“I sing you this October song.” The Incredible String Band

Come walk these wounded streets with me, where maple trees leak sap in regimental lines.
Come where leaves the colors of blood are torn, carried by the wind
to the fire.
I am the wounded and I am the fire in which we burn.

Now the clear plastic over this world has been torn away
enough that I can breathe.
Now everything is breathing. Even the dead are alive!
Up and down the ladder of my spine, grandmothers carry baskets
of flame fruit
their long hair coiled in a bun, covered with a sequined net.
Listen and you will hear even the dead
are breathing.

If you are crying, open your eyes and let them widen
til they contain the whole of the prairie sky.
One day a sky will open in your heart and the sound of wings
be like a river.
You will never be born again, never beat another child just because she cried.
You will not die of cancer.
If you are crying, let your tears fall into the simplicity of fire.

I am crying now.
People say I have the rounded shoulders of a man who labors in the dark.
My hands are hidden by the blue gloves of a working man
but even while they hold a paper hanger’s knife
my hands are worshiping the one I love.

Sometimes the moon looks like a puckered scar in a blue fog.
Sometimes the cool of night touches the bald spot on the back of my head
where emptiness is shaped like a morning star.
I feel the cold of this world but when I can let the night be all there is
then the moon with a cloud across it white as a wedding veil
can make me weak with joy.

I carry a hundred thousand years of light across my shoulders!
The round stone of this world drops down through me
and I laugh like a river with gravel in its throat
loving the dark face of the sky
loving her painted circus eyes, her carnival lips!

For years I walked alone through mountains that were teeth
broken under the skin.
Hungry enough to eat stones, a stranger even to myself
I swallowed anything that would keep me warm
put on religions like long blue overcoats
loving women as if they were spun of wool
trying to be what a man should be.

Neither failing nor succeeding, I would lie down on the ground
waiting for a star to fall into plowed furrows of my heart.
Spent bullets, knives, teeth fashioned into arrow heads
began to rise up through me.
Tomahawks, missiles, war poisons were brought to the surface
by the cleansing action of the earth
wanting to rid itself of whatever is strange.
So I was brought to the surface of this world and made ready
to step into the sky.

Then I wore the sky across my shoulders
all the colors of a troubled Gulf, the gaudy archetypes of the end of time.
I could feel a sky coming down over me
dung colored, river throated, green and heavy with hair
and I was crying, my voice ragged as a gull’s.

Then a dove exploded from my heart!

What had been a thorn tree where sparrows hid in fear of the hawk
became a simple heart again
white doves flying out of it!

I know now that sacrifice is not blood running down a cross of locust wood
nor hands full of thorns.
It is looking at my own face in the river and seeing
your eyes, your smile.

Now I hear a voice whispering my secret name
the one made of Brazos water and a light that falls blue as rain.
You tell me we have started digging a river, that the river will flow
but however difficult it might be
we must endure the bite of the pick ax, the shoveling out of everything
that is not bloody with love.

There is a fire that starts in the marrow and burns outward
through hands red as maple leaves.
There is a wound in all of us, red as a mouth that won’t stop singing
until its tongue is a tongue of fire.

When fears cease, this world will shine
like one drop of rain among a billion others
and the sky will be folded perfectly across each drop like a Mother’s shawl.

Let me tell you about the night I married Jesus
in a cinder block church that smelled of mold, trapped gas and chewing gum.
It was the summer I turned fifteen and there was just enough breeze
to keep pastures from bursting into flames.

I put on white painter overalls and stepped with my Grandfather
into a galvanized tank of baptismal water
while the congregation sang
“In the arms of my dear Savior O there are 10,000 charms.”
Then I went down into water full of stars!

In that water Jesus lifted the bridal veil and showed me one glimpse
of my own face.
In that water he betrayed this world with his kiss.

When I returned to one I pretend now to be
answering to his name
there was still the memory of where I have no beginning
where there is not a single breath of air and no focused love
only love delighting in itself alone.

If you are thirsty kneel down in this water.
If you are covered in wounds, bleed into this fire.
If you are crying, let your tears be tears of joy!



Big cloud tumbling high, the amazing flying sky
how the gulls are pillaging the town.”   Donovan

IMG_0793sky 2cloud 12cloud 11cloud 1IMG_0826IMG_0793IMG_0789IMG_0752IMG_0751cloud 13IMG_0754IMG_0824IMG_0779IMG_0782IMG_0792IMG_0804IMG_0805oneIMG_0823IMG_0789IMG_0795IMG_0787IMG_0758IMG_0756IMG_0168right eyeIMG_0304IMG_0167wxyIMG_0754200201202IMG_0438IMG_0873IMG_0852111333sky101sky102sky103sky105sky1041001100212345678911131415161234501020304IMG_1098

Guru Purnima Moon 2015

Guru Purnima Moon 2015

These are some snapshots of clouds, mostly taken from the deck in our backyard, also several from the front yard and the road we live on. I could never write anything as beautiful as one of these. Some are the most common looking of clouds, when seen at first glance by the naked eye but the camera sees more than our eyes do. What is hidden to one is not to another. There is more to every particle of creation that can be imagined.




I want to let everyone know about the new book by my friend, Rafael Stoneman. It is a collection of poems written without artifice or doubt by a man with a guileless heart. Rafael’s hand is always extended in friendship. Take it! Advaita Heart is available here:


One of my favorites of this collection is:


You are a criminal because you broke
into my heart. You cornered me and
murdered the ‘my’.

You are a thief because you stole
my mind. You confronted me and
sabotaged my soul.

You are a liar because you promised I
would be enlightened. You made the
‘I’ dissolve and left only yourself.

You are a cheat because you stacked
the deck and preyed on my need to
gamble. You forced me to surrender
when I had no other choice.

You are a harlot because your lips
swore that I was your only love.
You made me fall mad for you and
find out I am not the only One!

Rafael Stoneman




Man on Fire by Sue Reed

What we were, we remain for people we have hurt.
We never change, never grow old, never die.

In my 20’s and 30’s, I was always in an ecstasy or a rage.
Nothing in between but the silence of a monk
self immolated, flames where my lips were meant to be.

Tongue either raw or a burnt offering.

If you knew me thirty years ago and still wish that I were dead
forgive me first.

That is what I’m asking for.





for Carol and for Stefan Pyne

“…if you feel like a room without a roof…if you feel that happiness is the Truth…”
P Williams

Happiness coming over me!
Silver schools of Gulf trout moving in waves under the skin!
Every mullet in the Gulf has a name.
Both their eyes have names.
The scales that cover their eyes each has a name
written in a kind of fire known only to the Most High.

But you tell me joy is evidence of a wound.
The Mother is always lifting up her children
to wipe the blood from our eyes.
You say we are moving down this road alone, alone
but every body is one candle lit inside another.
We make the necessary efforts to shine and one day we all
catch fire together.

Sitting at my ease now, becoming more and more
like the air around me
I swim into another body made of inhaled breath
the hand of the first body is stroking the long white hair of the other.
I can taste my name being called.
Because I am saying this, I know it’s nearly time for me
to die!

But for now I am a rooster strutting on the roof ridge of a white church
my feathers all red and gold!
Elaborate coxcomb thrown back fluttering in a furnace of wind
I go cockadoodledoing while the preacher tries to preach.

Hey you crying on your knees!
Hey you, bent over with your back broken under weight of fear and guilt
come outside and whirl with me!
Everything you believe about yourself is vomit.
Your sermons are mouthfuls of rancid meat!
Why not come whirling with your arms full of fire?

Take this gallon can of gasoline and pour it over both our heads!
My fingers are match sticks already struck with fire.

bee in flight on the road to the White Salmon River

bee in flight, taken on the road to the White Salmon River




Now that I am growing old, the circle darkens

under the eye.

Fingers broken in a long forgotten fall cry out.

What mattered once has been broken

into small and smaller measurements of space

we all are falling through.

Now the one I love calls me by a name that is no longer mine.

Her voice is like the Gulf, silver and curling.

The name she calls me is a wave within it, flecked with tar.

Coming closer, I am being lifted

and the one I love is bending down to look me

full in the face.




Every body will die in harness

while I am standing at this open window

not claiming your existence as my own, not wanting to believe

in what I am.

It has always been my existence not yours that is

in doubt.

Suddenly the moon is in the poplar tree with its companion the first star.


Photo of bee taken on the road to the White Salmon River.

Photo of bee taken on the road to the White Salmon River.


Bleecker Street photo by Rob Sacks

Bleecker Street photo by Rob Sacks

“He who depends upon his eyes for sight, his ears for hearing and his mouth for speech, he is still dead.” Hazrat Inayat Khan

You who are the eye of my eyes
what I hear has first been heard by you.

You speak in tongues for the living and for the dead.
I am only a ghost
come back to tell the living they can never die.

I came here to know the Fire as a wife knows her husband.
Now our legs are tangled in each others’ like roots of a flame tree
and all my leaves are burning.
While your hands go on feeling in the dark for me, I am gone
where smoke goes.

I came here to cry.
I came to bathe in this gulf of spilled tears
to swallow the salt we all are swimming in.
Now everything tastes like blood.

All my friends are sparrows and the moon is white as wonder bread.
Our wings are beating against its light.
I tell you there is a kind of dancing here
just not the kind the rich will pay good money for.