(Atticus Press, 1985)

Every place sacred
and alive

Those invested with ritual
have their own fate
and laws to endure

Subtle  Beyond casual
even studied measure


Wherever yearly flowing fresh water
an agreeable levelness
pot hunters plundered

arrow and spear points
burial paraphernalia
this century’s scalps

Real estate development
covers the crime
with its own


The cypress bend eastward
Not a tugging by wind
but a curiosity transferred by root,
a desire to know beyond
vibrations fiber telegraph

The Santa Lucia watershed
25 million years ocean dry
between earth cracks
migrates north northwest
an archipelago in birth

These new children of this old dune
look over our shoulders
as we shake two legged screens
that hold a mineral nourishment
a science feeds off of
as real estate developers
complain of salvation archaeology
pulls money out of their pockets

Crows and towhees who feed here
pause in flight, wink at us

I wonder about the gophers
their legends passing through tunnels
deeper than the occupied zone

Deep within something inaudible stirs —
the food I eat off this land
slowly becoming my body

                                 for Lei Lynn & Peggi Odom

Between horizon and coast lines
the tracks of light
Moon Venus Mars Jupiter
lay down as inviting paths
I have stood rivited by

These I am certain
Chumash measured by

Perhaps it was one
of these star gazers
whose burial remains
aligned once east to west
we stood around
eleven more acres
flayed skin
knowledge scrambled
November 15, 1985

Through binoculars that evening
the fuzzy dot rushes by
the plane of the Pleiades

this moment the Chumash tale
of this comet also missing

Awake and contemplating
Monday morning this poem
a red tail hawk screams twice
After seven years
I no longer scream

Behind closed doors
the Chumash negotiate
with Pismo today
the 19th I brush
and roll paint on a house
members of the annual
monarch butterfly return
flutter around

What is it named
a society
with insatiable appetite
driven to eat
the graves of another?

And the survvors
in the wake of the condor
still bicker among themselves
while what held precious
runs out of cupped hands
like water like blood
now even the soil
forbidden to accept

What has been misdone
to deserve us
what does the wheel
or retribution steer
silently towards us
and upon its arrival
we will utter
unanswerable ignorances

I await the moment of the Pacific’s East rim
my back to the city
county state country
the route of the Olympic torch

for the comet reflected
and refracted light
to wash clean through me

on the molecular plain
I am sure the darkness
of a shadow
is full of holes of light


Walking a stream cliff path
through redwoods the moon
over left shoulder

I climb towards Jupiter
lays a tongue of light
across bull kelp beds
nudged by Pacific waves

Esalen Institute
a human exploratory lab

where Lao Tzu and others are quoted
where dolphin and whale songs are fluted
where dawn and dusk are danced

where candle lit sulfur baths
sometimes with an incense fog
to the attention of dripping wax
fairy tales aid a healing

as if nothing had changed
these last 200 years

where another Indian burial is overturned

where planted meditation and prayer rooms
have died

where the Esselen spirits seal the ground
even tighter
against a spiritual taproot
until their grief addressed.

pond of stars
(Runaway Spoon Press, 1989)

fish bees

light electric bill down
in our old cedar hot tub
comets circle moon


sun dance off fish tub
east across ceiling
reflects no water hyacinths
nor bees pulling water duty
eye to eye with comets


bubble goldfish blows
bee sees herself in
light reaching across 8.5 minutes
not enuf of bounces away
on the horizon a global fever


wafers moon
fish nibble


to feed i glide
open screen door
comet tails whip
bodies into orbit


over left shoulder of fishpond guardian
sunflower stares at third eye buddha bee


bee cloud thru orchard
and around me
more neighborhood fear
reflexed than of war
roosted on the horizon
eating holes in ozone


spider web
unwrapped wild bee dehydrates


two days bee swarm scouts buzzed
ox stack close to my studio door
until on one the beekeeper wrote

“To the bees: BEES!!! Please Stay Away!”

none returned today i learned
the bee nervous system,
a double chain of ganglia


daisy bouquet


bee chimes 4 times


through their trained keeper
the bees named me riverwind

cardinal water mutable air
gentle wind over rushing water

gemini-cancer my zodiac core

dissolution of harsh ego possible

born year of the steel penny
windy city fiscal new year baby

i ching hexagram: dispersion

only one j umped into my hand
of all the flies i’ve escorted
off windows out the doororganic grains
kitchen full of little moths


gray water kitchen outlet
the birds love
maybe as much as
the iris
on the dinner table


birds who graze our dormant garden
ignore commercial strawberry field
over old sand dune’s north lip
where chemicals sprayed
harvest triggers my salvia


in silence fog blanket makes
sparrows dive
red tail hawk
something in talons


condors and karma —
mandala of 3 wings and a monkey


1.  queer logic

27 condors behind bars
we murdered their kin

2.  ac-9 —

not even a name
for last wild condor

3. chumash oracle

when shadow of condor
no loner moves over the ground
the great purge close, at hand

which shadow, whose purification

the spanish explained eclipse
not flap of wing across sun
moon not wing covered by sky eagle

in a generation chumash shattered

4.  green monkey kickback

kidneys of african green monkey
what polio vaccine was cultured in
the monkey who communicated aids
by being eaten or raped


critic is it
what mockingbird
don't sing aint song


a mockingbird sings
eastern cardinal song

marguerite wonders
where it came from

perfectly they play
the ear to ear game


each year it seems
especially at 3 in the morning
after mating full moon
longer grows the mockingbird’s song


early heat wave
monterey pine cones
explode seed rain

sand & surf

wind set down
when 300 feet of ocean
ice locked
with little right finger
from ear


who drew the circle
in the sand dune

grass blade or wind


annual spring rite
miles along high tide mark
2 inch oval blue
& transparent bodies
sail by the sea jellyfish

years of over digging
and driven over
pismo clam hard to find
blame worn by sea otter return
whose pelts traded for china tea

for hats
tip out of balance
no apology


on beach
seal departs
as fly swarm
from fishing boat gift
the bullet hole


rotating galaxy of sooty shearwater
skims ocean surface wing slap
huge waterfall roar
eats sardines school for miles
high tide line feather dense

harbor water wears ripple skirts
of innumerable fire fish

this brilliance, exactly
trees flowering the flame tongue
lifting high the song of ash

--the cloud--

filtered sun dance on harbor
exactly, the arson’s staccato mind


wasp tongues spider meat
around california poppy
first or last season bloom
ocean november cliff


what migrates north north west
between two earth crust cracks
i live on archipelago birthing

cormorant wing dented swells
flap through my ears

weather buoys mark the pulse
at foot of dusk
mountains drink ocean light

eucalyptus grove

in december dark
chop wood we heat by

the white light i stand on
moon light particles

bounce elsewhere
their path beckons them to/o


great horned owl
not heard from in a year
speaks its implacable probe
i echo we weave unravel
with the shuttle who


november clouds screen sun
bright yellow mushrooms


eucalyptus moon shadows
fondle our embrace


deep light lines
map your laugh my sun


in the light of the evening star
full moon heart of the guitar
rainbow aura strings the sitar


often we swim
into the other’s eyes
dolphin mates long ago


northwesterlies blow
tight tree rings
slack in the wake
vulture soars above
diagram of a hand’s nerves
splayed against blue sky
dead eucalyptus waves
to dead flesh joyful in flight


how long does the wind embrace
a geometry suddenly


eucalyptus leaf spiral
north star center of




Raised eyebrow
old moon
Crow circles



Red dragonfly skits
drouth low lazy creek
through rock people of the granite clan

Young turtle bathes in sun

Crow calls to swimming turtle shadow

How it moves over bedrock
the perfect petroglyph
to mount the jewel of the blue planet



Meteor slaps eclipsed moon back
coughs a rock solar wind carved —

Crow fully articulated alights
on a scarecrow arm cawing

all voices once locked in rock



Carefully cocking then focusing dead eye
walking blue jay circles me

Here is Zen Jay, master of anti-sight elements
says Abbot Crow

Young jay drops green plum
from sycamore to my notebook

Gray chin Zen Buddhist dog
runs, kills teacher jay

Firmly, quietly students moralize
Buddhist dog about killing
(whispering “at least not in public”)

Rumor mill not prayer wheel
spins the monastery

All the work of Grandmother Spider
weaving weightless particles of gravity



meditation cloister —
a be!hive



Crow sparks the full moon grinding stone

Beak now new moon sharp
he cuts the night loose
from its black arm band of mourning

In the ecology of the soul
in the wing pushed wind wake
we pull its weight to the other side

Remember this when stones are thrown at us



last strokes of Van Gogh’s
honor guard of crows



Shadowed behind a sliding screen door
my kiss-the-air call pulls a hummingbird
off telephone wire watch to hover
before me a tongue clicking moment

Remarkable still how the ancestor
of this ruby throated feathered one
hypnotized a bunch of Indians off the desert
all the way to the lake of Mexico
to keep us busy in their weird cosmology of the heart

More remarkable the ignored oracle, the only clue
to Raleigh’s lost colony in tobacco-to-be Virginia
on a cliff the tree carved letters C R O

High in the archways of Christian coin the god Economy
never fails to keep crows fully employed



The summer fur of the hillside
bends under the weight of the wind’s palm

To make itself famous
or announce birth
the point deserts its center

The abandoned circle collapses inward
through the point no longer a point

Where points cast shadows of specific gravities
problems appear without solutions
or a solution that is the next problem

From minds full of points awaiting their time of arrival

A mind that can not or will not
lay down as an offering
alongside the intelligent fur of the hills
now a conglomeration of calm

Or, rest beside an oak
while I groom and eat the lice of points


              for Raven Coyote

A gathering of rock people embrace
a lady’s ashes her 27 years made

With ripple free ease of human hands into water
arms of the wind plunge deep into one

In the quick of forgotten years
her face once again kisses wind feet
after walking the Pacific

Those rooted in the high technology of stone
know these things, know heart sized stones
with holes magnetically aligned to the idea of rain
always flickering somewhere in sky mind

And what would not go wrong with sister cloud water
should clammy city palms tongue rock wetwards

Nor do they know what rock sucks energy
as they flock in confusion to lay on
believing the drained feeling a door to spirit

Without testing for pain deep in wrist
or a hurt ringing the mind’s bone bell
they wear crystals downward focused
broken finger of Mother against the body flow



Poster bits stapled to city telephone poles
flutter in the fog tied winds —
sun bleached fragments that mimic
digitized conversations shunting overhead

The entire scene constructed of artifacts
easing their way into particular futures
wound up by sciences and heaved towards geologic strata
with atoms destined to multiple star births

You know somewhere there are those who seek a method
using a metaphorical crowbar to pry lose from any atom
the story of its rite of passage
rather than probe the muscular atoms of their hearts
bowing to the eye of eternity



Like dandelion seeds filling the air
Earth speaks her termite hatch accent today

the ant survivors fly off
to a house hammering itself together



Environmentalists want to reforest the hills with oak
but will not first plant a sacred grove within their hearts
from which acorns broadcast themselves

All of us want to rid air thick enough to stir with a quill
while in our hearts there rules the unwillingness

to light sacred incense in the cathedral’s four chambers
to pump its clarity throughout the world



Black is the sum of all color

White, a purity by subtraction
an absence
an avoidance
an unwillingness even to absorb heat
from unconscious mind sectors

This is not a question nor an answer
of black and white or white or black
because light holds up its own mirror

There is a raised hand of clarity
in the precincts of the inner flower
through which anyone can fly
back and forth in the moment of eternity


                              for Joan Campbell

Perhaps you strolled the snow and ice covered lake
footward or mindbound pondering your red canoe poem

as I, on this coast, walked through rain threat
pulled on by two tree topped cawing crows
to a red canoe — gold letters spell tomahawk

Unaccompanied by the cold clarity of a pure white
nor the tautness of an opposing red
like the red circle on a field of white Japanese flag

this canoe upside down, green lawn, auto parts,
trailer, sofa, lumber . . .

Now carried in a red canoe propelling itself
around ponded skull we fish the shadowy symbologies

I walked along Palm to Nipomo Street —
Palm said to be named after a tree not the Sunday

Looking down at my own hand lines merging into the street
dug into and through the Chumash graveyard
married to the school tamed mission tale
of Franciscan genocide outriders for the Spanish crown

Nipomo, a Chumash word for village, makes with Palm
the T intersection dredging up cupped blood
and the stained white shroud casting its 2000 year shadow

The red man being not in the Bible
his humanity doubted to ease slaughter and slavery
When was the internal light Lucifer colored and exiled red

Canoe, a Carib term chewed into English
through French from Spanish like most the Americas
into the bloody white palms

With red and white together alchemists speak
of a golden unity though I suspect this thought
is rooted where the red and white crown
signified lower and upper Egyptian unity 2000 years

For our planet to merely survive us a few decades
the white yellow and black need embrace the red
ceremonial keepers of our Mother jeweled in blue


               for Karl Young

1.  A

As the first letter
was made like a pyramid
tomb of alphabet birth

2.  4 i’s

Inkwell sun behind horizon
the scribe of dusk
dips the quill
to dot night’s i



The desire
to dot the i of air

from which

as birds
would become

dinosaurs invent
the feather


The i has been cast
head floats above body

What we have become
the vanishing points
the planet falls through


By holding the e handle of ode
Crow dips the o
in the soapy water of Gnosis
and blows the bubble he flies into
as the dot that completes Nothing

3.  The Third Eye

Himalayan yogi saints
to complete the perfect
continental cursive i’s
float from mountain top to mountain top
diacritic diadem bindu beacons

4.  The others

Of the slingshots
u more difficult
to hold than y
pulling diacritic ammo

5.  A calligraphy

Night’s calligrapher
sharpens his quills
in the solar wind
the meteor lines


Standing on Venus
feather with crescent moon hat

Writing with sunlight


Laying lines on ocean at night
the planets sing of sun light



To plant the crows-nest tree Crow hunkers down
in that hunt for the particular ripe one

knowing tree shadow not only tumbles from seed
but casts its tree and source of light



Crow’s eaten his appointed portion of night
to remain black during the day
of which and as slowly he eats his part

The wool yarn sun ball lifts itself
from the vat holding the meditation of sulfur

Between the light strands
Crow pulls the dark for the nest



zen mathematics —
everything adds up to Nothing


winter solstice dawn
whale spouting rainbow


for the mother load
remove the goLd pick


the true economist
nods not to fools gold of coin
but the gold standard of the heart


Crow down floats up


eve was framed
for forecasting gravity’s dot
the apple of science


the art of accumulation
draws its particular negative space

better an empty life that is full
than a full life that is empty


when thinking of Oneness
the bait of separateness
sets its happiest hook



Crow has a teacher for the flight patterns
to the field where the heart seeds grow

Psychologists known as head shrinkers
add more thoughts to sick minds for healing

The teacher says “come to me —
I will empty mind of thought”



Moon sometimes my rocking cradle
I eat Her black making Her white full
then eat Her white making Her black full


finger and toe nails clipped
moon phases sail


the quarter moon
D lies on its back
the dream-mare’s stirrup


The moment
full moon sips


serpent light body


                         Homage for Paul Reps

Further than wings reach
Crow flies the round of Nothing

where in eternity’s soil he finds his food —
the Nothing worm that casts Everything

Even Krishna’s Cow and Her calves —
the zen bulls
and the White Buffalo
who Crow rides back of —
the circle
trained souls dive into


                for Angy Bjorklund

Slowly wood rubs its way
around the lip of a Tibetan bell
made of lost metallic ratios

Slowly the bowls fill to over flow
with tones making a mouth desire
itself inside out as a bowl

Making a set of eyes want to fall
and part into four bowls

Making ears cup and round

even the bone hat of thought’s dome
unhinge and roll over
to set mind free of its webs

A finger dips for a secret lick
Someone ladles a drink
Another pours to bathe
A fourth dives and swims

Crow is not surprised no one has moved
because these are tones slipping
along the boundaries between body cells
into the home of the Guest
who sits in and holds the mystery

That is the thin part of each of us
which gets fat on the harvest of silence


                 for Terry Kennedy

Only Nothing can hide anything —

eclipse even the largest thing, the infinite

This Nothing itself, though, can be embraced
by the clearest arms of the heart

This is the grain found in the longed for secret
that words, as they slowly tongue roll and chew it
and refuse to discuss with us, leave only shadows
while mumbling among themselves

This we try to stick our ears into
only to be grappled by their multiple question marks
on that bone between the eyes

This they too have heard the rumors of —
the yoga of the four words
that can puncture circles of blue light
through this darkness of thick thought



Inside color there is a vein
inside sound there is a tube
Inside smell there is a hair
Inside taste there is a bud
Inside touch there is a give
Inside thought there is Nothing to look for

(tel-let, 1994)


Zendo bells, drums and gongs
all to an ordained schedule
genetically tight and mysterious
as that old back calligraphy
unrolled by the scribe juniper tree
who shades the meditation hall


Stone echo chamber sauna
my mantra I chant through skylight
sun jeweled droplets
lung pushed


Water side of sycamore leaves
creek writes ten thousand suns


Jay wakes us

Then call-to-mediation bell
runs up and down the path

Quiets the jay mind

Ours returns to sleep


Through leaves and eyelids
    as I sway in a hammock


In the shade across a page of Chuang Tzu
the hammock grid shadow suddenly appears

next to the pool Ruth holds a mirror —
her thought a flash from the other web,
the consciousness we all move through
and are supported by


in the the realm of dream but not dream
priest and a student
Coyote approaches with a question in hand —
burning net holding water

Is one’s thought more likely
to set loose the water?


Deep within this V stream cut valley
feminine receptivity and methodical arrangement
seeking a center

A waiting pushed against

The rigid pattern to slip through
in the mystery

(written in Big Sur, 1994)


Fog filters the sun
gray-green cherts the ocean
four white pelican shadows swim north

Lizards pushup the sun all day
shoulder high grass husks seed bell the wind
gray whale spout bends east

Off the window a fly holds my hand
out the door
eye to eye fast southward fog bank

Face west eating breakfast
ocean moves left ear drum
waterfall the right
mantra lifts me above this

Through grass winded in circles
the dusk sun lenses an angular cloud angel
reds and yellows layer a southwest rock kachina
her white arm points where north star beacon beckons

Where nose root meets closed eyes
another pole star shines as the door
the Beloved hums through waiting


Storm waves foam the headlands

South trekking clouds break
the sun
on water lays a turquoise

full moon yesterday

ridge of tectonic rubble
gravity pulls oceanward

at 500 feet eyes level
four soaring vulture wing tips

in Point House I read
with candle and kerosene
Aurobindo, Milarepa
Rumi and Cold Mountain

above, spring fed waterfall
lubricates the rock chaos
and piped to drink
from the mountains of light


It is a well kept secret
we are reflections of the clouds
circling planets of the universe

one walks into a temple
from above is injected with light

two, sitting outside a prayer hall
watches an idol of her devotion
animate and blow her a symbol

three is close by an avatar
who constantly changes shape
color and density in an instant
the solar plexus a sun

four on a pilgrimage to the mirror
in waking and sleeping dreams
visions and visitations
the ethereal planets calling

in mists these waters climb
clouds pass drops mouth to mouth

a cloud drying a spoon
looks deep within the image
evaporates in the heat of recognition
we are all spoons

spoons fall from the skies
and begin a new faith
spreading throughout the universe

those who eat with them
and deeply enough look
rise as clouds

rain is tears from clouds
wishing they were spoons

others drinking this water
turn cloud and ascend


Off a table a dime
is put in a pocket

the dime in every pocket
in any pocket not a pocket
that has or not a dime

the dime in pockets
ready to buy time from a meter

the dime with its oxide face
our breath made

the dime the universe spins
the universe the dime spins

the thoroughly polished dime
all symbols removed

even the concept of reflection
you and I are revealed in

the dime Beloved pinned
inside our heart


Song sparrows play in the pine
their shadows inhale insects in the grass

The hummingbird comes for a visit
her shadow flashes off my fingernail

The water sprinkler back and forth
drains the universe of liquid

The lawn through its cracks
refills the mirror’s missing heart

Butterflies soar on the breeze
Lizards scoot by

Heat waves and oceans waves
A pine cone falls on false bamboo


Chest pocket holds lupine seed pods
one pops as I lie on cliff edge
it sprouts
roots me
my body flowers red purple torches

          before the uphill walk —
a cormorant bobs near kelp
waiting to consume sun
swimming near its webbed idea of feet

         better yet —
otter swims on its back in kelp
dives to eat sun shelled
at the bottom of the warm oily notion of fur

         of course sky wants in —
an otter skeleton cloud
brazenly adrift
in reposed reflection
dissolves into thick air


A rock falls asleep
after an unknown duration of wakefulness

The fog within expands
crawling up a ridge
on the other side of the universe
it covers an active lake

The fog hears a voice —
The cataract sheeted your eye
a moment ago left completely blind

This is the rock someone carries
with discomfort in her shoe
gets tossed across the way
a comet nearly hits the planet she walks

She paints the toenails red
with one eye
The fog changes color
reduced to a thin film of blue
hovering at the foot of a white rose

It evaporates in a blinding light
The rock wakes up
Its eye clear quartz


We are the invisible fingers
massaging the scalp of the meadow
Its golden hair dances between
as we the fog blow the fog
in a wave trying to climb the next ridge

I have my Camera
I take a picture of this
as we become a huge claw
that recedes back down the ridge
like a fishing boat net
dragging chaparral for its dreams

There are those among us
not believing any of this
That is why I have my camera
and as the fog
we fall as if a huge body from afar
asleep in a waterbed
land ridged the pillow for recline

An animated hand moves up the ravine
plucks the creek chords for dreamy fish to swim by
we catch the notes in our net

The wind blows up my pants
I float off to meet the spirit clouds
Linking arms we dance to a water harp

The creek runs backwards
our steps counter time

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