A morning in Malibu

A morning in Malibu

A morning in Malibu 150 150 Robert Alan Rife

Day creeps in slowly

like a child, uncertain, demure.

The disheveled hillsides yawn

themselves back to thirst again

in the dry, January sun.

A nighthawk, warblers, and sparrows

choir themselves out of the quiet night –

a morning dissonance at war

with nothing but hunger.


Down the slow road into town

a woman pegs up laundry, old school,

to dry in the hot ocean winds.

Eucalyptus, snapdragons, and primrose compete

for what little water is left

after years of drought.


Shakes of uncommitted clouds

stoop to the margins of

warm sky. That’s where the colors are,

a shock of tapioca time in love

with the lilacs, blooming only

for themselves to be the judges.


The town at the bottom of the hill

smells of competing sea-salt

and cheap tourist breakfast.

Those ladies looked out of place

in their broqued jeans and high heels,

that push them up above the

flip-flop culture encroaching –

like the sea.


Runners, running, so many runners,

running apace and aloof as the uneven

shoreline. They are chased by

over-confident gulls and the sad

feeling they can’t outrun something.

But still the water dances with sun

and dreams and there is time.

Robert Alan Rife

My friends think me complicated. My employer thinks me talented but at times, troublesome. God, and my wife see me as I am - a philosopher-poet with a rather circuitous journey of life and faith, the music and worship minister at Yakima Covenant Church, a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and writer. I am a graduate from Spring Arbor University with an M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Leadership. These poems, and my life, are dedicated to those places where life, liturgy, theology and the arts intersect with and promote spiritual formation – who we are becoming. Join me on this journey to word-land. Maybe we'll find each other there and share a story or two.

All posts by Robert Alan Rife