winter’s end

 

in these mountains, winter tends to linger, teasing us with spring followed by a new layer of snow…

trees.1262

 

winter’s end

 

each snow covered branch

is  like a phrase in the erratic final chapter

 

of winter, punctuated

by small dark birds, confused

 

by the storyline of the season.

while overhead, three geese

 

skim the treetops, crying out,

lost in this featureless white world,

 

desperately searching, like so many of us,

for a safe place to land

 

 

© 2019 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

 

 

 

Red Stone

Note- some poems are prompted by a word or a phrase, perhaps an experience. This was suggested by an impossibly beautiful tree deep at the head of the unfortunately named “Negro Bill Canyon” off of the Colorado Rive near Moab Utah.  

red stone

by the time we reach the top of the canyon

we’ve walked through most of our words

this trail of sand and stone, the solitary blooms

of tattered desert flowers. this deep in the canyon

all light is reflected, shattered light,

passed from rim to rim until it settles like mist

luminous dust, a dry and brilliant rain.

we never know what we’ll find in the deepest canyons

of our lives like these incandescent leaves,

such improbable green, or this stone, the rich red

of freshly oxygenated blood, the red of iron and of time,

of pressure and erosion, the true red of benediction, the hard,

hard red of redemption.

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

Images of Retreat, Karme Choling Vermont

Recently had a chance to spend a week retreat at Karme Choling, the Shambhala meditation center in Barnett Vermont, one of my favorite places– early season snows, ice, darkness and light.

stones

stones-2

I’m old enough now to see

how I’ve lived my life in dogs,

each a sun-warmed stone

in this stream of loneliness.

by these have I kept my feet dry,

have I so far made it across.

I look into the brown eyes

of my young black dog,

and can’t help but do the math.

My heart breaks in the knowing

of that distant day when he tells me —

it is time. When do we begin

to die? not at birth, surely,

there’s such a rush to life

for so long, but it slows somewhere,

somehow deep inside of itself

it starts to slow, until one day

as we sit together talking,

this slowing shows itself

in our faces, in our eyes, in our first

clear diminishing, and then we know,

yes we know. We’ve had a week now

of cold nights and windy mornings

the clouds dropping down, scraping

the tops of the aspens, stripping them

of leaves. Snow will come soon

to these mountains, but for today,

I still have this chair by the stream,

still the sounds of the stream over stones,

still a black dog warming his bones

in the late day sun. for today,

this is sufficient. for today this

is wealth enough for a life.

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

Poems From Retreat – Shambhala Mountain Center July 2014, Part II

worthy of trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

speech

 

they say that trees speak

to one another, sharing food

 

and energy, life,

a manner of teaching;

 

that there are mother trees

who pass the last

of their richness to their children

as they die.

 

this

is deep speech,

 

unfathomable speech,

the speech of darkness

 

of water, wood

and of stone.

 

stand at the foot

of a thousand year pine

 

and listen to the wind

as it sings this tree.

 

then close your eyes

and open your mouth-

 

ask of the wind

to sing into you.

 

enter the grove at morning

before the heat of the sun

 

mutes the day — the ancient ones

still speak, still sing

 

in birds and wind,

in shadows, leaves

 

and rain. this was once

your speech,

 

is still

your speech.

 

enter the grove at morning,

before the heat of the sun

 

mutes the day — feel

the deep green speech

 

of this world — pray

once again to be worthy

 

of trees.

 

 

© oldbonesnewsnow.com/J.A. Fink