|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
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
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)
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.
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
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.
and the deer track
June-July 1998 Earth First!
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
For the bonfires
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
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
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.