The boundary between the empty field
and the old pine forest

transports me from the confines of my mind
into the ancient memories of childhood.

Walking between the giants,
they hold up the sky

as I listen to each one
and feel the warmth rising from the earth.

They were here before me
and they will stand above me when

the final day of the this life arrives
and I prepare for the next.

What does she see across
the snow covered field,

in the distance or nearby?
Is the coyote following us today?

Silence broken by a single raven
leaving one tree top and heading east to another.

Silence until we hear crunching snow
and snapping twigs.

What is that in the dense woods?
We become still and listen,

looking for shadows and movement
aware of the universe surrounding us.

In the middle of a field

empty from horizon to horizon

I wandered beneath empty skies

until the fog appeared and I

changed direction toward

the emerging mass of white

devouring the sky.

 

I wandered faithfully

but with diminishing hope

that at the end of this journey

I would find salvation.

When the end arrives
I will be standing in the empty fields
as the moon overtakes the sun
and the shadows overtake the forest
waiting for you.

From the collection “Beyond the Border Kingdom“, the 13th and final poem.

(1)

threads hang openly
defining a life – what happens
when they are pulled
or cut?

does the puppet fall?
who will mend the broken legs?

one by one the headlights pass
through silence and growing fog
hidden unknown faces travel into
hidden unknown places.

the shadows that follow,
what fills the void and vacuum
the consumed space where light has left,
has forgotten the open fields?

give me truth
give me strength
to expose and kill
the false deity within.

(2)

one last look back
before the stampede begins
my feet in rubber boots
sink into virgin snow.

the tree line leads
thoughts grow beyond the river
past meadows and tundra
to the peak forever in a storm.

the trail ahead is obscured
whoever passed first
their footsteps have been lost
to the landscape…
winter sky
frozen movements
miles of silence
the setting sun and the cold orange and blue.

(3)

unknown moments never experienced
– things I will never know
the harvest moon covers
open fields of wheat and barley,
the open sea, wild horses –
simple beauty.

people around me circle closer
the space I have built
is shrinking, collapsing
I must leave, it is my time to leave.
black outline suspended in flight
one last moment here before my time passes.

the sea slows. light bends across
our eyes. rocks glisten.

(4)

events beyond control
the long black paved road
simmers in the distance
apparitions rise and fall.

the barriers erected soften
the layers peel away
exposing the true self within.

who are you when all else is gone?
what is left when each layer falls?

broken wings
above the blackening sea
merged into the shoreline
a pale hand moves methodically
over the flame releasing
jasmine into the room.
rain blankets the landscape.

over time the room and rain become one
as the being within falls into a temporal sleep.

early morning…
and the suns fingers extend to me.

caribou-20090101-135

From the collection “Beyond the Border Kingdom“.

an empty road
cuts various swaths
through empty, arid fields
until it ends.

an object prostrated
exactly where the road
ends, the fields border,
is naked, the sun glistening.

this impasse
familiar, repeated.

beyond the body
unknown landscape or wasteland.

disconnected, detached
we watch events unfold.

again.

unaware of the role we play.
unaware of the script.

a vulture descends from nowhere
wrapped in nothing upon the
immobile figure.

and with silent
voices we gaze
and do nothing
and do move.

abandoned fields grow –
things forgotten
things not yet experienced
things the vulture discards

and the ravaged
body
– inside out –
vows
to cultivate and
return to empty fields.

caribou-20090101-135

From the collection “Beyond the Border Kingdom“.

(1)

In dreams
the white wolf
stands beside
the black wolf

Emerging from
unnamed star fields
walking across
a bridge of light
against gravity
against laws of physics.

I felt no fear.
I felt no fear.

Distant galaxies
produce and consume
light.

Skewed and shifted
before arriving here
and matter we cannot see
fills the space.

This universe
spirals further
from the beginning
stretching into
unknown space
at speeds we
cannot fathom
beyond the traditional
rules we theorized
from the variables
we created.

The universe spirals further
from the beginning
around a black hole –

gathering light
gathering matter.

At the event horizon
pink cubes gather strength.

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