Friday, December 30, 2005

Blogging Poet Goes on Vacation

Enjoying the rain in Oregon.
Not flooded out yet.
Flying home soon.
Happy New Year.
--Ardi

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Snow Song

Sometimes you know it's a good day — before it even begins.
Awaken to the silence of a snow song
gentle hush on the wind still speaking
of inches in drift and horizontal painting.

White with winter
and dreams on thunder hill.
Still go there in the back seat of child sleep.
Sledding to the rumble.
And I haven't even looked out the window.

Sun still sleeps in clouds of inspiration.
I'll don my smock and easel.
Paint in muted shades for the cardinal
on pine bough yet to light.
Water color before its frost blooms to crystal.
And I haven't even opened my eyes.

Face of Ages


An artist friend works in wood and steel. His sculptures are more than decorative. They take me into rich worlds of cultures past. Like being introduced to new friends.

Face of ages
wrought in steel
speak to me of where you've been.
What's the vision in your mind?
The fire in your eyes?

I've seen the work of many hands,
but yours beyond all earthly time
is wrought in steel to feel new joy.

Face of ages wrought in steel
speak to me of glee.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

spring tree

Out of season? Maybe. But the previous poem, Even Snowmen Cheer, did spring from this one yesterday morning.
spring tree bounce
and dance from season to season
your roots do not hold you
to any law but love
I love trees in all seasons. They move in wondrous ways. Move me to poetic inspiration (see also Tree Climbing), and all who live—to breath.
We don't live without 'em.
Climb aboard.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Even Snowmen Cheer

Today's gifts measure yesterday's gratitude. I love the seasons of this planet. To me they are four ways of God's love.
April's bounce by coiled step to crystal pool,
collected clear and running cool
these mountain spirits
freed in each day's thaw.
Quenching thirst of months to come.

September trees release their leaves
to join the nuts and seeds
already down.
Autumn's garden harvest
collect in baskets grateful hold
the heart of love's projection.
We are protected now.

Many meanings—Spring and Fall
light the solid state of Winter
and Summer's sweet recall
of heat and flavor—
year's end, midyear.
Even snowmen cheer.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Old Photo Stories

What is in a box of old photos--other peoples photos? Behind the smiles
and the poses are a thousand hidden words.

Old Photo Stories

Shoebox or album.
Reach for the past.
Open a cover
to the scent of a pungent journey,
rich in the plot of lost years.
How long was the story
held captive by old photo-faces,
that have smiled since boyhood,
or the last child of Rose?

Bound in a book, or this box--
what sighs now
released in the turning,
thumb-printing?
Plow through glossy
dreams in cream color,
scallop borders,
satin black and white.

Standing too long in this pose--
rest and let a frown refresh you.
Sleep in your tomorrows' other blessings.
Don't hide the lines
caught in a flash
and held now decades
for later that night,
or next morning's light.
Kodak never said it this way--
yet never told a lie.

Looking through a book of years,
a box of gray and black and white,
what color the memories of time?
And other cousins calling? Grampa.
Never mind the missing years,
retelling stories new--
other people's stories
from the dust of this collection
over-exposed and under-protected.
And never seen till now.


           ak 3/29/01 (rev. 4/1/01)

Snowman

Silent song
Sound of light
On ether stage
This starlit night.

Then, gentle down.
Dance. Repose.
Rest in flight,
One freely chose.

Blanket earth
For morning drift,
And shape the spheres
Light spirits lift.

Silent song
In a starlit plan—
A spirit form—
This snowman.


           ak ~1993 winter (rev. 2/28/01)

Dream Lion

Life is new through young eyes
hard work at play by day
in battle and truce with the lion,
that ends under cover of bed
time now to dream a new answer
while the question still forms in my head
lion, are you tame? are you wild?
take up the sword of tomorrow
all through the eyes of a child.

ak 11/15/03

Growing Rose

What love is it that chooses heart’s direction?
Talent never learned this life
But lived like bees to honeysuckle’s center
To one an awkward duty
Another makes it dance.

Are we not followed on the road to choose
By choices other than our own?
Our map in math or science knows
Growing rose and radish
An easy work of art.

Start to feel connection with life and tools of craft
In school what luck would have the leaders
Follow heart and soul?
There is more than light and scent
To growing rose.

           1/15/04 (rev. 12/3/05)

Behind the Willows


Before the sunset was the quality of sky
behind the willows
Winter blue and white and gray
Maybe it’ll snow to soften the fall of skater's elbow.
And wind to drift in -- full length.
Blessed the moments of quarter before the sunset.
Every minute a new hue of love.
Silver lining. Steel clouds. Liquid gold.
Tropical fruit of looming cumulus.
And distant mountain blues—
All turning day to night
In strips of light behind the willows
And western striping of the sky.
Best of season’s blessings all winter
Never really happened yet.
Sunset tonight behind the willows.
As I wait. What’s next?
Maybe it will snow.

ak 1/03

Rock Painter

Saw her work and called her. She paints the portraits of pets on river stone.
Face-painting rocks.
A call on the phone.
Puppy licks. Kitty light.
Giving life to stone.
           Rock painter’s hand of God
           never works alone.
           Color brush. Lighting smiles.
           Giving life to stone.


                      ak 6/5/02

Billy Dreaming

Calls the neighbor’s dog off jumping
dreams of Billy smiles
ever wishing
puppies of the litter’s best behaving set
of love curls in a yip and wag and lick
till puddles feet forgetting
all the rules of tidy.

Mighty little smiles of brown eye hugs
and soft or not
till another Christmas
puppies love of Billy’s dream.

           ak 12/30/01

Your Smile

Crickets stop.
Spring clouds rain.
Sun spots the frog pond.
And the death of an oak…

It calls from the center of the earth,
The far side of the moon.
Sunflowers stand tall and sing—
All to the smile of your eyes.
Today sees me take the next wave
In the breath of eternity.
Your smile never dies.

           ak 11/13/03

Treat by Tangerine

The fresh scent inspired this. A friend with fruit
in winter.


Touch with fingertip anticipation.
Sphere. Cool. Alive!
Like this planet of oceans.

Its scent drawn from
blossoms in the grove
of tropical elation.

Sight without even seeing
its bright sun.
shining on Jupiter.

O taste. I tear and pull
with lust of lips
and tooth dripping.

Sound waves heard as it
gives up its riches.
to tongue and crush.

Do you care to share
this winter morning treat
by tangerine?


           ak 1/11/04

Moon Racing

Looking for moon in a winter’s night
Listen for leaves nodding
Long secluded angel takes new flight
Languish in thought walking.

These are the reasons ink wells run deep
Sweeping inspiration
Placing each letter of sound asleep
Roll winter moon – racing.

           ak 1/8/04

Caught by Hand

I’ve fished a thousand streams and once
I caught a trout by hand.
Twelve inches is a foot of Dad’s.
Twice the length of mine. With little hands.
How could it slip away? And caught again
and tossed to shore.
Sandy bank and grass and basket
for the proud walk home to Mom
and run the walking trail
with sister’s love of brother.
Time for dinner in a pan.
Breaded with corn batter.
Does it matter? Should we?
Does the trickle of the stream that
feeds the river run to sea?
Are we free as children?
Are we Dad and Mom?

The river always runs to sea
since the trout I caught by hand
and brought by basket to the pan
and sister’s love of brother.
Yes we can.

           ak 1/4/02

Candle Making

The smell of melting wax
or wood burning fireplace
brings me back to Mom’s warm kitchen
in the winter when I was a boy.
Today eggnog or hot chocolate
helps me feel the joy.
Newspapered table mottled top
colored with translucent spots.

From shoebox and coffee cans
to grab jam-seal paraffin,
broken crayons and string
we’ve collected since spring.
Mom is at the melting pot
pushed back on the Monarch top.
Bernie stoked the stove with
some pitch-wood kindling sticks
and it’s still too hot.

Dad is back from town—
he sold a sow or wiener pig.
We melt, and dip, and dot with
the colors of Crayola’s rainbow—
a child’s scent of heaven outside school.
Rosie hangs a gang of wicks
and waxen shafts to dry and dip again.
I peel off a thimble made
by dabbing thumb with melted wax.

Ouch! There goes the cat
to scatter shoebox lid of ships—
the shells of walnut halves
half-filled with wax.
Help to rig the toothpick masts
and spars of pirate's fleet.
Then sheeted with feahered sails
or set with cancelled stamps.
Two cents, five cents—
what expense to sail the tub
or skid the frozen puddles
by the back porch step.

Christmas candle making
when I was five. The scent
of color crayons, melting wax,
and a fleet of ships,
all a part of this good time
in kitchen warm and winter home.
Some day I’d help
Mary and Jerome like that,
if they’d hold the cat.

           ak 11/01, rev. 12/05

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lessons in the Wind

Snow again this morning and the wind...
Howling of the highway's heavy plows
pick up the sounds of blowers making clouds
for men who gave up smoking.
Only yesterday our sister's kids
were babes in mitten hood and coated.
And now their lives are busy as our own
with dreams of love and worries of a war.

Snowmen can't attack the minds
of several generations
moving south this morning
by the wind of our recall.
Did we forget the lessons of
the battle of the fall?
Now drifting in to settle
like wisdom first reported
by its only other call.
Snow again this morning
and the wind.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

HU, Sweet One

A tragic death… caught in a door… In memory of a hamster that I loved. HU is also an ancient name for God and, in chant, a love song to that Divine Entity.
HU, sweet one
I call your name
Call HU from where you are
You are now soft in the Light and Sound
Kiss my hand with your soft touch
my heart, your name, and love.
Keep touch in the Light and Sound.
Touch the door and
Love the touch.
Love the Light and Sound.
Come in. Call me your name.

HU, sweet one.
Love in the Light and Sound
Bring the kitten
Sing for the birdsong within you
Fly with the eagles
Dance with the English poets
Call me your name
HU, sweet one.

I wrote this in 7/2000 in The Hague, Netherlands shortly after the tragedy. I was in a writers workshop, "Poetry and Writing the Dance of Life" by Ross Mabey and James Young of Great Britain.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Crisp with Winter

Sometimes the change of seasons gives a fresh look at old thought.
The pond made a solid step
         toward winter
         last night.
Froze over in the dog wind
         and growl.
Morning cattails still bend
         to the gnash of its teeth.

Inhabitants of this world—earth garden
         have no bent toward the shaded words
         of false dreaming demons.

The pond is crisp with winter.
         This day is true.

                   --ak 12/17/02

Saturday, November 19, 2005

In The Morning

. . . life is rich with possibilities. I hear and see and write.

In the morning...
I hear the sounds of two worlds
        reuniting
dream characters of myself
        talking in birdsong
        to air ducts
        expanding my insight.
Refrigerator hums
        its HUUUing sound
        to cool air
        warming
        this day's new heart.

In the morning...
Clock starts its stop
        every second
nature takes time
standing on end
like a flash-shot
        of midnight's rocket
riding the sound wave
of master's muse
        calling this day's aces,
dealing and drawing light
        for the flight
        back home to God.

In the morning...
I see the hand of night's dream
        still dawning.
Light shows
        from sleeping clouds
        of feathered pillows.
The candle lit late
        flickers out,
but not before igniting
        its puff of down smoke
        rising, then falling
        when spent.

In the morning...
Earth sun of east heads south,
        as dancers of day
        dress in yesterday's memories
        and tomorrow's dream
filtered by the lens
        of last night's
        far flight
        in western sky.
Light shadows still cling
        to the wings
        of rotation.

In the morning...
Insight and mind-work
        converses with sunshine.
Traffic starts first in heart's hearth,
        extending its handle
        to road stone.
Dreaming hearts 'cross town,
        country land
        'scape to sea
        and sail
off this earth curve
        by plan of your lord
        or freedom's eternity.

In the morning...
        the gods talk to me.
                In the morning

                    --ak 1/13/01

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Making Noodles

Memories from my life as a boy...
Morning kitchen. Poof the flour
in Mama’s mixing bowl.
Crackin’ eggs and stirring with a wooden spoon.
Too hot the oven. Close the draft
and open back porch door.
Roll the batter flat.
Cut and hang the noodles on a rack.
Mama’s kitchen in the morn
and Saturd’afternoon.

Is there room for me to run the rolling pin
if I pull a chair up next to you?
Lots of noodles yet to make
to keep the chicken pleased in pot.
I’m not tired for my nap.
Can I crack the eggs and stir ‘em yellow
with the spoon?
Is it too soon to taste the dough?
I get the one I dropped all on the floor.
I’ll wash my hands
and then I’ll make some more.

When it’s time for supper,
cabbage, ‘tatoes, peas,
and please pass the cookin’ pot.
Look-it. I helped Mama.
Making noodles for the soup.

--a 2/9/02

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

First Snow Revolution

Change of seasons always gets me going. Here is one of this year's first snow.
To say it snowed last night
is like a whisper in a bar brawl.
It's colder and white for sure,
but the howl of the north wind
is more a raucous caller reporting.

           Autumn is gone. In one night
           last leaves gave up
           and joined the flying club.

Used to be: Fall drop concluded in permission
for the next order of season--
soft and down. Not so.
North wind insighted an overnight revolution.

Already we feel the pain and long for
Spring's new administration.
Would that earth turning was as black and white
and simple truth not held captive by storm troops.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Red Truck Brown

These were the real men of my boyhood dreams. At the light one night.
Red truck brown mud
and dented, dirt and rock
seat hammered box, happy man
pulls up to run down flying
sun-brown and whiskered
twelve yard inch minus
hauling rock, check the lines
load on Pine Ridge
spread on Eighth
hoist still grinding, trip the gate
half foot little late
stopping only for the light
red truck brown driver
of dreams for a boy
just passing by.
-a 9/4/02

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Positions

It’s not what you think, but just as good. And gets better all the time, after fifty. Cuddle when you can. It heals me.

Soft locks lapel my shoulder’s face,
her scent is wove in this embrace.
Calf and thighs, like laid-by meat,
beneath a tent of knees tepeed;
and spent, yet fresh, fall off to sleep.

Timed-turn to breathe each other’s breath,
arms draped on hips and over head.
Legs bent in angle, breast meets chest.
Or back-to-back, face east and west.
Love the heat, these curves of flesh,
two mated souls, as feet are pressed.

Roll now right to true spoon-form,
the drift in sleep of dreams we’re borne.
Tuck tush to tummy, soft and plump,
to leave the mind and prime the pump.
Then stretched full-length and fingers fixed,
limbs dropped like cordwood in woodbin.
Moon chills the air, but gold the glow
in these positions good mornings grow.

My Friend

I have a friend
who says he knows
it’ll be a dark day
when he puts his hooded
sweatshirt on backwards.
“It’s dark in here!”

Plays the moment,
hide-n-seek with light.
“Where’s the window?”
It’s a long way through
the darkness of now.
My friend writes it down.

Finds the lesson at last.
Repeated. Not that I ever
put my glasses in the freezer
and wondered blind, and warm.
But not close enough
to find ‘em. And finally.

Recorded now, I see.
We read each other’s notes.
Who gives me sight?
Delight, my friend.
You are a lot like me.
We have our moments.

Cuddle

Mind resists the call from pre-dawn cold mornings.

Cold room,
Soft bed.
Warm bodies
Cuddle.

Beep, beep.
Hit snooze.
Roll over.
Repeat.

--11/18/93 (and most every cold night since :) -a

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Translation

He may see a dawning
of subtle colors
in pink and gray and gold
rolling ‘cross this morning sky.
With eyes – touch its texture
of ostrich-feathered quilt.

She may recall the moment
of first recognition, the touch
of a new hand and the kiss
that called her, Lover,
from another novel
not so rich as this.

It may be heard in the brook
from the bank by the oak
and the murmur of summer leaves.
Soon wind hurls snow
as its inner echo still howls
from October before.

May take an easel, notepad or piccolo,
paint with words or water-color copies
of the moment, memory or scene.
Sing by woodwind,
stringed chord or vocal.
May even buy tickets to the zoo.

The light always shines
and the chime rings true.
The poet only ponders its meaning.
The artist transcribes its charm.
Every expression is the Word in a new way,
each a translation of love.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

What Is A Poet?

Not a writer of textbooks
or calculated treatises of reason where
words hold intent of well rationed thought.

The discipline less production
than happenstance in the issue of ether.

To merely transcribe what is heard
by the way of the heart as it heals every instant.
Not that recording is a talent suburb,
but the words are more song than symbol.

More to claim as a poet my good fortune for the gifts I receive.
And I thank you. For I am a child of God.
I listen, I capture.
And I share too.

The Conch of God

It is said that poetry is the language of the gods.

The Conch of God

A secret language
comes from the silence
of a sunlit chamber. Still.
It lives in the whisper
of a South Sea breeze.
A thought, an image,
an ambient suggestion
obliquely applied
calls in the first word
and highlights the next,
then rises in waves of the tide
to cover the shore of reason.
Cleansing, it recedes
and leaves a blanched seashell
in the silence.
Listen.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Of Late October

I looked out and saw the leaves falling fast in a gray morning start. Good day to stay inside. Someday I’ll have a wood stove again.

Of Late October

Heavy breath, and wet this Sunday morning.
Leaves drop without pause to test
for temp or light. It’s cold
across the acre of late October.
Every cat knows its place in the order
and asks for more.
Persistence – the cost.
Morning hours, muted colors
collecting to cover earth before snow
drives fast the lesson.
We watch this change of character.
Landscape turns in its sleep
to find its comfort late
in life as Soul.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

after dinner curl

curled in feline C
curve tail to touch
nose-whiskered tip
in dream-timed breath
modulated flesh waves roll
fur-soft purr sounds sated
of dinner's lap o love
is my daily joy
this cat

First published in Angel Animals 8-13-05.

Miles--our Love Cat

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Morning Light

We land on an island, or grasp a raft of floating debris. Can we catch a rest before the next storm? It is a broad expanse—this sea of life.

Morning Light

Some call it God, My Lord or Master.
Heavy the measure of justice in yesterday’s night.
Fight each reason remembering the riches
For all is of the holy cup.
I thirst. I drink.
I recall the laughter of last vacation
a month before winter.
The storm last night:
Listen to its answer in the moment of hours.
Call in the cards fanned to stretch the ages
of metered justice and reason’s plight.
Freedom is my cup
and its charge—
this morning light.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Still Lake

Though it is October, summer isn’t over without a day on the lake. And friendship really never ends.

Still Lake

Shady dock. Red canoe.
Green algae paints the water line
on rock wooded shore.
Red and yellow bottomed turtles sunning,
plop from logs as we approach.
Gold-leaf boat sails beneath
the web-wrapped snag.
Water skippers playing tag.

Muskrat swims along the bank,
circles, circles back and back
to hidden mud leaf,
rush and reed.
Dead trees tell of bridge and ship
builders’ ancient dream.
Beam and masts still stand
unused till after world.

Breeze touches lake away from shore.
What fish jumps in silver
light so near afar?
Two ducks quack-flap off
from willow shade.
Love for life, or fly away
from rendezvous of water feast,
leave by south and northeast.

Pasture of apples, gold and red,
electric fence protecting
from waterfront and beast of trek.
Reflect sky travel on the dock,
thirty of the summer’s clock.
Boys sharing, comparing
tools of survivor’s trade,
happy in the shade of this still lake.

(I wrote this five years ago after a day with friends near Lonsdale, Minnesota. Seems like it was yesterday.)

The Stool

Sits under a tree on the boulevard of a busy street. Was lunchtime for one, and a feast to the eyes of this driver’s mind.

The Stool

Set it anywhere
An artist will see it
A musician will hear it call
And the audience will approach
Like the players all walking on stage
Seated prominently talking
The street now calls
To the stool.

Prop of supposition
Launch pad of reason
Rather the wisdom beyond
The easel, the pen of the poet
Invisible space and white of mime
Life shines all around me
Take it or leave it--
The stool.

From here
She catches each color
As it comes from the cotton wood
And a Saturn with plastic sides.
He trumpets the horns of
Smokin’ trucker John
Playing long with
this soul on
A stool.

My subject,
My inspiration
On three legs or four or
One -- steady as the gold leaf diving
Where do we go from here?
The dreams of people
The seeds of trees
A stump or knee
Or stool.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cinnamon Roll

Here's one from the past. The cooler weather brings back the experience.
I was working in the yard and came in to the scent of my wife's fine craft.
:)


What waft doth freshen man’s heart with love
but the scent of dough bake rolled
and rising from the hearth o’ pantry’s oven.
Aroma home and hot with butter.
What better way to say she loves me,
than with the roll of honey loose,
laid with nuts and dripping in twist this treat.
Could hardly be said much better
by her fond touch and stretch shared later
in night chamber’s down of goodness drifting.
Hot and tender. Soft pull and chew.
The love of woman makes sweet the home
and did I mention cinnamon roll?

written 3/27/03

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Autumn Rain

Cold this morning.
Warm hearth.
And hearts overflowing at the window.
Our breaths alternating
with the wind
blown in from the near side of winter.
Only yesterday I held your hand and asked for yes.
And now I hold your hand and remember
all the yeses, and all the times two made one.

Listen to the autumn rain.
A thousand lovers tapping.
This window.
Our hearts.
Remember.

Staircase

I wrote this one earlier in the year when considering the Pope's demise. Not fully understood when it came in, but the words and rhythm flowed. Seemed to go beneath the contemplation of his death.

Staircase

Enter now
A stairwell white
Plaster walls this spiral way of even steps
Twist down the walk that tightens in its turn
Then rise of step drops further than the tread.
I tilt my head and even knees bump top
The tiny box of twisted, plaster steps
Wind down from white-wash caste
To bleeding brown on browns and tan, the taste
And black with blood from others past lost in descent
Dried and crusted in the cracks of these crocked straits.
The light above has vanished
And I bump down this funnel of apparent death.
Cannot lift legs or heels to catch the last tread ledge
Only gravity now rules
And I slide
A final pull this spiral trough bent in a twist of fate.
My face wipes abrasive wall as arms reach where dim light once shown
And hands cannot grasp even the last foothold
Yet, I still hold this pen, this light.
You see its message here.
Unless no one has found the truth of this trap, this pit.
I write to find the sun.
Where ink-black still shows on tan
Perhaps to gain the white of precious paper page
No plaster surface walls
Call the readers from the grave to see this script
And wish it to this paper page
Spiral light or winding, dark descent.
Written on the walls of hope or discontent.
Journal of a journey through this lent and back to light by writing of the fall.
White paint of plaster, spiral way still holds the light
Of a window to the sun
Shines now hopeful by this pen
Would that you read and do not follow me.
Though free at last I, soul, wrenched from the wedge of flesh and pit
I join the light
My eyes are open now
I was asleep
There is an easier ascent.
Than pulled by passions of an underworld.
I see you read.
And know that rise and fall are on the same staircase.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Love Notes of September

Nature surrounds all lovers. Leaves start to fall. It’s a love affair with life—
of sight and heart, hills and forest. Joy is the height of anticipation.


In the light
of wood-green hue
and the sun of lovers’ rite
maple trees release first leaves.
Birch, ash, and oak
join the fun, each one
by one,
two and three—
love notes from trees to earth—
take courage, dive
and gentle
down.
Light with sound.

The clock of earth talks
from forest wall,
Tick, if dry. Tok, if not.
One word for each is heard—
Tis-kit; Tok-ut—
and a thousand silent thoughts
collected in sky’s basket,
memories of ancestors seasons past,
cousins hugging earth
in air-light bed,
anticipation of sisters still
clinging to the branch.
Skydivers inner cry
in free-fall of love
at autumn’s celebration just ahead,
as a million-fold
applause and screams sound
from the jump seats
in the wind.

Still green shows peace,
this circus tent.
Yet daring sprigs capture
in yellow-fire torch
sunlight more precious everyday
before most notes sent
tumbling out to play—
flyers of the trapeze to please
wild grape, Virginia Creeper
forever climbing in the bleachers.
Stars shed by wind
and earth’s attraction
whirl and whip to train the beast
of mind’s attention.

Orange and red replace
the color of spring,
and summer’s dance.
Love notes, sheet music
light on earth before
winter’s down comforter
lies, too, with love
on this forest floor.
Earth color to remember:
green, yellow, orange and red.
Love notes of September
make up each lover’s bed.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

washes the darkness

The random order in chaos, catastrophe, anguish—and its aftermath—sometimes shows through.

washes the darkness

still
dark yet
there is a peace
in the night ending
energy in the silence
between the lines of clamor
and ambient sounds collapsing
clocks talk to raindrops in the wind
three tones chiming
tin chimney
glaze pane
and deck
peck tick tock
ping ping pock
din dance rock
solid the sound this still dark world
when morning of this day
breaks out in light inside
and flooding white
the page of day
comfort in the still dark song
solace overtakes lonely in
soft light sound washes
clean the darkness
of grief
washes the darkness

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Last Day

On the last day
the angle of sun showed heavy
the growth of seed
and rich tree leaf before the turn
to follow harbingers aflame
in maple branches crimson-gold.
And afternoon gem-jade
—was emerald in the spring—
and olive greens turn white
with wind, advancing clouds—
the front of one last thunder storm.
Bird of wild wing seeks harbor
broadside the arbor forest wall
backdrop by ceiling flashing
bright and black.
Fall now calls the end
to multiplying fast the growth
since solstice is a memory running on
the last day of summer gone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dance of the Scythe

Hanging on the peg, standing in the corner of the shed, or laying at the edge of ready field—the scythe called to me. The S-curve of its body, thin and strong like a young athlete, a figure skater that comes alive in the strong hands and able command of a simple and perfect man.

It calls to me, still a boy. Watching Dad’s few strokes in two-step cadence-count through grain by the corner of the shed and metal gate showed me its grace and power. I watched expertise, and knew it too was mine with the scythe of hand and heart. Perfect balance, saber-sharp blade, the mating of handles with hands—man and implement—one, in a labor-love affair. Grass, grain. Clover, or vetch—command of the scythe in harvest of earth’s lush cover. Delight in this, and the beauty of the planets in motion. It was all mine—I knew. Long strokes, thin bite. Draw the tip of the blade right to left, cutting clean, and swing it back so its dull edge re-rights the uncut stand pulled by the previous swing. Pull, backstroke. Pull and back. Clean cut, sharp swath, five foot wide, and back again. Gives more energy then it takes. Stopping only for breaks of admiration and Mom’s lemonade.

The dance of the scythe is a corner of heaven called then by its name on the farm. We called it work. But I knew better. This was love of the dance—the dance of the scythe.


6/2/01

Saturday, September 10, 2005

September Prairie

On the drive through the native rolling prairie of the campus at the
Temple of ECK in Chanhassen, Minnesota, it struck me...


September Prairie

Grasses of the prairie this September
In hues of gold and red, blue and fading
Green to silver-gray.
Seed heads thick and leaning heavily in bough
Each shaft a bow bent in archer’s tension
All set to release the magic of summer’s end.

I glimpse beyond this season, this earth’s thin mantle
Each an attempt to cover yesterday’s mistakes.
But September prairie grass is most sincere.
Even burnt black grows green in Spring.

In an Envelope

There's a lot of poetic fodder moving through. For myself it's most anything with light or sound or feeling. This week a friend sent me a notice of an art show including her work. It took me like an anxious dog on a leash. So I ran with it.
In an Envelope

Came to me in an envelope
Manila yellow with lines
Straight and squiggly
Last one named--was mine
written in the hand of one carefree
in the practice of precision.
String around red button,
floppy and dog-eared.
Woof, woof. Good boy.
I open it up.

Yup.
Reach in and pull out card stock,
four-color and folded, glossy brochure
of an international flavor.
With my name on it
I peruse the presentation.

Trees and hills and red-roofed monastery
On a river to match the sky
purple backdrop
of distant mountains
all seen through the window
with red pots on its sill
somewhere in Southern Spain.
Can travel there anytime I want.

Notice now a window in the window.
The scene: a mural on a brick wall
painted by an artist who loves
the trees and hills
and the far side of the river.
And painted by the artist who loves
the art and the trees and
the hills and the river
and the mountains
and the mural
and the wall and the window.
Captured by the man with the camera
who loves the artist
of the painting
of the mural.

Sky and mountains and river and hills and trees
and monastery and window sill’s red pots
and window in a window.
Who’s inside the window?

The artist with a ladder
The artist with an easel
The artist with a camera
The brochure of an art show
Inside the yellow manila envelope
With my name on it.
What is your inspiration?
Woof, woof.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Depths

Inspired by the English translation of “Agua” via an on-line translator. Not so good to learn the meaning of the original text, but great poetic suggestion. Though I don't know Spanish, the romance of the language comes through.

At surf’s edge I repose in the peace
of your presence where I lost you
know you are here,
yet all I have
is your smile reflecting
in the calm of morning mist
and waves,
your hair flowing
through my hands
I touch my feet
and the sand
gives way beneath them
I go to new depths
of your love.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

In-Plane Misery

From a recent plane trip:

Crowded in-plane misery and cramped, this flight.
Do I shiver in a blanket, vent screwed tight.
Or air nozzle twisted left full-open,
blowing slightly on my head.
Thigh-to-thigh, hot ears,
knees knock hard and bruise against seat-back.
And sleep? Not me, except my feet,
would rather that they run.
Please! These seats,
I feel, require sweat and blood and tears.
I hear the whining of the engines in my ears.
The pressure causing baby’s tears and
howling for the making of this long flight out.
The hours splayed from minutes by my mind—
Each one, another calling of the law, physique.
Please, uncork the stopper of this knotted
Ball of matter in the bottle: time and space.
But even in this misery, I tap the ether of My Maker's smile
And know that this is just a finite flight.

Notebook and Bic

Picture this one in spiral-bound form instead:

This notebook does not loose its charge
and shut down unexpectedly.
I close it when I want.
No glitch in code demands re-boot
or sent lo-mem report.
I see the end, some fifty pages hence,
and carry extra pens.
Can write all night and
anywhere I carry
this notebook and my ClicStic.
I think I will quit now to
recharge my spell-checked mind.
I tire, so I close notebook,
un-click my Bic and go to sleep.
What I wrote I know
is saved in black and white,
with only my own errors when I awake.
Goodnight notebook and Bic,
I thank your ballpoint tip.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Tree Climbing




















Me in the spring maple that inspired this poem.

Tree Climbing

Sitting at the forest’s edge
You reached to me
And I remembered why I was born.
I stretched from rock to your arms
Limbs lifted me from earth
The maple tree, the fir.
Climb higher, you said
Reach for the sky, like my cousins and me.
Limber limbs. Strong and supple.
Bounce the spring of wind and sun dreams.
The life up here. The power
Strikes fear in the hearts of every mother.
Come down, you fool!
Keep climbing.
Bounce a little for the thrill.
Reach and pull higher still—for the fun.
Remember, I have opposing thumbs.
Lived here before.
Keep climbing.

Four limbs in a hundred arms of safety
No danger. Can’t fall.
I’m in a living thing.
You love me.
Oak and ash and alder.
Remember when I faltered?
You were there, a seedling.
Now we swing and sing with wind and birdsong.
So long from fall through winter.
Now to spring again.
Keep climbing.

Steps to sky and higher
In your loving arms.
Chestnut, beech and walnut.
Feed the feet that reach from earth to sky.
I climb the trees of reason.
Can you tell me why?
Our hands and limbs love sun and rain and wind.
Wave to lift the light hearts to the sky.
Up here I see forever.
The eyes of the horizon are upon me.
From earth to sky
Keep climbing.

In a tree a child ever grows.
Love of life—the sap within our limbs.
I sing within your arms. We know.
O climbing tree.
A child ever growing in a tree.

                      ak— Spring 2002

Friday, August 12, 2005

Song of the Waters

What's in your heart?

Not by pen and never voiced, not even thought,
but still a dull ache, a begging for freedom
not experienced this life
or a million past.

What’s holding back the waters before the flash and burst?
Before a trickle knows there are others
joining rivulets and streams?
All heading to the same sea of souls.

Sing your song--even a sad one.
Wail for your lost love
or the cross at Carver Beach.
Even a tombstone has an ear for woe.

And when the tears flow freely,
through haze and ache is freedom
clearly the cause
at the center of your voice.

Wishes not experienced do someday
break out in song of volume,
song of the waters
to the sea.

Horizon of Skies

When life did lack excitement
Grand rapids and sunsets did not touch me.
People were but the buffer to this life’s long day.
Work and play, dinner and mating
Did lack in its stretch
Till a soul took the breath
Of my smile.

In life complacent, when naught moves you to poetry
Note thee, there’s a soul you’ve not met yet.
Look beneath the rapids,
And beyond the horizon of skies.
Deep in the heart of God is a smile
You’ll remember
Your own.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

it whispered

.
did not call the name of my god today
in honor of all others
whispered in my ear
i hear your voice
is a secret
that can be heard by all
.
this link is only one
of a million more
a billion
each
our own connection
honors all
.
i did not call
it whispered
honors all with love
respect for brother's sister
we are one
.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Nature, Love & Spirit

These are my favorite poetry themes.

So far the poetry shared here is mostly of nature. Here are two that lean more toward the other two:

When a voice is not common, but touches something long ago…

There is Always

A beauty of heart not supposed at first—
face of faces multiplex
did go not noted with the rest.
Yet, this passing view
in regular reflection
was just enough,
till a word was spoke,
with a note of light and barely heard.
Or was it the lilt of laugh?

Then, turned to see that face anew.
Not just to please, but a brilliance,
and a song oracular.
That voice awoke within
a sounding chorus deep,
a teasing memory.

There was a time, a place
that heart and hand did play
a chord in twain, but one.
Was one of luck
that this soul was at my side.
A song, and long the timed refrain.

Glow of the heart
from voice and eyes and smile.
Now the sound and light.
There was an age when we were one,
and in eternity still.
For there is always song of heart.
The call is of my God,
and we are one.



And...

Catching glimpses of other characters on our stage, scenarios unfold, sometimes intermesh with a scene or lesson of our own.

Signals

Two trains pass not stopping.
Otherwise there’d be doors opening
and passengers exchanging places.
Maybe names, and even
affinities forming.
Long wait at the station
into nowhere on this line.


We pass on the platform everyday.
Don’t look at your face
and you never open my eyes with yours.
What would happen if the train stopped
and we touched each other
on the Express to Central?


I could see forever in your eyes.
Or has the conductor
already signaled ahead?
Sliding doors, passing cars,
and hearts never fully opened
.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

If you see it today...

...and like it, it may change tomorrow.

Hopefully for the better. It's hard for me to declare a poem finished.

Is a work of art ever done?

A voice keeps speaking--so I listen.

For instance, tonight after a very hot day in this neck of the woods, and the AC not working so well:

I write
as if all is well.
Sun heats the dark roofs gray.
Wind stopped by awfull thoughts.
Road tar melts. Pavement rocks.
I plod with tired feet
and then remember what I forgot:
All is well
dispite this.

Who knows, I may delete it after a few more reads, if attempts at editing doesn't suit me. What do you think??

Friday, June 17, 2005

Reflecting Perfect Blue


Wisconsin Dells--where pines and standing rock link river and sky.


View sun trees mottled
green in song of light.
Cool the flow through open door
across my feet that tread these woods yesterday
and now the breeze.

New tans and yellowed red
pine and oaks and lichen log alive
the same two mourning doves
hear a robin too.

Walkers along the trail fence
and ancient layered rock
high bank of river
reflecting perfect blue.

Peace this morning out-of-doors
and in the heart of my day.
Starts now.
Good Morning, Master.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

RTW -- the Poem

First the concept of new-found wisdom. Then it spoke to me with a name. It's everywhere if you listen.

River-Tree Whispers

I heard it new one day
Life drawn skyward by sap to sun.
Talks to me across the ocean of reason.
Trees on the water
Calling by breeze of light,
Lisp of insects and dancing bees,
By bird song and chirp,
Within the silence of unlimited space
connecting all earth-sound
and soul's first flight.

River-tree whispers. Rocks babble.
Brook trout, still in the current,
eyes the dragon fly.
Is ready.
Does not flee the roar.
Trees of the forest,
Your message, the song.
And freedom in cause.

River-tree whispers.
I hear your call.


If you have a theme or concept, an image or dream
that begs for poetic expression -- I can help. Email
me at ardist0009@yahoo.com. Refer to this blog,
River-Tree Whispers. --a

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Gift of Friends

This poem was written after an enjoyable visit with friends in the country. A walk in a sunny, spring breeze, followed by dinner, desert, tea and lots of laughs.

With Friends

Sun in my face, and driven
South to its shelter.
What touch this time
In tea speaking?
And sweet within the crust.

I listen. Leaf green. And silence
Talking.
Wisdom walks the current,
Claims the voice of heart
And reason laughing
With friends.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Chill Mist in May

Today cool and light rain
Yesterday’s chill
Oregon mist in Minnesota
Keeps green the trees wave
By wind and birdsong
Enchantment.
A washroom of spirit
Sign up here—
Become the mother of intent
The father of reason
Earth-time is life in transit
Taking train to next stop
Get off the high horse of meaningless cliché.
It’s raining.

Catch up on sound
Pervasive
Still reverberating
To the silent sheath of reason
Stretched in intuition—
A masterpiece of soul.
Behold the vision
The premonition
The quality of life out there
When the chill mist in May
Remakes me.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Light with Robins

Awake and see. Frozen solid, but light.
Robins singing for the radiation of yesterday’s memory.
Messengers—the melting snow and ice receding.
Spring wind and dogs running their walkers.
All manner of winter waste shows before last snow
still elbowing in on this occasion.
Green! the earth shouts. Thunder showers!
Show the buds pushing brown and gray away.
Make room for me -- Awake!
See light with robins singing.