Dark Moon Rising

I’m waiting in the dark to sleep,
but it won’t come, I feel the creep,
the broken bits of hearts and minds
lie scattered like the leaves, the vines
are choking back a flood of tears,
are mourning for the empty years
it seems we have accrued in vain
while human rights now fall like rain
onto a toxic, littered ground
of ignorance worn like a crown;

‘Tis not the sceptre of a King,
this ruthless gore, the suffering,
the Baptist’s head upon a plate,
in service to some nobler fate
as if accused could turn within
and simply shed offensive skin;

Did not in mind the lessons gel?
A heaven craved, what tortured hell
demands this blood out on the streets?
Attacking those who cannot meet
the venom dripping from veiled eyes,
the blindness-shredding thin disguise,
the dull and cataracted gaze
of Stepford wives, of husbands crazed,
and even their pale Christ would flee
white-peak’ed haberdashery;

We breathe a truth, believe it’s real,
has always been, despite appeal,
what cannot be accepted, worse
when viewed as blessing or a curse
can only be corrected there,
within the flesh and bones and hair;

One finger pointed out and straight,
four digits cannot castigate,
but curl, unyielding, toward the one
that dares to judge another’s son
or daughter somehow less than they
whose lives, unblemished, rue the day
of Judgment when their fate is sealed
and once again they stand, revealed.


Reflections in Blue and Green

Growing up there wasn’t a thing I liked about the color blue. Home was walled white with black and white Japanese hanging prints, glass topped tables and smooth black lacquered chairs upholstered white; white baby grand. In contrast, blue was the color of sadness, of the sky where the angry father god lived, white beard trailing through the ethers, accusing finger pointing straight at me. The wild blue yonder reeked of bombs dropping their pods of death onto victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I memorized color in nature; spinach-hued ivy leaves, viridian pine, the foliate domes of camphor, bucolic stretches of eucalyptus-lined seasonal streams. A fruitless olive wept over verdurous grass while the sycamore my father planted in a hoed-up hillock in our front yard, the tree I was told I’d have to wait fifteen years to climb, stretched tangled roots into dun-colored earth. The kelly green of three-leaf clover spread before me like a sea where I sat for hours as in meditation, picking through to discover the uncommon four, while the rhythmic kuff of my father’s shovel hitting dirt paced with vole-like intensity, carving out a fallout shelter beneath our home. In the face of the ‘fifties, green smelled of eternity, the future, something like hope my young self could aspire to.

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There have been many reasons these past few years to feel deep remorse as an American; things that a government ‘by the People’ should never have enacted on The People’s behalf. I could write a treatise on these assaults to our humanity, but will spare you that, at least.

In our country, lines have been increasingly blurred with regards to separation of church and state, and I am flooded with gratitude today that our Supreme Court, at least, has demonstrated wisdom in reinforcing this boundary.

Freedom to love whom we wish without legal bias can only give rise to protection under the law for everyone. It’s all I can do to sit still and write this. Consider it my virtual dance of delight.


I wanted to be short,
landed somewhere in between;
longed for slim hips and blond hair,
blue-eyed Aphrodite piercing hearts
with her Colgate smile.

Trading politics for popularity,
no idea how to fit in,
delving into purgatorial perambulations;
sex, drugs and rock and roll.

What I got I needed,
painful reminders of mortality and folly;
limbo lover of life and the substantial,
discovered in middle age
when the veils floated free.

Gazing now into silvered glass,
a raven’s eyes smile back their knowing;
platinum crown cresting as artifice fades away,
and I am free.





Lucid dreams and time bombs
light up folds of the mind like fireworks
stamping images that fade,
leaving only memory trails in their wake.

In bright light or deepest shadow
lies truth, pulsing quietly
and insistently amidst folly;
flickering neon placards of inquiry,
arising purely from desire
to set course aright.

Why do we struggle, perceiving bondage
when freedom ever unfolds before us
like flowers, or the endless skies?

Peace is possible when a heart yearns ardently
to be free, marking time only heaven knows,
awaiting the great unveiling.



Independence Day 2014

Today the USA honors Independence Day, a holiday celebrated with food and fireworks and thoughts of those who died to grant us the freedoms we now enjoy as a nation. I’m always conflicted when it comes to this holiday, however, as it’s far too easy to memorialize war over peace, to value aggression over compassion in our quest to secure an outdated dependence on oil and other precious resources rather than to implement a worldwide model of sustainable living.

From the Cambridge Dictionary: Independent: Capable of thinking or acting for oneself.

I wonder how a nation of ‘rugged individuals’ has devolved into one in which its citizens seem to prefer a trancelike adherence to the status quo rather than realizing that democracy and freedom are both intrinsically linked to the participation of the citizenry, itself, of each and every one of us. Instead, many have bent to the corporate takeover of our country and greed supplants the largesse of spirit Americans have long been admired for.

We possess the resources, as one of the richest nations on earth, to advocate for the oppressed and downtrodden and to celebrate the amazing freedom of every citizen to develop their unique gifts and talents. Most all of us, save the Native Americans, remain descendants of immigrants. Instead of celebrating our growing diversity, however, many currently argue for closing the door on those we consider ‘outsiders.’

I don’t possess the answers, but I often ponder this quote, engraved below our own Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

~ Emma Lazarus





To intellectualize myth, desire – 

the analytical approach crumbles,

becoming grit underfoot;

providing traction, perhaps,

useful fractal before one slips,

yet again.


We live,

we breathe,

we interact.

This is the dance:

choices and consequences.


Joy is the offspring of accepting

these noble truths;

bitterness arises from cowardice:

the should-haves, could-haves,

didn’t, won’t, damn it.


Life is more precious than we know.

Don’t waste a moment being stubborn.

Consciousness unfolds its gates;

we have but to walk through them,




Mother’s Lament II

Growing up was a nightmare of fear and violence.

I am played out repeating this bold truth;

thought I was doing better by protecting and guiding them;

Did not realize memories would be so easily erased.


Do not be impatient with me then,

though I well remember the skewed priorities of youth.

I am not an unredeemable experiment in failure,

simply human, and imperfect.


Be grateful the plant growing from a crooked stalk

still seeks the light of the sun

with an ever-straightening

illustrious jewel crown of flowers.


~ bj


2013-09-07 08.17.23


Like sparks and fish

and rapids strong enough to cut through granite,

the mind veers off and into another coral cave,

another orbit; a cosmos of the frenetic

in the attempt to assuage itself

over its charge’s inevitable demise.


How does consciousness live

with containment such as this;

bounded by skull and bones and flesh?


Illusion, the product of limitless creativity,

becomes accepted as real

while the spirit knows it is being hoodwinked.

Still, like a dog chasing its tail,

the momentum continues until,

in order to complete its rotation,

it becomes as unlike itself as possible

and morphs into a line.


And we wonder at insanity.


Take Two:

With diligence and observation,

the mind can be stilled.


~ bj




Our final breath comes when,

at long last,

we nudge back toward



Billions of atoms

moving through time and space –

locked within the confines of skin

in a dance with life, itself.


Too short, this

parenthesis in eternity;

as time flexes to accommodate

the neverending flow between pleasure and pain.


Like waves upon the ocean, we roll

back and forth,

endlessly adjusting

while our basic nature remains the same.

If the ocean changes little in millennia,

how, then, are we expected

to stem the flow of thoughts and responses,

habitual as the tides?


The need for quiet contemplation

nudges a thickened consciousness.

If we fail to heed the call,

push out reflection in favor of reaction,

the gulf expands until a chasm opens up,

threatening to swallow our

best intentions.


One may become a stranger

even to oneself.

~ bj