When Friendship Sails Away

2 a.m. Thoughts

I am words melting from the pen

A soul setting out upon journey alone again

Watching for sinkholes in this new present

& tsunamis in this new future

On a horizon that quivers with change.


Life can be a lethal dose of hurt

Delivered to internal organs

Like the heart & liver

Like the lungs & sinus cavities

Like my wobbling brain you label “stupid”

You, someone I thought had my back

& a blanket of forgiveness to wrap around me

When I’m dragged from the floodwaters



I didn’t answer the open-ended question rightly

“Do you know about the base?” she asked…

Well, I know where it is & some of what it purveys

In its deathly business-as-usual way…

But I didn’t have her answer. Nor wish to take up

Her standard of battle.


I didn’t remember a name out of context

So a blade of Damascus steel I’d not time

To parry was thrust into emotional vitals…

In aid of what? Why can there be no slack

Among old friends? Why does my perfection

Or its lack matter so much you must pull it from

The pole I had such a time erecting?

Does it serve you to trample it in front of me?

In your knowing, holy way…the priestess of

Right, the princess of who you think I should be.


I have held back so much from you of

Your perceived imperfections, in feeling

These thoughts would serve no purpose

But to wound.


Your definitions have no such compunction,

Eroding into attack, I must so deserve

For all I cannot do rightly.


You say to guard my inner child as you

Push her into an exposure beyond deserving.

What did I do to you?


I know. I know. I’m trusting in an almost comic way,

Like Peanuts trusts Lucy to hold the ball.

I sink for the third time as you remonstrate with

Me, while clutching the life ring, “You should have learned to swim

before you fell overboard!”


It’s ok. My heart has been renewed before.

It’s just an unexpected wound & hard to treat

With my limited edition first aid kit. Attack from

Any quarter can be unexpected, but this one caught me blind.


I wipe the raveled sleeve of care across my face

And tuck it under my head to sleep.

I wake from my own sighs,

To find life lost & love ground into

Such fine dust, I have no way in this moment

To render it to life.

Seeing the Unseen

Wake up to the grave every day

Wake up to radical choices

Of health



Because these are what the world wants us to have

And know that no other reason is needed.

If fear or complaint is your home page

Click on the menu called “Prayer”

Watch for the submenu “grace’ to use as a


Eliding all extraneous borders into seamlessness.

Stretch for something you can walk forward upon

Something solid, not heavy like pavement,

But supportive & gracious to feet

Think on how long the wood speaks to us

After trees are made furniture. Think how it

May have longed to be a bureau or a stair.

We can no longer afford to waste even this

Intangible energy breathed at us…

Awaken to only THIS day, for none will ever be so again

Put out your super-natural antennae

Listen for hoofbeats, watch for omens

If you’re one to create your world, plan it for good


I watched a short video accompanying a longer article about Jesus. In the video, He is shown as a man in white robes striding towards the camera. I am directly entranced by this video. I bookmarked it to watch again.

Towards me

I have a framed picture on my bureau:

A magazine cutout purporting to be Jesus

In a white robe with a red sash…

Walking towards me.

And this is where it will get strange for some people,

So, if you are even the least bit strange, stop reading here, please.

I knew this image to be so familiar for I had seen it in real life.

In my waking reality, once upon a time,

I saw Jesus striding towards me,

Pacing up the road ahead of any entourage

Eager to arrive at a home, to table, clean & at rest: a meal.

I knew that Jesus sent His essence out ahead of Him

I knew the first image was His wish to be with us

And that I still had time to prepare

For the moment He would fill His shadow

At my door,

Smile up at me, from my table

All of us, Arrived, at last.



I’ve waited a long time for JOY to become my habitat.

I needed to recall that Joy is set up beyond earthly constructs

So as to be accessible at all times.

I needed to remember Joy is entirely individualized

Apparent only on those terms

Entangled in these constructs

Enabled by fearlessness.

Joy is light, it smells like reflected sunlight

when you pass through high grass, tasseled & be-stemmed.

Don’t waste a bit!

Always put it down in the exact same place…

Or set it up as your default state.

You see, first you get through Hope

Then Faith

Then Love

to Joy.

(Once you’ve Joy, all else drops away.)


I declare a General Amnesty for myself!

I did all of it so far & didn’t even have the full story

(Conventionality wears off early

If you’re set aside young.)

Recovery isn’t to be trusted,

Fitting in doesn’t feel “organic”

Comfort = Alone.

I find my pardons along the roads I travel

And I’m open to bridges.


In the last days of this year’s August, the world’s energetic disposition became stronger. Some would even say stranger.

For me, it became clearer. I mean a personal, scintillating clarity. I am becoming someone other than my working title, “Massage Therapist.”

This kind of personal clarity works startlingly well at my age when so often my eyes want to glass over at the repetitive conversation, the total lack of discourse.

I walked the “up” route one day. I had my dictation unit with me & I recorded my thoughts as I walked. I was lost in the new-minted daylight that moved all around me in a dance of its own making. I made a left where I usually make a right, hardly believing I was taking on another hill, this one in town.

As I reached the crest, I recorded, “A poem is like a communion wafer, moments on the tongue, drenched in Divinity that needs to be told.” This portentous but predictive thought trailed off as I reached the top of the hill. Standing to just the other side was a slender man in a long robe. He stood with his hands behind his back, looking at our Union Church (built 1892) with the fiscal help of our [then] local madam. (It was not to occur to me until I reached home that this was Sunday morning.)

Sometimes here on the backroads of New Mexico, a pilgrim will pass through town. One rainswept day, I saw a man pulling a red, white & blue crucifix with a wheel mounted on the bottom, head down, striding along the shoulder of Highway 152. In the roads near Chimayo, it is not uncommon to see bare-chested men flogging their backs with whips. Or men with thick knee pads “kneeling” their way along the road to the small miracle Church.

In the moment of starting downhill, finding & turning off my recorder, focusing on this man’s profile, I lost all rational thought. I took him to be a holy man passing through, leaning over a wrought iron fence to study an old Episcopal Church. When he turned to face me, I realized in a rush: “he’s dressed in the vestments of a priest.”

He walked forward to greet me, hand outstretched, a mild face overtaken by glasses. He remarked how nice it was that the weather had cooled & he was comfortable in the ceremonial layers. He mentioned he comes up to Hillsboro on Sunday to say mass at the old church. I admired his dedication as the only way to achieve a goal. We discussed what volunteers bring to lives. I lifted my index finger mysteriously & played him the poem just recited. He asked if I wrote it (a common question tho one would think too obvious to be anything but a conversational gambit.) I nodded, smiled, as free & open in conversation & aspect as I have ever felt in my life.

There was somehow a purity in this introduction, a sharing of what is divine to each of us.

As parishioners came up the hill, I impulsively grabbed the hand so recently shaken & kissed the back of it before saying goodbye & walking on.


Local Roads


I feel like a solid rock sometimes, the indissoluble solid, mid-creek. Every once in a while, karma … or grace … approaches with a large lever & sets me into motion.  “The Lever” frequently is preceded by the sound of metal dragging across rocky ground: It foretells change.

I let this Lever upend me to where I live now. I moved from the ocean to live in the elbow of Percha Creek. In the running stream of consciousness that is my life, I taste everyone else’s. As they taste me & mine…it’s something Biblical (at least for me.) So, as it is with water, I am everywhere, as all of us are.

Books can be a Lever, as can movies & other creative works. For me, it’s been serial walkabout which has most changed my life. When the wind spoke in one ear only, I knew it was the way to turn when time came to leave.

Right now, I hear birdcalls, water running over rocks too big to put in my pockets, I hear the metal stanchions of the bridge quietly flexing.

With nothing but these in my awareness, I now also hear faint chimes of bells & bamboo, footsteps crossing behind me & a dog panting. These are bleed-throughs from a parallel time-stream, the “when” that these happened not mine to directly perceive. Yet they swell my awareness. So much is possible over magical running water.

Straight ahead of me rises a wall of sheared & shattered rock, sliced by centuries, a southwestern sculpture garden in the vertical.

To believe this now-miniature creek – Percha Creek – wore through this eternity of rock jumble is farcical, fantastical! Yet, since the glaciers left long ago, since the ocean formed & filled & fled, this creek has had full charge of wearing out the walls I look at, wearing them smooth & carving these edges. If there is a song from rock, there is only a chant in sharp whispers here.

Vegetation is sparse & spiky, clinging to a dust of soil & worn-down pebbles with scrabbling roots. Along the ridgeline, the yucca plants display their seed-stalks, like so many feathers in a headdress. The mesquite provides some variation to already roughened texture.

As I sit, balanced on a tiny chair & leaning one leg against the fence, lap desk astride, the sun beats down on me. The sun is the reason I am out here, as well as some sweet isolation & nature quality time. September offered itself on the breeze in last night’s windows. I want to be brown again for my birthday, coming soon.

Elsewhere & everywhere, the world wears itself into existential frenzy. Friend’s ships sail in different directions, one to sea & one to land. But here & now, I am aware of only the love that created this earth & this water to bring them to this harmonious co-existence. The shapes all interact & indwell with each other far from the tiny world of my perceptions. I am not of centuries; I am now. There is only this moment.

I’m ready.