The Grove in the Night

It was night in Kyoto. In a grove on a mountain, in July 1995, as I was preparing to leave Japan, I received one of the great gifts of my life. It began with the Kyoto Connection, an international arts gathering. Over several months, I’d taken the stage at the Connection in various guises: as…

Late June Garden

Gratitude for the lilac white petunias tiny papyrus the boxes of garden, off-square the potato bathtub these hillbilly choices, my higgledy carpentry and green life that says yes nonetheless gratitude for the patio this ache in my back from the building of it that pile of bricks for the path yet to lay these eye…

Guest Post: Another Storm, by Ellen Kartz

Yet another morning after yet another rain, the alley shows the proof of last night’s storm— the puddles in the gravel, in the pavement’s recesses. Trees always look greener in the morning. They suffer the worst in storms, but somehow manage to recover—taller, stronger. It takes us longer to find our strength again. We get…

June 7: Urban Gratitudes

gratitude for the gaslines underneath the streets for the thermostat set as well gratitude for the powerlines running from the alley festooned with crows for the sewerlines collecting to waste treatment, cycling back to river gratitude for the pavement and sidewalks the easements and street signs the ways we convene, gratitude and for the trees,…

Song for Space Travelers

One of my earliest memories: summer 1969, in the farmhouse kitchen with Mom radio talking about Moon Landing. Through the Tang years of the 70s, we’d play astronaut games, all of us kids home and schoolyard filled with the allure of space. We watched the space operas on TV, too thrilled at the prospect of…

May 28: View of a Pine

what do they call those? candles? that the pine lifts skyward still. she is winter-killed, red around her trunk, and cramped, encamped between two houses, not the forest she expected at my window as she rises, spring by spring she bears away any excuse for not trying. there is wind, there is sun, there is…

Meditation: Gold

do you miss the rain ancestors? or is that how you touch earth again? do you watch over one nest? or roam? spirit feet like seeds riding is that you singing in summer storms? do you remember? is that why spruce wears pollened buds? this gold as transient as breath.   Image by lldigo via…

May 23: Heart

become accustomed to the weight memory lays across your heart lift it anyway become schooled in the crack and creak pain of rising one more time kneel anyway numb your skin to the lash every absence a thorn lean in somewhere in all this brush and scrub meaning and renewal send green tight curled leaves…

May 22: Certainty of Trees

Gratitude to the rain. Gratitude to the sky. Gratitude to the many tiny things. What are we supposed to do? Arise into cities, bloom and shed light? It’s true, I don’t think much about how my brothers live. There they stand, gnarled still offering softest green in faithful bargain, to the sky. Look how their…

Rainwashed

rainwashed morning sky could last until dusk all low smooth silver and smoke elm queen shakes out her tresses daughter plum shyly offers a branch blue black asphalt path, too, shines here, the cedar fence there, willow trellis peonies contemplate sun to come reach leaves glow yellow, red, burgundy forecasting and remembering fall even here,…

Day 27: altered state

presuppose steady state add sparrowsong, wild gold shaking the tree steady ocean must be stirred, add moon and to dark winter a slice of lemon easterly pull the sun north over the river steady breathing add whistling cranes their victory song calligraphed from one end of vision to the other space hearts such that light…

Day 18: Happy to Hear

This is the way of it Earth is alive Turtle Island sleeps until the Song says rise, brighten your limbs rainwash your green and give voice thread geese through windlines, lace swans along lakes let the mountains ring with testimony, every valley run brown and rich in stonefields write slenderly in starfields etch cold fire…