Sometime before the land turned away from light

The wind in the wild mustard slowed
The sun, being where is always is, the moon too
Twilight and moonrise were in me.

Something small and quick sprang and ran.
The long grass bent as I watched the urge to chase
Corner and kill rise and fall inside me.

A hawk tucked wings, stooped from a great height
Was high in the air again, a ground squirrel in its claws–
The life of a large snake touched me, I watched

From grass to rock, sand on the road to sage
I heard the dry hiss where a lizard whipped out.
The serpent, licking the air with a pronged tongue

Coiled under a cactus tree, sang a warning–
This was no tree of knowledge, the rattler
Untouched by good or evil, is pure, perfectly pure.

I closed my eyes, sound and light opened the third eye
I saw a human face, half gleaming reptilian green
Half clear compassionate blue– There were no words,

No thought, I moved forward and became that face.


How Mind Moves

The splash of water on rocks

at the high end

vibrations move, ripple the surface
but not the sweet calm
a center of lotus and lily pads
like a quiet deep of sea —
But water arrives by many ways
to be a pond: fed by mountain-top rain
seeping to a circle of stone
where deer drink
turtles sun and dream white and gold
orange and black koi
rising and falling like ideas
frogs in a daze
noon only a notion here, and slowly
at low end, the water flows out
mind twisting through pines
senses thought concept reason time
enter the high end noisy waves

leave the low, fulfillment

running to the sea

cropped-cropped-dsc0045111 Photo by Tom Gable Nature Photographer

Poets & Writers

A Forest Monk Speaks

If you find yourself in a Buddhist temple
You are not in a Buddhist temple.

Though you pray and chant for yourself
Night and day, you remain in Hell.

Living and dying, are the two not one
Happening at the same time?

A cobra lifts its head in your path.
Teach it to hiss, not bite.  It is you.


Poem first appeared in “The Fires of Spring” by Rayn Roberts

Forest Monks

The Monk & The Cobra Parable

download-1  kammatthana_yantra

I Have It All

I am the lone lion of my home
Not lonely, but self-contained.
Everything here is for me alone
Scratching post, furniture, food

Supplied by one I keep away
Until I want the warmth of a lap.
Leaping up, I settle fur and stay
As she reads on couch or chair

Purr to sleep as if she were a bed
Allow the idea that I am a pet
But I own her; let no one forget
Why am held so dear by all…

I am my own self without doubt
Cat, without apology or excuse
The universe is here just for my use.













Rayn Roberts

Native Love Song

Come, my love, there is work to be done
then we will sing.

Why are you sad?

When you walk with me, the corn is ripe
the river song sounds in our ears
the wolf is high in the mountain
the eagle and I are brothers.

Why do you worry?

Your gait excites the young warriors
You charm me more than your sisters
Your path is full of my footprints
Your father waits in his dwelling
Your mother knows.

Why do you doubt, you know I am yours.

Come, my love, there is work to be done
then we will sing.





for Will Petty in Blaine
or wherever he is .

There he is that sassy kid
Head full of wit and fire

Walking the hills like level ground
Hand in a sack full of plums.

Cocky, wild, full of himself
I wish I were more like him–

Take the heat from a flame,
The strut from a cock

The leap and kick from a kid
Break the heart of a nation!

Let be, let the boy go
Who can say

When he eats that plum
Where he spits that pit

A tree will not rise tomorrow?


The Pest

If in the vaulted ceiling cold cathedral air
Warming itself in sunlight, there is one fly
And I am kneeling, I alone in supplication
Am l lifting prayer to a higher power, that fly

Will surely light on my ear!

By heaven I know well the silver winged pest
Red eyes refracting light
Is God’s own creation, but must it love my ear
As I turn to the ever still voice– Buzz, Buzz

Is all I hear.

Is the scent of me so alluring, so irresistible?
Is it my hair, my breath
My old smokey coat that draws it like a carcass
A can of fresh garbage?

Even in winter, living on next to nothing
It sustains itself
On God knows what, beeswax, holy water
The Madonna’s roses

Until it is nearly nothing again–
Surely the lowly are blessed, blessed the small things
The ant, the cockroach, the gnat will inherit the earth
Being what they are without effort

This fly, a little saint, teaching me near well enough
The patience to deep meditation.
Forgive us our insecticide, our rolled paper to swat
Forgive this quick hand

Catching you in quick flight, out of the once hallowed air
Forgive little friend, and farewell…