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

That crossroad we come to
in moments of stress and blocks,
the struggle choking rational thoughts,
the behavior, the actions – this is not me.

How did this happen?
How did I get here?

Change is subtle and patient.
One day we vow to find balance,
to live and act a certain way,
to be, most importantly, better than
our-self yesterday.

Then time takes over,
and one winter morning, awake before the alarm,
thoughts are consumed with the upcoming day,
week, and months, items and events beyond
control, but consuming, pushing
away everything that is important, that matters.

Closing eyes tight, breathing, trying to push
this away and overcome the thoughts, but it has wrapped cold bony
fingers around the mind and wont let go.

I am losing sight of the path,
I am losing focus of the empty fields.

Each day folds into another as the weeks
and months pass with little notice
and soon another year rises beyond the horizon
and I am forced to confront where I am in this life
and if this is where I want to be, is this the path
I started down before?

How do I break from this cycle?
How do I wrestle back control and stake claim
to the life I am meant to live?

I stood at the base of a mountain
on a world far from where I thought I was born

and fought the descending wind
gathering snow and ice.

The sky was void of any star
yet shadows moved across fields.

The sky gave nothing away
and kept directions secret.

Crossing snow bridges
and stepping between tall seracs

I moved away from the mountain
into unknown horizons.

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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Surrounded by more questions than answers
the day continues the race from yesterday.

Searching the earth for clues,
a sign,
some semblance
of another part of ourselves,
perhaps one that has answers,
one that has been down that path before.

We scrape the dry hardened ground and find nothing.

Hands steeped in dirt
the afternoon sun beats down
on exhausted bodies.

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I have been down this path before
that empty silent road leading
nowhere and everywhere, the cold
wind, the bare trees, and the sky
merging with the earth –

where does it end
and where does it go?

I have been in that state
of disconnect, beyond lost,
detached from people, from
reality, from myself, from home –

that place we come from
and look to for direction.

I looked, and looked everywhere,
out there, in the distance, to the sky
with anger and confusion, to others –

until I finally found the answer
here, starting with my feet touching
the dirt, and in each leaf and in
each animal gracing the earth.

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I see you across the distance
a face not known yet
I feel a connection
and I would follow you
but the space elongates.

I woke walking through an unfamiliar
valley of overturned sand,
the walls not earth but
fragments and rusted steel
reminders of a history
of time forgotten now
unearthed and the memories
are bitter and foreign.

There, I still you in the distance.

A fleeting shadow drifting in the waves.

I have passed this way before.
I have seen these desert grains pass through
worn and bleeding fingers.
I slept beneath these trees
and I cried upon the boulders.
Yet I do not know where this is,
I do not know where I am.

The land becomes the sky as
the horizon falls away
and the stars become the
path I now walk.

With eyes closed I let go and wandered
until I stood at the foot of the mountain of God.

I was not meant to be in this place, at this time.
Distant fields of clover and Indian grass fold
into itself as mountains rise
from the virgin earth and we are witness
to the changing landscape, to the dawn of a new era.

The relative nature of space and time
the fluctuations bring me closer and
further at the same moment to the
true being, the being within struggling
to break free struggling to catch
the first and last breath.

Which version of myself decided
this was the place for me?

Which version of myself cast
shadows across ice fields
hunkered down beneath
overhanging ice and the
first ray of light across
the crystal horizon,
the peak near?

Which place is real
and which place do I belong within?

These simple moments of nature’s gentle cycle
coupled with the raw energy exhibited here and beyond

humble this man juggling chaos
looking for simplicity

looking for answers to
questions I have not asked.