Old Lava Flow

      forever,
it flowed to the sea:
   hot orange rock,
thick liquid rolling,

   down to the sea,
too hot to imagine.

bright orange
      in darkness,

      flowing lava
   makes such a
festive nighttime
   show for all
   the tourists.

      steam hisses as
   liquid rock hits
the ocean waves.

   cooling boulders
fall even further,

under the waves
   until something
      stops them.

Unknown Fruit

      unknown fruit,
on unknown trees
and i don't know
   what to think.

green on green:
      it makes one 
wonder what
   it may imply:

quick painful
      death or 
maybe delight?

small birds may 
   show us what 
      to taste.

if nothing eats
   the unknown
fruit, we should
      remember:

   nature has a 
certain wisdom.

Downstream View

from high above,
      i look at
rushing waters,

   spilling over
      wet and 
rounded rocks.

our lives too
   sometimes
rush, spilling
   over rocky
       dangers,

   where we
might smash,

breaking ribs
   and more,

      desperately
   struggling in
   wild torrents,
gasping for air.

from cliffside
      outlooks,

   it all looks
      beautiful
and peaceful.

but sometimes
   in rushing
      tumults,
 
      we learn
desperation,

      beaten by
wild currents,
we sometimes
      survive.

Broken Bamboo 2018a

broken bamboo 
tops lie in a heap 
      on top of
fibrous roots,

   a wind-storm
   smashed that
bamboo grove.

we find the scene
   exotic and a
      little alien;
      this is not
our world.

years and miles 
   pass by too
   quickly we
      will learn;

a jungle cataract
      falls from a 
   towering cliff,

      its source
a mystery we'll
   never solve.

   this bamboo
doesn't care;

it grows again beside
      sweet lacey ferns,
a warm wind blows.

   we came so far
      and see (that's
how it goes).

      rain drops from
sudden clouds above 

as we drink it in,
   the gods are
      making love.

Fire Air and Water

      a beach 
with no name,
where the lava
   flowed down
      to the sea,

   a secret place,
not on any map,

but a friendly
   local told us
      we should go.

   such a quiet,
private place
   in paradise!

no other tourists,
      we listened to
waves smashing
   on lava rocks

      the sound of
   seabirds and
the south pacific!

      a beach 
with no name,
where the lava
   flowed down
      to the sea,

   a secret place,
not on any map

Creekbed

under the cedars
   BX creek washes
   a very tiny world.

we step carefully,
      leaving no 
   footprints,

      witness to
our passing.

like ants, we
      walk our
pointless paths,
   insignificant
in many ways,

and like to think
      ourselves so
   important.

but we are not.

   a lttle water
      washes
rounded rocks,

the cedars know.
   that water is
      essential. 

we need it too,
cleansing and
      refreshing,

some kindness
   to our souls.

Solitary Skeleton

Solitary Skeleton

      under all the
      conifers, i see
a lonely skeleton,

   and understand
part of what i see.

      i myself have
a solitary aspect.
      my bones
   carry my flesh;

my body carries me.

a day will come,
      no doubt,
   when i too,
am stripped
      to bone,

like a mushroom,
      which i still
don't understand
   in full detail.

and though we all
   want company,
my day will come:

i will be solitary,
and go meet the 
      beautiful light.




Badlands no.12

Badlands no.12

the rains came down
for millions of years

washing away rock
   (was sand, packed
      hard and turned
to sandstone.)

memories stir
and i want to
      return to a
place and time
a little beyond
      my grasp.

      beside me, 
   a small dog 
sleeps in peace.

envy stirs, as i
      fight sleep
   like a tired
      toddler.

rock never sleeps, 
   time's rivers
   wash it slowly
      to the sea,

one grain
      of sand
at a time.