Monthly Archives: November 2011

Free Ride

Free Ride

Feel your stomach drop

as you zoom

over and under

through and around

finally breaking away from the tracks

spinning through space

beyond time

beyond reason

beyond knowing anything worth knowing.


Will you keep your seatbelt fastened

or will you risk being hurled

somewhere far beyond

anywhere you’re supposed to be?

After Life

After Life
What if when we die
our hearts unroll
like scrolls
with detailed lists of everyone
and everything
we ever loved?


What if our minds
start spinning like records
blaring the symphonies
of our deepest thoughts
and ideas?


What if our bodies
stretch into miles of film
projecting onto a blank screen
each ecstatic
and painful moment
the flesh felt?


What if our souls
bloom into bouquets
releasing each fragrant encounter
with wonder
and truth?

Thank You, Poetry

Thank You, Poetry
The fourth graders
in their 10-year-old exuberance
are doing a unit on poetry.
Their poems,
markered on bright construction paper,
line the hall outside their classroom.


Eager words and passionate phrases
and beckon,
with those “strong” verbs
the teacher insists that they use.


Some, polished and proper,
some, witty and warm,
some, raw and real,
the author’s young heart pulsing through the paper.


Ice cream, puppies, horses, soccer…
subjects they know inside and out.
One boy, a shy dreamer,
questions in his slanted block letters
“When do seeds know to become trees?”
    W  O  W.


Thank you, poetry,
for your ocean of expression,
your glowing presence inside us all.
Bless these fourth grade souls
with your magic.
Keep your flame burning inside them
long after they finish this unit.



Melting into a puddle of peace,

with sunlight to hurry the process,

thoughts tiptoe toward stillness.


Surrendering to this moment,

without regard to before or after,

awareness floods the afternoon.


Expanding into the essence of everything,

with stars for eyes and shells for ears,

spirit embraces its source.


like a sunflower in a manicured park,
sprouting satellite blooms each time they try to chop it down.
Underneath fancy soils and fertilizers lies the seed, the roots,
screaming, “Grow! Become your sunflower destiny”
even if the plant is trimmed or transplanted.
My seed, my wild kernel, screams to write, to sing, to laugh
until I start blooming again,
start growing with a stubborn rebellion those flowers
that nobody wants to ruin the perfect landscapes
they’ve envisioned for my life.
And it feels so good to grow, to stretch,
to reach toward the sun,
to dance with the wild wind,
and to store that ecstasy deep within
that simple seed, those thirsty roots,
retaining my essence even when
they storm the field with machetes.

Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

I open to the day, a cup waiting to fill and be filled.

I pray for kindness and light, with keen eyes to recognize them.

I open to teaching, in any form, and I promise to absorb each lesson.

I pray for awareness and awakening, with able hands to fulfill their commands.

I open to life and I pray for the courage to live it.

Is This Why It’s So Hard to Take a Day Off?

Is This Why It’s So Hard to Take a Day Off?
“…our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves…”  T.S. Eliot


Sometimes I wash my dog’s collar
and leave it in the sun to dry.
He mopes and slumps,
worries, whimpers,
unsettled by this freedom.
Only after I click it back around his neck
will he wag and prance,
identity returned,
comfort restored.


I wear work as my collar,
restrictive, confining,
yet comfortable, predictable,
a container protecting me
from days surrendered to creative abandon,
from reckless pursuit of passion,
from the instinct to run into the wilderness
and never look back.

And Would You Come Back?

And Would You Come Back?

If you step out of your thoughts for a moment

and look closely as the darkness yawns

and stretches into morning,

its pink whisper growing into an orange roar,

you will see another world.

Clouds become sturdy canyon walls

and rugged mountains,

surrounding sky-colored rivers and lakes.


Envy the birds who cross back and forth

between landscapes

with each flap of their wings,

and wonder


you would be in that other world,

how it would feel

to swim in the sky and climb around clouds,


would make you want to come back.

to this world you know now.