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.

Stopping at the green gate and the snow covered driveway, the pine trees embrace the winter sky and the morning light, shadows reach across the space between tree trunks.

Too much Time has passed since the last visit and the space feels foreign. While I remember the name of each tree, I hope the ravens remember me as they circle nearly out of sight, their call still echoes through the forest, the only other voice heard above the winds’ song.

Packed snow crunches with each step. Brown pine needles blanket the white surface, untouched except the many deer tails weaving through the trees, reaching beyond what I can see.

The sun’s intensity warms tired bones and muscles. The wind directs eyes up as the treetops sway against the cloud-free winter blue.

Each breath tastes of nature. Each breath brings me back. Each breath brings me closer to a chance meeting with god.

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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.

The day’s chaos subsides
as the wind carries my worries away
and the trees wrap their limbs around me,
I close my eyes and the mountains appear.

The day’s battle and the outcome set
I relinquish the inner turmoil to the stars
as I cross tundra and rivers
setting up camp at the foot of the mountain.

What the mind seeks
what the body needs
what the soul requires
what the being is meant to be

is there, is here
as a murder of ravens
passes overhead
leading you to the empty fields.

I cry slow tears when –

the raven filled sky descends upon the earth.
the sun settles between bare branches.
the moon takes over watch.
the stars paint the night sky.

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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.

Part one of “The Sea”. Part two should be up in a couple of days.


Across the sea of glass
an island of trees bending
heads bowed the sun does
not live here has not in years.

One tree is black not the
green you would expect
and it moves with the wind
and occasionally barks.

Cautious steps I begin
walking toward the island
an unknown distance but
I have long forgotten

about time and I have no
feeling or concept of where this is.

 

(1)

Summer months fell into the autumn.
Mist clung to pine before the sun rose.

Brown needles falling from the sky
slide down the barn’s green metal roof.

We walk past fallen trees, piles of brush,
two tree stumps to be removed, knee-high

patches of weeds and wild flowers, a
bat house, three thistle-filled socks,

a burnt circle in the dirt from last
years burning, and finally the green gate.

(2)

The open field stretches to the horizon
and beyond with our imagination as to

the wonders nature has planned as
the sun emerges above the treeline.

From the east, we hear them.
Closer, louder, they circle at

great heights, specs in the sky,
appearing to descend the closer

they come to the field, as we
move behind grasses.

One last circle and their
grand black bodies against

the autumn blue, pass over
our heads, a slow motion dream

with an empty mind, one wing flap
echoes through the open field

and soon the whoosh disappears
along with the raven, natures’ wonder.

(1)

Washed with silent words
spoken by creatures of

the day and night
I let go and slept

in their midst while
the sky turned and

the sun left this
space beyond the trees.

(2)

In the depths of dreams
I saw the clouds

move slowly across
the empty fields

and at the beginning
or the end

I stood and talked
with a raven holding

fragments of the person
I was before coming here.

Why do we continue to judge ourselves and our actions against a written word and faceless God when the only entity we should measure against is life around us, how we impact them, and the face in the mirror?

When you wake, can you think back, reflect on the previous day, your actions, your impact, and be ok? Do you feel you tried to be the best person you could, but know you have tomorrow to try again?

What can we do for ourselves, people, non-humans, that will better today, tomorrow and years from now when we have passed and our children follow the footsteps we have implanted in the black earth?

Pine needles fall upon my head. The sweet pungent earth mixes with the summer rain. Each step leaves a mark of the way I took, a path for others to follow. I carefully choose where I go and the destruction I may leave in my wake. I turn-around and learn what I can, soak in the experience, and move forward as the ravens follow.

Birds gather across the open sky and we join hands across borders and across cultures because we are human and we are in this together.

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