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
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 –
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
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 –