water

Returning from Alaska

Returning from an Alaskan retreat, I am different.

Nothing earth shattering and most likely not noticeable to most people I come into contact with.

Back home, the sky has not changed, the trees stand tall against the summer blue, and the grass is coarse from overdue rain.

Obligations, bills, demands, job – waited at the front door for the week to pass and my return.

Emails arrive in the overflowing inbox and the phone still rings.

Lines form at registers waiting for morning coffee.

But something is different.

I left here in a chaotic state, doubts of the pathway I built and have stayed on, despite the uncertainty. I was clinging to the next day or week, hoping that it will be different from today, that if I just hold-out, the answers and next direction will reveal themselves.  I had become complacent and stagnant.

How many years was I going to relinquish control of my path to outside forces with unknown names and unfamiliar faces?

Something is different now that my feet are on the ground here. What happened up there in the Alaskan wilderness?

I walk to the backyard and stand on the cement patio with coffee.  The morning sun rays begin to touch treetops and the golden glow is stark against the deep blue sky.  But I do not see this and I do not hear the ravens playing in the fields beyond the hill.

Lost in some thought I cannot place, my eyes close and I am back in Alaska with a river stretching to the base of distant mountains.  I am flying above glaciers and standing so close I can taste the cold.  I am riding an ATV through forest and open fields until I stand overlooking the river valley and and lose myself to the silence, the beauty, and the immense landscape.

That is what I see now that I am back home.  Now that I have returned from an Alaskan retreat, the burdens I left here with have been replaced with nature, tangible things I can see, touch, smell, taste.  Things that will my mind and push everything else out.  In return for this gift, I am more silent, thinking before I speak, and keeping more calm and control of myself as I attempt to cope with the present and push for a different future that I create.

 

Knik Glacier, Alaska – Flightseeing Tour

On 2017-08-08, we stepped out of comfort zones and took to the air for a flightseeing tour with Alaska Air Service, based in Anchorage, AK.  Our pilot was Bill who is also the owner.  We flew into the Chugach Mountains and were treated to awesome views of the Knik and Colony Glaciers.  Also included was a gravel landing with a hike to get closer to the water, glacier, and icebergs.

Girdwood, Alaska – Rainforest

Into the rainforest we walk
with soft steps, silent voices, and open hearts.

Morning rain seeps through the tall trees
and the mountain side is shrouded in fog.

Deeper in we cross wooden bridges
over creeks following animal tracks,

we examine stones laced with scars,
and we marvel in being here, part of something larger.

In the afternoon, the sun clears the valley,
glaciers and avalanche debris will appear.

Poem – The Ancients

Scattered across the window
Overlooking the rocky outline
Of the lake shore.

Cast from the memories of thousand years
Together we embrace as the fire
Fills the black sky with our own universe
And the reflection of the time we have endured
And the souls we have emerged as on the other side.

Standing side by side with flow stretching across endless stars and planets
we emerge each awakening flanked by the white and black wolf.

Together we will enter Valhalla and live among the giants
who have guided and taught us ways of the ancients.

Late evening summer sun

Poem – The Fragments We Keep

Eyes open to the blackened sky.

I find myself on scattered rocks.

Cold waves wash over me as I struggle to remember.

Ravens call across the bay.

In the distance a portal opens and for the first time in years I feel hope.

Ravens now carry the fragments I desire to keep.

Poem – Existence

The dirt road lined with pine and poplar
exists in familiar land and on the map,
but standing here beneath the northern sky
as the cool wind brushes the lake,
I am without time or space.

In moments where I become aware
of my contact with the earth,
does it matter where I exist
physically when everything else
I am is scattered to the sea,
the sun, and the stars?

Poem – The Last Day in This Flesh

The last time I exit the empty field,
crossing over the still black water
will be the last day in this flesh.

On the other side the machines
wait with steely patience
where they have stood for years.

When we next awaken from what seems like a dream
we will be near the base of Mons Olympus
at the start of the next life.

Poem – A Reflection in Time

The child stares into the mirror of the adult
he is to become and both wonder why.

the adult sees a child running through
sand ahead of the waves and the look
of amazement when birds take flight

the child sees an adult lost
black eyes cold and the look
of bewilderment when he realizes
the path from here,

the only way forward,
the choices that lie ahead.

how do I get through the mirror?

the child sees a stray dog
and runs, chasing it into the water.

the adult sees a stray man
and plans to run, escape this life.

events begin to play upon the mirror
and the adult can only watch and remember.

thinking back to the one moment
the planted seed took root
the forked road vanished beneath black dirt.

only the shadow is visible in the mirror.

an outstretched hand reaches for
the other as lights fade away
and the mirror shatters.
duluth-20040425-northshore-06

Poem – Shifted Wolves

From the collection “Beyond the Border Kingdom“.

(1)

In dreams
the white wolf
stands beside
the black wolf

Emerging from
unnamed star fields
walking across
a bridge of light
against gravity
against laws of physics.

I felt no fear.
I felt no fear.

Distant galaxies
produce and consume
light.

Skewed and shifted
before arriving here
and matter we cannot see
fills the space.

This universe
spirals further
from the beginning
stretching into
unknown space
at speeds we
cannot fathom
beyond the traditional
rules we theorized
from the variables
we created.

The universe spirals further
from the beginning
around a black hole –

gathering light
gathering matter.

At the event horizon
pink cubes gather strength.

(more…)