Friday, April 18, 2014


if I wake up just as you’re wrapping up your monologue
with a moaning mutter, a growl from below my tongue
that sets my toes and fingers trembling, my hand, leg,
epileptic apoplectic slapping against the floor, flailing
and beating like this skin itself is the leather, the rope
that snaps, beating the floor, oscillating, striking hard
enough to lift me into the air and slam me down again,
dropping books and crushing crystal glasses, ignorant,
tectonic, concussive, liver, intestine, spleen, gall—and
my lungs’ volume now screeched up to a deep scream,
Richter register violence knocking my self into a pulp—
and gone—like hot wind stealing away a piece of paper
on which is written the news, will you fetch it and read?


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Imunuri Prompt: Elemental - Earthquake

scribe an offering 
inspired by the element of earth, rock, earthquake

what shakes in you, what moves your bedrock, what grounds you, and where is the ground shifting under you? what, if shifted in shaking, would be pulverized by your tremors? write earthquake.

[you can try incorporating one or more of these words if you like: ]

Tags: earthquake, epic-earth, poem, <poet's moniker>

Epic-Earth on Imunuri: An ongoing series of earth-related prompts as part of an Imunuri experiment to dwell repeatedly on a theme and its riffs, and/or the possible poetry challenge, bit by bit, of producing an epic or body of poems...

Image source:   San Andreas Fault. Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons.

small ripple

In tills which have been oriented by flowing water, fabric indicates the preferred orientation of the grains. Sedimentologists would refer to this as "imbrication."

         From the glacier glossary,

outward, small ripple
blue ice molecule in my heart
glaciates and grows, what will
this rill of molten blue
portend for my
once warm hea(r)t?

city too long, cement
fatigues me, until
all feeling wanes
a dull throb at limb
i remember i once lived

glorious spangles sputter
into frozen butterflies
stalagtites shuttered
my core ablated, creaking

4. calving two automatons
where once i stood
turn-shifting in solid seas
casting a glacial surge 
cresting into the blue

glacial surge
A rapid forward movement of the snout of a glacier. Others describe it as rapid, wavelike downglacial ice movements which cause sudden advances of the ice margin.    From the glacier glossary,

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ascendant Face


back then
Blue ice glacier
  stretches to Tasman sea
   truly touches salted waters.

Cherry colored moths
  plunge wings toward
   surf’s self mire
  dip down waiver
   as vapor rises
    saved insect bathers.

Frozen mass 
 receded through rain
   forest millennium

900 feet upslope
’til today

helicopter tourists
 in yellow sunglasses
blazing green parkas

 ice pick vacationeers  
  chisel away
   at Franz Josef’s 
    ascendant face.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Imunuri prompt: Elemental - Glacier

scribe an offering 
inspired by the element of water, ice, glacier

what moves you, what moves you SLOWLY, what sticks, and what anchors you deep below? what, if melted, would jeopardize cataclysmic flood? write glacier.

Tags: glacier, epic-earth, poem, <poet's moniker>

Epic-Earth on Imunuri: An ongoing series of earth-related prompts as part of an Imunuri experiment to dwell repeatedly on a theme and its riffs, and/or the possible poetry challenge, bit by bit, of producing an epic or body of poems...

Image source: Wikimedia Commons, Guttorm Flatabø, 2009, CC2- A Subglacial pond in the glacier cave beneath  the Nigardsbreen glacier  — Jostedalsbreen, Luster, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.

[Poet-note: I know, this is the time of spring's budding, more conflagration than glacier, so poets, you can continue to burn brightly if it feels better for the season. Think, too, though, of our kin far south, feeling the burn of cold as season turns towards winter, and consider, one time or another, glacier...]

write or be written

verb conflagration
Fire river of words
Painting fire didn't work
Couldn't capture liquid
Heat, pulse, quiver, leap
1000 flicker wings
rising to thin dark
Air of presences
Unseen ribbons of prayer
Poems are like this too
Looking into changing
Cannot hold flame, 
Fingers turn to smoke
Burnt fists cindering
Why can't I touch a poem
Word sculpture smoke
Fire is where heat makes
Gifts succors lifts
Our bodies alive
Poems are tree limbs
Burnt offerings
Charring to writing
Stubs. Like fire, poems
Spark, make more poetry
Poetry a way of see
Ing be ing 
Living burning
Trying to paint fire
With words, our limbs
A-light suddenly.
We become fire
Our heads toss up quick
In a roarsnap
Disappearing smoke.
They say it hurts
Or maybe that's the pyre
All in, a smoke breath
Consumed by wordfire
Just letitgowhoosh
Creative immolation
Is that what we see
On YouTube ranting
Fixating word fire
Watching poets burn up
Soul fire, kin wraith
Warms us still
Write or be written
Burn brightly to make coal
Beds to help other
poets burn hot
Eventually we rise
The smoke Star bright night
Join cloud people and rain
No one can catch us
Flickering soul pulse
firesong bards crisping
Bright hot flash gone
We've warmed a generation
Participated in eternal spark
Burn on now daughters
Expand burst blossom
Involute mystery dark

Scooter 3\24\14

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ends at water's edge

Ends at Water’s Edge

flame seeks soul's timber 
licks blazing lips hers
seeks blast-furnace of turmoil mine
mingled light and heat sapper 
consumes free standing member
singes myrrh incensed she furs
resins labdanum smoke chased pine
agitate rampage fear lapper
accelerate caisson pull limber
sleazy limbo nylon a fire lure
fueled up to water’s edge our affinity line
tap-root scorched hollow taper capper.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Firewalk 1995

I’m on fire.
My body
steps in time.
I might not
have a mind.

march. The veils:
fire and fear.
Until now
I thought I’d

fall away—
burn or burst—
but as all
turns to thrust,
cries of birth

meet me first.
I’m thirsty.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

[fire and air] brighid

                near imbolc, a fire festival

tonight, leave out the white flags for her blessing
ancient flight, firelight, moonlight cresting

Imunuri Prompt: Elemental - Conflagration

scribe an offering 
inspired by the element of fire, heat, conflagration

what blazes in you, what moves you QUICKLY, what transmutes, and what are you warming with your flame? what, if incinerated, would grow from your inferno's ashes? write conflagration.

Tags: conflagration, epic-earth, poem, <poet's moniker>

Epic-Earth on Imunuri: An ongoing series of earth-related prompts as part of an Imunuri experiment to dwell repeatedly on a theme and its riffs, and/or the possible poetry challenge, bit by bit, of producing an epic or body of poems...

Image source: Firestorm, Mirror Plateau, 1988, National Park Service, Public Domain on Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lives of Knives

from Homer (about the chariot race)

"at the .... keep from being dragged in case of accident, they carried a falx, a curved knife... to the Zephyrs, the Greens to Mother Earth or spring, and the Blues to the sky and ..."


                                             Lives of Knives

                                      Thrust into world of commerce
                                      Knives begin journey
                                          to be handled
                                          to be sharpened
                                          to be dulled
                                            broken, loved and thrown
                                        lives of knives
                                           stuck in targets
                                           stuck to racks
                                           stuck in sheathes
                                           peace tied or not.

Monday, February 17, 2014

After the wreckage: The torrential questions

1. Where have I offered my slander of another
    When I was feeling the most desperate for connection
    And all that was available was an allegiance
    Against a "common enemy" ?

2.  Where have I divided or fractured what
     Knowing it's best and most beautiful truth
     Would remain whole ?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Massive Supersymmetry


natural as breathing

unseen sight

Higgs boson

unanswered question


a = morning

b = afternoon

c = evening

d = day

does a + b + c = d


apparent passage

of time

walks all over


we think


without time

the space


things would not

contain monies


as if those


did as we think

dark matter

anti matter


IT previously

not conceived of

not seen

electroweak field

strong interaction


of a second


Standard Model*

shaking in its




do we know

yet beautifully adapt

(we = cognizant)

as/within all forces


\phi^1 + i\phi^2 \\ \phi^0+i\phi^3

*the so-called Standard Model of Elementary Particles

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Gathered at skirt's edge

from: Lawrence Durrell’s “Pope Joan” this passage on page 24:
“Tell me daughter, he would say, “What is tongue?”
“Air’s whip.”
“What is air?”
“The element of life.”

Gathered at skirt’s edge

breeze westerly brings
foggy drink to redwood lips
 speaking Muir language  
      seeds, blast effervescent
squall speaks
“What is sung?”
(near tempestuous bark)
 “What is sown?”
    air’s hem
  “What is air?”
(gathered at skirt’s edge)
  “The element of life.”

Saturday, February 1, 2014


   "What's What? If I knew that, I'd be a sophomore at Purdue." 
         —punchline from an old joke

As deeply as I might dig,
there's deeper digging below.
As empty as the space is,
there's substance in the hollow—
parley of vacuum and wind,

rhythms and their air echoes.
I am not here just because
at least that's not why alone.
My flight of pitches and yaws
enrolls me, falling, twisting——

So I walk. I sit. My jaws
open gates of sound vectors,
my body of precious flaws,
my brain of texts of lightning—
and only this great wind blows:

to breathe what will happen next,
then to taste how I connect.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Imunuri Prompt: Elemental - Zephyr

scribe an offering 
inspired by the element of air, squall, zephyr

what blows in you, what moves you INSISTENTLY, what breathes, and what are you pushing with the force of your air? what, if lifted in cyclone, would be transported by your vortical spire? write zephyr.

Tags: zephyr, epic-earth, poem, <poet's moniker>

Epic-Earth on Imunuri: An ongoing series of earth-related prompts as part of an Imunuri experiment to dwell repeatedly on a theme and its riffs, and/or the possible poetry challenge, bit by bit, of producing an epic or body of poems...

Image source:  Occluded mesocyclone tornado, Oklahoma, 1999. Public Domain, NOAA


              in the
                kernel ball spitwad seed
            of my systeminstructions aka soulweed
                       there is no jealous yammer. not even a hum. kneel
              ing lightly before liftoff, between breaths, i feel the curve of death
       slice me in frozen airpuff in between. a guillotine of clarity. earth curve launch
es me to spin. before that. in the space between. my fingers float for nano. in deed,
all i am is this no-hum freeze. something keen and queer about the nobreath
nohum scene. you could not tell if i were faltering or in a state of piquante grace. i
brace for life, the way each breath is a womb, each lungfill a birth, launching me
out to life, a crisis of motion temporarily animating this ice queen sheen. i wait to
be returned to my originary still and silent clarity. i wait to be returned to what has
passed before this birth and what will spin my sky after i die, this serene. until
then, i keen in a quiet, elaborate parody, of living. underneath, beneath the breath,
sense it still, this still silent ellipse into which everything vanishes and from which
all arises. and returns. this no-rhythm rhythm of gift and release, i crawl back now,
in silent revery, returning too as a windless kite to deathless earth, a long smooth
slide back to birth. and before then too, before the big bang clang: the waveless
sea, the mirthless dearth. The emptiless reptile, the eyeless peak.  The grouchless sunken path to breach. Before all motion, before all time, before thunder and
cloud and red dawn sky. Before all this, and after too, I swim in a waterless 
eddy of leaking peace. Sweltering in tuneless shrill. Amorphous fog without any sense. I 
lurch in the no-words-now-for-what-is-not

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Early Robin

Mt. Tamalpais

An early robin
brought word

“God has pardoned us”
angels lifted our shame

Allowed us to taste
purple huckleberries again.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Fisherman's lull

Fisherman’s lull

Days with no waves
to play out there
to float
to rock
without talk
in the fisherman’s lull
even surf given
gravity tug
- blue color all -
coot mute.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Once on the way to see god

It takes, sometimes, medicine, to know the world's hall
lifting sunwhiteyellow architectures in shadows of light,
reconstructuring amber cells of un-self, oinglebundoincy—
a funny puppet tongue bounding from an infant's laugh-roar
into the place where my hungry, poor bodies come to camp
and await meeting this or that or the goddish who.
Now sit patient in presence of sun, light, trees, bugs who
welcome staying, make this grassy path one such hall
where a poor, hungry body might sit until tired, camp
until arrived at dusk, sink flat until will-o-the-wisp light
lifts away into the infinite architecture's acoustic roar
to a song that first kissed my brow, oinglebundoincy,
oingboincy aardvarkaroo. Orange argle kangabull. Oinglebundoincy
some loving one sang to some me, sounding the letters who
crescendoed head-bump cuddles into some solid roar,
steadied into some mature sense—straight-walled as a hall;
who constructed the all-chitecture and steadied the light
when, once upon once, everything was spontaneous camp.
Now I circle barefoot around sun, light, trees, bugs where I camp,
I myselfslide conversing argyle sweet-the-sound oingleboincy
with the green air, interviewing wavelengths of green light
to uncover the self of green, its rainbow, its essential who.
Speak, tree, on behalf of green. Say, path and sapling hall
about the light that lifts from soil to upward roar;
how it transmorphs to the red ruddy bloody roar
of cellular body dust aardvarkaroo cloud in which I camp!
The nostril of Tao is some ancient pyramid's funerary hall.
I finger-walk inside humming oinglebundoincy
through its darkness and filaments, into the nostril who
beams its finger-intersected face—the tendererst light!
And in the ear, and the shapes of hands, the blood light,
the maroon architecture, brown movement, black roar
of proof we come apart from a loose argle-bargle of who.
The darkling cuddles the light, trees, bugs, camp,
swaddling all the secret funny whisper oinglebundoincy.
Now I walk in boots back from the all-storied hall.

The goddish emissary lights my infant heart similar to camp
memories. Memory’s roar now hums a bouncy, cool oingleboincy.
I forget its meaning, but I know in my amber who fills the hall.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Reprieve: Song to Sestina

Happily going along, I find this,
unbeknownst to me, the sestina form
A new puzzle for the resting of mind
Chartered territory long ago laid
By Daniel historic and Daniel now.
May I have this dance? I say to myself
With nothing to do, I rest in myself,
the structure wafting me along in this
Arriving, pausing, backing up, and now
discovering, climbing into this form
that innocence, that's always been, is laid
bare, nothing to do but enjoy free mind
What comes is what comes, penetrating mind
with that which effortlessly is myself
Form and formless interweave, nature laid
before itself as the seed carries this
code, its modifying of subtle form
reminiscent somehow only of now
That which springs forth is the What Is of now
Here again, nothing to do, freeing mind
offering no thing to the empty form
giving everything to empty myself
Reminds me of walking one step, just this
then the next, each open, empty, each laid
As itself, but not distinct, again laid
as itself, but not apart from each now.
To speak of the whole seems trivial in this
kind of insight, as cliches work the mind
dry and so tired. To refresh myself
again, I climb up this jungle gym form
Surrendering without collapsing form
The formless emanates like gold leaf laid
in the thinnest of sheets over myself,
bathing me free of I, me, mine. And now
this reprieve sings the song empty of mind
to the chorus of Sestina. Just this.
An Empty, Empty form is Happy, Happy now.
Only need is to have laid out the table; mind
finds its own nourishment. I find myself in This.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Imunuri Prompt: Roaring Silence


Write a poem from the roaring silence.

Tags: loud-silence, epic-earth, poet's moniker, poem



From Annie Dillard (1982), Teaching a stone to talk: Expeditions and encounters...

About silence:
"it is difficult to undo our own damage, and to recall to our presence that which we have asked to leave. It is hard to desecrate the grove and change your mind. The very holy mountains are keeping mum. We doused the burning bush and cannot rekindle it; we are lighting matches in vain under every green tree. Did the wind used to cry, and the hills shout forth praise? Now speech has perished from among the lifeless things of earth, and living things say very little to very few. Birds may crank out sweet gibberish and monkeys howl; horses neigh and pigs say, as you recall, oink oink. But so do cobbles rumble when a wave recedes, and thunder breaks the air in lightning storms. I call these noises silence. It could be that wherever this is motion there is noise, as when a whale breaches and smacks the water—and wherever there is stillness there is the still small voice, God's speaking from the whirlwind, nature's old song and dance, the show we drove from town. At any rate, now it is all we can do, among our best efforts, to try to teach a given human language, English, to chimpanzees…" (p. 88)

"The mountains are great stone bells; they clang together like nuns. Who shushed the stars? There are a thousand million galaxies easily seen in the Palomar reflector; collisions between and among them do, of course, occur. But these collisions are very long and silent slides. Billions of stars sift among each other untouched, too distant even to be moved, headless as always, hushed. The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out. But God knows I have tried." (p. 89)

"At a certain point you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, to the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening. After a time you hear it: there is nothing there. There is nothing but those things only, those created objects, discrete, growing or holding, or swaying, being rained on or raining, held, flooding or ebbing, standing, or spread. You feel the world's word as a tension, a hum, a single chorused note everywhere the same. This is it: this hum is the silence. Nature does utter a peep—just this one. The birds and insects, the meadows and swamps and rivers and stones and mountains and clouds: they all do it; they all don't do it. There is a vibrancy to this silence, a suppression, as if someone were gagging the world. But you wait, you give your life's length to its listening, and nothing happens. The ice rolls up, the ice rolls back, and still that single note obtains. The tension, or lack of it, is intolerable. The silence is not actually suppression; instead, it is all there is." (pp. 89-90)


for a friend, after getting the email from genetic testing from relatives never known

Who is today's dweller of that cave house?
Destiny has brought us together
        from all corners of the world. 

From Crossing Hangu Pass, by Zhan Shichuang, translated by Charles Q. Wu

in one generation, it can be a family riven
later, a minefield, avoided
in a later generation, it can be a missing tooth
finally the time ripens to reach out
and fill the heartmountain with oldearth


sometimes, we don't know we had holes
til whole again, uprighter, spacious
we begin to dance


the body starts to move in ways unknown
pivoting then leaping from origins
finally known, sturdy earth everywhere underneath us
now: contact, knowing, sensing


we can only leap from contact

    oldearth   provender


Monday, December 23, 2013

Snail signs infinity

drawing by J Shon

                                                            Snail signs infinity

trail across low-tide sand
encircles itself once
loops again
snail signs infinity!
shell swirls
echo design bands
leave infinite behind
head north.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Who where what

I met a woman named Starlight Compost
naked and glorious by the river
and later at her home, tying the knot
under the oaks with a man named Kindred.
Still au naturel, fragrant, sand spattered.

I tell friends I met a woman named Star—
“and you won’t believe her surname.” The Ridge
cultivates its own cultural weather
that can seem to be a caricature
when you’re standing with neighbors on the street.

I put kitchen scraps in the worm bin,
which sits at the end of the rectangle
of lamplight from the living-room windows.
The scraps of our past make a dank tangle
and the impelling smells of nascent dirt.

Above only the few brightest bangles
suggest there may be celestial angles.