a seed
blown on the wind
or carried by bird or squirrel
until deposited
in fertile soil
a spot perfectly suited
for its specific needs
pushes gently
with fragile fingers
to reach the moisture
that feeds it’s spine
to sprout tiny limbs
which slowly reach out
from the warm blanket of its birth
eternally stretching
towards the warm glow of Heaven
in such slow
graceful motion
that its progress is marked in decades
in the rings of its trunk
and its family is generations
of insect
and moss
and squirrels
and birds
that carry its seed
to other fields
to claw and scrape and sometimes
long enough to become home
to their own generations
of life
until one day
hundreds of years
and thousands
perhaps millions
of lives later
it is in the way
holding up progress
it is hacked and sawed
and uprooted
and burned for a road
or a home
or a hotel
or a parking lot
and I am reminded
that in life
there are no take backs
I can’t go back to where I began
reach out into the world
in a different direction
or replace
the paths I took
that got me here
or retrace the steps
that carried me to this point
sitting naked in a hot tub
and sipping rum
and allowing the events of my life
events that led me to a walk down this most beautiful avenue
lined with oaks
planted with purpose
full of peace
intentional peace
a grove
this family
brothers and sisters
destined to live their lives
to their very end
while I
still digging my roots deeper
my limbs higher
have every opportunity
as a gift from the Divine
to expand those roots at will
to places of my design
of Her design
I can never go back
only forward
and at any time
I too
may become
though I am still just a seed



Picture taken at Avenue of the Oaks.



just be

be yourself

Being yourself means being honest with yourself. I sometimes forget that and fall into the trap of “this is who I want to be” or “this is what I want to believe to be true”.

Those feelings are based on opportunity, desire, and a hundred other feelings that stand in opposition to truth and love and they ultimately lead to internal conflict and pain and obfuscate the Self.

I remind myself
I am also part of “the world”
that tries so hard
to make me something else
something less than myself
and release
the untruths
revealed to me
through them
by simply standing back
from what others might see
or believe to be
in order to hear my reflection say
“This is who I am”
not what I want to see
or want to be
or what others believe
but what I know to true
and though what I see
may not yet be who I am
trying so hard to become
I can see that person
looking back at me
and I say to him
“You are perfect just as you are”

I’m looking for the gratitude but…

There’s a stupid ringing in my ears
My left one mostly
The drum I blew out listening to god knows what
Far louder than anyone should
That made it sound like everyone was talking through wax paper
On a comb
Mister Effin Roboto style
Now it rings
Sometimes loud
Sometimes not so loud
Today it is a raging storm
Like a siren
And just now
Like it wasn’t bothersome enough
It kicked up a notch
I suppose
For tones I no longer hear
And those I’ve temporarily lost
Due to sinus problems
That leave the world smelling like
Like something foul
And nasty
And gives me a headache behind my eye
My left eye of course
The same one I get styes on once in a while
The one with macular degeneration
Scar tissue
From damage caused by welding
And grinding
And all sorts of other jobs
I did to pay the bills
For things I no longer own
Jobs that left my hands susceptible to cold
Like my whole left arm
Which I can’t stick in a bucket of ice without wincing
Ever since I burned it so bad
I needed a skin graft
But that’s another story
Stupid ringing in my ears


It’s funny how just writing about it seemed to make it fade some. Probably endorphins released by laughing at myself sounding like an old codger in his rocking chair yelling at the newspaper boy missing the front door by a foot. “Dammit, kid! Develop your arm already! Try throwing a football once in a while or lifting some weights or some enthusiastic masturbation! Next time I’ll throw it back at you. Right between your eyes!”

Call it practice for old age.

As if all my years will ever make me old.

Now there’s something to be grateful for.

Diablo Canyon

The night is cool and the slight breeze carries the scent of dusty jasmine, it is a welcome relief from the hot days filled with sweat. It holds a promise and a secret.

The promise reveals itself in the mating flight of two eagles that call my name as if to give me cause to look towards the edge of the volcanic cliff they glide dangerously above.

As I glance upwards I see in the stone wall a carving I have become familiar with though it is something most people miss despite its size. It is Malice, Fear, it is the summoning of a guardian to keep those at a distance who have no business being close. This is Diablo Canyon. The carving is of el Diablo himself though I am certain the name it first carried is long lost.

When the railroad passed through here many years ago the Superintendent ordered the demolition of the carving. It frightened the workers. “A bad omen”, they would say, “We are not wanted here”.

They were right.

The railroad failed. The only remnants are the beds upon which the rails once lay and even those have nearly disappeared, swallowed by a landscape that has rejected civilization and its monuments.

This is a sacred place. A place shared by the Jacarilla and Mescalero Apache, and possibly the Anasazi, the “Evil Ones” who inhabited this area long before anyone else.

It is protected by skinwalkers, shape shifters who gave up their humanity in order to live as protectors and warriors, keepers of the secrets it hides.

I once managed to track a skinwalker to its den near here, a vile and dark place that reaked of carnage, purely by accident. Later I found the ring of stones on a butte close by where the rituals were performed to bring about the transformation.

His den was only two ravines away from my own makeshift den, a 1964 International Harvestor with a massive camper built on its extended frame.


I had the permission of the BLM officer, a kind and gracious man nearing retirement, to stay there in exchange for my useless efforts to return the area to a semblance of its natural state. More importantly, I had, I hoped dearly every night, struck the same bargain with the skinwalker.

Many times as I raked the broken glass and gathered the rusted metal, victims of gunfire and carelessnes, I felt his presence and once, while hiking the ravines, careful to steer clear of his den, I saw him in the thick brush beside me, a huge dark form like a wolf but the eyes that stared back at me were the eyes of a man. Or what used to be a man.

I stood still and repeated my vow with my arms out as I did every night, hoping to please or, at least, placate him. “I am here to help. If you do not want me here you need only tell me now and I will leave”.

His heavy breathing, rich with the smell of blood and age and warm on my skin he was so close, paused while I spoke. Then, in a blur of nearly soundless motion, he leapt off and in a second was gone.

I never saw him so clearly, or so surely, again, until this night.

The eagles again called my name as if to pull me from the trance I spent four days acquiring. I was on a vision quest and the vision had begun, but it was unlike any I’d ever experienced before.


Image: “Diablo Canyon” by Christopher Wieck


Lit by smiles
and sweet laughter
I hear when I close my eyes
By the soft touch
Of loving hands
That still tingle
like electric current on my skin
By kisses
That took my breath away
and left me breathless
By endless talks
Of hopes and dreams
I carry with me
My soul burns with a passion
That can not
Should not
Be extinguished
It is not what I have
That kindles the fire
I have nothing
It is the memory of those things
And the promise of their renewal
That drives me



Two of a Kind


How often
I wonder
do I see the world
distorted by the lens of my past
in colors of jade
edges dulled
contrast fuzzy
like looking through
a dusty kaleidoscope
my mind fitting the broken pieces
in ways that suit
or expectation

Too often
I would guess

Too often


I close my eyes
and see from within
my vain attempts
to correlate the data of my past
with cloudy visions of the future
based on incomplete analysis of the present
influenced by experience
interpreted through illusion
borne from misunderstanding
and think to myself
“No wonder I stumble”

Note to Self

Recently, I was introduced to the term “imposter syndrome” which is defined as “a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

Since I don’t feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything yet I argued that it really doesn’t apply to me (“that’s the point” she replied in silence). I am, however, quite intimate with the “fraud” part.

There’s so much I want to say. So many things I want to write about. I have a passion in me that has been ignited in a way that is impossible to extinguish. Nor would I want to extinguish it.

But the words won’t come.

Instead all I hear is:





How can I write about those things I feel and the lessons I have to share if I am unable to create and maintain them in my own life? Why should anyone listen to me? Why do the people I know continue to come to me for advice? I have had no success in love (or in life, really) to point at as an example and what I have learned I have learned painfully.

Rather than expose myself as that fraud I have written nothing but in doing so I prove that sense of failure because what I write about most often is hope and gratitude.

Some time back I read an article in the Buddhist review “Tricycle” by the Zen monk, Shozan Jack Haubner, who says:

“The only thing worse than trying to look younger than you are is trying to look wiser than you are.”

So I remind myself that my only failure is in thinking I’d be wiser by now and forgetting that I am only as wise as I allow my experiences to make me.

It is the suffering that has taught me the things I write about and though I don’t write about them in a “woe is me” manner does not mean I am pretending, it simply means I am learning.

Today I recommit myself to sharing what I have learned and to expressing the fire that burns in my soul because to hide it, or to hide from it, would truly make me a fraud.

As Shozan says, “…we all must commit wholeheartedly, moment after moment, to the life we have…”

This is my life. I will live it to the fullest. Even if that means pretending a little.