Fire Watcher


I climbed to the ridge to see fire

— if I could–

at the root of the smoke plume

which poured from between the mountain’s legs

and wrapped the horizon from south to east

in a tall, thick ribbon of cloud,

fed by a combine blade of blaze,

low and hungry, wide and steady,

blackening the land.


At first the distant curtain of smoke

showed little contour or movement,

as I sat among the nearer flames of blooming cactus

—yellow opuntia, cholla all in fuchsia–

Even this smoke-filtered light turned them into jewels.


Darker plumes now spiraled

against the greater wall of ashy air,

prompting me to announce

 –to no one but my already-illumined neighbors—

that the fire had found structures.

The texture of the rising plume began to buckle

as it gobbled this richer fuel,

chugging upward into fattening, soft-serve billows and curves.


This darkness, though, was it blacker smoke?

Or just shadows sculpted by a descending sun,

who cast its light dispassionately,

feeding all shape and form,

feeding flowers,

feeding the wonderings and sunburn of a poet

sat on tiny planet

turning, turning, ever turning

from blue, to green, to brown….

m.l., eldo, nm

June 16, 2016


The Molar of the Story

     It’s not like it was going to be a normal week. I was to start teaching a new yoga class at a local wellness center. I was going to minister the service at the Center for Inner Truth.

     But my own center of Inner Truth had something else in the works: a whole new teaching in surrender, another pride stripping pass from the Great Tongue of the Divine Mama-cat. Of course,  she used all external and circumstantial trimmings of my life as leverage, and all I could do was let go. Sometimes we resist these surprising developments and it becomes like pulling teeth, a tug of war between the Ego and the Divine Endontist. And no matter how the little self sets its jaw, we all know who eventually wins. This week offered a multi-faceted—metaphoric as well as literal—spin on Extracting Wisdom.

     There is much more to the story–a layered and remarkable glimpse of how Grace steers and nudges our psyche and circumstances with mind-boggling precision– and maybe that tale will roll out later. But for now, amid the happy anesthetic high and drooling grin, I simply report it’s been a good week for growth—a hard week, but a good week. I’ve welcomed new living wisdom, rather than clinging to a tired old tooth: a personal “demolarization” that had become a monument to collective demoralization.  In place of the wisdom tooth now there is what dentists call might a dry socket but what I will call a sacred void.

     And where the molar aching in its socket seemed to harbor grief. The after birth has offered nothing but laughter.

Photo on 6-10-16 at 12.21 PM

Visions R us

I’m Listening, I say, as I close my eyes.

There appears the lapis, azure and aqua feathers of a head-dress, betraying an otherwise camouflaged man of wisdom standing motionless in the shade of tall reeds… a dust-colored serpent extending forward from his ribs and curled backward to his right, to gaze upon a blue tile box behind.

A snake reaching for past treasures left unplundered, and a shaman gazing upon a river before him, one that I cannot see, yet he takes for granted.

This private kaleidoscope is enough.  

The message: All is Well.

I stand bejeweled with all I need, sheltered from true harm.