Snow begins to cover the empty field
as the trees hold up the graying sky.

I want to bury my head into
the snow and mud,

I want to find a way into
the earth,

while I do not understand where
this world is going and the heavy thoughts,

and when I lift my head
I am living in a cartoon

where the scenesare surreal
and at the end we can erase

our actions and past
and start over.

When this life’s pace and chaos
become too much I know where I can turn.

I return to my roots,
I return to the empty fields.

Here is a clean slate waiting
for the mind to create.

They offer possibilities,
an endless space to chase and capture dreams.

This is where the mind can exist
without limitations or boundaries.

This is home.

The black morning hides tall pine trees
rising against the star filled sky.

The silence broken only by the canines response
to the pack of coyotes and their screams.

A heavy mist hugs the wet ground
and stones glistened with the slightest light.

Through the drifting smoke
the scattered sun brings to life the forest

illuminated in halos captured in photos
that will help remember the peace and quiet.


When evening light
scatters across the horizon

hidden behind the treeline
moving to the wind and

free of clouds, the orange
disk fills my eyes with

a field neither land nor sea
but made of light and our

feet walk gently upon this,
though I do not see you

my hand holds something
and from that I know you are here.


Back, years before this final moment,
I swam alone in an ocean of black water

with waves constantly throwing my
body between waves.

I caught glimpses of you in the
distance but I did not know how

far and I did not think I was ready
so I let you go, freed of the bonds,

and in my thinking gave you a
better life beyond here.


I awoke the next day caught again
between relief and panic.


Each year I think about you
and what might have been

what could have been
what my life would look like.


Each year pain and acceptance
filled my vision until I decided to let you go.

Guilt hung around for a while longer
until it too decided to let go.


18-years have passed and I see your
face in my dreams, in the setting sun

and the rising moon, in the still water
of the river flowing out to the sea.

Photo from

The black tunnel begins and ends with light.
In between is unknown, and unwritten…

Local rumors and heresy from people who
may or may not have passed through
speak of witchcraft, ghosts, spirits,
deities, demons, and nothing but an
empty black tunnel burrowed through Cathedral Mountain.

Since the time I can remember,
the age of five, I heard the whispers
of adults over wine and other alcohol
beyond the closed door, where we
were supposed to be asleep of these
rumors and certain townsfolk…

They say Bobby, the only mechanic
in town, who at 43, went in one night
with flashlights, lanterns, guns
and a cigarette, determined to put
the gossip and rumors to rest and
emerged on the other side 3 days later,
naked, shivering, and mumbling.

He has not been the same since,

Then there was Cindy, 17 years old,
a trouble maker of sorts, born to
alcoholic parents, abusive to her
and themselves, who one night during
an especially heated argument, packed
a few things and ran away, into the

She was missing for 10 days before
she ambled home looking 15-years older
wiser, and decided she was moving to India.

I have not gone through the tunnel.
I stood at the entrance once, after the
3-hike it takes to get there, and
that is when you know where it is,
and listened.

Some time passed before I realized there was
no sound, not even birds, or squirrels chattering.
Calm trees as no wind was blowing.
Still like a painting or nature.
And then I saw it.

I sit in the cafe and local VFW, listening
to folks talk and whisper, and I take notes,
looking for any indication that others
have seen what I saw.

It was then I realized what it
the black tunnel is –
the one thing, fear, that we must face.