Tuesday, October 18, 2011


dry leaves
     in the evening

each rasping
     a whispered


joining in Open Link Night at dVerse~Poet's Pub

Monday, September 5, 2011

on the day of the funeral

a caramel cake for you.
made just the way Granny taught me.

burn the sugar
until you’re sure it’s ruined,
stir the smoking, sputtering liquid
into sweet buttery cream, then
spoon over split layers of
golden cake.

as friends come
to sit with you
in your raw, fresh grief
and to remember,

share with them a cup
of strong hot coffee
and a taste of this,

rich and dark
and sweet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

collecting freckles

Collecting freckles
 at the shore,
 wind and spray
 play wild in my hair.

I mark miles of sand
 with a barefoot rule
 to the cooling caress
 of ocean foam
 and reflect
 in the light
 of a blazing sun.

I search the horizon...

the sky...

the sea...

until a fresh perspective
 finds me.

 by this quiet gift,
 I am content
 to turn toward home.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

dark wings

There is a hole
in my house where
the wasp crawls in
again and again

I spend
countless hours
catching it up
in an empty glass
to let it fly free
in the garden
but it never
fails to

even so
I cannot bring
myself to crush




Linked into Open Link Night at dVerse - Poet's Pub. Go check it out!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


now the dam is broken
after years of tireless service
protecting natural waterways from more
than they should handle
according to someone's estimation.

now the river may run swift again,
may sometimes flood its banks,
and the dead and dry will rise up green
in lush and tameless life.

now the stream may sing once more
its trickle ripple song,
and the forgotten pond may be reborn
a silent, sacred refuge.

but I did not foresee the power
of too much too long held
when finally loosed.
all is uprooted,
and churned
in the fury of this flood.

how long until the waters settle?
what will then remain?

some say I must have lost my mind.
I fear I may have found it.


there is a cold dark in my chest
where once a fountain poured
forth fire, now a frozen...

    this is not my demon!

where'd you come from little fella?


check his tag for a phone number.

(A favorite from the archives.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

negative space

I keep hidden
beyond the bottom
of my heart,
in a place
that does not exist,
a singular Nothing,
the presence of which
no longer causes grief
or pain.
No sense of loss,
no suffering remain,
at least that you might notice,
but behind every thought,
between each breath,
I am keenly aware
of this hollowness,
this empty space

which is not there.


Monday, July 11, 2011


dark thread
taut and long
lifted high
knot then snip
press with gauze

close to my ear
he speaks in rhythm

the deeper tissue
will take more time
to fully heal

when the outer skin
has closed up nicely
(there will be a scar)
and appears completely
for some time yet
the deepest part
can easily be torn
requiring many months
to complete
the cycle of healing



I nod



too well


(Participating in this week's One Shot Poetry Wednesday. Check it out.)

Friday, July 1, 2011


sometimes she walks
along highway 41
walks like she's got no
particular place to be
what once made her strong
now just something heavy

usually she sits
on a bucket or an old
folding chair in the grass
her back straight
chin high
steel shot through
her frizzy hair
and stones in her mouth

but her eyes burn
always watching
just above the horizon
to the east

waiting hard


Saturday, May 14, 2011


   to him 

so melodic the notes
   so elegant his throat
      as he lifts his head to sing

how eloquent the turning
   of each trill
his range
   his repertoire
      and skill

but the hard
   dark shine
      of his eyes
and the sharpened
play cold
      to this beauty

do not be

Sunday, March 13, 2011


there is a sound

that panic makes

when pressed down


a high-pitched keen

not heard but


in teeth

and marrow

my grip will soon

or late give way

setting this force


to run its wild

and manic course

until its fury’s


leaving me

to rock

and blink

amid debris

panting in its


(Recently reworked from older piece.)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

for kramer

it’s okay, old friend,
if you cannot stand.
let me bring your dinner
closer. let me sit beside you
while you lick the bowl clean. here,
take a little water.

easy now, and I will lift
your fragile frame
from this hard floor
and set you back upon
your bed, your fur
and bones no burden to my arms.
my heart, another matter.

bear with me now before
you sleep. meet my eyes
with yours and let me hold
your head in my hands
for just a moment more.

gently now, I will unfasten
the collar against your throat.
there will be no need of it where you go.

my dear friend of almost 16 years

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


some poems
you do not write

you wait
as the soul
its urgent



and remember

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

rose bush in winter

leaves shriveled
    dark and sparse

skeletal mass
    of rattling thorn
    and branch

do not be deceived

it holds deep
    the heat
    and thrum
    of life

for a time

it holds deep

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


We gave in that day
to laughter
long and delicious,
not at all our usual

We lifted up a rare and
precious music
together surrendering to
simple delight
as the canopy of green spilled
innocence down in
droplets of blessing.

But the walls that had so long shielded my spirit,
built stone by stone of remembered pain,
mortared with shadows and secrets
by long labor of my own hands,
fell away
some way
in this Sharing.

Startled, my smile began to falter…

In that moment,

I saw you

for the first time
in years

and my heart swelled
to sudden pain,
to the light.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the rabbit's lament

no more need
   to strain my neck
      looking back
         over my shoulder

no more need
   to run so hard
      to push my heart
         beyond its reach

the pain of piercing talons
almost a relief

Monday, January 3, 2011

pencil-thin line

I did well today.

   my finger lightly traces

     the ridge above my eye

       perfectly, pleasingly

      absolutely smooth

   as I reflect…

I did not cry today.

I did not yell.

I did not panic under pressure.

Yes, it was a good day altogether.

   my finger lightly traces

      the ridge above my eye

        still warm with the lingering sting

      of far too much attention

   as I wonder…

Will I do as well


And how much time

might be required

for an eyebrow

to re-grow?