Seven Poems in Seven Days.

Actually there were ten, but some of them aren’t worth sharing.


After feeling “too busy” and having “too much” else going on (right, join the crowd – I’ll share more on this next week)… my heart returns to poetry.  Like nature, this is where I find my grounding, my uplifting. The first thing I ever remember writing.  I wonder if it will be the last.


The following is the result of a ten-day personal challenge taken on with Carrie of The Shady Tree.

It turned out to be a prolific enlightening to my inner passion.

Perhaps it may just look like lot of words.

With these, I hope you may find something that touches your heart too.

Read a paragraph, a stanza, a poem as you like.


Gratitude for a dear friend, fellow poet, artist, and lover of family, nature and life.

Gratitude for words, creativity, and inspiration – all of which abound in this beautiful world.

(Please stop by Carrie’s site over the next few days, too, to see how the same photo can inspire such different words.)


Photo by Carrie of The Shady Tree



You can only get


by wet foot

Cool and soft and


squishing deep brown

between bare toes

Over slick rocks


The sweet moist scent of earth and


Last years dreams fermenting in


Never drying soil

Like a festering open wound

Where the branches bend low overhead


Heavy and wet and untouched

By daylight

which in turn is obscured


By an endless

swath of fog


Dampened desires

Laying heavy on moist flesh

Suppressed by sunlessness


Do you remember what

burning feels like

Warm and gold on


Exposed flesh


Instead in this succulence

Each drop a tiny window into the soul

An eternal pool


That will evaporate

and turn to steam

Should the sun burn


through the fog


Photo by Gin



Barren are last year’s


now Hard and brittle

Spent and sallow

having been bent over

By the weight of

last season’s snow

Their seeds scattered

in the spring rains

Brown dust

to brown earth

And so it should be


I lean over

as not to disturb

That which managed

against the elements

And marvel

at the simplicity

And complete

complexity and pure beauty

Preserved by the wind like

An embalmed queen


What inner

secrets do you reveal

Spilling forth promises

of eternity

That few may

bend close to hear

Before the bright easy days

of new growth

Consume us


Photo by Carrie of The Shady Tree



On Wednesday

The midwife soars



Taking flight

Because she is called

And though it appears


She has no control

And just moves

Out of action or reaction


of spreading her wings

And rising effortlessly

gracefully naturally into the stirring air


This remains

the most self controlled act

she may ever manage


Of leaving a ground

And returning

While remaining where she was.


Photo by Gin



Last year’s leaves

Next year’s soil

Compressed under this morning’s snow


Elk tracks across pasture

Revealing delicate chartreuse

Of spring grass




A quiet awakening


Beneath the consuming

unassuming white shelter

The robin is silent this morning.


How can I see something new

In the same old landscape

Like looking into the eyes of a lover


You have wrapped your body

around for over a dozen years

And still find beauty and shiver.


now in static essence of early morning

Upon brown damp soil

robin sings in the cold grey light.


Photo by Gin



Boots by the door

coated with clay

Brought in from out there,

Damp coats and wool hats


hang to dry.

What’s the point

You ask me

And I don’t have


a good reply.

We both know

they will only

be wet again.


Somehow starting out


seems like

the thing to do.


The dog comes in

indifferent to wet fur and

Brown tracks behind him

With no boots to


leave by the door.


Out there

Where the bark of aspen

is soaked  to green grey.

Silver tips


on bare branches where

water pools in

tiny glass beads,

and brown water


flowing through

brown soil, saturated.

creeks cutting new paths.

old paths.


it will all be washed away

we say

if this keeps up.

Heavy skies


in stratum,

the movement of

silky flowing veils.

What secrets do they reveal


As an entire mountain


And does it matter anyway

That the horizon has changed,


Is no longer

Peaks and ridges

But soft simple close



The view, the future, awareness


In the sound on the metal roof

That comes in waves,

Strong and steady like


deep breathing

As wet as the ocean

And as far away

Above me


Photo by Carrie of The Shady Tree



In my dreams

I am flying



Into secret places

Of mountain

And mind


Of my soul

Where even in winter

It is lush and green


Places no one else

can touch

Or see


And maybe I won’t share

Not even with you

Unless I feel certain


You need to know

I keep them for



I become Crow

Seeing from above

A  mountain in


parts of a whole


Its steep slopes

And jagged rocks

And soft spring grasses


And the course of

the cutting river

From so high


As if I were

in the wind



across the open flats

and navigating the

rugged bluffs


in and out of

tall timber

until at last I light


upon the highest snag


above it all

the voyeur of my soul

seeing across the big air


and down into that

hidden oasis

no one else is meant to see


stealing a glimpse


in this vast entirety


absorb my world

open my eyes

and find myself still




Photo by Gin



On the surface

She shines

Simple and radiant

Easy going like

the afternoon breeze

On a good spring day




Stillness of soul


Waiting for

the coming unrest



How to Be Happy

This article is shared today on Conscious Life News.  It is something I shared here a while back, and a fun reminder (I, for one, could use!).

Happiness may not be the most essential or fulfilling element to our life, but it’s a great place to begin. Why not choose happiness?  It is a simple start.  And then, we develop and grow from there.

I hope you enjoy!


gin and bob having an evening in the backyard

The five essential habits of positive people (or how to be happy in five easy steps).  

Here’s a great way to start your week on a positive note:  Be happy!  This article will show you how easy it can be.

For most of us, most of the time, in this beautiful world we live in, happiness is matter of choice.  Our personal choice.  And like most everything we choose to manifest, it takes a little work.  With everything we have ahead of us this week (and in our lifetime) to work on, happiness is a simple, easy start.  Give it a try!


Imagine if there were a few secret ingredients to a happy life.  You know, inside information, words of wisdom shared by the happiest people. The tricks of the trade for the happy. What works for those people who smile a lot, seem comfortable with who they are, love their work, like the people around them, are nice to be around and nice to those around them.  And imagine if we could learn from these people. Because who among us does not wish to be happier?


Say there are a few specific “rules” we can follow to find ourselves happier, what would they be?  They would have to be inspirational, happy, humorous, fun, not preachy, not perfect, things to try for with room to grow and plenty of forgiveness, because we’re human and we always have to try.


It’s all about choice.  We can choose happier habits.  Ultimately, we can choose our thoughts, rather than have our thoughts (and emotions) choose our direction.   Not to negate these things – thoughts and emotions are of great value!  It’s just that most of us need to learn to live with them, keep them in line, keep them in their proper place. (Down, Boy!)


We can start by following the example of people we admire. People who are trying, against odds, to make the world a better place and find a better place within themselves.  I’m not talking about the happy go lucky folks for whom life’s been just fine and they get through just fine – but never do anything great. What’s wrong with wanting great?  I want to be all I can.  I want to try it all and experience life to the fullest.  That means ups and downs. Good times and bad times.  Make mistakes.  If we don’t fall on our face, we haven’t tried to run.  Life’s too short to walk through.  So, every once in a while, run!  Flat out. And maybe you’ll fall. Get back up, dust yourself off, and when your wounds have healed (if you really must wait that long) try again.  “Only those who have had, can lose,”  I once was told after a great personal tragedy.  Sure, you can go through life playing it safe.  Make it through to the finish line. Slow, steady.  Nothing fancy, no fan fare, no bells and whistles or even a lot of cheers along the way.  Or you can dance your way through life and sometimes stumble.  If you don’t try to dance, you don’t have to worry about making the wrong moves.  But, man, what you’re missing. Oh come on. Give it a try. Dance!


Sure, you can’t be happy all the time. Nice idea, but not possible.  Life isn’t that simple or steady.  But you can be happier more often.  It’s up to you.


  1. Start your day on a positive note.  Here’s one we learned from Zig Ziglar.  Before you even get out of bed, clap your hands and say something wonderful about yourself, your world, and the day you’ve got ahead of you.  Then this one from Louise Hay. Tell yourself you love yourself.  Look in a mirror if you have one, and say it out loud.  I don’t have a mirror, need glasses to see my own eyes if I did, and I live in a small one-room cabin.  If I woke up clapping my hands and talking in the mirror, I think my husband and son would really worry.  At the very least, I’d wake them up, and those who know me know this: don’t mess with my mornings. This is my sacred time. Do not disturb. So, I keep it quiet, let them sleep, and try to say these things in my head.
  2. Patience.  Learn to slow down. Let go. Boy, this is a hard one for me.  For so many in society we are both judged, and judge ourselves, on how busy we appear to be, how much we claim to accomplish, and how jam packed we fill our days. Social status and self value are thus based on the number of hours worked (though do we stop and think how much we actually get done during those hours?).  The more we can justify being busy, the better people we think we are.  Or so we are told. Fortunately… things are changing.  That worked great to develop the modern world, create fast food and Wal-marts, capitalism and consumerism. But it didn’t bring us closer to happiness. Now it is time to try a different way. Try meditation, walking, yoga, breathing.  Watch a snowflake fall on your hand and melt.  Sit and wait in the early dark to see the moon clear the horizon (or nearest building).  Listen to the wind or the water or the waves.  Find a tree and hear the leaves rustle.  “Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.”  –  Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book.
  3. Life’s short – eat dessert first.  Why not? Instead of dwelling on all these excuse for why not, think of all the reason why instead. Chances are, you’ll be enticed!  Look at all these wonderful things you can do, right now! Next thing you know, you might give it a go. Learn to do something new every day.  Never say never.  Don’t let yourself (or someone you love) say “I can’t.”  Go ahead, give it a try.  Now. What are you waiting for?  Don’t bother telling me.  I don’t want to hear.  I want to hear what you want to do, and what you’re doing to get there.  Even better, I want you to show me.  Do it.  Come on, dream! And dare to do something to make your dream real!
  4. Give. Practice – and expand on – compassion.  Do random acts of kindness. Do something for someone without strings attached every single day.  It doesn’t have to cost money.  It doesn’t have to take much time.  Just share the gifts you already have. You have a lot.  As a writer, I like to share my words.  A cook shares food, a photographer images, a mother comfort – these are the gifts we share, not just to make a living or get the job done or for self importance, acceptance, acknowledgement or reward.  Simply to give what we can. Share your gifts. What gifts can you share?  We all have something special. Creativity, prayer, song.  Think beyond the box.  Or look deep inside. There’s lots there.  Open it up and share it.  I bet there’s plenty to go around.
  5. Have fun, smile, dance.  This is as simple as it gets, and still one the hardest to do. Lighten up and laugh.  I don’t have TV but last month I finally saw the Ellen show while staying at my sister’s house.  Apparently she dances every day.   Right on.  Then there is a dear friend of mine, Ginny, who at first may appear to be “stuck” in a wheel chair.  But take a closer look.  See those arms flying and shoulders swaying and big broad smile that you can’t resist? There she is, even in her wheelchair.  Dancing.  If she can, I can too.  Do it.  Dance.  It feels really good.  And if you dance like no one’s looking, you can’t help but find yourself be smiling like you mean it.  And yes, chances are, you’ll feel happy.


Standing Still Beneath Blowing Branches (Lessons Learned from Trees)

Standing still beneath blowing branches.

Lessons learned from trees.


old leaf in new snow


These are changing times.

Turmoil around, within.  I stand beneath budding branches, the promise of the continual struggle of life, and suddenly it all makes sense, or maybe nothing matters, and everything finds its place.  Can I let myself cry, selfishly, foolishly, like an innocent child so wanting comfort in hard times yet not knowing how to ask?

Late spring in the high mountains. I write from home on the edge of the Weminuche Wilderness, high and away in the heart of the Headwaters of the Rio Grande in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. I am flanked by a hundred thousand acres of charred woods and a few hundred thousand acres more of dead standing beetle kill and Aspen fading and falling randomly. A forest full of kindling waiting to ignite. Finding new growth, green needles, sweet sap, life existing, tenaciously holding or ferociously fighting to survive.  Life is precious.

In all their simplicity.  Trees.

Go through it.  Let it out.  Tears fall like raindrops. Nourishment to parched lands and thirsty roots.    No one to hear them fall but the trees. Allow it. Breathe in, breathe out, standing beside a tree.

These are the wise ones. They carry not a passing fancy but wisdom of the ages.  Powerful, deep and rich. They make no loud claims, but hold their ground, tangled in their roots.  Powerless to the pretenses of our demands, greed and ignorance. Eternal, I used to think.

Here they have lost ground. We have been hit hard by the changes.  A sign of things to come, a premonition, or is this just a warning to heed?  Are we too late, and does it matter anyway?

Here our children’s children will never know the old growth through which I used to wander.

Even in their ethereal presence, this graveyard of barren branches, I feel them breathe.  I hear them sigh. Down deep if no where else than in their roots, the soil, the earth. That’s where life remains. And life will come again.

Standing on fallen needles and listening to the Wisdom of the trees.

Breathing in, breathing out, seeking the scent of fresh sap and plump needles. I have almost forgotten.

These are the lessons they teach.

Stand with me now, still and silent beneath bare branches of a seemingly lifeless tree.  Close your eyes.  In the wild spring wind, feel the remaining presence of these great beings.  Listen to their wisdom.

This is what we hear:


aspen in snow


The earth matters. Give more than you take.

You can’t control the seasons. Learn to let go.

You can’t rush the seasons.  Practice patience.

You can’t change the weather.  Stand tall in the rain and dance in the wind.

Storms come, storms go, the sun will shine again.

Be still and listen.

Be wordless.  (So hard for a writer to do.)  That’s where our truths are found.  (Write about them later.)

Everything changes.

Seasons come and seasons go.

Leaves fall and blossoms return time and time again.

Life stems where you least expect it.

Last year’s leaves are next year’s fertile soil.

Be willing to shed and grow again.

Be grounded. Grow your roots deep and strong.

We share the same soil. Our roots are connected. We are one.

Stand tall and strong, not hard and rigid.

Be flexible in adverse conditions.

Learn to bend in the wind.


Seeds blow in the wind – new life starts where you least expect.

Be willing to break new ground.

Don’t expect ideal conditions.

Grow where they least expect it.

Know you are never alone. Others will grow beside you, and together, you can create a forest.

Look around at others growing above and below you. Respect differences.   We need each other.

Provide shelter to those who need it.

Nurture indiscriminately.  Practice non-judgment.

Give what you can, and then give more.

Don’t take it personally, and you can’t change others.  All you can do is grow.

Allow the world to come and go around you.

Learn to let go.

Nothing lasts forever.


looking down to reservoir