Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Quest for Graybands

After the night rains,
Men go driving slow,
Staring at rock splits.

One sees a wiggle.
Is it apricot and grey?
All hail the Grayband.

The snake halts, frozen.
In the shadows, it waits, still.
The men drive on. Ahh!

Freedom is strange here.
Snakes slow to remain hidden.
Discovery looms.

"It eats, it's fine here."
Do snakes always coil to sleep?
In cages, they do.

Along the rock gorge,
I slither, mists about me.
I am cool and free.

Haiku for Alan Furst

In winter's gray skies
Stores can't stock enough Payne's Gray,
Said the artist Furst.

Blackbird in the Sun

Blackbird in the sun
Airs its wings in a tall pine.
Darkness glints with light.

Nothing moves, bare branch.
Only a void remains.
In the sun, all waits.

Blackbird is back! Tall
Shining in the sun, head up
Staring into sky.

Birdsong, sweet chirping
Then the honk honk of a crow
Feathered life trills on.

Monday, June 21, 2010


In the shadows glows
The white rose, luminous, coy.
I step through the thorns.

I kneel in the mud.
In the last rays of sunlight,
I behold this dear.

O, pale lemon heart
What blush holds you so, dear rose?
I stare deep inside.

In the white roses's heart
Tiny pink blooms sprout where
Golden stamens sway.

Friday, June 18, 2010

UNIVERSAL LAWS (run-on tankas)

“When travelling, rest,
bring a good book,” said my good
Doc. “You’re not cured yet,
it takes weeks. Kick back sometimes
in your motel room, sleep, dream.”

Lord Pneumonia has
a strong touch. So I brought two
good books, sketchpads to
watercolor, a diary
to write, herbal teas to drink

A nice sitting room
at the motel. Never used
but a couple hours.
“Stay at the motel?!” friends said
aghast. “Oh, sit in the car.”

“We’ll drive! You’ll see cute
sights.” I did, when the car stopped,
and I got out, walked
up and down and around and
back again. Yes, I saw sights.

Back at the motel,
for an hour til dinner,
drank three cups coffee
so I could keep going. Oh,
what price, this foolishness here!

The best of intents
didn’t take me far, not far at
all! I’d forgotten
the universal laws. The
laws that say, “If you forget,“

“We remember!” So
I went to bed late, got up
early, climbed down steep
steps to see caverns, gasped for
breath as I huffed back up them.

Sat in the hot sun
surrounded by tourists, sat
in casinos steeped
in cigars and cigarettes,
sat in the car breathing by

A friend with a cold.
Didn’t rest at all, ran like a
wild, wild horse in a
stampede of horses…. back roads,
hot sun, clapboard towns, hills, trees.

But never rested,
not once, just kept going and
going and going
as if racing the wind and
the sun, galloping onward.

Sometimes it’s hard to
stand alone, say, “No, not now,
I’m resting, napping
dreaming awhile now. Later.”
The best of intents except

Free time, mates coax and
suggest… Ahhh… the stickiness
of friends. I didn’t rest!
Even at meals, two plus
days running, ate casino

Buffet food so the
finicky eaters would be
happy with choices.
It didn’t matter. I could have
jumped off a cliff and declared

I had wings, I could
have stepped out onto a lake,
if there had been one,
and declared I would walk on
water….didn’t matter what I

Thought or what I said,
only mattered what I did,
what I didn’t do. There
are laws, invisible laws,
silent, lying in wait here

All the same….. Perhaps
these laws have Lords, as well. Do
these Lords of Karma
laugh? Do they frown? Do they care?
Probably not. So acting

Like a fool, thinking
I wasn’t one, I returned
home. Put balm on my
stiffening legs so I could
work next day, thought I was fine.

Two days later, I
coughed, sucked homeopathic
pills to send the bad
cough away. Three days later,
I wheezed. I swallowed herbal

Tinctures with garlic
onion and goldenseal, to
send dread plague away.
Then it began to get hard
to breathe….. Count two inhalers,

A lung xray, vick’s
vapor, antibiotics,
three doctor’s visits
later and a fourth to come,
not to mention doses of

Guaifenesin and
BT syrup, prednisone.
I with the word ‘FOOL’
blinking on my head like an
advertisement, cough cough cough

Think I might survive
without contaminating
the rest of the race.
Dream of air, air so clean, fresh,
a joy taken for granted!

To breathe in…. To breathe
out….To fill one’s lungs with air….
sweet, nourishing cold
air….Luckily, I am still
alive. So I can try to

Apply the lessons
I have learned—as I am, of
course, not yet healed. Lord
Pneumonia reigns. All hail the
Lord, and the Lords of Karma

For they are strong and
I am weak. I will see how
well this lesson lasts.
Soul’s awareness I have learned
Ebbs and flows, like the sea tides.