Mendocino Blues

Draft of upcoming book. I need new eyes on this work. Ideas, what to cut, what to manicure, any suggestions are worthy and requested here within a great group of poets Artists that have become my reading staple these days. So I

offer my next book in raw form looking to become whole. I will do an audio down load with my music as well.

Mendocino Blues

H. Lamar Thomas
Spring 2018

To the love and the beauty in a life
Devoted to making the ideal real
Through poetry, food, and philosophy,
Through a love of conversation,
Of dining, and of the arts.
And most of all
To the woman of ginger scented skin,
Who is forever rolling,
Evolving, becoming, who embraces
The spiritual, and the sensual,
The logical and the heart,
She who is many and is still one.
She who so lovingly shared
Her life with mine.
May we all be so blessed
As we live with this passion
And with its design,
And here all that follows
Is a part of her.

There is no one flag,
Cuisine or Oz wizard
To show the heart
And mind within,
But there is this you
To whom I open
Like morning glories to the sun.
I will always be there,
At the end of the day,
And throughout the night:
If not beside you
Within you as thought,
As spirit.

Yeah, and the night limped around like it was trying to go somewhere,
like out of Carrol County, but it didn’t and neither did I…
so it’s just me and the street lamps downtown cowtown 1 a.m.
Not a star in sight and nothing’s open all night but there’s some
eggs at Casa Huddle, been waiting all day by the week-old bacon
by the grease geyser and a tarnished Maxwell pump.
Home is sounding better by the minute, out there, self bound,
out there by the pines where the stars always shine
and the insects call and chant to the night.
Yeah, like this never happened before and the phone rings on time.
Let the darkness rain down on the rascals and rogues, on the land,
on the caverns of the coyote prince; I have tasted the clay,
chewed upon the sunrise in a dozen cities and found nothing
so sweet as the southern summer moon.
As though baptisms were not pure ritual,
as though I’ve lived this course in southern mysticism past,
yet past the prime of indecision into action and desire.
Me, alone with my solipsism and a thousand constellations,
where animal heart is an echo growing stronger in my lungs,
growing out of the chronic dreams of misalliance and master races,
seeds sown in the groves of neophytes and fisher kings, suicide kings
where the world is nothing but reflections and fear…fear…
yeah, fear keep’em all from climbing.
In the black hour those owl wise swoop down on the bell ropes
and burn in the light of the dying mirror sun. Better to burn on
the wing than stooped upon the ladder with some Moloch prince
in a three piece suit, better to screech in the storms
with a new vision of life, alive with all that lives in the treetops
and shadows, in gulf stream and prairie, forest and hill, yeah,
dreams of the beasts on the edge of extinction, they come.
They cry. Dreams of the coyote prince seconds before the snare snaps.
Naturalist, rattling the cages of a language that’s forgotten salvation,
when animal rhythm passes so shall we,
asphalt concrete glass and steel…poof! memories of the land…
a getaway from the lights, from engines’ rhythms, blood in the sand
for a moment before the buildings rise and it’s all just city,
but never open all night. . .And the dirt roads shine.
Well, the night limps around kinda faded and gone,
bird calls in the dawn and the distant combustion howls,
cities rise and fall in the dust, but out here,
out here in the back roads, my heart, all red clay, pines and spring fed
really is open all night, is the one direction unadorned with death.
Loving the land and the hammer that nails it down.
Loving the Rising when our own mortality strains,
pulls upon the bell ropes and finally begs for mercy.

Highlights in the high room,
a foyer by some, but just tall by me.
Single tracks stream through silken
dust galaxies and swirl windless
around the lighted corridor,
seamless tunnel,
a long pipe without sides
which we may reach into yet feeling
only warmth, only air,
it’s only air
Did you really think the sun shone down in your house out on hillbilly row?
When the rains flowed and fed great fields of kudzu and honeysuckle
you watched your gardens fade and fall, dry and die into the barren
granite mothered soil, and all the bream and bark in the world
just wouldn’t fertilize, wouldn’t hold the sands long enough to seed.
But you try. And when it’s good, on the front porch above the haze
it’s a vision of green mountains and steaming thin rivers cutting
through the gorge, beautiful. And when it’s corn and bean shucking time
you still have the heart to whistle “In the Pines”,
and you hope someone can hear you, you hope someone will whistle back
through the woods, maybe even cross over to your land.

Dried flowers, a dusty letter, Japanese figurines, yellow light on the brick mantel shines, wipe your eyes, look again, and still it shines a cracked
and dingy pastel, and the morning itself seems like a postcard,
a loved memento of the life you’ve had. But waking always brings this pause, this gaze into the past…You wish it was easier to shake away the dreams,
just set them on the shelf beside the light, turn around and go your way.
Sitting in the kitchen staring at the rusty well water in your James Joyce mug, have a smoke, try to forget those other warmer mornings and fonder beds,
inhale, and think about how with today you begin again, yes again, yes.

Daybreak walking down the hill, chestnut and red clover line the path,
wild strawberries and may pop vines perk up beneath the early dew,
and you think about it: this is my life? Here, earthsongs grew and flourished,
and you knew all the talk about whispers on the wind and the life of the wee folk was more than legend, it simply was. It simply was the way of things.
River rock and Cherokee rose lead the way creekside to the barbwire line
that marked the place your father had his still, and there today you see
the blue tagged stake for the county tax man, fresh and deep, weak nonetheless,
and there today you just kick it down and keep on walking, glad this is a place
where you feel and feel, and feel so much the today of it all, just the today.
Strange water, this mountain blood: Black bear heart and Appalachian spirit,
Van Gogh hands given to the land, you know the light is sweet and giving,
yet the Adam in you still curses anyway, and you pace in and out of the creek
and moss like this here is the one true baptistery, and you dare it all
to come to pass……….yeah, these Ecclesiastic days will surely pass,
but until then there’s another song waiting, another blues, another hymn
to hard work and struggle, another reason to stomp and wail,
and then another day to fight the silence on your hill.

Roaming, running errands in the grey winter afternoon,
thinking of better moments, of more loving faces
than all the frowns in the cars around me.
And the radio plays “It’s A Beautiful Day” and I sing along,
ah yes, it is a beautiful day in it’s own way…..
but it could be better still, and my memories tumble,
roll and materialize with images of heaven, of my beloved.
Warm daylight, she moves across the room
with a bounce in her step,
and her loose black robe falls back an inch
to show her perfect firm tan and welcoming breast,
she turns her head and smiles,
and as she turns her mass of black hair follows,
and cape like it wraps around her shoulders
and rests on her right arm, and she brushes it back.
And me, I sit and idolize her.
And all the lands and loves and places of my past
disappear in an instant as I see that she is all there is.
I jump to follow her, to hold her in my arms,
to breath her in, to taste the sweat on her neck and cheeks.
And my head fills with the smells of crushed allspice and lemon,
of salt and the aromas of sea winds at night.
In this moment lingering, in this eternity before we kiss
I see the flashing lights behind my eyelids,
and as I open them to see if this is real, if this is true,
I look into her deep sensual, almond brown eyes,
and slowly merge into her vision, into her body.
Soft caress of lips, a touch of our teeth,
and I feel what can only be called an elegance,
an elegant curl of her tongue around mine.
And as we hold and explore, pass our hands over each
others body, press harder and harder our mouths together,
I move her away, so slight and dear,
and with three fingers lift the edge of her gown
to move it down and around her curving waist,
shifting her weight, dropping her arms,
her clothing drifts like feathers to the floor around her feet.
Thin, long and silky, she stands amid the crumpled cotton
around her ankles and folds her arms around my head
to grasp the hair at the back of my neck,
she bends her own head back, and as I twine her around
my wrist she leans into me and nibbles on my Adams apple,
with tiny snapping, and then quick breathing in my ears,
she leads me as she kisses me into the gauze lighted
and intoxicated atmospheres of our bedroom.
And as I disrobe with her hands guiding mine
I feel this way, this way of so long ago when love was new,
and the body was unknown, I shiver and tremble
just a little bit, and press her into the mass of blankets
on our unmade bed, press her into the pillows with a force
that exposes my lust and love for her,
and as she lays back and looks up at me, I see her as laughing,
sexy, inviting, mysterious and sensual all at once,
I see her with all my body and spirit,
and her touch, her smells, her tastes and hugs and kisses
rush in and shake me from the foundation up into my heart.
And I think, so this is love, this is really love,
and I feel this is the body this i s the only body,
the only love for me from this day forward for all my life.
Not enough, no it’s never enough, we wrestle and we melt,
and she rolls over to show me the watery curves of her thighs
and hips as they effortlessly flow upwards into her back.
She tosses her head and catches me adoring her,
she catches me smiling at her grace and her beauty,
at her slim hips, at her tight skinned ginger hot flesh
that I so love and that I so cherish with abandon,
and as I lower my head between her legs and kiss her vagina,
and inhale the sweetness of her from all over,
she hums, she quietly giggles, and she fills the room
with a beauty only captured in the lights of the Milky Way,
with a beauty only seen in the form of the mythic Helen,
and so drunk on her flesh, so high on her spirit,
I rise up on my knees and enter her moist world of love and sex.
And as we move I have this feeling that I never want to come,
that I want to be inside her forever, that I just want to feel
her for this moment as a divine moment held in time,
in this place in this green room in this woman’s grasp,
and she rears up and bounces like a wild mare on the plains,
and I lose myself inside her, inside her where I belong,
where I long to be……………..shouting, heavy breath,
I charge into her, I leap into her, and she just opens and lets
me in, and as I relax and once again press my self onto her,
she exhales, she laughs; she touches me so tender,
my shining loving Cantonese, and we roll over
into each other’s arms and hold like there really is no tomorrow,
like there really is no other place to be.
And you know, there isn’t.
There is no place to be but in her arms, her in mine.
Driving home from the grocery store,
smiling at the other cars passing around me.
I don’t give a damn. My spirit is full with this woman
of the Song of Songs with this woman of my life.

Brother, the angels are whispering,
the wind cuts heavy off the city, down the lane, down the gritty dungeons of Cocteau’s Orphe’ down the empty buildings of broken dreams
and ruined desires, and Brother,
the angels are whispering, whispering about the chances that are all used up.
And Chance isn’t all there is. Time set, time comes, I tear the red seal off decision and silence, damn submission, the stale dirt in old fears, turn East and open the window,
rip the mountains off the moon, and I bless the flesh, the gypsy flesh,
hazel eyes, the bronze She of the Canticles and cafes.
And I call her name. Shulamite, Eve, Eurydice,
the angels are whispering, brother, burn the tower in your heart…today.
Red shadows rise in the lines on her lips, pale sweat shines through black linen sleeves, her arms wrap around her waist and shape, and she is all desire,
all the things the Old Testament feared and the New adored. Sweet kiss, sweet shores of sunrise, and yet I hear a wooden boot heel crack
on the stairway down, dark hammer clang, and she
pulls away, one word, my name. And Brother, the angels are whispering,
But really, this isn’t it, not this time. Stumbling through the dream like an ether drunken god searching for creation, howling down the wishes that will never be mine, tearing off my tongue all the texts
of Rilke till everything but my
Will cries out “Awake!”
and then I hear the angels whispering,
whispering about the life I’ve put at stake, the one I call my own, the one
I can’t claim. My Confessor, the angels are singing, but I just can’t hear,
and Brother, the angels have touched her, pray, bring them near: I reach through phantoms and take her hand, lean back into the chorus
and whisper back: Confusion cripples.
Touch and you will hear. You’re right,
Chance isn’t all there is: touch and you will hear.
Quick steps up the stairs, she dares to be a full woman,
And you know who lifts her there?
God, sweet mercy and our Lord,
The Lord brings us together where death almost conquered.
Where this time it was Chance and Love realized.
Where this time…the song of Eurydice and Orpheus once again
Chance and love.
Chance and love.
Van Gogh’s crows perched all over this town,
stuck in the updrafts, riding the fog’s hard edge,
doe carcass, possum body, urinary rivers
and the rancher’s overflow all feeding the flying herds
of these great black caretakers.
Defiant on the roadside, jay hunted in the low sky,
yet climbing in from the distance
on a rapid shadow bullet flight, these birds ascend
and dive, rise and hold, and there,
in the hunting climb where meadow, sky and tree
blend yellow, blue and thick green, then the black,
the blue background yellow bottomed canvas comes alive
with the specter’s held in eternal flight…
yeah, that’s it,
the picture holds,
and it’s Van Gogh’s crows all over town.

Down, damned and drained, the people are fed,
and we, the oil wet and ginger hot white clad
chefs and cooks wipe away the stains and remains
of all the worlds we prepared today.
Talk about the music, the poetry, the great novel,
the sculptures and the etchings that wait
in our homes and lofts, studios and practice spaces,
talk about the power of the pure art of food
and how with this labor we are stronger in our lives.
Laugh about scholastics, the locked rooms of history,
the little cabals of workshops and creative programs,
hell, we live it, we sweat it, we form it every hour,
and we know the soul of what Zen is, heaven,
and we know the truth of labor and the dollar,
that this art is of the body and the spirit,
of the world and of the long story of what food is.
We, the chefs and cooks, waiters, bartenders, warewashers
and food runners, we see you at your finest and your worst,
and we write you, play you, act you, sculpt you,
you are our material after the day is done,
and yet, you in turn are our critic, our wives and husbands,
our jealous lovers, our tender sex, the guest
whose tastes show when we’re right or wrong,
when the colors match, when flavors combine,
the immediate response we crave and live for,
yeah, it all turns around, the sauce reduced six hours ago
travels your lips and brings the smile we waited
all day just to see, and we are the secret pulse
in lives that are filled, we are denial and restraint,
we demand you give in, you explore, you adore,
we are the Artists on the margin who live for art,
who work for art, who do it for the love and not the money.
Work? It’s love. It’s dedication.
We are here truly for each other, never touching,
never seeing, never really knowing, but we share
and we complement, we cannot live without the other.

Who is this singing
in the middle of the night,
her voice like a crane
above my dreams?
She with a steady rise
into alto and beyond,
she lifts me awake
to gardens and lakes
with the winds in her voice,
and the life in her song
Crisp winter evenings,
my December lullabies,
little songs, fluorescent hums,
one slow wink in these rainy nights.
She moves across the room,
across the hills, across my eyes,
long mountain gait in her stride:
Wind smooth and then a smile,
she bounces, she glides…
She walks away behind the seven sisters,
shining white upon the frozen groves,
shines throughout these winter dreams of Eden…
And should I touch her,
dear Christ, that I should hold her,
caress these lights,
this one kiss of the soul…
It is the moon. The lands beacon out of darkness.
And the deep blue Scandinavian ocean sky
that so blankets this long gaze,
this grace upon the hours,
opens her seas to the silence in our wishes,
and therein dies the clamor, therein births the song.
Dominions and Seraphim,
great Angels descending,
fleet into the fountains upon the wing hurried winds,
pools and waterfalls of this season thawing,
fleet into my heart, my life, my flesh.
The scent of dancers in their bath,
steam laden air married to the odors
of broken orange skins, of clove and nettle,
hyssop and rose…..
Moon rise, moon passing…..
And the moonlight slides
her elegant fingers across this century’s
shriek and epitaph…sshhh, patience children…
the jade and garnet of our dreams
meets in her sojourn within all our lives.
Sssshhh, winter blesses with silence,
with chant and song,
and the darkness comes alive…Daylight.
And perhaps someday we’ll be together,
perhaps someday
Someday we may

After knowing the facts of speech,
and after searching through the passions,
I try to write her amber face
that wilts into the shadows.
I try to see the world
through her own dark eyes.
And though we hold and touch,
and kiss and converse,
there is always the doubt
that we ever did meet.

Green Waters Here Eleven AM Today Forever
Midmorning in the woods where the sunrise first spoke,
Riding together in a green aluminum 3 seat boat, sweetly
Sliding across the mirror slick surface of a Georgia pond,
Radar paced ringlets whisper, gesture, circle back into the rising paddle,
Into my hands as we move through the waters, one shore to the next,
Schools of crappie idle about in fallen pines, in lake grass, in dark waters,
And I tie in the rubbery spine of a tiny Yamamoto worm, cast about,
Cast about, 9 foot leader sailing, drift and float, sinking slightly shoreward,
Cold pulling it down, fluttering by a sunlit shallow, brushing the nose
Of a dozing spot bass…Twitch awake! and sped straight into a dazzling fight,
A Southern bass hungry in chill waters, power, crazy 3 pounds of muscle
Whipping the fly rod tip down bend flex and over back again, loose
Then running towards deep green shadows of a rotting locust trunk,
And I lowered the line down below the water just enough to wear pond scum
On my face from pulling up so fast, setting the hook, guaranteeing
That tonight we eat, we share life back and forth with our corner of the lake.
That’s right, we give and we take, and try to keep it that way,
Like, why destroy what we love or poison what gives us life?
It’s so much easier, and better overall, just to float along from time to time,
Catch what we can eat and pass over all the rest.

Pull Over We Are Home
I am glad.
The buzz of gnats and a passing choir of howling dogs
Shit kicks the silence and then slaps me silly quick,
Fights all the time for power and knowledge,
For acceptance and atonement,
Creation expands from silence,
Creation pops bubbles and smiles Peace inside inferno,
Begs the land to feed these crops,
Sky the rain and sun heart
And I know I love. And this is what I know,
In deep water in dry summer, all thanks, all hands,
There are no more metaphors, home is home.
Embrace. I am glad. Glad for all that I have known,
And of course for what is yet to be. Be and love.

“…Bridgit Bardot is not Rimbaud [d a levy]”

I chased my equilibrium in circles this afternoon

And still, and still I couldn’t pass the windows without looking

at my reflection, that lazy left eye, the loopy earlobes,

these now chubby jowls, once upon a time they were bone and skin,

they were twins and I was a smoky, thin danger of a man.

My light and I shift places sometimes, sometimes it’s uncertain

from where the shadows fall, but who cares, light goes away

and the dark is still, and when the day becomes too chromatic

I jump start a history of dust and back roads, dirt and gravel,

My long ago bliss in the country, walking, walking

Encased by fields of corn and huckleberry,
by jimson weed, privit and chinaberry,

The thoughts of my twenties and my brown suede boots,

Brass rings and all, boots kicking along in the young twilight

Kicking up the red earth and gravel, the bramble and thorns

Of dry Georgia summers in the last of that twentieth century.

Buddha met me and stayed, hung heart heavy and mocking,

Teasing every time it was me me I this mine,
but I couldn’t/can’t help it,

This killing the pronoun, this kinda death never worked anyway,

But the fat one remained, he prods and laughs, silences and sings,

and even if I couldn’t shake off the mirror my Buddha is here

through dust and rain, through ego and loss, he keeps me aware

that Bridget Bardot is not Rimbaud, and there are metaphors

that should never be touched, no, no matter what, there are those things

that are best left as themselves, even in the early dark of life.

On A Blueberry Plain
Sassafras and elderberry, mountain rhododendron, scrub pine,
A line of wisteria holding fast to the vines from tree to tree,
Broken Cherokee rose limbs reach back to hold onto barbwire,
To touch the ever-present tall grasses from fence post to fence post,
Walking the tree line, looking deeper and deeper among it all,
Maypops and dandelions brush leaves together,
Muscatine’s attach to the wisteria tightrope and grab onto anything
That will hold them high, and so grow our first grape. Together in groves
And small forests that pop up between highways and suburbs,
In the back yards of 1940s warehouses and busted down barns,
Lining the state lines of Tennessee and North Carolina
Beside marshes and run off blueberries tangling along the way into every
Thicket, onto flat fields and rich red lands, the blueberry
Towers in its lack of elevation, fir scented and dark blue,
From sweet to tart sour, bright Aegean blue, fresh mayhaw and frozen snack,
Decoration, delicious and power rich with no alteration
From Chemists and Shadows, just this perfect little
Dark fruit up against them all, up against old cotton pastures
Until it has become our beautiful darling, our new super berry,
Super fruit growing stronger than the Georgia peach,
Stronger than all the sweet corn, soy, wheat and peanuts
You can find, stronger as it is still pure, it is still alive
In spite of the Doctorates and deeply plowed DNA,
At least there is something we can still hold, eat,
And declare it is ours; it is the body, good old blueberry,
Muscatines and wild Rose, you keep my heart alive,
You give us here a bit of hope. You give life while asking nothing
But to grow and to leave your essence alone.

Haunted, lonely, tin pulse in my ears,
Still dreaming, still a bastard,
And this isn’t the new day, the new sun,
Or even a blink in the new next thousand years,
I didn’t think it could anyway,
I didn’t think it could be any other way.
I didn’t think I would just sit, howl, scratch and claw
At the book of wishes, at the text of my dreams,
I, I thought I would be alive in the words of hope
And aspiration, of the silver moon and shining nights.
This is the way of the years beating against my skin.
What came before, a series of summer narratives?
A set of single images and murmurs? Lives
Drawn together in coffee fueled conversation?
Maybe. Kuan Yi smiling grace, a verse on bridges.
I want to live in a house whose walls don’t speak.
I want to live in a place called New Town
Or Struggle Ville, on a beach covered with black sand
And green sea foam, where I can stand
And feel warm cool breezy wise young song ALIVE,
Where a pair of eyes sparkles back into mine
And they eat me up with Edward Hopper hungry stares,
Standing in the doorway of Mackinac Grand Hotel
Daring I come on in and hold her hand a while.
Well, it’s my hand that needs holding, not alone,
I want to tell stories of a world I am proud of,
Stories of a beach….of mountain elms, of cactus, of basil,
And blossoming thyme, of my darling and my life,
Of things seen, I want to tell the waters to flow
And the earth to hold a while, to settle opposites
And be the Ying to love the Yang.
I want to get out of this sludge fest of a Protestant nation,
Don’t say neither Islam nor Hindu either, no, Christians scare me.
I want to get out of this Protestant nation.
And you! Stop worshipping war poems and slaughter-honored heroes.
Walk this dirt road of a neighborhood and look around
Into the willow and chestnut forest, and know they will always be here,
That’s all I want in this night! Aye! to look into the woods.
To look into the wall of life and smell the musk, mushrooms in bloom.

Things Not
In this place where you tried to lock me in the shadows,
A hollow hello and even emptier good bye crossed
Our conversations and left me wishing I had never
Seen your face but that’s long gone now, you are now gone.
A person a thing a flower pot rotting, alone for years,
But doing nothing ‘cept sitting being clay in the clover.
That’s you for me after all this time.

Debutantes And Devils And Angels In Disguise
It’s always the same with debutantes running
for the two way mirror for the purchased vision
of all those sexy things of what they think is other,
first they read it then they need it then they
find the friend they steal the key they kiss and please,
they pluck the needle thoughts without touching a vein,
they come into my home and rustle through my papers,
they ride the night and call it holy and tell their sisters
with a romantic hush that they really experienced the real.
Well junkies lie and alcoholics lie and thrill seekers lie,
and in those so called confessional rooms what
they feed on is the pain, the remembrance of rushes past,
and yeah, we need to spill our guts, we need to paint
in the bloody word colors of Goya and Carvaggio,
and we create our lives in the stories we tell,
and we pray and we cry and we dream and we try
and when we run out of horrors, we find ourselves,
we find we can cut the cords to the past,
but what the debutantes never know, what they never
can put their polished fingers on is that we have
cuddled together through the long night with death and suicide,
is that the reason we are in those rooms is that
life ran out of options and that life ran out of visions,
and when we finished ruining our own lives
we started on our lovers, on our friends and on our families,
we drag them all down into the pretty hell of Rimbaud
and Francis Thompson with the hounds and the fires,
with the bullets and the knives, with the solid truth
that this life is filled with beauty and we just finished off
the last morsels of promise, and by doing so we had to change,
we had to confess and drag our withered bodies
across the shattered glass of all those broken memories,
and then, yeah, then and then and then and only then then
after the all curious ways of all of us God hungry fallen angels
are we able to sit together and look wet eyed into each
others hearts, and in those hearts see the great beauty
of another life saved, of another hunter who came home
from the desert and has a story they have to tell.
I guess it’s ok for the voyeurs to enter,
but I wonder why they won’t taste the poppies, why they
won’t take the risk in the tower with the bats and the doves,
and I get a little angry at the cocktail conversations
of their trips into the slums and of the artists they have known.
Do they understand why we stand up in those rooms
and say My Name IS….do they catch the truth of the verb,
that glorious verb TO BE, is, are, am. Do they know?
We stand up and speak because we have to,
because we gotta confirm we’ve been there and back,
and we are alive, and we are not dead, and every day
there’s that thought in our head of what it would be like
to go back into the lands of opium and ale,
and we have to remember that it’s not just us,
that it is our loves we have killed.
We stand up and we speak because God and living love
command that we do so and do it clean.

Mitsubishi humming on the star highway,
blue spread of ocean on the left,
blue ocean kicking against the cliffs,
my old address flashes by, I point and say
that’s where I lived,
where a great owl lived in the water tower
and the sounds of the beach
were always drumming,
and then it’s gone, we’re on another hill,
and another vista rises, and we gasp again
at the drama of it all,
this is where the swans nested on
their autumn migration,
and over there in the cove at Haven’s Neck,
is where I watched
a grey whale battle a pod of killer whales;
she was guarding her calf,
the black and white wolves won,
what can I say? this is the sea….
In those far days I was no different,
No different
than the others of the sand, grass and surf,
I was just as brutal and just as kind,
and now I’m passing through,
passing on the stories
with each curve breaking,
with every milestone of Highway One,
of Star Route, my old beloved home.


Together through the night
a quiet holds them close,
they feel the remorse
of quarrel and separation,
every moment is a plea for strength,
every thought is a phrase of love,
and he trembles to hold his arm
back from her waist,
she’ll just move away,
and she stammers through whispers
the fear of making mistakes,
I know I’m being a stupid girl,
and so they pass the night
without stopping and realizing
that this is the one time in life
that Chance may rest
while indecision takes control.
Perhaps exiles do touch.
Of Shouts And Whispers On Landscapes Of The Mercenary
Today, yeah, what about it, storms pass, people too, pacts are broken.
It’s not a streetlight shine pulling me on in the night, not desire, not need,
no Gatsby garbage, it’s the haze around the stars that bear my future.
Like a mock Merlin to his amber lily Morgan, I was frozen for giving.
Today melancholy and betrayal strike down the grandeur of love and friend.
I search the water’s edge for animal signs and life. Return into the earth.
All deals are off. I’m setting up my own mythology now.

After the storms, stalking across the shell littered sands, thinking,
hunting for my self in fallen laurel, hunting in the currents rushing by.
I don’t care anymore about what I’ve done; the water shows me what’s gone,
it’s all too symbolic, it’s all too real, like light on slate that conjures
an old image of my home burning down, like the crackle of leaves
loosed and falling, it all sounds cruel when it should be of beauty.

I could rattle and cast yellow hen bones down on wine stained stones.
I could steal my thread from the Fates own loom, tell them to stop,
to just take a rest and try the whole damn thing all over again.
But no, I strip away another layer of skin, bite my lower lip,
squint and flex another neck muscle, dare heaven to give me peace,
and if not that, then make me a better man. Cliche?
I’m the one bleeding. I’ll do anything to just walk free.
Trust expectation: Tara in her garden, Milerapa vision singing.
Jacked up on memories, on dark passages in the cave, I remember this
taste of stainless steel on my tongue, the ripping sound of flesh torn
from a fresh kill, the horrible smell that the dogs so love, that makes
me gag, but it was for the food, the venison of first frost. Today,
what is hunger? I’m not a farmer. I’ve learned not to hope, nor to kill.
I cannot hope, never hope. Hope is death drive. Water rushes by….

Searching Southern blues freckle reflection with the good and bad,
of times I believed truth was a in woman’s voice, and in her womb.
I know better now, that’s not the way. I cut the human cord.
My life was spent pleasing mercenaries and thieves. No more.
And so I walk the damp paths and back roads of a land alive.

Hell, there’s nothing home to hold me, to tell me it’s all wrong,
just me moving away from all the carnage and misunderstanding,
just a dare of soul to step aside from the refrain, “I want to be honest…”
those are the ones who kill, the trusted never need to say it (be honest).
I don’t want to end up coughing blood phrases of Baudelaire gunslingers,
“truth is a whore,” “kill the poor” and all that stuff.
So, yeah, take aim, hold steady,
there’s a romantic in the mist, and I will not shut up. I stand.
I’ll do anything to walk free, to trust more than the stars.
And close on my heels I hear the coyote whisper, “don’t forget,
your heart’s still open, it’s still open. Wash away the acid smells,
the taint of lost friendship, nothing’s worth it with those
who value nothing.” And closer coyote comes and shouts in my ear,
“they’re little emperors drunk on Nietzsche about power and the good,
they are the bridge burners, ritual lovers, great with quotes,
but they value nothing”……and when I turn to speak I hear only a howl
of the pack racing hillside, chasing each other, moon hot and alive.
Maybe my wounds will heal. Go on, go on…I want to join them.
I have done everything I can to walk free, and my heart is open.
Fleet lamb, still bleeding from the wounds of circumcision, the slap
into life, still bearing the chains and amulets of my birth, my feet
are scarred from running, and I stumble on the rocks, reach for hands
not there, fall and bruise, rise up towards this jagged Job cursed sky,
wash off the mud, rub my palms on my thigh, spit, pray release the hate.
I’ll do anything to walk free again.

3 A.M. it’s always 3 A.M.
when night wakes and creeps,
slides its black fingers
through bamboo gardens,
where green stalks sigh,
lean beneath the winds,
and they rattle rain warnings
through home and dream.
White phone on the table shouts and screams,
it wants to talk, it sounds a lot
like Death’s own love call.
And then a tape machine clicks on,
whirs, clicks off,
and the quiet comes home and it feels so fine.
Wake and light the room…the cat and the bug:
Red scorpion rears back on an incense burner,
drunk on musk and dried
borage petals it snaps and stings
its own underbelly,
and the cat slaps the bug down,
rolls it over in the ashes, purrs triumphant.
He curls around the metal tray
and waits for recognition, a voice, a name,
maybe even praise, but what he really waits
for is forever gone, I call, he sits and purrs…
and what I wait for no one knows,
not even me…not even the rains,
not at this time, not at 3 A.M.
And yet it seems that Roscoe knows,
he sits and purrs and rules the dark room.


Naked, crawling forward in the shallow March night towards all those stars
that stand so very far away.

Sleeping in the sands where the surf whooshes close to the saffron and nettle,

and from a distant tide Latin voices roll in as the fishermen sing to the fish
in the currents below.
And the sky, the sky holds its mountain of clouds out on the horizon, and I
lay there on my side, cold ocean slipping its cold fingers up under my back.

I can do without the metaphors and sex of a heartless heroin imitating
death rush… back again, the need to dream is back again…
seems to be the new substitute… substitute for feeling…

and oh how I know it’s a new day every day,
and oh how I’ve seen the full midnight kiss
on our heavy, heavy land, and then, then it just leaves…same as the sun…
…festival days come and go…
the midnight kiss I’ve never known….the Janus gate swings every day anyway,
and the sea foam tastes so fresh and alive right now, and I can’t bear another
vodka stained dry lip touching my own, not when I feel the breath of the sea
opening and closing like a Japanese fan over my resting, salty skin….
and the Japanese fan flutters:
fffrdrdriipp, fffrdrdrooop,
opening and closing,

and the night’s like this:
it’s all pastels on an indigo heart,
it’s leaning over the side of a dugout boat
with a bamboo fishing pole,
an eternal lean, swaying and seeing
that I can trust only the stars
that they are there at night,
all else swirls out
in a stream in a different darkness,
the one that never touches,
the darkness that never feels….
and the commercial boat lights
bob and fade behind high waves on their way to a richer cove.
The smell of diesel and sea urchin was just too much on this pure evening,
I can do without the reminders of a faceless hunt and slaughter.
I can do without the cold mechanics of life/death drives.

Give me the rice paper fan opening and closing,
the one fish painted on the one line
in an eternal water of soft ripples and shaded pools,

and perhaps, when is the long kiss at the end of the night.
Have I not fetched enough fish and seaweed
Have I not been enough of a good man?
Tell me, when have we shared the last cup of green tea.

And I rise up out of my feral crouch in the sands, stand, a little shaky,
but still I stand and walk back over the shifting dunes,
walking over the dunes towards a world that must be remade,
and yeah, even rediscovered,
even renamed, walking
towards the eternal world
where maybe,
just maybe,
here, between what is felt and what is said
one hand will reach and take my own.
And the warm earth breathes. I breathe.
And the Japanese fan flutters:
fffrdrdriipp, fffrdrdrooop,
opening and closing…
opening and closing,
fffrdrdriipp, fffrdrdrooop.

Blue notes whipped off a catgut slide
break the rain gray road with moans and shouts
of a South that believes in death and crossroads,
and the speaker crackles, Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon,
Jimi Hendrix, Dylan, Patti Smith, Nick Cave…
And the country roads deliver, spirits wash,
eight cylinders rumble, 195/75 r14 tires swish and hold,
and the pear green pastures sway down in water,
Appaloosa and Angus march windward to the East,
and the blue notes roar, the country blues howl:
Through red wine and heroin, seduction and prayer,
terror driven up from the swamps and delta
into these Georgia shacks, into these temples,
into a day where the song is a cracked lip,
dehydrating in the rain, begging, demanding…
And the car rushes by the scenes:
Nouveau redneck red brick mansions, an El Camino,
Dodge Ram, minivans, trailers, busted axles and rims,
barns from the first war tilting, still standing,
burned-out barns, fire-charred houses, open wells,
harness on a water oak, to the right a graveyard,
a church, Primitive Baptists or Fundamental,
simple worship and deliverance, it’s all the same.
A gospel of sin runs down and sings salvation,
beer bathed christenings lurk in the stream,
laughter rises on the water, and the rebirths are carved
in heavy fruited chinaberry by the minister’s study.
Pecan tree shells itself out front here,
here by the marble and granite markers,
by the three white crosses, tall, white crosses,
and I stop and sit awhile, watch the rain and winds rush.
A stand of blackberry shimmers and shakes,
and road whispers “follow me,”
and I don’t know where to go but go wait,
go here and wait…
and wait..
Watching the crossroads, watching the dead stay dead.
Between the rain and the heat mists rise on the meadows.
She seems there: Wide hips large breasts long smile,
dark voice cool, cool across a burgundy smile,
seeing me seeing, waiting, singing dies irae,
her dark voice powered by depression and thrill,
and the devil doesn’t come to meet me, history does.
Mirror fleshed and blue veined, spirit fades in,
and fades, fade to wind,
fade to shouts in a city street,
fade to quiet on the road/hillsides,
she stands alone in the cemetery in the rain,
ingering in the dusk like a blanket upon the days,
becoming moon, becoming night, the next blue dream,
and a ghost dance churns behind a thin heartbeat,
“gotta go now, don’t speak.”
And she weaves into the spray of a passing slant 6.
And the blue notes pound off a rain gray road…

In another summer with another sweating night,
my Georgia steams and I steam along also from
too much coffee and too many Camels, and my life tries
to rise, tries to hover above the wilting mimosa.
And I daydream away into August fogs on Manchester Beach,
feel my shoes start to sink in the stones and ice plants
of the Mendocino coast, and it’s so seductive now,
like a curved finger calling me over,over to vistas
of two story waves and whale spout fountains,
scenes of a sparkling sea of St. John’s fire racing
on the limbs of midnight tossed runaway redwoods,
these great ancients dare another rampage,
another cut of the saw, another rogue current…
And I start to feel the memories rocking, rocking,
rising with white flash of moon on the ridge,
on tide heavy winds that smell of evolution and urchin.
The far Pacific in my opium years of mist and storm
always captured in these dreams, in these green house days.
Shaking my head, salt crusts on my lips,
and I walk out into the bamboo woods behind my broken,
depression era home, smell the Cherokee rose and honeysuckle,
slap a mosquito,a gnat and a sweat bee, watch the slow crawl
of grass thick humidity slide up the spine
of thirsting pecan and cracked bull pine.
And I walk with the woman of black halters
and ginger scented skin, and she touches my arm
and asks where I am…and I don’t know how to say
I am between the sea and the sweat,
so I tell her I am here dreaming this and that,
this and that more now than ever before in my life.

Strange secrets lie just across the bridge, where Sweet William grows
out of rotting deer, and the all the other wildflowers bite the land
where great trees lay sleeping, and yeah, secrets are there,
there in the flower beds and white topped daisy clusters…
Walk wide around the shoals, the light flickers too fast, too bright.
Trout flash blue-silver palates on the stones, orange bleeds up through
ghostly river mist, grows up and back on a sunlight ride in this deep wood.
And you look across the waters into the darker still thickets
to the place you always knew, simply knew as being
“the other side of the river”, and you want to walk there, check the tombstone
dates and to whom you relate, be it gene or love affair, marriage or death,
but there’s something more about it, something forbidden, like what if
the devil rides up on his sweating gelding, looks down and points his finger,
says you’re the one this time, this time alone, alone in my wood.
Snow crab mushrooms seem to crawl up the spine of lightning pines,
and the morning breeze ruffles their feathers, and the tree shivers,
white on green moss on black bark.
Here, down below low and sterile summer clouds,
you do feel the earth heave a smoky breath, yeah, fear can kiss,
it can caress, and it’s not a knife, not a city crack attack, it’s the wood,
ancient, all amulet decorated and full with birth, and with decay,
and damn, you say I’m not ready, and you feel his cold wings flutter
across the bridge on the forbidden creek at the edge of your land…
And that was it, fear passes by on a Pegasus mane, leaving you there
with marble good-byes that tell a short story of who your people were.
Angel and heart, simple cross and arch, that’s all, that’s all you know.
And you cross over to what is near, home into the meadow
where you chased August locusts and picked lambs ear lettuce, where you
fed your heart the first poems of Shelly, and of Byron’s Hebrew Sonnets,
and it’s odd how now after all the education and all the travels
that still your soul is free to dream as it was a hundred years ago,
a hundred years ago in this wood where mystery was the web, and the design,
where the soul buying Scratch was as close as God himself. And you did choose.
And you know right now it’s not that different, same moss, same waters,
same field rolling into the pine, and pecan…and best of all:
The cross road choices never change, the world stays a danger,
beautiful and damning, seductive and profane.

STRANGE FAITH (another version, cannot decide which is better)

Strange secrets lie just across the bridge, where sweet williams grow
out of rotting deer, where great trees lay sleeping, dreaming, fermenting
there in the flower beds, knifing down the earth with life rich vegetation.

Riverside: Walk wide around the shoals, sun’s bright, blood orange mist
rises in the laurel, in the laurel ghosts taunt the light,
flay the warmth of the soft sunshine.

Look across the waters into the darker still thickets to the place
I always knew, simply knew as being “the other side of the river”,
and I walk there. Check the tombstone dates…

Do I relate, is it love affair?-name? There’s something more about it,
something forbidden…wet earth closes in. Snow crab mushrooms slow
crawl up the spine of lightning pines,
a flicker hammers, then nothing.

Feel the earth heave a smoky breath. Yeah, fear can kiss, it can caress,
but it’s not a threat, not a city crack attack, it’s the wood, ancient,
all charm decorated and full with birth,
and with decay.

Strange chill, and I smell the Adversary. Here, down below low
and sterile summer clouds, feel cold wings flutter, a rustle in the shade,
sound of horse hooves clicking across the bridge,

…and damn, I’m not ready. Graveyard chills? It’s not, it’s my strange faith.
Shadow rider high on his sweating gelding looks down and points a finger:

“you’re the one this time, this time alone, alone in my wood.” Yeah,
graveyard chills. And again the silence. And that was it. Leaving me there
with the marble and granite…with unsubtle thoughts of what could be…

And the words rise, Born…Died…Loving…Angel and heart, simple cross
and arch, that’s all, that’s all I know. Shiver. Cross over to what is near,
home into the meadow where I chased

August locusts, gathered blackberries and Cherokee rose; where my heart
was first fed the verse longings of Shelly, St. John Perse, and Baudelaire,
and it’s all so odd now, here in the countryside between heaven and hell,

here with my feelings of freedom and capture in the land where dreams
were the answer: Not the design. Now I’m kissing the witch,
the one who smiles, who sits in the heart and weaves stars and leaves,
who loves, who lies,

my little Mab, Queen Mab, my Celtic-Asian vice. And then there’s
an image of the soul buying Scratch, the other face of God
in this Janus realm. Somehow I did choose. It’s not that different:
they just move in and out…

Same moss, same water, same nervous prayer, same field rolling
into the pine, into home… same but different. They know my name.
Owls call my name. The cross road choices never change, never.

Death knows my face, Life my plan, and Love shows nothing,

the world stays a danger, beautiful and damning, seductive and profane.
Devil-God, Body-soul, really, what does change?
The owls know my name. Why don’t I?
Black crows calling, they know all my name Why don’t I?
In all of this, I alone change, and yet remain unaware…
Entering her room in the hour past midnight,
entering her arms,
feeling her full body matching mine,
dizzy on the scent
of opium, milk, vanilla and sweat,
fingers on the baby hair
at the base of her neck,
black-orange strands curled and waving,
and she bends her head
to show her satin-like shoulders,
one black strap, one green jewel,
and she places her hand on my open lips,
gold flash and the Chinese word for Love,
she steps back, smiling,
silver rings in her nipples shine,
and she closes her eyes
to old worlds collapsing,
opens her arms to blue velvet warmth,
bringing me along all this way,
all this way into the night,
whispering, we are friends,
we are the best of friends…..
Outside everything about the world goes on and on,
dogwoods bloom, sunflowers desire,
holly berries stay red,
cat birds twitter and the bamboo rattles,
and the train still clatters,
rushes along with the soul of Woody Guthrie,
and somewhere out there
another set of lives confronts and tangles,
bleeds into the haze of a liquid sun……
here inside we flow into the spaces
between flesh and the mind, breathing,
reciting canticles of the Shulamite over faded
crystal lines defining love and friendship,
and then the angel says it’s true, it can be done
the body and the spirit can both be loved.
Blue Winds And Artifacts From Interstate 40 To Georgia 78
Wind, wind, sleek wind blowing,
coursing its way through the last of winter,
bending through the plains, the peaks, the cities,
planting itself in this town between the hills,
where raw silk and T shirts conceal and reveal
all the fleshy confusion about just what the temperature is.
You thought you had me figured out,
what blue jeans go with which linen jacket
and how long it would take for me to miss the rain,
and I’m doing it now, missing all the rumble, the gray spotlight,
the shout of a crashed wave at full moon midnight.
Mendocino County, big waves, big rivers,
true land of the lost souls,
and it was home for a while, for a while until I missed
the sound of dipthongs and southern vowels…so I loaded up and ran,
one love on the horizon, the other in the land itself…
And now I miss the waves?-never satisfied,
always Being-Towards, direction doesn’t matter.
I’ll not go back, but the flight East? This is that:
Choppy drive into town, the windows are smeared
with jellied smoke, tape player fast forwards to Preachin’ Blues,
……a flat road into the swamps, gun across my chest……
Oh, oh yeah, let me tell you something, the journey is art, is life, not just whim, always feel on the road, shout
or a whimper, doesn’t matter, I gotta go, I gotta go now…
and the pine trees shake, shimmy and shake from highway winds.
It’s all a haze, all heat, like that, a hot, wet wind.
A scratchy tango emerges and jerks, ah, Gardel, had enough
of Piazzola, give me the mourning stuff with a whiff
of dance and kiss, I’m filled with romance, with desire,
and yet there is no object, no she, no other, but I am filled,
and it’s called longing, longing for those legendary sweet
winds of late spring, whose touch is the life
of a thousand flowers, a thousand lakes and rivers…..
and here I am on the road: The Road…SouthEast: dodging time, running.
I wish I wrote songs. I wish I could touch the heart just one
more time. And then the mists roll in, the air cools,
and it’s late winter, late, late winter.
Well I’m always digging the strangest weather:
either standing naked on Pacific in Alaskan winds, sleet like
cold arrows when January takes a stand…
Or walking dirt roads in the scorching summer,
tinitis cicada roar…yellow sun so close, unleashed.

And just at that time when cold is too cold
and hot is too hot,
when I swear I can’t keep on in extremes the rains come, thunder breaks the shell and the land fills with the winds,
the heavenly winds, moderate, soothing, and always on time.
It’s all about romance. Go figure.
Of course the metaphor is change¬¬–isn’t it?
Great winds and charged ions.
Sometime in the Sixties St. John Perse leaned back on a rock
beneath the Savannah sun and thought about this,
but I’ve never found anyone who wants to talk about that,
so the scenes are solitary moments reaching Spirit, never flesh, never.
Catalogues and roadsigns flipping by, who really wants
the forced dialogues about spending money?
Desire is better than that. Meaning erased, the bad side of our times laid bare in images that do not relate. “Catch ‘em alone
on the road where all they can do is think.”
Oh man, don’t give me the hermeneutic for Bill Gates and a Sunrise,
don’t, please don’t interpret big tits and a car…
yeah desire, better long for what is thought, my thoughts, my fetish
for what is felt, for things felt: and the secrets of economy
wash away by the fast roadside, I don’t want to buy anything,
I only want to feel………. breath, cool streams, a wave,
anything but the bibles of this fin de siècle science
where Sex and Self express through purchase.

Desire is better than that.
Moving forward, the purpose of evolution is to go UP the ladder.
Continuing on in the clutch of highway winds:
resting in the desert where the hills push back
the roar of truck and caravan, sounds like a storm,
feels like Santa Anna, the road, how strange, walked
a hundred yards out in shade of the red mesa, still the din
and blow bounces in Mahler rages of ambient disaster,
but the sky just sits and radiates blue, blue contradiction,
blue envelope around a petri dish gone wild,
I don’t like it, it’s creepy, back in the car I drive
a little bit slower. I don’t wanta contribute, I don’t wanta
be a part of this great hoax and horror, but I am,
and with sound and split winds I barrel out I-40
pushing my own storms agenda on the naked earth beside me.
Sometimes it seems a signature is the last flourish we have that says “I”
in the world. Rush me something grand and changing,
a release from the ordinary, the stereotypes,
pick it up and throw it out, toss away the mass,
the character trait that is always expected.
I remember arguing Dasein, that perhaps objects couldn’t have IT,
now I disagree, now I see, yes, empirically,
that the winds do have Dasein, so much more than these
soul stripped dreamings I am left to lead on wandering ground.
Scene: March Lion breathes heavy in the tall grass…
I heard a catamount scream in the September night,
no one – no thing can chill like that.
Everything stopped.
So as I signed the credit card slip at a convenience stop
in the Christmas tree peaks of northern Arizona,
I thought about my name on the page,
the difference between pronouncing who I am
and that of the feral I wish I was.
Alive in a place where the pain originates,
still thinking in terms of id, ego, yeah libido too,
sad because I can’t connect, can’t breach the space
between word and contact, where history
muffles the need of pronouns to posses,
and language as meaning is abandoned, moves off track
from intention to action, and that’s the pain,
the source, like a subway turnstile locking and unlocking,
a recognition…not a cure…we understand what we want,
and damned if the best wind blowing up out of this tunnel
is that of a freon blast from subterranean lungs.
Yeah, I’m running, hell hound hound hound of heaven
on my heels…..
the legendary image fading in my rearview mirror smiles.
Oklahoma in a flash:
Yield, a warning sign: Prairie Fires Will Kill You.
Tiny heat waves ripple steam through the dust.
Yellow smoke pierces the high white clouds.
Grand motions sweep, small images swirl,
the cottonwood and sage blossom, yet the winds
still roll with cold thunder and the challenge of light.
Detour, I wanta go home. Right now everything just seems
…but how?…and that’s the note,
the trill that signals Change or Die. Sudden lime horizon:
I see a tornado blaze across the sky.
Touch me, I’m afraid
the rest is a blur.
And I move on towards the gentle Appalachians.
Pale white steam rising from the Roosevelt reservoirs,
those hills, those ancient sway backed, wet green hills,
green I cannot number, shades I cannot name, but home, yes,
green home and soft earth. And when I have reached
the high lakes and gotten out of the car, tossed the keys
into the laurel, I will be home. Cool, cool evening,
a season of peace in these breezes, and I swear I saw Garbo
out on the lakescapes, pure Deco beauty out of place
but fitting in, and that’s alright, the four winds gather in,
and yet another destination waits, another storm,
another life building in the kaleidoscope eye of the sun.
And I feel the winds, sleek winds blowing off the hills…


Today she was beautiful with flowers in her hair,
Debussy plays as she walks into the room.
Face manicured with young knowledge,
the colors in her cheeks paint an impression of desire.
The smell of apples blooming when she looks my way.
When she looks my way my thoughts radiate towards her,
and only her…what is this….?
Not myself, I cannot speak myself, so in a hurry words
just fall out, and I look at my shoes mumbling more
to them than her, and I try and I fumble, look a fool.
Insecurity, she’s too much alive for me.
I cannot look into the heart of the living without wondering
if they know just that I am:
afraid of the living.
The raw, herby, fungus scent of Earl Grey tea sticks in the back of my throat.
Between voice and breath it lurks, sleepy, bow-legged and looping
through my blood, migraine diminishes into its turtle shell
and swallows back the words: I don’t believe she knew the moment
she became significant….You are dear to me. How do I say that?
Daylight taps upon the window, peers around the curtains,
begs to come inside. Oh, I don’t know.
Old anguish and guilt hold a mighty fortress here.
Fatalism moved into the house,
and I just can’t seem kick ‘em all out, not for trying,
that’s for sure, but for now I just can’t seem
to kick them out.
An image rises. It’s always her.
I kick them out. Wild animals step out of the shadows, out of their
misted winter slumber, lazily lick and squint a hungry look my way:
“don’t I remember you?” Crow cracks a laugh and the barn owl swishes down.
All but ignoring, giving up on this unarmed Lancelot,
my one time brother and sisterhood turn back away to the shadow and wood,
scratch some dirt my way…”Oh, OK.” I’m on my own. Testosterone urges: move, she is beautiful.
Experience lectures: patience. Are you?
Spirit questions: Is she mystery? Is she body and poem?
And we talked, and I talked too much,
nervous overflowing of all history in a moment. And we talked so much.
And I know I have learned through beauty in the wild, through smile
and tear with other loves, but this place is new, frightening,
I haven’t learned to speak my heart,
and yet, somehow I do………
and yet, somehow I am still afraid.

A Whisper In My Life
Everything is poetry,
there is nothing before
and there is nothing after,
every wink and every shout,
even when I walk across the dining room floor,
even when I don’t know what It’s all about,
like the waking and the snores,
like a hot shower or hot at work,
everything is poetry
and nothing ever bores

Wolfpack at dawn, we run through bear grass,
through bull pine and marsh, through deer trail and rock,
hunting the fertile grounds of ritual and belief,
of hunger and creation…
Wolfpack at dawn, we gather and we speak.
Between the sea and the pines there is only the shadow,
the shadow of bodies racing shore side by rivers un-named,
un-named and adored, bathed within, nourished by,
and the waters are leading us headlong into the distance…
Break away. Step out of the cave.
Do the great religions.
And the great nail is pulled from the rock and from the tree,
and the body on earth moves in language and in love.
And we race the river’s edge in pursuit of sweet promise.
Upright. A new age. Still on the trails.
And then I am lost.
Separated, I cannot run.
What is this skin?
As long as I face the fire I am warm.
And then, turning from the fire,
waiting by the pools of foam for the clam shell to open.
It doesn’t.
Migrating tundra swans gather in the hedgerow.
Face the fire.
Turn away.
Hope and action catapult, tear through walls where I will not.
Stand. It’s always an uneasy step. Turn from the shadows.
Turn from the hunt. And I step out of the cave, again,
read the signs in the sun, sun no longer a myth or story,
the real sun, the one up there, and I walk the old paths into the city,
try to bring my heart into this world, one more time.
Wolf pack on the streets, damn, it’s strange. There are others.
And I want to return, I want to sit by the fire. By the sea.
But I don’t.

This is it. Someone lead me through the jagged avenues.
Tell me what it is that gives history to the eyes. Delirium was never lonely.
The crazy, awkward gallop through galaxies of reckless fixation
never, never showed itself so lost as these days wandering.
Look into my eyes, my wrinkled green dark harbor.
Yeah, out of the wilds and into the city lights…I cringe.
They call this “the real?”
Sorry, I cannot.
And yeah, the Delirium: Delirium was never lonely. The hunt swept me sky high.
I was alone on the hillsides counting fires, counting hearts, counting gods,
counting on that fine sensation of belonging…but how can I belong?

Animal spine bristles in the electric maelstrom
of just not knowing which words signify,
or, which words speak and die.
And that’s where my thoughts were on a warm days walk.
Me: standing. Me: yes animal, and yes as a man, and yes to this:
And it was there, on a sidewalk at 5 in the afternoon, when I didn’t know,
I didn’t know if this was my place, between the sea and the pines,
I did not know…
And across a crowded street I saw her smile.

Gathering up all the dolphins
in my dreaming.
I’m coming home.

Hearing the hooves of great Pan
clicking on the stones of Manchester Beach.
Mystery no longer holds me.

Taking down the black veil
from the mirror in my hallway.
I cannot worship death.

The arrow news is swift
and true, and yet, long flies
the heart hiding from itself.

Nomad: I hasten through fields
of poppy and sunflower.
The fragrance weaves into my hair.

The horizon withdraws
and I have no prayers to sunset.
I now follow a narrow human shore.

After the opiates and the lost loves,
how can I become myself?
The key to all this is redemption.

And what is that redemption?
Every thing that leads towards Yes,
towards what must be made romantic
in a world that says No.

Athens Venus Name a Year
Every letter perfect memory
sweeps across these mercury hot days.
Steamy early mornings
and humid, moon burned nights
move into the moment
where she is:
Confectionery perspiration’s
on her lips and limbs,
honey and salt in her gaze
as presence to absence
from her eyes to mine…
A loose fold of skin curling
round her knit waistband,
a rising line into her small breasts,
tender, pink, new,
but still a delicacy well involved,
known in these and other rooms
too long for the innocence,
the youth claims,
the awkward beauty.
Too brilliant to be curtained,
Yet just enough where she is,
Beauty beyond, love within,
Athens Venus name a year
Never aging and always near.

Walking down the stairs in a bright workroom,
you standing by the dishes smiling,
a sunburst in the white room,
and when I said I was blinded
it was gospel, a truth,
that when I look at you all else
is gone, gone into the shadows
from the radiance of your presence.

Fluorescent Shimmer
…And she goes on like a book of lists,
artful, swift, everything changes and I feel ashamed.
Red shadows darken the lines on her lips,
black silk tease wrapped around her waist,
the sweat and the shape, there’s no escape,
sloe eyed wink, a look away, oh go away,
and it all comes around…like this:
even the stars desire her,
so who am I but a wink and a smile?

After the flower,
after the waves,
and after the waiting
when society dies
and ships collide,
the last kiss is dry,
orange winds flow…
It is the sun.

Gray column of gnats rising,
the bamboo, brown and bent,
nods and creaks,
grill smoke hangs in the leaves
so it looks like winter in a 98~ day.
Friends sitting around
talking about caring and being,
swatting mosquitoes, nibbling Doritoes,
pulling blades of grass and doing hawk whistles,
I wanted to stay a while with them,
these engaged couples on a lazy day,
but the stuff about “to care”
left me out among the gnats.
Yeah, caring is the movement
out of the egocentric.
Yeah, if it’s got a place to go.

Lying in bed with the sound of rain on a tin rooftop,
space heater churning blue flame and little heat,
the sour smell of night sweats on a paisley bathrobe,
Chopin nocturnes escorting Night into her bedchamber.
Dawn sleepily moves across the landscape, and with this
the day breaks upon the city, day breaks upon the already
melting snows. Blue sky and cardinals, green pines shrugging
the cracked ice off, and bend, bend, bend, creaking,
seems it’s me not the trees creaking, leaning towards
the kitchen and all the ways of waking that are waiting there.
Funny, the way the voice shakes in a hushed stage whisper
as it moves in pitch towards the bellow and shout,
towards the un-muffled, the hallelujah yeah that says
this is the moment: a place I’d like to stay.
Step outside on the warped pine front porch, well, well,
the eyes start to focus through espresso steam and Camel smoke,
and it seems out here all the roads connect
on a downtown trek that’s ever and always leading somewhere,
and I look and look and look at the streak of wires
suspended and swaying beneath the weight of winter winds,
they too are going and they’re not coming here…
And for this minute the dawn tastes good, it tastes like life.
Yellow sun rests on the wet roofs and lawns, gleaming, awake.
A car door slams, a car shifts gears and slides to a stop,
a car rushes round the curve and hill, sounds a whole lot
like late for work and I’m glad I’m not, then a truck rumbles,
a train howls and grinds, screams through birdsong
and soft morning thought, and reawakens the knowing
that commerce has no home or heart, it just roars,
tears down wall and reconstructs, full throttle, full throated.
These are the sounds when the city wakes up, with sounds
like this, with iron gates crashing. Sleeping,
the beast is beautiful with it’s neon crown,
it’s candent towers, fuzzy halo and steady hum. And then,
the city wakes up with all the subtlety,
vulgarity and calm of Moloch rising after the feast.


1 (the journey)
A better song, a deeper majesty, something about a place,
the temperature, a thing unrelinquished…
the open hand waving by the side of the road
where the line between corn and simplicity is really,
really thin, but you take the gesture as it is,
as it is, you wave back and drive on, on road, on stereo,
on still toward the place that’s humming in your throat,
somewhere here to the side of the hill…
somewhere here where it all comes together….

2 (the metaphor)
Falcon struggles and falls into the water, fins splash,
seconds later the water breaks, tiny waves,
the scream, a bit of justice. Watch, wait and cast,
thrashing, coax a rainbow in on a weakened tapered line
with a tied stone fly. Storm comes in off the flats
of Charleston Harbor, boat runs out of gas,
drop a favorite fly rod into the water. Let it go.
Ozone cracks across the bow, phosphorous glows on your
fingertips, gets a little choppy, get a little scared,
pause long enough to smell the mud on the water,
fermented, primordial, the earth blows across the water,
and when you pause long enough…
the breath of God moves across the face of the waters.

3 (storms rise, the past lets go)
Back home, Son House flails away on a National Steel Guitar
about a death letter come this morning to the door.
Do the same: Keep checking, keep checking the road,
do a little mock cross, Hey thanks, mailbox snaps shut,
no magazine, no visitors knock, no telephone ring.
Day dreaming, gazing out the bedroom window:
Cool breezes warm and the leaves turn over,
startled thrashers rise to the sudden thunder,
they know the look of a coming rain storm; and me, contemplating blue curtains and wilted flowers,
I see the sense of being, but just can’t feel it.
There’s no need to name, the words are all used up,
prose locked in reflections, in the currents of my past,
still trying to break away, and then…yellow sky to green,
and then the world drops away, tornado hits the valley,
and the weather brings me home, and I know right now
that some things must change, yeah,
and there it is, a death letter standing at the door.
And this time around I refuse to answer.

4 (baptism)
She saw constellations. The sky was good.
Pink hearts…Hello moon, and the stars would swirl.
Sheet lightning in the East, bright, bright flash,
then the winds: Gale winds storming over rounded hills
pulling a hot shroud over hunt poised Orion,
and the clouds rolled over on their dark, full sides,
and the rains did fall; and she kneels by the river,
skips a piece of slate across the rippling Oconee…
Alone, she watches and feels, feels the stones flight,
feels the river and the rain, and says good bye,
good bye to all the loss in a night that found itself.
Uuummm May, volatile, seductive, all sparkle and kiss.
Wisteria heavy air clinging to her damp hair,
she shakes it back and sings shower songs, stops,
sings Ave Verum Corpus and knows that tonight
she felt the soul as though all things were beginning.

5 (encounter and awakening)
Wind slows down and an immaculate moment
now romances…everything. Hey, it’s the first of May,
wash my face in dew, here’s the cat-like light begging
to be scratched, and here I am with sunset eyes,
she and I in a mass of shadows that just fall away.
Through a Shellyean gothic hour into this night
I cross the hearts knife and open to this I, this she.

She blows kisses to the past and then to me.
River road stands warm, water gurgles “Summertime.”
And I forget the flatted third, chromatic slide chords,
I forget what it was that drug me down before.
OK, so I obsess on the past…Let it go. She is here.
Her midnight hair glows. I let go the broken loves. Try.
Now….it’s not just this, wish it was, wish it wasn’t…
Now…she glows…wish is wasn’t so Beckett… more than her…
so hard to go on, but I do: Easy. Yeah? It’s not.
Silence and the blues are smooth, so is she, and we touch…Now.

Ends cramped together with beginnings in my mind,
Images run just to get away. Not chaos. Not afraid. Yes hungry.
A red mule pushes around the stone mill, corn grinds grits,
And the tomatoes are growing faster than we can pick them,
And the tomatoes are cooking, reducing to a burgundy paste.
Summer beats knowledge down into simple sentences
And one word definitions anyone can understand, like lies.
This time of year is always the best for cooking local
From farms within a 20 mile radius. They call us locavores.
Our state legislature and farmer hating senator Chambliss
Clamps restriction, binds their labor, changes the laws
About growing local and throws his support behind
The agricultural giants, turns the laws around against
The ones who sweat alone in the fields,
And us, the chefs ride along with the farms cultivating
In the sun and in the dirt, growing and eating what is here now.
And a trend burns inside, a rage develops, the news of the nation
Is all about growing local, but did they stop for a moment
To ask the big question, did they remember dust bowls
And a highway crowded with American migrants chugging
Along on Route 66 towards a new California
Where in Mendocino and Humboldt they still hunted Indians at $50 a head,
Down in the middle where romaine fields
and almond groves fought for water coming down from the Klamath River,
Water that was going to King Cotton, the thirstiest of all,
That went into that rich ocean dirt before getting close to the lips
Of the Workers, the Oklahomans and the wind torn Dutch
From the Dakotas, Indiana and Iowa, Ford trucks loaded with a lifetime.
The hungry plant(ation) of snow white gauze found a way
To make slaves again of the hungering and the laboring back of Americans.
In my green state they were eating possums, sweet potatoes and squash,
In this railroad stop my great grand family built
They were throwing corn and flour off the produce rail cars,
And my own grandfather served time for stealing this corn and flour,
And yes there was a gang of Robin Hoods in every town,
And I am proud to have had my own to lay claim upon.
Today it’s crack and grass that makes ends meet for some,
It’s a whole new ball game of Wall Street and Agri-business,
Of war lord and oil czar presidents, and the crush comes in prison
Or quiet death, the crush comes in two jobs and eating less.
Ends and beginnings make cute bookends to a history of bondage
That the workers built and mend. The homes are never owned.
The bank accounts are becoming less secure. With blinders
On they condemn alternative energy sources and keep on
Driving their bankruptcy cars into cityscapes of towering Mammon.
The images remain in pale brown and gray photographs
Of the Great American Depression that looks a lot like the one we have today.
The First Great Depression brought in Unions
To protect the American people, sometimes good sometimes bad,
And it begs the need the urgent need of Now for the people to be able
To congregate, for the people to be able to organize, cause you see,
There are laws now against organizing, against congregating to protest,
There are laws that make it illegal to stand together, fight corruption,
We must stand up and be counted.
We must see that from dirt to table from sea to home to cooking clean,
That all things relate, that they all connect, that we are all
Here on this land together and together we must work
For a better world today, together we must work to save and to grow
To cut population growth and heal the young and the old alike,
Together we became the greatest nation of all
And separated we fall, we usher in the New Great Depression
If we don’t wake up and work together, if we don’t sit down
At the same table and talk it all over and bring change for us all.

On a hill close ahead a hundred women change,
change to one, change to her:
the flame,
to the dream, to the ring inside us all.

She is forward, she is moving, she is always gone,
but there, there before me on the mount,
she spins in shape and color of all I have known.

And if I should call it Lilith, Shiva, Eve, Mary or Brunhilde,
would it matter at all, would it….?
Would she be any closer,
and would I be more a man?

Jimi Hendrix waves and water dreams flow down Garcia River
across the sands, down into the currents where
these jellyfish spewing waters just churn and churn.
Ice plants cling to the breathing dunes. Seems it’s all
just an image in a brief windstorm. But she is so real.
Yeah, my eyes absorb what my mind denies.

Move me mountains, move this frame of mine.
Just one touch, one love, just let the hundred
meld to one. Let this moment always be.

At Kings Bridge and 441 S
“I have no silver lining,
the owls still call my name,
I rose in dust to meet you here,
And leave you as I came.”
No twitching tail, no flashing tines,
Not even a little flame,
And yet I knew, as all here do,
That alone on the road
In the middle of life,
Choices come and go.
And the worst thing is
I still don’t know
Just what it is I chose.

Anywhere Is
I opened your hands
Just to see the rocks
You’d gathered there.
Wading these
Cold streams leading into
The Nantahala River
Clear by the falls,
Near rhododendrons
And locust trees,
A mother and cub
Tumble along upwind,
A few trails deep
Into the shadows
Of the hills around
Majestic Lake Chatuga.
And the more I thought
About it the more
It seemed that
These are the fresh waters.
This is near.


The moment the leaves hit the ground
And I feel the chill snap of autumn

The day that I stand in a mound
Of red, grey, orange and yellow leaves

This early night when everything
Around me begins to turn to cool

When rose bushes cling to a final flower
When my tomatoes shine more red
Than red in this lingering hour

The color rises in beloved’s smile
The grill sends smokes signals
All over the neighborhood

A mission bell rings and she asks
“Where is God in all of this?” Good?
And I want to say ‘in all things’

But it’s more beautiful than that,
I really believe all things are in God.

The hickory charcoals pop and glow
I lay a long rack of Ossabow pork ribs
Across the grill grates and close the lid.

And really, the best that I can do
On a day like this is cherish the questions
Flowing across her beautiful lips

I look forward to looking up through
The bare trees at night and feeling as if
I could touch the harvest moon

I can’t wait to eat, relax and tell stories, drink
Real hot chocolate on the back porch at night,

To just sit around in flannel pajamas
And think how funny it is that here in Georgia
We get cold when the wind chill hits that 40.

I like that. I like that my words always fail
To capture God in these words, only describe,
Only accept, Love.

The world is new each and every day.
The way I see you changes and regenerates,
A different beauty with each movement is born,
With each smile or simple discussion you become
Something more, something greater than now.
“How was your day?” “How is the weather?”
“Did you eat?” “I thought of you today.”
All the day reaches higher, as if Santana’s
“Dance, Sister, Dance” began playing in the background,
As if every time we begin a conversation there is a song
There is a dance and then the peace of being together.
Yes, friendship and love acts this way.
Loving like this is all that I need today.
Cook, eat, talk, love, be together.
Yes, I do say yes to everything that is you, my love
Admiration and desire,
A set of figures in ceramics,
There’s a silver platter waiting
The one I never had.
And when the clock tick tocks
Like 6 or so I go into the kitchen.
There you are my garden,
My scented sunlight fading
On one side and the other
A cloudless moon horizon.
Hey Venus!
Give me all the fields of bamboo
In the world, give me tulip elms
And groves of naval oranges,
They will never match this flowing
Life I feel near and in your arms,
They are so beautiful, so still,
You are so beautiful, so electric.
I stand on the porch leaning,
Singing to the dogs and the pines,
Turning to the house and singing
To you, my love, my darling
Dark eyed beloved, Pacific cream,
I am the cloth around your shoulders,
I am the ginger in your tea,
And for me you are the promised
Silver platter, the one so many
Dream and talk about,
The one I never thought
Would be for me.

Seasick on humidity and sticky hot winds,
Watching roses wilt beneath the unforgiving sun
I reach over to this glass; I remember a friend passed,
This tender sweet Jasmine flower green tea,
Yeah, there’s more than one way to beat the heat,
There is a way to make it all better.
Sipping, nodding my head to Drive By Truckers
On the stereo, singing on about Ronnie and Neal,
Singing about that light at the 40 Watt one night.
Looking around and back to the house,
Looking for love on a heatstroke day,
And I find it there by the counter in the kitchen
Making the salads to match all my burgers,
And her smile is like honey and smoke,
Like the steam off of ice at the top of my glass
She is cool… she is warm,
She is all women. In one beautiful frame,
In one tiny voice she is grace and love,
And me, I am hers,
All of this makes any day great,
All of this, even if I were alone would
Be a beautiful day, a beautiful dusk
To do something warm, something loving
For any one of my friends, Donnie, Larry, BJ, Mike and Jarad,
For any day with friends is a good day,
And any day with friends, love and a smoky grill
Is a fantastic day, is almost as good
As a day out fly fishing on the sea,
Passing the time casting for snook with a beloved friend,
Fishing for that champion trevally jack just another cast away.
And for all the friends who’ve come and gone
I raise a chicken leg and thank God for you all
For you all who are brothers in study and life,
In poetry, food and philosophy we are all one.

On A Blueberry Plain

Thick, bramble and blackberry, rhododendron, scrub pine,
A line of wisteria holding it fast to the vines from tree to tree,
Broken Cherokee rose limbs reach back to hold onto barb wire,
To touch the ever present tall grasses from fence post to fence post,
Walking the tree line, looking deeper and deeper among it all,
Maypops and dandelions brush leaves together,
Muscadines attach to the wisteria tightrope and grab onto anything
That will hold them high, and so grow our first grap. Together in groves
And small forests that pop up between highways and suburbs,
In the back yards of 1940s warehouses and busted down barns,
Lining the state lines of Tennessee and North Carolina
Beside marshes and run off blueberries tangle along the way into every
Thicket, onto flat fields and rich red lands, the blueberry
Towers in it’s lack of elevation, pine scented and dark blue,
From sweet to tart sour, fresh jelly jam sauce and frozen snack,
Decoration, delicious and power rich with no alteration
From Chemists and Shadows, just this perfect little
Dark diamond up against them all, up against old cotton pastures
Until it has become our beautiful darling, our new super berry,
Super fruit growing stronger than the Georgia peach,
Stronger than all the sweet corn, soy, wheat and peanuts
You can find, stronger as it is still pure, it is still alive
In spite of the Doctorates and deeply plowed DNA,
At least there is something we can still hold, eat,
And declare it is ours, it is the body, good old blueberry,
Muscadine and wild Rose, you keep my heart alive,
You give us here a bit of hope. You give life while asking nothing
But to grow and to leave their essence alone.

Sweet Blind Lemon Jefferson sang
His Shuckin’ Sugar Blues about being
Dogged around by his bad loving baby
And he was happy shuckin sugar after she
Was gone, gone and worrying on some other river,
And he was better with his sugar,
With his sweet sugar cane cause he knew
The muddy water from which it came
And he knew the muddy water it was going to.
Mean Dock Boggs missed honey baby by his side,
He wanted pretty Polly to share long walks
And cook pork hocks when he was lonely,
All alone on that coal mining mountainside.
Son House, the man who taught the devil loving
Barefoot boy to play guitar was found frying chicken
In New York in 1963. He still had his walking shoes
But it took a while to find his blues.
His Death Letter found him drunk and hungry
Late in the Yankee nights far away from 61 Hiway.
The Clarksdale man god of modern blues
Met his maker, gin poisoned, pants down
In the shadow of his crossroads after dinner
With another mans wife. Robert Johnson’s name
Falls over every song all full with fried eggs and sourwood honey,
Milking notes and words of meaning to this day.
Hobart Smith cooked chitlin’s on Sundays
After playing banjo and hill songs into the Blue Ridge dawn.
And we all know about how Southern Can Is Mine was
Every bluesman’s first commercial to buy some ham,
Or was it corn whiskey, corn bread when you’re happy,
Corn whiskey when you’re lonely,
corn whiskey when you’re dry.
And all down the line ever hungry
every day poor John Lee Hooker
With his blues is about being
hungry, horny, drunk and broke,
About always being hungry for more,
pots on, gas turned to high,
We are all still hungry,
even when we’re eating we’re hungry for more,
Never satisfied, never enough,
cause the food around us
Is the best we can find, grease is hot and the birds are ready,
The song is never the same, the blues just plays the game,
And me I’m a chef, all red clay, iron clad and blistered
By the roaring apple wood fires, red meat and fresh fish,
These blues are burned into my arms, these are the blues
That keep on playing, the bare boned songs from kudzu fields
And huckleberry patches, these are the songs that are ours alone,
The songs of the country, the country blues, our blues,
All hungry, horny, drunk and broke.

You are what you eat eats sounds
Kind of like it’s from a hoodoo text
But it’s not. It is that simple.
It’s that easy to follow,
Take notice of the things that your food
Is fed, be it fruit, vegetable, nut or meat,
Everything needs something to survive,
Cause we take in and take out,
In the ground we cut and seed,
We return as much as we take (harvest)
We’re at the top of the bloody chain
Where you are what you eat
Is not the whole of the equation.
For a moment now, we are the thing
That consumes all things, clean things,
Earthly things, water and air things,
Take care of what we have,
Be aware and wise, dust your shoes
And sit still right here, shucking peas and corn,
Be that creature what other people wish that they were.
Brother it all begins with what you eat eats
And how you give back to the world.
Freely, happily, sharing spring lambs and hogs,
Giving back where you have to ask
Am I giving or am I taking away?
You are what you eat eats, sisters and mothers,
You are either creating or destroying,
We are what we eat eats, fathers and brothers,
We create and we give back to the world,
We are in the world and the world is all we have.
They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
– Amos 3:10

– There are times I’ve seen more beauty and truth than allowed
And times I’ve seen more hatred and misunderstanding as well,
In food these things are settled by the taste,
But not so for hurried hearts or lives based upon the fight.
Good thing my loves are close and dear,
More alive in the home and in conversation,
Good thing. Really. Reach out, listen,
Show you care by the way you hear and the way
You care, not one by the doing, but by the way,
And this is an important distinction. Really. The way.
Like the difference between butter and margarine,
Canola oil and olive oil, yellow corn and peanut oil,
There is a difference, and the difference is in love,
The that each good oil is used,
We really do choose butter and peanut oil
Lard, olive and corn oil over all others, there is a reason,
And it shows on the tongue, it shows in
The way we love, the way we set our table.

I remember the long ago
Of so many cherished things,
Of cook outs and barbecues,
Of morning roses and gardenia afternoons,
Walking without the balmy wind
And treading softened rocky sands
Along coastlines and river beds,
Sitting down every now and then
Just looking at the sky, breath brine and pine,
Looking at the clouds and green treetops
Thinking about the beautiful things
Like life and food and love and friends.
And I embrace this Spring feeling
With all my heart because each season
Brings me closer to my love of loves,
Crookneck squash and Vidalia casseroles,
Tiny bites of peanut stuffed quail,
Blackberry preserves and White Lily biscuits,
And oh, yeah, by Lake Burton with
Family, friends and my darling wife,
Collecting long ago into today,
Placing today as the wish I wished
And holding her sweet hand
On these walks and holding her sweet
Heart inside my own Where each Spring is forever more,
Is forever more another banquet of my home.

Grey Wave Dark Line
Grey wave water runs riverside by green flecked beaches
Where we sit in the shade of a blood maple,
Eating prosciutto, honey melon, black salt, sea salt,
Strawberries, chocolate, marble rye toast and cold sweet oranges,
Not just a warm breeze, a warm Humboldt breeze winnows
Over the waters dividing fog from sand and sea foam;
So yes, all we feel is the dry morning air of vacation,
Free time alone together or time just as you and I.
What a blast, this thing that is “us”, our traveling
To the oceans of the world for our vacations,
For our time alone from everything except each other,
Each other and the cities, the seamarks, the winds,
The new, the shock of the new in food, place and life,
And here, here we are neither traveler nor tourist
Here we are a world of our own alive in this place
In love today more than ever before.

It is Winter,
The body calls for rich and fatty foods
To fight the wet, cold season here in Georgia.
And when you check the waistline and think
About all that you have eaten through the holiday season,
Then perhaps what we crave is not what we need.
What we need is near poetic,
A long day on the rocks casting at shadows,
Popping plugs and dragging bright flies,
Pulling in a few beauties, 16 ounces of cold fury,
And the days’ take is good, it is dinner.
Fresh trout: The delicious, the pale pink and tender,
The flavor of rushing cold water down hill and pasture,
The smell of mountain laurel and tulip maple,
A slight aroma of burning oak and pecan,
Butter popping up as cornmeal dusted fillets
Bask in the fuming wafts of smoke and oil,
And the wind coming in off of War Woman ridge
As you nestle in for a meal of Chatuga River rainbow trout.
Yeah, what we need and crave, well,
What we have is a few whole rainbow and several brown fillets,
All about a day or so old and all ready for the pot au feu, oven and pan.
WHEW! Shake off the day dream and move back home into the kitchen,
Into the home all warm and scented with orange and honey,
Baking bread and yes,
A dinner centered round pink fleshed trout. Or was it perch?

forget the resolutions,
forget about what you are giving up,
just love as you wish to be loved,
and may you have all the joy
in your life every day in everything you do,
let the banquets flow
for your friends and family,
share the life and live to eat,
always live to eat.
Smile, the feast of life is now,
Eat until the fat burns from the inside
You insidious hateful cow 2017.

OH MY LOVE SHE LOVES TO EAT (she is my love where I am,
in winter she is beautiful beside me as we cook as we travel as we dine and laugh.)

Love knows no bounds but for that of the plate
Where like alone on the highway at 1
When it’s all lights and then darkness
All song and then silence,
This is the way my banquet of hearts
Comes and goes, bright-shade-dawn,
A feast and a joy, a joke and a giggle,
The clink of silver to porcelain plates.
Driving, arriving, cooking and dining,
Out of travel and out of love
This is the time when all lives embrace,
When we smile just for the moment
When we feel the warmth as warmth
And nothing more,
Nothing more than a conversation
And then again something more
Something greater
Something like you and I together
Again for the seasons like those before
And those yet to become
And this is what I most adore
About December,
Knowing that again I will be,
That I will be with you and family.

What is This Our Land Becomes
What is this where I have tumbled
What is this where I have been denied
What is this my life and labor
This thing that was my heart and love
What is this where waters flowed
And now rubber tubes clog and litter
What is this I looked upon and adored
Only to find it eaten and destroyed
What is this my work left behind me
So undone unfinished desired and waiting
What is this I tried so hard and found
Dead in the leaves of the gutters above
What is this knowledge denied and rotting
That for thousands of years was designed for now
I held my hand to feel the rough edges
Gone now are my knife calluses soft
And cumbersome where once they raged
What is this when I walk alone unafraid
And still in search for a challenge
Who are you in my garden today
You who would rise up to snatch my life away
What is this I believed for so long
My love of faith spat upon by of course the faithful
Where are you when I speak of my love
Who am I when desire and the sexual
Are fed to the dogs waiting outside the door
And so I know what this is when life rests
And says no more so I accept who I am
See this flesh wilting from my bones
There is little else to smell but rose and jasmine tea
The smell of cigarettes makes me want to vomit
I cannot stand the stench of tobacco and addiction
Long freed from needs of drunkenness and the wild
I was still looked upon as if sparks would
Fly from my fingers and all around bursts in flame
What is this I have called my family who scowls
When I know just how they see me
Wishing I was no longer a man better dust
And a marker with just my name
A thing to be forgotten left lame and rotting

The leaves are slow to fall
The colors quick to change
Pumpkin pies and raspberry tarts
Fill home kitchens everywhere
It is easy to see the Autumn shine
It is easy to feel the bright breath
Of November blanket these Georgia hills,
And me, me and my beloved,
With a good hot chocolate
And turkey leg it’s easy to sleep
Through this season, easy to take
It easy when the days are so calm.

October really does
Bring everything together
In my world of love, work and words.
Like the cool winds weaving
And bright leaves lingering,
My love herself just seems
Ever more beautiful,
The language and spirit
Of the table is stronger,
More flavorful, and then
I walk more briskly,
Talk smoothly of rhymes
And memorable poems,
Speak softly of dreams
And the harvest moon…
Yea, October, what a month,
What a beautiful place to be.

She is the grove and the land
The cluster of grapes upon the vine,
She is cream and star thistle honey,
She is the warmth that holds me
The smile in which I live,
But it’s football season
And the games are upon us
So “so long for now” darling,
Hello Larry Munson,
Let the games begin…
Pass the chips and chill the Dr. Pepper,

Sun flows like a river into the 6 o’clock dawn,
Warm Atlantic winds course across and swirling
Around the place my house once was on Carolina Beach.
The great green Appalachians just north of here,
Who would hear us walking in the near daylight
Over flour texture dunes and then the salt marshes,
Is it the lost hawk above, the wandering mongrel pup?
Fallen black cherry branches crumble roadside,
White peonies bloom, the smell of anise rises,
Everything looks good in the simmering morning,
Where long awaited rain clouds hang on the blue.
We walk and begin to sweat, we walk together
And the weather talks back, a breeze here,
A thunderclap there, and still the sun shines,
The sun always shines in August here.

Southern Sun of Octavio Paz
Hot, hot and then it’s humid, hot,
No real rain and still I’m drenched,
Standing in the kitchen chopping, boiling,
Roasting and chilling, putting a weeks
Food together so it’s all heat and eat,
Or even better grill and eat.
Outside the window a grey lawn yawns
Stretches in the breeze and goes back to sleep,
Somewhere out there is a link and a green
Just waiting for Pings and Big Bertha,
Callaway and Cobra, Odyssey putters
And me alone at dawn walking,
Smiling, turning a shoulder to the sky,
Looking out over the dale
Towards the next hole, towards the day
That opens so wide beneath the Southern Sun
In July, begs we all play just for a while,
Just for a day of golf and a laugh,
Just for today make it easy, make it charmed.

June light lays low on the pines and maples,
Cicada buzz and grasshopper clicks,
Mockingbird whistles from beneath a holly,
High above in the branches of a water oak
The local hawk sits and watches and waits.
Yeah, it’s near dark in the suburbs,
Dog walks and lawn mowers,
Grill smoke wafts between the houses,
A neighbor leans over and adjusts a stack
Of winter wood while I keep on pruning,
Pulling weeds and talking to the day lilies,
Cutting rye grass around a stand of hosta
And wild honeysuckle. Yeah, dusk.
Thinking about recipes and new menu
Items, thinking about dinner and fishing
And yeah, thinking about everything food
As I linger in the garden, hanging out
In the yard doing a lot of nothing
That is everything to me,
Hanging in the garden the way
I’ve always done, looking, thinking,
Touching, smelling, living,
Reflecting reaching towards the future,
Reaching towards and inside
What is beautiful and what is life.
What is life? It is this, and everything more.

Sunlight and the diamond blade of color runs
Out from my sinking fly drifting down into the water.
I dream it’s tuna rising up from a chase
And my skiff a sailboat on the Aegean,
The shoreline the oasis island of Limnos
And my beautiful love the ever goddess like waiting
For my return from this great adventure,
And then it hits, AWAKE! a one pound trout
On the North Chattahoochee in Helen, GA.
I am here, and it is always
So perfect and serene on any water
With any shore as long the fish are biting
And I’m not far from home.

Hands black and Georgia red as I dig
Under maple mulch around the house.
Crush up the fish bones for each bush,
I think it’s ready. I think that now is the time.
Three years treating, turning, feeding
And now, yes now it looks rose ready,
Lily fresh and lemon thyme hungry,
This land is my land, my house,
My readied garden for the summer light and heat,
And I can’t wait to press the first bulbs down,
To build up the sides of John F. Kennedy rose bushes,
Lady Peace and dear Lincoln rose.
Always a spot for bird chili peppers, red serrano,
And jalapeno around the edges.
Sure, there’ll be the weeds, the fact of life, huh?
Dig dig dig, pull pull pull,
Water and preen and wait and watch,
Just like a life, just like a love building,
All gardens rise with care and a soft touch.

The new season walks in out of winter’s shadow,
Brash and windy, commanding change,
Bold flavors and fresh ideas,
March does not speak so much as it roars,
And with this wind we cook our best dishes,
Have the most philosophical conversations,
Argue over when to plant roses and peppers,
Basil and tomatoes, and of course lilies and mint,
Finish off the last of cords of split wood
And set aside the chips for summer smoked meats,
And beloved asks about lavender, hyssop,
Angelica, gardenia (oh please can we plant
Gardenia by the walkway?) and garlic,
I say yes, this year the fence line and creek side
Will be more alive than ever,
A testament to the wealth of soil and rain
That is North Georgia in the Spring,
A living poem of love, hope and desire,
This is what a flowering garden is,
A pastoral waiting to be sung,
A beautiful cuisine reclined and patient,
Waiting, waiting to be served and adored.

For Situations Grown
Spirit of the year comes about in the second month,
We find shards of the old one scattered in cluttered
Spaces around the house, some stay,
Some are shuttered or swept away,
Some are transformed and given names like
“gift”, “donation”, “save” or “another day”;
But things never wasted, trashed or stored
Come from the pantry, the oven or Frigidaire,
And those are things we cook, we make, we give
And share with each other every day, we live
With Food, Romance, Life and Home.
Gimmee warmth and a bowl of rice or noodles
Any time, gimmee cream and butter
Over diet chemicals and hydrogenated fats,
I want the touch of my love skin to skin,
The touch of my food from good dirt to table,
You can trash imitations and transformations,
But nothing compares to a hand held,
A house manicured to self-expression
Or a meal well made with a love well formed.

Dear Mendocino: The water was always thrashing,
Cracking on the rocks
And cliffs below my home,
And every now and then
A grey whale would breach,
Would blow that slow shot
Of the sea straight on up to the sun.
Time holds when this happens.
My Uncle Allan loves the water,
Fishes all day, his boat is perfect,
Pulls perch, crappie and spot bass
Up in all weather.
He lives the New Testament;
He breathes peace and hope,
I hang on his words like a child
To rhymes and song.
When the shrimp nets
Are pulled in on the Gulf Shores
And they cut away the turtles,
Birds and cans there is always something
That is left behind, something
Beautiful that grows to breed
And feed and replenish.
Fly fishing sunken islands
At the mouth of Sebastian River
I pause on some casts
To watch a dolphin watching me,
Checking to see when I’ve caught
A blue, redfish or snook,
Circling me the way we circle them
Waiting to be fed just the same.
We both wait and work to be fed.
A sense of something other blows
In on winter leaves, a sense
Of something other always
Rests on blue tipped waves,
And this is just what it is,
This circle, this other, this being within,
This always being as with and in,
And it is good. In all ways, it is good.

A word, a home
An autumn rush of color,
Doors open, windows shine,
The noon sun warms.
A leaf, a wind;
An open hand is not a wave.
An empty kitchen
Is the loneliest room.
Rosemary, pancetta, bow tie pasta,
And the world fills up
With all these things
These foods and phrases
Of life and house.
When we call this room
Our nest our home,
Our place in the world,
It is complete
And the season awakes
To this dear moment
Of You and I
Of times remembered
And times yet to come.

Filling me with love
With hope and expectation
Charming me in every moment.
That’s the way it is when I am with
You my Beloved, warm my life,
My best of all in anything everlasting
Ever-beautiful bride, ever my love,
Like kisses and chocolate you make
These days so cherished and bright
So complete, so much alive.

Waiting for the moment.
Waiting for the last Thursday.
Root cellars, garlic,
Potatoes and onions,
A turkey curing in
The darkened pantry
Where we hang
Mystery foods to season
And to age.
That was yesteryear.
Today it’s the market
The international store,
The local grocer
Who can get it all in
And who’ll remember
Your name weeks away.
Ask food. Talk food.
Learn the ways of the earth
Beneath our beautiful Georgia sun.
There are no state or county
Lines, only wide open
Lands of food and love
In this America
In this South
On our own beloved
Thanksgiving day.

She is every flower, aroma
And scent of this world,
She brings grape clusters,
Chocolates, peppers,
Fresh shrimp and scallops.
And I wait outside
By the Rose of Sharon
And dwarf Magnolia,
Smiling, happy the man
With his Brinkman grill,
With alder and cherry wood
Smoking, heating steel,
Sending rich earth flavors
Up and into these sweet
Moments of food and life,
Food and life in this backyard
With my beloved and the light of day.

Down beneath the parts of the city
There is a path that leads to the sea
That weaves between
High marsh grass and gray concrete,
Where snook and perch together chase
Stone flies, shrimp and sun light.
To me now, in this moment here
This little walkway marks the strand
Separating the designs of our life
And the architecture of this wild life,
This wild life that feeds us all
That makes this world a better place.
Yeah, a small stretch of dry earth
Above the water, where I can hear
The waves, cars, cattle in the fields,
My own lowing footsteps,
And what seems to be the marshes
Breathing, the whispers of this
Challenging estuary demanding
It be seen and heard as it’s own self
And not just a place beneath the city.

Tree frogs, crickets and lunar moths,
Citronella incense and jasmine flowers,
Orange and lime peels smoking away
On bright burning coconut shells,
A small flame shoots up,
Snaps and scores the red bell peppers.
In the easement a bobwhite quail calls
And is answered by an owl low in oak branches.
What a night, what a backyard,
What a life this is in early June
When all the cares are for what
To eat and when to sleep
And if all the roses will bloom this year,
And if my love will like this meal
I just burned to a black crisp, burned
Because I was lost in the mists of twilight
Dreaming, dreaming summer away.

People think we’re all down here smoking Camels
Drinking bourbon on ice, fuck the heritage and the barrel,
All the aged here single this adding sexy to whisky tattooed at night.
I’m swishing Dr. Pepper, chamomile or chrysanthemum tea,
Swatting gnats in February and counting winter stars,
Spotting planets around the moon, remembering the Milky Way,
Chasing armadillos with 9mm semi Smith and Wessons,
Or the more vulgar 410 shotgun, and it’s all a yes to this
Way of life of ours, its different cityside in chain sanctums
Of burnt coffee filled with personal stories of broken bones
And rotting stomachs, papers due and stories singing across
Keyboards sea to sea to Gulf and prairie, poems melting
Down ice cycles in the Dakotas and U.P. Porcupine ridge.
The thinking all Art is a brush or stone and chisel,
And I want to blot them out with a hammer and a feather of God’s
Own making that greenery wasn’t a thing without eyes
And a language to lift it out of the cornea, the glades and pine needles
Of this place known more as pine country when it’s not,
We are deciduous up here, less so after the chestnut blight
That saw these beautiful trees falling even into the 1970s
On a northward march to wipe out a species so delicious,
So smoky and earnest in the flavors it brought to rabbit,
To spot bass and crappie, to rattlesnake flattened between
Two grills so it cooks smooth and even, not curled and burnt
Like you see in the westerns of giant mesas, sudden canyons,
A different world altogether once you passed Amarillo
Driving West or North it was another planet to me each time
I crossed this dying land of Whitman that became more and more
The same each time I crossed except in the Rockies
Or on my beloved and longed for Star Hiway winding dragon
Dug into the mountainsides, the ridge lines and the barely there,
The road that would crash overnight, that fell into the sea as we
Raced home from San Francisco one silver dollar raindrop night,
Of rockslides and night blindness when LA and Orange county
Carpetbaggers dug their Mercedes and Porsche monsters
Into the land of the Pomo, of hippy weed and Artists;
Different every time and the “Blue” Pacific maybe now and then
But she is so many colors, every time I think I’ve named them
A new one appears and I have to start all over again from my perch
On the dunes or the boulders, holding onto tree roots just
To get a glimpse of the waves breaking over basking grey whales
And endlessly barking seals more sea wise in rock cropping islands
No one steps upon except in search of how fast it takes to be
Taken away and out into the currents not stopping till a rest
Underneath the Golden Gate Bridge in the land of millionaires
Of San Mateo, Marin, Golden Gate Park, and pick a famous hill
In anywhere San Francisco cause they are all there, a land
Of restaurants Oakland and over and over and over,
It seems to never stop no matter how far or how high,
And it’s everything you hear except the costs have gone so high
Why live where you pay simply to live on a street with a name
Near a corner of a place where something famous happened
Before the river run of a new generation every ten years claiming
It as it’s own, as it rightly should because what is if not changing,
If not in danger of disappearing any day now any hour any minute?
But I’m back here, Georgia roped in, sweating in January no climate
Change here, nah, nope, nothing going on, look prairie side of the river
Mississippi or north of Chattanooga for the Tennessee Blue Ridge experience that is unmatched by any sun melting smog effect or water
Steaming treeward to hang in the locust, elm, chinaberry, oak and pecan,
In the bamboo of the Nantahala mountains another range ruined by
Developers with more “we buy gold”, genuine log cabin homes builders than cricket and worm stands anymore, even the weekend hillbilly music
Has gone deeper just to get away to be there for the pickers and scratchers
Talking about how Skaggs, about Emmylou, about Doc Boggs,
And the sweet sweet voice of Dolly and Loretta, try to go deep enough to be alone, to among their kind, but that kind got strung out on crack
The even madder mans moonshine, even though moon is better for you
They choose to cause an epidemic of rotting teeth and death grey skin.
Get away, go in, find a map, if you see them selling giant hominy for bait
Find another river, go where the signs say “no live bait or corn allowed”;
To fish the streams and a few brown trout here and there but these rivers
Are fed by markets and farms not nature having her evolution dance
Of cold water fish like the Middle Fork of the Salmon River,
Of the cold glacier Montana rivers and Natchez Trace, of Wyoming,
These lands with skies I’d never seen before, I kept stopping
Pulling over just to sit on the top of the truck and say “wow” and “yeah”, anything to describe what it is to see a day to dusk looking right to left,
And all that wide waterway fishing, shoulder to shoulder, nope, not here, short casts standing waist deep in chilly streams to crazy Chatuga style rivers wanting more to splash you around than offer up anything other than darters, runaway rainbows, a snag in the mountain laurel, in short pine,
Catfish, grassy bass, perch and giant minnows some call carp,
We call ‘toss it back and let the river do the rest.
Back and forth, back and forth this America up and down
And longside to the hot currents breathing hell on the Tortugas
Gulf deep into the Caribbean so far offshore that’s all they’re for,
The “offshore banking” for America’s whore class snaking away
From paying their fair share of taxes for this land of ours like the
Slime in mangrove, the stink around the swamps, the chiggers
Hanging in the pines and moss of everything south of the Gnat Line.
Take them away we can’t afford them anymore, really, we can’t,
Who needs another family with a $7,000,000 tax break,
Our Ruling Class of 440 families fighting to plant Alberta’s tar sands
Through steel dragon pipes across American land down to Mexico and over to China aboard oil tankers where they’re lower standards and more lung cancer, yeah, let’s celebrate market freedom and the curse of the CEO.
I heard the road crying the last time I crossed from here to beauty,
I-20 and I-10 I can do without and now I-40 is just a city street
More than open highway vistas of sparkling flowers and small townships.
Goodbye purple mountains majesty hello green jello colored hills and Dorito
Yellow sunsets, I hear the saws and tractors now out riverside
And in the woods, the last country side in my home being torn down,
Can’t have woods, forests, or glades, nah, gas lines and stinking
Asphalt rising as they tear our two lane hideaway into a suburb
And a center for progress and change. Damn, I hate progress.
I hate the need to reproduce to have as many children on the American dime
As you can, as you can get away with till the myth catches up and you
Can’t even shop Walmart or Target which is which, which am I?
What is it to be lost in your own hometown? What is it to be alone
When the killer storms are two inches of rain and dumbass driving
Too fast on the curves in Daddy’s Escalade, oh go away, just go away. Truckscape and traffic that roared even when I walked out
Into the Utah desert or snuck out into the legendary hillsides
Of King Ranch in Texas where they all either have 1000 acres
Or a rocky snarl creeping with cactus, scorpions, Coors beer cans;

Aromatic, mist driven and steamy on the horizon,
A glimpse of empires the color of hazel and garnet,
The wind washes over magnolia leaves,
Winds bring in the smell of crushed honeycombs.
Wispy warm the scent of May in the suburbs
The way it fills with cut grass and spring onions,
How here by a stack of cut poplar it’s clover
That catches the best of the earth at dusk,
This waxing afternoon of a thousand colors
Carries images of hands reaching towards sunset,
Fireflies skitter in the air around my beloved yard,
The dogs bark and run home to their own dinner,
And me, I turn and bid good day to this perfect
Melding of the senses, to this moment in life
Where all things are felt, and to feel is so good,
To feel this beautiful land of ours is so very, very good.

And I move my fingers across a map of the world,
Across gardens and fields, great oceans and mountains,
Through city and country, through gates and doorways,
And then I stopped at this most beautiful place,
And there it was, one Cherokee rose, a live oak rising,
TVA dams and reservoir lakes full with promises
And large mouth bass, thrasher and quail in the meadows.
The brown Chattahoochee and deep Savannah River,
The boom and roar of 1-85, the languid turns of 441
Where azaleas line side yards and creeks from near
Lake Oconee to far Lake Burton and I turn away
To heavy driven roads ruled by possums
And swarms of honey bees, 78, 15, I-95,
And I called it Heaven and I called it home,
This magnificent vineyard of life and love,
This sweet Georgia, old and grown,
And yet new in every way it grows, expands
Into always something more, becoming
Better every day this bright field of the South.

Green chilies and sweet peppers burning
In the blue gas flame on the stove in winter;
Breathe, breathe, it’s so thick and rich
In here today, and you know, I rushed home.
I rushed home from work today…with fresh herbs,
Papaya and sweet pepper, tangerines and clove…
A dozen oysters and trout caviar.
And there you were as tired as I was.
And for you this is yours.
Sit back and relax, let this be your air,
Your silence, your laugh, and your meal.
Whatever it takes, tonight this life is all on me.

Together in the cold we walk
The starry suburban street.
By a mailbox at dusk we kiss.
We hold hands to keep warm.
As we trade jests and conversation
I watch the fog puff away from your lips,
It floats into the hungry night.
Your apple cheeks glow,
You are beautiful and we kiss.
In our after dinner stroll
We gush like teenagers,
And when we reach our door
I stop, hold you, pull you close,
And again we kiss.
Feels like love every time
I’m close to you,
And it’s good enough for me
In any time of night or day
To say I am yours and you are mine,
That yes always I am here for you.

Toffee, the Buddha soul Golden Retriever,
She stands and does an easy wave of a walk
With her tail barely swishing back and forth,
She smiles and nuzzles, cajoles for treats,
And in opposite boy-like fever the black Lab Freddie
With open mouth in constant laugh, the trickster,
He sits up on the couch and pretends to be human,
Move his paws like he’s talking, gesturing towards
The old and irritated house cat Roscoe
And tries to tease him to come a little closer.
And here it is, You and I together in the holidays
Like a Mr. and Mrs. St. Francis Of Assisi
Loving all life here equal and the same,
Loving as love is in this greatest of seasons,
Wishing each other and all the sweetest blessings
The blessings of home, trust and freedom,
The blessings of a green world in which to live
Where the Life shared is the life cherished.
So as New Year’s and Old Year’s come together,
I know that Peace lives in many hearts as one
And let’s hope the next year is better than the last
That we learn from all things to love the lesser as the greatest,
And that we learn to live harmless with the world around us
As in this moment by the shimmering tree,
With my Beloved and the animals in this last of us.

Turn off the phones and shutter the TV,
Open the doors and let autumn in,
Gather to the table your love and smiles,
Bring bread and fruit and sweetened butter,
Sharpen the knives and polish the silver,
Check and check again the oven light.
Is the bird too brown? Are the juices clear?
Hold high your glasses for family brought near,
These are the days we live to remember,
To give thanks for shelter, food and friends,
To praise this world we all do share,
To stand steady together in each passing year
And look forward to more, and more and more

The golden coin of the Rubaiyat,
It spins and spins throughout
The dawn and day and dusk,
And yet at night it stops and shines,
One light upon the table,
One flower on the mantle…
Cluttered, empty plates,
A smoldering candle smokes and sputters,
And I start humming the dance
From Cavelaria Rusticana,
Swaying, holding, a little waltz
Together in the kitchen at night,
And we shine back into the coin,
Giving definition, giving heart
To the great feast of today, and tomorrow.
Until the hour to the East
When the great Milarepa begins to sing.

I have lived by the great vineyards of the West,
Dined beneath the magnolia and madrone
With master vintners and visiting dilettantes,
Roasted salmon and abalone on coconut hulls
Beneath the cold pacific night on the cold Pacific shore,
Travelled the rolling hills of Mendocino and Sonoma,
Searched for that perfect bottle, the perfect fruit,
The fattest lamb and sweetest tomato,
And all the time these roads and beaches
Led me right back here, here to Georgia
Where the hills rise greener than fescue or jade,
And the seasons fold over into each other
With their own songs of summer and fall,
With their own way of raising healthy crops
To a perfect way of sunny, humid Southern being,
Where we have our own Chateau Elan,
Artisan farmers and organic ranchers,
Here in the South we have a greatness all our own
That reaches out from Northeast Georgia
To the Nantahalas and beyond for Carolina seashores,
Down to Savannah and pine kissed Macon,
Yes here in the Southeast where our
Squash and peaches grow stronger and sweeter,
Where the hot lakes and streams are full
With bass, crappie and catfish,
Where the rushing swarms of stone flies
On the Soquee & Altamaha Rivers taunt trout and angler,
This is Georgia in the turn of seasons.
This is Georgia just before the first kick-off,
Right before the stadiums fill and football
Rules the land, this is Georgia the Peach,
The farmed and harvested,
The Southeast alive with food and love,
This is the turning of the seasons.
This is a way of life.

Together in a rocking chair
On a porch at sunrise,
Watching moths and fireflies
Lay down to sleep,
Singing birthday songs
To the God unseen inside
The tangerine she holds and smells.
And so he watches her,
Watches the colors change,
Her bare feet curling, pushing,
Rocking their lives into the day.
He reaches over to hold
Her hand, tells of a walk
Through lemon groves
And a white sand road,
Where by the sea he traveled,
In awe, in search,
Down shore to a store
Where all the great mysteries
Of kites and wind,
Of ginger and coconuts,
Of mango and gin
Joined together at the whim
Of an old shopkeeper.
This day, charmed and warm,
So together, so yearning,
Sitting and talking, rocking,
And they felt the lure,
They felt the movement
Of voices adored, of home
And late meals….of life and love.
Hours later, still hungry,
Still rocking and holding hands,
Still singing to the God
In tangerines and Chinese kites,
Still dreaming of the path to the store
That’s always there…
A man and his love, she and he,
Always waiting on another shore.
Always here, always there,
Always being together where
The sun meets the sea.

Rain? Are you touching me now?
I thought I felt rain on my shoulder.
The smell of mushrooms bursting,
Thin-skinned puffballs blowing
Grey smoke in the dry afternoon.
The acrid smell of Comet cleanser and baking soda.
She promises rain, but tastes like perspiration.
I kissed her fingers. Khaki tan and soft.
And it seemed the sun exploded in my eyes.
Turn this over in your heart she says,
And she says there is no price on dusk today.
I tease each lowering cloud with lidded glances
And an Elvis Presley snarl.
Brown needles drop off the sergeant juniper.
Starving bonsai: what is your peace now?
Giving up, I don’t even cut back the English ivy anymore.
And the arid heat is murder here, here on
The banks of the slow Oconee,
Here we all sing “summertime….”
She cat licks my left ear lobe.
Breathes into my translucent Irish skin.
And the vibrations curl, shimmy and shag.
Are you touching me now?
And the cumulus thunder shouts,
Pregnant black clouds roll over and foal.
And suddenly, as parched as I was one second before,
Here I am, drenched and laughing,
Finally, finally my Georgia sky became itself again,
And the summer rainstorms came as promised.
She holds me close, asks if I can smell the grass
Turning green again, if I can feel the branches
Gathering up all the water they can….
And I just say yes, yes I can.

Something I learned from my wonderful Mother:
Thinking and believing are not the same.
Cause when I think I’ll cook and I believe I’ll cook
Occur at different times
Then the oddest of meals falls out of the kitchen.
But when I live with both as one
Then what becomes
Is the greatest of things,
And that is what the good cook lives for,
Greatness on the plate and a smile on the face,
Where love is in the kitchen and everywhere.

This month between the seasons,
This spread of days whose meaning is in the flower
The change and flux,
This wild hunt through
Days and nights of warm cool warm
Where we prosper from the cold months of the sea
And the fresh meats of a final frost,
Where we take on the last of the Indian Rivers orange harvest,
And turn to welcome the first tomatoes and squash blossoms,
The bright green, the mango, and the rose red flowers
Of this new Spring into Summer. Yes, this is April,
The swaying good bye to our long nights,
And a graceful hello to fertile days
Of the South that reach two seasons beyond,
Bountiful seasons that stroll, languid and at peace
Walking into the promised warmth of our ancestral kitchens.
Yeah, April, nothing but good, and always exciting.

Behind the hedges in the backyard
We kissed.
In the kitchen by the stove we kissed.
After work in the grocery store
We lingered by the boxes
Of ripening mango a tropical scent griped us,
And yes, we kissed.
It seemed the fruit was turning to wine.
I remember every place we’ve been
By the times we touched,
By the love when you pressed your
Hand into mine,
By the meals we shared,
By the idle moments alone.
The months and years fade
When we are together.
It’s too sweet, I know,
But I really don’t care
Life tastes better with this to share:
A simple kiss for you my love.

And it seemed dinner would take forever before
Our time together alone on a stroll in the lowering night.
To walk warm beside you through the quiet neighbourhood,
Where night winds bristle and crack in the bare trees,
Where long gone finches perch with the owl and cardinal,
Watching the grounds for sign of stray seed and beetle.
These winter nights, these unbelievably bright shining stars
Light our way along the street behind our too fat golden retriever,
And yeah, we feel a little hefty ourselves after this night’s repast,
But what the heck, it’s winter and it’s Georgia,
And we are alive calling out to our small world our joy,
And what could be better than this? A full stomach,
You, me, the dog and the crystal Southern evening
Where all seems right and fine just for you and I.

Early evening blankets the winter sky
Of fog brightened stars and shadowy trees,
Chairs creak and squeak as we move around,
Sharing sweet coffee, chocolates and ripe strawberries.
An Irish Christmas song dances from the stereo,
It flows and rises, settles into the room
Like a family member returned from long ago.
It’s so peaceful here, after the feast,
Relaxed and easy, where the working world
Slips away and it’s just us, the gentle night,
The fire, the food, feeling each other feeling,
Sharing our memories of today
As well as our histories yet to be.
The airs of this season are divine.
So here we are, vibrant and crisp
In the tide before the New Year
And I couldn’t ask for better,
Nothing less and nothing more
Than that this moment be for all humankind.

A break, a moment,
A few minutes lost,
Risotto bubbling in broth and butter,
A car door slams,
Steel hinges squeak,
Foot falls on the mat across the living room,
Crushed bay and cilantro in my palm,
Water glass trembles,
And there she was, my love
A sudden kiss of iris and clove.
Funny how nervous,
The ceremony of unpacking,
Turning and smelling, pushing and shaking,
Praying the pork loin, the pumpkin and,
The basil are all unblemished,
And most of all,
That the meal is as perfect
As the moment she walked in.

I’ve traveled the long roads of this world and this life,
Walked the woods in seven states and fished the purest waters,
By car, alone, I’ve seen the land from top to bottom
From east to west, and been amazed by
Just how beautiful America can be.
I’ve served royalty and presidents, friends and family,
Dined with peoples of all nations,
Cooked in every imagined situation (and shied away from some),
But nothing’s better than being here, here on the ground of my relations,
Here in the sweet North Georgia airs, with my love and my friends,
Here where life means more than a moment, here where life is everything,
So with a Dr. Pepper toast and swinging rib
Here’s to you and all that follows,
Here’s to the life of taste and flavor
To you, to me, and all you know:
Happy Cooking,
may the great angels and saints of the South look after you all.

Sometimes a warm summer night is all we need
To see how beloved this Southern life can be,
For me it’s how I cherish, how I care and prepare,
For others it’s just the way the day crawls by,
How we sit and chat and watch the flowers in the breeze,
And any way you slice it there’s no better way to live
Than passing the time on a sun porch in June,
It’s one of those things my Mother taught us all,
To love the life we live and to share this love with everyone.
And if you don’t believe, well, gather round the grill
And start talking about the world,
Pour a tall glass of sweet orange pekoe tea,
And tell me, can you feel the urge to tell history and myth?
Can you feel the desire to hold your loved one?
Can you tell her she is beautiful in the glow
Of a hickory smoke fire at sunset?

There is no one flag,
Cuisine or Oz wizard
To show the heart
And mind within,
But there is this you
To whom I open
Like morning glories to the sun.
I will always be there,
At the end of the day,
And throughout the night:
If not beside you
Within you as thought,
As spirit.

Sunday, feasting on the powers of Georgia barbecue,
Reveling in the glory of a lakeside fish fry,
Small talk, a little bit of Hegel, Jesus too,
And a touch of our redneck philosopher Lewis Grizzard,
Buckets of sweet tea, a bushel of lemons,
Bit of a fight over the better voice,
Haggard or Yoakum, nobody won.
They do sound great on a Sunday afternoon
With a plate of striped bass and yellow perch,
Sliced pork shoulder and crisp cole slaw.
Haggard reminds me of onion hush puppies,
And Yoakum, he’s like a hot sauce and bbq.
My mother finally tells the story about
My grandfather during the Great Depression.
He was arrested jumping the Southern Pacific train
Coming into Tucker, when it slowed down
He tossed sacks of corn and flour
In the woods outside Cofer Brothers lumber yard.
New to me, and I loved it,
The air of a just crime, my Papaw a renegade.
I remember his kindness and his jokes,
The tipped Fedora and Lucky Strike cigarettes,
Something of a rascal, a colorful guy,
He taught me how to drink coffee.
I still think about him when I pour in the milk.
He taught me that all food was good.
Odd, no matter how cool, or how wayward
I’ve ever been I’ve never been so brave,
Or so desperate as to jump a train
And steal food for my family.
And the barbecue tastes even better now,
I have something more to relish,
Something more about my forefathers
To season this hungry history with,
Something more to be thankful for
In this land of life and promise.

Looking up into what was October
when the frosted winds came,
and November stepped across the river.
Inside, the house grew frigid
in it’s emptiness.
Then there you were,
as if with me for all time,
beside me here in the living room,
open arms wide in the quilted easy chair,
yes, there you were,
shining like a forever summer.
My warm love,
my smile in darkness.
Today I was up early,
rubbing the Laughing Buddha
on his lucky little belly,
thinking and thankful,
I know no matter what
there are those few things
that are so good, so giving,
even in times that say
compassion is a joke,
and peace of heart is a myth,
and I think, yeah,
sometimes the love stories
must be lived,
like the one that says that I am
glad I’m living this life of mine.

Looking at the lone house key on the mantle,
touching to maybe feel her warmth in the metal,
and I stand there by the heater,
holding this memento of her in my home,
of how she would fumble, push it into the lock
and open the door to my house and life.
Entering the calm, burgundy living room,
and she calls out to the cat,
“Roast Beef! come out come out you dirty cat!”
And she would start laughing at how she
could always surprise the not so regal cat of the house.
Or perhaps sneaking in, tip toe up behind me
as I worked at my desk, at my words and recipes.
Slowly, slinking, and then a shout “Heeeyyy!!”
and always I would jump,
and always I would turn and smile,
happy in the moments she made each hello
a gift of fascination, an event of joy.
And the key has no holder now, no soft hand,
no warm pockets to keep it company,
just the mantle, a collection of Bataille,
a black horse from my childhood and a string
of golden, shimmery, decorative stars.
Squeeze, lift it to the light, peek through
the ring hole at a photograph of her.
Tell myself, it’s ok, don’t worry, soon, soon,
thirty days away before she prances
into this dark study again,
thirty days away before the sun will shine
again in my winter without her,
and oddly, religiously, I set the key right
back where she left it, there above the heater,
next to a candle and a racing plastic stallion,
here in this house where there is so much more
to the world when she is in it.

Late arrival,
window shakes as the front door slams,
covers pull up against the coming light,
then a sweet voice flows across the dust…
and in your little room you squint and shake,
see a world alive with breath and whispers,
there’s a woman there you know you love…
yeah, she’s the spice of life.
Like a tickle in your ear:
hello? hello?
And she says:
No lucky charm bounces on my chest,
no crucifix, no ankh or star,
just a flash of red, a hearts fire contained

And the snow left the sky for a while,
hung around the yard looking all cool and white,
with ripples and dimples and ridges and clumps,
so perfect seeming at dawn and at dusk,
just like the bright green lawns of summer.
Today I am thankful to be alive,
to feel the cold, to taste the snow,
to look beside me and see you there.

Bamboo And Willow
In the summer it was a constant shower,
slight mist then mountain rainbows,
this is a different back yard
than the many cityscapes we knew,
maybe it is better to shun neon and rebar,
better an undammed river, clear water,
the taste of the forest around us,
I say it a lot, there is only this,
and it is as true in this now
that there is only this,
this waxing meditation on what
has given me the deepest life
and what has formed around me
in a shallow career of form and fashion,
so what of it now, what of it all
now that we have faded, grown pale
under years of humidity and sunshine,
when the thing about now is that I want
only to be as I am in your beauty and purpose,
to wake again in life more alive,
so now that there is only this,
this you and I, a courtship
of world to spirit, so
now that this has been reconciled
can we please walk together
just one more time,
one more time before we part to love again?

Milerepa Chants Why Music? Why God? Why Love?
Where have I been behind these songs
that rise from little whistles, drumming fingers,
humming and crashing into some Southern
holler about kudzu and blackberry,
poison ivy and demon poison sumac,
moving into each work as if a new life
was born inside each measure
and the sly lyric that names it, a wisp for sure,
but for me the melodies and lyrics
are there moving around each note and foot,
into a trill or showy Chopinesque dance
up and down between F and A majors,
minors, sharps and the I don’t care
if I play around in modernity and slap
a few lines of atonal note tripping
fairly happy in defying convention just
short of a Gorecki quartet shouting out
in anger and then in peace at the nature
of fallen man he came to know
in his magically slow and deeply touching
3rd Symphony of Sorrowful Songs,
and if I stay there too long a morose
attitude begins to stir and it makes me sad,
it saddens me, thinking of a musical phrase,
and then the meditations step in piano trios
where waves and heartbeats speak the same
languages of life and movement,
the cruelty of tearing a kelp forest to shreds
yet in futility continues to slap the same rocks
over and over till the even the moss
becomes bored and finds another
seascape to ponder. It’s wild what goes on.
I am afraid when I think of love in my songs.
I am happy pushing edges with field hollers
and seeing how it repulses those in need
of Dvorak or Bruckner, and me, just me,
doing the Bartok thing, the Reich maneuvers
of sound upon sound while a rhythm is born
from the frenzy just as the master of folk
Bartok sought to do; and then there is me,
playing from inside a peaceful Peter Green blues,
or simply in wonder at how much I love
being alive into the dawn and finding
sleep after composing, playing, editing, engineering,
reconfiguring and playing it again,
laughing when I have to have a particular
atonal phrase in almost every one
one there for the humor life gives us at times,
and then into the low and the high notes,
slowly building these ominous lines
that even frighten me as if caught in succulents
on a hillside above the sea,
the black dirt in my fingers, the plants holding
together just enough for me to reach into
and avoid death once again;
then there it is, my strange want of what
is to follow, the fascination in the egoism
some show in thinking every song is of them
and that I am nothing but a flirt in a fat suit,
when each one is about God,
which scares away an odd few,
yeah, like I care that they accepted every
word and discussion I had on Mahayana Buddhism,
look it up and study for some 30 years,
you’ll get the point of how one November Saturday
a miracle embraced me, one I guess I won’t
speak of much anymore, but it was Christ,
in a moment i was changed and I saw that through
all the years of my life each study was more and more
into the mystical, the contemplative, Catholic
that lived so long inside me;
so yes, each song, concerto, drone, symphony
are all my conversations with God and his Saints.

Tomorrow Fades
Gone the waves
A need flies
On sunlight
Blue this time
Why blue
I was always writing
In orange and
Star lit meadows
The slow Georgia hills
Lay flat then curves
Forever into the far North
A peach tastes so
Much like sunshine
And I raise a peace sign
Of hope to the clouds
Even though
Everything is changing
Much too fast
And the sun burns away
This gentle skin
Much too fast

Bang Bang! The night, bang the cracking limbs in the storms,
Bang! burn down the ragged barns, put up new fences and plant bamboo,
And it does not help to fear or to attack, it does not help to ever give up.
Shouts and shouts and that recurrent Bang! of silence burning down,
And memories run away, inspiration dies at the Bang! but Bang!
It does and I will not give up. The great Fifth Buddha did not lie.
I remember standing beneath the water tower at my house
On the Star Highway, Hiway 1…Manchester legend,
Standing by my 8 cylinders, tan, Malibu station wagon, stand in the night, tired,
Leaning and looking out on the wild succulent grove,
Expecting the ancient mariner any minute, moon bright,
Moon alive and smooth, an easy wind curling down the mountainside,
Traveling to my house-here near the sea, and then as on cue an owl flies by,
Yes, swoops and hoots, clicks a few times and crawls into the tower.
Native Americans, the Pomo there said the owl is a death message,
Bang! It scared me, but there is always death, just the same as life,
So each night it became a ritual of me standing and loving the stars,
And sister owl just hanging out, raising a family, living the owl life,
Living in a way that makes a mockery of metaphor and fairy tale.
But any way, I hang onto to both legend and truth.
Both have meaning.
I am glad. I’ll scatter the ashes of Joseph Campbell anywhere I please.
The buzz of gnats and a passing choir of dogs howling,
Power and knowledge, acceptance and atonement,
Creation expands from silence,
Creation pops bubbles and smiles Peace inside inferno,
And I know I love. And this is what I know,
In deep water and in dry summer, all thanks, all hands,
There are no more metaphors. Or?
Embrace. I am glad. Glad for all that I have known.

Loss To Grace and Rage to Life
How many different journeys made up my life and death?
This is just a tale of where, when and how.
Of the loves that were woven into the green iris of my eyes,
How magicians were challenged until there was no magic at all;
How when one day while shredding the hedges that lined the waterside
Of this small pond, a place in the woods, a home of cinder blocks,
These waters where I floated in a dark grey metal boat,
A two seater, no motor, just paddles, a quiet slide from one end to the other,
This little boat, born of this small pond, this dark rainbow body,
Gliding over where catfish languished in summer heat,
As though written in by a young Cormac McCarthy,
As if only he could find the words to make believe this was a place
That was never at all. This was a landscape of one among the many,
So alike and yet so isolated, so much the same but then again not.
But it was, sprinkled with angry bream that sparkled back at the sun,
Who shone with fearsome blue, black and silver flashes, broad side,
Pushing the water upwards, blinding their prey, rising to strike
Slow stone fly nymphs, maybe even grab a taste of occasional tad pole,
A feast at dawn where life came to live, a funeral at dusk where it came to die.
On this long day while shredding the hedges that marched
Off into the woods, I raised a fist to the heavens, and cursed
God on every sweaty breath, on each diphthong and cluster of vowels
That I could muster, that I could holler, filled with hatred for a lost childhood,
Broken by phrases locked in brackets, wanting even then to be freed
Of memories dark as darker than miles from any home,
When all I wished was to find was a way to live and to describe…
That only woman “who was to be my love”, and in return that I was hers.
It never came. It never happened. Each curse came upon me.
Each was driven by poisoned water, of soured wines
And rust skinned potatoes, brown and wilted lettuces. No real food.
We would pour three fingers of wormy mescal, then drive away
Up the winding asphalt that moved along among the short leaf pines,
Cruising with an ease most described by the winds,
Most alive in the breezes of a Georgia summertime.
What was it that I wanted, what was I proving in these scorching days
And even hotter nights when I stood alone by the pond,
Screaming at God, begging, then demanding to show me something real.
But we all know how these things go. They go nowhere.
Just a tied fly floating downstream into the rapids.
Down there where no catfish hang around, where silver carp
Pass by and hunt further and further for dead and rotting things,
Things that litter the bottom of every stream and body of water.
Was I really there standing and shouting?
Cussing out God for leaving me to figure how this was “I am”,
A life of struggle, of loss, of slander and success, of always being
Almost then gone. But He was patient. Letting me run the wild
Out of my soul, laughing at this arrogance that lived to destroy,
Standing back when it was certain the next cliff would take me,
Coming near when my hands fell off the wheels, turning
Just enough to live another hour. This was how it started.
This was how all this spirit hunting came into being.
These were the moments when a great love of all things woman
Sublimated every text, every conversation that was to follow.
A life’s tease. A significance lost on ordinary dissertations
Of subject predicate, subject object, thesis stated antithesis sworn in,
Brought back home and lost again when critical theory,
A post Freudian exercise, a means of thought built for the analyzed,
It hatched more anger than love at all, and why, why did it go back to the night
When I stood unsteady by a spring in the forest, a place so wonderful
Ruined by my childish raging, a place suddenly dangerous
When hurricane winds marched over from each distant coast,
They met and blasted together in the woods of West Georgia.
The thin pines bowed and snapped, threatened back at me,
As though remembering the night I hated God
And swore not ever would I be among the faithful.
Years later, here I am, just as tormented, just as isolated
As I ever was, but everything is different, everything is by the erratic,
Welcome and worthy Grace of God. I count by the dozens
Those who ran when I changed, when I said God is Love, is patient,
And is all things dark and light, Crayola colored,
Hand painted and chisel formed, swaying back and forth
One moment on the winds, then floating along the brownish waters
Of a hot pond in September, the last before anticipated Autumn,
When pleasure returns to cool this porous South, so that the lakes do not dry up,
Nor the springs stop giving life, the pleasure is Real Presence.
What can I say? No longer alone cursing at length, now I pray.
Now I wonder if I am a better man, if there will ever be that She
With whom I can walk by the morning dew, to speak sunrises
And mental exercises, that maybe one day, I will be forgiven,
Maybe one day I can see it is I who must forgive myself,
Not by God, not by Mary, not by Lord Jesus Christ,
Not by meditations on right action and right faith where Compassion rules,
Once by the tears when I walked into the Hall of 500,
Deep in Guang Zhu Province China, 500 incarnations of the teaching soul of Buddha, Later, for me, it was 500 saints, and above them all they were led by Saint Raphael, Beloved archangel, led onto the bridge from life before Christ, to the one after,
The one opened by John the Baptist,
The one where it all started to happen. By mortal death came life after death.
Please don’t leave me. Far away is too drear and cold.
Let me be here in this always becoming life of conversion, always moving
Towards God and never from, lead me on my Love, forgiving and patient,
Faithful and alive, for some it takes a lifetime to awaken.
And me, I am surely one of them. Thank you my beloved, hope and desire.
….And not by Faith alone, but by Faith with Action,
But wait, maybe it is by faith alone….Yes. By these ways, by this life lived.
Finding, climbing, rising, doing all I can to find a way back home to God,
Once again, back home to God, born into this life.

Dialogue in Fever, in Scripture, My Lord Speaks
“Have you told the sun to rise?
Have you commanded rivers to flow?
Do the trees call your name when
The many winds blow?
Would you be so bold? How were you born?
I am now and after when there was Nothing.
I will Be when the last waves collapse
and the final fires sing.”

-How am I no more a servant?
But in finding You I see my heart
Open wide outside my chest, for me it stops,
for You, My Lord, I feel it start.
Sense my blood rush in artery and vein,
Yet still I suffer, I wear this chain
And feel my flesh decay; only the Crucifix
And white bones remain.-

“Did your breath move across the waters?
Build Adam’s lungs and give him voice?
Was it you or Is it Me who looks upon
Eve and grants her choice?
My prodigal, my son, go my wandering child,
All there is of this beautiful land is yours to build,
And know also it is yours to destroy, to bury,
Remember to cherish what is mine and wild.”

-Awake! all is Yours I came to say at dawn
Today while we talked, and I listened, underneath
Your glory, your patience, as Autumn was drawn
Across this South, and I was glad.-

-When you kneeled and pressed your palms together,
Turned your face skyward, then to the ground, and up,
You Said,- “This is the way we pray from here forever.
Say our Father, who art in Heaven…
The words of Job, of David, of Isaiah and Jeremiah
Must be your power, inspiration and your drive.
Of Me you ought to comprehend that of My idea,
My Sophia, all that is, is within me.”

-What more wisdom, more Gospel, must be felt?
How of Luke, Matthew and Ezekiel? May I live when
The lost is found and what is solid must never melt?
Peace, you command, and speak: we Live.-
“Your prayers, intentions and actions are all alive,
I will never leave you alone again, keep close these words
Of Love, Hope and Faith, know what you make and derive
Of Me is cherished, as Paul wrote: here is your Glory.”

Fire In The Soul, Ongoing….
Found my way in by a cracked and solemn weeping willow stump,
Straight into the woods of Oglethorpe County, straight into a cluster
Of wildlife singing, briars tearing into my arms, bleeding,
Bleeding through thin skin, these blue veins growl,
Andi t reaches in, this “IT”, it tears my soul from my body,
Hangs it in leaves among the water oak trees along the banks
Of this tiny river in the woods, where I knew right then…
What it was like to have spiritual crisis blues.
Standing on a foundation, white clay and red maple mulch,
Spongy earth bouncing. Strangely colored crickets start to gather,
Jump and disappear, but not too far cause I hear their legs strumming
A gipsy chorus for lost loves in the forest.
Me,in this walk alone into the wood. A stroll into my own unknown.
A full sun burns blue down, down into this haunted stream,
Turning muddy waters clear and clean. Crisp they say, it’s OK.
I have the Blues no one wants to hear, and not a friend is near,
Forget family, forget Church, they just back away and say: “it’s yours”,
But I don’t want it, not again, not this splitting soul from bone,
So I dig my hands deep into the blue sands and mud,
Bathe in this clinging soil, and then color this body
With lavender and thistle, blue of my hill people dozens of centuries ago
Fighting Rome and then fighting the King; and finally fighting
The One… alone, trying to draw near, reaching to pull
The trees lower, and lower so I can grab a bit of the spirit
I lost a few days ago, a few days ago this Crucified was just a memory.
Gone. A haint, jumps up, chasing me through groves of dogwood and pecan,
Naw, it would not let go, it would not let me go, this banshee
Screaming my spiritual blues, a blues clutching like Death to my breath
Like there was no letting go, I tried, I ran, I doused my hair with lemon,
Stuffed pepper up my nose and salt in my shoes, begged Lord come back, please.
Expecting something different, something different at least this time…
But the spiritual blues came, wrapped around my body, and I was alone.
I asked the priest, I asked the friend, I asked the family and then no one,
It didn’t matter, they figured these shadows were mine to claim,
They knew this time the spiritual blues won, but what they knew was wrong,
I just wanted to sing, I wanted to purge doubt, doubt like black sulfur water.
Bring down the cypress and water oak trees, find the clean springs
So I can live again, so these screaming doubts between love of the flesh
And love of the mind and love of the soul I thought was mine
Would stop, and turn and go away. Would find itself flowing…from these springs.
These spiritual blues are never easy, and one day someone will listen
And understand, understand, that my soul is at stake and I am tired,
And I am a man: Alive with God. I am this man. I am this man.
The bark and hunting howl of His hounds on my trail,
And I know I quit running and hiding in the hills, it is between the Lord and I,
A man trying, a person, trying to make peace with Trinity and self,
with all that is here and even more…Peace…Can we make peace?
Getting in the Now the place we’re all escaping is so
Different here cause it’s been appropriated, gentrified,
Sealed off with sky-high fences and songs about ‘girl come here’
And then the even better ones of bang bang my gang go bang,
This repetition of the same sinks deeper than San Andreas
More threatening now than ever before please burn off the
Residue sickens the water and suck it somewhere that it’ll
Never be seen that it will be a joke on late night tv
Let’s Make an Earthquake, “well Jimmy, I’ll take tectonic shift for $500
and to sweeten the deal let’s say a Chevy Leaf if you can
Finish this sentence: “no sentence.” TV turns off and I turn on.
A season of years hung on the wall, cobwebs named and loved,
Still don’t know why all I love has to die or go but it does
Once I said “that’s cool” now I know it isn’t and time eats away
At every chance running down Cocteau steps to Orfe and Hell,
And in a moment it melts like Low Spark of High Healed Boys
Silence hangs out and asks how I am I say fuck off man
Let me dig the sweet lime sunrise after an armadillo plagued night
I thought it was Tarkus for a moment but the damn thing was huge
And sped away down the creek in record armadillo time but one night
That burrowing their of ground will be mine, oh one day chance
Will come back again and tell me I have time
To do it one more time to defy a self prophecy that I’ve run
Out of Love and can never spend a day again dreaming
By her and sweating the daylight into a steak filled night
And more life tilting for a second my way, but I doubt it
Brother, chance is all burned up and sitting in canisters around
The house, each telling me to get on, I’m gone, but I figure
Why not? Why not love again? Why am I afraid of the sun?
Why does the night hold me more dear than any love or chance
Before. Why? Why the fuck why? It’s called ageism
And I’m going down fighting, and at least slightly high.

Yeah, and the night limped around like it was trying to go somewhere,
like out of Carrol County, but it didn’t and neither did I…
so it’s just me and the street lamps downtown cowtown 1 a.m.
Not a star in sight and nothing’s open all night. There’s some
eggs at Casa Huddle, been waiting all day by the week-old bacon
by the grease geyser and a tarnished Maxwell pump. I can’t eat that.
Home is sounding better, out there, self bound, out there by the pines
where the stars always shine, where the insects call and chant at night.
And I walk alone along the road, past bars, parties and coffee houses.
Yeah, and a telephone rings right on time. I move away from the sound.
Let the sirens rain down on the rascals and rogues, rain on this moment,
on the caverns of the coyote prince. I don’t care. I have tasted the clay.
I’ve chewed upon the sunrise in a dozen cities. I found nothing
so sweet as the southern summer moon, so quiet, rippled and holy.
As though baptisms were not pure ritual. What is accomplished?
Listen, as though the bar noises and Hegel drunk children
can tell me anything about the greater good, good gone,
gone past their prime of indecision into my action and desire.
It’s all baptism. Who will lie down in cold shock of voice and river?
Me, alone with my solipsism and a thousand constellations,
where animal heart is an echo growing stronger in my lungs,
growing out of the chronic dreams of misalliance in the races,
grown from seeds sown in the groves of fisher kings, suicide kings,
kings whose world is nothing but reflection and fear…ritual fear…
Yeah, fear keep’em all from climbing. Last call comes, and
in the black hour those owl wise swoop down on the bell ropes
and burn in the light of the dying mirror sun. Better to burn on
the wing alive. Get me away from the Moloch tongued princesses.
Better to screech in the storms with a pure vision of life,
rise from the water, alive with all that lives in the trees and shadows,
where the trickster speaks in stream and prairie, forest and hill, yeah,
let me dream dreams of the beasts on the edge of extinction. They come.
They shout shouts of the coyote prince seconds before the snare snaps.
Here, I am rattling cages of a language that’s forgotten salvation.
I rattle on, and I will not worship death, I will not build from their
asphalt concrete glass and iron…No…I still have memories of the land…
Blood in the sand fades where buildings create city. I walk on.
Closer. And the dirt roads rise. And I cannot look back at the lights.
The night limps around kinda faded and gone. I didn’t like my visit.
And I walk away back into my home. Out here, here, now,
out here bird calls in the dawn, not the 6 a.m. combustion howl.
I rise and fall on my own. I rise and fall without a lie in my throat.
Out here in the backroads, my heart, all red clay, springfed and free,
really is open all night, is the one direction unadorned with death.
Loving the land and the hammer that nails it down.
Loving even the clenched fist when our own mortality strains,
pulls upon the bellropes and begs for mercy.
And yes, loving even nights like this when I wish I could gaze
with wonder at the world, when I wish for stars to wish upon.

Please Forgive This Compassion
Darkness upon your soul rises.
There are many paths
A darkness upon your soul rises.
There are fewer paths
A darkness upon your soul triumphs.
There are no paths.
Darkness rises upon your soul.
There are many paths to freedom.
I meditate where the Lord places me and all evil returns
to laugh at my trials.
I meditate where the Lord places me and all evils return
to laugh at my charms.
I meditate where the Lord places me and three evils return
to laugh at my prayers.
I meditate where the Lord places me and all evils return
to laugh at my trials.
The first with rotted scalp and beautiful face tells me my
prayers and meditations are folly.
The first with rotted mind and fallen face tells me my prayers
are wasted and drawn from lies.
The first with love for the Great Deceiver tells me my prayers
could be turned to ways of theft and deceit.
I say no. Leave me or listen. You have the choice.
Listen to me you damned three.
God gives me compassion I say. I can only wish you find the
path that leads to God and frees you from this demon flesh.
Who gives me compassion I say. I can only wish you find the
path that leads to yours and frees you from this demon flesh.
Love gives me compassion I say. I can only wish you find the
path that leads to God and frees you from this demon flesh.
Love, I say. When is it not enough? We must…
God does not waste his love, he maintains and holds for
all who come, who contemplate upon the Sacrifice.
God does not waste his love, he maintains and holds strong for
any who come to him, who contemplate upon the Sacrifice.
God does not waste his love, he maintains and holds strong for
any who come to him, who contemplate upon the Sacrifice.
God does not waste his love, he maintains and holds strong for
any who come to him, who pray and meditate upon the Sacrifice.
Choice. We are given Love.
Evil dances across this land, the fallen worship hatred,
here stand the enemy and the will to classist fools is yet even stronger
Evil dances across the land, the fallen worship all stagnation,
here stand the enemy and the will to love is yet even stronger.
Evil dances across the land and the fallen do worship hatred,
here stand the enemy and the will to love is yet even stronger.
Evil dances across the land and the fallen will worship hatred,
here stand the enemy and the Will to love is yet even stronger.
I know who lies.
I know who lies. What names you choose is up to you.
I know who lies. Our dharma is our choice we build upon.
I know who lies. All that is solid melts. I pray my eternal soul
melts and flows endlessly flowing in and out of Life’s plan.
I know who lies.
They dream on in phantasms of dirt souls and of ends,
never the continuation of action and reaction.
They dream on in phantasms of a dirt soul and only of ends,
never the continuation of action – reaction.
They dream on in phantasms of a dirt soul and only of ends,
never the continuation of action to reaction.
In all our oceans and the streams that feed life changes
and adapts, many die, as will we.
In all our oceans and the streams feeding life changes
and adapts, many die, as shall we.
In all our oceans and the rivers flowing feed them life
They change and adapt, many die, as we will.
I see the finite and hear their shallow hearts beating,
thinking sin and salvation does not apply to them.
I see the finite and hear their shallow heartbeats, thinking sin
and salvation does not exist nor applies to them.
I see the infinite and hear their shallow souls sinking,
still thinking sin and salvation does not apply to them.
It does.
It does matter.
It does matter for all we do is wrapped in cause and effect.
It does matter for all we do is an act in cause and effect.
It does matter for all we do is charmed by cause and effect.
It does matter for all we do is wrapped in cause and effect.
You worship deception and a larceny of faith.
You worship deception and a larceny of faith.
You worship deception and a carnivorous faith.
You worship deception and laugh at faith.
Thinking it a win to deceive those who offer trust: all you do
is dig deeper into coal mountains, death your lover.
Thinking it a win to destroy those who offer trust, all you do
is dig deeper into cold coal mountains, death your lover.
Thinking it a win to deceive those who give trust, all you do
is dig deeper into coal burial mountains, death your lover.
I know. I must repeat. I must chant. I must say again and again.
I know it is easy to say anything at all and not believe a word.
I know it is easy to say nothing at all and not believe a word.
I know it is easy to say anything at all and still love believing.
I know you. I repeat because I see you.
I was you. I destroyed that “I”.
Even as I pray and meditate you think new ways of harm.
Even as I pray and meditate you think new ways of theft.
Even as I pray and meditate you think new ways of poison.
I know your lies. They are known. Leave me dark spirits.
Many paths. One God. Shut up you gossips and fools!
I sleep upon the floor where I console and sing, feeling your
song vibrate through me, I love you my friends, I love God who
makes it possible I love my friends and family.
I sleep upon the floor where I console and sing, feeling your
song vibrate through me, I love you, I love The One who
makes it possible I love a Trinity and the many.
I sleep upon the floor where I console and sing, feeling your
song vibrate through me, I love you, I love that which my words shame,
who makes it such I love my friends and family.
Holiness shimmers through each ringing bowl as I stretch
my aging flesh across these thick, low barley and bamboo mats.
Holiness shimmers through each ringing bowl as I stretch my
aging flesh across these thick, slow barley and bamboo mats.
Holiness shimmers through each ringing bowl as I stretch my
aging flesh across these thick, welcome barley and bamboo mats.
I could say, “to the glory of God” and most of my Loves turn and run.
I say please stay it is my life that Loves I cannot help, this Compassion
I Love, I beg. In your wisdom understand as I try to love so in return.

Last night meditation was difficult and stressful.
As I was moving my arms backwards to hold
straight and above and before every crackle
and. crunchy sound was heard! I marveled
and continued, at last to chant a prayer of our Lady,
then as I moved into a Kuan Yi pose, my left
Leg, the bad one practically wept.
Then I began my 20-minute plus, silence.
When I lose track I rotate my head to clear
The tightness in bone and muscle, so yeah,
I did it a lot. As I ended with a resting Buddha
Pose and continued the meditation I was asleep,
The deep D# bowl and the C resonated into
Sudden dreaming. A dream repeated. Beautiful.
And then it was day. Here and now.
It was Jungian. Archetype country artists
and love, live love breathed through the walls.
Flowers rose and chrysanthemum gently
Floated as my tea. Virtue and the flesh seem
they will always behold from the shadow and the light
both humble and amazed. The balance and the drifting
in an Alcovy stream. It closed, my eyes embraced
My self. So it is. So it is. Green chakra a beast.
This voice rose, calling loves gone out
standing in a shower of hummingbirds.
Here and now by a fire, later with a song
out for redemption, sipping macha tea
with peach flowers and I do not
Know who or why I am calling, through
to sing their soul to play a song of comet dust
and think a day is something new.
Peace. Love. Hope.
My beloved One.
My dreaming shadow on the walls:
Peace, beloved, all is peace.


Because They Said


This is experimental noise poem. Me vox, 4 Tibetan singing bowls concentrating on two primarily and echo phase strings so there is a more ominous undercurrent throughout. This may be a download with book, I don’t know. It may still not be distorted enough as I passed out working on editing at the very end and lost all I had served as a movement between rooms of the vast to claustrophobic drone upon drone.

Poems in Rage and Love with Crazed Sounds Pushing Beyond My Beyond

Do not turn up too loud. Be careful. This goes from gentle to classic earsplittiinloudenbangin one note to the next and if you have heard live Tibetan Bowls you know that they can be taken to the lowest low to a shrill thought impossible, well it is not impossible.

I had a blast recording this. It has a few of my most published poems two I think are personal masterpieces. Can you tell? Probably not. But that is not why I made this recording. I wanted to go beyond even my most experimental capabilities with live instruments. I did. So I Om’d and Namo Abitabha’d a bit just to settle the back heart into motion before an ear explosion happens. Or maybe it is not as risky as I think. Who knows? I don’t. If I did it would sound completely different and that is not why I did it this way.

Stupid background noise had me trash the first 24-28 minute version. So there is some aggression going on. We all need a little aggression.

This is not an easy piece. I would in fact call it about as experimental as I have gotten which is to say Beware Crazed Sounds Ahead. So enter at your own risk. I just wanted to go beyond anything I’ve heard and it may be because it is simply awful or that it just needs work while still being something unheard. I don’t know. Stupid background noise had me trash the first recording so this version has a bit of venom to it. Better to burn on the wing than stooped upon a ladder with some Moloch prince in a three piece suit…


Death and Destruction Out for Their Daily Stroll

Let go of your ego and your shame
The desires of the soul will follow
She is evil, black blood drips upon the ground
A smile that is of withering heart and grin decay,
She comes as White Goddess and leaves as Mara
The destroying angel of justice and of love.
With her walks an equal in man:

the bleeding hanged man,
Noose forever bound around his neck,
Yet you try to help to make sense of it all.
Brothers and sisters, there is no making sense.
As one they split the bonds of man and wife,
Of partners, of love, sexuality does not matter,

nor do I wish to name or fall for some division scam

to satisfy every grain of sand as winds blow

and galaxies form and then they are born and die.

This is how they do it, This is how we lose.
Unless we wish all language become a series
Of definition a first, secondary, tertiary one until it fades.
From this earth we find only confusion, divison:

this is as a lack of point at all.

This is what they wanted and do force

and, you with us all are the trap.
If Death and Disease get their way
Upon this wretched daily stroll to destruct and separate,
It will surely come, and then who to blame is not the thing
We are the thing that must be changed. Do it! Do it now!