Ecstasy at Salmon Creek

We make the sun burn between us free as mountain air

A warm wide rock to lie on

Deeper than any bed, a pleasure nest innocent as maidenhair

The turk’s cap and columbine, we make them bloom

Wild orchid and lobelia

Never more pure nor alive than the moment trout leap

And quail fly up the ascending fern—

Our lithe bodies intertwine with the afternoon


A venerable wave of heat—


Sixty feet from the top, sixty feet the waters of Salmon Creek

Falling in clearlight-sunfire cascading into summer!

Oh the idiotic idea of time, the shoe left behind, a leaf

A stone, a blossom, a cone

Stuffed in sack, taken back, mementos of what we cannot own.

But if Eden were ever an earthly place

It is here, and we make it, we make it wasteland or home.




(for J. 2016)

©  Rayn Roberts


Meeting an Archetype


I’d thought it idea only or myth, but I met her


Anima, the woman in me

Fair skinned, blue eyed, blond  

But with a smile

Like the light of dawn:

Friend healer mother teacher sister wife

She is a forest after rainfall

Lowland field of golden rice

The power of a storm to repel any threat

Hot-spring of healing water restoring body and mind.

I knew her thoughts by a look I’ve seen my father often

            Across the distance of a room

Give my mother, then smile

Because each knows the other without words. 

She and I were free but wise, children yet old

Holding hands in a land that holds only two—

And the image went on when I woke

True as the air I breathe 

            Every woman I looked upon that day

Seemed to smile, invite me to be with her, with a look


That escapes words, even in the most exquisite poetry.



                                                                                                     Rayn Roberts   2016


Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning


There was a sidewalk troubadour, twelve-string in hand
He said, “Come hear me warm up my guitar man …”

A vagabond in rainbow poncho pushed a shopping cart
Decorated with snowman, reindeer, garland and a sign that read,

“Happy Xmas, I’m homeless, please help.”

A red, white and blue wolf visible only to me,
Moved him down the street nipping at his heels.

A group jammin’ to a jazz trumpet and drum called out,
“That guy’s a taco short of a combination plate!

Their laugher filled the sky… The full moon floated
Like an empty plate– I wanted to walk into the desert
Find the place where heaven split apart and fell to earth…

I wanted the earth to open and swallow me up, but
The troubadour sang a song of three ships in a harbor

He sang, “And all the bells on earth did ring on Christmas day

…in the morning…”

An angel, audible only to me, sang into my ear,

“And who will ring the bells for the poor on Christmas day

… in the morning?”

The singer he was warming up, He sang for me
He sang for the bum, Christmas morning:

Monday night, December 15th.






Revisions here by Rayn Roberts 2016

Published in different form December 2005 in Turbula

(originally published in “Jazz Cocktails and Soapbox Songs,” 2003)

Winter Solstice

Outside the garden store, where I had tried
to find a Christmas tree, a very old woman
sitting near the door, called out to me,

“It’s cold out here!”
“Are you waiting for a ride?”

“Yes, but they’re late…
Can you take me inside?”

I didn’t know how she got there, but knew
She couldn’t wait, and though a stranger
I asked, “Can you stand?”

Then leaning on a cane,

my mother took my hand.



First Published by Earth First & Warrior Poets 1998

Warrior Poets


Secrets From the Mountains Above Nagoya

Sitting in the mist
between two boulders
I cannot see the way
in this bamboo wood,
but the birds sing
and there is the chirp
and bellow of frogs–

In layers of fern and limb
a sudden stillness,
the mist has cleared–
a deer emerges,
walks to the edge of water,
drinks, and moves on
completely content,
without regard
for the white iris blooming there

I too am content,
singing softly to myself
to the birds and frogs
that answer with silence–
I take off my clothes
dance in the fern,
drink from the pool.

My footprint
and the deer track

are one.



Rayn Roberts
June-July 1998 Earth First!

Some are going to die tonight.


When old winter’s bitter cold
Sinks into wire and soul
Through window and wall

Where is the haven
From welting wind, snow
And ice, where
Do the homeless go?

Never was a time
More apropos
For the bonfires
of Girolamo
to cleanse us of greed
and warm the poor!

Churches open a door,
Yes, some will sleep alright:
Some are going to die tonight.

Rayn Roberts 2016



Two Views of Adam & Eve

Why God Gave Us Time

A forever ago

Drifting in daydreams
God dropped time
Like a heavenly hairpin

On a golden sidewalk.

He searched pockets
The whole kingdom
But failed to find it.

So God said to no one

“What is time?
An angel hair
A demon claw

A useless thing to me.”

But he kept on
Creating universe
After universe to look in

Almost forgetting why…

When he found it
He gave it to Adam
To remind him

Someday he would die–

That was just after Eve
Made the first apple pie.