what can one say but ~Thank You?









This body of work contains 8 chapters with 8 poems and 8 musings each:  

Living Waters (with a story) ~ Life ~ Aloneness ~ Love ~ Natural Beauty ~ Light ~ Pleasures ~ Freedom



for you



That which is        never ceases to be

That which is not        never comes to existence 




"The more total you are, the deeper your relationship can be to any other human being. Once you find that inner core of yourself, you are free.  And that leaves everyone around you free.  You are not trying to make them into anything. You are not telling them what is best for them. You know you do not know that.  What you are doing is receiving them fully as the human beings they are.  This is where love begins; it sees the mystery of the other and is just overwhelmed by it."                                                                                      

The Feminine Face of God:  The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women

Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins




L I V I N G   W A T E R S



Sages of Tuesday, September 17th, 2019



the heart stood still

on this precipice of

a deep dark                  secret


                       unconditionally loved 

                         seen and accepted    

                              by another 


shame became a watershed to            freedom



marked the time

          at the Heartwater’s source

                        where love’s floodgate shook and shattered


walking across

            holy Headwaters

                        of the mighty Mississippi


washing away

           muddy deposits

                        of a withered self  ~


freedom it was

           stepping onto those

                        smooth slippery stones       


…two days later, the second part of this poem and eleven more came tumbling out. 

Eight are in this chapter.



As I crossed, the humble beginnings of the flowing one brought with it   

Immense power of clarity and beauty stunning the mind to stillness 

Melting this heart into meandering streams of exquisite tenderness


Where do I belong in this depth of connection with the grand old river?      

My heart warm and watery cries out to it as if it’s a close intimate beloved 

Who are you?  Where do you come from my love?  What are you?



Torrent teary rivers crest thresholds

            Of two new born eyes


Carrying a clear

            Open-hearted seeing…


~  A l l   I s   L o v i n g l y   H e l d   A s   O n e  ~


The Heartwater’s Source 


I Am That


I Am





   p. s. 


Early morning            freed            by a friend

                                                   Late afternoon            by a river







used to come             go             incessantly

without any reason

 And Now?

thinking        just sailing by

with no content or traces of life






The mind baffled

by this airy breath

of nothingness


floods its creased

heavy crevices


finding only clear movement

of bright crystalline light


reflected by the friendly river

rushing over its borders

eroding everything in sight…





Elegantly so

                     Yes!  Let’s talk about elegance


Sitting on a plane looking earthwards

Witnessing this majestic river

Winding down wide wavy runs

Flashing its face upwards


Filling these big brown eyes to the brim






The connection to my river

            has taken its own wanderings


where tears and river

            flow freely with endless ease


winding themselves down cracks

            of skin and earth


marking deep channels

            with windy furrows


speaking volumes of

            what has yet to come






by a river and a friend…


who would have imagined

an all-encompassing love


pouring sweet benedictions

on this rackety old woman


raising smiles to the sun

bowing deeply to the ground?





who knows?

Walking down

            this path of life


Maybe you will feel

            how utterly loveable you are


Maybe you get to know

            your own current calling


Flowing like a river

            to its source





Where Edges Meet Eternity

As our journeys unfold


            eventually we begin to notice


                        existence no longer


                                    belongs to us




              we              the river              


belong to this


ever present open loving Awareness 




W e   A r e   T h a t







Listen to the stirring of the river in your veins

it’s murmuring your beloved name




 it flows    ~    it knows

its curved folds

are nothing more

than its moving soul




surging downstream 

living waters

hold the power 

of purging you clean




the fastest way

maybe is

the slower one




the ability to receive

is sometimes greater 

than the ability to give




Quantum Physics asserts

‘the observer      is      the observed’

pay attention to the word      


it may be the key to our seeking




there is a single Dancer 

taking the form

of all Dancers 

dancing Its dance




S O   L E T   L I F E   D A N C E   Y O U!




The Journey to the Mississippi River Headwaters


In the early months of 2019, I was thinking of going on a seven-week road trip at the end of that summer.  I wanted to connect with family and friends in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Wisconsin.  I also wanted to complete the last item on my bucket list - driving through the two remaining states of North Dakota and Montana. 

As I was getting ready for the trip, I began having an intense premonition that I was going to die while I was on this journey.  I explored those feelings with friends, inquiring and contemplating my fear of death. 

A couple of weeks before leaving, my youngest daughter called to share she had dreamt that I had died.  I was very surprised, to say the least.  At the time, she was not aware of my premonition.  I told her about it.  I also said that my will was done and if I were to die, I was mostly at peace with it. 

I know now it was not about my physical death.  It was a psychological death.  It was also the death of four friends, unrelated to each other, who all died on the same week, two weeks into the trip.  The incoming news was greatly disturbing, as two of those deaths were unexpected.  Both had tragic endings.  One of them, had a profound influence on the Living Waters poems.

On August 8th, the journey began with a family reunion in Santa Rosa, California.  It was a great gathering.  We celebrated my grandson’s transition into Middle School.  I continued on to Colorado visiting with friends; driving through the Rockies; relaxing in mineral springs and paying respects at the great Stupa in Crestone.

My next stop was Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I stayed with the first friend I made in this country, when I arrived over 50 years ago.  She lives in Old Town where she was born.  Through her eyes I experienced the flavors of her town with its religious and spiritual aspects of indigenous cultures. 

The drive from Albuquerque to Durango, Colorado was desert picture perfect.  I had a wonderful visit with my youngest daughter and her husband in their new home.  The drive from Durango to Moab, Utah proved to be even more memorable, as the La Sal Loop was breathtakingly gorgeous.




Before leaving for Wisconsin, I received an email from my friend with whom I was going to stay.  She let me know her seventeen-year-old grandson was murdered a few weeks earlier.  I spent a week with her and her husband processing his death; walking their pups; dining with family; going out to eat with friends and driving them around the beautiful countryside of Dane County.

There are these amazingly grounded and stable sensibilities in the mid-Western soul.  People tend to put one foot in front of the other and do the best they can with what they have.  There is no grand drama about anything really.  It is what it is and they deal with everything stoically.  I have always admired these qualities of theirs, especially the enduring love they have for family, friends and community. 

On my last day with them, I asked if I could have their grandson’s obituary.  I placed it on the table in my room.  That night I was unable to sleep.  The energy of his image, the violent ending of his short-lived life and my superstition that by keeping his picture, while still on the road, might bring to pass my premonition of dying, all kept me wide awake.  Before dawn, I took the obituary into the living room and hid it under another one.  I hoped that they would not find it.

Early that morning I left for Minnesota.  When I arrived in Duluth, I texted my friend that I had made it safely.  I also thanked her for the warm hospitality I had received amidst their grief.  I did not hear from her, so I began making stories in my head that she had discovered the extra obituary and was extremely hurt. 

During that whole day I was feeling guilty, but what I was really feeling was a deep sense of shame for the fearful and cowardly way I had acted.  It was extremely painful to see.  I called my friend and left a message to please call me back.  I went to bed exhausted without hearing from her. 

The next morning when I picked up my messages she had texted me saying, “Glad to hear from you.  I know you will enjoy your journey home.  It will be a journey of the heart……  So glad we got to spend some time together during this time of grief/sadness for me.  Drive safe sweetie!  Nits, I tried calling as soon as I got your message.  I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you.  I’ll call first thing in the morning…”

When I read it I broke down crying.  She did call early in the morning.  I explained what I had done and why, how I felt about it and how sorry I was.  In turn, she tried telling me not to be so hard on myself; she understood completely; I had to do what I needed to do in order to take care of myself; how much she loved me and how much she appreciated my coming to be with her.

Throughout our conversation and me weeping with no end in sight, there was this deep palpable loving kindness coming from her permeating my entire body, heart and soul.  That morning, on September 17th, I drove westwards through a torrential rain.  It matched my unstoppable sobbing.  Being loved, seen and accepted unconditionally by another human being in all of my humanity, was not only the biggest blessing I could receive, it was also the most precious of gifts.   




A few days before leaving Madison, a friend had mentioned that since I was driving through northern Minnesota, I would be close to the Mississippi River Headwaters.  I looked it up on my phone and sure enough, it was about a half hour’s drive south off Hwy 2.  That same afternoon I made the detour to visit the Headwaters.

As I entered Itasca State Park there was a large turtle in the middle of the road.  I stopped to pick it up and put it out of harm’s way, but something about it did not feel quite right.  Its tail looked run over.  Instead, I notified the Park Headquarters.  They said someone would come by and move it into the forest.

The entrance to the Headwaters is located at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center.  At the beginning of the trail towards the Headwaters there is a bronze sculpture of a woman created by Native American artist Jeff Savage called,  Heartwaters ~ Caretaker Woman.

There is a sign next to this beautiful sculpture saying that at the Headwaters of the Mississippi begin the Heartwaters of this nation.  In the Anishinabe (Ojibwe) belief, women are the caretakers of the Water.  Consequently, everyone needs to respect this responsibility of the sacred work of women by keeping this valued resource pristine and renewable for all future generations to enjoy. 

In the sculpture, the life force of the Headwaters is spilling out of the woman’s bowl (Lake Itasca) renewing the seasons and continuing the waters of life.  She is holding a bundle of turtles, which are strong symbols of this site.  They are believed to be important water symbols signifying the universal cycles of life.  The woman and the turtles are placed on a drumhead.  The drum represents the heartbeat of the Anishinabe Nation, who believe it is the true heartbeat of the water flowing from the heartland of this continent.

At the Headwaters there were many people wading in the river.  A few were walking across a short path of large rocks, where the river begins flowing from Lake Itasca.  These rocks mark the beginning of the Mississippi and it is known as ‘the crossing.’  The sign on the left says:  “Here 1475ft above the ocean the mighty Mississippi begins to flow on its winding way 2552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico.” 

The crossing is about 20 feet long and it is the only place where one can literally walk across the mighty Mississippi!  I was called to walk it.  I took my shoes off, left them with my purse at the base of a tree and began walking across it.

It was very slippery.  I had to go down on my hands a few times in order to stabilize myself and not fall in the water.  There were a couple of large, flat and beautifully colored stones along the way.  The water was crystal clear and cold.  I reached the other side, took a deep breath and turned around to walk back. 

In the middle of it, and out of nowhere, my legs started shaking uncontrollably.  I had to stand straight up in order to balance and gather myself.  I looked out towards the lake in sheer bewilderment.  What had just happened?  I had experienced this same sort of energy once before.  It was in the presence of my teacher.

When I went to pick up my purse and shoes, a gentleman approached me to let me know he had taken a few pictures of my river crossing and wanted to know if he could send them to me.  Whenever I look at that picture, I savor the crossing and the immense gratitude I hold in my heart for Mr. Richard Jackson of Minnesota, who took it at that exact moment of awe!

I thanked him and went for a hike around the lake in order to walk off some of the energy I was feeling.  I needed to take in the peace and stillness of the place.  The colors of the trees were just beginning to turn into a brilliant gold.  The lake was calm.  Solitude and beauty abounded.  Everything was alive, vibrant and somehow real soft.  My heart was full.  I felt baptized and blessed, yet again.

When I returned to the Headwaters there was no one around.  It felt kind of auspicious at the time.  I looked into my purse for a penny or a talisman of sorts.  The only thing I could find was a small smooth rounded stone.  It was painted in orange with red and blue flowers and the word ‘free’ written in the middle of it.

Four years back, an artist friend of mine gave me this beautiful stone.  I had been carrying it with me all these years as a good luck charm.  With heartfelt gratitude I offered it to the Waters.

I drove through North Dakota with its expansive and pristine prairies dotted with large refineries, shocking my sense of space.  I spent two days in Kalispell, Montana to catch up with myself.  

I continued south to the Steens Mountain.  I went on a last exploration of the Frenchglen Loop, the highest road in Oregon.  At almost 10,000 feet it stands out from the Alvord Desert and it is only passable from July – October due to snow conditions.  It is a 59-mile spectacular drive.

That last day I stayed at Fields, an outpost with a two-room inn and one business, the Fields Station, with its own two-room motel established in 1881.  It has two old gas pumps, a convenience store serving burgers and their world famous chocolate milk shake.  Absolutely delicious!  It was exactly what I needed to celebrate the last night of my journey.

On September 23rd, I arrived home having driven seven thousand miles in seven weeks.  When I parked the car I hugged the stirring wheel and wept.




A month later, I had to compose a poem for my elder women’s poetry group.  As I began writing about what happened on Tuesday, September 17th, to my great surprise tears started flowing down my face.  Twelve poems came streaming out. Eight are included in the Living Waters chapter. 

I am still not quite sure what exactly took place on that September day.  What remains is a deep sense of loving and humility.




Since the first poem came through in October of 2019, on a daily basis I began tuning into the Mississippi River Headwater’s webcam.  I often teared up or smiled at the abundance of life that unfolded before me ~ from the summer visitors coming and going to the absolute stillness and stark beauty of the mid-winter wonderland, where a lone pileated woodpecker hung out on a tree branch as a watch over the crossing.

For the entire year of 2020, every Monday at noon (CST), I took a screenshot of the Heartwaters.  I also kept a daily journal of what I saw happening at the site.  I am putting together the photographs with the notes into a large leather-bounded journal.  I will be offering it to the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwater’s Center. 




I’m still in wonderment of it all…


What I do know is

My dearest friend is finding her way through her grief

My bucket list is full


And my love for the Heartwaters is steadfast

Checking the live stream regularly

Saying Hi! to my beloved friend




As life takes its twists and turns

I’m beginning to realize

The seven-week long road trip was a




My good friend was right

When she wrote

“It will be a journey of the heart……” 




Minn of the Mississippi


As I was finishing editing this body of work, a friend suggested I read Minn of the Mississippi, written by Holling Clancy Holling.  It's a children’s book.  It depicts the adventures of a snapping turtle named Minn, who swims from the Mississippi River Headwaters at Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.  It's a fun information-filled story with graphics and beautiful colorful paintings of the Mississippi River and Minns’ southern journey.  I was struck by the very last paragraph of the story itself, where a poor Cajun boy floats on his graceful pirogue down the bayou and says to Minn:  

“Maybe, even, we are happy like this ole turtle…  Hey, you down there!  You happy?  Come up, frien’, an’ have the talk!  Maybe I give you music, with my guitar.  You an’ me – we got plenty food, good place for livin’ – we got th’ waters an’ th’ bright blue sky.  An’ we just as free as that old crow, flappin’ away out there.  Grand-Père - he say there is nothin’ better than jus’ bein’ free…  Free like that Mississippi beyond those far trees – runnin’ forever to the sea…”




Holling Clancy Holling.  1951.  Minn of the Mississippi.  (A Newberry Honor Book).  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company.  (p. 86)








L I F E 




 Opening our sensuous mouth


uttering a single word


worlds are born



Opening our stunning eyes        sharp ears


worlds stare        hum


back at us



Smelling        tasting        touching


myriad worlds manifest


their tantalizing flavors



Offering intimate possibilities


 aligning our senses


with the true nature of everything




Words are medicine


needing to sound

                        intelligently wise

                                    so interestingly refined



            fabricating tales

                        making us believe in

                                    what we are



            kindly spoken

                        unleash a heart

                                    from timeless bondage




           what songs are we singing?


                                what songs are we listening to?





a mystery revealed*

Reveled in olden times                  we find

 Muses      heroines      devils

The question always is


What is a devil?


Could we be so bold as to suggest

It is a life well            lived?

The backward spelling ~ opposite meaning of devil?


As for evil?

 Is to        live        a life

In the now


A life we now own

A life we have already won

Our very own!


*Inspired by the line, ‘Devil spelled backward is Lived’ from Terry Tempest Williams’s book, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice.  2012.  New York:  Picador (p. 96)





p a i n

A weighty hole in the heart hurts

 with an ever pressing wanting

 waiting for the healing to take hold


staying with this

unbearable pain

tending it tenderly


it stroked

a note of holiness

in the heart of an empty hole 






My friend’s mother dying process

hangs heavily on my mind

especially                  while I sit

next to her husband of sixty years

watching his sweetheart fade away


my only hope is 

            seeing him once more 

            with a glimmer in his eye

            strolling down these corridors

            of an assisted living house

he now calls home 


suspended in no-man’s land

as death makes its noble entrance

for the final act


I sense a sigh of release

seeping effortlessly

through her sleep 


gathering around her

            holding hands

            moistening lips

            caressing forehead

            whispering loving words


she flutters her eyes 

            a breath barely breathed

                        and dies peacefully

                                    in her beloved’s arms





yes and no 

our souls are locked

in endless slow tides

of never ending cycles










YES     to     living   

NO      to     living


what is this tyranny

gripping and seducing us

away from ourselves?


what is driving

the incessant struggle

between yes and no?



these two tricksters


      play makeshift

      hide and seek


surfing waves of mischief


      leaving us treading

      troubling torrent waters



untethered                  they bring

            great relief of


sometimes            yes

            sometimes            no



so it goes ~

            when we think we know


something happens

             and we don’t



in this specious swaying between

known and unknown


are ceaseless stories of how

now we see it            now we don’t





showing up

I asked a dear elderly friend

teetering on the edge of poverty


‘how do you do it?’


he replied


‘I just show up’


I’ve since learned

this showing up business


is what’s actually needed

with the hard parts


helping me through

those dire straits


that inevitably

do show up ~


engaging with mystery

a quickening happens


as showing up carries

the elusive ingredient of







Ode to Smoke


Oh! what beauty there is

on this breathless dizzy day

where everything appears

as an illusory haze



where all is

floating like a dream

making me feel bathed

in a soft light of daze



all is as it should be

nothing to change

nothing to see through

only my gifted gaze



beaming like a laser

piercing my very being

opening me up onto

other ways of seeing






From that care-free place

            in my body

                        I celebrate










I love this life                                mine                                                                                       

this life of yours                  this life of ours

              what’s the difference anyway?







being human ~

loving    happy    sad    angry    moved    kind    soft    depressed    stubborn    joyful    hateful    hurt    lustful    content    sincere    confused    clear    stuck    lost    sensual    frustrated    fulfilled    excited    sexy    compulsive    doubtful    fearful    caring    anxious    touched    playful    critical    bewildered    tender    withholding    helpful    interested    obsessive    curious    thoughtful    cherishing…

these and many more may all be packed into a single day’s span

we shouldn't be amazed          how sometimes

we feel so crazed!




I find

what is lovingly accepted

is instantly released ~

likewise        I can live with it forever in

p e a c e 




respecting and attendig to a grief

is an act of


...as is joy




it looks like

a wound is healed

when its source is forgiven




got guilt?

ask the secret question

So What?


see how fast it evaporates

bringing a surprised smile

to your amused face


got shame?



the secret being

treating yourself gently


so tread with confidence my friend

for it’s written somewhere


wherever we are

whatever we are

whoever we are

however we are


we are perfectly fine!




our own vitality is vital 

 for the fullness of a 

valiant vibrant life




great teachings say ~

being unattached to

resisting    avoiding    longing    searching

we move with the river of life




calling all souls to communion

with what is 


nothing less

nothing more











Flaming Gorge, Wyoming

Wandering in the middle of nowhere

a vast spacious desertness

opens up before me


with nobody in sight

            only billowing clouds coasting by

                       I witness a most breathtaking site


on one side

            heat waves weaving waywardly south

                          saturating the air with strong sagebrush scents


on the other

            impressive sandstone buttes      

                        standing sentinels to stillness


and way down there

            the deepest blue of waters

                        reflecting the bluest of skies


saying Hi!


to this lone and wondrous traveler

who can’t help but smile big

as happy as can be





The Vision Quest



sheer surprises

this birthday year


of sixty two ~

honoring it


in the desert wilderness

of my Vision Quest time


embodying fully

an inner wildness 


embedded deeply

into my core



from this small cozy tent of mine

perched high atop a desert plateau


surrounded by steep Colorado peaks

I watch the world go by


dark clouds passing through

little insects buzzing around


lizards scurrying away

ants inching along


intricate movements

of exquisite songs


filling vibrant spaces

with sizzling silence



roaming aimlessly

on parched arid land


I find


I no longer know

anything anymore



the bugs

incessant companions


the weather

capricious with thunderous heat


the fasting

from reading, music or clock gazing


the hunger

oh yes! the hunger


four solitary endless days

with no food


only water to sustain

this aging bundle of bones 



through it all

little gems appear


scattered along

ancient dusty trails 


the holy         the ordinary

are one and the same



doing nothing

I drop into a fold of calm


discovering yet another secret


how I see

is all I need to know 



the ritual of the fourth day

is releasing into the sacred fire


any need for

love        appreciation        approval 


revealing a final precious gift


this pure love I feel                       

is mine to freely give



as the day comes to a close

in quiet reverence


I watch the sunset


soaking up its

fleeting fading rays 



I turn around

warmly welcoming


the full moon’s golden glow


and a solitary life

about to be told





tucked in

All alone now

time is my own


            free to be in this

            bittersweet place


            where tears still flow


            as ease of being

            bit-by-bit grows ~


surrounded by the Sangre de Cristos

listening to Taizé’s

Alleluia album


I begin to unwind

in the company of plains

and ragged-edged mountains


time taking its time

revealing the meaning

of an incessant questioning of


               What Is It?


Rilke talked about it


in time           he said

            living one’s life 

            will bare its fruits


            the fervent question 

            haunting one

            forever it seems


            will be known in time

            in the throes of living

                           a life


growing older

            breathing in this wild wondrous life

I find the answer to             What Is It?

            is lovingly held             within the question itself



                        What It Is


                                                ...just this






Lying in bed 

attending breath 



what am I?


Peace ?







there is this exquisite knowing of

wanting or needing

nothing more or

nothing less from

anyone anymore



...in the beginning


loneliness felt deadly

as if all air

was sucked out of

a small town house

I used to live in


I would walk

into a room

and the gloom

would become

a somber tomb


that’s how death

made its appearance

in those lonesome days

where a sheering wound

crowded my shaky ground



    staying with this numbing feeling

   where muted despair

   cloaked every thought and limb


it began revealing


   its perimeters      

   its flavors

   its contours




somehow             somewhere             something

started shifting ever so slowly



and the tomb became a womb

setting me free from the


tomb of loneliness             unto the

womb of aloneness






Always confused

    do I take myself seriously


      do I take myself lightly


which one to walk on?

which one to mind?

which one to take to heart?


the answer appeared unhindered

early one morning


taking myself seriously     as the infinite

sensing it          knowing it          feeling it


is essential


taking myself lightly          however

is walking into the world


this world          with its infinite          light-hearted ways





one lone poppy 

at the tip of a stem

            brightly orange and all

                        moves playfully


as soft breezes

tenderly touch

                        her delicate petals 






just being who she is

one lone poppy

in the breeze





morning salutations 

 Free to be

the one and only

the only one

waking up


each morning

 and happily saying

to absolutely everyone 









in our aloneness 

we are one with all

we are al(l) one ~

 at the same time

absolutely unique




loneliness          ~          aloneness

hold the power of

surrendered acceptance




why do we want to be the one

when we are already that?


isn’t being the one an inside job?

looking outside of ourselves for the one           




being the one in somebody else’s life

may very well be a recipe for misery




Oh!  how I run after

 that which is

right under my nose




to know             is to be in the             now

it’s in the word itself




in the word know

 is also the word             no ~ 

so if we want to know

 we get to choose to be    

in the

now or no(t)!




now      +      here      =      nowhere   =   everywhere   =   Home




come closer than close to your wintry hollow

drink deeply


now is the time to know your own birth song

 sing it out completely











The Beloved 

A teacher once said

         ‘the beloved is just

         another sacred cow

            as all the others’




what are you trying to do?

take away everything from me?

isn’t there anything I can behold anymore?


                 N   O   T   H   I   N   G


holding Being in this way             you said             I miss a



                                    infinite moment

                                                of who I truly Am


it’s a case of mistaken identity             you continued


The Beloved

we have been longing for

has never been the other 

the other is only an~other expression of




the truth is             it’s all about

our heart’s deepest desire

to be the lover of Being

The Beloved


T h a t  W e  A r e






can’t help itself but love

you and me



in every way


with the same

effortless grace


where all is illumined

from within






We want a beloved

            but we are afraid of intimacy


we want intimacy

            but we are afraid of merging


we want merging

            but we are afraid of commitment


we want commitment

            but we are afraid our beloved will devour us whole




we can count on it!


this is about         so big a love

it will obliterate us to smithereens 


catapulting us         whole

into a whole new world





unconditional love 

When I heard


‘unconditional love

is not

 unconditional license


my mind went stark blank


yet I knew

I needed to hear that


all I’m asking now  

is courage

to speak the truth





thank you

for instilling in me the flavors and flow of a life

where everything had its own simple place and time


welcoming sunrises             with a hot cup of tea

watching feeder birds             with resonant stillness 

going slow             with the rhythms of the day

loving much             with so much fun


and you 


wanting nothing more             than what was






Be.  Being. 

Be    here    now

Being    here    now


one               an admonition

the other               a loving presence


...hoping we are turning

towards Being






(spoken through the grace of Debbie Crone)


I am one who lifts

into infinite possibilities

into the freedom of things


I bring you light-heartedness

and a deep sense of connection

with your beloved self


I am the one rising

from the depths of emotion

into the light of knowing


I bring you great blessings


may you be filled

with loving kindness

for yourself


and for all you touch with

your eyes your words

your smiles your hands


I bring you great loving








Stripped fully of

            hopes and dreams

                        especially all expectations 


I am willing to be

            with you and me

                        in this naked moment


o p e n

            l i s t e n i n g  

                        l o v i n g l y   s o





loving life

with all her inexhaustible treasures

            falling like sparkling jewels

                        into my empty lap ~


blazing sunsets and burning sunrises

dazzling snow on brazen plains

wreathing shimmery seas

high blue snowy mountains

long leisurely walks along misty coasts

falling leaves on cuddled cozy evenings

delicious lovemaking at the break of dawn 


and oh! so much more...


if I had one word

            to cradle them all in                        it would be


                                                l o v e







they tell you to be

considerate     patient     gentle     loving

 are you?                    to  y o u ?




as we set boundaries

we become stronger            bolder 

with a love

without bounds 




love and power

power and love

two consorts coiled to the core




We are the boundless blessings

All is well




love is the air we breathe




absolute honesty and being real

 is what the heart really loves





got inspiration?


go ahead

fall over heals

in love with it


any creative impulse

or intuitive urge

bursting through you




just do it


we all depend on it 




     just begin                        the rest will follow








N A T U R A L   B E A U T Y




You have gone to

where I am going


     so let me rest here      

for a while


sensing you           walking

through my lines           from time to time

(a tribute to Mary Oliver)





little insect 

in one spot

            one speck

                        so to speak


a colorful


                        glittery being


dangling gently

            from a tiny stem

                        serenely still



            she softly stirs



            her luminous wings


and ever so lightly is

            lifted by a breeze









S p r i n g 

Warmth             splendid sun drifts             quiet


And The Mind Is Busy Trying To Find


Things To Do

Places To Go

New Country Roads To Roam


nothing wrong with all this             mind you

instead             I stayed home             in my tiny front yard


poppies blooming all around             little daisies happily showing their fresh

sweet faces             soft breezes smiling through me             tiny spiders spinning

their silky ways             bees buzzing along their endless merry~go~rounds


S u n s h i n e   E v e r y w h e r e





the Dodgeville cabin

In Dane County’s countryside

            of aged rocky outcrops

there is this beauty

            of a cabin

nestled into the edges

            of whispering woods




            imposing granite cliffs 

            hover over swaying spent fields

            as critters meander leisurely by


here                life is           





unwinding on our porch

I loose myself


in the rhythms of a most

exquisitely ordinary day






At the outskirts of Crestone’s high desert

strolling along Willow Creek’s cool shaded banks  

I suddenly stop            taking it all in


bright plump clouds

traveling across

dark imposing mountains


windblown ashen-branched aspens

breaking a breathless spell

that’s all around


golden glimmering leaves

cascading to the ground

dancing their final airy pirouettes ~


such sunny blessings

showering this willowy one

blowing bubbly kisses to the creek





grey heron

A graceful grey heron

with her long

curvy neck


             stands still


a solitary hunter

of long forgotten

haunting songs


her reflection on the lake

            is a mirror image


of a dreamlike



I take to be

            my very own


and the heart quivers

regarding this fluid heron


a watchful regal guardian             

of ancient storied shores
















                                        beautiful blue butterfly









                                                                      the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          d









Curled up in bed

            I quietly watch

                        a canopied camellia tree 

                                    coming alive as the cooling rain

                                                  moves through her glorious

                                                                   green and red attire

                                                                                 sending shivers

                                                                                               up and down

                                                                                                            her silvery spine







physical matter does matter             it’s Infinity’s density

it also doesn’t matter

for the wise say         ~         ‘we must die before we die’




once in a while            let's just            pause




is the outer the utter manifestation of the inner?




the Big Bang could be Awareness’s first booming sound

within its eternal silence


it could also be Awareness’s first dynamic impulse

of knowing itself as





teachers keep telling us ~

what we look at             is what we get


how we see              sets us free




stumbling into a paradox

I fall right into truth




each day is brand new

it’s just our minds

have not caught up with it yet!




 beauty all around

nothing’s missing in nature’s

unbounded bounty











only see what is swirling

in busy minds


while a solitary streak of light

burns right through brilliant bright sight


spilling out sparkly starry tunes

shape-shifting old stale tales of seeing





sitting and contemplating 

The collage I have been working on

throughout the day           


suddenly comes to life

shedding light to its own creation


a cutout circle

with its empty space


reveal no separation

no distinction


one full         

the other empty


here and there


rendering their meaning

here and there


all the while the fullness

the emptiness


never leave each other

they are always (t)here


sometimes empty       sometimes full

sometimes intersecting





the question 

“Speak to me” said silence

“About what?” inquired word


“Oh, this and that”

“Then what?” asked word


“Just to know what I am

In this vast space”


“Well” replied word

“In our world


You are the light 

Dreaming us all up!”






Longing to belong

in one way or another

finding that special safe spot 

where my spark is







I sometimes wonder whether 


is none other than the


longing to Be






radiant rays dance

 through the air


as spectrums of light 

play lightly with our hair


exclamation marks of 

everything!             everywhere!






Body settling on

mossy decaying logs


I rest at ease

feasting on this tiny



ripple of a pond



as the day unfurls

its priceless pearls


a baby fly

lands on my page



iridescent beauty

playing with my head





sun worshiper 

Sunlight warming my back

filling my senses

to the brink


and I can't tell

whether my skin

is but a sunray’s beam





F i r e

As the flame flickers for a bit

 I come closer to you



tell me

smiling faintly

you blow out the candle 


and in darkness

 I finally know 

my name







have you ever considered

 everything in the cosmos

is but pixels of light

each point refracting Consciousness

in seemingly multiple sights? 




all's indivisible

except it’s invisible

in an apparently visible universe




do you want to know who you really are?

sit quietly        take your time        ask sincerely


Who Am I?


the very moment you ask that question

you know ~


it’s that simple 

but the mind rushes in            refuting anything

so easily revealed




my three-year-old grandson once said

‘the moon is God’s flashlight!’

he also said

‘I am empty of words’




born of light                    made of stardust




transcendence seekers

here is an axiom for us ~

in becoming immanent

 being fully in our lively lovely bodies

transcendence becomes imminent 




n o s e p a r a t i o n h e r e




there is this seamless movement                                of a ceaseless deep inner bowing











it’s like this

One moment overtaken by bliss

            the next        overtaken by a cop

                        with traffic ticket to boot!


                 the difference is  


first moment                 extraordinary

second                           quite ordinary


which one do you think                                                                                                    

brings a smile to my face?


          !the ordinary!


        you know why?


because now                              at each stop sign


              I break completely

              take my sweet time

              breathe deeply

              and just like this

              fall right back

              into bliss!






putting pen

on paper

                        letting it go

who knows what

will come out

on this virgin page






who knows?






like droplets of dew on my tongue

I forge forth unto the unknown

a place where wild things slumber

the place of constant ebb and flow

that place where you are tongue-tied

as mystery unfolds





coming of age 

A seagull just landed

on my deck

and in front of me


an endless Pacific Ocean


ever changing ~


it’s my 65th birthday today

celebrating it

 with gifts of









a moment

so surprising

so splendid ~


a hot summer day

wanders through the open windows


of this old comfortable

on-the-road-again car


resting on top

of barren rusty bluffs


looking out towards expansive plains

back-dropped by the snow-capped Front Range





snowy peaks 

Surrounded by glorious

high mountains

I am found in the middle

of a pristine meadow


…breathing in                

frosty tingly sky

my mind freezes  

in its heavenly tracks





            r e l a x

One other teacher said      

   ‘the secret of life is…’


we all held our breath

riveted by the impending

revelation of great magnitude


         he continued

          ‘…to relax’


         THAT’S IT?


of course           THAT’S IT!

not only             that’s it


but all answers

to any questions

we might have


lie right here                         on this most

extravagant notion of                    
















H e a r t                E a r t h

contain each other’s holy letters ~

                        cuddled lovingly within them

                                                  a wholly whimsical word


                                                                a   r   t











we have framed ourselves

with flat edge-lined surfaces


while all along our bodies

are rounded curved sensualities




the problem is not all the thoughts we have

the problem is                I think!


thoughts have no center to spring from


when the center is established

all thoughts are a pleasure to behold




Being A Human Being

 How Courageously Wonderful Is That?




c’mon                  let’s change things around our house

move stuff over to different places

loosen up             play a bit             have some fun

our dear home will definitely thank us!




illusions are precious 

as they mirror precisely where we are




our dear        computers        smartphones        tablets

all related electronic gadgets

could we please leave them alone for a day?

they too need a break now and then!




slowing down        taking it easy

we have nothing to loose

but our dizzying minds




Spooning our lover 
















one of the great secrets to freedom

which renders us







is the great fall ~


it’s as inevitable

as the air we breathe



so let it rip my friend

for there’s nothing to loose        but our







keeping us separately stuck ~

the secret to all this?


            f a i t h 



in this radical trusting time

we decide to follow

our own unique path


opening up to new vistas

of sweeping visions

surging powerfully within


leaving us all

hopelessly helpless                      

but of a different kind



without doing anything

a surrendering starts stirring

            deep inside us     



finding what was needed all along

was our mere willingness

to begin following


the only path there is


t h e  p a t h l e s s  p a t h




      this mysterious path

             to take flight


  we get to where our path

         as well as others

          mix and mingle


  creating an inexplicable






   of such intense beauty


    a hot flaming arrow


   well guarded shields


 exposing a tenderness

           of heart

unto the welcoming light







                doubt and panic

         spiral down the depths

with no end in sight


            terror overtakes me


        as an endless rehearsing

         suffocates and stutters

            the confused mind



did I just say


            the confused mind

                   instead of

            my confused mind?



a shaft of sunlight

shatters inextricable clouds

                        of madness


as gratitude

pours through         








I realize when

relief streams in


fear takes

the back door


and like a thief

gives itself up



but please let’s not forget

fear comes to visit us for a reason


an unfailing companion to our souls

it’s pushing us relentlessly


towards embracing the totality of our being

            bringing us intimately closer to the truth



                            when fear is


u n d e r s t o o d                    it has no power

f e l t                                        it has no hold

s e e n                                                 it sets us free






As more and more freedom

            seeps into my being

                        the happier I feel


the happier I feel

          more and more freedom

                       fills up my day


finding this

         fierce love

                       living a human life






we are free 

we can lovingly say

to our beloved


‘I don’t need you

to make me happy’


and be in a most

intimate connection

with them         forever






lockdown offerings 

Being on a year-long retreat

I have been treated with a treat


finally finding the missing piece

I am no longer a child


no longer do I have to seek

no longer do I have to listen


to others’ teachings of what to do and how to be

I no longer have to be present kind or real


I Am               present kind real

I Am               that


I Am stillness                

I simply Am






I start with

the infinity sign


moving my whole body

like a rhythmical

semi-circulous dance of




pouring out

through pores

of this     infinite body


where everything

speeding up

in standing stillness


is showing me silence

as its center

vibrating          electrifying


rendering the

Absolute           Obsolete





I ~ Awareness

Resting on the

            felt sense of




                      I n f i n i t e                              E t e r n a l


I Am That

I Am













…Silence      Emptiness      Awareness      Consciousness      Knowing    Unknowable      Unnamable      Reality      Mystery      the Absolute      Eternity      Infinity      Source      Mother      Priceless Jewel      the Beloved      the Heart      Mind      the Logos      All That Is      Existence      Being      I Am      the Universe      Light      Luminous Darkness      the Divine Intelligence      Essence      Presence      True Nature      Brahman      the Tao      Buddha Nature      Spirit      Jehovah      God      Goddess      Allah      Life      the Force      Home      Self      Truth      Freedom      Love      Peace      Happiness      Joy      Beauty…


names and words of power

for one loving name







  one of freedom’s secrets ~

they say whatever we resist persists

 so why not circle it in

 to find out what it is?




having and making choices

does not mean I am in control


how about free will?

do I think I have that too?


I am told             'reconsider'

as beliefs tend to be stumbling blocks


to my inner most

fervent queries 




non-dual understanding suggests                        Awareness

does not reside in the body or in the mind or in the world


the bodymindworld resides   in   Awareness

 not even that

All   Is   Awareness




as I stood in the center of the Labyrinth

these words came bubbling up


‘be still and know

I Am

the human form’




from the depths of our precious heart

comes a treasured trove of pure knowing

untold by the human soul 




Infinity infusing its affinity through a presumably finite You




e         m         p         t         y         i         n         g


emptying some more


no end to this emptying it seems




settling on this silent groundless ground of Being










Freedom In Love With Life And Light

Freedom is what I value the most

            where I hang out with          the most ~


such an awakening required

traveling over 

mountains and valleys            with immense courage

swimming upstream through

raging storms                            of bitter tears


while all along this loving aliveness

kept shining its vibrant face 


revealing peace and freedom           

in its place!










Sounding Source Soundly






When we feel things are falling apart

maybe                  just maybe



they are falling into place


a subtle shift in sensing 

is all we need               to feel at ease






Living fully

with great faith

where all is offered up

to an unknown movement

flowing freely through our soul






T o u c h e d 

by a feather


f r e e