Print this poem only
Its mouth gurgles Gregorian chants -
no half notes or quarters or sixteenths -
but from its bowels steady-flowing vowels
leaking, laughing over stones shaped and smoothed
by eons' incarnations of seas and sands.
Its loins sing and hiss the hymns
of cells, and tissue,
their issue rained softly into the soul,
cosmos songs haltingly hurled
clear of the grasp and snarls of life.
Its heart beats its bloody rhythm
ticky ticky tick
slither slidey slip
up and over
edge to edge
it's relentless surge -
so that heart and mind
ease their edgy throb
slowing, staying, stilling
whispering, sighing, filling
emptying, and restoring.... peace.
Dedicated to Pablo Neruda whose poetry awakened in me in 2001 a
dormant poetic muse which has never gone
completely away to this day.
Written July 14, 2001
A Mockingbird Spat Print this poem only
This morning the cat
awoke from its shelf
to a multilingual spat
a Mockingbird had with itself.
Lake Print this poem only
You alchemist turning grayslate days
into luminescent jade
You tempestuous temptress
with voice of thunder and lightning eyes
Your skin sparkles sun and stars
and paints peace on our scars
We swim in your moon
trembling in your silver climax
We sleep beside you by night
your abundance sates our days
We dash and flash and storm
you caress and touch and transform
The wisdom of your vastness
reaches us in waves
Oh you liquid goddess
leap into our souls
and make us whole
Author's Note: Written after a two week campout/retreat on the shores of Lake Whitney in north central Texas - May 2003.
Quiltmaker Print this poem only
Every evening when day is done
my body tired from an active day
you cover me and ready me to come
into an orbit far away.
A place native peoples reside
where Kokopelli wanders and plays
and eagles ride the winds, glide
and rejoice in setting sun’s golden rays.
I fly into a patchwork sky
where I am stitched together,
comforted, protected under your watchful eye
where hawks soar and tickle with feathers.
I visit frightful places
hear horrible screams
see angry and twisted faces
feel my fears in my teary dreams.
I am grateful for these flights
for the certain and steady care
that covers me on cold and windy nights
for this Quiltmaker beyond compare.
Dedicated to my sister-in-law, Virginia Hilton whose love and dedication are sewn into the magnificent quilt she fashioned and created for me with blood, sweat, and tears, who came to our aid and was there for me for so many years.
Morning Encounter Print this poem only
In the morning coolness
just after dawn
settles upon me
in these few moments with you
alone in this sacred space.
Here You gently filter
your peace and love
before this day’s stream rushes upon me
with its swift flow
Here for now it is just you and I
in this silent colloquy
in this exquisite intimacy.
I rest unperturbed
in the presence
of your quiet majesty
in your warm embrace.
This precious moment
of trust envelops my heart
protects it from all harm
says good morning
to my soul.
Author's Note: Written one morning in April 2018 while I was journaling in our garden room.
Twilight Tree Print this poem only
In the coolness of a waning winter
spring waiting in the wings
here you are you beauty
in your dark magnificence
you stand quietly without pomp
your silhouette a public secret
unassuming and unnoticed
reaching out to the fading light
as if to say “I belong here
so nice of you to visit.”
I belong here too.
And in this now
I feel a harmony of being
in our moment of silent union.
My eyes and my mind
are drawn upward
as if in a Gothic cathedral
and its pointed arches
but here you are gesturing
in all directions
with your thousand fingers
serene in your eastward lean
a perfect prayer of earth
to the beyond.
The plants are dying
one leaf at a time
no longer turning expectantly
toward the light.
Their stillness a portent
the dulling green
their silent acceptance
of their perilous symbiosis
We all need watering.
We shrivel without love.
But unlike this simple green life
we can say no
speak to ourselves
we can choose to rise
turn on the faucet
and move toward the light
Hymn to Delta Blue Print this poem only
The other day in twilight hue
with a setting sun of pinkish gold
I felt the ghost of Delta Blue
and from afar he touched my soul.
He sang a heartfelt battle hymn
he sang his grief in sad refrain
his soulful shouts shall never dim
his words of brothers and their pain.
Have you a thorn deep in your heart
that no amount of talk can take
nor find a balm to make it part
nor take away its dogged ache?
Is there something in you broken
the docs can’t seem to fix
and nothing they have spoken
no words nor drugs can nix?
He could not find a bridge away
or anyone who really knew his scars.
And he saw the folly every day
of desperate hopeless wars.
He stood among the red and dead
he drove a boat in waters brown
and mixed with blood and tears and dread.
No river could his sorrows drown.
His poems addressed our deafened ears
his prayer that we would be alright
all who fought those tortured years
he prayed they’d hold on through the night.
I wish I’d met this gentle man
who felt the wounds of war so deep
I wish I’d gone to shake his hand
to hear him laugh to hear him weep.
Let’s stand and sing a requiem
salute him and all the ones who gave.
Let’s honor them with heartfelt hymn
and walk into their sunset grave.
Author's Note: This poem is dedicated to Delta Blue which is the pen name of my friend Russell Glen Robison. He was an extraordinary and sensitive poet who published five books, most of which reflected his experience in and as a result of the Vietnam war in which he valiantly served. I regret that I never went to nearby Red Oak, TX to meet him in person before his death 2-24-14. But I am glad I got to meet and get to know him through his poetry. I also dedicate this poem to all of Russell's brothers and sisters in arms who served in Vietnam and to their loved ones who traveled their tortured journey with them.
This is Russell's Facebook page which is still active and contains some of his poems: https://www.facebook.com/russell.robison.37
[Russell explained his pseudonym: "DELTA BLUE....a slang term we used to describe navy personnel fighting IN country....Mekong DELTA navy BLUE...... "] His book, Delta Blue is about the Mobile Riverine Force in Vietnam. They fought on the rivers and canals of Vietnam in armored assault craft that resembled the ironclads of the United States Civil War. On the back of his book, Delta Blue, he says: "It almost seems as if these water borne craft were destined to return one hundred years later and carry the fight to the enemy in the Mekong Delta. Their story is little known, but long remembered by those who saw them in action."
This image is from Russell's still active Facebook page where you can read some of his poems. His Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/russell.robison.37
Please see a special page I have prepared as a tribute to Delta Blue (Russell Robison)
Please see a special page I have prepared as a tribute to Delta Blue, Russell Robison