Poem – Watching

The sleepy sun is just raising
one eye when we walk onto
the patio, one dog on each
arm, into the cold morning
with a thin layer of frost on
the ground and the apple tree.

Across the pond an oak tree
has emerged from its slumber
with a growing veil concealing
the noisy ravens watching every move.

Poem – Random Thoughts #2

Oak holds up the changing sky.

What is beyond insanity?
At what point do we lose
the essence of self, cascading
into another state of being,
plunged into the darkness
that is nothing and

And with each turn
the city of industry
hides, changes, destroys
what I previously knew
and where I came from.

Trail Building and Fall

Fall is the perfect time of year for building trails through the woods.  Most tree leaves have fallen, the intense underbrush of summer, including small trees, weeds, and tall grasses, have wilted.  The trail emerges and you can more easily find where you left off the previous fall.  Passing by birch, pine, oak, and maple this is nature in all its forms.  From the deer runs zig-zagging everywhere, to the seasonal creek that is now dry, to the raven flying so close you can hear the wings flapping, this makes everything else worthwhile.

In preparation for winter and snowshoeing, I spent the past two weekends installing new trail markers, making sure existing can be seen clearly, and cleaning fallen trees and other debris.  Now is also the time to scope out where the next spur trail will be installed.

Poem – Black Swan

Wild-River-20080406 006

Emerging from the
prairie and the ancient oak roots.

numb, cold, senses fall away, the threads
loosen, bonds stretched,
there is light out there, somewhere,
but here, where I stand, the shadows
gather and meander in tight patterns
around my feet and over my head, into
the canopy, and cold infiltrates
each layer and as time passes
senses are driven further away.

until nothing is felt and nothing
is “real” surrounding the mind and moment.

is this, now, pure existence or
remnants of my ancestors experience –
the experiential spiraling forever into
the glass funnel, sands fall into
the black river.

did I pass the test
with limited knowledge of non-dualism?

black open waters release steam
at first light, sheets of ice
break free with slow steady movements
water we see expands seeking
earth as the chasm increases
and there is less stability
less sureness, the bastion we once
sought shrinks to a point and
the point vanishes, we are
left with ourselves standing
in the middle of open black waters.

Pungent wet air, the
evening came swift
before tired eyes, late
January and ice moves apart
water rising,
frozen landscape sighs
then becomes still –
early spring emerges
silent from tall grass
and over the canopies.

I see the black swan flying
across the river above
the trees, and in the instant
before it falls into the open
cold waters, I awake and wonder.

Weeks later the dream continues
the black swan falls into the river
but I do not hear anything.

Complete silence until I awake.

Black open waters hide the black swan
returning home.

I watch smoke emitted from stacks
and the shadows they carry

against the deep blue January sky
and I feel sad and anxious.

fluid movements, the expansion
of internal heat into the open.

daylight hours pass, melting snow
and the remnants gather before dawn

and the city retains a beauty of
muddled and muted colors.

I see from the bridge deck
crossing the rail yard

three large round lights cutting
a triangular path through thick air.

When the evening traffic trails off
into a background hum

I hear the distant train
and sense the coming rain

snow melts in the evening
awaken to morning fog.

spring’s first scent is moist
and biting, clawing its way

to hidden memories
lifting them to the surface.

I hear the train through
the black night

across darkened fields
across wet concrete

the first brief thaw
an event we cling to hope

that this winter
this suffocating winter

is slowly losing its grip
and the black swan may fly.

From the Outside


Flowing from cement
into the gutters
glistening under the morning sun
we are not alone

the mind turned inside out
presents the hidden secrets and crevasses
to the environment
and the last thought or image is taken within
to be remembered forever.

An outsider sees no difference
cannot determine the source
the entity that this originated from

in whose eyes is everything
equal, and where are my counterparts
that I may converse with.


I give this to you willingly
no exceptions, desiring
nothing in return but the truth
and understanding.

Morning snow subsides
Hours before we arrive.

Donning snowshoes and
Ski poles we begin
A trek toward the baptism river
Solitude in ice and the knowledge
That silence comes to everything
With the state of mind.

Open waters are empty
Turn back, turn away
Toward the prairie
Toward the ancient oak.

A moment presents opportunity
Presents clarity and through adversity
The cold water reaching upwards
We find the being within.

I hear the methodical wings beat
Before I see the black swan.

Shadow filters through treetop
The golden age of mythic sky monsters

Energy enters our thoughts

I hear you dear fox
The low grass rustling

Hoary Vervain rocking with no wind.
Young seeds coerced to let go and germinate.

Mineral deposits from days gone by
Open and exposed, remnants scatter

When the northern wind arrives,
Occasionally a sea-born agate emerges

From the dusty ground and we take delight
In the find and whose pocket takes it home.

Lake Superior Ice

Lake Superior Ice

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