When I can be the truth, It grows more and more clear.
When it is necessary to tell the truth.
That is, when I have access to the place within me that is lighted, I don’t have to speak heatedly.
I can just give away warmth.
When I am still enough to brush quietly with eternity, I don’t have to speak of God. I can just offer peace to those around me.
A tree grows so it can convey wind. it is not the wind. And a person grows in order to convey spirit.
They say that animals recharge their innocence each time they hoof the earth. And we are reborn each time we touch what matter.


If you take away all a person knows,
You are left with the mouth of a fish
Gulping water as fast as it can.
If you take away a person’s coverings, you are left with the naked freedom of a star.
If you take away all a person has done,
You are left with a soul eager to build.
And if you take away what a person has saved,
you are left with a life that has to live now.
Stripped of too many thoughts, we grow wise as a stone.
Stripped of too many accomplishments,
we grow possible like the sun.
And stripped of what we hoard, we grow immediate.
So taking away is not just about loss.
Like it or not, we are forced, again and again, to the nakedness of freedom,
To the eagerness that wants to build its way out of nothing, and to the poverty of time that has to live now.
If blessed, we wake, one more time, gulping our way into tomorrow.


I wish you the ability to breathe
after pain, to begin again, though
nothing else seems possible.
I wish you resilience: to part like
the ocean and accept like the sky,
to be held like a root.
I wish you survival: to take in life
like a trapped miner finding an
airhole and praising it as God.
I wish you courage: to ask of
everything you meet, “What
bridge are we?”
I wish you chances to listen:
to all that holds us up.
I wish you the-kindness-that-you-are
coming to brighten your face
like orange leaves scattered
at the end of fall.
I wish you endless journey that
seldom appears as we imagine.
I wish you curiosity: to make a
boat of wonder and an oar
of gratitude.


If the sun thinks by radiating light,
its language is warmth.
If the ocean thinks by undulating its mass of waves
its language is wetness.
If a tree things by converting light to sugar,
its language is the sprouting of leaves.
If the wind thinks by moving unseen
through everything, how it bends us
is its tongue. I am tired of only thinking like a man
and pray for the courage to radiate, undulate, sprout,
and move through everything unseen.


The leaves do what we can’t.
They wait their whole lives.
At first they dream of air
and wait to slip from wood.
Then they dream of openness
and wait to stretch in light.
Then they dream of thirst
and wait to soften in the rain.
At last they dream of nothing
and simply unfurl.



The old Asian man is playing one
string so completely that the hymns of
the Universe part the air, making me stop,
unsure where I’m going. He’s surrounded
by dollar bills and petals, each a currency
we can’t do without. It’s giving ourselves
to one small thing that makes beauty come
out of hiding. Like when you led the baby
robin from our garage and it hovered once
free, as if to thank you. Today I feel like
an old string plucked by what endures.
It makes me quiver. The tulips are so
bright. Or is it that I finally see them?



It starts out simple,

gets complicated and, by

burning what is not real,

gets simple again.

But it’s never done.

No matter if we’re tired,

spring comes and some undying

impulse breaks ground.

It’s the same with denial. Or pain. 

Or love. One day, if blessed, the tulip 

coated with soil is again a tulip, 

and with an urgency we thought 

we left behind, 

we must wake.

I think we could forget

all the ways to study in school

and just wait for this moment.

Those who wake are the students.

Those who stay awake are the teachers.

How we take turns