Staying Present While Moving Forward

Preoccupied, I grasp at air
trying to halt the passage of time
the sickening, consistent tick, tick, tick
that makes my heartbeat quicken
tearing me away from where I am now

I want to be so fully present that
I can use these moments as patches
to protect me in that future I fear
collecting up all my small treasures
to remind me this life has been a blessing

There is no avoiding human suffering
and I haven't yet had my fair share
I have to learn to carry this cringing resistance
while still enjoying the sticky leaves of spring
while still soaking up love and sunlight

The best preparation is practicing peace
and expanding my capacity for gratitude
with every sip of precious cool water
resting in the sweet stirrings among the trees
and observing the cyclical life of the hillsides

Long Walks in Spring

There is a healing, humming hush
that rustles through the tall grass
on long walks along the littered roadside

The rising vibration of returning life
as we circle back toward the outstretched arms
of the sun that has kept us waiting with held breath

Bringing inspiration that flows in with the warm air
through the open window's billowing white curtains
lifting old dust motes out of corners and into the light

This soft atmosphere makes it easy to forgive
and gently set aside the harsh bleak days of December
making space for the fresh growth of wonder and wildflowers

Spring Release

Sweet, sinful secrets grow stale
kept away from the spring light
urgent longing to release
bleeding tongues bound with twine

Something stirring deep beneath
the rolling hillside breeze
the tense, stagnant feeling in the air
right before the downpour

Trembling, tender buds
on the cusp of a new season
those brave first days of nature
defying a few more morning frosts

Honeysuckle blossoms spattered
with dirt alongside the highway
the smell of fresh pavement
challenging earth's resilience

Perpetual ascension, futile suppression
thick air soon breaks into thunderstorms
paint the dark earth with the wretched truth
this land has lessons, it does not lie  


I am just a wild animal
a fully feral little freak
no different than the glowing eyes
that flash under the full moon

No more pretending that some part of me
will find fulfillment in oppressive systems
all human aspirations are cages
that cannot hold me anymore

Stop asking me what I want to be
a garden snake has no goals
only the visceral vindication of connection
with earthly sensations can satiate me

The gritty coolness of the dark soil
the sudden heat of the sun that sends shivers
I refuse to delude myself with foolish endeavors
I reject this false notion called human

Rising Up

Lost between pages and piles of distractions
ever droning engine drum of artificial escape
limp, moth-eaten mannequin limbs propped against
restless birds inside ribcages scattering feathers

There is no anesthetic strong enough to obliterate
this deep green, groaning forest that continues to grow
impossible to silence the crashing violence of the sea
enclosed in a stainless steel container half its size

There is an holy thunder cloud that will surely rise
from beneath the writhing mass of the overwhelmed
a fearsome force of almighty nature to burst upon
the scorched earth arrogance of mankind's oppression

The twitching frustration of pinprick impatience
is just energy building like static electricity
the tickling sensation of all the insects scattering
in anticipation before the entire sky bursts open

The Death of Beauty

There is a sad, humbling peace
beneath the soft pain of realizing
I am as helpless as the trees
to prevent the age old forests
from being torn down in one day
for the filth stained greed that
most others foolishly believe
is a benefit to my species
but we are not the same breed
I am just another animal
left homeless in the wreckage
forced to watch the endless rape
of our most holy mother earth
as I tremble with the reeds
bearing witness to the pain
pulsating through all of nature
is the only gesture I can offer
to lie down alongside
my fellow woodland creatures
beneath the brutal, blood-soaked
wheels of industry as we watch
the death of beauty
the end of everything

The Ocean Breathes

Serenity resides beside the seashore
beneath the salty breath of the ocean
the rhythmic humming of the heavy tide
reminds me to breathe deeply

The liquid lungs of this sacred planet
the dark, watery womb of all life
releasing oxygen into the atmosphere
while it sways against the weight of the moon

The crashing exhale of massive waves
chases away all fears of letting go
hypnotized by the back and forth
of forces far greater than I

The awe-inspiring grandeur
of the undulating sea
brings a deep sense of peace
I've been holding my breath


Early morning cracks us open
a plump, orange yolk perched upon
the rolling expanse of open acres
the symphony of dawn begins 
beneath a veil of cool, dissipating mist

The earth awakens and unfurls in an instant
with interwoven, simultaneous, upbeat bustling
as hundreds of intricate beings of all sizes emerge
to dutifully begin their humble daily tasks
unwittingly weaving the world together for one another

The swollen present swallows us completely
enveloped in the electric energy currents of pulsating life
rushing through creek beds and rustling vibrant leaves
a soothing, faithful hum that echoes inside and out
intoxicated by the sweet nectar of undulating harmony

Each moment overflowing with the simple joy of right now
lapping up the soft waters of where we belong
indistinguishable elements of the intricate, lush landscape
synchronizing ourselves to the cadence of all creation
every instant ripe with it's own inherent meaning 

Shit Town

Heaps of firewood and artful hedge mazes
sharp accents and aging illiterate eyes
bars and churches are the only buildings
breaking up vast expanses of breathtaking nature
nothing to interfere with the majesty of the deep night sky

A common thread of rolling country
and the dozens of roaming dogs
that were discarded back to the open land
by careless hands, whipped clean, and well satisfied
with their clever plan for casting off other beings

A city nestles behind the hillside a few hours away
and it's inhabitants keep the questions coming,
"Haven't you ever thought of moving?"
with an earnestness that is surprising
as much as it is saddening

Who would ever think of abandoning Eden?
this heaven hidden among the worst kinds of humans
harbors worlds of its own within the intricate moss lattice
knit across acres of expanding woodlands
behind rustling leaves and a chorus of melded chirrups

The knowledge that so many lives haven't had
the privilege to know the earth so intimately
stings my heart in a way I can't put into words
even more animals kept in cages away from
the sweet medicine of sun and soil

My answer is no, I will never leave this place
even while I watch filthy industry moving in
my very essence is intertwined with these forests
I will fall with the trees and be burned up
like mere raw material with their lumber if I must


Twenty-eight years spent
in the same place
that felt like a prison
when I was sixteen

It once seemed like failure
not escaping to surroundings
exciting and unfamiliar
somewhere far away

But now I see it as a blessing
to grow where you are planted
to traverse the same worn paths
through friendly trees in summer

To sit upon the same faithful earth
that holds mementos of my childhood
and watch the slow changes in myself
reflected back by the whispering hillsides

Sharing secrets with the soiled river
that has always known me more deeply
than anyone could through words alone
as it runs alongside my inner life

The quiet protection of the thick woods
softly urging me onward in time
tiny hands searching for fish hook treasures
among steep, rocky shores just outside of town

The awesome unfurling
of a life and a land intertwined
the profoundly soothing resonance
of a home that's greater than home