That River

Step on the ice

watch the silver

cut slivers away

in jagged pieces

where my weight

broke the clear

water into dark

currents rushing

into the evening.

 

stand where

I once stood

feel it’s course

down the mountain

into rivers

and seas beyond

carrying silt and sand

from heights

to depths not fathomed.

 

sink into darkness

weaves and waves

play underfoot

a tangled symphony

echoing endlessly

from here to there

beyond horizons

not yet discovered

yet waiting so close.

 

Breathe the air

cold and vicious

untamed and fearlessly

calling out it’s nature

following laws

unspoken yet crying out

turn noisily and step hard

as one not silently done

but enjoined together.

 

wind and wave

cry and rustle

in the water

and through

the pane of life

into the blood

pulsing in veins

twisted and turned

clean and pure.

Mercy Mildly

I tied a knot

in my chest

it tightens

as day passes

and loosens

again by night

never mind

constant aches

groaning ribs

what follows

hard to swallow

the knowledge

of imperfect

impersonation

of a perfect

presentation

of personality

and movement

into it’s likeness

quiet in mourning

and livid by sight

rage long

and mercy mildly

basking in

cold starlight

I Am Untied

I walk along a path, broken by ages
people and races,
from scattered places.
Breathing your name.

Lord, you come
by my side you dine
in the thicket
and thorn strewn table.

When tears fall
a wash of stormy clouds
from your eyes
at my endless plight.

Lift your heart to heaven
to the breaking of sun
when the weak and the helpless
find they are undone.

I am undone
by your love and your power
I am untied
through blood sanctified.

The Beaker

Once upon a long time past

in memory here at last

revived from slumber deep

from when I was asleep

listen close, bend your ear

a strange world may appear

buried deep beneath the sand

lies an ocean near at hand

Do not listen to the albatross

nor bear weight you carry ‘cross

from this world a bitter thief

bring only a single painted leaf

Do not spend days in sadness

nor in glad and happy madness

stroke by stroke is how we leave

some quicker without reprieve

Fill the beaker up with stone

until the water stands alone

pristine upon the sweating lip

the maiden voyage, a virgin ship.

I walked on

further than before

different places

with strange smells

humid air

and floral notes

fallen rhododendron flowers

bruised beneath my feet.

I walked on

by a winding stream

washing down

stone slabs

into a clear pool

where nothing lived

only gray silt

sparse needle like grass.

I walked on.

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Life is swift,

a hawk diving

reaching the water

in a quick moment

threading the needle

into blue foam.

Silver flashes

beside my boat

where I fish

silently casting

time after time

reaching into

deep space

spinning air bubbles

into strange void

where monsters

weave through

winding currents.

I watch

as bony talons

cut spiderweb slices

grasping the faint

outline of hope

lifting the scales

of rewarded endurance

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Into another darker night

When the wind blew the walls shook and flattened the earth.

A narrow band of hills stood high upon the horizon, casting shadows on the dry plain. Thick grass, tan and crumbling underfoot, stretched far into the neighboring distance. Long strides covered the grasslands slowly. Sweat dripped from his forehead meandering down weathered eyes making trails down wrinkled cheeks. A faint upturned mouth met sallow skin, bleeding into tight vicious eyes. A hollow animal intensity gripped his face as he walked, ran, drove through the sharp prairie grass. Shadows lengthened and the warmth of the sun turned dull. A cut of the moon rose behind him as the sun plummeted behind the thin hills. The night brought wind, cold, rain, and thunderclouds which broke heavily over the range. A long night passed, the clouds swallowed by a cruelly beating sun. A long trail of broken stalks marked a path once traveled. Leading to a man whose feet passed a stand of trees, a mill whose giant fans turned slowly in the breeze, a farmhouse with smoke billowing from a cook-fire. Leading to a man whose nails shone with dirt and dried blood. Whose sightless eyes yearned beyond hope for what lay beyond the fields of grass and wheat. To a man who passed by shelter, food, fires and home intent to reach the end. Whose hand stretched out grasping the first stone of a long hill and passed into another darker night.