Adrift in the flow of it all, I barely know
when night turns her face to the sun
these days, so many springtime pursuits,
and there are streams that beckon, flowing
wildly as long as snowmelt from higher
altitudes drives water down the Borracha
Canyon into the settlement of Vallecitos
and beyond, gushing through pine forests
into rocky beds, nourishing the sandy soil
of this region, cascading over boulders,
turning corners along courses it has carved
over centuries and finally seeking greater
rivers, feeding into the Rio Grande,
wanting nothing so much as the sea;

How have people existed in arid regions,
remote as the end of this twisted mountain
road, high altitude limiting means
of sustenance, lumbermill shuttered,
cattle replacing sheep nearly a century ago
as predators continue scanning fields
for the young and weak; still, as in Hawai’i,
cows enjoy the most stunning outlooks, relaxing
in jaw-dropping scenery, at one with the ground
of the earth in a way humans might emulate,
resting when needed, wandering when prompted,
feeding as sacrament under the brilliance
of wide-open azure skies struck through
with migrating waterfowl, geese and egrets
and the occasional perennial triplet
of red-tailed hawks, ever circling,
thick wings outstretched as they soar
freely on thermals, variegated backs warmed
in the brilliance of our blessed star
the sun, savoring each moment until,
in a splash of fruit salad colors, his
flaring bald head flattens out before ducking
into the curve of purple hills while less
obvious luminaries, which have never gone
anywhere, take center stage in a backdrop
of endless black velvet as our portion
of the planet closes now into the chill
and perpetual revolution of the night.

Forest stream, Vallecitos, NM ~ bj 2023


Maybe what he had inside was genius,
little freckled boy face, eyes looking out
at a world that was senseless at times,
the hero father filled with his own demons,
no time to self regulate nor a model
to follow, as all boys need, as we all do,
and anger, fear and disappointment grew
like Father Time’s long white beard
and longer, and wider, engulfing him
like the dark waters of his own psyche,
musician’s soul drowning from lack
of enough to fill the glass even half full;

Yet he went on and on, woman to woman,
children left in his wake, those left to wonder
how they fit in, if they ever did, and some
flirted with madness of their own, is it inherent
in those who follow, I might attest,
though it seems rather a deep well of sorrow
we fell into, which takes some time and great
effort to climb out, stone by slippery stone,
gritting our crumbling teeth just to hold on,
needing support of others but not knowing
how to ask and we flounder, time and again,
confusion and anger and love and desire,
yet some do survive, even thrive;

The journey begins with a single faltering step,
once we realize the power to change, to look
into the crucible, will it melt our eyes, singe
our faces, how can we be made whole
without jumping in, facing the worst only
to redeem ourselves, is it luck or love or both,
and enough willpower to realize only we,
ourselves can do the work set before us,
and there is great power in this, if we can,
and we must, in this lifetime or beyond.

family archives ~ bj 2023

Earth Love

Here in the mountains night creatures roam, day has not
yet stretched rays of sunlight over the land, birds are still
tucked tightly into tree branches, tiny beaks buried in fluffy
breast down, eyes closed as they breathe in rhythms
too subtle to notice, dreaming dreams we cannot fathom
while elk roam open fields, grazing on dew-laden grasses
and cattle doze in groups meant to protect them
from predators while tiny rodents gather seeds
and detritus to kit out their burrows;

Ice has broken, snow opens now into flowing waters
that gather into dry gullies that swirl in streams seeking
rivers which yearn for the sea, if humans have not drawn
them dry before the cycle is completed, while buds collect
like tiny dark knots on tree branches, and I water deeply
with the hose, creating a false spring here in the high
arid country, shaking shovelfuls of manure into driplines,
trimming dead growth meant to protect tender new shoots
during the harsh cold of a long winter;

Awaken now the glorious pale rose of day, as the planet
rotates her face nearer the sun and we await the light
too many take for granted, while life still thrums
in soil and sky, the milky way hidden now from view,
yet always there, moon and stars, and the yawning
blackness of universes beyond.

here on the ranch ~ bj 2013


Reduced now to ashes, I rise from the fires of transformation
again and again, and it gets wearying sometimes, all this death
and resurrection, so many incarnations within one lifetime,
and occasionally I struggle with perceptions of others,
the young simply trying to navigate their own way
in the midst of the tumult and dismantling of old paradigms,
and my contemporaries doubtless steeped in their own sort
of confusion, nothing that once seemed to work providing
scaffolding, support to see up and over the walls closing in,
no clear drawbridges into or out of the castle that
once represented security, and they become discouraged,
figuring that by now at least, life would offer ease
as it seemed to do for their predecessors;

These are unprecedented times, there is no guidebook,
for we are co-creating the future as never before,
planets constellating around a pivot point,
supporting us in transformation of epic proportions,
only we must do the shadow work before integrating
the brilliance that awaits us, gathering old perceptions
and opinions and their attendant labels and discards
into a pile, raising our own conflagration in an earnest
attempt at returning ourselves to the present moment,
to our divine nature, to our hopes and dreams
for a better world, so that we may all Without Exclusion
simply love and be loved, valuing All our relations
and this incredible earth supporting us, and return
to real food, real community, genuine connection,
all the rest notwithstanding. And be free.

Chris and the dogs walking along what we’ve always known to be a dry stream bed. Water blessings! ~ bj

Circle of Life

I went back not in time, but in topographical memory,
to a place where leaves swirl and tumble into crosshatched
networks of red and gold and green, lying still as delayed
springtime in roadside piles, now in varying shades
of umber, sienna, ochre and dun, fashioning soil as they
ponder the cycles of ages, their role in breaking down
into mulch to nurture future generations of shrubs
and trees, flowers and weeds, as moisture trickles off roofs
of city dwellings in runnels and rivulets, nourishing taproots
in tiny strips of soil, while spidery feeder roots await
adequate sunlight for them to burst into carpets
of mosses and meadows, as inside houses the gardener
awaits, marking time until conditions are deemed right
to participate, once again, in creation;

Back here on the ranch, the sand in high desert soil
has filtered snow and spring rains, draining moisture
far beneath the surface in its own dance of eons,
and those who have survived have adapted, ponderosas
and piñons and sagebrush clinging to hillsides,
buttressed by rocks anchoring them in place,
and the vast open beauty of the West fans out in mesas
and valleys gathered into the bosom of snowcapped
mountains, carved through by streams and rivers
appearing from the air like so many veins and arteries
artfully nourishing lungs and vesicles of human anatomy,
we are all connected, these bodies our expression
in the cosmic dance upon the miracle that is Planet Earth.

Mt. Tabor, portland or ~ bj

The Meeting

Today I saw a mountain lion, absent
was my phone or camera, and I might not
have thought of those anyway, rapture being
the single emotion that leapt in my heart;

She was hunkered close to the ground,
casting the dogs and me a backward glance
with a twitch of her long, thick tail as if
to say yes, it has been my scat you were
rolling in, spotted one, and yes, your instincts
are sharp and clear, but I am, after all, noble
enough to escape nearly any predator
save man and his blasted firearms, ever eager
to blow another to oblivion out of sheer panic,
fear, ignorance of nature’s laws;

The wild ones themselves never frighten me,
I have never feared anything I have witnessed
in forest, field or ocean, and nearly any creature
will turn and sidle away, given respect and space,
and I am always left with childlike joy and wonder,
feeling twice blessed, awaiting another meeting,
if nature so deems it.

Caught recently on a ranch cam in New Mexico, photographer yet to be revealed

Meet Me Halfway

Between insanity, foolishness and downright
crazy talk there are interstices, touch points
of connection; like the stars in the heavens,
they pulse with possibility, and how to help
determine what might be key to a more
beautiful connection our brimming hearts
know is possible?

Focus now on intention when we speak,
tuning the de-haze filter on this snapshot
in time, there will always be clarity if we
seek it, only in any relationship, it takes
both to desire a more lucid connection;
there is a quiet spot in the forest, meet
me there, outside the din of so-called
society, where we can hear our thoughts
more clearly and feel the trees embracing us;

Or let’s meet on the beach, where the element of water may purify the untoward, plant ourselves on the sand and breathe a bit, frazzled bare wires settling into patterns once again, where we can let our minds feel the Oneness that surrounds us, and simply Be.

Sangre de Christos mountains ~ bj


It is time to bloom as if newly awakened
from a dream and only now realizing
it is morning, the bright sunlight
inviting me out into a new day
which I can fill with anything I wish,
beginning with thought;

When rising, now fully aware of my role
in creation, thoughts want to take over,
run down the clock with their ceaseless
meanderings, judgments, rehashing
of the old, reacting to what’s new,
and I nudge them out with the words love,
magic, miracles, what harm could it do?

Perhaps it is this day I dreamed into being,
then again, did we not collectively call it in,
beckon it like a welcome stranger, stretches
of grey piling like cumulus, one upon the other,
and perhaps the united awakened We finally
reached a consensus that sunshine was overdue
and just like that, it arrived!

Hilo Orchid Show, somewhere in time ~ bj

The Opening – A Message from Gaia

Watch as you stomp out the flames of a smoldering fire,
this is not the end, but a fresh beginning, time for a new
blaze to rise up that is more authentically yourself;
the world is changing and we are its agents of change,
let the waves that carry doubts and fears of your
insignificance move you onto that bright shore
of possibility;

It is there you are greeted by your tribe, those like-
minded and clear hearted ones who, like you, are crawling
out of the froth as if newly born, shaking the detritus
loose to be transformed into not another organism
but themselves, the souls that have patiently awaited
this reunion for your entire lives, longing to express
fully while you still breathe;

The debris was never you, never real, yet it has
polluted the ocean of humanity long enough
while you tried aspects of it on like changing outfits,
bits of this, some of that, something infused
in your young mind that pointed up insufficiencies,
and your family and friends are likewise
being presented with the offer to awaken,
though this call is for you alone, for as you have
learned by now no one can change another,
agreements made long before donning
this extraordinary human mantle may
or may not maintain the forms you expect,
hold space for delightful surprises;

Wake up my love, embrace eternity and bring it
with you down to earth, this sentient organism
that has waited eons and beyond for you to join
in the dance; fear not the inner turbulence that need
no longer be tagged to past experience, this is
a new dawn, a new day, one you have never known
before as your very cells open up to reconfigure now
to the frequency of unconditional universal love;

Be gentle with yourselves, for what you are feeling
is an emerging bliss like you have never experienced
except in eye-blinks of time throughout your sojourn
here, do not fear it because it is different, it is
peace knocking at your door. Simply welcome it In.

image: bj 2023

Try the Prompt

If I Could

If I could be someone else for a day,
what a silly little thing to say; the only
thing useful in doing this would be
I could be you, and you could be me,
eliminating language (as sad as that is),
yet to feel behind words might provide
a slight fizz, as insights we lack
in the pauses between could wax
clearer and cleaner, you know
what I mean?

Stepping into your skin might feel
somber and cool, as a being lacking
spirit is like entering a pool of inky black
water fed by River Styx, and intrigued
as I am, I would not like that mix;

So within my own heart space I choose
to remain, jumping out of my flesh
proves too much of a strain; if your
interest is piqued as to who I might be,
we’ll go back to the language,
what is shared, you and me.

On the Highway ~ Chris Johnson