Two poems from a day at the Grunewald Guild

My family and I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for many years now. I maintain that it is readily the most beautiful part of the country, perhaps the world – well, the parts I’ve seen. The Grunewald Guild is a tiny oasis of assorted buildings, forest pathways, an old church converted to a library, and a whole lot of contemplative, liturgical artists. My peeps. After living in the Yakima Valley now for almost nine years, receiving their regular emails for that entire time, I finally decided that it was time for a visit. Of other poems to come, these are the first two.


The chuckachuck of sprinklers

slaking thirsty brown grass

drone me into an almost zombie-like peace –

a single note, unyielding, in its own

tonic harmony.


A thousand shades of green –

jade and emerald and pine –

line themselves up in the random scattershot

only found in perfection. Much too random

for the soldierish replants

of our brutish industry.


Even the highway wants a place

in this scene – wearing the yellow line

like a scarf around the neck

of its own movement and momentary digressions –


Like this.


The Smell of Grey

The smell of grey, old and musty 

books holding ten thousand curious fingerprints.

The dog-eared tales of dog-eared folk,

standing together like square-jawed

colonels of mystery, harboring

citadel secrets.


For so silent a place, how loudly

they shout for my attention.


These Lutherans have it right.

There is no distance or

false pings of conscience that

“The Exorcist” shares a shelf with

“The History of Israel” and something else on liturgy.

Here, my dangerously haphazard

story fits. Suddenly, my impractical 

arbitrariness feels intentional –

almost holy.

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