Medicine

tiny molecules i've overlooked

and now the walls are talking; now the scent of wild rose

has me aching to be whole and knowing how to become;

a rock wearing sulpher-bright lichen is now speaking, asking for rain;

(I gave it most of my water) watched it bask in the drinking,

saw the burnt-orange shift
into a cool moss-green and felt

the spreading fans of a partnership older than words

turning ancient sea bed into soil.

you deserve it.

you deserve to be awestruck and deeply moved.

you deserve to wonder, asking questions

you dare not ask another.

you deserve to listen for answers. you deserve

to notice the tingling

twitterpation of knowing enter your body and

for a few special moments understand how completely inseparable we are

from the luminous, animate Earth.

— WE NEED IT —


Becoming Italian

Italian cafe_Kinkade studios.jpg

I am becoming Italian.
Wine at noon, a fierce lilt
To my eye and speech––
Food is important, 
Lust is important—lust
Might be everything.


Give us this day our daily 
Bread, and forgive us— 
Matters more: this 
Argument is instructive, 
Constructive as well—
We both fight for love.

Sing Dark to the Moon

Men sit and smoke and talk of women, 
Exploits at work, a hero’s task: A knife 
Gripped between opposing pincers—
Teeth in the light, teeth biting through.


Our breath can take this exhaust fume;
A gift to the gods waiting at the well—
A few lungs an hour hurl themselves
Upwards—black sacks burnt at the pew.


It is favorable to break—often to discuss, work 
Appears palatable, more seemingly than before.
At noon words flow like water, at dusk birds 
Sing dark to the moon. Sing dark to the moon.

“Nightengale” by Andreas Haller

“Nightengale” by Andreas Haller

Wings and Emptiness

The canyon echoes with the wren’s falling notes—
When the sound reaches my ears, I am also falling.
All of us wish for wings and emptiness.


The clouds clothe and unclothe our fiery star—
A gentle breeze sings all of the cloud notes.
The vast sky is an amphitheater for emptiness.


Rusty green and orange words are scribbled 
On the rocks—the spells they cast slowly eat the stone.
It takes enormous appetite to digest emptiness.


Soft white whiskers cover mahogany buds—
Flycatcher diverts us away from her home. 
Love and danger are wedded to emptiness.


Joshua, you know makeshift dwellings are suitable 
For travelers—yet, leaving this nest fills you with sorrow. 
Where you are going, the meadowlarks teach emptiness.

“Eagle Canyon” by Joshua Paquette

“Eagle Canyon” by Joshua Paquette

The Wind One Night

You ever feel old inside?


Like a blanket of moss, like lichen on rocks, like mountains.

You raise a feeble hand to your feeble heart and wonder,

There is another way, there is another way.

Starry Night,  Van Gogh, 1889

Starry Night, Van Gogh, 1889


Heaps of wind batter the house at night,

Threatening its stickly frame,

Down North Saint Vrain,

By Eagle Canyon, near Apple Valley Road.


The pithy limbs of the Cottonwood are tired

Like this house, bend and sometimes break

Weary from her cold.


Maybe, if we paid more attention she

Wouldn’t rattle our bones, wouldn’t

Need to alert us so desperately to something we’ve lost. 


We could sing to her, bring her flowers,

Recite her a poem in the fading light, 

Rage with her, like the moon, paying attention.


No one can be sure, but now I hear

her calling:


“Don’t wish for,

Too many warm days,

In March.”

It's Obvious, The Secret

The flower-tree weeps

Its heavy petals,

Yet fruit is coming. 

 

And the rosary of pearls:

Irritating reasons 

Make it beautiful.

 

Do you hear the Finches

Careful with their words?

 

Can you sense the leaden keel

Farthest from the shore?

 

                 ❦❦❦

 

You are the gasp of Eagle’s wings;

The moment Falcon tears the fur—

The swelling wish of weighted grain;

The swishing scythe’s hallowed call. 

When Time Stood Still  by Victor Bregeda   

When Time Stood Still by Victor Bregeda

 

Something We Forgot

 

The orioles are back now, 

After the tree-foliage has 

Leaved.

 

Their sunset bodies

Beg for black 

At the wing tips,

 

And shelter

Amidst the green.

 

The Lazuli 

Bunting, A blurring-blue

And orange-cream

 

Arrives first, blue 

Always present 

Before the green.

 

In the burning light 

of Fox,—pure leaping—

 

Earth-dark fur

Uneaten—

 

Chewed until still,

Carried for the reason.

The Ripening

Those green medallions are gone now, 
They were golden underneath the whole time. They were
Made of light. Green hides the yellow; the greenness of the world
Hides the light. In and around every rock and tree and squirrel
Is a melody of singing—
This one “tree,” this one “rock,” this one “squirrel.” Song.

Green hides the yellow, and the yellow hides nothing. 
It is what it is. The fire of life is green’s lover
Hidden then revealed. Yellow reaches out, aches;
You ache back and reach in… lovers. 
That ol’ devil-song of sulphur tempts you in; that ol’
Doctrine of the Father tempts you out.          Sing!

In Autumn is the August of the Soul

for Wallace Stevens

 

In autumn, we see things 

as imminent:

 

A sudden loss, slipping away, a

falling into immanence—

as death leaves us bare 

and capable of new loves,

 

As Pan thrusts nakedness 

onto the unclothed, imminence

seeking immanence takes

hope away from sorrows—

 

We find out what we are: 

imminence begetting

immanence, unmarked 

by thoughts or prose. 

 

In autumn is the august 

of the soul: a sinking from

what was, what has been 

into immanence rich and bold. 

 

If You Had Fur

Great bears sleep

 inside the word body

 

That hollow place

 keeps them sleeping—

 

Let the bear speak.

 

   ❦

 

Imagine yourself

 in such a coat:

 

 Fur for arms,

 nose, wet and searching,

 claws and teeth for killing, or

 delicate pincers for collecting fruits,

 and digging, for roots

 for aromatics,

 for offerings.

 

Gathering dreams

 from under the earth.

 

Sweetgrass & Fire

She wouldn’t buy a braided bundle 

 built however rightly there;

would prefer to watch it garden grow,

 thinning, when Time would spare. 

 

She wouldn't tie the bottom or

 the top with common cord;

sooner with a shock of grass

 wetted by her lips—“Better

to wrap it with itself

 surely, in place of this.”

 

She wouldn’t let mine help her hold

 one end of the braid as she took;

the side of her foot was suitable, more— 

 the purity of her tone. 

 

She wouldn’t strike a match, for

 smoke to that green braid;

finer still is candle wax—’tis

 “Better to let the bumbling bees’

 yearnings fuel the flames.”

 

She spoke—when singing

 and then, without sound:

“These are the ways I long for Fire—

 This is how sweetgrass is bound."

 
 

Old Man Niwot

Here, in the west, our blood is built of snowmelt. Up here, 

feet of crystalline water lingers on through summer, sags down

into the catchment bases of cliffs, gathers wind-blown dust and orange fungus 

and occasionally animal fur. The sun's slow tumult across the southern sky

tears at the compacted granules, making them weep their bitter memories 

back into the earth. Trollius, globeflower, and Caltha, marsh marigold, 

and even Ranunculus adoneus—the buttercup of Adonis—

can be seen bursting through, proud of Winter’s longing.

 

“The White North is now sleeping 

through miles of dark soil.” I remember, walking 

 along Aspen Creek to the spring—la source— our life. 

“It feeds us. Is us. The water we drink becomes our blood,

 and Old Man Niwot, he blew it here."  Thank him, 

Thank him.

 

Obsidian Caelum

The sea-glimmer of Raven’s feathers

 captures your gaze— waves

bending light keep churning

 across a pinnate cloak.

 

“I will help you, but if you falter,

 your eyes will become food.”

 

                  Odin gave an eye for knowledge

                                without a second thought…

 

A gamble, but irresistible. 

 

                 Faust figured so, too.

                 

                      ❦❦❦

 

In absence of  mediation,

 we settle for a mediator.

Imminence— she’s shifty, 

 one needs a certain something

to contain her.

 

               A vessel of sorts. 

 

Ask a question first—

 Then, listen. 

          

 

The messages she sends

 digest your mind

into cross-wise thinking 

 of gale and tempest-storm;

into splintered

 polyphony of rot.

 

               Putrefacation is illumination. 

                         Why is that so difficult to grok?

 

Because Sun is warmth—

 we ache to merge,

forgetting our flesh burns.

                     

                      ❦❦❦

 

Raven caught fire while stealing 

 a coffer of light—

similar to Psyche, 

 who snatched a box of beauty

from the mistress of the underworld—

 so we (clothed in darkness)

could catch fish and gather food.

 

            A roller who bet his dice

                       on the redemption of human-kindness

 

A little homage now and then wouldn't hurt...

 

           No?

 

Watch your eyes. 

 
 

Poem in Four Parts

  1.

A few words well-written,

 cared for, 

developed and made real—

 are subtle currents that run 

through the river stones of our bones; 

 what our blood is made of.

  

  2.

Somewhere inside a very quiet place,

 gravity is pulling our bodies upwards

towards roots—

 the force of wild water 

captures the brilliance of sun,

 feeds it into the darkness of earth.

 

   3.

The love the soil has for the sky! 

 A blue so blue only blood could be more red!

The written lines of others fill my poems—

 I take no credit.

  

  4.

I awake each morning and fumble with images—

 “Ask them!” she says, 

“Have them show you the way

 down the long ocean-road.”