Equinox Ritual

drummers, all in a circle
each one equidistant
upon this equinox
from the sacred center
each beating to the march
of their inner drum
a communion of resonance
percussion penetrating
all fibers of being

drumming to release
the constricting grip winter
drumming to invoke
the resurgent flow of spring
drumming to awaken
our indigenous souls

under a night sky
of wafer-thin clouds
backlit by a waxing moon
the humble shaman
washes us in the smoke
of sacred herbs
that rises to kiss the heavens
where snow white wings
appear upon white clouds
tundra swans
in delta formation
the structure of change
we are awash in the ecstasy
of their musical call

honking to release
the constricting grip winter
honking to invoke
the resurgent flow of spring
honking to awaken
our indigenous souls

snow melts
as we pass through the veil
to place our yearning prayers
secure within that unfathomable well
that is far beyond wishing
and tulips blossom
in the palms of our hands




The Delta Symbol: The upper-case letter Δ can be used to represent:
*The Change in any changeable quantity, in mathematics and science.
*Delta is the initial letter of the Greek word διαφορά diaphorá, “difference”.

The Circle:
*A round plane figure whose boundary consists of points equidistant from a fixed point (the center).

Tundra Swans

On day #4 of my Sunrise Sadhana, I was gifted with many mementos, including this beautiful sunrise over frozen, but thawing, Lake Harriet.

Sunrise over frozen Lake Harriet


Remarkably, just as on the first day of my Sadhana, just as the sun cleared the trees, a Pileated Woodpecker called again.  I am very intrigued to discover if he continues his morning ritual with me!

I was also gifted with the musical call of Tundra Swans as they flew overhead, so close they were I could hear the rushing of their wings, like a stream cascading over rocks.

Here in central Minnesota, Trumpeter Swans are year-round residents, but in the spring Tundra Swans migrate through on their way back to their nesting grounds in the high Arctic.  From a distance the calls of a flock of Tundra Swans have been mistaken for the sound of a pack of baying hounds.  I first heard this as a young boy, and made that very mistake, while working on the farm where I grew up.  Though it was in the fall of the year as the swans were migrating south.   Here is a poem I wrote about 20 years about my experience as a boy.



Ears of corn, with paper husks,
Cracked open like lotus petals,
Lie scatter upon the soggy ground.

The shovel scrapes them together,
Scooping up profits
In graceless hurry.

Wild swans call in the distance;
Their hoarse cries
undulating upon the breeze.

I, a small boy, stop from the chore
And glance around,
Fearing an attack of hounds.

Then gaze upwards
At the flapping vees
Branching in the twilight
And discover stillness
With my shovel in my hands.


perhaps I will rework this poem in the coming days…