We went to dinner, which apparently is what everyone else does on an ordinary weekday night. We sat in a booth, my daughter and wife across from me.

Dad look. Dad look,”

pointing passed me.

a bald guy!

you know, I say, some day I could be bald.

But I don’t want a bald father!

Always Love

there’s always love available. our job is to find it. when we are stuck looking for where its not we won’t find it. only when we commit ourselves to finding the love that’s available, even in impossible situations, will we be able to find it.

Some trees are already bare, and the leaves that remain, may well remain until next year. When a breeze ripples the giant sequoias, they whisper to each other the lost ancient name of loss and pain
—My love, are you awake?

and the dog down the street sounds the trumpet, and the oboe in the moon soaked starless sky whirs from far to near to far

Apparition in Seattle

So here I am driving to get on the I-5 when I see this.

The fog was beginning to burn off and reveal the sun streaked sky. A voice in my head rang like a hymn, saying, why work today? Stop and go. Stop and go.

A little closer this time.

A little closer now. A little closer now.

Cedar River

The glint of cottonwood leaves

and helicopter seeds

spiraling down


the underbelly of the osprey

that circles above

above the Cedar river

above the moss laden and

bare maple crowns.

Rushing river.

Splunk of rocks.

We held each other.

I closed my eyes

to realize

everything is spinning

in some secret way.

And I’m wired to

not even notice.

Cottontail clouds

emerge beyond the treeline

move with the wind

and make abstract shapes

which my mind insists

is a dragon head.

Now my head is spinning

and my heart beats faster,

and I just want this moment

to last forever.

Spring Lake/Lake Desire (Haibun)

I just keep plowing forward


without knowing where i’m going.

We left the house thinking we were searching for freedom; the american ideal. I wanted to see what Ken Burns was looking for all these years, put a face to the name in a way. We figured freedom meant it was free, so we went to the trails, the mountains and parks. It was mid October, but had yet to be much of an autumn.

On our way into the neighborhood there are no signs for the park. No mention of Spring Lake, or Lake Desire. So I figured perhaps these were man-made lakes for the private enjoyment of the residents. Roads diverge, like capillaries, off the main vein. Houses pock the sides like cancer cells. The 390 acre park is densely forested and in the neighborhood we start to get the feel that we are entering the right area. Broad-leafed Maple limbs hang over the roadway. Redwood cedars contort around houses and their low skirts dance over the tops of cars parked along the side of the street.

This whole area of forested overgrowth surrounds a primeval cinder cone. Here is evidence of the ancient outcroppings of a network of volcanoes that helped to form the region. Prehistoric man would have worshiped these mounds of fire and fury as the womb of The Mother. Perhaps they did as they built their own burial mounds. Now, though, it’s been fossilized and covered by centuries of innovation, evolution and death.

Follow me, I’m the leader! You say again and again. Almost as if to bait an argument. I, in turn, said in my head, no! I’m the leader, but instead smile and shake my head. The forest floor is caked with leaves, the path a patchwork of crimson and bronze, chanterelle and death. Late morning sunlight filters through the treeline, fog and a patchwork of leaves on branches, mostly big leaf maple, clinging to the eventuality of rebirth. The trodden path slick with chewed up leaves, like overnight puke stains on the sidewalk. But off the path, between the trunks and ferns, the fallen leaves make up a bed and blanket for the fruit that fell a few weeks earlier -providing the seeds a chance to spring to life.

Out here there is no leader, only the whispers of wind high and low. Only the stubborn secrets of the elder Doug-firs. Out here we don’t put anyone above or below because we’re capable of seeing the vast network of cooperation, which is the only order we belong to.

Along the way we pass the stump of a felled tree, which you insist on jumping on top of and having your picture snapped. I oblige. If only to inspect the stump afterword to point out the fact that it represents a generation which now provides the ground for new growth; all kinds of species, gender, and cultures, without persecution or discrimination, it welcomes all, and that like the stump, we too will provide sustenance for new generations. So it’s up to us to make sure that what we offer is good enough to sustain not just the next generation, but many more after that too.

There is a meadow surrounded by conifers, like a secret tucked away at the top. It is nearly pristine, you said something like, “whoa!” But the secret was not ours alone, between the evergreens there were houses on either side, vacation homes no doubt, perhaps now year round Airbnb rentals. It serves as just another reminder of how there is not a place that civilization has not traveled. A moment before we were explorers, discoverers, and now we have discovered only what has been claimed by others a few dozen years ago. It is a microcosm of an ever-expanding economy that knows no bounds other than the expansion of its own growth. Still though we sat -as the signs asked- on the path, and simply observed change.

The economy of the earth, of the ancient, is far greater than that of mankind. Why would we expect to outlast nature herself? since after all we too are nature. At the center of everything and just under our feet is the fossilized prehistoric cinder cone. Where once the bowels of the great mother bellowed, is now flush with verdant technological advancements of moss and perennial, of evergreen boles and rocky outcroppings from since the beginnings. Here in the fog and the dim sunlight, the spires sway and give way to the wind. Here even the moss sings, if you listen closely enough. We sit for a while and watch nothing in particular and everything all at the same time. It seems we’ve found peace just for a moment. This is where, for the first time, you discovered grasshoppers; camouflaged by the emerald grass they hop from between your feet and you instinctively try to catch and chase, laughing your genuine childish laughter.

Sitting atop

Ancient cinder cone

Amongst fog burnt daylight,

Evergreen spires –

Ah! What a feeling!

Birthday Poem

Happy birthday!

Sprigs of hemlock hang low with frost. The blue-green spruce stands in contrast to the seas of fog covering the valley.

Heart shaped leaves of cottonwood hang stiff and sing autumns choral defiance.

It’s the first frost and today,

It is your birthday.

Today is the First Day. It’s like this. And it isn’t.

You stretch like the cedar, and fall like the pine.

Your history, your every lived moment, and those of your ancestors, ones you’ve known -and those you never knew- stretch back and reach forward in this now.

You are the rising sun hidden behind evergreen mountains and cottontail fog.

You are the memory of every spoken verse. The cascading waves of light, dancing in the permafrost glow.

You are the seasons change. And I may never know your name, but this is how I know you.

Of Nature and Inspiration

Have you ever had this happen before?

Inspiration strikes:

An author brings words to life, everything flows, there’s an intuitive nature to it; harmony. It’s poetry fused with knowledge and drama.

More beautiful than anything you’ve ever writ, but still makes you wanna try, because it’s not stuck up writing.

It fills you, though, with a longing, an empty knowing that you could never reach that benchmark, or worse you may just end up producing a subpar imitation.

Still you know you’ll try, and you know that instead of finding fulfillment in your words, it will only ever increase that longing to try.

Today you realize that instead of trying to put it all down on paper, in the immediacy of the moment, what you really need, what will say how you feel without saying anything at all, is to simply go for a walk outside.

Under the canopies, amongst the birds and the wind, the shaking of leaves, trickling creeks, and distant traffic swells. Leave it all behind. Because in the hugeness of outside is where inspiration, real, unique inspiration strikes. Outside is where everything is said, without saying anything at all.

By the way, the book? The author? The Overstory by Richard Powers.

Old Man Tree Frog (A Poem)

Took a walk to visit with the frog that lives in the tree.

Gambel oak to be exact.

But he had turned in as we were walking up.

The branches thick with fuzz, leaves turning crispy and yellow and brown, green splotches and spindly spines.

The earth moves in a post drizzle dance

we wait under the canopy for the old frog to come back out

and croon in the night.

He sings:

I’m sorry sweetie, it’s time to say good-bye.

I’m going back to killing my time

faded, in my memories, telling myself ev-ery thing’s

gonna be alright.

randomly rambling

Im just trying to be genuinely

present, here with you.

And that’s when I realize, I gotta live the moment before I write about it.


I subscribe to leading a life directed by a knowledge that memory is not only some place in your brain, that memory is stored in the muscles, nerves, and cells of your body and that when you learn to trust that memory you can live poetry.