Causing The Wind To Blow


I only have two dogs,

So why is it that every time I eat

Or put my boots on,

I feel like a salmon swimming upstream?


They flee past me as I step onto the porch

And into the mint covered garden

That climbs onto the ever eroding hillside

And into the river that runs reverently below.


Wild weeds grow through the stone-made steps

Through the cement crevices and toward the wind-rush sky.

Mud cakes upon the boots hiked into my paint-covered jeans,

And the chickens - they are recuperating after the storm.


The flowers I feed poke through the frostbitten ground

And my two dogs dig dutifully through the deep and dusty earth

I can’t help but wonder if these are the things that keep us moving,

And if moving is the thing that keeps us whole.


The wind playfully passes by.

But what is it that causes the wind to blow

Just before the wind goes blowing?


Is it that which motivates the sun to climb the horizon,

And that which wells up in the bellies of blue birds

to be sung out in song?


And speaking of music -

Who is it that places the final note upon the minds of men

Long before the last note has sounded,

Only to ring on as a ghost long after,

And then to linger on after still?


For surely this must be the reason

That men are drawn restless out of their beds

To arrive sleepy-eyed at the nearest kitchen window,

Fingers pointed at the early morning moon.

The Journey and the Seeker


In quiet moonswept fields
Cattle graze, their breath condensing

Into clouds that float along the sky

And disappear over the horizon,


As if floating from what has always been

And into the infinite future.
There is no greater love than
That of sky light falling upon the ground.


Each morning the sun says to the farmer,
“Wake! The day is yours!”
And each night the midnight moon says,
“Rest, for I have come as your lamp and as your shade.”


This has been going on since the beginning,
And since the beginning stars have shown their light,

The earth has faithfully circled the sun,
And the tides have come to visit before they journey out.


And each morning men place
Their cold feet upon the dusty floor and go to work,

Unaware of the turning of the earth as they sleep;
The old mason does not know when his stone was formed.


And when the first drop of dew

Meets a sprouting seed of grass

Throwing off its earthly blanket

After weeks of silent slumber,


The dew drop says to the sprout:

"My love, where have you been?"


My Heart is a Messy Bedroom


My heart is a messy bedroom:

Piles of memories collect in the corner,

Ideas and dreams are tacked onto the wall,

A trash can is overflowing with crumpled up 

pieces of poetry or music by my bedside.


My heart is a messy bedroom,

Partial poetry and half-written musical scores

Are thrown about, hanging off doorknobs,

And the backs of chairs.


These things are the hardest to part with.

As with an antique with no useful purpose,

I find myself spending all day dusting off old relics,

And stashing them away at the bottom of my shelves.


When I sit at the creaky piano bench

The same three bars of music haunt me like ghosts,

And lone poetic verses burn white hot and turn the rest to ashes.

Fragile as they are, I am left with broken glass.


One day I will wake up,

Like somebody suddenly born into color,

In the springtime, I will throw my windows wide open,

My home will smell of fragrant stew and springtime flowers.


I will remember the stars under which I was born;

Metaphors will once again be sufficient.


A Prayer 



As with the steady tide which slowly 

corrodes the clay-caked hillside,

As with the hillside which regularly 

gives up its body to the steady tide,


As with the piercing rush of lightning

Which opens the sky to unyielding surrender,

And as with the rain that slowly soaks into my bones

And cracks me open in the wintertime,


I yearn to know all these things.


I yearn to feel the western prairie wind float through me

As though I am a blade of grass in a field

which makes known the otherwise unseen current of air,

Which passes through it in waves and then disappears forever.


I yearn to know the flowers in the flower box too - 

So that I may know the pain in pruning and the vibrancy that follows.


I yearn to know the clarity that is a winding river at dawn

Which slices through the great northern mountains

With ferocity, reverence, and patience.


I yearn to know the strong and unyielding love 

Of the great grizzly who guards her young ferociously

I yearn to know the integrity of the Willow who - 

    although standing naked in the riverbank

Maintains her strength in spite of it.


I yearn to know the river that touches all these things

And to bathe in the waters of this stream.

I will romp and stomp and snarl in the rain

The moon will bear witness to my wild howling.


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© 2018 Jacob A. Courser