Saturday, May 30, 2009


Countless days of 80 degree weather and pristine, blue skies. It is summer, at last. I only wish the school year understood...


The buds have burst upon the branch,
the birds returned to nest,
the sun has woken from the east
and carried to the west,

the frost has built a fluent home
beyond the sandy shore,
the wind is whispering a song
that flows without a score,

the clouds have split apart a shroud
to bare a spotless blue,
and we have risen from the dead
to see all things anew.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Blessed Burden

These last few months have seen quite a few birthday poems. This makes three, so far, and there will most likely be more to come. As much as I enjoy shopping for gifts, I take even greater joy in crafting them. I prefer made gifts, myself, and can only hope that others appreciate them as much as I do. A made gift is a gift for one, and one alone. No purchased gift, however interesting and unique, can mirror that. How can the act of searching ever compare to the act of creating? This is for Tom.

Blessed Burden

With a wandering wind and a transient stride
to travel the concrete crack,
and a hard-shell guitar case, a promise, and pride,
swung loose on your low-bent back,
you will follow the destiny written inside -
a seed of the unseen track -

with words never spoken and notes never played
and love of the solitude sent,
such a singular treasure before you, arrayed,
that life be not lost unspent,
as a million others have mindlessly strayed
so far from the way they went.

This burden is yours, and its blessed attack
will rupture and heal the rent.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Loss and Gain

It's shaping up to be a beautiful weekend, so go out there, you fortunate Portlanders, and explore the shadowy corners of your city, laid bare in this brilliant sunlight. Listen to street music, plant gardens, walk without a purpose, and, above all, be observant. The world says amazing things when you stop talking long enough to listen.

Loss and Gain

It is in giving that I take
(a selfish gift, at most),
to prove the sorry self I make
a much appealing host,

but there is sadness in this hall
that disport cannot hide;
a crowd of empty rooms that pall
and pale so, inside,

and until they are furnished well,
my winter will remain
the only friend to fill this shell
and talk of things I cannot tell,
of loss that will be gain.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote, "Love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you, for those who are near you are far away." The truth of this is so great - and so difficult - that it is hard to imagine anything less attainable, or less painful. Love of Christ, perhaps, but that love - I believe, and hope - is found through solitude. His words are not perfectly true of everyone, to be sure; they are the fortunate few who can love absolutely, without separation and loneliness. But, as for myself, I see no other path than complete emptiness of self, and that is a path for me alone. No one can follow me, and no one should. It is a solitary existence that is unique for everyone. We can share our existence in the world, but we can never share the true existence of our internal selves. The soul, alone, can experience its own growth, and all other people can merely hold on to the external man. This is not a pathetic existence; it is a majestic one. But, this does not stop it from being lonely. On an entirely separate note, I extend my most absolute and sincere thanks to all of you who made my birthday so wonderful. It was neither exciting, nor surprising, but simply filled with the love of real friends. I cannot begin to count my blessings.


Each moment, more and more is asked -
the glory of the growing things;
each memory, a truth unmasked;
each tenderness, a thorn that stings,

and all throughout, as small as I,
am yet receeding, smaller still,
so that in beauty I might die,
alone to live a brighter will.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Bud and the Bloom

I'm spending quite a bit of time, as the days grow more and more enchanting, walking the back-streets of Portland, notebook in hand and iPod set to Nick Drake. I watch for the little things; the things too easily missed. Or, as someone said to me, the things in between. It's impossible, however, to miss the carpet of cherry blossoms that covers the ground. Soon, of course, it will all begin to brown and fade, but, for this brief, perfect moment, it blankets everything in a glorious bed of pink.

The Bud and the Bloom

The bridal wreath's cast off again,
in pink and pearl petals on the ground,
supplanted by a simple train
of sober-shadowed leaves that open round

this little remnant of the bloom
that bears away the hours and the days,
asleep within a supple womb
and heedless of the sun's unhurried rays.

They coax it out of close repose;
oh, splendid bud, that beauty might arrest
my heart and eyes, as beauty does,
and hold, within me, life sublime and blest.