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                  shame…


                         seen          accepted     

                      unconditionally loved

                           ~ by another ~


shame became a watershed to            freedom



marked the time

          at the Heartwater’s source

                        where love’s floodgates shook and shattered


walking across

            the holy Headwaters

                        of mighty Mississippi


washing away

           muddy deposits

                        of a withered self  ~


freedom it was

           stepping onto those

                        shiny slippery stones       


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



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            seen            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 this friendly river

rushing over its borders

eroding everything in sight…





Elegantly so

                     Yes!  Let’s talk about elegance


Sitting on a plane looking earthwards

Only to witness

The grand old river

Winding down its wide wavy runs

Shimmering with blinding flashes


Filling these big brown eyes to the brim






…the connection to this 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 her face to the sun

and 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 journey unfolds


            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


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      is

it      is      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 Headwaters


In the early months of 2019, I started thinking of going on a seven-week road trip during 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.  It was to visit the two remaining mainland states I had not driven through ~ North Dakota and Montana. 

As I was getting ready for the long road trip, I began having an intense premonition that I was going to die during this trip.  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 at peace with it. 

I know now it was not about my physical death.  It was a psychological death.  It was also about the death of four friends, unrelated to each other, who all died on the same week, two weeks into my journey.  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.

The journey began with a family reunion in Santa Rosa, California.  It was a great gathering.  The highlight was my grandson’s ceremony for his entrance into Middle School.  I continued on to Colorado visiting with friends; driving through the majestic Rockies; relaxing in mineral springs and paying my respects to 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 more than 50 years ago.  She lives in Old Town where she was born.  Through her eyes I experienced the flavors of her town and its religious and spiritual aspects of indigenous cultures. 

The drive from Albuquerque to Durango was desert-picture-perfect.  I had a wonderful visit with my youngest daughter and her partner in their new home.  The drive from Durango to Moab 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, letting me know that a few weeks back her 17-year old grandson was murdered.  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 this attitude 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 go to sleep.  The energy of his picture and the violent ending of his short-lived life kept me wide-awake.  In the middle of the night, I took the obituary into the living room and placed 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 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. 

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

Early 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 just cried.  She did call early that 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 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, another 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 less than an hour’s drive south off Hwy 2.  That same afternoon I made the detour. 

As I entered Lake 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.

At the entrance of the trail towards the Headwaters there is a sign indicating that it is also known as the Heartwaters.  In the Anishinabe (Ojibwe) belief, it is the women who are the caretakers of the waters.  Next to the sign is a beautiful bronze sculpture of a woman created by Jeff Savage.  She is sitting on a drumhead with a basket in her lap releasing a batch of small turtles.

At the Headwaters there were many people wading in the river.  A few of them were walking across a short path of stones, where the river begins.  These large stones mark the beginnings of the Mississippi River flowing from Lake Itasca to its 2552-mile southern journey to the Gulf of Mexico.  The crossing is about thirty 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 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 the crossing, 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 have felt this same sort of energy once before in my life.  It was in the presence of my teacher.

I went back to where I had left my purse and shoes.  A gentleman approached me to let me know that 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 the picture, I can see and savor the crossing and the gratitude I hold in my heart for the gentleman who took it at that precise 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 given to me by an artist friend of mine four years back. 

I had been carrying this precious stone since as a good luck charm.  She had painted the rock orange and around it she had decorated it with tiny red and blue flowers.  In the middle, she had painted in white the word free.  With heartfelt gratitude I offered it to the waters.




I continued on to Grand Forks, North Dakota and to Wolf Point and Kalispell, Montana.  From Montana I drove to Pendleton, Oregon for a night.  I continued south to the Steens Mountain where I made one last exploration on the Frenchglen Loop, the highest road in Oregon.  At almost 10,000 feet it stands out from the Alvord Desert and it’s only passable from July – October due to its snow-bound conditions.  It’s a 59-mile loop and a 2-5 hour spectacular drive.

That night 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 shakes.  Indeed delicious!

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 needed to come up with a poem for my elder women’s poetry group.  As I began writing about what happened on September 17th, to my great surprise tears started streaming down my face.

Two days later, the second part of the first poem and eleven more came pouring out like bubbling teary waters.  I've selected 8 for the Living Waters chapter.  I am still not quite sure what exactly took place that day.  Nevertheless, the poems have struck a deep chord in my being and hopefully have spoken to the experience at the Mississippi Heartwaters. 





On a daily basis, since the first poem came through in October of 2019, I tuned into the live webcam at the Mississippi River Headwaters.  I always teared up or smiled when I saw visitors coming and going.  Or when it was absolutely quiet with nobody around – especially in mid-December, when it was all covered up with snow.  Lake Itasca was frozen solid.  A pileated woodpecker used to hang out on the branch of a tree next to the crossing.  It was a winter wonderland.

Furthermore, every Monday at noon (CST) I took a snapshot of the Heartwaters with my cell phone.  I did that for the whole year of 2020 - as well as keeping a daily journal of what I saw happening at the site.  I plan to compile everything in a large green leather parchment journal to be gifted to the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center.




So what is this activity all about?  I am not sure.

I am wondering whether Mystery is taking me along for the ride!


What I do know though is this ~


My dearest friend is finding her way through her grief

My bucket list is full

And my love for the Heartwaters is undying




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 is 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 is 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)













Opening your sensuous mouth

uttering a word

worlds are born


Opening your stunning eyes your sharp ears 

worlds stare and hum 

back at you


Smelling tasting touching 

myriad worlds manifesting 

their tantalizing flavors


Putting us all to sleep

of what truly matters 

in these precarious times




yes and no



our souls are locked

in endless slow tides

of never ending cycles of


            yes or no


       YES     to     living        

       NO      to     living


what is this tyranny

gripping and seducing us

away from ourselves?


what is driving

this incessant struggle

between yes and no?



these two tricksters


      play makeshift

      hide and seek


      riding waves of living

      full of mischief



untethered         they bring

            welcomed relief of


sometimes    yes

            sometimes    no



so it goes…


we often think we know

            then something happens

                        and we don’t



in this specious swaying


            between the known and the unknown


are ceaseless stories of how…


            now we see it       ~       now we don’t




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’s a life well            lived?

The backward spelling of devil?


As for evil?


It’s to        live        a life

In the now 

Knowing full well


We have already won 

The only life we own

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)






my friend’s mother dying process

hangs heavily on my mind


especially when I sit by

her husband of sixty years

watching his sweetheart fade away ~



my only hope is


            seeing him one more time

            with a glimmer in his eye

            strolling down these corridors

            of the 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 ease

seeping effortlessly

through selfless sleep



gathering around her


            holding hands

            caressing forehead

            moistening lips

            whispering loving words ~



she flutters her eyes


            …a breath barely breathed…


                        and dies peacefully


                                    in her beloved’s arms




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 needed

      in everything I do



    with the hard parts


   helping me through

        the dire straits


     which inevitably           

         do show up ~


engaging with mystery

a quickening happens


as showing up holds

one basic ingredient ~






p a i n 


…a weighty hole in the heart hurts

            of an ever pressing wanting

                        waiting for the healing to take hold…


staying with this

            heartbreaking pain

                        tending it tenderly


it strokes

             a string of holiness

                        in the heart of the hole…


is that what it takes

            for the healing to take place

                        sitting still in the midst of a pain


                                  witnessing it whole?






needing to sound

            intelligently wise

                        so interestingly refined



fabricate stories

              making us believe in

                             what we see



            softly spoken

                        unleash a heart

                                    from timeless bondage 



           what songs are we singing?

                                what songs are we listening to?






…from that care-free space

            embedded deeply

                        in my core






I sing

I dance

I laugh


I love this life                mine           

         this life of yours...

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…

all that and so much more are packed in a single day’s span!




it looks like

what is lovingly accepted

is instantly released ~


one can live forever with it in

p e a c e 




great teachings say ~

being unattached to longing or seeking

we are in the river of life

same goes to

being unattached to aversion or resisting




Please leave everyone alone

Most importantly…

Please leave yourself alone




Oh! how we run after 

that which

is right under our noses…




calling all souls to communion 

with what is ~

nothing less

nothing more




got guilt?

ask the secret question

So What?

see how fast it evaporates

bringing a surprised smile

to your amused face


got dysfunction?


the secret is

treating yourself


so tread with confidence my friend ~




as it’s written somewhere


wherever you are

whatever you are

whoever you are

however you are


you are perfectly fine




our own vitality is

vital for the fullness of a

valiant vibrant life












Flaming Gorge, Wyoming


…wandering on this old forgotten bygone dirt road

            in the middle of nowhere

                        a spacious desertness opens up before me


with nobody in sight

            only billowing clouds coasting by

                        I witness this most breathtaking site


on one side

            heat waves weaving their ways over barren land

                        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


          celebrating it


in the desert wilderness

of my Vision Quest time


gathering myself here             

from all over it seems


embracing an inner wildness

waiting to be seen



…roaming aimlessly

on parched desert land


            I find


I no longer know

anything anymore…



looking out from this wind-blown tent

            perched high atop a desert plateau

                        amidst majestic Colorado mountains

                                    I watch the world go by…


dark clouds passing by

            little insects buzzing around

                        lizards scurrying away

                                    ants inching along ~


intricate movements

            of exquisite songs

                        fill their vibrant space

                                    with a sizzling silence



hardships sometimes

            do pay off!


the bugs

            incessant companions


the weather

            capricious with thunderous heat


the hunger

            (oh yes! the hunger)


four solitary endless days

            with no food


only water to sustain

            an aging bundle of bones



through it all

little gems appear


scattered along

ancient dusty trails…   


the holy    ~    the ordinary

are one and the same



[last day of the solo]

the ritual of the fourth day

            is releasing into the sacred fire

                        any need for






revealing yet another gift ~

            the pure love I feel                       

                        is mine to freely give



getting ready to leave

this magical wombing place


I am left with one question only ~

how will the future look like?



doing nothing

I drop into a place of calm


discovering yet another secret ~


how inextricably connected I am

to everyone and everything I know



as the day comes to a close


            I watch the sunset

            with quiet reverence


            soaking up the sun’s final

            fleeting fading rays


disappearing behind

steep-peaked hills ~


turning around I warmly welcome

a full moon’s golden glow


and a singular life

about to unfold…







all alone now

time is my own


            free to be in this

            bittersweet place


            where tears still flow


            and 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 gifts

            the question that

            has haunted one

            forever it seems

            will be known in time

            in the throes of living


  a life



…growing older

            breathing in this wild bumpy ride

I find the answer to                    ‘What Is It?’

            is lovingly held         within the question itself




               ‘What It Is’                  

                                    exactly as it is…






…lying in bed

attending breath




what am I?

                                Peace ?







there is an exquisite feeling of

wanting or needing


        nothing more


         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

gravely feeling

I was entering

into a tomb…


that’s how death

made its appearance

in those lonesome days

where a sheering ache

crowded my frozen senses



staying with this numbing feeling


…where muted dread cloaked

every thought and limb

in utter despair…


it began revealing


   its perimeters      

   its flavors

   its contours




~ gradually ~


started shifting ever so subtly



…the tomb became a womb…



setting me free from 

            the tomb of loneliness 

                        to the womb of aloneness




one lone poppy


at the tip of a stem

            brightly orange and all

                        moves playfully

                                    as soft breezes touch

                                                her delicate petals  


~ no effort here ~


            just being who she is

                        one lone poppy in the breeze







    ~ 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

                        one clear sunny-dripped morning



taking myself seriously     as the Infinite

sensing It          knowing It          feeling It

through and through


~ is essential ~


taking myself lightly however

is walking into the world

this world          with its infinite          light-hearted ways




morning reflections


~ free to be ~ 

the one and only

 the only one 

who wakes up




each morning

 and happily says 

to absolutely everyone 


!  G!






 in our aloneness

we are one with the all

 and at the same time

so totally unique




there is no separation




 to know            is to be in            the now

it’s in the word itself




come closer than close to your wintry hollow

drink deeply 

now is the time to own your own special song

     singing it out completely




we’re split in half

~ the question is ~

on whose behalf are we acting?

Being or the separate self?




when we are contracted we are lost 

when we are relaxed we are in the flow




why do we want to be the one

when we are already that

~ being the one is an inside job ~


looking outside of ourselves for the one

or being the one in somebody else’s life 

is a recipe for misery




now      +      here      =      nowhere











The Beloved


 …my teacher once said…


         ‘the beloved is just

         another sacred cow

            as all the others’




 what are you trying to do?

take everything away 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 simple       


                                    infinite moment

                                                of what I truly Am


…you see ~ 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




 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 fear our beloved will devour us whole...


                                 well      ~      you can count on it!



this is about a love so            B  I  G

            it will obliterate you

                        to smithereens



and then… 

            there you are

p u r e   l o v i n g 




unconditional love


 …when I heard that 

‘unconditional love

is not

unconditional license’ 


my mind went stark-blank…

 yet I knew 

I needed to hear that ~


all I am asking

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…

 have all brought me to my knees






 …stripped fully of

            hopes and dreams

                        especially all expectations


I am willing to be 

            with you and me

                        in this tender moment


w i d e l y   o p e n


                   l i s t e n i n g   


                                    l o v i n g l y   s o…




Be.  Being. 


Be.  Here.  Now.

Being.  Here.  Now.


can you taste the difference?


one               an admonition 

the other          a loving presence


which one are you?




loving life



with all her inexhaustible treasures

             falling like shiny jewels

                        into my empty lap…



wreathing sparkly waves

blazing sunsets and sunrises 

high blue snowy mountains

dazzling snow on brazen plains

crying laughs shattering silence

falling leaves on cuddled cozy evenings

delicious lovemaking at dawn

long leisurely walks along cool shaded paths…



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 stand up for ourselves and set boundaries

we become stronger and bolder


~ and surprisingly enough ~

there is more love to go around




love and power

 power and love 

two consorts connected to the cord




It’s all good 

All’s 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…




j u s t   b e g i n     ~     t h e   r e s t   w i l l   f o l l o w








N A T U R A L   B E A U T Y




(A tribute to Mary Oliver)


you have gone

where I am goin


       so let me rest here       

for a while


sensing in my heart of hearts

you have gone






 little insect


in one spot

            one speck

                        so to speak


a colorful


                        glittery being


dangling from

            a tiny stem

                       serenely still


…then suddenly


she slowly stirs


                        her luminous wings

                                    and ever so lightly

                                                is taken by the wind




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 To

New Country Roads To Roam On


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  


    sunshine everywhere…




The Dodgeville Cabin



there is this breathtaking

of a place


a tiny cabin

nestled into the edge of the woods


on these outcrops

of Dane County’s countryside



            imposing granite cliffs

            hang over swaying spent fields

            as critters meander leisurely by



here                life is






unwinding on our porch

        I dip deeply in the rhythms


               of a most


               ordinary day




fall reflections at Willow Creek


…strolling along the edges of Willow Creek

            outside the hamlet of Crestone

                        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 kisses to the creek




grey heron 



a graceful grey heron

with its long

curvy neck


            stands alert ~


a remembrance

of long forgotten

haunting songs



reflecting on its pond

            a mirror image


of a dreamlike



I take to be

            my very own



the heart quivers

             regarding this fluid heron


watchful regal guardian                

            of old






…beautiful blue butterfly




















…curled up in bed 

            I quietly watch 

                      from my bedroom window


a canopied camellia tree 

come 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 ~

as the wise say ‘you have to die before you die’ 




the outer is the utter manifestation of the inner

 and vice versa




creation    ~    creature

equally alike




the Big Bang could be Awareness’s first booming sound

within its infinite silence


it could also be Awareness’s first dynamic impulse

of knowing itself as I




what you look at             is what you get 

~ but ~

how you see             sets you free




stumble into a paradox

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 this natural

boundless bounty











these eyes


only see what is bustling

in our busy minds


while a solitary beam is burning

right through brilliant bright eyes


spilling out sparkly starry-dust

lighting up compelling multi-colored spectacles ~


Awareness shape-shifting

our seemingly bounded ground




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 who I am

In this infinite space”


“Well” replied word

“In our world


You are the light  

Dreaming us all up!”






Oh! how we long to belong

in one way or another


finding that special safe spot in ourselves

where our spark is










I sometimes wonder whether


is none other than 

longing to Be






…radiant rays dance

  through the air


as spectrums of light

play lightly with my hair


exclamation marks of

!!everything!!          !!everywhere!!







body settling on

          mossy decaying stumps

                        quietly       I sit


feasting on this small


                        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…


I cannot tell

whether my skin is

but a sunray’s beam




F i r e


…the flame flickers for a bit

and I

coming closer to you whisper


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

are but pixels of light

each point refracting Consciousness

in seemingly multiple sights?




everything is indivisible

except it’s invisible

in a visible world




do you want to know who you really are?

sit quietly         breathe deeply         take your time         ask


Who Am I?


the very moment you ask that question

you’ll know…


it’s that simple


but the mind rushes in refuting anything

so simply revealed




   my three-year-old grandson once said

‘the moon is God’s flashlight!’

he also said 

‘I am empty of words’




transcendence seekers

here is an axiom for us ~

in becoming immanent

~ being fully in our lively lovely bodies ~

transcendence becomes imminent




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




there are no rules

as each instant is painted splashly anew!




there is this seamless movement of a ceaseless inner bowing











it’s like this


…one moment overtaken by bliss

            the next                 overtaken by a cop

                        with a traffic ticket to boot ~


                 the difference is this…


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 that ~ 

  fall right back ~

  into bliss!






putting pen on paper

letting it go ~


who knows what 

will come out 

on this virgin page






who knows?



there is


 a remembrance… 

a reconnection…

a recognition…


our true nature is precisely the same

as everyone else’s




coming of age


…a seagull has just landed 

on my deck

and in front of me


an endless Pacific Ocean




it’s my 65th birthday           today

celebrating it with








a moment


so slow

            so surprising

                        so splendid…


a hot summer day

wanders through the open windows

of this old comfortable



resting on top

of a barren bluff


looking out towards the 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


the mind

            freezes in its

                        heavenly tracks




             r e l a x


…a teacher once 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!


all the answers

to any questions

we might have


lie right here

on this most extraordinarily

extravagant notion of                    















H e a r t       ~       E a r t h 


containing each others’ holy letters 

                        lovingly cuddled within them

                                                a wholly whimsical word


 a   r   t


gracing us with













we have framed ourselves

with flat-edge-lined surfaces


while all along our bodies

are rounded curved sensualities




~ Being A Human Being ~

How Courageously Wonderful Is That?




the problem is not all the thoughts we have

the problem is ~ if there is one ~


thoughts have no center to spring from 


when the center is established

all thoughts are a pleasure to behold




c’mon                change things around your house

move stuff over to different places

loosen up          play a bit          have some fun

your home will surely thank you!




illusions are precious ~ 

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 you know!




 ~ slow down and relax ~

you have nothing to loose

but your mind




Spooning your lover 
















one of the great secrets to freedom

                which renders us







            ~ is the great fall ~


it’s as inevitable

as the air we breathe my friend



        ~ so let it rip ~


there’s nothing to loose

              but our







keeping us separate       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 expanses

surging powerfully within


leaving us all

hopelessly helpless                      

but of a different kind



without doing anything

a surrendering starts stirring

deep within 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 unfold


  we get to where our path

         as well as others’

          mix and mingle


  creating an inexplicable






    of such intense beauty


    a hot-hearted arrow

pierces right through us

         setting us all


    f  r  e  e






…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






you can say

to your beloved

‘I don’t need you’


you open yourself up

to the true sense of

f r e e d o m







         doubt and panic

    spiraling down to 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 ~


gratitude pours through         feeling







I realize…

when love moves 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 human soul

it’s pushing us relentlessly


towards an embracing

loving kindness



                         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 id becomes an entity

it creates a whole new world


 taking this identity

to be who we are


we imagine we know reality

while all along Reality itself


keeps inviting us ever so gentlY 

towards our true identity


the ultimate Reality oF 

who and what we truly are


  R e m e m b e r ?




 lockdown offerings


…being on a three-month 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 and real

I Am all there is      has ever been      or      will ever be


I Am action ~ a celebration of







it starts with

the infinity sign


moving my whole body

like a rhythmical

semi-circulous dance of




pouring out

through the curves

of this            infinite body


where everything

speeding up

in standing stillness


is showing me silence

as its center

vibrating and electrifying


rendering the

Absolute       Obsolete




I Awareness


…shift your attention

            rest 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












…Awareness      Consciousness      Knowing      Unknowable      Unnamable      Reality      Mystery      Silence      The Absolute      Eternity      Infinity      Source      Priceless Jewel      Mother      The Beloved      The Heart      All That Is      Existence      The Universe      Light      Luminous Darkness      Intelligence      Essence      Being      Presence      True Nature      Godhead      God      Divine      Great Spirit      The Tao      Brahman      Krishna      Buddha Nature      Jehovah     Christ Consciousness      Allah      The Logos      The Force      Home      The Self      Truth      Freedom      Love      Peace      Happiness      Beauty…




an infinite eternal word for it all






 ~ one of freedom’s secrets ~ 

they say whatever you resist ~ persists

  so why not circle it in real close

finding out what it really holds?




having and making choices 

does not mean that we are in control


how about free will?


we think that we have that too? 

well             think again my good friend




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 at the center of the Labyrinth

these words came bubbling up


‘be still and know

I Am

the human form’




infinity infusing its affinity through the presumably finite You




    emptying        ~        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 who I am

            what I am

what I value the most ~



to come to such realization


I had to travel over

mountains and valleys with immense courage

swim upstream through raging storms of bitter tears



in the midst of it all

an aliveness kept shining its face ~



that is how peace and happiness           

unexpectedly made themselves known                         



so my dear dearest friend


What Is It In Life   You   Truly Value The Most?


(to Adya with great affection)




this is what I know for now…


freedom is being the author of one’s own life

having inner authority 




in an authentic

light-filled        loving way


~ the clincher here is ~


if I think I am the one and only author of my life

I am called back again and again


to rethink… 


‘cause I am shown the world over

there’s more to    it    that can ever be imagined!




final thoughts


when we feel things are falling apart 

maybe ~ just maybe


they are falling into place ~

a subtle shift in perspective

is all our heart needs to relax






to living fully

~ in great faith ~

where all is offered up

to an Unknown movement

flowing freely through our soul




R E J O I C E!


m y   d e a r e s t   f r i e n d