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
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Stop Searching

The healing hum that reverberates
through all the small, silent moments
can become buried beneath the louder
frequencies of frustration and forward motion

The panicked pace of ungrounded grasping
the breath that's stolen while being swept off your feet
it can feel like dying to slow down, to surrender momentum
in favor of savoring the soft rustling outside your window

Finding peace can be counterintuitive
stop flipping over rocks and just pause
to feel the cool stone against your skin
and hear the whispering stream gurgle past

It's hard to accept that happiness is here
when we've wasted so much time searching
learning to laugh at ourselves like when we've been
seeking the object that's been in our hand the whole time

It's the simple things that will save us
if we can sit with the fear that they
won't be enough in the end
they will

Trying to Remember

Ambition takes too much energy
I'd rather just exist
it feels like a fever finally breaking
when I realize I can do this

The American dream was supposed to mean
the chance to enjoy your life
not a nagging necessity to make money for companies
subconsciously convincing us to strive

I never asked for the social climbing goals of others
to become pressed upon my spirit
I have no interest in cars, mansions, or expensive clothes
these things aren't happiness, they're nowhere near it

Time is what we've traded for trinkets
as we transmute our souls to stone
missing our one chance to see the sun
and all the vibrant life it has grown

Wiping this incessant spell from my eyes every morning
that inoculates me with discontent
a centuries long mission to sever these bodies
from the intuition Source has sent

The perfect simplicity of existence is obscured
by billboard advertisements and insidious corporate greed
it takes hours of inner struggle every day to remember
I already have everything I need

Twenty-Eight

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

West Virginia

There is no heaven I'd rather have
than the deep forests of West Virginia
Mother Nature manifested in
lush, rustling hillsides filled with life

My own soul disguised in blushing red and gold
and the dark, faithful hues of evergreens
a swelling awe that overwhelms the senses
and speaks to the divine seed inside us all

Burning billion year old lights engulf the sky every night
humbled and held in the vastness of this existence
how could I ever leave this perfect, peaceful pocket?
what more could I ask for than this majesty?

Winding roads I know so well
echo with all the heartbreak I've hurled
into the mountains to be absorbed
and transformed into new song

The very best parts of me are interwoven
into the dark earth and dirty rivers
profound connection can be felt
in every glance outside my window

Home has never been a house with four walls
it is here among the dense, ancient trees
that tower all around me and offer shelter
from the harsh realities of human life

I am so grateful that I am able
to intimately know this earth of mine
and recognize its soft, subtle sighs
as I allow her wind and water to carve into me

Passenger

A coyote cuts across the foggy highway
a life held inside indecision, a moment's hesitation
could be a violent end of everything all at once

Sulfurous air that once shrouded out the sun
a sudden impact that swallowed the earth
in many decades of dark, lifeless winter

Time has a way of emphasizing
the absurdity of right and wrong when
final outcomes are impossible to predict

Half the suffering I've known has been
an inner upheaval of moral outrage
resistance to the evils of this world

My stormy turmoil subsides if only
I can learn to surrender all judgement
and accept my place as a humble passenger

Who am I to hold dominion over
the way life is supposed to unfold?
I prefer the role of patient witness anyway

To watch with curious eyes and an open heart
ready to embrace all of life with equanimity
a grateful submission to existence beyond understanding

To play my small part with a soft hand
extending a gentle, hopeful intention of pure love
prepared to let go of any and all expectations

Tender feet along the balustrade, balancing
between engagement and surrender
too often falling into indignation and anger

The perpetual repetition of life can be tedious
but it offers endless chances to keep trying
precious lessons linger behind a door that is always open

Every failure is an opportunity to find grace
there is no permanence, perfection, or wasted effort
everything is as it should be, everything is as it should be

The Rain Reminds Me

Waking to the sound of rain
a song of rest outside my window
sanctuary of subdued sunshine
a signal to soften and slow down

Dewey refuge from frantic movement
rejuvenation released from the sky
deflating this bloated baggage of worry
replaced with soothing streams of surrender

Tender tones of grey and blue
wrapping me in sacred stillness
permission to let go and listen
the soft drumbeat of water on leaves

Muffled birdsongs through the mist
relentless ethereal cadence of crickets
full bodied accompaniment to life's chorus
syncopated splashes contributed by clouds

Damp doves drying in tree branches
the whole world holding it's breath
absorbing this gift of liquid life relinquished
awe-inspiring cycle of earth's abundance

Savoring the simple gifts of nature
the last few decades of clean water
overcome with sheer gratitude for
deep exhales punctuated by raindrops

Open Heart, No Fear

Raincloud of relief
the sky opening like my heart
to soak in the cool, tranquil feeling
of overwhelming gratitude

I am exactly where I need to be
I don't need to change my surroundings
to bloom into my highest self
the fertile soil of love surrounds me

Utter bliss, staring out past the rolling fields
and softly drifting cloud formations of home
there is no future to fear, there is only right now
and I am so happy and filled with peace and purpose

Nothing can strip me of this joy
the essence of my soul revealed
no longer burdened by the looming 
pressure to sacrifice what I hold so dear

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you
for this perfect, though impermanent gift
all fear has fled from the recesses of my heart
I've made the right decision

Black Raspberry Rain

The warm, thick water
at the edge of the river
guides me along the 
texture of the rocky shore

the soft rhythm of the waves
against my bare legs and feet
sand sticks to me as I reemerge
through the trees along the road

the humid air clings to my lungs
in an oppressive cloud of heat
storms slowly accumulating
above the distant horizon

ripe black raspberries beckon
from the wild hillside bramble
the heat is dissolved by cool droplets
as I begin to collect my bounty

enjoying my palmful of sweet fruit
letting the rain soak my hair
and paint dewy beads against my skin
the swell of sweet music in my ears

I laugh at the sheer delight of being alive
overcome by gratitude for all my senses
overwhelmed with love for this world
savoring the childlike joy of simplicity

each present moment can be populated
with precious miracles like these
may my mind remain still to witness
my heart always open, ready to receive