Pilgrim Path

This blog is the work of a seeker and poet. Walking stick in hand, I head out into the world, not of the world, but in the world. My words and my friends carry me along and light the pilgrim path of spiritual journeys.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Burnt out mailbox at the corner,
reminder of our feeble words.
Crushed diaries litter sidewalks,
manna for dark and hungry birds.
Scraps of beauty die a thousand deaths
while ugliness rides in herds.
Darkness creeps, fitful tossing,
dreadful dreams, nascent hopes absurd.
When carried brightly on gentle breezes,
whispers of hope played by fingers curved.
There will be music despite everything.

(photos taken by and used with permission of
Christine Valters Paintner from www.abbeyofthearts.com )

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Friday, August 22, 2008


A sandy footpath slowly rises,
slyly diverting my eyes and mind
from thoughts of the strength I’ll need
to complete this midday summer hike.
Last autumn’s leaves mix with sand,
crunching as I step, then leap, dodging
shallow roots that threaten to trip me.

A stone labyrinth distracts me
as I begin my inner journey.
Above, red, yellow and orange cliffs
dazzle with their light and beauty,
while silver and green scrub and wild sage

fool me into believing I’m in a garden.
An occasional swig of water
keeps my parched throat open
to proclaim the treasures ‘round each corner.

Down I head, into the canyon,
smelling present water, teasing me
it remains hidden. Stilling my tongue,
I hear the delicate sound
of a cool, refreshing stream of water
tumbling over sandstone rocks.

My breathing becomes labored
despite the slow pace as I step
farther into the deep canyon glen.
Blessed tall pines filter light
and heat from the midday sun,
just as my overheated brain
conjures a solid door,
breaking my pilgrim heart
and stealing my shallow breath.

Only a few minutes farther to finish,
but this spot invites me to stay,
to sit, to rest, to give up false goals.
My body speaks in urgent pain,
craving unseen water.
Let me lie among these rocks,
dream and gather spirit strength.
A journey just begun.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


A bored seven-year old
picking at peeling paint,
flicking the chips down below.
looking over the edge,
and watching his spit drop,
trying to hit the sewer cover.
In this land of power lines,
with clothes lines beneath,
church spires and flags at eye level,
surveying his kingdom,
the roofs of his subjects
and dreaming of flying away -
escaping from an attic window.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008


When I sit with you awhile
and look into your light blue eyes,
I want to ask, “How are you, really?”
But I sense that knot in your throat
will keep the words from spilling forth
as easily as I’d like to hear them.

This is new love and you hide
behind your heart because it hurts
too much to take the chance again.
So give me your hand and let me
simply hold it, and you’ll know
I’ll wait as long as you need.

I want to show you
how I feel each time I see you,
how my soul lifts up,
and my breathing goes shallow
as I bow and shake my head in disbelief
every time you look at me and smile.

But I know you’re far too smart
to ask me for those words
whose echoes fall upon the floor.
Sit with me and you’ll see
the transforming power of love
to overcome the darkness of self-doubt.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Each day, I awake older
and find my friends have become smarter.
Is it because they’ve grown wiser
or have I?

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Monday, August 04, 2008


I choose to stay beneath the cottonwoods
whose tall strong arms inspire me to sit
upright on the ground, to close my eyes and
let the wind wash over me for a while.

And when I sit, the clear vision comes of
soft green fields whose blades of grass will comfort
me as I lie down, I’ll hear the sounds of
sacred songs sung in rhythm with my heart.

The animals of this land now gather
sharing nature’s joy through simple presence
with this humble servant; tomorrow we’ll
return, a blessing to one another.

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Friday, August 01, 2008