Bedime Prayer

Bedtime Prayer

Soma, xanthan, vodka sweet
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray that death will not come
That would be pretty dumb
To die alone without a friend
Would be a bitter wasted end.
But if I die before I wake
I did my best for fuck sake
I don’t know where I’m goin’
Make sure the gate is open
Photo: CIRCA 1940s – Zbigniew Stypulkowski, A Member Of A Polish …


In silence older than the sun
the desert hold me like a lover
needing little, offering nothing

but peace–

A voice in the wilderness
“There is no lasting happiness here
Samsara, samsara.” darkness older

than silence

Older than the coyote howl
hunting song of the owl
the bat wing flick, mule deer kick

To move and breathe not knowing
so simple a truth
is to live in darkness

The horns of the crescent moon
caught in the fires of heaven
tangled in endless night, the sun

gone out–

Here, here it was all along as I wandered
caught between waking and dreaming
bewildered ghost unaware of a star’s death

the truth

Of stars flaring up, smoldering out
as I watch–
and if suns die
is there no end to desire, all the lovers

through these old arms opening
like lotus leaves, beautifully, slowly
suffering joy and pain


There is not lasting happiness here
Oh Wonder, Beautiful One, give peace
Give truth like the sun, a way in a wild dry land.



For Trinidad Garcia

Nothing is created, nothing destroyed

Before the match was struck fire was here
row on row of votives burning
before Our Lady Guadalupe
the moon and stars at her feet, angels attending–

An image in oils only, but tonight, as you lie dying
She floats over holy fire and water
hovering above the cold pews, tilting her head
tenderly downward, smiling.

Nothing is lost, nothing gained

You made no burden of grief, no murmur of humility
the morphine prevented you from feeling death
that, you said, was one regret, then smiled
as you smiled a thousand times before, except I saw in it

What there is to get to
the stillness of pain in perfect surrender
the smile on your lips a gift of parting joy–

When a candle goes out
Fire remains, your mind gliding like a bird
In and out of consciousness, row on row of stars
flickering out, out, and on again…


Mi amigo, Trinidad
murió tan joven,
el 7 de julio de 1994.

A Vision of the Alder in Spring

One warm night in spring, an instant I looked elsewhere
The alder split the air, a thousand green lights
Neon leaves breathing on the tree.

In the half-light the moon left, I saw and felt was it meant
“Time is a tree, this life one leaf”

How brief our season that teaches light, would that it were not
So hard a lesson to learn, we like the alder
would unfold light without
the unending struggle.

This is eternal, what death cannot destroy, we are each of us
Rooted in earth, sprouting on the tree, which is
I dare not say, but which I see
and feel

This time around, this time, one leaf shining…



Making Room

Make room for a quiet sound, take a broom
to your heart, sweep distractions away
clear away notions and fear, let the sound
sweep through you, a wave washing sand
let the silence between two waves find you

Wander in mind without care, be the wonder
of a day lily opening slowly, the voice
not of power high or low, your own voice,
and when you hear it, be still and listen
as you did to the voice of your mother

Listen as to an old friend, as to a song
on your deathbed, lost in listening, listen
as to a great love you lost come back to you
to love you and never leave you again.




Cover photo and poem by Rayn Roberts