Bruce lives in Berkeley and is co-owner of Fessenden Firewood with his partner Christine. He has been deeply immersed in the natural world his entire life through the activities of backpacking, climbing and skiing. A book of his poems —“Crimson Coat” — was published in 2014 by Goldenstone Press. Pieces of Bruce’s writings have appeared in a MoonShine Star Co. anthology called “What is Love”, and also in Richard Grossinger’s book “2013”. A second volumne of poems, titled “Bones” will be published shortly.
People are sick these days
you can hear it in the coughing
at the coffee house, behind the words
you can hear the phlegm
from rushing around too fast
chasing after what they already have.
Inside lung and organ tissue, inside marrow of bone
unseen surfaces, stairways, hidden windows
are already here in the world
patiently waiting to be found.
It’s not that I’m rough all the time
it’s something else, something that doesn’t quite fit
or is a little too silent
some part of me a little awkward
a little alien; never feel quite right
in the light of the everyday world.
I’m not a misfit, not a stranger
I fit in, in a different sort of way
like a crystal, opaque and transparent simultaneous
almost black, but inward, not glowing
more like an emphasizing
the innerness of the stone
a soft radiance, like an animal
attentive, alive to its world
just noticing, nothing more.
My darkness is the glade
on the western side of the ridge
where nobody goes.
Or the wild desert, a land of extremes
harsh at high noon; yet crystalline purity
with the early morning light.
Caravansari of old brought a human exchange
all the remains is the sand, the dunes
nights littered with stars.
What is exchanged now? Where there is only wind
and endless quiet, where footprints
are erased in an instant.
What is my last day?
Is it the holly tree, with its deep greens
and reds; luscious growth and a steady joy?
Or is it the aurora borealis, with crackling mystery
and otherworldly colors: lime, magenta, pink?
What have I released back to the
ground, to matter, to the mother
to the innerness of all things?
What gesture was I making inside
the arc of my days, that others may have noticed
which I could never see.
But love is not for understanding
love is an activity; love moves.
Ashes to ashes, the course of my days
a hollowing, for innerness
a hallowing, full circle, the shape that
holds the sacred, like a garden
sifting, reflecting, dreaming