Archive for January, 2013

When the dark wood fell before me,
and all the paths were overgrown,
when the priests of pride say there is no other way,
I tilled the sorrows of stone.

I did not believe because I could not see
though you came to me in the night;
when the dawn seemed forever lost,
You showed me your love in the light of the stars.

Cast your eyes on the ocean,
cast your soul to the sea;
when the dark night seems endless,
please remember me.

Then the mountain rose before me
by the deep well of desire
from the fountain of forgiveness
beyond the ice and fire.

Cast your eyes on the ocean,
cast your soul to the sea;
when the dark night seems endless,
please remember me.

Though we share this humble path, alone,
how fragile is the heart;
Oh, give these clay feet wings to fly,
to touch the face of the stars.

Breathe life into this feeble heart,
lift this mortal veil of fear,
take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears–
we’ll rise above these earthly cares.

Cast your eyes on the ocean,
cast your soul to the sea;
when the dark night seems endless,
please remember me
Please remember me
Please remember me

Listen to Dante’s Prayer


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SkeanDubhLast night, I headed over to the Edgewater Coffee Company with friends from Epiphany Artists (we’ve been reborn!) to listen to Skean Dubh (“skeen doo”), a Scottish-American folk music band. LOVED IT. The music was invigorating! From the Irish bag pipes to the fiddle, from the acoustic guitar to Arabic drums and haunting vocals, the fusion sound was thrilling. You can hear some of their good work on My Space: Skean Dubh or Reverbnation: Skean Dubh. I enjoyed the ballads — the story-songs — like “Crazy Man Michael,” which is today’s “Daily Poem.”

Within the fire and out upon the sea
Crazy Man Michael was walking.
He met with a raven with eyes black as coals
and shortly they were a-talking:

“Your future, your future, I would tell to you,
your future, you often have asked me–
your true love will die by your own right hand
and Crazy Man Michael will cursed be”

Michael he ranted, and Michael he raved,
and beat at the four winds with his fists-oh!
He laughed and he cried, he shouted and he swore,
for his mad mind had trapped him with a kiss-oh!

“You speak with an evil, you speak with a hate,
you speak for the devil that haunts me–
for is she not the fairest in all the broad land?
Your sorceror’s words are to taunt me.”

He took out his dagger of fire and of steel
and struck down the raven through the heart-oh!
The bird fluttered long, and the sky it did spin,
and the cold earth did wonder and start-oh!

“Oh, where is the raven that I struck down dead,
that here’d lie on the ground-oh?
I see but my true love with a wound so red.”
Her lover’s heart, it did pound-oh!

Crazy Man Michael, he wanders and walks
and talks to the night and the day-oh!
But his eyes they are sane, and his speech it is clear,
and he longs to be far away-oh!

Michael, he whistles the simplest of tunes
and asks the wild woods their pardon
for his true love is flown into every flower grown
and he must be keeper of the garden …

Compare to an old medieval ballad: Lord Randall.




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When nothing in the world seems quite all right,
it takes some patience just to watch and pray.
Think of Penelope, pulling apart by night
the subtle stitches that she wound by day,
believing that Odysseus would find his way
through time and certain turbulence to light
again upon her shore, this time to stay.

Jay Parini
The Art of Subtraction (2005)

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Her gray and brown flecked
body is barely visible as
she hopscotches along
the graveled walks.

The tiny house finch
bends forward to pick up
a piece of straw — migrant
from garden mulch,
then flies to cactus
outside my window.

Pricked by spines,
she slips around barbed
fingers to line cholla
palm with straw,
wisps of grass,
fine twigs.

All day, poked and jabbed,
she ducks hungry tines,
weaves bits of cotton
snatched midair,
mitts in a strand
of blue yarn.

In weary light, she rests
as feet and feathers
sculpt soft space.
She drops for pale green pearls
harboring bones and beaks,
roots of wings.

Six days she sits,
a small spiked respite,
from sharp gaping mouths
born in the shadow of thorn.

Joyce Holdread
The Penwood Review 9:2 (Fall 2005)

Comment:  It’s a new year! It’s also the season of epiphany. (Have you had your epiphany yet??) Last night, my friend and fellow poet from Calvary Episcopal Church in Golden, Joyce Holdread, came over to my house so we could resurrect Epiphany Artists (which hasn’t met in three months – ay!). She shared this poem with me, and as a fellow bird-watcher, I found it intriguing.

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first haiku of the road trip

ice shatters like glass

and scatters across the road –

melting in sunlight


a lune for Colorado

blue mountains

golden, sunlit sky –



second haiku of the road trip

green guardians stand

overlooking rocks and snow—

human souls whiz by


a rhyming couplet for New Mexico

white clouds sweep low over the plain —

like angels’ wings now comes the rain.


Just saw a painting of la Virgen de Guadalupe

on the side of a tin barn.

I’m in Las Vegas & halfway there.


Adios, Albuquerque!


After the delay for dinner in Soccoro

and a small car problem, now thankfully fixed,

I am now back on the road.


Just entered the Lone Star State. Woo-hoo! God bless Texas.


A fireworks show just as I drive into El Paso!

Welcome, welcome y bienvenido.

Estoy aquí.


Good morning, New Year’s Day 2013!

(after a 24 hour shift)

— at Maternidad La Luz



On the way home

the road disappears into a blue sky:

the mountains beyond are invisible

Jane Beal

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