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The Soul of a Barn

Whispers of history fall in the air
From rafter and loft the ages declare
That a livelihood almost forgotten today
Was the life of a farm and a barn full of hay
The weathervane spun at the whim of the wind
Now broken and toppled and banging a din
Aged by the weather, red turned to gray
A mournful repose in a state of decay
Hear now the echo of shifting hooves
And softly the calling of mourning doves
Little calf bawling for mama to know
She answers with comforting gentle low
Can you smell the grind of the past
Straw, tack and leather, and grain amassed
With rustle of hay and whinnie of mare
Dusty, sweet-smelling, earthy the air
Echos of children calling at play
Splash of a milk pail, the donkey, his bray
Listen to history down on the farm
Memories that echo from the soul of a barn

Maui Memories

Maui memories will ever be
in a sailor’s cottage by the sea.
Dawn whispers, takes its flight
and birdsong ushers morning life.
Light begins its hombre run -
caresses from the early sun
across the surface of the deep,
steel blends blue as on it creeps.
Heaven’s light tints the clouds,
island ambiance enshrouds.
Walking early with the whales,
spouting, breaching, waving tails.
Breezes blow in harmony,
creation shows off majesty.
Kaanapali calls the soul
from mountain winters and their toll,
luring one to warm delights -
sunset waters, starry nights. 
Sweet embrace of island glow
We then bring back to Idaho.

October Moon Named

October moon she rises
Moon of Falling Leaves
Amber glow horizon
When seasons interweave

Slumber green of summer
This Moon of Dying Grass
Daylight fades to darkness
As the orb slips  up its path

Hunter’s Moon of autumn
gather in the store
winter closes in now
closer than before

Cloven on the move
Fattened by the land
Travel Moon she guides them
By moonbeam golden strand

Christmas Tree Shine

in the hush
of evening light
reflecting memories
ever bright
handmade love
upon a tree
brings the evening
peace to me
in the quiet
of this scene
thick the scent 
of evergreen
still my soul
in thankful rest
what is best

Who Owns the Sunset

Tell them who owns the sunset
Put the moon up on its shelf
Cut the path for the morning star
Reigns in the mighty wind belts

Tell them who strolls on the seafloor
Bolts the gates to the waves
Bids the sun to greet mountains
Invites the clouds out to play

Tell them who sketched the Archer
Whispered each star a name
Who hung the earth with invisible string?
And I’ll tell you whose child I became

Dark Sky Idaho

I know a place where you can go
And stand so small you cannot know
The vastness of the milky realm
Whose greatest boundaries overwhelm
And looking up at darkest skies
Can somehow blind your peering eyes
A hazy band of billion orbs
head thrown back all to absorb
the dusted vault sprayed out so far
a million wishes on one star
Ladle up a million more
Silent flickers yet they roar
Across the heaven echoes light
Years away from me this night
In the mountains of Idaho
find diamond skies of indigo

Wedding Day

Little girl, big girl, woman of mine,
I tried to promise but I don’t own time.
I saw it all, I loved him too
And knew he was the best for you.
When I dreamed about this day -
giving a piece of my heart away,
I knew I’d weep within my soul
to share the piece that made him whole.
Feel my hands hold yours today,
“I do” believe there’ll be a way
when breath of wind and dawn breaks free
and light and life so radiantly
caress your face and wipe a tear.
Hold your breath for I am near.
Cathedral, peaks, no matter where,
white church, heaven, I’ll be there.
A witness to your life of love.
I’m here, sweet girl, with God above.

Bring Glory Home

In all the world my world is right here
The hope of creation this wilderness sphere
Three days’ need tucked up in our pack
Enough room in my heart for takin’ memories back 
My tribe before me on the trail laid down
And all my cares left behind in town
Wind whispers carry the birds’ sweet song
I am content for I know I belong
The light is pure when you’re up this high
And who can measure that curtain of sky?
When night falls soft and the stars proclaim,
From heaven’s high throne each one has a name
Three days’ footsteps on mountain peaks
down into basins, and kneel by a creek
We climb to the top where we are called
Caught up in His goodness, we are enthralled
Creation sings praises and so must I
We soak up the glory and our spirits fly
Our task is simply to wander and roam,
Then out of the wilderness, bring glory home.

Season Change

Seed pods rattle summer’s end
Fall smells sharply round the bend
Hoppers singing click and snap
Leaves escape their tethered grasp
Cool the evening, morning crisp
Summer is but just a wisp
Ushered out on gusty breath 
To hibernate in season’s death

She Talked Too Much

She talked too much
And talked too long
And sang out loud 
To all the songs
Her temper flew 
To lofty heights
When she demanded 
She was right
She listened hard
And argued too
But never would 
Give up on you
She loved as loyal
As she stayed
In helpless hope
She bowed and prayed
The light of life 
Filled up her soul
Not just in part
It made her whole

Creation Groaning

If the beauty of the sunset
And the brilliant burst of spring
Is all creation groaning 
Under curse and suffering

If the splendor of the canyons
And the blue of mountain haze
Is creation held in bondage
Even while it sings His praise

If the majesty of Milky Ways
And creatures of the sea
Are longing with an eager sense
For what is yet to be

Then what will be the excellence
when glory is set free
from the pangs of captive labor
free throughout eternity?

Your Bluebird

If He can send a dove to find a perch of olive green
A tiny leaf conveying heaven’s peace can only bring
If He can make a burro stop against his master’s wish
Then speak out loud in reproof and angry words dismiss
Then he can send your bluebird to me
In just the right moment at the top of the tree
That only the eyes of my heart would see
And know
If He can tell the whale to swallow up a stubborn soul
Then spew him onto dry land, not in part, but fully whole
If He can make the unclean birds bring meat to satisfy
A faithful, trusting prophet with no need to ask a why
Then he can send your bluebird to me
In just the right moment at the top of the tree
That only the eyes of my heart would see
And know
If He can still the lions and lock tight their jaws of death
For one to see the light of day and draw another breath
If He can still the enemy, unlock the bond of death
For one to see eternity and draw another breath

Then He can send his spirit to me
In just the right moment for just what I need
That only the eyes of my heart would see
And know

Ketchum High

Livin’ mighty high 
in this one-horse town
Where the silver used to flow 
with sage brush all around
and a trapper shared his name
cause he deserved the acclaim 

Livin’ mighty high 
In this two-bit town
Where the sheep grazed long
Til the hills had grown brown
Then a Count came to find
That the railroad saved some time

Livin’ mighty high
In this dead-beat town
Where the snow piled up
And the sun shone down
And the Stars came out
To hook up all the trout

Livin’ mighty high
In this dog-tired town
I wonder if they’ll ever
Find a way to close it down.
When the bell finally tolls
Then everyone will know.

Orcas Magic

When time held still on a magical day
And the Cathlamet ferry swept us away
To the San Juan gem, pure pristine
Where the wooly sheep graze on paradise green
Quaint little homes with largest views
Rosario sail boat skims marine blues
English breakfast tea with milk
Giggles multiplied over and spilt
Olga memories now forgotten lore
Can’t quite recall the face of the store
Winding up high above the sea
Past the fern and pines, the view for me
To the San Juan top of the tower rocks
Far away landscape Canadian docks
East sound bound for a garden treat
Spicy yam fries and lemonade sweet
Brown Bear baking and token book nook
The Orcas Hotel for one last look
Come press a penny down memory lane
Before Kaleetan sails home in the sunlight wane.

Deep in Alabama

Deep in Alabama’s emerald heart
The great heron lifts it wings
the moss clings tight to the cypress knees
in the marsh the bullfrog sings 

springwater dragonfly blue on blue
Still the pond water mirror
Twist the vines on trees that wade
In the dark and murky sphere

Broken down backwood bottoms
Magnolia blooms her way
Whitetail deer rubs the great staid oak
And the garter snake slithers away

Turtle slides through the wetland
In the shadow of the loblolly pine
The thrasher and nuthatch relay
 the woodland canopy rhyme

Memorial Day Memories

Memorial Day I remember when
Mom would take us to the graves of kin.
With jugs of water and tubs of flowers
Carefully picked for the love of ours
Dutiful daughter, the homage she paid
Attentive care to each displayed
She led the way to each marked stone
And cleared away where weeds had grown
Flags so many, windy waving
Clouds above all misbehaving
Years I walked those paths with her
Long after her own space was sure
I’d read the names and wonder long
About this rite for what was gone.
I tucked away those names now passed
As heaven kept them in its grasp
I wrestled with the ritual;
My mind and heart against the pull
Of why we place the flowers there –
For can they see or do they care?
Suppose it’s not for them but we
Who wait this side eternity.
Generations gone I’ve put to rest
Now visit those who knew me best
Today, I placed two pots alone
Mums bright yellow next to stone. 

Ginger Me

Born ginger red and second child
And just a shot of stubborn wild
Small-town reared with lots of kin
Grew up strong with tomboy grin
Brothers teased me all in fun
But it was me who could outrun
Camping under mountain stars
vacation road trips in the car
Lost my days with head in book
Everywhere a reading nook
Beaver Cleaver kinda life
not to say there wasn’t strife
The mountains called me when I’d grown
Whispered come, make me your home
Climbed their heights, and settled in
Fell in love, where had he been
Raised two girls who were our world
How could a heart be so unfurled
In our home and on the road
Schooled them our way unopposed
Now the days of empty nest
And life is rich and at its best
I wouldn’t say that twilight’s here
But every day it clamors near
Still more poems to write at will
And road trip miles to drive until

Spring Voices

Pungent earth emerged from graves
Warmth of sun creation craves.
Steady plunk and drip of melt
Showers cleansing with their pelt
Geese hail in with trumpet blast
Hibernal creatures wake at last
Cacophony of songbird host
For glorious day they chirp and boast
Babbling trickle path of stream
Mountain voices herald spring

Grandma’s Glasses

Her head was wizened gray
And she gazed through panes of glass
Caused her grandson to consider
What she saw, and so he asked

For he witnessed she was able
To see through to someone’s need
Could soothe a hurting spirit
With kind words of love, and deed

Grandma, can you tell me
How you see the way you do
She said, the path to getting older
Has changed my point of view

God give us that prescription
Like Grandma’s glasses have
A far sight line of vision
To see beyond ourselves.

Storm Cows

A hundred year storm settled in tight
The freeze of wind and snow and night
Cows were calvin’ and needed feed
Drifts piled high with reckless greed
The rancher fired up the plow
And stewardship-love creased his brow
He found the calf froze in a drift
A faint will to live he almost missed
He laid his coat down for a bed
The floor of tractor warmth was spread
Half gone the night when home he reached
And plow and chores were then complete
The heifer nursed but gave concern
Weeks went on before she turned
Fall came round, she missed the truck
Stunted, one-eared, a standard cut
Rancher knew it wasn’t right
But he kept her anyways, despite
Two years passed, she calved on her own
And it wasn’t him, but God who’d known
The cow, she nursed her calf up quick
And that’s ranchin’ when things are slick
Life will turn around after a storm
When we’re spent, weary and often torn
A rancher’s field is akin to the sea
It’ll teach ya faith, and calm it be.

Nat King Cole Christmas

December memories lurking from somewhere back in years,
and my mind remembers clearly Mother’s touch at ringing cheer.

Sweet sugar cookies baking, we snitched a bite of dough.
And dad had helped us in the yard to build a man of snow.

Back inside the family room logs crackled warmth and light.
The happy little Christmas tree sure make the season bright.
But the memory most nostalgic that takes me back to then
is the Christmas music playing as it comes to me again.

I can see the record player as it turned with Nat King Cole,
hear his silky, smoky voice stirring memories in my soul.

O little town of Bethlehem, with notes so pure and true.
The little boy that Santa forgot, Away in a Manger, too.

Tempt me back to simpler days when worries seemed so few,
and childhood hopes of happiness were a Christmas dream come true.

Bewitching Hour

Oh my soul, the groundwork’s laid
It’s simple truth – we’re being played
Though a great deceiver by his hand
Is really not in top command
It’s not a fight of flesh and blood
Spirits come to push and shove
A moth destroys, as it eats
Wretched worms will claim defeat
Self-seeking envious lot
Confusion is an evil plot
The liar roams to devour
Careful, it’s bewitching hour.

Fall Shouts

Before the steel grey clouds of storm
Sunshine settles on aspen gold
Orange leaves bleed ruby pink
Purple granite mountain bold.

Sky turns charcoal, starts to drip
Wind stirs hombre leaves about
High peaks welcome ivory dust
It’s just fall giving a shout

Just Me and Dad

Of course I’ll remember that day of pool
with my iphone parked on top of the stool,
Pandora playin’ Whalen and a little bit of Cash
and a whole lotta bankin’ and talkin’ trash
which was really just tease as much as love
and all the silly that we could think of
Was just the two of us that day
With all the games that we could play
He’d say, take that shot from over there,
Cut it left of center if you dare
Of course, I missed it by a hair
And then he slid one down the rail
Rolled the entire length without fail
It dropped right in, his face all smiles
Little joys in the face of life’s trials
These moments I know are timed and sweet
But then one day life will cheat
The eight ball will drop for the win
But I’ll have the memory of his grin.
In my ear he whispers, there’s your shot
Go ahead and bank it right from that spot
I’ll see that wink and a thumbs up too
Yes, I’ll remember that day with you.

Amazing Grace Down Under

The bats bide safe in the Capricorn Caves
And centuries march along
Yet deep in the musty halls of lime
You can still bend ear to a song

A cavernous hollowed out chamber
Carved ancient of years ago
Then someone thought to bring benches
And ethereal lights all aglow

How sweet the sound and hallowed
Acoustic echoes in caves
Then came the familiar message
Declaring His grace to save

Deep in the heart of Queensland
Winding down to a cathedral space
I sang out words while “Down Under”
The song of Amazing Grace.

Message of the Magpie

the message of the magpie 
is really black and white
exploit the chances offered
in the circumstance of life

Strut around and own it
With mischief in your eye
Be somewhat gregarious
And steal your piece of pie

Check the mirror now and then
Reflecting on your traits
but remember to be helpful
To your family and your mate.

Keep an eye on your stuff
And maybe others’ too
Cause it might be advantageous
If someone’s cheating you.

Recycle is your mantra
Leftovers are your friend
And the world will all be neater
Somewhere in the end

Dancing Aspen

Have you seen the quaking aspen
Dancing leaves upon the breeze?
A joyful whisper in the mountains
Swaying, waving happy trees.

Though the grey of clouds do grumble
And the sky spits raindrop tears,
Still they quiver and they shimmer
Forest murmur builds to cheers.

Take Big Leaps of Faith

Take big steps, 
big leaps of faith
In this rat of a thing 
we call a race
Nothin’s too hard, 
nothin’s too small
Step off the curb 
so you can fall.
If the first foot down 
doesn’t knock you out
Keep pressing on 
through every doubt.
Check your speed, 
set a pace`
Take big steps, 
big leaps of faith.

Treasures on the Wall

Vagabond and wanderlust
Charcoal sketched and framed
Thread through the lives of each of us
With treasures of the same
Down under dreams to Tetons high
The ‘Great Land’ of the north
Siam’s orange sun lit up
Kindred hearts went forth
Ladder rungs and mountain snows
Carved out Ketchum home
Labored long for dreams to fill
In vintage spines to roam
Wee tokens, wooden box
Carved and turned again
Sheepskin slippers, mittens warm
A nod to what had been
All is nought save this one hope
Two legacies aflame
Adventure born, creator storm
And water color name.

Music in the Mountains

They’ll be no music in the mountains
Wafting over the rivers rush
No echo up through the canyon
To Baldy’s sunset blush

No dancing in tangled blankets
Cheering gliders in the sky
No harmony among the stars
For a rocky mountain high

Just a soulful sadness pining
For a season lost in time
And a melody of the summer
That could have been yours and mine.


I’m feeling like a road trip
I’ve got lots of stories to tell
Out in the middle of nowhere
You hear my thoughts so well.

Miles that fall behind the wheel
You there in captivation
Makes me smile to know I’ve won
For now over PGA station

So I’ll ramble ‘til whenever
Yackin’ dreams and talkin’ spin
And it’s cozy in the cab
When you look at me and grin.

Sunday Morning Hustle

Sunday morning hustle on
Back and forth before the dawn
Here the mirror, to the closet
Down the coffee, a deposit
Dad’s got pancakes at the table
Pass the syrup if you’re able.
Don’t have time to sit and ponder
Out the window over yonder
Morning sky has turned to pink
But you missed it, saw you blink
Back and forth down the hall
Please don’t brothers, start a brawl
In the corner over there
Dad sits down in his chair
Pulls the bow against the string
Begins to make that fiddle sing
Amazing Grace breaks up the din
Mirrored faces start to grin
Hustle bustle simmers down
And all we’re left with is the sound
Of sweet and pure and time so rare
The Sunday race is now a prayer.

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