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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 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 celebrating 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
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.