child science

our immediate intuition
says we’re not the pine tree
says we’re not the mountain
we’re not even patagonia
vibrating underneath herself
but it doesn’t end there, —
and neither are we
an only child,
so we go back to the edge
of the pine
to the gazing mountain
we beg the beautiful bastion
to forgive us our ignorance
and our collective myopathy
— is it in our burning existence
of sheer chance
and star dust joy
that we are only beginning
to see we are one with
and one in this world?
we’ve clung to our stubborn
illusions long enough


for Real Toads


the pink flower, or God knows


my ears get fooled by neighbors
and all the wrong that i hear
and my feet get sore from foxtails
those insidious small devils

and don’t you ever wonder
i mean, doesn’t it ever get to you
how He is still everywhere
and everything no matter what?

and i almost forgot without
this morning when i left
in a huff that i snapped
one picture of a pink mildness

i looked at it once, and now twice
and on the third time viewing
i finally saw its burnt edges

yet i think it cannot detract
from the multiplication of
sympathies He’s given me
in this very continuous moment

as i look and re-look at earth
in this very important flower
don’t you see a prayer?

don’t you see an instruction
to quiet self, to get out,
without the weight of ego
to be only soft and burning, —
an open-fisted body


for Real Toads &after Mary Oliver’s
When the Roses Speak, I Pay Attention

let me be solemn in Yosemite

i have not made the world my home
nor have i considered the egos of nighttime mountains

their bare bones make no difference to me
as i sit in a darkened bus exhaling a ring of fumes,
an open-mouthed wreath gifted to the world

i have never spoken to the brokenness of bridal
veil falls, even though she waits for me ’til morn
like a petulant little sister connected solely by chance

i suppose,
there is something though, beyond all my dumb breathing
beneath all this tumbling, and all-out burning of mother
and father, sister and brother stars

if, and when,
things are as they should be, i will latch onto the musical
strings written expressly for me, and dance holding onto
the hem of your skirt which is not one of the least of these;

thank you,
please, for wildflowers sleeping


17: NaPoWriMo and Real Toads

10. “i saw Her face full-on”

,and i could have died thereof
on roller coaster hill.
but my heart-struck feet
kept a padding up and over,

up and over the next mogul
threatening to come between Her
and i, and before i knew it, the blonde
field sections next to me started humming

in orchestral reaction to all the astral dust
She was throwing down in Chapman, —
where tornadoes tend to go,
where i knew if i’d get there too,

She’d take me up as Her child
of the great western plains, —
the cows weak-kneed in prayer
the mosquitoes still sleeping


5: NaPoWriMo
Kansas: the Land of Ah’s
Best state to watch sunsets/sunrises


these obsessive thoughts
i can’t explain
i go straight to work
build a house of
magic dust,
mystic mist,
i throw it in the air
or set it sail on time
as a gift,
a sympathetic contact
i can’t explain

for Hannah at Real Toads
inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s
environmental art


As only the lucky
breathe foam
only breathe
the rhythm of
give &take
salt &knees

As only the lucky
drink morning
in a bay the shape
of a perfect
half circle
a cupped hand

As only the lucky
I sometimes stand
in a doorway &reach
for the sweep of
a blessing

As only the lucky
&I know how
we extend flesh
like seaweed
liquid sunlight

day 4 NaPoWriMo
for Real Toads

These Boys are not Rude & Obnoxious

The wind today is not rude.
See the leaves all a-shimmer.
Strong branches can also bend
If they look up the word grace.
And who doesn’t like cotton
Candy melting in the sky?
These boys are not rude &obnoxious.
Can’t you see there’s two–
No– three birds
Sitting on one telephone wire.

Prints available for sale

for Poetic Asides
inspired by the Career Transition boys in 6th Period

After Walt Whitman

I stand there looking at you, and you, and you
Long and long through this open window. My God!
Your feathers light as a whisper over fences and limbs.
Your face without lashes or mouth. I privately take it in
And my heart flutters standing in awe of yellow
Sun kisses bright in your throat. A fluency of feet
A supple verse that makes me grin. This is my poem.
A darling shadow of weightless wonders flowing soft,
So soft that it should rival your little cotton head.

“Stop and smell the roses.”


River Stones

Tan Renga for Becca Givens’ haiku: at

river stones
caressed by flowing water
pale moon shines

silver enhanced earthenware
soft lips upon my shoulder


Enchanted Forest Trail

Tested, alone on the Enchanted Forest trail, I traverse switchbacks lower and lower into coffin depths. Unearthing sea-foam beneath my feet, I round the corner to my destination when I happen upon a brown bear.  My breath stops to look at it, a starfish I wish to toss back into the deep. Its male or femaleness is irrelevant. No, I recant. Of course, I’m stupid! A nearby cub, will set me praying against my mother; against the itsty bitsy spider. Bear tiptoes over volunteer grass. I kick against the goads; divine right-of-ways. Cattle-prodded, my chin hairs cave in.  I double-back to consider harmony: dirt, rocks, stubbly yellow flowers, the hairs on my arms, my father. Salt licks my lips. Steady browness is bear; a cow in India, faultless and sacred.

trail sketch

Scholars will travel
An enchanted forest trail
Twice in a lifetime