a thousand atomic bombs
In the process

In this way
The Ocean gives
Her excess energy
To the Air

Part of a vast song
Of Water and Air
Helping to make this planet
A very nice place for life

Tomorrow
When I go outside
To stand in my African rain

I will think for a moment
About my coworkers
Who will come in on Monday
And complain

Complain about how the rain
Ruined their weekend plans
As they gather around
The water cooler
To fill their bottles

And then I will sing
With the mighty Air and Water
Oh yes I will sing
And share a moment of their majesty


And their Magic

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Water



Thirty billion gallons
I read once
The amount of precipitation that falls on the state of New York
Averages more than thirty billion gallons (114 billion L) of water...

Every day.

I always knew that the cycles of Earth and of Life were vast…
But I had not confronted the sheer scale of it
Not like that

I started to see the rivers, lakes, streams, even the weather
In a new way

I began to see
A very big picture of

Water



Ancient
Primal
Vital

Water is
Big Magic…
One of the first compounds to be made
Was Water
The cloud from which our Sun was born
Was rich with it

Older

Older than the earth...

The water came with us
And played a roll
In the formation of the planets

And the Earth found itself
Falling
Not too close
Falling
Not too far
Endlessly in an orbit
That allowed water to exist

As a liquid

0 – 100 deg C
32 – 212 deg F

A narrow band of temperatures
Indeed

Covalence

The electrical properties
Of Oxygen and Hydrogen atoms
Give the water molecule an odd shape

Very much like a Mickey Mouse balloon

This shape makes water
Very
Very

Special

To begin with
When water freezes
It becomes less dense
Rather than more so

Ice floats

And so the world is not covered
With an ocean of ice


Polarity

This shape also gives water molecules
An electrical property
Positive at one end
Negative at the other

This makes the molecules
Attractive to each other
And makes water flow

In such a delightful way






Water covered the young Earth
Gathered the ingredients for life
Using its polarity to help shape
The newly forming organic compounds

Water was there
Every step of the way
With unimaginable patience
Cradling life
As the ages passed

*******************
Though all else
Even the Air
Would be foreign to us now
Already there was
At the beginning
The sounds
Of falling rain
And crashing surf
To comfort life
As it played
With the idea

Of evolution

So it is today
Though we no longer dwell
In the ocean
We have taken it with us

Our bodies
More water
Than anything else
The chemistry
Has not changed

The Echo of our origins
Is carried on
Within us

Water is not static




It moves
Changes form
Dissolves
Transports
Delivers
Exchanges
Shares...
A catalyst for so many things




Evaporation
Erosion
Fossilization
Hydration
Transpiration
Osmosis
Etc…


Busy, busy Water



What was once seabed
Then was mountains
Is now cliff face
Transformed by Fire
And Water

Water passes
Always there
Never the same

The river does not ask
She just flows
And the water you see today
Is not the same
As the water
You pondered yesterday

The music of Water
Even it's very presence
Can profoundly affect
The way we feel



Like children
We rejoice
In sheer delight
Just at the sight of it





Water affects the way
We see the world around us
Allows us to reflect
And see things differently




Now; Honour had asked me
About our connection with water
In comparison to that of the Air
And I’ve been a long time in coming to it…

Air has been shaped by life

Life has been shaped
By Water

Our connections to water
Are so deeply entwined
That it is fair game
To ask

Is water a part of us all...

Or are we all just a part of it?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

She Sings to Me





There is a place I know
Not far from here
More than just
A place…

The night was warm
I was coming home
From an evening out
Feeling a bit down

It was an easy choice
To change my route
And follow the river home

I pulled the car over
When I came to that place
I got out and began walking
In the moonlight

Catching the Beaver
Unaware
He slapped his tail
Loudly on the water
At my approach

Shimmering rings
Spread outwards
Here and there
In silence

As he and the others
Made themselves scarce

In a moment he reappeared
Slapped again
And looked carefully
At me
Sizing me up

He then followed me
Suspiciously
Matching my stride
As I walked beside
The river

The river…




She is a mighty presence
Along this particular stretch
Almost a mile wide
Reflecting the silent moonlight

You cannot walk here
And not feel it
Feel it deep down
In your soul

If you are open
Aware
Patient
Understanding
And perhaps a bit lucky

She will feel you too




It was here that the river
First spoke to me
A few years ago

I had come there to meditate
I became aware of the rivers presence
I felt her strongly
In my heart


She helped me in those days
And she helped me
Again that night
Singing of love
And all the sorrows
We hold in our hearts
And how lucky we are to have them
So as to learn wisdom
Compassion
Forgiveness
Understanding…






Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Snowflakes

They were talking about climate change
On the radio
And one of them said

“All this talk about ‘tipping points’ is a myth
There are no such things as tipping points
That’s just scientific make believe”

Now I am thinking
No such thing
As tipping points?

Someone who doesn’t believe in
Tipping Points
Wouldn’t believe in
Earthquakes
Volcanoes
Lightning bolts
Avalanches
Ice ages
Mass extinctions
Nuclear fusion
Just to name a few things
I’m sure…

And they wouldn’t believe in

Snowflakes…

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Echo

This was the song
Of long ago
That I had once sought
And never
found
Until it came
And found me…



The Sun escaped
From brooding
Blind darkness
With her companions
In tow

Gravitational eddies
Will do that…

Condensing
Collapsing
Igniting
She bathed
Her young companions
With light

Fire ruled the Earth
For quite some time
At the beginning…

Eventually
Things cooled
Molten rock
Gave way to solid stone
The Sun
Blazing
In the black sky
Gave way to smoke
Vapors

And steam

Things kept cooling
Until
Something happened
For the very first time

It rained

The angry hot ground hissed
And the blazing photons glared
Fire and Water
In a great confrontation
Compromising
Eventually
Found their place
And conspired
To make the weather

Now it is said
Of all the elements
That Water is the most…
Musical

And so
Most beloved
By mankind

Truly
Water speaks to us
And knows many
Many
Songs

Especially the rain…
We hearken to it
Even when we curse it
There is something so
Familiar
About its sound

It is hundreds of songs
Sung at once
Each drop
A voice

It was the rain
That found me
One night
Whispering to me in my sleep
As she often does

Then waking me
With a mighty storm

And then I heard it
The rain was singing
The song
Of long ago

Older even
Than the stones
Can remember

An ancient echo
Echo
Echo

Of the oldest of songs



Sunday, June 15, 2008

Air

And so we come to it
These pages
Made of
electrons
Ones
Zeros
They connect us

There are certain
themes
Ideas
Thoughts
About
People
Magic
Art
Time
Truth
Love
Loss
Life
Death
Beauty
Tolerance
Justice
Courage…

We
share them
They connect us as well

But there is something
more
Something tactile
From deep inside us
It knows us
Is a part of us
And it connects us all
Physically

For we all touch
Feel and breath
The same




Air

We dwell
At the bottom
Of the sky

An ocean of air
All about us

It permeates our bodies
Gets intimate
On a cellular level
With
Every
Single
Last
One of us
Without exception

Always working
Never resting
Air is the catalyst
That drives
The vast cycles
Of life
Bringing oxygen
To fuel the fire within you
Returning carbon dioxide
Back to the green plants
Water
Nitrogen
Carbon

Cycles
We don’t even see
Keep us alive

Air
Protects us
From the hazards
Of deep space
Exchanges energy
With the oceans
To bring us weather


Witness
To all our deeds
Air is
The unforgiving
Collective conscience
That unites

Our bodies
Souls

The eagle has wings
But it is the Air
That carries him aloft

His flight

Is an act of faith

Of the highest degree

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's In The Breeze

The wind sings
Speaking to what is
Speaking of cold far away
Of rain to come
Of the burning desert
Of the oceans deep...

She knows

The wind touches
All places
All things
Connecting

Reminding

The wind
Hears all sorrows
Feels all transgressions
Understands no excuses

She knows

We keep no secrets
From the wind

What we give to her
She gives back
Without judgment
Without stopping
For anyone
Anything

Reminding

Passing
Through darkness
Daylight
The intimate places
Of our thoughts
The aftermath
Of our deeds

She knows

Reminding

With her song

All we need do
Is listen…

As I listen
I am reminded
Of an old song
Wedged somewhere
Between my memory
My conscience
And my heart

Nature’s Way

It's nature's way of telling you
Something's wrong
It's nature's way of telling you
Hear the song

It's nature's way of receiving you
It's nature's way of retrieving you
It's nature's way of telling you



Something's wrong


It's nature's way of telling you
It’s in the breeze
It's nature's way of telling you
Dying trees

It's nature's way of receiving you
It's nature's way of retrieving you
It's nature's way of telling you



Something's wrong


It's nature's way, it's nature's way
It's nature's way, it's nature's way

It's nature's way of receiving you
It's nature's way of retrieving you
It's nature's way of telling you
Something's wrong
Something's wrong



Something's wrong

Spirit - 1970

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Sound of the Wind




These trees

No longer exist

Harvested in 1992
To avoid risking them
To disease
That kills red pines

Paper
Plywood
Paneling
Furniture
Building materials…

The biggest went
For log cabin homes
Right here
In upstate NY
And in Canada

When I see people
Wasting paper
I think of

These trees

Which my grandfather
Planted
With his own hands

Which my family
Tended
For over seventy years

If not for red pine blight
The largest
Would have been allowed to grow
Would have become giants
In another fifty years or so

When I was young
I walked among

These trees

For hours
Days
At a time

They were big magic to me

Sacred
Devine


I will admit
I loved them more
Than some people
I have met


I will never forget
How they made me feel

As I sat
Among them

As I walked
Beneath those awesome boughs

The sound of the Wind
In their branches
And long fine beautiful needles
Will never fade from my memory

The sound of the Wind
In their branches
Will never fade from my memory

The sound of the Wind
Will never fade from my memory

Now the sky
Is a mighty thing
Big magic indeed
It is there
The clouds sing
Wander
Feed

High above
They hold their court
They debate
Deliberate

Proclamations
Issued
To all the world
Issued
On the breath

Of the Wind

Air
Gathering
Moving
Passing
Sounding

The Wind
Played

These trees

Like a vast
Perfect instrument

Played the songs
Of Earth

I was lucky
When I was young
For the wind
And the trees
Conspired
And I learned of them
Many songs

Beautiful songs
Days long
You cannot stop

Once you start
Knowing full well
They will
Break your heart

Some Songs
I fear
I will not share
Lest you fall into them
And disappear

Into their joy
And sorrow

The basic winds
I suppose
With care
Are safe enough
For me
To dare...

The East Wind
Lifts through the trees
From the creekbeds
In the valley
Gusting
They bring thunderstorms
Soon
Turn your feet
To home

The North Wind
The pines creak
Sway
Snap
Salute in formation
To the hard sun above
Breath deep
Feel it
Cherish it

The South Wind
A Silent sirens call
Sleepy whispers
Murmuring
Like a waterfall
Far away
Watch for rain
Come evening
The following day

The West Wind…

The West Wind
Passes time
It is the keeper
Of the seasons
And of the every day things

Rhythmic
Waves of air
Washing the trees
Like
Light surf
On pebbled beach
Just over the dunes

So subtle
Was the West Wind's song
That you would
Acclimate
Your blood pressure
And your heart rate
To it’s long
Long rhythm

Without even knowing it

You became one
With

These trees

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I've Looked At Clouds



Waking
Stirring
Reluctant
To leave my bed
It’s chilly

Outside the window
A blank page
Of
White

Foggy mornings
Are special
On the farm
I can hear
The neighbors
Back door
Hinges squeak
Then

Slam

Like it was right there
Though he lives
Almost a mile
Away

Somewhere
A dog barks
Lilacs tremble
The blackberries nod knowingly


Wet grass
Dripping
Wet shoes
Tripping
White fog
Slipping

Heading to the garage
Lost
In a white wonderland
It never gets old

Dew turns this place
Into magic
Early energetic sunbeams
Fight
And Fail
To get through

Redwing
Blackbirds
Agree
Loudly

Air
Is transparent
To sunlight
But fog
Is not

It begins to warm
And to lift
Waking
Stirring
Reluctant
To leave it’s bed

It clings
To the grass
Rising slowly
Trees hold
Lingering veils
Wisps of lace
Trailing behind
Gracefully letting go

As a cloud
Is born

With magnificent slowness
It takes to the Air
Joins the others
A vast
Beautiful ballet
In the sky

Air
Is transparent
To sunlight
And to me

Some is warmer
Some is moister
Some is denser
Some not so...
But these things
I cannot see

Learn what to look for
Ask of the wind
Listen to the wind
Watch the sky
The clouds will tell you
All these things and more

Air
May be invisible
But…

Clouds
Are where things
Are happening

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fire

Honour made a comment on Lynn's Blog
Getting My Feet Wet



"A weeping willow in our old yard died and we kept the wood for firewood.
Seems funny, but every time we build a fire
(or I tote it off to the parks for a camp out) - I think of the tree and all my memories of it."



This connected to thoughts
And to memories running through my mind
Of late...

Thoughts about


Fire

It is not a thing
So much

As it is
A state


Of transition

We use the term


Consumed

But perhaps
A better word
Would be


Unlocked

Nothing
Would burn
If the molecules
Indeed
The very atoms
Themselves
Were not willing
To let go


Energy released
Sustains the transition
Fire comes to life
It breaths

Oxygen

Just like you

Now I too
Think about the trees
When I have a fire
In the hearth
Or under the open sky

For I have known many a tree
Their forest homes too
I don't remember when it began
But I talk to them
And I listen

Incredibly sad
And beautiful stories
As told from
A single physical perspective
While the world
And time itself
Went flowing past

Eager broad leaves
Limb lifted
To the sun
Catch photons

Photosynthesis
Big science...

Air and Water
Bring
Carbon
Hydrogen

Minerals
Come from
The Earth

They join forces
With sunlight
To make

Wood...

Root, Bough
Leaf, limb
Stem and fruit
Big magic...

Day after day
Year after year
The tree grows
Builds itself
With sunshine
A byproduct
Of Helium production
Ninety three million
Miles away

As I sit
Before the camp fire
On those chilly Adirondack nights
The flickering flames
Whisper to me
It's light
And heat

Are Sunlight

Trapped and stored
In the wood
For ten
Thirty
Seventy five years


Sunlight set free
Unlocked

By Fire

Servant of man
It cooks our food
Keeps us warm
Forges metals
Bakes ceramics
Makes darkness flee

Fire burns deep inside
Each one of us

For we too
Are made from sunlight
Captured by the green plants
And made into food
Which in turn
Is made into You
And me

The sun feeds us
It becomes us
And we become her
Keeping us
Inescapably connected
To the beginning

Oxygen
Combines with food
Sunlight
Unlocked
In every cell
Of your body

The process is the same
In my campfire
In my body

Fire
Unlocking
Sunlight



Energy released
Sustains the transition
Fire

Comes to life
It breaths

Oxygen


It's sacred life
Is entwined
With our own sacred lives


Big magic...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wandering

Not for nothing
Do my thoughts wander
Seeking always
The eternal flame

Not for nothing
Do I ponder
The reason we come
And we go
Are the same

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The secret purpose



The Sun
Energy supply for almost all life on earth

We all draw our energy from the Sun
Through the grace
Of the living green plants

They use photosynthesis
To turn sunlight, Carbon and Water
Into complex molecules
Which we like to call
Food

And Oxygen also
To power our world
And the cells within us
With Fire

Sunlight drives the weather
Feeds the oceans
And the forests
Keeps us warm
Illuminates our world
With color
And lifts our spirits
By defining the darkness
And holding it
At bay

Now the Earth has a secret energy of her own
Deep inside
She holds the fire
Of her turbulent beginnings
But it is the heat
From decaying isotopes
That keeps her molten

Greedy atoms
Desperately holding
An extra neutron
Or two…

Failing in this
They break
Releasing the energy
Of an ancient star
To the secret fire
Within the Earth

This Nuclear energy is the Earth’s own life-force
Providing,
The continents
The atmosphere
And, to a large degree
The oceans

Nuclear energy provided the stage…
Solar energy transformed the Earth
Into an environment where life can thrive and grow

Evolution does the rest
Giving life the opportunity for unending variety and limitless potential



All of this created
From an immense cloud of hydrogen
Leftover from the big bang
And mixed with debris

From our sun’s ancestors

Huge stars
Gone supernova
Long ago

Leaving behind
A mix
Of all the other atoms beyond hydrogen

There are no new atoms here

They have all come from the big bang
Or are leftovers from stars long gone

For every star harbors a secret within
The light they provide
And their generous warmth
Are just byproducts

Every star is in fact a factory

Where deep within
Hydrogen atoms are fused into helium atoms
By the stars immense gravity and heat

Helium is then fused into Carbon
Then Oxygen
And so on

The bigger the star
The more kinds of atoms it can make
And the bigger stars will return these atoms
Back to the universe
To be used again

Every atom on earth

Indeed in the whole solar system
That is not a hydrogen atom
Was made deep within the heart
Of an aging giant star long ago

The biggest stars explode when they get old
In an astounding event called a supernova

The exploding star ejects the atoms
That it has been secretly making
For billions of years
Back into the primordial cloud of hydrogen from which it came

Thus changing the mix
From which new stars will arise

Indeed all of the atoms from cobalt to uranium
Are created in the instant
Of the supernova itself
And thus are much less abundant
Than the atoms from helium through Iron


The idea of recycling is not a new one to the universe

It is the fundamental process that has given to us this planet
Which we inhabit

Why therefore cannot mankind learn the benefits of this simple yet profound concept?

Truly we are stardust
The Sun
The Earth
The Air
The Water
And every living thing

Every atom that makes up you
Was made in the fire
Of a burning stellar factory
Long ago

As the maker of light
Warmth
Energy
And food

The Sun provides for us every day

Yet it does so only as a byproduct
As it tirelessly goes about
Its furtive business
Fusing hydrogen
Into helium
For its own secret purposes

Someday
Long after mankind has come and gone
The sun will reveal its secrets to the universe

In a mighty explosion
The products of its long labor
Will be returned to the cloud of hydrogen
That gave birth to her

The atoms, which the sun builds today
While providing us with light
Warmth
Energy and food
Will be added to the mix

Monday, May 12, 2008

EARTH

The Earth speaks
In whispers
So subtle
As to pass most by
Unnoticed

Or you would think

But you feel it
Even if you are not

Aware...

It troubles your dreams
And causes you
To lose your train of thought
Sometimes...

Buckminster Fuller
Once said



Let your notions
About what is
Go

Stand
At sunset
Feet wide apart
Face North

Arms outstretched
Due East
Due West
Free your mind
As you watch
The setting sun

And you will feel it

Moving




You don't always realize it
But the Earth
Is a traveler
Of cosmic proportion

And we
Are passengers

Spinning
Flying
Racing through space
Even as we sleep

Over time
Life
And the Earth
Became as one

Gravity
Magnetism
Radiation
And the elements

Conspired with sunlight
To shape life
From the chaos

We are a part of it
Not it's sole beneficiary


This beautiful thing
Is what she is telling you

Sunday, May 11, 2008

More rocks



"me think stones can go, too..."

Do the stones go ?





I came across this thought from Miladysa today

"I have to touch these stones with my hand, often I
see better that way, I have no idea why."





What a beautiful thought




It made me think
About how rock feels
When you touch it




How you see it
In that tactile light

I remember once
There was red
Pink
And white sandstone
Everywhere

I remember now
The way it felt
In my hands
Under my feet
The grain
Texture

I still have a piece of it
Somewhere

It traveled with me
For a time
In a pocket
On the side of my backpack

And I got to know
That particular stone
Pretty well...

Long ago
Before people
Before dinosaurs
Rocks were forming
And mountains of rock
Pushed up
From the burning heart
Of the Earth mother


Just as they do today

And just like today
Those mountains grew
The earth shook
Heaved
Sighed
And moved on

Leaving them
To stand
Monuments to
The power and Majesty
Of heat
Pressure
Gravity
And radioactive decay


Time however
Did not forget
Nor did the wind
Or the rain


Together
They played their music
And over time
The mountains fell
Just for the shear beauty
And persistence
Of their song.



As the wind and rain
Danced and danced
Slowly the rocks relented
They began to break


Crashing thunder
River rapids
Waterfalls
Floods
Pitting stone
Against stone
In an endless struggle
For the bottom


And finally
Relentless waves
Endless coastlines
Of forgotten seas
Reducing stone
To mere grains of sand



What was mountains
Now were beaches
And deserts dry

Lost in time

Quarts
Granite
Feldspar
Mica
Ryolite
Tiny
Individual
Grains
Each
With a story to tell

And as mountains do
So a seabed can fall too
Buried
Forgotten
Deeper and deeper
Like old boxes in a closet
Layers of stuff

But the Earth
Like the universe
Does not throw
Anything away

From the likes
Of forgotten beaches
And lost deserts
Is sandstone made

And lifted
From deep
Sleeping beds
To grace
The face
Of the Continent

New mountains
Made from forgotten beaches
And lost deserts

And iron
There was also
And a few other elements

To give colors unique
To those hills
Where the wind
And the rain
Still dance
To this day

This the rock told me
With slow ponderous patience
Late at night
As the embers
Of the dying campfire
Lay winking and glowing
Beneath an infinity of stars

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rocks

The rocks know
Ask of them
And they will tell you
If you listen

Beneath
Childlike stars
The Earth
Resonates
With life

I contemplate
My self
Appreciating
The living tapestry

Without the blessings
Of the earth mother
I could not survive

And even a pile
Of these rocks
Can touch me

With the breath
Of understanding

And for this
I am grateful

Friday, May 02, 2008

I Am

I am
So are you
We are as one - don't hide
Without pretense, or pride

Born, never asked
Why in this time?
Why in this space?

Question not the all
For we come
So very briefly
To this place

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Paradise

I dreamed there was an island
That rose up from the sea
And everyone on the island
Was sombody from TV

There was this beautiful view
Which nobody could see
Because everybody on the island
Was saying:
Look at me
Look at me
Look at me...

Paradise;
Is exactly like where you are right now
Only much, much better...


Extract from "Language is a Virus
By
Laurie Anderson

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tiny Gifts of Light


Crisp clear and cold

Speaks the wind

From out of the west


Grey and white shrouds

Retreat in flying tatters

Revealing an eternity

Surrounding the bright beacon


Full Moon


Photons born burning

In the heart of Sol

Then set free to the void


She Catches these

And sends them to me

Now cool and silver


Sharp as a razors edge

To cut away the everyday

And remind me that here in eternity


I have a place


Peace

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mockingbird

He cares nothing
About Car horns
Sirens
Angry voices

Nor does he bother with
Traffic
Commercials
Billboards
Sneakers tied together hanging from the telephone wire

For the burning ember
Falling low
Paints the sky
Stains the clouds with water colors

A silver Cheshire crescent moon
Follows with precision
Falling through indigo gradient

So he sings
From the tree top
Letting loose his bursts of song
One by one
Evening falls low
Curtains hang still

No
He cares not for any of them
They don't even exist
His song rises up
Out from the tree top


As I listen
All else fades
There is nothing else but his song
They don't even exist


There is only him now
And me
With a wink he darts off
Into the shadows


Evening wraps her shroud about me
I surrender to her embrace

Friday, February 01, 2008

To each his own


It’s snowing
Co workers that do go outside – do so to smoke
But there is no life in a cigarette

A safe warm comfort zone provides a decent environment in which to work
But there are times I need to forget about that, and remember why it is good to be alive

So I go outside, but not to smoke
I go outside to feel the cold
My skin tingles as it tightens

Snowflakes, big as a child’s hands, cling to my face, and shoulders
Each one unique, beautiful yet temporary
As am I
The wind dances in my hair, whispers in my ear
Old Red Tail, the hawk shakes himself and rises from a nearby limb
The soft sound of his feathered wings floats down to me as he turns and merges into the mosaic of limbs and brown oak leaves
He is ancient, wild and free
A mere 20 yards from where I sit and deal with the pitfalls of technology
And it is good