Monthly Archives: September 2012


In quiet morning dew
I’ve walked the depth of forests true,
where once the giant firs had stood,
now blackened ashes, simply wood.

I see there midst the sooted scorch
where earth is silent from the torch
that laid its heart out bare –
and in the quiet solitude
I see recovery there.

In places only trunks are scarred
while boughs hold green and turning brown,
in others there is nothing left
but holes where roots once clung to ground
and now a blackened hollow.

Across the elevations seen
are perfect poles in black, serene,
whose shadows cast of perfect tines
cut angles to their perfect lines
and so create a lathe of death.

In fields where grass and sage brush stood,
now boney fingers of sprawling wood
reach to heaven from the plain,
yet green the grass and earth remain.

So walk, did I, in places where
these feet and heart have walked before –
today to feel the pain –
to sense the death and injury
and look for what remains…

The scent of quiet solitude
replaced by charred and blackened wood –
the soft and rich depth of the floor,
frail and aching in its sore
and rich exposed state.

Midst the standing dead I find
great giant’s cores who’ve tumbled blind
from where they held a hard earned home,
to land disjointed and alone
in fragments of their former self.

Yet through this walk I’ve realized,
by witness of the smallest ties
that life continues on –

For near my feet are stands of grass,
stands of sage and other class
of flora that’s meant to be
the pioneering starts of youth
that give to forest floor its truth
and nourish what remains.

I see the soil stand in hold
to grow against a rain’s hard pull,
and there imbibe the love of God
to start again, to build a sod
to nurture what comes next.

And years will pass,
yet within a few,
pines and aspens and sweet young yews
will spawn a virgin forest –
That time will lot its kindest care
to bring all birds and sweetest fare
of chipmunk and of marmot –

And so the woods will grow again,
and one day will invite me in
to sit amongst is oldest green,
to sit and write amongst serene
and alpine settings.

Tho’ today its pain I am regretting,
tomorrow will bring us more,
birthed within this forest floor
of scorch and soot and honored elder –

I walked today among the dead
and injured wood to clear my head
and pay homage to all the good –
the good past love it’s granted me –
and through its heart I clearly see
its love and nothing more.

We are of this nature,
Thank God for that, I’m sure.

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Filed under Mountains, Nature, Photography, Poetry

The Courtyard Ghosts – Part Four – The Mason and The Blacksmith

Part four and final entry of The Courtyard Ghosts is written by the Mason and the Blacksmith. From their unique perspective they have witnessed this story unfold over the years and across the lives of our two lovers. Their contribution here is their memorial.

The Courtyard Ghosts
Part Four
The Mason and The Blacksmith

Aye, we two, on courtyard’s berm
do work for better tradin’.
Our skills in alabaster stone
and iron braids of laden.

Our shops adjoin, near out of view
from the daily dance that plays on two
at courtyard fountain and parapet,
where into morning sun we set
our eyes each day to witness love in passin’,
and watch it quickly walk away with nod acknowledged fashion.

My friend and I, some years we’ve spent
at toil in craft to pay the rent,
and many grand designs we’ve made –
as people of this little burg have found us worthy to be paid
and keep coming back for more –

Strange witness thus,
we’ve seen from just
a stone’s throw beyond our courtyard’s fountain,
in backdrop, man and woman love,
silhouetted still before the mountain’s
distant horizon breakin’.

Yet each day we’ve watched this dance of love,
and longing theirs ne’er one has taken –
and so to us, two hearts is breakin’…

So many years has passed us by,
the two of us turn slow to grey,
yet morning coffee finds us fixed
to watch this lover’s play –
each day –
each day –

And so we’ve seen the two in love
come to age, set old and grey,
weakness in their limbs and features
deny the youth of love they play –

Yet still, today –
we see them come no more…

The parapet where once she sat
to take his smile and nod for hers,
is shuttered shut and weather worn,
so closes in for death, for sure –
And mornings now are silent still,
for ne’er a set of hooves do pass,
as he would ride to fountain there
to gaze upon his lass,
and long to love her more –
no more…

So as the quiet courtyard yields,
no light of love and life is found
by two quiet working watchers here
on the berm at courtyard’s ground.
The silence stifles all the hope
once held that theirs would manifest,
now morning holds just nature’s song,
and the truth that two have laid to rest –
their love, a nod and smile.

Thus we two commission ours,
as gift to them and courtyard green,
paid of what we’ve learned of love,
and to our own indenture glean
that they must live immortal,
captured in the morning’s light,
that they in quiet courtyard’s echo
may always feel the light of such unspoken love –
and we that hold the living,
take truth in such to rise above
and reach for such a light.

Two ghosts we leave for courtyard’s night.
Two souls we leave in love…

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Filed under History, Memory, Poetry, True Love

The Courtyard Ghosts – Part Three – From Courtyard Fountain

Part Three of The Courtyard Ghosts is written by our lonely hearted man as he struggles with his feelings and desire to run to her, but knows he cannot, and so struggles to let go…

The Courtyard Ghosts
Part Three
From Courtyard Fountain

Been to the pub tonight,
with Jonas Sapp and Bill,
plenty laughs and drink there,
and many stories, we had our fill.

But here am I in silent hall,
last flagon in my hand,
alone, just left the peaceful stable,
and here I find the blood of man
and that of what I am –

I pray the blood inside my veins
does not betray this pen with wine
that flows within my being,
and opens the secrets of my mind…

But what of that?!

I crave in silent squalor
to let this passion go,
and so eclipse this temporal state
and seek the face I do love so…

Yet I do not know her name –
and tho’ each day I see her,
I find my resolve weak, and lame –
But how I wish to hold her,
imbibe the scent within her hair,
feel her heat and flesh on mine,
thus feel our souls entwined,
ensnared in love’s elixir manifest,
of conscience gone and therein blessed
by lust and love so true…

But sadly this is not my journey,
yet shamefully do I count it so –
that I withdraw to seek forgiveness
within the truth of life I know…

Yet dreams I cannot still…
I see the courtyard and in such fill
the sleeping senses of the day –
the scent of summer lilacs and lavender along my way
through northern woods to get there.
I sing a gypsy song,
and calmly plod old Sam there,
till elm and oak enrobe in throng
and hold that sacred courtyard
where true love lies within,
so pass through lowered boughs of green
and bow my humble soul to them,
as passing through a gateway,
where only Venus holds the gate –
then open into courtyard such
and pray my arrival is not late…
to see her stoic figure
thrust from window’s parapet,
and know her eyes are watching me
as Sam and I to fountain let
our worldly focus go…
He draws of water slowly there,
as if to bide me time,
that I may muster courage and
synch my breath and heart in rhyme
to turn to face her window,
hopeful and afraid the same,
so raise my eyes to meet hers
and in this moment so untame
the passion in my breast piece,
the strength to cure a million woes,
but hold myself behind my smile,
to honor truths that I do know…

She is my catch, my Mary,
my heather on my Scottish hill,
yet her and I may not realize
the passion and the love, the thrill
that so enwraps us,
draws us lost on lonely nights,
yet still we have a silent vow,
sacred as the deepest rights
that bless a man and woman,
grant their hearts to beat as one,
yet temporal truths betray us,
and turn us back alone,
to live the lives we’ve chosen,
to bless the loves around us, dear,
yet know our vow’s unspoken
from the truths that keep our spirits, clear…

And so each day to courtyard’s bliss
I draw dear Sam and I,
to touch true love and spirit real,
and never question why…

To you my love,
my nod –
– goodbye – forever yours…

these thoughts and stubborn murmurings
brought forth to let her go,
yet few more years he struggled on
until his heart could go no more
and she laid down to rest –
his followed hers, upon his own request.


Filed under History, Memory, Poetry, True Love

The Courtyard Ghosts – Part Two – From Parapet Window

Part two of “The Courtyard Ghosts” has been written from the perspective of our lady love, reflecting…

The Courtyard Ghosts
Part Two
From Parapet Window

I know not how the morning came,
to greet my day, defenses down,
where prideful steed, purposed horse,
brought gentle smile on soulful course
to gaze upon my window –

Witnessed spring in daffodils,
midst blossom’s rush and songbird’s rill
my cheek and heart engaged to blush.
But what of this moment then?
When from his horse he let me in…

Yet I in no loveful longing,
still rushed on spirit’s open wing
as if no love I’d ever seen
and he my one, belonging
to my heart’s secret past,
knew all of me and my desire,
within my heart the ripples cast –
thus I could not forget.

My longing so betrayed my state
of home and family and this life’s fate,
that I could never reach for him.
Yet every morning, there I’d sit,
at courtyard window’s parapet,
to see the smile and loving nod,
thus acknowledging this secret love,
so in kindle this desire –
relentless, yet in-actionable.

So the seasons came and went,
before one word was ever spent,
no touch, no kiss, no ravaged throes…
and I in hesitation –
And so the courtyard trees did grow,
with harvest’s reaping by spring’s hand sewn,
the window cornice stained by rain
and years of aging left in vain
to memories’ sole recall.

Until I now – in feeble age,
no longer rise again to gaze
upon the courtyard, there below.
And in my heart I know,
that I have loved, yet touched you not,
your eyes and smile and nod have taught
my soul the truest meaning,
that love is love, lest regret,
my heart stirs hard from this parapet,
and joyous has the longing been.
For pain in missing our love’s chance
was supplanted by a smile and glance,
and then a nod goodbye –

farewell my love, goodbye…

for this her last recount,
to silent room and window’s light,
as knowing soon her soul, in flight,
will gaze there nevermore.

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The Courtyard Ghosts – Part One – The Pen

“The Courtyard Ghosts” is a poem written about the blessing and tragedy of unmanifested true love.
It is written in four parts, each from a unique perspective. Part One “The Pen” is written from the honest perspective of the pen through which such poetry as this makes its way onto paper.

The Courtyard Ghosts
Part One
The Pen

In ancient town unknown to most,
there stands a memory of two, as ghosts –
Their souls and story unknown,
but some recall the truth that runs
across a courtyard there.
This witless pen can tell no tale beyond what fingers imagine,
so forgive this indulgent trial to tell just what might have happened…

She of distant travels had found a home and love there,
blessed by family, friendship, love, and locks of flowing hair.
Her soul of sun warmed everyone,
regardless of their stage in life,
behind it though she held the secrets
of pain and loss and certain strife.

From courtyard’s bedroom window,
she drew each morning in,
by summer’s sweetest nectar,
or winter’s storm and howling din…

then him…

T’was spring amidst the daffodils
and cherry blossom’s blush,
he came on horseback laughing tall,
amidst a wave of friends and thrush.
At courtyard fountain, such horses pause
to drink and force a kind repose,
there allow the man to take it in,
and her, there twixt the shutter throws.

His heart in instant stuttered,
tho’ sun waxed warm upon his face,
the kind wind drew her hair back,
her eyes on his in golden grace…
there time stood still…

Until –
“Come on!”, the lads implored him,
“Your wife and home await!”

As quickly as the moment came,
was gone, yet time remained
affixed upon the two there,
and within each heart, their eyes ingrained.

T’was summer ere he came again
to the courtyard fountain to rest his horse,
his motive tho’ was driven
by her haunting memory, of course….
Yet as he turned to parapet’s window,
fear and desire, side by side,
his heart rejoiced in quite nod,
to her at window’s perch, shutters wide.

Again the moment quickly passed,
each flushed in heart’s sweet current,
afraid to say, afraid to reach,
yet lost to moment purest,
so knowing love may never win the moment…

Yet seasons dropped to weeks, then days,
through which he came to pass there by –
each morning, season’s freezing, burning,
one moment each in manifest light,
then simply nod, “goodbye”…

Years flew by as autumn leaves disperse before first winter’s storm –
until the shutters sealed with age, and he alas could ride no more.

Their secret love, unmanifest,
was secret too for those thereby –
the blacksmith and the mason,
respectfully watched each day – to sigh
a sad lament,
when together at dusk their day’s work spent –
found great regret and such remorse,
and sorely cried when life’s long course
drew curtains on this lover’s play…

So by commission of their trust,
they chose “immortal” plans for such –
The mason’s hands were old and strong,
and so with love and stone and song
cast her there, eternal bust,
with wind raised hair and eye of love
to look upon the courtyard square…
The blacksmith stained in sooty mire,
with forearm, bronze and hammer’s fire
placed him on a prideful steed,
to look up toward the parapet
with smiling eye and heartfelt need,
to nod and then ride on…

Forgiveness, please, I beg of thee,
this pen knows not of love or need –
but sees and feels and so in reels
in all this ink romantic…

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Filed under History, Memory, Poetry, True Love

Family Memory – a Prayer

Family Prayer

How quiet is the lonely wood
where ‘midst these markers lay –
How lonely are the steps between
the graves of those I walk today –
How peaceful is the summer corn
around this church’s graveyard stands.
How steadfast this emotion seems
When pen’d from living hands –

At rest and peace I find thee,
silent ‘neath the clustered trees –
With truth and love I bless thee,
while praying from my knees!


Filed under Family, Memory, Photography, Poetry

Between the Twill

In between the sanctioned colors
of summer’s heat and winter’s chill,
does bound the cast of change embroidered
upon the fabric fall has twilled.
Where greens and yellows, reds and browns’
soft rustling turns to chatter’s drown.
Grasses stand to sway no more,
but rustle stiff at bank and shore.
The sweet remiss of forest floor
draws mustiness to trail head’s door,
that simply pulls a beckoning,
to walk and feel the closing in
of shadows long and cooling wind,
there nature’s change and reckoning.

It’s these in-betweens I love the most,
twixt winter’s stir and summer’s ghost,
where every moment stretches long
to stand and bathe in sun, till gone…
It is these moments where questions cast,
do burden proof, or hope, at last
to find a holding sacred thought,
and there twixt hope and release wrought
the blood of each tomorrow.
It’s here that nothing stands eternal
throughout the sands of time,
yet hope is felt in golden dipping
leaves of trees, like teardrops dripping
a silent teardrop’s line,
or shower in yesterday’s sorrow…

If I could, but stand awhile,
I’d hold myself in forest fast,
to watch and reel the burgeoned future
and cling to tears there, of my past.
Like autumn, my heart, between does break,
for moments gone and memories stake
of hopes from yesterday…
Yet still within this autumn wind,
is kept the strength to rise again,
muster courage for winter’s chore,
and hope to stand on spring’s sweet shore…
and there within my lifetime play,
year in, year out, and day by day…


Filed under Nature, Photography, Poetry