Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Vachellia Tortilis with Violins

Kara moja, sweet Babul am I
My trunk, the Ark for sacred Covenant
In ancient Heliopolis
Gods sprang from the door of my torso
Honorable member of Order Fabales
Straight shooter from the Family Fabaceae
Gracefully recognizable against the savannah's glow

Seek thou shelter 'neath my umbrella of thorns?
Soul of generosity, yet
I reveal my magical heart only
to those good folk who remember
that at some point everyone needs a hand up
Value and practice
humble Gratitude
Loving Kindness
Protecting and caring for self all the while,
for you cannot pour from an empty cup

Wait-a-bit, so many demands made of me
by the grazing hordes
Hook and stab
wicked thorns but one defense
against the insatiable.
I keep a hollow bulb hidden at my roots
housing there a garrison of biting ants
to drive unwelcome masses from my table

Sly giraffes must approach downwind
gathering meager mouthfuls of my sweet leaves
Before I turn them noxious with tannin
Upon the winds releasing ethylene
warning neighbors of the marauders
Cleverly, silently, graciously
Just as I once rescued Osiris from Typhone's trick
keeping him safe til Mother Isis arrived upon the scene

Greed is selfish
blindly self-defeating
Self-defense becomes a sacred necessity
in a world rapidly forgetting kindness
Yet be generous, I preach
roots, pods, blossoms, leaves, and shoots
Offer shelter and comfort still
Feed the masses, tend the sick
Rehabilitate the haggard ground
Encourage others to grow
not grudgingly but with elation
For we are all connected
Your success is also mine, Beloveds
I desire most your spiritual illumination

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Joyful Requiem

Members of the Order Coleoptera
30,000 strong in our family alone
Clean up crew
humble tumblebugs are we
Antennae alert for messages divine
Moving mountains with our unassuming strength
as we trundle about collecting scattered debris

Six rays to our crown
Four more at each fossorial arm
help us dig chambers,sculpt our spheres
Whether simply a meal or masterwork
patiently we roll along seemingly at leisure
Six legs busy scuttling
wings sheathed beneath our black armor
we take the crap others leave behind
making miracles from nothing
Your trash becomes our treasure

Earthly incarnations
of creative Khepri
All along Egypt's coast
skittering down our tunnels
hidden in our sepulchral lairs
we feast or brood

From simple charms
to Pharaoh's tomb
Protective symbol of
Resurrection and Life Immortal
Carved in symbolic green
placed reverently upon your chest
Persuading Ma'at
that your own heart
should not testify against you
We attest

Reach for the new life awaiting
within each metaphoric death
Stretch your senses beyond five
We will help you solve problems
Help you come into being
Guide you through each metamorphosis
to your most authentic self
Don't fight it
Surrender to change
the only constant in this life
Be resourceful
Reclaim as yours what serves you
Recycle the rest.

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Wild Bards Sing the News

Rambling through southern Africa
Broad faces with Roman noses nodding
Humped shoulders sloped
Family Bovidae
Even-toed ungulates
Largest of the antelopes

Genus Connochaetes
Manes and beards flowing
These Teachers keep us
Up to date on our
Shamanic journeys
Warning of challenges
Failures along the way
As well as offering advice
on how to cope

"Everyone has their place within the family
Supporting, helping everything to flow
Intricately instinctively precise
Even if some of us wild beasts
branched off
About a million years ago

Larger brindled Blues remained
on the Ancestoral range
Changing little except perceptions
Matrons moving with the rainy season
One herd among many
Shifting shape in the greatest migration
Horns swept up to either side
Receiving inspiration

Earthy Blacks,
White tufted tails flashing
Horns curving defensively foreward
over our brows
We adapted our nomadic ways
Claiming new territories
from Kenya to Namibia
Taking turns at sentry
Grazing, guarding the family
while we drowse

Be Steadfast
Be Brave!
For the journey is long
The dangers as real, as great
As the potential rewards
Know when to stand your ground
When to run away
Living to fight another day.
Remember the safety
The support to be found in numbers
Yet don't hestitate to lead
Rather than meekly follow the herd

Beware the laughing hyenas
The grinning crocodiles
The friendly vultures
Anticipating your failures
To provide their feast.
Be aware,
But don't let them stop you
For your bold leap ahead
May be what saves you

Travel is necessary
to broaden the mind
Encouraging tolerant fellowship
With herds of varying stripe
Honing skills as well as instincts
Our calves almost hit the ground running
An action as necessary to survival
As knowing when the time is ripe."

 For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal or plant with lessons for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Serengeti Chorus Line

Some literary, some dandy
All social against the family trend
Tawny coats with sable trim
Dressed to the nines
crowns rakishly askew
padding through wind ruffled fields
songs filled with Wisdom to the brim
These Teacher prowl...

"Paint your hearts upon your shields!
Have Courage in the face of adversity!"
They growl

"Stand tall, be fully present
Remember your birthright
for your life is the main event.
Have awareness, authority
over your unconscious thoughts
Listen to counsel
before you pounce into action

Loving hearts, have we
Largest in the family Felidae
Genus Panthera
Stalking minds
ever vigilant for opportunities
amid Life's many challenges
Nothing good comes easy
the better the lessons
greater the rewards
the sooner adversity will appear
to challenge you at every turn
Defend your chosen territory

Sun-dappled day or
starry night when my constellation
stalks the sky
Creator & Univere
are always there
Listening for your Anger
your Denials
Hubris is a sly & steady foe

Every lesson spreads from the inside out
Loving Respect
is the beginning
for Self
for Family
for Society
for the World around us.
True Nobility
is not for the faint of heart
Never allow fear
to keep you from taking action

Self-respect is not vanity
nor is kindness a liability
Androcles can attest
that the smallest act of Compassion
is never forgotten
never wasted
Energy generously given
returns eventually
usually when we least expect it
and need it most

Purring in contentment
Chuffing in warning
Voice your intentions
The roaring of your pride
rolling to the corners of your kingdom
Your family
Your honor
Your spirit
Defend what is dearest to you
fiercely, ferociously if you must

Aggression has its time & place
Although true Authority
leads assertively
like Inanna or Buddha upon my back
a throne of Strength,
calm guiding Wisdom

Mother Sekhmet!
Eye of Ra
Powerful One
swift silent deliverer of Karma
Defend the innocent
Annihilate the wicked
We will follow your lead
for we know
Justice crowns a life well lived
nor merely well intentioned.

Gentle Strength
of the sacred Tarot
Fifth sign
of the Zodiac in Greece
Avatar of Vishnu the Preserver
We have drawn the chariots
of gods and goddesses
Dionysus reveling in the harvest
Phoebus Apollo in all his glory
Cybele, mother of gods
wild Artemis

King of Beasts
My share is always the best
We lead by example
Our Queens
Sisters in arms
Rulers of all they survey
deadly in their grace
equal to our strength
our cunning
our intimidating majesty

Rampant throughout history
yet content to hunt field & forest
tending our royal dynasty
Our cubs piled in the creche
dreams twitching their paws
Their mothers teaching them
all they need know
to stand upon their own strength
one day all too soon
Gathering power with each
scratch of their claws
making leaning unnecessary,
Leadership inevitable.
How do you live your promise
if your life is a vow?
What Truth will you sing?
What wrongs in your society
will you allow?"

For those new to the game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing now?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Composers from the Congo

One Teacher leads the way
Knuckling along hidden trails
Grazing on root, nut, leaf, fruit and bough
as opportunity allows
Resting among his tribe of hairy women
as they nurture their young
Singing of lessons and responsibilities
from Dawn to Dusk
Grunted Wisdoms delivered 
while they browse...

"Aggression is not Leadership
Tyranny earns no respect
nor is it honorable
These inspire loyalty

Ways to recognize
our Nobility within,
to care for the infants & elders
in our troop
Take action when necessary
Proclaim your intentions
Beat your chest, yes
Debasing self or others?
to that 
We will not stoop

Gentle & shy
Our size
Our great strength
more often spent
in sociable interaction
than the threat of violence,
so seldom the answer.

We wander from mountains
to clouded forests
Grooming each other for success

Me and Jane
as unique as our fingerprints
from opposable toes to heads
Utilizing tools
Protecting the family
Dreaming the African nights away
tucked into our leafy beds."

For those new to this game, each poem is inspired by a Teacher found in Nature; a star, stone, animal, plant etc that holds lessons of Wisdom for those who listen. Can you guess who is singing today? 

Thursday, March 30, 2017


As the written work draws, finally, to a close on this first book in my singing series of Nature Teachers, the painted pieces are piling up rapidly! I've been pleased thus far with the couplings of images and words that have grown. There is a sense of "belonging" as each one is completed; separate but a part of the whole. 

From this collection of illustrations, this book's theme should be fairly obvious. Water is the beginning of all Life from our point of view. So what better place to begin talking about the wisdom, lessons and inspiration to be found from All Our Relations in Nature?

Some of these Teachers have been old friends, companions along my life road. Others have been completely new to me; a wonderful journey of  discovery. Land or water, air or fire, the connective lessons that All Our Relations want us to return to are all about being part of the Wheel of Life; community, living cooperatively with Nature's laws, conservation, balance, stewardship. All vital issues that need to be returned to rather than obstructed, fought against, debated. 


A big challenge with these visual pieces has been to keep them from all being boringly similar with so much water in every one. Water is all about being adaptable though and loves to show us over and over how best to remain true to self while constantly adapting to necessary change. Not all of these images are completely finished, as I often like to leave a little detail work out prior to calling a piece "done"; saving a little bit of something special just to keep it fresh and unique when presented as a finished product. These are not "all" the illustrations I have right now either, just the ones done but for those finishing details. The others are in a messy stage of production right now lol sometimes not even looking like the featured "Teacher" yet, so not share worthy just yet.

This work has been a long process with lots of interruptions along the way. I think the next book will flow much quicker into the channels I've been building over time. It will certainly be a bit of a relief to turn to something "new" too. I plan on offering this first book in an ebook format with the first chapter free. So close to turning it all over to my personal printer for formatting, layout, etc. and we are both So Excited for that bit of the process. 

 There have been a lot of people who have followed these pieces online over the years. People who have contributed to each new piece I write with their feedback and shared personal experiences. Hopefully, there will be many more who come to share as I finally get these available to readers! Each of these illustrations has an internet length posting of poetry and information available right here on my blog. With this posting though, I just wanted to see how all the pics I have completed "hang" together.

I've three chapters and three paintings left to finish for book one. Time to start thinking beyond the working title, "Who Sings Now?" ? All thoughts and feedback, welcome of course :)

2017 is shaping up to be an extremely interesting, creatively productive year for me and I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Raven Steals the Sun

Once, the world was covered in darkness. Raven quickly tired of stumbling around, unable to learn or get into anything in the heavy shadows. He found where the light of the universe was being jealously hoarded, cleverly stole the sun and set it into the sky so all could see, much like Prometheus. Raven was burned black by the heat of the sun, but he carries the many colors of the rainbow hidden within the shine of his feathers too.
This story has always ignited my imagination. It reminds me always of the interconnectedness of all life, especially when I am feeling particularly displeased with my own species. Raven reminds me that we are all family, even if I don’t like, understand or agree with another. Certainly not the only lesson I have learned from this audacious Teacher, but perhaps the most important.

Songs Heard Within My Shadow

Celestial Fire adds a hissing cymbal fill in the distance.
Steam rises with a hot suggestion of sound.
Upwards it rises now…
Beyond wind or noise…
Beyond Skywoman and Her Children…
Beyond Dreams…
We spin into the Void.
The Sun calls forth a rainbow
‘gainst an ebon shadow
as the Sun is set
…like a burning bit of amber
into an azure coronet.
“Stormbringer, Bonepicker, Trickster some call me.”
A laugh both harsh and rhythmic
Childlike, they fill my shadow with their fears.
“This way, Child!
Here is the path you left behind!
Mind your ways!
Don’t just speak the truth, Fool!
Live it!”
I chuckle,
“Leave denial in the dust…
Leave pain…
Leave past…
Leave rage…
Leave lust.
Empty as the waiting vessel be!
Fill your life with Light and
Deep within your essence see
all that Creator would ask of thee.”
I sing in Dreams.
I sing of Prophecies…
of paths lost and found…
Sacred trails begun in the heart
but by Wisdom and Choice unbound.
Change and Magic…
…Shadow and Light…
Secrets and Soulful trial.
These fuel my flight!
“You are not alone in the long run.” I mutter
“Your heart knows we are already One!”
As you Dance your earthly fill,
I Soar…
and to the Winds I recklessly shrill,
Time, all unheeding flow…
Forever before and
Forever behind.
Eternally awaiting Your perception…”
for I am Warden at this Door,
and many other thresholds,
between Truth and Deception.
“I hear and remember your unspoken Vow.”
Who sings now?

The painting is acrylics on 8.5 by 11 canvas. Prints and other products with this image are available at  Redbubble

A closer look at Raven/Crow as a Nature Teacher can be found here...