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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Snake Mountain conquered by spring

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IMG_2968Spring has officially conquered Snake Mountain. There is now nowhere one can look without seeing the power of new life exploding in every possible direction. A thousand and one shades of green carpet the ridges and plants are working overtime to demonstrate their attractiveness to every passing butterfly, bee and hummingbird.

And speaking of the birds, well, let’s just say love is in the air. From the delightful drumming of the woodpeckers, to the gobble of turkeys, the mountain is alive with the sounds of avian courtship. There is also a noticeable increase in territorial behavior at the feeders, as well.

IMG_2904  For most of the year it is not unusual to see three, four or five species at the feeder all peacefully sharing a meal together. Now, however, there seems to be far more testosterone in the air. The volume and intensity of the bickering has definitely ratcheted up a notch or two.

And the fun part is that it is all happening so fast. Blink and you have already missed something too beautiful to describe, or just too powerful for words.

Sometimes it is easy for us to take nature for granted. But, not on the mountain, not during the invasion of spring. It’s a natural high so completely addictive it is close to incapacitating. It’s probably a blessing that it cannot be bottled, otherwise it would have to be illegal.

spring exploding on Snake Mountain

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Two weeks ago when I was here on the mountain it was obvious that spring was on the way. Now the Snake Mountain is literally exploding with spring.

Forsythia blooms

Forsythia blooms

Everywhere I look there’s a riot of color and new life. A special treat is that once again we have Red-breasted Grosbeaks joining us. They have been noticably absent for past couple years. I have already seen a half dozen males around the feeder at the same time, so they are back in numbers.

male Red-breasted Grosbeak

male Red-breasted Grosbeak

The males are the showy ones, but the females are just as beautiful. The Grosbeaks are just one of almost a dozen species using the feeder this weekend. But, it’s really nice to have them back.

I am actually having a difficult time getting any work done with the live show taking place on the porch.

female Red-breasted Grosbeak

female Red-breasted Grosbeak

A place to start

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Twenty-two days
and five countries
I am back
in the States.
I can’t say
I’m home,
but at least
I’m back
in the States.
It’s a place
to start.


She Keeps Me on the Edge

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We’ve been playing footsy

this entire trip,

and both of us love it.

We’ve been together

long enough to know

exactly how far we can go

before having to back off

to catch

a creative breath or two.

It’s sensual as hell,

a dance we have practiced

for years, and one

that keeps us both

begging for more.

Both of us know our roles.

That’s the fun of it.

She teases. I beg.

And both of us stay

hot, horny and

hard at it.

Whirl me around one more time

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and the words
are still coming.
The divine dance
hasn’t slowed,
and it’s obvious
she’s not going
to let go.
Neither am I.
So let the music
play on.
Drums and trumpets
do your thing.
We’re not going to stop
until my pen
runs dry.

A Sight Worth Seeing

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I watched
the battered old woman
push her cart
down Columbus,
not that far
from Fisherman’s Wharf.
Most of the tourists
working so hard
not to see her
never realized
what they were missing.
Her face was exquisite;
better by far
than the Golden Gate
and Alcatraz,
both rolled into one.

Sweet Release

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There’s no time for foreplay.
There’s no fooling around.
The need is too great
and she knows it.
This morning, she gives me
exactly what I need, and
exactly how I need it.
Wham, bam,
thank you, Ma’am.
Words don’t flow
but gush
in an unstoppable flood,
pushed by pressure
far beyond containing.
Her touch is magic.
It’s been too long,
far too long,
since I allowed myself
the pleasure
of letting her
have her way.

her touch

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Tonight has started off
extremely well.
She slipped
into my arms
with a look
that couldn’t be
mistaken. At times
like this
it’s a toss-up
as to who’s
and who’s receiving.
All I know is
that the longer
we’re together
the more
she turns me on.

Sorrow’s Alchemy

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There is an alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness
Pearl S. Buck


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to the laughter
and cackling rattle
of nonstop
I realize
that pubs
have more,
maybe far more,
to offer
than many churches
I’ve been in.
At least here
folks aren’t afraid
to grab for
what they need.
It may not
always be pretty.
but at least
it’s real.

At Wounded Knee

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Some stains,
darker than blood,
cannot be erased,
even by the snows
of a hundred winters.
And the sounds
of sobbing,
like that of shattering bones,
can still be heard
in the wind
at Wounded Knee.
Don’t bother
putting your ear
to the ground.
The dead refuse to speak.
For the truth
is in the wind
at Wounded Knee.
Just listen to the wind.

The Struggle to Fill Empty Pews

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GETTING OFF OUR BUTS: Making Mission Happen, by Ray Buchanan, is scheduled to be published the first week of July. It begins with a look at our understanding of miracles, and the alarming lack of them in today’s churches. Here is a brief snippet.

There are many who believe the church is no longer relevant for today’s society. Theologians, biblical scholars and church leaders bemoan the fact that the world at large doesn’t seem interested in what the church has to offer. One campaign after another is introduced to fill nearly empty sanctuaries and help dwindling congregations grow.

None of them appear to have offered a lasting solution. Why?  Again, the answer is disturbingly simple.

None of the ubiquitous church growth campaigns really work because none of them truly focus on the real problem. Today’s church has yet to adequately demonstrate to the world that we have anything worth their attention.

 The church needs to understand that the world is not obligated to pay attention to us. It is just that simple. Thinking we have what the world needs and demonstrating it are two completely different things.

If the world can see nothing in the church that cannot be explained in terms of management, program and organization, how is that any different than what takes place outside the church every single day?

 For most people church still implies God. And for most of the world, God still means miracle. A church without miracles is no different than any other small business, corporation or well-meaning civic club. The world knows what to expect from them. Yet, the world doesn’t know what to expect from the church.

 Once the church merits the world listening to us we will get the audience we crave and deserve. Until that time comes, however, the struggle to fill empty pews will continue unabated.

in praise of eclectisity

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More than once I have been told I have eclectic tastes. That’s a good thing, right? It’s a compliment. At least, that’s the way I take it.

And nowhere is my eclectic tastes more on display than when it comes to my tastes in poetry. I would be hard pressed to list all my favorite poets, but the top ones are automatic. Bukowski, Basho, Buson, Issa, Rumi, Forche and Atwood are among the favorites, but my number one has to be Hafiz.

All of them influence my writing, but I consider that a good thing.  Who has the most influence your poetry?

I love Japanese poetic forms and have thousands of haiku, and notebooks full of senyru, tanka, haibun and renga. When I travel, and I travel a lot, I write a lot of Bukowski-style stuff. What attracts me to the Buk is his no-nonsense, matter of fact, grittiness. He’s a big shot of reality. What you get isn’t always pretty, but it’s definitely alive.

Then there is Hafiz. No one touches me like he does. He has a grasp on divine love that is heart-deep and born from being totally open to the spirit. Each of his divans is a tiny pot of honey just waiting to be enjoyed. (My latest project is a book-length collection of ecstatic poems modeled after the mystic works of Hafiz, Rumi and other Sufi poets.)

Is anyone else out there in cyberspace marching to several tunes of a number of divergent poetical percussionists? Who else knows the true joy of being a poetic eclectarian? It would be fun to compare notes.

Maybe it’s time for poetical eclectarians of the world to unite. Let’s get the discussion started.


my shy dinner guest

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Well, hello there.

Well, hello there.

A couple nights ago I posted about my unexpected dinner guest. I don’t get a lot of guests here at the cabin so I was somewhat disappointed that she didn’t stay longer. I would have really liked to become better acquainted.

Last night I was awakened by a clatter on the porch. Assuming my shy dinner guest had returned for a midnight (literally) snack, I grabbed my camera before heading out on the porch to engage her in conversation.

She obviously loves the cow bone, but I have to admit, she doesn’t seem to care much for my company. At least she was gracious enough to allow me to get a couple of snapshots. As I wrote in the earlier post, she’s a real cutie.

“Don’t Even Try”

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My muse and I have been together too long to play games. Each of us knows exactly what we want, and we know each other well enough to know whether we are going to get it or not.


My muse
seems as cool
this evening
as the service
here in
the hotel restaurant.
She’s not
playing coy.
She’s just
really not interested.
What can I say?
It’s her choice,
and I have
been rebuffed
more than once.
I will live.

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