Bergen

Midnight sun illumines,
salmon dancing in baskets
set out for market
brightly painted boats expel
seamen icing down the catch,
setting up for sales along the pier.
Rain thundering down
does not change the pace or activity.
Houses, painted the color of the boats,
overlook the early bustle.
I meander down the moss covered
cobble walkways,
past ivy covered walls, along tree lined streets
into the hustle.
I am offered writhing catch,
fresh shucked oysters.
I slide a few oysters down
into a breakfast hungry stomach.
I am reminded of Kodiak Alaska,
but this city offers more than –
the industry of fish.
My bones respond to this place,
where ancestors lived
worked and drew their last breath.
It is an unfamiliar home.
An internal GPS leads me to places and people connected
to my blood, heart.
In a library
an unknown chance relative
shows me pictures of places
of my people,
shares names, dates,
relative to the tree of which I am the smallest branch.
I ride a tram to overlook the city and harbor.
I stand in this
Green Meadow Among the Mountains
looking upon
the City of Seven Mountains
as a resident of the distant
City of 14 Hills.
Everything I am, have been, is echoed before me.

I Missed What You Said

I perhaps didn’t hear.
There was so much said.
Maybe I missed a nuance,
A gesture, a glance.
But it changed the tenor
Of this conversation we were sharing
Or what we were sharing
Perhaps was only in my head.
I might have gleamed over an important word or
Stopped listening as I was pondering a response.
Maybe i just didn’t want to hear
Because sometimes I dont.
Its too much at times
And at times not enough.
Its always a dance, you of many words, me of few who loves my silence.
But I must have missed something.
For there is only silence.
Usually I assume its me.
But this time I think its you.
For someone of many words,
Something is missing.
There is a gap between what I heard
And what you meant me to understand. Trust me. I will listen now.
This silence, has my attention.

Yes

Before I knew it, it was yes.
I didn’t think it, but it was – yes.
There was no awareness of it, but yes.
It isn’t really yes, but – yes.
It isn’t practical, but must be yes.
It’s a secret. Its yes.
Shyness, yes.
Simplicity, ohhhhhh yes.
Retreating to center, yes.
Peace – yes.
Every possibility is yes.
The Universe echoes – Yes.

Magnolia Tree

Waking to the scent of Magnolias.
In the early morning hours, the large buds
on the tree outside open
and fill my bedroom with a powerful sweetness.
They are blooming late this year.
Sometimes they open as early as February.
My tree is the kind that grows in the south –
where the buds literally sweat open and drip their sweetness
into the grass, or in your hair or slick your skin.
I wake, looking into the branches.
The morning also brings a visit from a black squirrel.
I often shoo him away as he digs into my pots
to bury his treasures while uprooting my plants.
But this morning he just sits, looking drunk with the
scent of Magnolias. Today we will just let each other be.
And revel in the gift the morning brings.

Ambush

Disrupted runners run to local hospitals to donate blood.
In a moment, when the ordinary turns surreal,
when calm turns to panic,
our natures rise to the surface.
There are those whose nature
affords them to see clearly amidst the chaos.
They calm, soothe, take action,
while others, stunned, cannot move,
shake, whimper and withdraw.
There is no moral judgement in either reaction,
crisis triggers each individual’s survival skills.
We all have a place at such moments.
We join, holding on to our humanity,
With a glance, with a touch, we comfort one another.
The active and the withdrawn meld to
survive, transcend and create
a future kinder and gentler for us all.

Voice

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I listen
for all these things
trying to hear you.

Sweet Sanctum

A song
A story
A kaddish
An expulsion
A piece of wizardry (crow man)
A liberation

The evening came gently.
In the air, the birds accompanied the human voices.
The city chimed in
with sirens, traffic noise
human background chatter.

We all met under the new moon
with our separate intentions
melding into a group consciousness
that rose in the sky
in a swirl of smoke and manifested
into the night.
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She Said

Darkness expresses a link to the earth
and the otherness.
She painted water
but I saw a comet –
streaking against the vast cosmos.
No link to the earth
but movement away
from all attachment.
Burning, consuming itself
to propel forward
brightly against the dark,
trailing light and stardust
to return at an interval
determined by its own mass
and center of gravity
beyond our lives.

for Martha McDonald

Home

Shores of silence
Found sun
New arrivals
Records
Green waters
Salty moods
Growing cravings
Lost country
Whispering
Are we home?

Gift of Sleep

Dreams
subconsciously illuminating
fears desires puzzlements
charitable selfish soul-gift
chimera