Nocturnal Musing

It took so long to learn, to determine place,
To chart a course by relation and measure
To the bear’s back, the elbow of Perseus,
Or the she-goat held by the charioteer.

Few know the names, or can mark them in the sky.
One by one their stories have been forgotten.
She pretends - pointing proudly at Polaris
And the Dipper - acts like she knows, but is lost.

The performance continues without bearing.
Vega - of the sweet lyre, of the Brahmin’s heart -
Has been replaced by Capella in the sky.
Autumn becomes winter, and I stoke the fire. 

- The Fool
- photo artist unknown

in the 'tween of the ebb and flow

so many languishing in the lulls
in the savage times between

cleaving to whatever they can
parched by the tedium of waiting

in anticipation of an embrace
that will enfold and take them

take them away from the shallows
to the deeper depths of significance

yet, when the moment is opportune
they cling to their facile securities

and sadly watch as the tide retreats
caught in the ‘tween of the ebb and flow

- The Fool

song at the terminus

at the glacier’s terminus,
the cool cerulean ice
cedes to the summer sun

ages of frigid indifference
thaw, and the runoff
heralds a rapprochement

it’s a deliquescence of sorts,
a decomposition, a taking apart
of years of laborious arrangement

as each molecule of ice becomes water,
there is a yielding, and an unraveling
of the sordid bitterness of winters past

drops become trickle, and trickles
become roar, until a trill of arias conjoin
in a cascading watersong of assorted falls

and the only sound that fills the air
is this crescendo of water against rock,
this anthem of transformation and change

- The Fool

building a bridge

bridges are seldom
built or burned


being a species
of bridge builders

we build bridges
because we

because there is
no other

by beam
by truss

by clay

by word

by desire


in order



- The Fool
- photo artist unknown

spring's promise...

"...the key to happiness,"
she indicated, "is hidden
among the sprigs -
within the grasp
of each of us -

happiness is found
in tending to this moment
which will turn to snow."

- The Fool
- photo artist unknown

finding the words

too long this time between

a dry expanse of desert sands
stretching from this vantage
back to some distant horizon

a desolate swathe of nothing

words that never came to light
an infertile barren land betwixt
the old appellations and now

this moment of reclamation

- The Fool
- photo artist unkown

catching up with my Self

always a step or two behind -
always trying to keep pace -

trying to keep up, or at least
not fall any further behind -

sometimes, there’s a glimpse of a form –
one more substantial than this -

and it helps me to carry on -
on my way to becoming.

- The Fool

- photo by Micah Rainer Pali

backyard rituals

They were the same rituals every night.

The neighborhood pack would gather together as the evening meals were finished. One of the older kids would assert themselves, and take the lead. Everyone put a foot forward to make the circle. No one wore shoes.

The Lead’s finger would light on the person’s foot next to them, and pause - while they considered what to cast in their attempt to manipulate Destiny. The rhyme had to have class, especially the first one of the evening; no eenie-meenie-miny-mo, or engine-engine-number-nine. When a chant was settled on, the ritual began - Three-six-nine, the goose drank wine, the monkey was dancing on the streetcar line…

The finger flitted from foot to foot around the circle, moving with syllabic syncopation from toe to toe. Each word was musical, each word carried its own mojo, and each word became heavier and heavier as the rhyme progressed - The line broke, the monkey got choked, and they all went to heaven in a little…row…boat.

The finger stopped with the final utterance. The weight of the decision bore down on the big toe of the person to be eliminated. A foot reluctantly removed itself from the circle. They were Out. They would not be It.

Then, the lead passed. The next person became the chosen one, and the process began anew. As demanded by the audience, a different incantation was chosen and cast - Early in the morning, late at night, two dead boys got up to fight…

Round and round and round. We laughed as One. We were madcap accomplices in a deconstruction of Logic. We were the founders of our own Theater of Nonsense - …back to back they faced each other, drew their swords, and shot each other. A deaf policeman heard the noise, and came and shot the two...dead...boys.

Another foot withdrawn. The lead passed. The next player considered their repertoire of choices.

Icka bicka soda cracker…Icka bicka boo…

My mother and your mother were hanging out the clothes…

They were the same rituals every night.

- The Fool
- photo by Doris Power

migrants all

standing at the border
of Always and in Everything Alone
seeking transcendence

a way to cross the barrens
to a Land of Understanding

but the mind is its own prison
and there is no common ground
in the realms of Experience

- The Fool
- photo by Theo Georgiades

A. J. is Offered Passage

It was nearly nightfall when A. J. arrived at the land's end, and the shores of a great body of water. There were two figures sitting on wooden stools near the water's edge. They were clad in dark robes, and their faces were shrouded. By the contours of their unshod feet, A. J. assumed they were female. Each figure held a bell.

There were clusters of luggage in the sand behind the two denizens, arranged like stowage waiting to be put on a ship, or drift to be taken by the tide. There were no other people about. The only sound was that of the waves lapping at the shore. The sound lulled A. J.

The reverie was interrupted by the sound of a bell. The figure on the left pulled back the cloak, revealing a female face. She looked at A. J. knowingly.

“The other side is far away,” she whispered in the silence following the bell, “and the other side is near. The lessons are always the same. Have you come seeking passage?"

A.J. hesitated. “Passage to where?” he replied.

“Passage to where?” she intoned. “Passage home, of course - to the home of your past, and the home of your future; to the home of your heart, body, and soul; to the home of careful planning, and the home of happenstance; to a home rebuilt from the tinder of dreams and turned into dreams again; to "Home Sweet Home" and "Home on the Range," and every lie-you-ever-wanted-to-come-true; or perhaps - even to that other ocean home from which you first stepped - the only other real - that place from before time, or speech, or precedent.” She smiled. “We all want a home, don't we? Shall I have my sister summon transport?"

A. J. looked into the distance, at the frail glimmer of light in so much darkness. A. J. was confused. What he saw did not mesh with his own recollections. When A. J. thought of home he always imagined the morning sun, and clear skies.

"Are there any other destinations? Passage to anywhere else?" A. J. queried. "And what is the cost? What accommodations are offered?"

"It is always the same, " she sternly retorted, as if she were telling him something he should already know. "There is only one destination. It will cost you everything you have. Accommodations along the way are of your own doing."

“And if I decline passage?” A. J. inquired.

She was quiet for a moment. “Then you will learn the lessons to be learned while declining passage,” she replied. “As I told you, the lessons are always the same; we are all going to the same place. My sister and I will still be here when you return. Just see if you find it otherwise."

A. J. shuddered, and considered the apparent oracle presented to him, and it's implications. He felt the sea wind on his face, looked up and down the beach, and surveyed the tide line extending from horizon to horizon. Then he contemplated the vast water before him. He turned around, and beheld the bluffs that rose up from the coastline at his feet - the land receding like his memories from the present edge of his being. He smiled.

A. J. thanked the woman, and set off with his rucksack towards the bluffs. Once there, he would find a place to camp, a good place from which to awaken and catch the morning light.

- The Fool
- photo by Rodney Smith

pollyanna (the glad game)

the first thing i learned
is to always draw a sun
in the sky above

- The Fool

- photo by Stanko Abadzic

the nevers of happenstance

you never seem to know
beyond the candle’s glare
what lies ahead in darkness

with the frail veil of a prayer
you try to keep the flame lit
as the wind buffets about you

the taper flickers its admonition
there is only this now before you
this moment of possibilities

and each shimmer turns to pitch
each possibility follows the others
into the nevers of happenstance

- The Fool


not as one or many
but as the manyone

like a flock of birds
lifting from the field

so words take form
and a poem is made

Pattern Recognition

An unkindness of ravens greeted me yesterday morning. Three of them were in the spruce in the back yard. I noticed right away that there was something different in their chatter. They were not engaged in the casual and conventional caw-cawing or kack-kacking. This was not the back and forth banter of conversation. No, this was different. There were no pauses between the calls, any echolalia, or variation in returns. This was unison. Three voices calling as one, a choir for the day. I noted it. One should pay attention to changes in pattern

Despite the forecast for scattered thundershowers in the area, it was the typical blue-sky-with-the touch-of-white-puff-cloud-type morning. Crisp. Warm and dry. There was a light wind heard in the trees. I noticed the seed puffs from the cottonwoods in the air. Like miniature dandelion clusters…one…two…four…eight…sixteen…thirty-two…sixty-four…an exponential swirl of cottonwood puffs puff-puffing along. It was barely perceptible against the bright sky above. I caught the motion out of the corner of my eye, on the peripheral, where the dark shade of pine created a darker ground. Only there did it stand out for what it was, and only there could the flurry be seen. It was then that I noticed that the cloud puffs in the sky were copying the seed puffs. Or perhaps it was the other way around. Whatever. The sky was full of small cumulus clouds that were blown wispy at the edges. They looked like cotton balls stretched finely, like cottonwood seeds, like dandelion puffs. I was standing in the midst of a cosmic fractal rendering of micro and macro. I wondered where I fit within it all; where my form was repeated.

Late afternoon. The sky darkened. Dark shades of gray - almost black. A storm was brewing, and thunder played in the distance. The wind picked up. It loosened the cottonwood’s grip, and an enraged storm of cottonwood was in the air. With the darkened sky as a backdrop, the cottonwood puffs could be seen everywhere. Thousands upon thousands of them. They were no longer a trickled sensing on the outskirts of my senses, the sky now provided a proper backdrop for total clarity. I was in a snowstorm of sorts; a snowstorm of cottonwood seeds. A snowstorm in summer. They were everywhere, swirling, and it was ever so beautiful. It was surreal, but it was also so real. It was another shift in patterns brought to the fore, the third that day. I wondered what it all meant. Then the lightning entered into the valley.

- The Fool

They No Longer Believe

They no longer believe
in the aggregate, in unity -
everything is disparate,
shattered, and partial.

They no longer believe
in moments before and after -
nothing primordial
or promised to come.

They no longer believe
in maps demarcated with colors -
just dull grayed contrasts
of chiaroscuro shadows.

They no longer believe
in connective certainties -
only continual detachments
and gaps of disjunction.

They no longer believe
in anything but disbelief –
the voices echoed in the rifts,
in the spaces in between.

- The Fool
- photo by Mishra Gordon

Triptych: Reverberations

as the bell resolves
i listen as all my thoughts
become emptiness

one can sense no trace
of the bell’s sounding within
the silence after

this moment will pass
like a slowly lulling chime
into memory

- The Fool
- photo artist unknown

Who's This

Who’s This
inside me

upon Whom
i depend

more than
i depend

than on
my self

and all
the while

it’s They
who play

the ply
of me

as truth
to lies

-The Fool
-photo artist unknown


Always the allusive contortions, her veiled disguises -
the communications conveyed between the lines
of something altogether different; the other than -
through metaphors of being, and metonymies of lack.

- The Fool
- photo artist unknown