Kick the Hornet’s Nest


Run, jump, slide down the hill

No danger to die or kill

Slide beneath branches

Jump the brush of tiny ranches


Run wild wind and down to fill


A spread of time


Between womb

and tomb.

A child

Off course that day,

Didn’t kick the paper nest nor

Even see it in time

Off  line

Off sight as

It was

Nearly naked

I was.


Joy of being that young


Free of economies

And elections


I was free to knock that nest off its branch.  Didn’t look

Didn’t know they were there

If they cook

Or care.


Nor did they care for me


Until I was gone

Not so far

14 miles to that old doctor.

Old red truck, Model T


Red Sings-of-lumps


The size of half dollars

Dozens of stings on my little body still


Ripe with baby fat.

Fight a big sting

But then was well.

 Nice to be young

 No heaven or hell

That people dream


Then try to sell…


Old now



And smile






Dream, Chicago– Thanksgiving Sunday,

My powerful, 4/All wheel drive SUV slides

helpless against ice and gravity on

the slightest incline

of a lower, snow encrusted

parking lot.

Upper lots, unchosen–

Darkly anonymous institutions nearby on the high ridges of winter mountains

publish no further comment


Slide continues across lower lot- finds invisible path

between playing fields and wild trees– glistening,

Over a rise, heads for open country


replaced by a sun centered high view


unseen path,


still- snow bound beyond




Steve Frost

December 2010




Por Raimon Panikkar:  Sobre la Eglesia Moderna



There’s a black dark form in my garden’s night

a moonless sight

its the difference between universal rules to rule an empire

and actual lights…

there’s a black dark form, darker than the shadows in my garden

terrible loss, little gain

There a black dark shadow in my garden’s night,


 it’s only a free range, wilderness cow,

 Damn cow, eating the tulips!





There’s a black dark form in my garden’s night

a moonless sight

it’s the difference between universal rules to rule an empire

– factory educations

and actual lights…

there’s a black dark form, darker than the shadows in my garden

 terrible loss, little gain, a total sack?

There a black dark shadow in my garden’s night,



it’s the free range cow

– black, reddish tips

 What to do now.

Damn cow,

owning my green patch like that, stomping the verge

plans, hopes, prized and long nurtured tulips!



There’s a dark form in my garden’s light

…the black cow, on a moonless night, defending its hungry black calf.


IV. And then there were three,

3 black cows now,

threaten our garden,

Saw them as I stepped out the door this morning

And went chasing after them in my T-shirt and boxers.

They topped our rise, looked round-

 then turned and ran

at the sight!


Its daylight now and those night shadows have given way, again-

The dangerous grandeur of our surrounding cliffs warmed

in the game of radiant beauty and the dark mysteries

of Intention.


It’s just somebody’s else’s stray cattle.

but in the morning’s light, I’ve named them:

Quiet Peace, Kindness and Tranquility! Tradition is the bull waiting down the canyon…


The tulips however still might quiver

as the herd creeps back in,

as it always does.


Steve  Frost, Chama Canyon, New Mexico





Apnea and Pearls Beyond Price










at last

 a perfect pearl


Steve Frost





Out in the Country North of L.A., 1949


We started in a 15′ trailer, out in the country north of L.A., 1949-

under a giant wild cherry tree

with Jimson Weed threatening fierce geisha beauty through earthbound gourd vines spread on the hot


 but I learned my first five years bare foot in the gravel and stickers, wild fragrance summer and spring-

what not to step on….  What to avoid- what to jump down the hill.  I knew not to fall into the yuccas- just a knack I guess.  To avoid Rattlesnakes and Black Widows like the Holy Terrors they are…  couldn’t.

There were 5 of us.  My older brothers slept outside in an Army Surplus bunk bed.

It doubled as a playpen for me by enclosing the bottom bunk in chicken wire.

Coyotes couldn’t drag me off, like they did the ‘free range’ chickens and turkeys.


There was a redwood water tank about 5 feet tall and ten feet in diameter filled to black, green and shards of  sky.

It smelled of wet verdant ecology in that brittle, spare, sage, sand and chaparral place, where we almost ‘made it’…  Nothing grew in the refreshment of that upright pond, ‘cause of the tannins in the redwood- I know now.  Ecologies are so complicated!


Dad played ball- and chain for our sake.  Mother wore those full summer dresses,

and was too beautiful.


Her heart almost like that place, and she walked her own way-

Sunsets pure and clean before smog, an heroic stage for our small dramas…

I was with her when she died 50 years later in a similar place.  The others all gone before-

Now that I’ve sucked in the wind that whipped our iris garden down

year after year

Steve Frost




Bambi and the Golden Eagle

I watched a golden eagle gliding across

the confluence of the Gallina and Chama rivers this morning

easy command of his medium

I was commanding a bowl of rice and stew

As I thought of his breakfast

rodents and such, fish…

Then remembered that dark cartoon

“Bambi Meets Godzilla,”  I believe

Its always like that

peaceful pursuit of riparian entertainments

beavers and voles

Popes and Poles

butterflies and Bambi

then a predator’s command!

Everything changes in blood, and butterflies-

Clueless creatures who always know when to head for Mexico

and when to procreate.

But I’ve read of states in which such need might never arise:

Beatific states, bliss

outside endless lines of time

branes and temporal tines of mysterious origin.

I’ve read of Eucharistic resolutions of all there is

and that ‘All will be well,’

I heard of such, then ‘I’ disappeared.



Steve Frost

Chama Canyon, New Mexico




Cottonwoods do sacred things,


this afternoon they glimmer in the late light

they have branches that shake and shimmer in the wind

with that they inspire-

(What do you do?  Clever know-it-all that you are!)

They whisper, sometimes gossip, leaves clattering, but mostly glory in having roots that found water…  leaves/sun

Most play it safe and stick to riverbeds,

But sometimes one will be found that struck out on its own- a fluff bobbing in that breeze

roots where it’s determined it will grow alone


it grows thick and vast around

marked with rings.

But still its glory glimmers and shimmers in light and wind

alone of its kind

but in fine




Steve Frost

Albuquerque, NM, 05.19.’11





For Alan Mootnick,

To the Bosom of Abraham November 4, 2011


Hard to impossible-


-to imagine

Can’t really.

Even deep empty space, apparently,

hides ‘dark energy’

Hardly empty.

Even when we are feeling empty

It means we are full of what we don’t want.

Feelings, images, ideas, sensations

 Who is empty.

 We get metaphor and paradox:

The Great Fecund Void

I can paint an abundance of ‘nothing’

Then frame it with preferences, culture and references

Glass it over with power and politics


Devotion, …ologies of every stripe


 Wrap it and

Send it with the

Features of


Beautiful Things, but

 Silence is best

Snow flakes falling on snow

No big wind

No horizon

A flock of garnering quail explode-

Wings awhirrrrr,

 From wet ground.


Fr. Steve Frost, 2011

Chama Canyon, New Mexico



Let’s Canonize a Newly Dead Pope

Sports figures large


Beauty runs round

round the rosie

 surfer’s pose nearly nude on warm beaches universal media

“Dying Gaul[s]”

living statues

Raven’s food, one and all-   Bodies arching and stretching atop

translucent waves

Tsunamis of the numb and the brave

(Starless night, dark, mare and foal)

Tribal wits

Like Rock and Roll

and monied souls,



Pure Monastic West, Victorians et al—even now,

still watering fence posts.

Thin, fat

Let’s run to Rome at the drop of a hat—

Red, or otherwise

let’s canonize

 -after some fine Pasta Carbonnara-

Big business.

Our lovely Lotus Lord and the Rose of Sharon gone these two thousand, 2500 years.


It’s as if they had never, they’d never come or been…

Rhymes with Sin.

Thus we call the wind

Whirling, come the storm.

Lord of Storms,

Bring the spin that will save the world.

cleanse the planet-

and give us clean hearts…





Stephen Frost

Chama Canyon, New Mexico, 01.’11

 1.  Be ing





i n g

2.  Am, spark, spel

Grandmother Spider spoke to Changing Woman- Chama come to tell.  Holy Mary- Mother of God- arrived and spoke the spell

they conceived.

 Thus it was, great plains touching,

3.  A Great Bang

4.  A beautiful woman silent sang

 radiant glory- Immaculate

light, comfort and sweet consolations.

 5. Clear Light casts no shadow.

6.  Raised a mountain

7.  Grew the Tree

8.  Scrabbled in the dirt and gravel

9.  Ate the fennel growing along European highways–fasted, traveled, prayed.

10. Drew the fountain forth from Mountains of Fire–Pyrenees– Sum of healing and salvation or from Himalayan caves

11. Pray for us, now and the hour come

12.  Poof!  Wake from the dream softly, respectfully

13.  Who can tell ‘all that is and all that seems’


what to do?


Stephen Frost

Chama Canyon, New Mexico, 01.’11



1. To Be= More than existence, rather, all that is.   Live=life + ing = Being in process, Being + Consciousness, the Divine Spark.  Belief is necessary for the “integration of knowledge.”  I.e., union of this material world and the ‘other’ world- that the two belong together.

2.  Am (Who Am).  Spark in the sense of the Divine Sparks refers to the Hasidic theory of Divine Sparks and Person/Creation.  Spel = Word of Intention.

Three female divinities from Pueblo, Navajo and Bon-Po (Tibetan) world views. Holy Mary joins the group, chosen, holy and thus divine- ‘of the divine’ if you prefer.  Who can speak of such Mysteries with finality but that it indicates a union of mundane and sacred states.  Time is of course brought to its fullness and disappears.  So, who or what comes first or highest is moot.  Though it is interesting to contemplate that the word “God” is a mere symbol for this same Mystery.  One might playfully suggest that Divinity itself derives from the Feminine as in the THEOTOKOS, Mother of God.  Though it’s safer, and maybe truer to say that all things proceed from and return to Divine Mystery.

February, 2006.  After an unplanned drive from the Pacific Ocean to NE Arizona, I find myself, as I approach Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly, to be in tears of mourning for the deaths of my mother and brother the previous fall.  I’d had a worrisome dream Christmas morning about my mother in the afterlife.  I’d made little offerings at this place in the past because Grandmother Spider, a creator deity, is reputed to live there.  I’m a Roman Catholic Priest, but I’m still reverent of the old insights and symbols ad well. Many visits in the past wherein nothing happened…  This time Grandmother Spider took over my consciousness, and indicated I should look up the right hand canyon (Canyon de Chelly splits just there at Spider Rock).  I did so.  And there, benevolent Changing Woman, a Navajo deity, appeared standing behind my mother.  My mother was protected (saved) and holding a box with golden light inside.  She was well.  See below for Bernadette.

3.  The grandeur and expanse of Spirit (and these Ladies) is referenced here by a “plains” image and jumps to the theory of “Branes” touching and thus evoking the moment of creation, the Great Bang in Astrophysics.

There is a ‘singularity’ about all real religious experience due to the ultimate nature of the experience.

4.  Holy Bernadette ‘scrabbled’ in the dirt and chewed weeds before she dug out the Sacred Spring which became the Lourdes phenomenon.  Clearly this is a shamanistic trance and ecstatic frenzy.  As the first vision was of the feminine divine–a Beautiful Woman.”  For some, the Great Goddess. Became a Roman Catholic vision afterwards. Some will be scandalized. What’s the problem, except when the human heart needs to feel superior or unique or worse to despise others and vilify that which is not one’s own. The Holy cannot be owned.  Every person is unique.  And the Immaculate Conception is also a beautiful doctrine.   Is not a world-hating denial.  Is affirmation of the union of Matter and Spirit, i.e., salvation.   However, a distinction can be made between archetypes and supposedly historical humans… though only in a temporal vale.

5.  The answer to everything:  Or, the “Six Yogas of Naropa’s”  Clear Light Realization might be considered along side Christian Light That Casts No Shadow-i.e. the Light of the Lamb- the ineffable light of Holiness/Grace/Divine Energy.  Visionary Consciousness, root of images and ideas.

6.  The Holy Mountain.  See Nepsis Foundation painting #14.  +Egyptian Creation story in which God (Ra in this case) raises a mound (later results in Pyramids of Giza)” up out of the pre-creation morass- (Waters in Genesis);.  Other sacred mountains: Sumeru, Kailash, Zion, Sinai…

7.  Tree of Life.  Central axis.  Axis Pole around which reality turns.  One’s perception is always the center of the perceived universe.  Many such references in history of religions.   Even the most esoteric martial arts such as Pau Qua contain whispers of such a memory…

8./9.   Bernadette again.  The point being a universal excitement about the holy, the ineffable atemporal in it’s ecstatic embrace. As well, once on a pilgrimage from California to a monastery in Greece, during which fasting was an important element, I was so hungry that I ate anise stalks growing along the road on which I was hitch-hiking.   References ‘method’ in the Spiritual life- practice that evokes the spiritual encounter.

10.  Pyrenees– radiating divine energies, emoting sacred springs.  Fire and water- such elements here refer the Divine.  Home of my teacher, Raimundo Panikkar. … In Sarnath, India I was once cured of a terrible migraine by smoke from a burning bit of holy cloth from clothes a Buddhist hermit who lived in a cave in the Himalayas…

11.  Even in those years of deepest exile, (OKC), the concluding lines of the Hail Mary, rose spontaneously to my lips as I fell asleep each night, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the moment of our deaths” and encouraged me in isolation. Here ‘hour come’ seems a broader reference than ‘death’ and hints at a moments of truth in addition to death.

12.   Indicates shifting states on consciousness.  Secular consciousness, confined as it is, shifts uncomfortably in its chair in the face of prayer and many religious traditions. Waking from the state(s) of consciousness necessary to understand or experience the vast spectrums of meaning, i.e Spiritual traditions, in our past- waking to the day to day banality of consumer societies, I use the word ‘poof.’  This is to indicate the disappearance of these states, but also to suggest an inadequate homage to certain kinds of homo-erotic personalities that have been vehicles of the sacred in the past instead of the ‘abominations’ mentioned in the Old Testament.   Poofters are necessary…

13.  From the other end of my investigation, see SKYLIGHTS, 7 Poems, near the beginning of my religious query in 1975- ’77, 7th poem:


Oh, Pluck the string,

Climate of my dreams,

sound your timbale,

that I may sing

of Elevations and river dreams

of all that is and all, all that seems.


Steve Frost

Venice Beach, CA. 1977



Open Door/  (Love without a lover, or children…)


…and if ‘a worm’s beneath the nail,’

but in that last quickened sigh

“I love” breathes through time,

am and


and wicked rivers part

start the

walls of paradise

as ground mist blown

in sun light

as stars might open their secret’s garden door

I remember you

And hope for

heaven’s heart.


 Steve Frost

Chama Cyn, NM

03.11.2011, 7:11 p.m.

Alternative ending:

… the walls of paradise open

as ground mist blown in the sun

as stars open their secret door

to God’s heart.



Sweet Veils

 Ahhh, the sweet veil of forgetfulness,

velum dulce obliviositas.

 Ah, the sweet tea of repose,

NO, wait,  I remember-


Chama Canyon, NM 2011


The Imperium of the Empirical



When, occasionally,

we slip out of the realm entirely of physics,

It’s the same world,

But in a flash-

Time, bent or not, transformed in eternity

freed from any lash of lines or plasma

Quadrants of despair or struggle




long hair in wind

 or water- disappear.

Any imperium of views gives way

bows in its own vestments

and is transformed where it stands,


proud or indifferent,

where still

kindness or mercy remain.


Steve Frost 02.2011






Who Ran With The Gods

When first ‘we ran with the Gods’

and the powers of nature were the only real consideration…

indeed, there were the first inklings of technology

sticks and stones

Word was an inspiration expressed in grunts and groans

-and gestures… the nature of ritual

Image is still confined by the confines of the skull


Caves are adorned as Cathedrals.

Priests and technicians suck the brains of Pharaohs

The sacred Mountain and Tree have risen in awareness

The Center turns

‘blades’ protect ideas

images are challenged



bow down

Science, and Religion quavers

(savor the favor of Bosses and CEOs)

and Me

Consider that…

 (Who’s me?)



Night Song

in this moment I sang a song.

in this moment I woke my neighbor

in the past we’ve had too many differences

in this moment I woke my neighbor

and he told me his life…

 Steve Frost


Chama Canyon, CID, NM





(See John McAndrew Dedication in Footnote)


Finding Sacred Places- Genius Loci.  Places of the Blessed Mother, et allia… Resolution of Issues,  and so on… This time Casper, Wyoming, 2012.

We stood in our hill top garden waving to the West

but down to the yellow school bus

as it carried my brothers away- waved

toward the canyon road

carrying its public commerce for so long through this kindly canyon

pungent again with natural fragrance

chaparral and sage-

Star thistle, maybe?

That’s if one is on foot.

Our canyon was

Once the principle California road north for a Stage Coach Line,

(We knew the family up the canyon who had homesteaded


back then- wHere the stage stopped.


When ‘long ago’

(Made me receptive to a memory)

to be a way station for that coach, horses running

our wild Way

as it spread through California into this New Age.

Now it’s only certain times of the year that the fragrance is so strong from leaf and branch that we can still smell it in,

in our fast cars- windows wide open.





Olfactory intoxicants

 Just to trespass against absentee landlords

And a few steps into their domain

-a life long memory-

heavy, to the ground-sweet, as some blue skies

huge in their nearly feudal influence

Command my values…

Dancing the freeway… on the way home after pilgrimage

pounds down.  Light on my feet and finger light

waving the joy

unburdened by any other value

but that moment recovered and shared

with any passersby at 70 mph


past the hiker

by the blue glory

vine-ing its way up any strong


brilliant wide-open blue

All gone, but for those ‘long agos’ held

With in.


One has a seemingly unrelated dream and then an idea comes that resolves so many issues before unresolved.   One goes out

on the road, on the land to

meet the invisible, the unknowable-  subsequently unrelated blessing flows.


‘In ambulando solvitur’   -and so on.[1]

 Steve Frost

Wyoming, 01.29.’12


Pre-nuptial Epithalamium

A short Tantric Paean

The entrance is the door itself,[2]

Invisible and lost amidst breakfast and lunch

the clatter of dishes, evening toilet,

The undulating human fabric veils Elysian Fields,[3]

All is lost,

until it’s found…[4]

Close by and up the tree,[5]

Goddess and God

flutter in






They call me “God.”  What a word?  Some call me Ganesh, Shiva, Kokyanwuti

And “Father!”

Well, I did make that perfect girl with child-

So, father

I Am!


And such a Son


I Am.

But these words- God, Purity, Father/Son- what do they mean to me?

Better SILENCE from you about Me and My Doings.

 Pure Spirit

I Am.  Better you focus on being yourself kind, patient, merciful, humble, honest, brave, loving, wise and just- And BELIEVE that I want that-that that’s what I require.  Quiditas

 (‘Honest’ especially, since lies are the language of the Prince of Lies and his cruel humor at your nearly infinite capacity to delude- yourself! The appearance of holiness, the sounds of holiness are not holiness, for example-  Only you and I…)

I blew the stars from clouds of gas

fragile as blown glass

 I am the ‘Maker of Worlds’- even your precious, lovely, lonely earth with all its biology- (Keep it well, for I will remember your Doings…)

I caused the Branes of Being to touch- Magnificent Moment of Eternity- I Am.

So, you “go walking by the River, the beautiful, beautiful River…”

I’ll be there too

Frogs and turtles

Trees and streams

I’m there,

with you!

I’ll ‘lift you on angel’s wings’

Son or daughter

Daughter, son

‘I’ll fly away, fly away Old Glory’

You say.

I say


Stay with Me.

Here and Now

I’m all there is.

I’ll show you

I AM the ‘Furthest Shore!’

Stay with Me and mine

With me there’s always




Its hard to explain!


Its hard to explain about frogs, where

it was usually dry, judge grey

gravel dry

sage green weeds, blond and grey tumble, salmon weeds

but for seldom big Nino years[6] when

two inches of clear water would sit Zen

above the little rocks, sand AND

thousands of frogs

years hidden

appeared in the big cottonwood hole singing all night seems

below a turn in the road -they had to spread out

cars had to smash ‘em

one had to miss and aim for the pool

in the hole

But a cottonwood caught it for the longest time.


Its hard to explain about Georgia.[7] how

that last year was

when the veil between worlds was so thin

It was payment in full, ‘a blast of pure white light

glancing from a spread of black raven’s wing’

it was better than any-thing, how

on the plane back from that oasis in Egypt

seeping its vast aquifer

in deep cold oracular pools, how

if the plane crashed on its way back, then it would have been ok

with me and her

-maybe not the other folks on the plane-.


But now John, ur right, there’s still to do

I’ll follow the streams I always have, to their source. You will too.

You can give charity if you receive it, Steve

for the love of God, Bill!

September 3, 2013

[1] John McAndrew-  quoted the Latin to me ‘movement solves (problems)’  Pilgrimage, walking, doing something… Indeed!

[2] An obvious statement, but when combined with ‘undulating human fabric’ three lines down, reveals the meaning of the poem- created life, mysterious and ineffable in origin and meaning, is the entrance to the resolution of its own mystery.  Various religions claim this entrance as theirs.  But what is theirs is a ‘re-arrangement’ of the elements of human perception and activity to effect what is natural to it- Union of Spirit and Matter, God and the World- Enlightenment.

[3] Elysian Fields- Greek- the place of eternal reward for heroes.  But here is a general reference to Deity as Paradise and our essential identity.

[4] Another naïve statement that indicates something of the ‘serious’ innocence and sincerity traditionally required for this quest.

[5] Three of the major players in my current situation are pursuing yet-to-be wives-  Epithalamium or epithalamion is an ancient class of Greek wedding song.  So the poem is having a little fun with the idea- since such is not likely for me.  The “tree’ reference is to Tibetan Mandalas- The Uncommon Protective Mandalas with a Cemetery Circle, in particular. Among the symbols in that Circle of the Mandala is a tree that represents the energy system of the yogi also depicted there.   It’s has to do with the rise of the Goddess, feminine energies at the Root Chakra, up to have union with the God at the Crown Chakra on the top of the head.  That is the resolution of duality, integration of all the elements, physical, psychic and spiritual, in one’s being, thus divine bliss. (And by implication parallels the Christian Parusia or Salvation of the world.) It is an integration suggestive of completion in Tantra!  Ultimate Union of all things…

[6] I was a boy child as well as it being a wet El Nino year.

[7] Georgia was my mother who came to live with me when I was Newman Chalplain at SSU in N. California.  After 5 year there, I got sick, retired. She, at 80, and I took care of each other for another 5 years.  The ‘last year’ mentioned in the poem was 2005.

John, Steve and Bill are priest friends in the Diocese of Orange.