Dec 8, 2020

let us stand naked and wet, shouting praise

It was a stranger’s bed, and it was made out of stones and branches, but it was empty and you were tired—you slept there anyway. Forty days and nights passed before you woke up again, and when you did, you discovered that you had a new name and a new face.

You had walked a long way to get to that bed, across a valley that spelled fresh and clean, and the stranger who owned it was a woman fresh from a shower. She wanted you as much as you wanted her, and so you answered to whatever name she called you.

After making love, you are hungry, nearly starving. You ate the grapes, you ate the bread and hummus, and you licked your fingers clean one at a time. There was no clock. You did not know the time or where you were. What is the difference?

It was a stranger’s bed, and it was made out of stones and branches. Still naked and bearing your touch and your seed, she lay down in the middle of the bed, and you climbed on to join her, circling around and around like a dog.


Every autumn the rains return to the Sacramento Valley,

But we don’t celebrate. There are no rain rituals,

And no offerings are made in thanks.

What kind of people have we become?

Not only do the seasonal rains replenish the valley, 

They also save us from the California wildfires.

Let us stand naked and wet, shouting praise for every drop.

Let us raise our hands and hearts up to the clouds.

Come now, beat the drums loudly!

Out to the field! Reach for the sky!


On the sidewalk past midnight, I wonder what this town would be like if we had monkeys.


otis redding/that's how strong my love is

Give, even if you only have little.

-The Dhammapada

May we have the attention to hear when something changes, the perceptiveness to know when things aren’t working, and the wisdom to try something different.

(Adapted from a prayer on a Unitarian Universalist website.


The mind is very powerful. Therefore, it requires firm guidance. A powerful jet plane needs a good pilot; the pilot of your mind should be the wisdom that understands its nature. 

-Lama Thubten Yeshe

The foolish reject what they see. The wise reject what they think.

-Zen proverb


Ren Powell

Bait the Lines

haiku eye

The Urban Mermaid

HOOT, a monthly literary magazine on a postcard

The Slowdown

clay and branches


Summer's End

Medusa's Kitchen

The Middlewesterner

The Morning Porch/Patio

VIA NEGATIVA, purveyors of fine poetry since 2003


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