Morning Walk


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We walk quietly through

the shadowed woods listening to

the muffled sounds of  life

rustling in furtive places

my girl looks up at me

familiar expression

on her rough, excited face

confident round eyes

search the massive undergrowth

with unwavering purpose

dark snout moistened with iron red dirt

reaching into the air

her body taught, tail fiercely up

she stands in perfect form

at the slightest snapping of a twig

she cocks her head, triangle scruff ears

honing in

a deer just behind the tree, darts away to safety

while she wraps herself around a sapling

lost in frantic barking

The boy is already in pursuit, his off leash status

allowing him to plunge ahead

I call, but

he has already stopped

the thick tangle of thorny green more than

he’s willing to test

they are different,

the terriors,

he distant and defensive

where she takes the offensive in vocal alert.

She would give chase

until hopelessly lost

he is easily halted by the smallest barrier

Suddenly a man, quietly taking pictures

enjoying an early August morning

I stop

to avoid disturbing his careful composition.

the girl growls

I say “no”

the boy lunges with an unsure warning

The man kneels, reaching out to welcome them

it takes less than a second

small furious defenders,

remorseless hunters,

run to him as if familiar

circling and waggling into the arms of this stranger

for the human affection offered.

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I Went Hunting in Woods


I went hunting in woods

far from my place of birth

To find my love

standing

poised like an animal

smelling the air

ready at the first sign

to bolt

away toward the darker trees

we circled and pawed

no distance from the other

neither sure which way to step

or what to say

nothing     … was the final decision

we were speaking volumes

with every bead of sweat

every glance, every measured breath

time felt held back, the air

snapped like a branch

the animal turned

and did not look back

I emerged from the glade,

knowing that I would hunt again

that same animal

my love

just once to conquer

the wilderness

once would be enough

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I am your Enkidu


I will and I cry, lashing out

to any who might move too close

don’t take another step

stop right there

I am your Enkidu, your soldier of fortune

hired to defend what is indefensible

The day stands out like many, a moment

embedded in memory

a time , a request, a need

you had so many

I agreed to foster you, to keep watch

from the cliff

fires burning, silhouettes on the tower wall

I could not fall asleep for fear you would be taken

into the night, into that emptiness

but I was your Achilles, left with one vulnerable spot

and now you are hostage

carried away on rough roads

cruel bandits, left nothing behind

Now I am your Gilgamesh

wailing your loss

Your Helen, alone

too beautiful to die

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Between Two Mountains Black River Flows


Between two mountains

Black river flows

a raging current

softly traces the night’s

deafening silence

In my dream the place stood bathed in color

the idea of a thought

imagined in my mind’s eye

not cool, but temperate under the dark sun

a place buried in my deepest subconscious

about which I know nothing

why it exists, or

what it means to me

but still

it is there, full and naively alive

not in the least concerned

about my witness

it is there for it’s own

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We are Captains (2)


Are we not Captains, you and I?

Have we not begged our fleet forgiveness, in

the near darkness and the stark light of honest fear?

Have we not watched the tender sky

hover above us like a flag ship, sending unreadable signals from

a distance too far to receive?

Receive them we did.

Did we?

And sending back a reply in the silent heat of

the mid day, did we not lower our shoulders

and turn our heads away?

Too long to wait

for any sign that matters.

…In this vast ocean I am just a drop.

I will wait, as I settle in looking for solid perch.

….In this drop,

I am

an endless sea.

Was I not a Captain?

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Mouth


My mouth is a universe

unto itself.

Where thoughts transform in to words,

into sounds that cannot

exactly express from where they come.

Where delicacies tease and plead with me

to understand their tantalizing possibilities,

to accept their secret gifts.

Where rivers and deserts trade places with forests and bogs,

depending on my state of health and dental hygiene.

Where I proclaim “I”

and what I want and what I don’t want and

who has hurt me, or

made me happy.

Where lips meet teeth

and throat leads to mystery.

Where my silence

takes a form.

Where the shape of the opening

foretells

my mood

my intention

and gives me away when

I most want not to be revealed

where I can map

my life in

lines

and the length of my teeth

Where my birth became in a bleating cry

and my youth

voiced

swelling desires

Where my death will

be revealed

undeniably

in

stiffly closed

quiet.

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I was the world


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“I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw or heard or felt came not but from myself; And there I found myself more truly and more strange.”   ~Wallace Stevens~

 I just finished reading a blog posted by Cristian Mihal on WordPress and it was a wonderful essay on an artist’s need to spend time alone.  It inspired me to contemplate what that meant to me, as a visual artist and a writer.

The need to spend a great deal of time alone is a prerequisite for the task of becoming an artist.  And like so many artists I know, this is a very difficult path to take in life. It is true that we, as humans don’t seem to be very comfortable being alone for too long.  It can make us feel stir crazy and hemmed in.

Yet, I find that when I am alone and creating art, I am at that moment, not alone, but instead in conversation with every person, every thing and every idea that I have ever encountered in my life.  I am entering the currents of my place in the universe and plucking from here and there bits and pieces, raw materials with which to form something uniquely filtered through my own imagination.  I am at that moment… part of a symphony of all that ever was, my possibility becoming an instrument that only I can master.  The sound is sometimes deafening, leading in to a quiet sonata, ultimately becoming a solo, the symphony fading away…leaving me with something new and uniquely mine.

When I’m finished,  I seek out others to share it with. So they too can see and hear what I was able to gather from the void, communing with infinite voices.  It is the artist’s greatest pleasure to relay these messages to anyone who will listen.

Thanks Cristian.

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