Pilgrim Cafe

Continuing Conversations on the Human Spirit



I Should Cut Down this Old Crabapple Tree

American Crabapple

I should cut down this old crabapple tree.

Lightning seared it years ago,

Then heavy snow broke it almost in two.

I trimmed and culled to no avail.

Now it sits hunched in the yard

An ugly, stunted gnome of a tree,

Dead twigs and stumps of old wounds

Poking strange and ragged from the green.

I should cut down this old crabapple tree.

But last time I grunted into work boots

And limped on aching knees to fetch the saw,

I stood squinting up into its branches,

My one good eye shaded by this hand

Suddenly more old than middle aged,

Breathing hard through the gap in my teeth

Where the dentist had recently culled,

Then stumped back and put away the saw.

I should cut down this old crabapple tree.

~ Robert Jeager

Bob is a longtime friend residing in Englewood, Colorado and devotee of Mehr Baba. Earthy and deeply spiritual, Bob is a prized mentor and brother in the world of words.


Jim Tipton’s poetry actually swells the nostrils and moistens the tongue. Few can suggest associations that burst with such flavor and elicit so many instinctive emotions.

James Tipton a Colorado Poet, who lived in Ajijic, Mexico, on the shores of Lake Chapala.

Continue reading “Sensuous”

When Friends Get Together

FRUITA CAVALCADE  Born in the ramblin ‘ inquisitive minds of Cullen and Jeannine Purser  and friends. Cavalcade is quickly birthing another community dream.

The Hot Tomato, Fruita’s fabulous eclectic pizzeria was born from the meeting of like minds on the corner of Mulberry and Aspen below the Fruita Masonic Lodge.  Unlikely place until you look around the intersection and discover other persons dreams in living color. Over the Edge Sports a Single Trackers paradise and Camilla’s Kaffe are directly across the street. Aspen Street Coffee the home of the incredible bean, wonderful goodies and ingenious conversation reaches its sidewalk umbrellas from the diagonal. Around these very cafe tables the flicker which was to become Cavalcade was fanned into full flame. Finally across Mulberry west waits a brewery in the corpse of a recent entreprenurial vision soon to be reborn as The Suds Brothers Micro.

All this is to say that Cavalcade is beginning to thrive in a neighborhood where ideas come to reality over night and draw on the spirit of a young community being reborn in a seedbed laid by a crazy poet, William Pabor, in the former millineum who dreamed of  Ute Indian country becoming a fertile garden fed by life giving canals from the Colorado River.  When you think of it, what better place to begin a new venture.

Cavalcade is a novel idea, people giving birth to the joy of being together and reveling in one another’s individual gifts. Fruita has long been a secret haven for artists and performers who share their gifts elsewhere and return to the cafe tables on Aspen for brew and friendly conversation. Cavalcade now offers a venue for a sharing among friends. This is what originally made Chautauqua, New York what it is today. Is Cavalcade another Chautauqua in the making? Who knows? For sure those who give it life are unconcerned with grandeur only giving expression to what is wholesome, pure and exciting from the human heart. What better place to begin.

I Thought

Written during an annual remembrance of my Dad, I THOUGHT addresses a myth regarding the finality of death.  Other’s may relate to the images of distance and closeness. It reminds me that we seldom have ideal relationships with our parents. Often there are leftovers when they die. In some very important ways, our relationship with each parent (or guardian) continues after their death. I have discovered a deeper relationship with my dad in the years and experiences since his death. I now understand him at a depth that I could never have imagined possible.


I thought I had felt all I

      Had to feel for you.

I thought our years of struggle

    To be what we were for each other

       Had extracted all the tenderness

           All the grief

           All the sympathy

       I possessed

I thought the grave

    Would be but dim reminder of losses incurred

       Not scream finality

       Not close any remaining door.

I though my hopes for you

    Had long since been exhausted

       That I held no remaining longings

           No graspable ravels to deaths dull shroud

I thought faint tenderness would hide itself

    Moments your touch opened my soul

       The balm of your presence

           Quieting goblins in the night

I thought life had left me

    No remaining vestiges

         Nothing to prick this conscience

           To spin dark dreams

I thought that this would be the end

    That grave’s grim grasp

       Would free me

       Would close the covers of this story

I thought I would no longer need to weep

I was wrong

On the Death of Dad

Allen Simons


Several Rumi Poems are provided by On Being – hosted by Krista Tippett on National Public Radio. Don’t miss the 2010 program on the Ecstatic Faith of Rumi on the same program. Listen.

Whirling Dervishes  The whirling dance or Sufi whirling that is proverbially associated with Dervishes, is the practice of the Mevlevi Order in Turkey, and is part of a formal ceremony known as the Sema. The Sema is only one of the many Sufi ceremonies performed to try to reach religious ecstasy (majdhb, fana). The name Mevlevi comes from the Persian poet, Rumi (born in Balkh, modern day Afghanistan), whose shrine is in Turkey and who was a Dervish himself. This practice, though not intended as entertainment, has become a tourist attraction in Turkey.  Wikepedia

ingView from My Window

Perched in my crow’s-nest overlooking a placid sea of shadows, I can see six tranquil neighboring back yards. All is quiet as owners pull back shades for houseplants to drink in morning sun.

The snow is melting after several days of subfreezing temperatures. Patches of earth and leaves peeking from under white blankets. Every plant awaits breaking warmer weather.

There is quiet between whirring vehicles passing on the avenue. There is retreat here. A quiet corner in the middle of the city. Birds pick at remaining seeds as neighbor cats stalk and play in the sunlight. All absorbing the early warmth of encroaching spring.

Seasons continue to ebb and flow like an unpredictable tide leaving traces of ; moisture for thirsty roots, still unsatisfied with the skies annual offering. Is there more to come? Is this all there is?

What of the coming parch of summer winds? What of searing sun, returning gift to giver?

Answers come in time. For now, sun streaks shadows through vanishing snow.

Sonnets by Bob Jeager

For Gerri

When living rippled quietly and clear,
You and I set out without a plan,
To see what joy might suddenly appear
As life flowed on around our rolling van.

On the Journey


Drifting, stopping as we wished to stop,
In towns and cities all along the way
We searched out the local fabric shop
To purchase cloth that you would use one day.

Years later as you unfold those rippling hues,
I still see a loveliness that you deny,
Your skillful fingers, guided by some quiet muse, 
Piece muted shades of forest, land, and sky.

You sit content while stitching at the quilt,
As we are stitched in life that love has built.

My father once hiked high and rugged miles
To catch fat trout from clear mountain lakes.
He hobbles now hunched and thin—still smiles
But sighs at each step and every breath he takes.

Sonnet for My Father


Today my shoulders ache and I think of him-
No doubt sitting in his favorite chair
Dealing out the cards far away and dim.
He rocks, playing endless rounds of solitaire.

My wife says we look more and more alike,
And when I gaze into those cloudy eyes
I see it too—in this fast falling light
It is clear and steep as timberline skies.

Then a dread creeps in that grasps and pinches—
It’s not the fear of death, but death by inches.

I lie awake all through this winter night
Reviewing weakness lived so often
That old and wretched ill turns stale and trite
Though barbs and jagged edges do not soften.

Sonnet for the Hours


The body writhes and twists from side to side
While shadows flow and shift across the room,
And hopelessness surges in a murky tide
As inner darkness feeds on outer gloom.

Now all thought is self-absorbed and empty,
Caught in stagnant pools of shallow habit
At the arid shore of some long dead sea
Ebbing nothing into nothing bit by bit.

Oh, how I ache to lay me down to sleep,
Surrender this beached soul to boundless deep.

Today the pallid sun is farther, colder.
All the others have gone long since, but here
You are searching the skeletal garden fearless
And far too bright for pale October.
Are you the same one my son found long ago—
That crooked one, stumbling, unable to fly
Though he held you, offered flowers, the sky—
Come back to dance this light thin as old marigolds?

The Last Butterfly


For a moment you pierce the wanting and strife,
Hanging there—brilliant upon the cold blue.
But it is seedtime. There is nothing I can do
As you try on again this awkward life.

Today we share the failing light, a brittle wind—
You will freeze tonight, but I am pinned.

More Jeager Poems

I Rise

Maya Angelou

Elizabeth Alexander

Click To Listen
Poet Elizabeth Alexander

Poetry, I tell my students,

is idiosyncratic. Poetry

is where we ourselves

(though Sterling Brown said

“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I'”),

digging in the clam flats

for the shell that snaps,

emptying the proverbial pocketbook.

Poetry is what you find

in the dirt in the corner,

overhear on the bus, God

in the details, the only way

to get from here to there.

Poetry (and now my voice is rising)

is not all love, love, love,

and I’m sorry the dog died.

Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)

is the human voice,

and are we not of interest to each other?

To Listen poem_ars-poetica.shtml

Poet Elizabeth Alexander

Composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Continue reading “Elizabeth Alexander”

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