A quiet evening as the dust settles
and chaos is held at bay,
watching the sunset
with nature’s creatures.


These moments defining a life
provide peace and a bit of
knowledge grounding our place
to and within the world.

A red cabin in the woods
beneath the pine trees
sagging from the winter snow,
is all I need for solitude.

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.

In the quiet moments
free of our internal conversations
and struggles, the world around us
opens and we hear a song born
beyond our vision, carrying with it
memories of the first light,
of the origin of ourselves.

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As with everything
time marches in one direction
that we perceive but in quiet
moments we reflect back on
past time, bring it into the present,
and savor every morsel we remember.

Sitting on the warm patio
the afternoon sun is calm
and soothing.

The wind from the north
is strong and cool –
we shade our eyes.

The grass recently lost its
cover and the yard is brown
and crunches beneath dog’s feet.

The sky is blue and
filled with black wings –
we watch ravens take over

the tallest tree on the hill
and in the quiet moments
with the two puppies

I am content and I remember
my place here within the matter
and I know what matters most.

Each day rolls into the next
nothing has changed except
the distance between the
smile and the struggle within
the person becoming more of a

How many more days can
I keep this going? Inside
I am me, but fear it
has to be repressed, kept
quiet and hidden, exposed
through what others want
me to be.

To help with my writing funk, I’ve been reading a lot more than usual.  And that advice is always given to writers: read more.  Read different genres or subjects than what you are writing about.  This helps to expand your mental awareness and give a larger pool of ideas and images to the mind and imagination.

AK-20070727-20070805 032I finished the first book about Zen Master Ryokan “Sky Above, Great Wind”.  This has provided two straight weeks of new writing each evening.  The most productive I have been in some time.  I feel there is much more I can learn from him and have started another book titled: “Great Fool: Poems, Letters, and Other Writings”.

AK-20070727-20070805 114While reading about his life, his writing, source of inspiration, and how he chose to live, I feel a connection of sorts, and a desire to continue on a path of simplicity and immersion in nature.  What else can we do but embrace what is around us, and care for each tree, each blade of grass, and each dew-drop.

The moon rises near Orion and the recent snow glistens as I listen to nothing but the footsteps of a rabbit and the quiet breath of Leroy as she watches over the land near a fallen leaf, a gentle reminder of change and the resilience of what we live and breathe within.

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Christmas Day brings thoughts of family, friends, beliefs and what helps us to get through each day. We headed north into the cold and snow to spend the time within nature, at the beckon call of deer and raven, and fell asleep each day to the methodical splashing of water on the frozen shoreline.

Rising in the early morning before the sun, the grass is sharp and crunchy, the lake is calm, and the horizon has a very faint glow.

We walk down the wooden staircase to the rocky shoreline. Mostly flat with a slight slope to the water, it is mostly smooth stones, and sand. On this morning, with the temperature at 6 below, there is 2 feet of ice lining the shore for as far as we can see in both directions. The slushy water is heavy and slow, with pancake ice floating near. Our breath is thick and heavy, staying near our face with each exhale. Fingers are cold, even while holding a quickly cooling cup of coffee. We walk toward the river, kicking a few rocks and looking at various sized pieces of driftwood, trying to warm our fingers and toes.

Turning around and beginning to walk back, a faint shadow passes over the rocks. We stop and look up at the sky in time to see the black raven – large and majestic, the wingspan at least 4 feet across and the body the size of a small dog.

Once the sun has become visible
and fully stretched for a few hours
it is time to hit the trails
for a solo hike.

Well worn paths pass through
grasslands and into the forest
before narrowing as it hugs the
steep cliffs overlooking the Cascade River.

Scattered ice and snow patches,
frozen hoof prints and hiking boots.

The trail veers away
from the river and further
up the forest becomes dense,
the trail is overrun with
tree roots, river rock, and fallen limbs,
before opening into a field.

On the other side the last
climb to Lookout Mountain.

The solitude and quiet that is
winter while hiking trails that
have not been touched by humans
in days, brings the mind within
as it focuses and narrows, by
letting negative energy fall away
and we give ourselves to the creator.

Trying to get my head straight.
I stare carelessly out the second floor
windows at burnt yellow and green leaves.

Not much wind is blowing.
Even with a stifling heat and little
wind, there is something calming about
this later afternoon, some other
white noise is present.

On the verge of sleep
my eyes are heavy and I
work to get into a different place
far from that other life, back into
the person I am or that I am supposed to be
regardless of the reasons I am here
trying to get my head straight.