Monday, December 25, 2006

This Is A Great Day!

This is a Great Day!
Sun bright on snow
Everywhere so blest.
And here it came
not in the fury of storm
But gentle
and only enough
to whiten the earth
roads now black and dry.

This is a Great Day!
So was the one when I crashed in a snow bank
last January driving my new car to work.
Or joined the army in ignorance.
In 1964 I didn't even
know of Vietnam.
Or a man called Jesus
Was really born in Spring
to a virgin.

This is a Great Day
to believe
what my experience
and culture and teachers
and the limited workings of my mind
sets in writing some how.

I sit and reflect on this Great Day
that all action comes from belief
and the urge to return
to a state of peace and love.
There is a plan.
And sometimes
when I stop in the void
its working is more than belief
or feeling or knowing
or action.
It is.
A Great Day!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Call to the Mountain

I called to the mountain one winter's night
And though there appeared but a wall so dark
An echo came back in bells of song and falls of light.
Sound dance of color from a dark winter's night.
I called to the mountain in that dark night
And now every season its echo returns
A song of peace and joyous light.

                                   --ak 12/23/06

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Foot Note to a Poet (Mom)

Shortly after her passing in August (see my eulogy for her), my brother and sisters were interviewed by a writer for the Portland Oregonian. The article that came from it was a special tribute to her life.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Get Set

Because I know it is coming…

Indian Summer still in my collection of yesterday memories
Fallen leaves raked to cover carrots and berry vines
Anything could happen at this change of mind
Sky, earth and highways
And other roads to Freedom
White cat is ready.
Get set.

Friday, November 03, 2006


dry grass, cold wind
earth pleads for a cover
light inches drift in shades
of white

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Get Ready

cold, thin moon hangs in possibility
as work of last leaves race this day
winter touching hands

(...I'm back)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Battle

(not poetry--just an excuse)

Life is like war these days.
House renovation work
for one room floor renovation
multiplied demand
on time, energy and material resource
when kitchen issue demanded
faucet, sink, countertop & re-wiring.

Still in the middle of both.
And it's good to wake up in the dream-state
for a sleep reprieve
when we can catch a few hours.
Soul travelin', love
and divine connection
keep us going.

Hope to get back to
the lighter side of a poet's life
when the battle lets up.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ridge Trail Song

...still reveling in the peace and inspiration of the visit last week.

Ridge Trail Song

On Walden Pond
I walked the Ridge Trail west.
There reflecting pallettes gold and green
and emerald in its depths --
Blue and gilled and feathered chatter,
Skipping rocks; and rest on mossy stone
The sight and sound a thrill to soul
that mortals cannot own.
I hold this sense-crescendo in a silent song
the tint and hush of which the echo is a wish
That trees and water always cleanse the earth
of mine and other human faults.
With love and reverence on the path 'round Walden Pond
Soul Journey is the walk and Ridge Trail Song.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


More summer than fall with beauty still abundant. Yesterday the Freedom Trail, a walk in Boston, overnight with friends, Lucinda and Clarisse. And then to Concord. It all still lingers:

blue and emerald green
the depths of love and peace in trees
on Waldon Pond today

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another Memory

I haven't been able to write or post much lately. Between vacation, funeral, home renovation projects, and now a wedding (leaving tomorrow for that), time has been limited.

Here are a couple I found among the journals of Mom. The notebook is titled simply, HAIKU, Marie Keim. I didn't even know she wrote haiku.

Hearing the clock tick
Knowing the path gets shorter
To eternity.

The freshly baked bread
Tantalized the neighborhood
With its aroma.
Sometimes we learn so much more about the lives of those we love when they are living in a higher place.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Marie Josephine Keim, 1917-2006

Here is the eulogy I will give tomorrow:

Marie. Mom. Grandma. Mrs. Keim. We knew her by these names and others. If life were a book, we each might give this name-title a subtitle of our own:

- Mother of Five
- Grandma in the Garden
- Baking Beans and Bread
- Poet and Friend
- Maker of Rosaries
- Lover of God

Too often we pick up a book to enjoy, but set it aside after a chapter or two. The book of Marie's life has many chapters, and I am still enjoying the last one. It is rich with the convergence of her values, her friends and family here today, and the memories recalled.

I was lucky enough to visit and picnic with Mom when we traveled from Minnesota last month.

As usual, Mom said, "Maybe the next time you see me it will be at a funeral."

And I responded as I always do when she says that: "Mom, you've been saying that for 20 years, and your still as strong as a horse." (Whenever she grabbed my hand, or gave me a hug, I'd have to warn her against breaking any bones, my bones.) And yet each time she said that in recent years, I knew that day would come. And I really felt it more in early July. I didn't add to my statement, as I had in the past: "You will probably outlive us all."

When I close the covers of a book I've enjoyed, or one I've learned from, or have been inspired by, it is not with sadness, but with fulfillment in the gifts of Light and Love and Wisdom received.

Marie has left us for now, and moved on to a new level of freedom. The book may be on a higher shelf, but when we need to be refreshed by a favorite passage from the pages Marie has shared with us, we recall the Light and Love and richness that is this Soul.

Among the chapters we may choose from could be:

- A Bowl of Hot Soup
- Poetry of the Natural and Supernatural, or
- Singing with Birds & Talking to God. Or maybe
- St. Matthew's Church Bazaar

Too often at a loved one's passing we realize there are things we meant to do with them or for them, things we would say, or questions to ask. Yet the pace and priorities of life pre-empt completion of so much these days. How do we reclaim what could have been? What should have been?

I invite you to review your memories of Marie. You can go there now, in imagination, in contemplation, just as she is with us now in spirit.

Walk with her in the flower garden. Sit at her table with a cup of coffee or herb tea. Butter the bread. And listen. She may also have a message for you. Experience the sound, scent, the taste of this moment. See the light in her eyes. Tell her what you didn't get a chance to. Or just thank her for the gifts she has offered.

I know she would say (I can hear it now): "God grew the flowers, not me." Or "I just baked the bread. I didn't make the wheat."

Okay, then. Thank you, God, for Marie.

I'd like to close now by reading from her book of poetry, Out of the Blue.

Where Poets Grow

I like to spade and rake and hoe
And plant some seeds and watch them grow.
I know, of course, that it is God,
Who brings from seed to full grown pod.
One corn kernel to full-grown ear
Gives food and seed for coming year.
He forms the tubers underneath
Potatoe vines and carrots, beets.
He molds the melons on the vine
And gives us grapes for food and wine.
To trees He gives their strength and height
Loads them with fruit for our delight.
Countless flowers he brings to bloom
Enhances them with sweet perfume.
Into the garden I love to go.
I think that's where poets grow.

Mom, enjoy your new garden. We also cherish the fruits and flowers that inspire the writing of our lives. We cherish our memories with you.

Friday, August 04, 2006

sweet briar day

purple smile
matching scratched knees
hand clutching black berry basket
maybe tasting mom's pie

Sunday, July 30, 2006

skinny dip

sneak by the red barn
strewn blue jeans, shoes and shorts
irrigation pond

(Previously posted in Summer Haiku.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Before the Storm

This morning I exercised on the deck. Afterward I relaxed for a minute on my back. Looking skyward I pondered the large round cloud approaching. What would this day bring?
Steady and without hesitation
it advanced in full armor
dark and bold.
Disguised as a rain cloud
it rolled in on my morning
still dawning too slow
and not slow enough.
From north by northwest it came.

Could have been a rain cloud.
But I know and I've been told,
It is coming.

The storm hides the fears
of the masses
some will never see
or admit.
Even when the ships
have dropped their anchors,
their bombs of hard facts
and leaflets of deceit,
warning of a new wave
maybe coming.
Could take many
on the battlefield
of recognition.

Or is it just a rain cloud
before the storm?

At least I don't live in Lebanon.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Feet in the River

This is a different river--yet as sweet.
Feet in the River

Arrive at the River that runs from the Mountain
and feel the Current on my feet.
Come every season without questions
of the height of the peak
or complaints of summer's drought.
Step in without pomp or possession
only what was in the First Boat
on the Voyage of Truth.

And yet the labor has taken its toll.
The baskets are gathered
though the hold is deplete.
But there is a new understanding of Love
and River refreshes my feet.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Musselshell River

We vacationed in Montana last week: quiet, the stars, sunrise through the pines, Big Sky, and the River. Hwy 12 parallels the Musselshell for quite a distance -- Martinsdale, Twodot, Harlotown, Ryegate, Lavina, Roundup and east -- our route back to Minnesota. Chief Joseph (Nez Perce) crossed the Musselshell near Ryegate in his flight to Canada. We no longer live in Montana either, but still own our 20 acres in the Bull Mountains.

Why do some think their way is the only way? The river runs in peace, the hawk soars and rests vigilant, and Soul's quest is always freedom.

Musselshell River

Russian olive rimmed river and sage blue-gray
Pine-ridged cut banks through rolling hills
Cottonwood green and dead snags
White with morning sun
A red hawk hunts on the Musselshell.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

On Vacation

Travelin' to Montana & Oregon
by Toyota Prius
at 50 mpg

back soon

be happy!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Dance of Hands

I have a friend whose cheer is a treasure. There is a lot I could say about her, but instead, these words flowed so easy into poem:
Life is a dance of hands
and all is well.
I've got turquoise
and rose hip red.
Always sunshine
with Sheila.
n : the fruit of a rose plant [syn:
hip, rose hip]
WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

Saturday, June 17, 2006

today's gift

. everyday is a gift . but this one is sung from the trees . by full-feathered chorus line . and a squirrel . all song and nuts for the storm in the night . could have woke the dead . but i slept . sound in its lightning . nothing . but love and blessings . this earth . and its gift delivered . in light and sound .

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Storm of Sound

Mornings are my time to review the dream-processing of the day before, and set the table of the next 24 hours. First I tune into the ambient sounds--kind of a check on the gift of life in this physical world--as a ramp to a higher bounty of the divine. Here is an example of a start earlier this week.
Storm of sound--my day:
fan in the attic.
jet in heavy, gray sky
a population of robins
anticipating more rain
and a sparrow as jubilant
thunder from the west
eave drops fall to deck
street traffic wet and running
through my morning map of love
and a sound divine
still climbing
this is my day.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rain This Morning

I knew it would be a special day--when I heard its whisper upon returning from another world.

Rain This Morning

Rain this morning—wake to its hush.
Wash me with the love of silence.
Its sound still soaks in dream state
an easy return there
singing God’s name, retracing
the path from darkness.

Rain this morning, a melody,
blessing the final steps of recall
the saga unfolding
as trees draw the water
a new stream feeds the needs
of every acorn planter.

Somewhere a prairie blanket waves
in golden adoration
for its day too will come
on the breast of a meadowlark
and its sunlit song.

But first this note of gentle falling
gives up its other hand as robins indulge
the rain this morning
a token of Love
by this summer soaking.

Go slow at first, release
the knot of yesterday’s brief,
the tears of longing,
and a kitten for Dawn.
Each a splash in the birdbath of song.
The rain this morning
remodels the day.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Morning Meditation

Lawn chair and bare feet
before the heat of sun's angle
sets the mind to self-interest.
A songbird's prediction.

two doves

warning from the pine
an afternoon thunder storm
mourning doves murmur

I previoully posted this May 6, 2006 on SUMMER HAIKU.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Rain That Day

(Inspired by a post by Maddy in Persisting Stars.)
Rain that day started half way to the park
warm before and always in your heart
we could have quickened step
rather we got wet
hand-in-hand and squishy, squeaky feet
could care less – the rain and now to please
your smile radiated from a curl streaked face
we stopped and still our hearts kept up the race
the kiss was wet, not only from the rain
summer in the year of our mid-teens
my first love, the rain was cold
chilled to bone
but warmed by kiss
the walk, the rain
two hearts
and one wet kiss.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


barefooted and pink
toddlers knock at the back door
dandelion fisted
(First published in Summer Haiku on May 13th.)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

red glow

Cool morning. Afternoon sun. The dock.
vista on the lake
robin charms my view
from an unseen tree
also loving sun
inside soft eyelids
red glow

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mothers Day 2006

My brother sent this to me after her visit.
Mom by his azalea's. She loves flowers.

I wrote this one two years ago. Still, I can't love her like I feel I should--like she loves me. (I guess such love is for my daughters now.) When I call her today, and say, Happy Mother's Day!, she may say, It is? Even being with my brother celebrating the occasion, she won't remember why. Seems sad now. But it really isn't. Nothing negates a love lived fully. It's like money in the bank--still drawing interest. And she always remembers who I am.

At Your Breast

O Mother, at your breast
I first remember with my mouth and ear
Big, brown nipples, soft and heart beat on my cheek.
What nourishment you gave me!
And ever after
Every woman is a measure of your love.

O Mother, on your knee
I've seen the world through new eyes
By the song of your life
And the call of your smile's voice
See the bird. Touch the tree.
Read to me
And learned a measure of your love.

O Mother, at your side
Hand-in-hand. My first guide
Through baby steps and walking miles.
Early life a journey at your side
in memory of left turns right.
And then forgot
the first true measure of your love.

O Mothers Day has come and gone
some fifty times since I was born.
I've given you but small return on
The gift you've given me.
If I were judged as royalty
my worth could only be minute
by the measure of your love.

Here's today's haiku for Mom:

laundry day

against summer skies
silver maple quickens in breeze
she dances with shirts

My sister said it another way in Dance Lesson:

See also my other tributes to Mom in River-Tree Whispers.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

returns to her room
today's hope from rain last night
opens the letter

Monday, May 08, 2006

Second Cousins

Daughter and cousin at family wedding.
Hadn't talked since grade school days.

second cousins meet
sharing lives, loves, revealing
belly button rings

Sunday, April 30, 2006

making choices

It's one of those days...
rain taps on sundeck
this lonely beat
later maybe sun-dried
a mourning dove
coos its vote
and two crows
with raucous plans
I choose bed
and book

Saturday, April 29, 2006

This Morning's Two

While the cat sleeps his dream...
True Cause

Reaching through the play
of clatter and gleaming
we stretch to touch
the hand of slight
a full note sings
in the catnap
on my lap.

Then thinking how hardwood shows more than just its shine:
Time to Clean Under the Bed

Making space by the corner bookshelf
hopping atop shoes long in the closet
competing for spring mating rights
dust bunnies convene

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

socks on oak

hard work hardwood
refinished to shine
now slick-footed kids
run and slide so easy
across my floor
me too with glee
and socks on

Sunday, April 23, 2006

April Love

Two weeks ago I raked the winter cover of leaves off the strawberries. Yesterday I got out to the garden again to see blueberry buds and pear blossoms. I did a little pruning and clean-up. Lots more to come.

Love these days and April
with Spring promises fulfilled.
Ides of March a far cry from now.
Green pulls its reach to blue
and opens in love of new color.
What could hold more beauty than April's hand?
Each day on earth is another opportunity to bloom.
I wait, but not in vain.
Seed in rich soil yields a hundred fold.
April is rich in Love.

There are many more good days ahead.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Midday Rain

Rain midday,
Dark and rich.
Loud rain—replenish.

Party-crashing rain.

So fresh—this rain.

Cats and dogs fight
With garden hoses.
Garden growing rain.

Dark forest
Chill of a rain.

Mountain mist,
meadow mint,
Midday rain.

--Ardi Keim 9/18/03

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lonely in Paris

Not sure why this came to me, but somehow I remember...
There is no rain as cold
as lonely in Paris
City of Lights gone out
without you on the bridge
I see the muddy waters meet
recalling a dream
with tears in the rain
Notre Dame you face me.
rev. 1/22/07

Thursday, March 30, 2006

This Rain

Love is shown in many ways.

This first spring rain
calling ahead its blessing
fresh, and placing no blame on winter
all melted now and down
soaking the last frost
from tulip bulbs
and narcissus.
This rain, gentle and welcome
as the hand of my lover.

Some human, some divine.

Monday, March 27, 2006

On Patches

I saw it the other morning on the way to work. And I remembered. . .

Love the warm after winter
with its patches of snow.
When I was nine I rode this Palomino
bare-legged on bare back
and hugged her neck
then fingers mingled and gripping mane.
I almost remember more.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Home late. Hungry. Tired. Seen by the laundry shoot door. The mind trips with it from here. A lot further than the actual experience.

Or I could have said: It was a hot and steamy night. . .


dinner first the focus
fast broken by the sight
the scant and tangled twist
of panties abandoned at the door

What's for desert?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Garden Spade

Is this the last of it? Ten inches on Monday. I ran off the road and packed it against a white bank. Six on Wednesday with a shovel in the trunk. Exciting, but I have another hope.
Late storm last week
Now in trees and ready eaves
Robins extrude their call for Spring
Sings like the cheer of maybe a month away
But in my heart today, and soon the garden spade.

Oh, Mom

What is art but a medium for change—in perception, in thought, in direction of life patterns? New footholds in all levels of consciousness may be the experience for both the artist and viewer or audience. Visual, performing, or literary arts—even new avenues in engineering or reaching beyond previous limits of the body’s performance—all have the capacity to expand the heart of the human race. Water finds its own level. So does each Soul.

"I used to wish I had the time to write," she says. "Now I have the time, but where’s the inspiration?"

I tell her, Just write of anything—in sight, in mind, or what you hear right now in the moment.

"But how?"

Oh, Mom. When I didn’t understand your words, your voice spoke to me of love. Your hand, your kiss, your hug, your breast. Each was a word, a phrase, a volume of much needed succor. I learned at your knee.

Now you tell me, there is no inspiration.

Remember me. Recall each of us. As we remember you. In joys, in sorrows, in chores. The holidays, the garden, the car on the way to church. All are frames for the picture in words. Paint us like we were. You know us well. You brought us from womb, across your knee, to where we are today. You gave us crayons then. Where is your pen?

Remember the porch in summer, where the wringer washer churned. And butter from the cream that rose off the milk of our one cow that only dad could handle. I fed it hay thrown from the loft of the barn. And you held its calf, after the fact of the vet with his rubber gloves. Cost us some bucks, 'cause we had no bull.

There are thousands of rocks in the driveway between the barn and the house. And a thousand stories between then and now in you. Write what you recall, and make up what you don’t. It’s all in the picture of words. You can bring me up again.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Art Thought

Sees for the first time
Her daughter's charcoal sketches
Reclining male nude


Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I had never grieved a death before. Even that of my brother, my father, and Grandmother. There had been loss of friends and loved ones in my life, but I always knew they went to a better place. Relatives, acquaintances and fellow soldiers -- no matter -- when they left my life, I was not burdened by the heartwrench others felt. I guess I didn't understand grief really. I knew only intellectually why others were so saddened, but didn't relate on a heart level. Because of this it wasn't easy for me to console them in the midst of such trials. Did I have no compassion?

Then a tragedy touched me. It was the loss of a pet. The night before a trip, I took Kadi to be cared for by another. In the morning I got the call before leaving. Kadi was caught in a closing door. A shock wave of emotion overwhelmed me. I was alone. Very. I wept--like never before. And I understood.

In memory of a hamster that taught me compassion…

I cry your name without reason
Repeated like bolts in a blinding storm
And thunder
Call me from where you are
In time
Soft and true
New language learning
The memory of your touch
Kiss of my hand
Light kept in a boundless way
Break down this door
Love the touch
Sing in the light and sound
Come in and call me by name
Bring in the kitten
Sing for the birdsong within you
Fly with the eagles
Dance with the English poets
Calls me from heaven's door
And livens this heart
By washing


When this soul's body was brought to me, we buried it in a paper box in the yard and marked it with a stone. A sunflower grew there that summer.

There is a lot of life in death understood.

I was reminded of this incident and its lesson when I heard a talk by Linda and Allen Anderson of The Angel Animals Network last Sunday at our church. They and other speakers gave talks on the theme of the book, Animals Are Soul Too by Harold Klemp. If you want to read stories of how other animals are connected to us and their Creator, check out the links.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

coat of light

just inspired to write in comment to post by wordsofjoi

a coat of light
never lets in the darkness
even illuminates
the outer world
put it on already
or the closet my burst
for radiance held

I suppose there is a lot of ways to say it, but when you give love, you get love in return.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

grab me

There is a lot of good poetry and other writing that I just don't read. Time. Attention. There are limits. Sometimes I can stretch mine. Not always.

verse begging grab me
never longer than its breadth
curled leaf in a brook

Haiku is great for me. I write it. I read it. Let me see yours.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Winter's Wind

Loss is not my nature,
For I am of an endless bounty
Lives in my heart. Is love.
And urgent for renewal.
The wind that couldn't wait for Spring
Carries light--winter's wind
Is roaring
In stars tonight it sings.
Couldn't even wait till morning.
It is the season of my breath,
My song, my brother.
Urgent for renewal.
The tearing wind
And gentle
Breeze of every season's love.
And lover of its bounty.
Winter's wind.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

half way there

In that place between awake and asleep so much can happen.

. sometime in the middle of chapter pages . or the o of this preposition . a good movie . even more so . if it's not so . i catch myself falling . sleep or keep trying to catch me . pulling back from the curtain . and slipping in again . a tricky tug-o-war between the two worlds . where the balance if held . is a play of itself . new characters . scenes and settings unfolding . paper boxes . conversation most mundane . by others in their continuity . or me of my state . in words i didn't even know i knew . about them . and their secrets . they are the players of an ancient caste . the hands in a shell game . discovered again anew . each time . they drive taxis . and write text . cut flowers and walk the road to watertown . or the water to summerland . could be masters . in conversation . half way to lights out . with me .

But then, which is better? Or, how long can you stay half way between?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

White Silo

5th of 5

white silo

shadows blue and sky of light
spruce and naked maples
frame by winter grace
red, the barn
white silo.

Friday, February 17, 2006

poplar tree

Number four.

standing naked
outside the sauna
arms raised in worship
to touch the winter sky
lone poplar tree

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

stone bench

The third of the walk at The Arb:

stone bench

sun’s arc
tracked by no one.
maybe later
from the bench
May vistas

Monday, February 13, 2006

tree gift

Another shot at The Arb.

Naked Trees 2-06

tree gift

stand together
on the ridge
rich with life sweet
and flowing.
what is your gift?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

ladies walking

Last weekend we walked the 3 mile loop at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. This picture of my wife and a friend inspired the following.

ladies walking

what wind this way
in gloves, hat and coated
show me the path of country trade
and paid for
ladies walking in an audience of pines
sunshine on their backs
not lacking conversation
windy way this road
ladies walking

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Morning on the river dock
sweet song of river calls
the many names of God
from sky to sky
reflected in each passing hour.

I listen for the oarlock’s twist
each grip and draw
blades lift and drip
rinse trickled tip
and dip again.

Slow eddies drift
reflecting thoughts
now guided by
the oarsman of the boat
just around the bend.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

remember mom

This is a tribute to the first poet in my life. If she could only remember.
wet handed
dish towel and cookstove
stolen moment of verse
To sense more of her character when I was a boy, read Making Noodles. Life is good--in memory, and now. Heart connections make it.

Have you strengthened yours today?

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ready--the Gift

I first remembered it was coming when I read a poem of a compost heap on the blog, Morden Haiku. Then on a recent warmer-than-winter day I looked out to the naked trees, and knew they could feel it too.
It starts deep within
the icecaps of January
can't hold it back
sun shines and moon pulls at sea
sap in the tree remembers
Spring--any week now
any month or day
we wait for the hour of emergence
impatient with rest.
Ready--the gift.

If you are a gardener in the north you may know what I mean. Do you feel it?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Morning Two

Still coming back from a good night's ride...
this quality of trod
the higher trails with vistas
rivers running through my dreams
and walking each new step
on the weathered deck
of an ark long lodged
atop this rock

Then a sound took me back, as this one often does.
four engines droning
in my heart, my gut, my loins
flying low and heavy laden
starburst at 10 o'clock
my cap had wings

Flying, by aircraft or by my nightly journeys, always thrills me. Both take me to the place and time I've lived before. Love the flight. Have you been there?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tanka - 3

The form: 5 lines, 5 syllables, 7, 5, 7, 7. First attempts.

harvest light

eastward bowing heads
white, the carpet spread on wind
each new stroke pristine
in the passing hand of God
grain the harvest, light the sound

new seed

barren, yet in life
one seed lodged in rocky cleft
pine tree claims its space
two souls framed in destiny
will touch when pine cones release


cross logs charcoal black
orange feet dance the blue to gold
these tongues radiant
in their light, the heat, the sound
of a new conversation

With the extra lines it seems to give more freedom than haiku. Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Morning Haiku

Each night's voyage, and new inspiration...

morning still soaring
in the company of masters
flight by pillow

flute, strings, trumpets sing
hear an angel's chorus still
its message wakes me

farewell mates in voyage
morning train on the far track
drum rolls and ready

Saturday, January 21, 2006

In the Hands of God

Comes a night of pain in every lifetime
Awaken from the sleep this dream has wrought
Stretch your reach and shake the hand of God
Its rhythm gives the words of each new song
We are the golden instruments of being
Reason sleeps and wakes in measured beat
Sing its verse and angels join the chorus
Comes a day of joy in its repeat
Forever in the hands of God.

                                -a 11/03

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Turning Heart

Mistakes of heart may find comfort in verse worded. We try.
Do I posture for forgiveness?
Or put up my defenses?
Fear the onslaught
Does not stop
With the words.
My heart is turning
Because I've hurt you.
Would that I could undo
A thoughtless word spoke in haste
I could repeat in paraphrase
But it's too late.
I hurt too
For I love you.

The Next Wave

Though some rest on the Island now, others get ready. It's all in good turn.

Heal in the sun, protected
Learning and service turn next
Rest not, the wind.
I go to the ocean of white
Sandy beaches and blue
Bathe in the salt for soul
And tropical waterfall.
O wind and the next wave
And soon -- the call.
We heal and learn and serve
The sun, the water, and wind.

The Snow Last Night

And here's the morning report:

The snow last night
Even if only an inch
The roar this morning
The wind.
Back--the reality of winter
Sets in.
But all is well by fire
And by this window I travel
My book, big slippers
And wind.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Okay the Storm

It started again today, after two weeks. There's more inspiration in change. Too long the winter break of January. I'd rather, the snow. Spring and summer come in their own time. But, now . . .

Okay the Storm

High change of horizon
For storm on the north wind
Trees painting slate the sky
Quick strokes and ready.

Enough standing still
And waiting for white tops
Earth feet are showing
Ready with new sheets and snowing.

Still now, in commencement
Storm sifting through
Collect at the hedge bend
Waking the night.

We too with pantry
Or final trip providing
Open winter's volumes
And okay the storm.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Night Train

Night Train

A poet of occasion,
I sit and write and wish
To step into the unknown
And claim this mess I've made
The night before: The sweats and chills,
I ride the rails, or toss and take to the edge of ready.
Then lying still—I catch my breath.
Yes, what a mess.
Went on all night—
A dream so significant it begged to be written.
But it left on the morning train,
So it's hit 'n' miss, and then
I recognize a pattern:
The shattered thoughts of last night's puzzle
Stealing dream's direction.
Reflection in a camera lens, I see my eyes.
Thought it was southbound, but then I found
A cinematic can of reel emoting
Till I can't control the pressure cooker.
Book me on the night train.
Taxi down the track of Watertown.
What measures many forces take to reclaim the darkness
Where stark reality is more illusion.
The battlefield is rich with fluids
of ally and enemy alike.
I try to write,
But better left to wind what does not drift in script.
I'll catch another car some other night
If the gore of blood and guts
Does not keep me up.

Ardi Keim (written 1/12/06)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

One Tree Complete

One tree, one bird at park’s edge.
The message reverberates
Replete in meaning
just out of thought.
Each leaf—a map of divine convergence.
Each song—a call to the silence of One.

Be conscious on all walks
through forest and city
travel the high path back home.

                       -a 1/04

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Haiku Evolution

As I continue in my exploration/creation I stick to the formula of haiku (three lines: first - 5 syllables, second - 7, third - 5). Here are a couple more:
Morning with window
Vision of Soul's tomorrow
Sweet, the dream's report.

Or is it better reversing the first and third lines? I think so. Here:

Sweet, the dream's report
Vision of Soul's tomorrow
Morning with window.

Or switching the second line, end-for-end:

Sweet, the dream's report
Tomorrow of Soul's vision
Window this morning.

Too much fun playing. That was three versions of one. I like the last two better. Which one do you think better burns the moment's beauty into the eternity of Soul? That very question demands another:
Each experience
Sees the eternity of Soul
Touching it with now.

But, sometimes sticking with the formula (5, 7, 5) I feel a bit stayed--lacking the freedom that free verse allows at the moment of inspiration. So I write:
Haiku Inspired

Take the formula to freedom
And release the scent of Japanese tea service
On a trolley brake stop.
Hold on to your seats.
Wing-nut the rails.
Pull up hard and downhill fast
In San Francisco.

Am I free? Was I ever a prisoner? I guess we all are in some ways.
If by Prayer

Every prisoner knows the taste of freedom.
It becomes more sweet each day.
Hold what you know is true
For the blessing at the bend.
What is said in riddle
Sustains wonder
Like the Parable of Loaves and Fishes.

There is always new ground to cover. And right now in this part of Minnesota it is with six inches of snow. But the sun shines for the first time in most of a week. Have a good journey. Mush!, huskies.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Winter Haiku


Pause one December
Between the last two snow storms
Three red birds sunning.


Sun touches snow flake
Leaves skate by wind on sidewalk
Open the shutters.


Still. Soft and soaring
To the play of yesterday
Dreams on white pillow.


Yesterday’s sharp axe
This radiant glow crackling
And your love makes home.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More Haiku -- if you don't mind

(FYI: hai-ku. Three lines -- five syllables, seven, and five.)

I guess I started writing poetry in earnest when I bought my first typewriter in 1968. I still have it, but haven't used it in years. At that time I wrote a little ditty on how typewriters inspire. Who knows where that first poem is? Anyway, here is the current haiku version of it:


Poet's voice now freed
Plat, plat, plat -- like big rain drops
Typewriter inspired.

In my web research yesterday I came upon some cat haiku. Here are my offerings:


Crawl onto my lap
Purring metronome, the tail
Contemplation cat.

Then, I just couldn't help myself:

Cat Haiku

Qualities of fluff
Antics at the end of tail
Breathe, Cat, in haiku.

Too often I write poetry about poetry. Is that cheating? Here's another:

Haiku Haiku

Meter and rhyming
Trying to make it be true
This verse in haiku.

Okay, that's enough for now. I'm sure there will be more.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Oregon New Year

My blogging poet vacation post below reminded me of haiku, but then I had not the time to adjust. How's this? ...
Enjoying the rain

All wet, yet breathing in Portland

Happy New Years Eve!

The Great Hall

I walked in Paris one day. Entered a moment of light. Behold…

In the great hall with benches
light gathers with color.
Footsteps and voices,
excitement and muse…
I sit and wait
in the great hall.

Hours of day—
dawn’s turning through eve,
keys to the gate,
they leave the great hall.
The muse and I still wait
with your smile,
Mona Lisa.

                       --ak 6/10/01