Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A New Poem: Balance Is Everything

In the dream,

I had a

sacred calling:

to be a

mask carrier,

one who

could handle

the most holy

of objects.

Two rival tribes

warred constantly,

but one

kept winning

as it held

many more

of the 

sacred masks.

And so,

I removed

some of

their masks

and brought

them to the

other tribe.

I woke up

before seeing

if the wars

stopped, but

I knew that

the power

was equalized.


The thing is,

I’ve come

to realize

that balance

is everything.


The Navajo live

by ceremony

and Hózhó,

harmony and beauty.


The Balinese wrap

their altars in

black and white

checkered fabric,

symbolizing balance.


The Hawaiian way

is ho’oponopono,

with reconciliation and

forgiveness at its heart.


We cultureless ones

long for that,

for a long exhalation

of relief.


How to return

to the center,

where we might

find calm and

the blessings of

a balanced life?

How can I,

how can we,

be sacred

mask carriers?


SoulCollage® card - The Mask Carrier

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

A New Poem: Mama Moon

Today is Lammas Eve, the cross-quarter day between the solstice and equinox.  It's also a new month and a full moon, one of two in August.  It feels like an auspicious time, so here is a new moon poem:

Her face is full and round and shining.

         Mama Moon calls to me –

                     Come! Now is the time!

                                 Follow the path of light on the water.

                                             Rise with me.


She has gone to bathe in the Ghost River.

         Mama Moon calls to me –

                     Come!  Now is the time!

                                 Dissolve into the dark night.

                                             Swim with me.


She wears a crescent crown, tilted one way or the other.

         Mama Moon calls to me –

                     Come!  Now is the time!

                                 Don’t I show you what change is?

                                             Don’t hold back. 


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

A New Poem: Sanctuary

 I recently spent a week (online) at an intensive with Deena Metzger.  It can be difficult to speak about profound experiences, especially before you've had time to think about and integrate what you received.  I'm in that phase now, but here is one thing that came out of the experience that I'd like to share.

Priestess of words, of stars, of stones

(those bones of the earth that carry its stories),

place your hands and lean

your forehead against a great rock.

Let the wind blow through you;

be empty and clear.

Soak up enough of

the stone’s slow rhythm

so that you hear the stories

of the land, this land,

where your exile has ended,

where you don’t forget love and gratitude,

where you meet the sacred.


Then, place fire

in a circle of stones

at the heart of the temple,

which is the heart of your heart.

Tend the fire; do not let it go out,

or the temple will crumble,

and with no heart,

you will as well.


No one said the work

would be easy.


But once you are slow

and hollow and empty,

they will come to the fire.

They will come with

their broken hearts,

and broken bodies,

and broken dreams.

They will listen to the words

and warm themselves.

And you will give them


Saturday, June 3, 2023

Grandmother Blessing (with a poem)

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today.  Ruby, our oldest grandchild, turned 13 a week ago, and today she is having a few friends over to celebrate.  A milestone birthday.  I'm remembering the time just before she was born, how her four grandparents came to Berkeley expecting an imminent birth. We wound up waiting five days until she decided to join us.  

Thirteen years later, here she is:

The poem I wrote for her, a blessing poem, still hangs on our wall, thanks to a beautiful print made by our friend Bill Denham.  I thought I would share it today, in honor of this wonderful young woman.


Little honu,

swimming her way to shore

on the full moon’s tide.

We have scooped her up

and held her next

to our hearts,

each one of us.


Blessed is the mother

who labors to bear the child.

Blessed is the one

who protects so fiercely.

Blessed is the father

who attends to the mother

and who welcomes his child.

Blessed are the grandparents

who dream the baby

into the world and

add pairs of helping hands.

Blessed are the uncles and aunts

who fall in love

at first sight.

Blessed is the baby

who give us hope.


For a week we

lived in a bubble

outside of time.

Only birth and death

drop us into that place.

The outside world

disappears in



A long waiting week

it was.

The two, never

losing faith, never


surrounded by light,

held in many hearts.

So many hours, so

many long nights.


Then, suddenly,

she is here; the

word came,

she is here.


The world has

waited eons

for her.

Her gifts, yet

to be revealed,

unique on the earth,

may be exactly

what is needed

to save us all -

little honu,

so recently surfacing

from the seas of

the other world.


* honu = the hawaiian word for sea turtle

Still sending her blessings today...

The poem is included in my new book. If you haven't seen the book yet and are

interested, it's available from me directly or on our website.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

A New Poem: Pilgrimage

 Just back from Hawaii.  



The first gate opens

when you set foot

on this land.

You have entered

the ritual by arriving.

The first phase is spent

high up the mountain,

attuning to the land.


The second gate opens

when you descend

to the ocean.

The waters of the sacred bay,

rising and falling,

set the pace for your heart.

You ask permission

from the land and the sea.

You bow to the ancient

birthing place and

dolphin home.


The third gate opens

when you stand at the edge

of Pele’s home, the caldera

wide and steaming below

ohia and ohelo.

The arduous trek one mile

down the chunky lava path

leads you to the final gate.

Dense green jungle opens out

to expansive, bare caldera.


At your chosen spot,

you make your prayers and offerings.

You understand now

that the whole journey has

been the pilgrimage,

not just this culminating ritual.

Passing through all the gates

was necessary and more than

mere preparation.

You cannot know

if your offerings are

accepted and sufficient,

but you have fulfilled

your intention.


A vision comes:

you climb out of a

lava tube pool, greeting

the sun and the day,

the ocean and the forest,

the mountain and the sky.

You understand that

you are to carry this image

in your heart, no matter

what you face

on your return.

The ritual has been akin

to one the women of

ancient Greece enacted,

your personal Thesmophoria

in a different spirit-filled land,

a going down and coming up

in worship of the Mystery and

of the sister goddesses of

descent and ascent.