Saturday, July 11, 2015

Forest Mandala

Slowly tracing the
Mandala of Forest Life
Feeling the thorns, branches,
Fur and slime of its wild surface
While singing gratitude for berries,
Mouthing sutras for salmon,
Hymns to hemlock,
Prayers for penstemon
And a host of such rustic rosaries

Its ochre hues and dappled greens
Are soft against my eyes
Bearing concentric circles of
Light and Dark
Beauty and Decay

A fish carcass rots in the grass
While a fresh lily opens
It's pale petals

Moss cushions my every step
Along this living contemplation maze
Weaving between ancient spruces
The foundation, the pattern, truth
Encrusted in sap

The bones of each creature
Sinking deeper into
The forest floor

The ink of the Mandala

Friday, May 8, 2015

Seven Devils

I hear laughter,
Sinister cackling
Echoing, blowing queerly
Over this thin ridgeline
In brewing storm
The Seven Devils
Are made known
Amidst their ritual thrall

They've scattered the
They're shaking the doors
And creaking the floors
Searching for an

Twilight's Luciferean lilt
Beckons with growing voice
I can't get their
Horns, eyes, teeth, grins
Out of my reeling head
Clutched between feeble

I thought myself against
Christian convention,
Absent of faith
And doubtful of the safety in

Until this accursed place
Took my peace
Casting it to Satan's
Icy hove in the ninth circle
Leaving only twisted madness
And a void so dark
As to drive me back
Towards the

At least while this
Storm still blows
And Devils still dance
At my door

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Drew Drop's Birthday Hymn

Mannn, you tight as emo jeans
Munching on those kidney beans
Walkin’ in a land of silky dreams
You’re in all my favorite memes
Baking up these fuckin’ Krispy Kremes

But real, do drew even climb?
Pouring out these sandbags of time
I ain’t a fuckin’ mime
Get up that rope and make it dope
Before I donkey punch the pope
You’re getting older but don’t mope
Cause you’re smile is the only thing that helps me cope
They ask if Drew is even a mortal man
And you say ‘Nope’
‘I’m just immortally dope’

Majestically riding all these flying goats up in here
Get this dude a beer!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Loon Lake

From within my mountain cloister
I can see
The night grow heavier and heavier
Weighing its darkness down
'Til the thick phalanx of spruce crowns
Pierces into the viscous black ink
No stars will wink tonight
Cassiopeia is blind
With the absence of light,
The suggestion of annihilation
A void hanging, so close.

Such are the nocturne thoughts
That rattle through my brittle brain
When my eyes as heavy as the night

Yet while the forest remains verdant
Strewn with overgrown boulders
Its waterfalls playing subtle music
A celebration of energetic form
With stoic owls holding vigil

I can rest easy
And pull this coverlet of moss
Up to my chin
To draw within the
Parallel void of my dreams
Where Heaven and Earth
Are inseparable.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Vultures dance,
Circling one another
With arched wing tips
Pointed skyward
Bending the stiffness
Of the evening breeze
Ominous figures  sharp against
A pastel sunset
Bearing the elegance of death,
Descending towards
The ashen body of
A failed fawn
The cause of its
Expiration unknown

The sheath of the grain
Remains to be harvested by
These red-hooded scavenger priests,
These woodland wraiths
Accepting the sacrament
Of stilled flesh
The seizure of blood's
Mercurial passage

The wake continues their
Ruination vigil
Into the depths of night
As their silence
Through this cathedral
Of skeletal oaks
Where the light slips away
Like the spark from
A does' eye.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Hike up Hood Mountain

Eyes lifted
Up across the valley
Above the brush stroke of vines
The sweep of the rivers
A stone carcass, heavy
Serpentine bones supporting
A crown of gnarled Manzanita
An oxidized skull of basalt
Body armoured with a vest of Fir
Greaves of rich Madrone
Ancient sword forged in
Volcanic ocean-fire
Now quiescent sentinel, watching
Hawks dive from their perches
On Gunsight Rock
Talons drawn
Circling the wheel
Bringing new death from above
Melding decay into the earth
A thrumming magnet of life
The Great Old One

Monday, January 12, 2015

On the Adversity of Revegetation

   I've been on the job as a Restoration Technician at the SEC for nearly a month now, and through our various projects have encountered the inevitability of failure.  Success rates are rarely 100%, and a certain amount of mortality is expected among transplants, yet I'm still trying to figure out how to cope with these disappointments. And consequently this has prompted  me to dig a little deeper into what exactly is the purpose of our labour, as it relates to themes of futility and impermanence. Seeing and contributing to all the effort that goes into a restoration project, only for half the plants to die is certainly devastating. There is some consolation in the percentage that survive the initial stages, but even these are vulnerable to disturbances such as flooding and could be wiped clear in a single event.

   For me it evokes this Sisyphean image of pushing the boulder up the hill only for it to fall backwards on you again. Even if the plants take, there will be a long term shift in community composition, as species compete against one another for light and resources. When we design a restoration plan, it is very much an idealized version of what we would like to see thrive. But that's before the weeds regain their foothold, the soils proves inhospitable, established trees cast their cold shade or any other physical challenges. We have very little control over what it will look like in 5 years time, or 50, 100 and so on. Which is nothing on a geological timescale. Life doesn't do static. The power of nature can feel overwhelming at times, as though our efforts are wholly insignificant. And perhaps they are, when tempered by the concept of infinite time, Earth's eventual destruction, etc. I find it easy to get lost in this existential crisis for both myself and the plants I'm putting in the ground. Where's the point when we're all going to die?

   The answer I find is in the tiny victories and our own creations of meaning, as well as enjoying the moments that go into each project. Sometimes we humans have to work for the sake of work, doing and undoing tasks over and over again. The way I see it, at least restoration is a more healthful way to toil. Out in the winter sunshine, away from a desk, using muscles, watching rivers flow, touching soft moss, watching birds, laughing with coworkers, squishing mud between my fingers. I can appreciate these moments in between, even if the end result bears no permanence. The dead plants will be recycled. Some of them will grow. And I will find some sense of purpose along the way, being unafraid of impermanence, embracing the opportunity to at least try to make this a greener world.