Deny the soul its depth
and it will drown itself in shallow.
Not all those who are lost are wandering.
We are searching desperately for our way
following stars, watching the sun, tracking the moon
calling out to no one for directions.
We fear walking in circles, repeating steps,
making the same mistakes twice, wasting time
and becoming more lost than we already are.
We are memorizing landmarks —
Or is that the same tree?
We lack tools but we bare strength.
Our wild feet are tired and sore
as we trudge through brush
climb over dead trees
hike unforgiving inclines
with grit in our teeth.
It is dark but we are not afraid.
If the forest eats us, we’ll go
not without a fight but with knowing
all we lost was what we did not gain in the end.
Until then, the only way forward is in trust
of intuition, in power of the will
to walk alive, alone.
A Springtime Poem
and a heart that tries again
to open like the crocus
surrendering to change
learning from spring
moving with the cycle
of Earth songs that live on.
The rain came from nowhere
jarring to sitting snow
joyous to lonely skin
flashes and rumbles a reminder of life undone
the death of dormancy
the shock of feeling alive
prairie wind wakes fawns, rattles nests
a warmer breeze shaking leafless trees
whispering its signal to push green
fast clouds run from the full moon
empty and lost, waiting to hide
when they disappear
floating fog hovers like flying ghosts
visiting their old land
haunting stripped corn fields
melted snow gives way to naked hills
bare not with shame but with desire
to grow wild, to be free
water streams shed winter, usher spring
flowing in a circle
of strength and peace.
Leafless trees shimmered in frosty glitter
My heart went soft with beauty
New warmth sank to my belly
Winter isn’t so cold anymore.
Tallgrass hair and sky eyes
fair fields surrender to the sun
the soul of the whole blazes through
wildflowers bloom where there is light.
Rooted in gritty soil, bathing in clay
prairie roots are grounded in
what is real and plain.
Stretching up to the expanse
greeting the abyss that is not empty
growing into the beyond
the boundless field in the face of fear
is always stronger than she looks
bearing high winds
the only way she knows how:
Breathing and being,
Fish who no longer exist
Their skeletons lost somewhere in this
Melded to Earth they once little touched
Buried past water that flowed through their lungs
Now, the cottonwood stands tall
despite the stream-side half of its root ball
exposed on the creek bed’s eroded wall.
Also called Queen of the Night
or Lunar Flower
the night blooming candlestick cactus
buds large faces of fiery white
once a year at night
and withers by dawn.
Warmed by hot desert sun
stored with rare rain fallen
its limbs of snakes crawl
to birth gifts in a garden spellbound.
Shadowed by glory palm fans
and paper flower fuchsia walls
She sprouts a bud in late spring
when no one is looking.
The bud ball balloons
into a closed hand of finger plumes
Desert willow perks
purple salvia whispers
blue agave listens
waiting for the Queen flower to open
for she holds not only annual awe,
a nocturnal show of beauty,
but a springtime secret
a hint to guide the future.
Tonight she chooses to open herself to the moon
after sunset, before midnight
her white silk glows in blue light
she opens her hands in giving
her vanilla scent permeating.
The lucky bat gets her kiss
sucking her nectar bliss
he, full and sappy,
flies to a near branch to sit and listen.
Her message, her lesson
in the quiet night hush
from her blossom lunar love
she sings and looks above:
“Our roots are old, our leaves torn
weary we are for anything born
but life is what we’re here for
there is no world of any other
with grounded feet and strong legs
you’ll survive when others fade
by Mother Nature’s wrath undone
in 3,000 suns, a new day will come.”
Creatures bow and pray
By dawn she’s withered away
They bury her petals, breathe her wish
’til next spring when she emerges again.
What’s that trauma buried in you, mama?
What are you choosing to forget
that’s showing up as headaches, honey
and drinking and regret?
Find a shovel and dig
this time not a hole to hide in
but to summon something dead.
Wake it up and shake its hand
meet it once again
Recognize its power
but tell it: this is the end.
The haunting days are over
Peace is waiting up ahead.
A final rest of death
if not by burial
then by a shovel to the head
by the stronger, able hand.