for Carol and Shivabalayogi


In the undertow of evening I am settled around myself.
Those who have lived long enough to keep quiet
should be listened to.

In the valley between my shoulder blades I sing about a river
running underground.

I am always kneeling.
I kneel to the one who knows but will not speak the first word
that sets these worlds in motion.


Every man is alone and every woman is breathing in the Gulf
with schools of mullet in her tidal hair.
All night long the left hand feels in the dark for the right.
Shivabalayogi is my Guru. Carol is my wife.

This is all I know.


The angel of the Lord is flying
over the Cascade Range and Hood River Valley.
Wings made of fire drop light into the undergrowth.

Now I am a standing flame.
My fingers are match sticks all struck at once!
I am the river in the Douglas fir
the living water rising up through root and trunk
taking in and giving out breath!

You are above me spread out as breath and as the prayer of breath.
Shivabalayogi I am kneeling to you.
Carol I am kneeling to you.


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