Pale implacable hunter,
quick, evil, deadly.
Too primitive to know fear.
Alien body of shiny beads.
One glance, this is bad news.
No hint of doubt in this.

Place of infamy in our night sky,
with lions, snakes, and dragons.
Terrible apparition, nightmare.
Two great vises for hands.
Arching scourge of a tail,
venomous sting held high.

Whence this intense horror?

In the long ago we were small,
smaller than many of these devils.
Soft, vulnerable, burrow dwellers,
living by hiding and fleeing.
Should this evil appear
in the mouth of our burrow…

Abandon all hope, trapped,
deadly struggle was at hand.
Some of the tribe will die,
no escaping that lightning sting.
The very image of death,
the greatest possible dread.

Programmed in our very infancy,
primal, deep, unconscious.
The bare sight of this demon,
brings up that ancient fright.
The old daemon is with us still,
eons have not exorcised it.


Black cat’s supposed to be bad luck.
Maybe true.
Hungry jaguar in a deep, dark forest.
But We’ve one,
seems to be nothing but good.
Wants pets,
the ecstasy of a back massage.
Lives on love,
much to the benefit of all.
No trouble,
sleeps curled up the livelong day.
Even a help,
no mice ever come to stay.
Aging now,
hardly a tooth in her mouth.
Meek meow
asks please, pet a little bit more.

The Choice

Stand at a fork in the road
in a world beyond all knowing.

Dark, usually not even clear
how we ever found our way here.

Space-time’s always changing.
What is now will soon not be.

There’ll be no coming back,
this place will not be found.

Return path is unknowable.
Forks along that way, too.

Travel one road both ways,
different as night and day.

The road is small assurance,
others have gone both ways.

Peer down both roads,
straining for some light.

Sometimes have advice.
How much trust to put there?

Turned out well for them,
they are they, you are not.

Courage always demanded,
facing the awful unknown.

In the end choose one, go.
Take what comes after.

Two Hurts

Pain is a good teacher,
maybe the only one.
Something hurts enough
and you remember.

True when the world
does the hurting.
Grab a hot potato,
grasp hot potato hurts.

From that moment on
pick one up with care.
This way pain’s good,
serves a useful purpose.

Not True when another
does the hurting.
Spill the beans and
Mama spanks you.

Don’t learn that
spilling beans hurts.
Just Mama doesn’t
like spilled beans.

Maybe spill more,
make her mad, get even.
This pain is a great
corrupter of souls.

Ode to One Wave

Bright sunny morning,
clear emerald water,
waiting for rides.
Surface outside
swelling with energy
emerging, looking fine.

Rising up just right,
time to get going.
Turn around, dig.
Feeling the bottom,
towering hollow now,
Green Room’s coming.

Crest arching over,
lip’s growing fingers.
Unexpected tentacles.
Extending, withdrawing,
seconds lost hypnotized.
Paralyzed, watching.

Wave doesn’t wait,
pitches over,
its energy now force.
Slamming tackle, chaos.
Missed opportunity,
not soon forgotten.

The Now

Infinitely brief Now,
between Past and Future.
Yet nothing outside,
all reality is there.

Lightning following
a thread into the Future
spewing memories,
relics, into the Past.

Accumulation will fail.
Grasp at anything,
it’s already passed.
Yank you right out of Now.

Future is an infinite
mass of threads in Now.
She follows but one,
utterly unpredictable.

You pick the right thread,
and think you’re made.
Now blasts through,
you’re dazed on the floor.

Now even contains the Past,
an infinite dream,
endless illusions,
lifeless dust and rust.

The Many

Stars in a galaxy.
Fish in the Tropics.
Hairs on a sea otter.
Galaxies in a universe.
Brine flies on Salt Lake.
Cattail seeds in a head.
Reindeer in the Arctic.
Mosquitoes in Alaska.
Elm seeds in a ditch.
Midges in Scotland.
Ants everywhere.
Man on Earth.


Santa Cruz, ’66

’60s surf was everywhere,
young life itself, the music,
the clothes, the blessed tan.
Meditation on the Newport beach
at southern California sundown.
If you could, you surfed.

Landlocked wannabes carried around
boards with rollerskate wheels.
Anything but a hodad’s existence,
or a lily white black panthuhh.
Black leather shoes at the beach,
hat for a shield from the sun.

Once again California is Mecca.
Get there any way you can.
Boardwalk and beach, the border,
beyond which lies Mother Ocean,
the ancient source of all life.
Down deep, all life feels this.

Rent a tankuhh on the boardwalk.
First attempt to be really with it.
Board’s real heavy, walk the walk.
Board won’t fit underarm.
but now it’s in the water.
More a raft than a board.

Mama O’ wants more than a tan
and a surf culture crazed mind.
Hard lessons to be learned,
genuine salt to be earned.
From the shore surfing looks easy,
but there are dues to be paid.

The tankuhh is awful clumsy,
paddles like a big log.
No chance with wave one.
Wave takes the board
and turns it into a club,
heavy blow to the head.

Mama O’ has just been kind,
only dished out a head bump.
Others have fared worse,
paid with their lives.
Beach feels good underfoot.
Think this over awhile.

Old Growth

Spirit, holy presence,
palpable humbling calm.
Old beyond all knowing
our comprehesion fails.
100, we say we are aged.
Then what about 4000?
What would that mean?

Grand fluted columns
tower out of sight.
Design of Greek temples.
Day-long soft illumination.
Still yourself here, sit,
and hope to be washed quiet
of senseless hurry.

Staid as in here we stay.
Find us here any time, today,
tomorrow, a thousand years.
We’ll be here, going nowhere.
There is power in being still.
Watch millenia go by, watch.
No action, but simple be.


Tumbling through space time,
seems we are aware, of what?
Can be sure of just one thing,
the next moment is not sure.

One thing may follow another
in this fantastic dream,
but count on that and you err.
The only rules are in our heads.

Rules are really just theories.
What happened before will again.
Need new rules most every day.
One would think we would learn.

Now somebody should’ve got it,
told all the others the secret.
Fatal flaw with that though,
nobody would ever listen.

Learning comes just one way,
walk blind into a brick wall.
Shows you cannot go that way.
Even that is soon forgot.