Aadhya Chamber Ten

Aadhya Chamber Eleven

Aadhya Chamber Twelve

Aadhya Chamber Thirteen

Aadhya Chamber Fourteen

Aadhya Chamber Fifteen

Aadhya Chamber Seventeen

Aadhya Chamber Twenty

Aadhya Chamber Twenty-Two

Aadhya Chamber Twenty-Four

Zyanya Chamber Four

Zyanya Chamber Eight



Chamber 8: Testimony


I’m sitting in a pew;

a child of eight.

A deacon winces behind a lecturn

as he recalls the bitter plight 

from which he was saved.

For some reason they call it testimony.

In the deacon’s moment of salvation,

when he was in the pit of despair 

and the hand of God reached down

to save him,

he was naked.

Not even a figleaf.

(Damn and dam those Adamic themes.)


The deacon had been 

the victim of alcohol and nameless drugs,

caught in their merciless undertow.

He ended up in the fetal position 

on the floor of his shower (not exactly Eden),

when something miraculous happened.

A voice spoke to him.

I wanted to ask, were the drugs still working?

But it was church,

and my father was next to me.

I didn’t want to invoke the stern lanterns

or the stooping whisper.


That voice, at least to the deacon,

was real.

it wasn’t his imagination, he protested,

or having been caught in the crossfire 

of alcohol and heroin. 


he made that quite clear.


Instead, by a miracle’s mirage

the deacon had stood to his feet, half-choking,

half-baptized by water,

in a birthday suit 

that I couldn’t help curiously imagining.

The voice the deacon heard,

seemed to need a capital “V”,

because he had referred to it as the Voice.

It’s a funny thing to me is that god

should be capitalized, as if it’s a proper noun, 

and any action (verb) or thing (noun) 

that issues from god, should also be capitalized.

No comprender.

God is not a name for a person.

Even when I was eight

I knew that god was an indefinite pronoun. 


But back to the Voice.

The deacon’s cadence slowed down,

his tone wrenchingly somber,

and then, he whispered the words the Voice told him

(from outside of himself, 

he emphasized one more time):

“Lift yourself up. You have work to do.”


Hmm, I had been properly baited, 

reeled in,

fileted and baked,

and then this punchline?

That was the Voice?

Of god?

That’s all it said?

That was what saved you?

That’s your testimony?

That was divine intervention?

For a deacon?

What about me?

Maybe the voice would say: 

“Get out of bed. You have school!”

My mom said that.


That’s my testimony.

Zyanya Chamber Nine



Chamber 9: The Theory of Everything


If we are to walk a tightrope

with the tipani of righteousness 

banging out

its querulous beat,

we must be calm, steady, poised, 



At our back,

vultures crown the sky,

ink blots spiraling ever-closer

to stain the land.

One foot out

the rope cringes with the weight.

Far below, a rattlesnake darts

from behind gray rocks.


The theory of everything

is woven upon the tightrope

in code that only an ant

could see.

Doubtful it would illuminate

the ant or any of us.



You mean a theory for every thing 

in every dimension

that ever existed or exists?

Do you mean the future, too?


Is there such a theory

that can connect all the dots?

Leave nothing out, 

even nothing?

I wonder where wonder would be found 

if such a theory materialized.


from out of the gloom of ignorance, 

we looked upon our silver screens

and saw the irrefutable truth

of connection

to everything.

Would any of us understand?

The tightrope is too high.

The net, too thin.

The code, too small.

Our minds, too thick.


When the tightrope cringes

our hearts fall to fear.

Looking backwards to the wooden platform

that small block of safety 

with a leaning ladder of Pisa.

And yet, there is the pull 

of the other side.

The jawboning parrots block the way

critics of all things original, 

The theory of everything

is the most original

of all originality

for the simple reason it threads 


in a single fabric.

What could be more original than that?

Zyanya Chamber Ten



Chamber 10: One and Equal


The stories you’ve been told

have made you pray

to the sky-fixer.

With the weight of a ghost 

in space

the genie spins.

You lower your clasped hands

to your sides and sigh.

A downward glance,

a broken floor,

a stunted breath

stuttering in the wireless world.

The unequal falsehood,

stood up by derelict stooges,

is paper-thin,

but as strong as a belief

can be.

Forked tongues welded

these stories to your mind’s basement,

the casement for the blind.

What does equal mean, any way?

Equality is a concept

from the other side.

It has not bred 

on this side of the abacus.

It is the orphan in the corner,

the inductive murmur

neutered to 

stand like a sculpture in empty 




We can see it,

touch it,

know it in our minds,

imagine its purpose,

but, like a marble eye

it stares back at us,



One and equal is the chant.

One and equal.

One and equal.


Perhaps it is more a prayer

than a chant.

Maybe an affirmation?

Maybe a hope?

Certainly not a mantra.


The sky-fixer, spinning in weightlessness,

waits for more voices.

The franchised choir 

whose mercenary ways 




ultimately precipitate the reins 

that embrace you

and hold you as seven and a half-billion


wandering the coagulate spirit. 

Garbed as particles of one thing

ignorant of itself.


You pledge your fate

to the invisible giant whose

bowels of confusion constitute your path. 

You rise up in protests,

victorious with new laws,


to the flying goalposts of equality.


The genie sleeps.

The three wishes expressed

lilt on the winds of time. 

They are:

ONE. Give us immortal life.

TWO. Give us freedom within that immortal life.

THREE. Give us purpose.

A fourth wish limped behind,

whispered in a croaking breath:

Give us equality.

The genie scowled, 

its arms green and muscular,

“There are only three wishes. 

You cannot have more. 

Do you wish to substitute?”


The particles, lost in their blueprints,

collectively shook one head

and crawled their separate ways.

Zyanya Chamber Eleven



Chamber 11: Our Home


When all else fails

remind me of our home.

Even the word is warming.

In the back of a deep drawer

I can reach blindly,

fingers as eyes. 


When I imagine home

I have no fingers or eyes. 

Something approximate of light.

Something unbounded by 

heaven and hell. 

Something free

from the infectious armies 

that patrol the borders

between black and white.


Liberation is the ultimate home.

There is no border,






or barrier.

No antibodies patrol

with creeping tendrils.

No antidotes to patch poisen’s 

wicked pluck.


Home is cast from a matrix;

a boundless source


A mystery billowing 

like a forceful form half-seen.


When all else fails

let me hear the primal hymns

that soar through the tall, 

half-naked pines.

Let me feel that ecstasy 

when light and air 

expose the soul’s heartbeat,

and its drumming 

cannot be unsummoned.


When all else fails

remind me of our home.

In my final depletion 

only speak those words: 

Our home.

Zyanya Chamber Thirteen



Chamber 13: No Shelters


I walk a path surrounded by

thorn bushes,

darting from the underground;

angling their way 

to the gleaning shelter.


Can you see this shelter?

Invisible horses herd us.

Stern voices command us.

Winnowing touches draw us closer.


Our purpose is lent

from a landlord cast of clay,

surfaced in gold,

burnished to a sheen that blinds.


Inside the shelter,

compliance of generation

upon generation,

hollowed out, 

thinned to the same

themes of sin and insufficiency. 


How can a shelter, 

based on sin and insufficiency, 

be a shelter?

An oasis for slaves?

A detour into the illusory?

The pull of a demonic shade?

A mirage of tarnished hope?

A dream of salvation

where souls are properly attired

in bowing minds.


I walk a path

that moves serpentine, dotted

with eyes that see

around bends and over mountains.

That see the karmic freight

borne of a listless, if not witless, mass.

Whose map encircles

an entire galaxy of learning

where there are no shelters.

Zyanya Chamber Fourteen



Chamber 14: Purpose Served


Do not be seduced

by the plow of nihilism.

Its seeds sprout,

and nihilists believe 

in the sun, water and soil.

They are the equal and opposite effect

of something ineffable,

where real, unreal, and surreal

align in a magnetic clasp

of surrender.


The Enlightenment obscured

the ineffable,

like an eclipse 

blunts the moon or sun.

The core of light

is unchanged;

the program of blockage

ebbs and flows

through generational time. 

Science will prove perennial mysticism.

The eclipse is always temporary.

But in the shadows

the senses come alive.

Purpose served.

Zyanya Chamber Sixteen



Chamber 16: Monument


For if just once in its brief lifespan

the mud-limbed creature staunch entrusts

the entirety of its being to a single guiding star,

without thought to consequence or charge,

shorn of reservation and uncertainty,

of indurate heart, of resolute mind,

of immaculate soul…

it is ever sung and honored

within the senior ranks of bravery,

notwithstanding the overt success of its mission.


The act of commitment bricks the monument;

a willed reorientation of self

to the nurture of the seed’s kernel,

to the perfume of the flower of life

from which all life springs.

And should it be asked of me,

a sprout of divine derivation,

if the retrospective yields the lesson,

I would proud salute in quiet reverie

the God-spark’s passionate audacity

that emboldens and animates the mundane.

Zyanya Chamber Seventeen



Chamber 17: The Gates of Crumpled Paper


Inward goes the call.

The writing proceeds, but the words


beneath my gaze

before they reach me.


A hand that is mine

holds a pen that is yours

over a paper that is ours.

Its white geometry

stares up at me like a gate,

refusing me,

using me to sour fate.


I know the madness inside you

lurks, breeding with itself—

each generation madder.

Until all of us,

straining to see what is within,

the last of kin

a silent monster

in my shadows.

Truly, it is not your fault

that you are a petal of gold

on the flower of disease.


I have crumpled another

page on the floor,

hoping to please you.

Another gate refused to open

so I closed its existence.

Your pen is too fine

for my words anyway.

And my hand is

tired of denial.


I can tolerate the savage smile.

The lock of hair cut in rage.

The latch left open at night.

The blackouts that seize you in their cage.

For that one small gift that you have given

is not so small.


A muse of a lonely highway;

of searchlights that prowl the night

in a feast of anti-mimicry.

You have brought me here

to see the crumpled gates

that my bare hands have laid

before your madness.


In this aloof chaos we call earth

we have both listened for the apology.

Stabbing at our brains’ indecision

every ounce of us drenched in the

sanctity of sweat.


The pitiless tint of crumpled paper

surrounds me

like birthmarks of the

cream carpet face below.

Lifeless and languid

they imitate cruelty in their disavowal.


But like you,

their denial is part of a calculation—

the kind that is not kind.

“Tough love,” you said,

“is the only witness to true love.”

You sacrificed your letting go so I could



and below.

Gathering the words that had fallen prey

to a matchstick’s fleeting light.


The small gift that you have given

is not so small.

It has no dimension.

It has no presence at all,

yet it gives permission like the sun

to see.

The moon to dream.

The mountain to hope.

The ocean to feel.

The desert to desire.

The forest to commune.

The earth to live.

The human to love

and to leave too soon.


I know you know us.

You have pressed yourself to me

in the falsetto of love’s voice.

Not enough I thought,

but it was enough to create us.


When you go on, past me,

remember, any thought you might have

of me, is not me.

It can only be us,

because there was never a time when I walked

or ran or crawled or laid on this land

alone of you.





My deprived angel, if you go mad

when my flesh

is crumpled on the floor

like a birthmark on Death’s face;

I will crush the gates for you

with my bare hands.

I will talk with the king.

I will tell him you are forgiven.

I will show him your small gift

that is not so small.


“There is only mercy

in a world of madness.”

I remember your words’ stealthy aim.

It was my heart,

the one thing that cannot be reduced

by a cage.


Like an evening shadow

I will wait the moment of your return.

The king and I will walk the land together,

listening for your arrival.

When you come,

I will run from my rations.

I will lie atop you heart to heart;

silent measures,

transparent wings.

The holy art!


And the time of crumpled papers,

of launching words like fireballs

over moats,

over stone walls

into the deaf kingdoms

that hold sanity dear…

souls will finally sit with us

around fires and cheer.


We are not crazy when we hold our breath

as one lung.

When we close our eyes

to the punishment of purity.

When stars speak

to a leaf and

we intercept the repartee,

and smile

as one.

Zyanya Chamber Eighteen



Chamber 18: So, So Slowly


You cannot mute fire with Holy Water.

You cannot lure the wind to obey.

Yout cannot find the weakest in the stronger.

You cannot answer the questions that stay.


Cannot is the limit of can,

that you cannot unbelieve.

If you live a full life’s span,

gravity falls without reprieve.


Life is a humble, sprawling beast,

a tinder night seeking embers.

A castoff world unmoored released;

licking losses it falsely remembers.


Behaviors beneath the skin bloom,

their mount of the inner vessel complete.

Vanity spreads the bristles of its broom,

sweeping virtues to the street.


If we give, truly give of ourselves,

the water within becomes holy.

We learn what the universe tells,

even though it seems to speak 

so, so slowly.

Zyanya Chamber Twenty



Chamber 20: Real Gold


Following fires that bore into the land

like storms driven by lightning,

I see horizons cast deep,

flung by powerful, emboldened arms.

There, in that crease that folds mystery,

I can see a future 

where ten billion differing beliefs 

disintegrate into one. 

Where the inside-out clarifies 

why slavery can finally die. 


We have been wrapped in slavery

since time was born on earth.

We accept the husk,

as if it was us.

The fools gold of spirituality.

The dazzle of light.

The glamor of angelic hosts.

The vanity of hierarchies undisclosed.

Its recipients; love-obsessed people

with u-shaped mouths.


The sovereign is integral.

It is not cut-off from the motherload.

The pocket of gold spreads everywhere. 

There is no mine to find.

We are it. 

There is no have/have not.

There is only illusion.

The program.

The lie.


The truth?

Well, that is worth finding.

But it is underneath and beyond and invisible.

It is cloaked and silent.

It dreams us awake, 

and nightmares us asleep. 

It runs when we walk

and walks when we crawl.

It seems to tease

like a harmless want.

The truth is,

it’s clear like perfect glass.

An oasis or mirage?

Somewhere in that midpoint,

intoning threats of sin.


We stand at the perfect glass,

watching the tarnished gift of mortality.

We delete love

in every judgment and blame.

Yet love remains

the only game.

Hakomi Chamber One



Chamber 1: A Fire For You


On this, the shortest day of the year,

I have journeyed to the Great Plains

to build a fire for you.


The night air is cold like a cellar

cut from ancient stones.

But I found some wood among the deserted plains

buried under the grasses and dirt,

hidden away like leaves

that had become the soil.

After I cleaned the wood by hand—its dirt beneath

my nails and the fabric of my cloth

I sent a flame

combusted by the mere thought of you.

And the wood became fire.


There were hermit stars that gathered

overhead to keep me company.

Your spirit was there as well

amidst the fire’s flames.

We laughed at the deep meaning of the sky

and its spacious ways.

Marveling at the fl at mirror of the plain

that sends so little skyward,

like the hearts of children denied

a certain kind of love.


You played with spirits

when you were young among these fields.

You didn’t know their names then.

I was one.

Even without a name, or body,

I watched your gaze, unrelenting to the things

that beat between the

two mirrors of the sky and plain.


I believe it was here also

that you learned to speak with God.

Not in so many words as you’re now accustomed,

but I’m certain that God listened to your life

and gathered around your fire

for warmth and meaning.

In the deserted plains he found you set apart

from all things missing.


Dear spirit, I have held this vigil for so long,

tending fires whose purpose I have forgotten.

I think warmth was one.

Perhaps light was another.

Perhaps hope was the strongest of these.


If ever I find you around my fire,

built by hands

that know your final skin,

between the sheets of the sky and plain,

I will remember its purpose.

In barren fields

that have long been deserted by the hand of man

I will remember.

In the deepest eye of you

I will remember.

In the longest night of you

I will remember.


On this, the shortest day of the year,

I have journeyed to the Great Plains

to build a fire for you.

Hakomi Chamber Three



Chamber 3: Forgiver


Last night we talked for hours.

You cried in unstoppable sorrow,

while I felt a presence carve itself into me

source and savior of your dragging earth.

You feel so deeply,

your mind barely visible

staring ahead to what the heart already knows.

I see the distance you must heal.

I know your pacing heart bounded by corners

that have been rounded and smoothed

like a polished stone from endless waves.

For all I know you are me

in another body,

slots where spirits reach in

to throw the light

interpreting dreams.

Prowling for crowns.


Are there ways to find your heart

I haven’t found?

You, I will swallow without tasting first.

I don’t care the color.

Nothing could warn me away.

Nothing could diminish my love.

And only if I utterly failed

in kinship would you banish me.


Last night, I know I was forgiven.

You gave me that gift unknowing.

I asked for forgiveness

and you said it was unneeded;

time shuffled everything anew

and it was its own



But I know everything not there

was felt by you and transformed.

It was given a new life, though inconspicuous,

it wove us together to a simple, white stone

lying on the ground that marks a spot of sorrow.

Beneath, our union, hallowed of tiny bones

beseech us to forgive ourselves

and lean upon our shoulders

in memory of love, not loss.


Blame settles on no one;

mysterious, it moves in the calculus

of God’s plan as though no one thought

to refigure the numbers three to two to one.

The shape stays below the stone.

We walk away,

knowing it will resettle

in our limbs

in our bones

in our hearts

in our minds

in our soul.

Hakomi Chamber Four



Chamber 4: Nature of Angels


Midnight in the desert and all is well.

I told myself so and so it is,

or it is not,

I haven’t quite decided yet.

Never mind the coyotes’ howl or

the shrinking light.


Holiness claims my tired eyes

as I return the stare of stars.

They seem restless, but maybe they’re

just ink blots and I’m the one

who’s really restless.


There is something here that repeals me.

In its abundance I am absent.

So I shouted at the desert spirits,

tell me your secrets

or I will tell you my sorrows.


The spirits lined up quickly then.

Wings fluttering.

Hearts astir.

I heard many voices become one

and it spoke to the leafless sky

as a tenant to earth.


We hold no secrets.

We are simply windows to your future.

Which is now and which is then

is the question we answer.

But you ask the question.

If there is a secret we hold

it is nothing emboldened by words

or we would commonly speak.


I turned to the voice,

what wisdom is there in that?

If words can’t express your secret wisdom,

then I am deaf and you are mute and we are blind.

At least I can speak my sorrows.

Again the wings fluttered

and the voices stirred

hoping the sorrow would not spill

like blood upon the desert.


But there were no more sounds

save the coyote and the owl.

And then a strange resolution suffused my sight.

I felt a presence like an enormous angel

carved of stone was placed behind me.

I couldn’t turn for fear its loss would spill my sorrow.

But the swelling presence was too powerful to ignore

so I turned around to confront it,

and there stood a trickster coyote

looking at me with glass eyes

painting my fire, sniffing my fear,

and drawing my sorrow away in intimacy.

And I understood the nature of angels.

Hakomi Chamber Five



Chamber 5: Final Dream


Strike the flint that burns

a lonely world

and opens blessed lovers

to the golden grave of earth’s flame.


Listen to the incantation

of raindrops as they pass from gray clouds

to our mother’s doorstep.

Dreams of miracles yet to come

harbor in their watery husks.


Stand before this cage

splashed with beauty and stealth

and arranged with locks that have grown frail.

A simple breath

and all life is joined in the frontier.


Here is the masterpiece of creation

that has emerged from the unknown

in the depths of a silent Heart.

Here is the laughter sought

among rulers of death.

Here are the brilliant colors of rainbows

among the spilling reds that purge our flock.

Here is the hope of forever

among stone markers that stare through eyelids

released of time.

Here are the songs of endless voices

among the heartless dance of invisible power.


There is an evening bell that chimes

a melody so pure

even mountains weep

and angels lean to listen.

There is a murmur of hope that sweeps

aside the downcast eyes of hungry souls.


It is the fragrance of God

writing poems upon the deep blue sky

with pin-pricks of light and a sleepless moon.

It is the calling to souls

lost in the forest of a single world

to be cast, forged, and made ready

for the final dream.

Hakomi Chamber Seven



Chamber 7: Warm Presence


I once wore an amulet

that guarded against the forceps of humanity.

It kept at bay the phalanx of wolves

that circled me like phantoms of Gethsemane.

Phantoms that even now

replay their mantra like conch shells.

Coaxing me to step out and join the earthly tribe.

To bare my sorrow’s spaciousness

like a cottonwood’s seed to the wind.


Now I listen and watch for signals.

To emerge a recluse squinting in ambivalence

inscribed to tell what has been held by locks.

It is all devised in the sheath of cable

that connects us to Culture.

The single, black strand that portrays us to God.

The DNA that commands our image

and guides our natural selection of jeans.


Are there whispers of songs flickering

in dark, ominous thunder?

Is there truly a sun behind this wall of monotone clouds

that beats a billion hammers of light?

There are small, fl at teeth that weep venom.

There is an inviolate clemency

in the eyes of executioners while their hands toil to kill.

But there is no explanation for

voyeur saints who grieve only with their eyes.

There is only one path to follow

when you connect your hand and eye

and release the phantoms.


This poem is a shadow of my heart

and my heart the shadow of my mind,

which is the shadow of my soul

the shadow of God.

God, a shadow of some unknown, unimaginable

cluster of intelligence where galaxies

are cellular in the universal body.

Are the shadows connected?

Can this vast, unknown cluster reach into this poem

and assemble words that couple at a holy junction?

It is the reason I write.

Though I cannot say this junction has ever

been found (at least by me).


It is more apparent that some unholy hand,

pale from darkness, reaches out and casts its sorrow.

Some lesser shadow or phantom

positions my hand in a lonely outpost

to claim some misplaced luminance.

The phantom strains to listen for songs as they whisper.

It coordinates with searching eyes.

It peels skin away to touch the soft fruit.

It welds shadows as one.


I dreamed that I found a ransom note

written in God’s own hand.

Written so small I could barely

read its message, which said:

“I have your soul, and unless you deliver—

in small, unmarked poems—

the sum of your sorrows, you will never

see it alive again.”


And so I write while something unknown is curling

around me, irresistible to my hand, yet unseen.

More phantoms from Gethsemane who honor

sorrow like professional confessors lost in their despair.

I can reach sunflowers the size of

moonbeams, but I cannot reach the sum of my sorrows.

They elude me like ignescent stars that fall nightly

outside my window.


My soul must be nervous.

The ransom is too much to pay

even for a poet who explores the black strand of Culture.


Years ago I found an

Impression—like snow angels—left in tall grass

by some animal, perhaps a deer or bear.

When I touched it I felt the warm presence of life,

not the cold radiation of crop circles.

This warm energy lingers only for a moment

but when it is touched it lasts forever.

And this is my fear:

that the sum of my sorrows will last forever

when it is touched, and even though my soul

is returned unharmed,

I will remember the cold radiation

and not the warm presence of life.


Now I weep when children sing

and burrow their warm presence into my heart.

Now I feel God adjourned by the

source of shadows.

Now I feel the pull of a bridle,

breaking me like a wild horse turned

suddenly submissive.

I cannot fight the phantoms

or control them or turn them away.

They prod at me as if a lava stream should

continue on into the cold night air

and never tire of movement.

Never cease its search for the perfect place to be a sculpture.

An anonymous feature of the gray landscape.


If ever I find the sum of my sorrows

I hope it is at the bridgetower

where I can see both ways

before I cross over.

Where I can see forgeries like a crisp mirage

and throw off my bridle.

I will need to be wild when I face it.

I will need to look into its

unnameable light and unravel

all the shadows interlocked like paper dolls

and cut from a multiverse of experience.

To let them surround me

and in one resounding chorus

confer their epiphany so I

can hand over the ransom and reclaim my soul.


When all my sorrows are gathered round

in an unbroken ring I will stare them down.

Behind them waits a second ring,

larger still and far more powerful.

It is the ring of life’s warm presence

when sorrows have passed

underneath the shadows’ source

and transform like the dull chrysalis

that bears iridescent angels.

Hakomi Chamber Eight



Chamber 8: My Son


My son is two.

I watch him walk

like a drunken prince.

With his body bare I can see

his soul better.

His shoulder blades

gesture like vestiges of wings.

His features stenciled upon pale flesh

by hands that have been before me.


He so wants to be like me.

His every movement like a dusty mirror

or awkward shadow of a bird in flight.

Every sound an echo heard.

Every cell pregnant with my urges.

But my urge is to be like him.

To return to childhood’s safe embrace

and certain honor.


If I return to this place

I hope my eyes will look again upon his face

even until his blades are wings once more.

Until I have circled his creaturehood

and know every hidden cleft

where I have left my print indelible

unable to be consumed.

Until all that he is

is in me and our hands are clasped, forged,

entwined, in voiceless celebration.


Until we are alone like two leaves


high above a treeless landscape

never to land.

Hakomi Chamber Thirteen



Chamber 13: What is Found Here


What is found here

can never be formed of words.

Pure forces that mingle uncompared.

Like dreams unspoken when first awoken

by a sad light.


What is found here

can limp with one foot on the curb

and the other on the pavement

in some uneven gait

waiting to be hidden in laughter.


What is found here

can open the swift drifting of curtains

held in mountain winds

when long shadows tumble across like juries

of the night.


What is found here

can always be held in glistening eyes.

Turned by silence’s tool of patience.

Like feelings harbored for so long

the starward view has been lost.

Hakomi Chamber Fourteen



Chamber 14: Forever


Memory, like a root in darkness,

piercing light with its stem

has found me.

Ordering my world

like architecture of feelings

bound to you,

held for you as shields of hope.

In the dispersion of love,

identical throbbing

has been our call

answered in the sweetest caress

two can share.

And you wonder if ecstasy will diminish us

like rain the sun or

wind the calm.

When we know one another

in the deepest channel of our hearts

we can only utter one word

cast from this stone’s mind: forever.



When winter calls my name

in the highest desert of light,

I will not despair because I know you

in the deepest channel of my heart

where I understand the word, forever.

Instantly healed by your caressing lips

that unmasks all that has tortured me.

The panting of mouths

tired but astir in passion’s flame

can only cease when I have entered you


I carry you in this flame,

emerald-colored from my dreams of you

beneath the trees within

where your beauty consumed the sun

and snared my soul so completely.

I cannot truly know you apart

from a throne.


Spirits made to shine beyond the din

of boorish poets

that strike flint below water and cry without passion.

I have known you forever

in lonely streets

and the thundered plain.

In wilted villages and cool mountain terraces.

I have watched all of you

torn open to me speaking like a river

that moves on forever.

And I have waited

like the greedy mouth of an ocean

drawing you nearer to my lips

so I can know you forever

as you empty into me abandoned of all fear.

Hakomi Chamber Seventeen



Chamber 17: Imperishable


Through this night I have slept little.

My eyes, closed like shutters

with slats that remain open,

wait to invent dreams

of some charred reality.

I sense you, but no weight on my bed.

No shift or creaking other

than my own restlessness.


Wandering words

self-gathered, self-formed,

and released to the night

like a mantra slowly drowned in music.

Your presence grew with the music

devouring it in silence.

You came to me so clear

my senses aroused in electric storms of clarity.

The buzz of mercury lamps

alongside rutted roads,

shedding their weightless light.


In all of this waiting for you

no fortress or foxhole bears my name.

I lay on the Savannah

staring at the sun hoping against hope

it blinks before I do.

My wounded cells,

tiny temples of our mixture,

have weakened in your absence.

I can feel them wail in their miniature worlds.

My feet resist their numbness,

deny them their war.


As I lay here alone

waiting to be gathered into your arms,

I ask of you one thing,

remember me as this.

Remember me as one who loves you

beyond yourself.

Who pierces shells, armor, masks,

and everything protecting

your spirit in needless fervor.

Remember me as this.

As one who loves you unmatched

by the deepest channels

that have ever been forged.

Who will love you anywhere and always.


And if you look very closely at my love

you will not find an expiration date,

but instead, the word, imperishable.

Hakomi Chamber Eighteen



Chamber 18: Another


One skin may hide another,

I remember this from a poem when I

launched a fire across a field of deadness.

At least, to me, it seemed dead.

I felt like a liberator of life force

renewing the blistered and dying grasses.

Actually, more weeds than grass,

but nonetheless, the flora had flat-lined.

I peeled back skin with holy flame

and brought everything to black again

as though I called the night to descend.

From blackness will arise a new skin

cresting green architecture from a fertile void.


As the flames spread their inviolable enchantment

I saw your face spreading across my mind.

Remember the fire we held?

I hoped it would unfurl a new skin

for us as well.

Forever it will roam inside me

invariant to all transformations and motions.

(Einstein smiling.)

One person may hide another,

but behind you, love is molting a thicker skin

than I can see through.

No flame can touch its center.

No eyes can browse its memory.

I want nothing behind you in wait.

Seconds tick away like children growing

in between photographs.

I will not forget you in the changes.

Cursed with memory so fine

I can trace your palm.

I can inhale your sweet breath.

I can linger in your arms’ weight.

I can hear your exquisite voice

calibrate life with celestial precision.


One purpose may hide another.

I heard this as the fire died out

to reveal the scent of the wet earth

and growing things.

I could feel my love decompose

returning to the uninhabited realm

where it belongs.

Where all hearts belong when

love is lost, and the code of the mute,

coiled in fists that pound,

reveal the wisdom of another.

Hakomi Chamber Nineteen



Chamber 19: Missing


Facing another evening without you

I am torn from myself

in movements of clouds,

movements of earth spinning

like the sure movement of lava as it rolls to sea.

Yet when I arrive from my dream

you are still gone from me

twenty-three footsteps away;

a bouquet of the abyss.


When I look to the east I think of you

softly waiting for me

to chisel you from the matrix

with smooth hammer strokes

from my hands.

Freed of barren, untouched shoulders,

you can open your eyes again

flashing the iridescent animals,

valiant vibrations of your rich spirit.


Your picture is the centerpiece of my table

I stare at you in candlelight,

the windows behind, black in their immensity,

only enlarge you.

Making you more of what I miss.


At night I go among your body

to feel the presence of your heart beating

something golden

spun from another world.

You can feel me when this is done

though I am invisible in all ways to you, but one.

A reflection in the mirror.

Beneath your eyes

you see me dancing away the body.

Dancing away the mind.

Dancing away the incarnations

of my absence.

Hakomi Chamber Twenty



Chamber 20: Half Mine


When I see your face I know you are half mine

separated by the utmost care to remember all of you.

When I undress my body I see that I am half yours

blurred by sudden flight that leaves

the eye wondering what angels carved in their hearts

to remind them so vividly of their home.


When I see your beauty I know you are half mine

never to be held in a polished mirror

knowing the faithful hunger of our soul.

When I watch your eyes I know they are half mine

tracing a trajectory where sensual virtue is the very spine of us.

When I hold your hand I know it is half mine

wintered in kinship, it circles tenderness

beneath the moon and well of water when the feast is done.

When I kiss your lips I know they are half mine

sent by God’s genealogy to uncover us

in the delicious cauldron of our united breath.


When I hear you cry I know your loneliness is half mine

so deep the interior that we are lost outside

yearning to give ourselves away

like a promise made before the asking.

And when I look to your past I know it is half mine

running to the chokecherry trees

invisible to the entire universe we found ourselves

laughing in sudden flight

eyeing the carved initials in our hearts.

Sparing the trees.

Hakomi Chamber Twenty-Two



Chamber 22: Compassion


Angels must be confused by war.

Both sides praying for protection,

yet someone always gets hurt.

Someone dies.

Someone cries so deep

they lose their watery state.


Angels must be confused by war.

Who can they help?

Who can they clarify?

Whose mercy do they cast to the merciless?

No modest scream can be heard.

No stainless pain can be felt.

All is clear to angels

except in war.


When I awoke to this truth

it was from a dream I had last night.

I saw two angels conversing in a field

of children’s spirits rising

like silver smoke.

The angels were fighting among themselves

about which side was right

and which was wrong.

Who started the conflict?


Suddenly, the angels stilled themselves

like a stalled pendulum,

and they shed their compassion

to the rising smoke

of souls who bore the watermark of war.

They turned to me with those eyes

from God’s library,

and all the pieces fallen

were raised in unison,

coupled like the breath

of flames in a holy furnace.


Nothing in war comes to destruction,

but the illusion of separateness.

I heard this spoken so clearly I could only

write it down like a forged signature.

I remember the compassion,

mountainous, proportioned for the universe.

I think a tiny fleck still sticks to me

like gossamer threads

from a spider’s web.


And now, when I think of war,

I flick these threads to the entire universe,

hoping they stick on others

as they did me.

Knitting angels and animals

to the filamental grace of compassion.

The reticulum of our skyward home.

Ancient Arrow Chamber Two


Ancient Arrow 

Chamber 2: Temptress Vision


A temptress vision has encircled me like a

willful shadow of a slumbering dream.

Is it the powerful light of purpose?

If I squint with all my strength I may see it.

Always must it be inside of me

like a pilot fi sh inseparable from its host.

It fearlessly drinks my essence.

Such a bitter taste I muse.

Spit it out upon your table of perfection.

Compare this grain of sand with your galaxy.

This spire of sorrow with your deepest eye.

If my callous mind can see you,

there are no interventions.

No pathway away.



I am a lock-picker.

A tunnel-digger.

A fence-cutter of the wicked watchers.

A traveler that has sought

the mystery that eludes all but the outlaws.

The wild-eyed, unrelenting fools of purpose

that remain outside the laboratory of wingless flight.


You are the eternal Watcher

who lives behind the veil of form and comprehension,

drawing forth the wisdom of time

from the well of planets.

You cast your spell and entrain all that I am.

Am I just a fragment of your world?

A memory hidden by time?

A finger of your hand driven by a mind

unfamiliar with skin.

Touch yourself and you sense me.

Visions wild with love.

Splendor that beckons like a secret whisper of gladness

spread on the winds by an infinite voice.

The sound of all things unified.

I am part of that voice.

Part of that sound.

Part of that secret whisper of gladness.


This limitation must end in lucid flesh.

The dream of sparks ascending

quickening the cast of hope.

Avoid the brand of passivity

the signs complain.

Shun manipulation before you are stained.

Spurn all formula and write new equations

in the language of sand.

Heed no other,

nor listen to the seduction of holy symbols

standing before the windows of truth.

Define from a foreign tongue.


These are the battered keys

that have led me to unlocked doors.

Doors that collapse at a mere breath

and behind which

lay more pieces to collect for the Holy Menagerie.

The never-ending puzzle.


All the stars in the sky

recall the purpose of your hallowed light.

Burn a hole through the layers.

Peel all the mockery away.

Enjoin the powers

to answer this call:

Bring the luminous vision

hidden behind the whirling particles

of the Mapmaker.

Let it enter me

like a shaft of light that enters

a cave’s deepest measure.

Ancient fires still burn in these depths.

Who tends them?

What eyes are watching?


Waiting for time’s flower to bloom.

To submerge in the relentless subtlety

that moves beyond my reach

with a jaguar’s stealth.

To dream of elder ways

that leap over time

and leave behind the puzzle of our making.


O’ temptress vision

you steal my hunger for human light.

If there is anything left to hollow

let it be me.

If there is anything left to cage

let it run free.

If there is anything left to dream

let it be our union.

Ancient Arrow Chamber Three


Ancient Arrow 

Chamber 3: Bandages of the Beast


There were many random omens.

Sending olive branches with thorns was

only one of your repertoire.

You offered me a book

where all the answers lay encoded in

some strange dialect.

Symbols undulating like serpents restless for food.


If I was windborne as a lambent seed you

would still the air

and I would fall into the thicket.

If I yearned for sweet water

you would pass me the bitter cup.

If I was an injured fawn you would flush me

from the cloister, corner me against cold stone,

and admire my fear.


Everywhere I steer I seek the one look of love;

yet love humbles itself like a mannequin

changing its clothes to accommodate the dressmaker.

Underneath there are bandages of the beast.

Underneath there is the tourniquet of deliverance.

But beneath the shell there is emptiness, so defiant

it is clothed in finery that neither

dressmaker nor beast can touch.


You have mistaken my search as my soul.

Raking through it for clumps of wisdom,

you have found only what I have lost to you.

Held like rootless dreams

I will vanish in your touch.


If you pass your rake over this emptiness

you will feel clumps of my spirit.

You will find me like tiny pieces of mirror broken

apart yet still collected in one spot.

Still staring ever skyward.

Still reflecting one mosaic image.

Still the accompanist of myself.

Ancient Arrow Chamber Six


Ancient Arrow 

Chamber 6: Of This Place


Her heart ran

in the wilds of deserted plains.

Sun-etched land barren of clouds

and singing water.

If she listened closely

her hand would call

and signal its thoughts upon her brow.

But in this place

she could only offer her arms to the sky

like a tree its branches

and a flower its leaves.

In this dusty basin,

silence gathered like smoke

clearing the mind of the scoundrel.

The infidel of thoughts.

Blots of yellow leaves and white bark

could be seen hiding in pools of life

surrounded by red rock spires.

Clustered sand monuments held together

by some other life form.

She wasn’t sure.

Perhaps one life is the same as another

only tilted sideways.

Caught from underneath

by some invisible hand that animates

even the coldest stone of this place.


A smile emerged and perched upon her face

drinking the sun’s clear ways.

She could spear

a million miles of air in a glance

and send the window of her flesh

into the cloudless sky.

Upon this ocean a hawk sailed ever closer.

She watched the silver speck

spiral overhead dreaming through its eyes.

Feeling the winds gild her wings

in the softest fold of time.

A tree of pine sent its sky roots

deep within the air to weep its sweetness.

She entered,

gliding through branches

to every needle in their factory of air.


So strange to feel the pull of earth in flight,

but she knew the antagonism well

in the splendor of this place.

She knew it had settled deep,

lodged like permanent ink

in the heart of her.

Under skin, muscle, bone

it fought the single path.

What madness calls her away?

What dream is stronger than this?

What heart beats more pure?


Of this place,

it is so hard to know which is host

and which is guest.

Which is welcome, which is pest.

Which is found and which is lost.

Which is profit, which is cost.


She gave her prayers

to the skypeople and waited for a cloud —

her signal to leave.

She should return home

before dusk settles in and the golden

eyes peer out against the black code.

In a single breath she held the ancient ways

that never left.

She turned them inside out

and then outside in.

Again and again.

Waiting for her signals in the sky.

If not a cloud…

then perhaps a shooting star.

(Besides, it was too dark for clouds anymore.)


When the first star fell she held her breath

afraid she would miss its spectral flight.

She wondered with whom she shared

its final light.

What other eyes were heaven bound

in that secret moment?

Was this their signal home as well?

And what was it they found

buried so deep in a whisper of light

that none can tell?


She waited with solemn eyes

for more stars to fall,

to gently sweep her away

from the magnets of this place.

If she listened to her hand

it would scratch a sign in the sand for another

to take her place.

It would touch the land

in honor of its grace and wisdom,

and become a tree, rock, hawk, or flower.

Ancient Arrow Chamber Ten


Ancient Arrow 

Chamber 10: Downstream


Open me.

Take me from here to there.

Let the wind blow

my hair and the earth’s skin touch me.


Open me like broken bottles

that bear no drink

yet think themselves worthy of the trash man.

Open me to the clans from which I sprout.

Are they colors separated, cast apart

like memories of drunkenness?

Open me to Africa, Asia, America, Australia.

Open me like a package

of mystery left on your doorstep

in the sweetness of laughter.


Open me to the crudely made lens of love

that screams to be of human hands

and lips.

Open me to the glance

that comforts strangers like the tender overture

of a mourning dove.


Is the wisdom of horses mine

to harness?

Is the muscle of wolves

lawless or the healer of sheep?

Is the black opal of the eye

the missing link we all seek?


Open me to the authors of this beaten path

and let them flavor it anew.

Bring them flecks of the rumored and rotten

slum that waits downstream.

Show them the waste of their watch.

The shallow virility that exterminates.

The ignominy that exceeds examination.


Open me to the idols of the idle.

Let me stare open mouthed at the herdsmen

who turn innocence into fear.

Is the plan of the sniper to uncivilize

the nerveless patch of skin

that grows unyielding to pain?


Open me to the stains

of this land that original sin cannot explain.

Let these symptoms go

like dead, yellow leaves fumbling

in swift, guiltless currents downstream.


Downstream where the slum

lies in waiting.

Downstream where the idols’ headstones

are half-buried in muddy rain.

Downstream where animal tracks

are never seen.

Downstream where

the lens of love is cleaned with red tissue.

Downstream where the herdsmen

herd their flock and beat the drums

promising a new river that never comes.


Downstream there lives

a part of me that is sealed like a paper envelope

with thick tape.

It watches the river like the underside of a bridge

waiting to fall if the seal is broken.

To plunge into the current when I am opened

by some unforgiving hand unseen.

To be drawn downstream

in the gravity of a thousand minds

who simply lost their way.

A thousand minds that twisted the river

away from earth’s sweetness

into the mine shaft of men’s greed.


So it must be.

So it must be.


Open me to the kindness

of a child’s delicate hand when it reaches out to be held.

Let it comfort me

when my bridge falls and the swift, guiltless currents

pull me downstream

where all things forgiven are lost.

Where all things lost are forgiven.

Ancient Arrow Chamber Twelve


Ancient Arrow 

Chamber 12: WingMakers


I am destined to sit on the riverbank

awaiting words from the naked trees

and brittle flowers that have lost their nectar.

A thousand unblinking eyes

stare out across the water

from the other side.

Their mute voices seek rewards of another kind.

Their demure smiles leave me hollow.


Am I a perpetual stranger to myself?

(The thought brands me numb.)


Am I an orphan trailing pale shadows

that lead to a contemptuous mirror?

Where are these gossamer wings that my

destiny foretold?

I am waiting for the river to deliver them to me;

to lodge them on the embankment

at my feet.


My feet are shackles from another time.

My head, a window long closed

to another place.

Yet, there are places

that salvage the exquisite tongue

and assemble her wild light

like singing birds the sun.

I have seen these places among the stillness

of the other side.

Calling like a lover’s kiss

to know again what I have known before;

to reach into the Harvest

and leave my welcome.


These thoughts are folded so neatly

they stare like glass eyes fondling the past.

I listen for their guidance

but serpentine fields are my pathway.

When I look into the dark winds

of the virtual heart

I can hear its voice saying:

“Why are you trapped with wings?”

And I feel like a grand vision inscribed in sand

awaiting an endless wind.


Will these wings take me

beneath the deepest camouflage?

Will they unmask the secret measures

and faithful dwellings of time?

Will they search out the infinite spaces

for the one who can define me?


Wings are forgotten by all who travel with their feet.

Lines have been drawn so many times

that we seldom see the crossing

of our loss though we feel the loss of our crossing.

We sense the undertow of clouds.

The gravity of sky.

The painless endeavor of hope’s silent prayers.

But our wings shorn of flight

leave us like newborn rivers that babble over rocks

yearning for the depths of a silent sea.


I have found myself suddenly old.

Like the blackbirds that pour

from the horizon line,

my life has soared over this river searching for my wings.

There is no other key for me to turn.

There is no other legend for me to face.

Talking to flowers and gnarled trees

will only move me a step away —

when I really want to press my face

against the windowpane

and watch the WingMakers craft my wings.

Ancient Arrow Chamber Seventeen


Ancient Arrow 

Chamber 17: Memories Unbound


I have this memory

of lying atop a scaffold of tree limbs

staring out to the black, summer blanket

that warms the night air.

I can smell cedar burning in the distance

and hear muted voices praying in song and drum.

I cannot lift my body or turn my head.

I am conscious of bone and muscle

but they are not conscious of me.

They are dreaming while I am caught

in a web of exemptible time.


My mind is restless to move on.

To leave this starlit grave site and dance with

my people around huge fires

crackling with nervous light.

To join hand with hand to the rhythm of drums

pounding their soft thunder

in monotone commandments to live.


I can only stare up at the sky

watching, listening, waiting

for something to come and set me free

from this mournful site.

To gather me up in arms of mercy

into the oblivion of Heaven’s pod.

I listen for the sound of my breath

but only the music of my people can be heard.

I look for the movement of my hands

but only wisps of clouds

and crescent light move

against raven’s wings.


Sometimes when this memory peeks through

my skin it purges the shoreward view.

It imposes on the known predicament

with a turbulent bliss

that bleeds defiance to the order.

There is certain danger in the heritable ways

of my people who send me the chatoyant skin

humbled and circumscribed.

My white appetite leached of earthly rations.

Misplaced to the darshan of the devil,

the very same that

maneuvered my people to reservations ñ

the ward of the damned.

(At least I have no memories of a reservation).


Perhaps it is better

to lay upon this mattress of sticks

with my wardrobe of feathers and skins

chanting in the wind.

Perhaps it would be better still

to be set atop the cry shed and burned

so prodigal memories would have

no home to return to.


I have this memory

of escaping the pale hand

of my master that feeds me

scraps of lies and moldy bread.

My skin yearns for lightness,

but it is the rope that obliges.


I have this memory

of holding yellow fingers,

large and round, dripping with ancient legacies.

Of seeing the rounded belly of Buddha

smiling underneath a pastoral face

in temples that lean against a tempest sky.

I have this memory

of dreaming to fly.

Stretching out wings that are newly attached

with string-like permanence

only to fall in the blunted arms of obscurity.


I have this memory

of seeing my face in a mirror

that reflects a stranger’s mind and soul.

Knowing it to be mine, I looked away

afraid it would become me alone.

I am patchwork memories searching for a nucleus.

I am lost words echoing in still canyons.

I am a light wave that found itself

darting to earth unsheathed

seeking cover in human skin.

Ancient Arrow Chamber Twenty-Two


Ancient Arrow 

Chamber 22: In the Kindness of Sleep


I visited you last night when you

were sleeping with a child’s abandon.

Curled so casual in sheets

inlaid by your beauty.

I held my hand to your face

and touched as gently

as I know how

so you could linger with your dreams.

I heard soft murmurs that only angels make

when they listen to their home.

So I drew my hand away

uneasy that I might wake you

even as gentle as I was.


But you stayed with your dreams

and I watched as they found their way to you

in the kindness of sleep.

And I dreamed that I was an echo of your body

curled beside you like a fortune hunter

who finally found his gold.

I nearly wept at the sound of your breath,

but I stayed quiet as a winter lake, and bit my lip

to ensure I wouldn’t be detected.


I didn’t want to intrude

so I set my dream aside

and I gently pulled your hand from underneath

the covers to hold.

A hand whose entry into flesh

must have been the lure that brought me here.

And as I hold it

I remember why I came

to feel your pulse

and the beating of your heart in deep slumber.

And I remember why I came in the

kindness of sleep—

to hold your hand, touch your face

and listen to the soft breathing

of an angel,

curled so casual in sheets

inlaid by your beauty.

Ancient Arrow Chamber Twenty-Four


Ancient Arrow 

Chamber 24: The Pure and Perfect


Someday the messengers will arrive

with stories of a nocturnal sun

despondent, burning implacably

in the deepest shade of a thousand shadows.

They will tell you of the

serene indifference of God.

They will draw you by the hand

through bruised alleyways

and prove the desperation of man

rejected from the beauty of an unearthly realm.

The news will arrive

as a tribute to the death of oracles.

Sparing words of purpose

the messengers will announce the

cold fury of realism’s cave.


Someday, the messengers will send their thoughts

through books that have no pulse.

You will be accused of weakness

that drowns you in servitude.

A queer rivalry will beset you

and your life will crawl like an awkward beast

that has no home.


And you, my dearest friends,

who are truth—who were all along,

will renew your devotion

to a powerful image in a distant mirror.

You will listen to these stories

and tear at your silent heart

with animal claws that are dulled

by the stone doors of time.

Where the unattested is confirmed

your vestige-soul is stored.

It will strengthen you

and cradle you in the light

of your own vision,

which will be hurled like lightning

through twilight’s dull corridor.


The messengers will cry

at the sound of your rejection.

They will scream: “Do you want to be a

lowly servant and lonely saint?”


Mutants of the light

are always tested with doubts

of a swollen isolation

and the promise of truth’s betrayal.

Listen without hearing.

Judge without pardon.

The grand parasite of falsehood

will prevail if you believe only your beliefs.


Someday, when all is clear to you—

when the winds have lifted all veils

and the golden auberge is the locus

of our souls—

you will be tested no more.

You will have reached destiny’s lodge

and the toilsome replica of God

is jettisoned for the pure and perfect.