A Message Found in a Bottle at Sea

Sudden and deathly and full
Of madness that oozes from crevasses
I cannot find we walk

On cliffs and throw rocks
Down to tunnels that flow
Off to seas we can no longer

Find on maps we store in
The dank and dirty attics that whisper
To us on cold nights when

Rain falling is the only
Sound we care to hear – how
Did we get here? The

Captain has fallen off the ship and
We see him waving in the waves while
The storms build and there is just a

Long, lone white bird cawing in the
Wind and I lean to listen but discover
Only a howl and a crash and

The fingers sinking beneath waves that
We can no longer penetrate with cries in
This pitiful night… where

Is the light
House we once knew?

A Benediction for Times to Come

A Benediction for Times
To Come

So the journey ends at a
Place that we must call:
The beginning. A

Start to things we must not
Finish or find in hidden, far-
Away places that we thought to
Go to when once we played
Drums and trombones in
Quiet coffee bars in
Rainy Denver days. It

Must be a winding path that comes
Out at us as we think
Of sunshine and men on
Cliff-sides and days we whistle
And whisper of times and places we

Knew little of except the thought
That the beginning is an
End, as well…

Thoughts on Lost Lines

I could not find the
Best lines to write to
The lone man high
Up on trails I
Cannot find…

Giving them to the wind
Or the mailboxes with
A flag always up but
Never put down. I owe
It to a quiet stream or a

Night-time terror that half
Wakes you up and in dream
States I reach out and think of
Songs of hills and lines I threw
To the wind and now…

Cannot find.

Visions of a West, Lost

So much and so
Little like a lone and
Dusty road you come
Down from mountains lost
In snow and rain and clear
Cascades of sky that you

Look up to and out on days
And nights with smoke that
Billows up into a clear
And cool campfire sky. I

See it as small, wooden works
And wood that creaks under boots
With mud and chills and looks
Out to hope and songs that we
Hear on nights when all there is

Is us lost,
Somewhere high
Up.

A Poem Found in a Cave

Editor’s Note: Discovered
Behind a stone in deep,
Barren dirt.

Off on ancient ridges by
Falls that tumble down to
A hand that waves at
Me in the dark I

Seem to see walls in mist and
Gray men in suits tapping
Down alleys that I knew I could
Find once but lost
To a song sung on cold

Nights by fires that burn in
Deep canyon caves that we
Can only find by the bright
Lights of hands traced on

Ancient ridge walls. I…

Think so much of days in
Forests and feelings of running
Like a child lost…

In the dark.

Ode to the Immigrant

Ode to the Immigrant, Cast Off
From Foreign Sands

Off on long and distant ways, the
Days across oceans and waters
That sink deep to trenches
Without sound. I

Think that songs sung out at
Night in quiet towns by rivers
That flow to
An endless sea must
Mean something more

Than scribbled words in
Windowless rooms. This or

A cancer that festers and we
Do not remove it
In time… Just,

All those who come and came
Across time and oceans and
Who whispered hope to winds
That were to carry them to lands
Where all are welcome to till and

Raise up words that fit into
A clear, blue and patient
Sky. Where do

We go next?

4 Stanzas on Old Things

Deep shadows of history fall
On pavements trodden well in
A white city on bluffs that look
Over such quiet hills. Of

Signs and patience. The cries
Of voices that refuse to be
Silenced by feet tapping down
Corridors we cannot find. Still,

They come and march and
Say what was once said as truth,
As wisdom beyond censure, beyond
Hands that grope, in the dark.

So come. So raise fists to dark
Skies that hold rain that cannot
Fall on songs that are spoken
Aloud…. always
Together.

Black Birds and Mountains

January, 2017

The black birds come
Down and by large, white
Windows with views out

To mountains that back to
Mountains that stretch to
Lakes up tall pine roads.

These black
Birds. They do not
Stay but squawk and perch
With such menacing eyes. While

Out beyond are hills and
Streams and paths that line
Up to mountains that stretch
To mountains I just
Cannot see.

In Praise of the Poem

In Praise of the Poem,
Written at the Start of a New Year

It refreshes me this odd
Art of putting words-to-
Words. It is a

Sense of peace in places
That seem all
Wrong. It is

Soft sound I think in
A cruel well that swallows up
Most things you throw
Down. But, this

Small sweetness remains and
Sustains if,
Only for a little while. It

Refreshes me this odd
Art of putting
Words-to-words.

A Mountaineer’s Lament

Found on a ridge on
A lonely trail.

You cannot find it if
You looked even so
Hard. Down deep tunnels in
Quiet mountains. In
Trees and lakes in
Towns that died long
Ago. You cannot
Find it.

More so think to see
It in sunshine mist on half-
Cold winter days. The form
Far off on hills that almost seem
To wave,
To us…

A lone bird that sits
Pensive in the cool
Morning air. You

Cannot find
It even if you looked even
So hard,
So still.