I look down from the roof
over Madison Ave and watch
people enter and emerge from yellow streetlights,
bobbing heads and umbrellas,
taxis speed near and far, the rain
softens the constant chatter and the voice
questioning and answering everything at once.

Through 10 to 20 story buildings I see the
reservoir a few blocks away and the cold dark
reflection of more city lights, the tall tree
shadows scatter with each rain drop
and I wonder the state of mind
of the nature within the city park, seemingly
caught in a vortex shielding the flora and fauna
from the towering skyscrapers and buildings,
the chaos that arises in the evening and after dark.

Where do the ravens hide?

This is not my home, these are not my roots.
Smells, sights and sounds do not illicit any memory or longing for something
else beyond here. I breath deep and slow, let the
scent simmer – nothing.

Even the touch of green leaves in my hand, with closed eyes,
does not momentarily bring me home.

What roots should I plant here? What lies within
to allow the cityscape a lighted path inside?

But I feel a bit at peace and home
as the nooks and crannies beneath the towering apartments
hidden mere blocks away from the BMWs and Bentleys
welcomes with open arms and cold beer.

The red painted steel rail is cold and wet
as I find balance looking over the ledge at the
street below.

Above me the moon struggles to overcome thick, heavy clouds,
a glimmer of light illuminates the water tower and I begin
to feel the attraction to this city always awake
always on the edge.

The corner of 92nd and Madison captured
fragments, scattered pieces, slowly
chipping away at thoughts and emotions
and without taking notice
peace sweeps over me and I look
down each street through the rain
falling harder and with more purpose
and I realize that I do not miss home,
no I do not miss where I flew from – what
I miss is blending and truly living
within something that does not judge.

Lights flicker from wind tossing
newspaper and discarded coffee cups
along Madison Ave.

Rooftop trees sway and their green leaves
dance in waves of reflected color.

I hear music. I see the city slowing down.
A chance to breath, a respite
from the hectic hours that pass and the energy
drained away into other things, other objects.

At the end of each day my body and mind
collapse in a lifeless lump
upon the rented queen bed
and thoughts of sleep pervade.

No dreams, the slate is cleared of the
previous days experiences and I awake
with a vigor and determination to live
the day as if tomorrow will not arrive.


Photos Copyright Twisted Root Photography

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.


(1)

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.

(2)

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.

(3)

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

(4)

Each year I think about you
and what might have been

what could have been
what my life would look like.

(5)

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.

(6)

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 http://www.panoramio.com/photo/38968052

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
tunnel.

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.