Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I sat with the smoke encircling me and in the midst of the fog the over-powerful streetlamp made haze on my glasses. The wooden bench is aging and creaking when I sit. The orange rug at my feet is many days of dirty but I love the color more than when it’s clean.

I listen and wish I had words to change what occurred yesterday, and most of the yesterdays previous to that one. If only my sentences could be enough crafted to let you see into the speck of tomorrow I see, which looks nothing like yesterday, resembles it only slightly, because we’re still there. But the shadows have changed.

Can I recapture the days? It’s all schedules, and meetings, and inorganic times. The years behind us only seem to creep in when someone makes a crude joke. But the moment passes and then it’s time to go.

I miss the days when I wasn’t a stranger to me. But then I look again and the familiar grin reminds me I’ve never left home.

Could we sip a bit longer on the wine? I think if we just stop and hold the breath in and count its way out we might hold the moment longer. I miss its going.

Today, I held hope for most of the day. I held it in my hands and looked hard in its depths and poked it and shook it to see if I can find what makes it tick. Today it was solid and unmoving - though if I listened hard enough I could hear breathing.

Too bad it’s time to sleep. I don’t want to turn in. I’d rather hold out till my eyes close themselves and the covers over my head become the dark stormy sky and the flashlight I hid to read by is the moon.

The wine was nice and bittersweet-dry. I never like it sweet… it sits thick on my tongue like the bad aftertaste I know it will be. I swirled it around and around and then savored a sip – laid my head back and wondered if this could be it, the moment when I know that life won’t pass me by.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

poet again

it’s been a long time
i’ve forgotten how we fit
the contours of your shape
the way we flow
in and out
and the pieces of nostalgia
that fall into place
as the soft surface
meets the hard pen.

i say we crash it all.
drive off the road into the ditch
and feel the crunch of metals and plastics
meeting branches and rocks and weeds
if we survive, i say we run for the hills
and find a new place to hide
free from the paranoia that
people inspire.

we’ll keep the lights off, for a while
stare into the shadows and watch the
air move the dust
the time will rust as the pages decay
and the words will mean little
as the ink fades
and the context is lost to all
but the learned.

the story will live on outside
the reaches of memory
the trees will grow taller, and thicker
and the waters deeper
and the sky darker
and the wind sweeter
and the stars brighter
and i stronger
and then my simple song
will be myth.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


It’s the hour.
Sleep is elusive as I watch the minutes roll by, seeing again in my mind’s eye the last second you breathed
The years in between count for days in this moment
Or maybe weeks. But surely it hasn’t been a lifetime (short as it may be) since I last saw you.

When the last grain of sand drops to its heap I’ll forget you
The dead cannot mourn or weep but they should not be forgotten.
I won’t turn away from the memory tonight.

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word
Daddy’s gone away now, so take away the hurt
If the sorrow never leaves you, please remember me -
I’ll break apart the hourglass if you’ll just remember me.

I should tell you that your grandson is past my waist and looks me deep in my eyes when he asks of you.
He dreams of saving the world already - seems to be a family failing -
But for now it’s with ninja swords and superpowers.
Soon I am sure we will catch him one day, staring into the deep, and then we will know he has begun his quest to dream.

For now I’ll enjoy the milk moustaches and chocolate stains on his shirt
And the purple marker he somehow got behind his ear.
Forgive me if mine is not a somber wake. I’m not keeping vigil for you, you see.
I’m awake for me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


i thought i would be perfect before i found you.

in my head, it would all be laid out in front of me and i would never look back. i would be calm and collected and the temper that had burned within me would be stilled. there would be no harsh words flung from its flames.

but then fire met fire and iron met iron. you were cold when you were alone just like i was. the facade rarely gave way and we both thought we were opaque.

i remember the night you first saw me. it was dark in the room and the moonlight shone in and i hid my face from you while i cried because i hated to cry.

there have been years of words and nights with tears. i never wanted to grieve but you fought me for it, and i met you with everything you threw. you dared me to fight back and i remembered that life had not killed me yet and i always come back from a fall. i showed you that fighting was so close to dancing and you learned to pull your punches when i lost control.

that's how it was.

i'll never beat you, and we'll never give in. but as we mend the wounds the day comes and we remember why we were made to fight, why we never surrender. i'll stand with my back to yours and i'll never fear what's behind me again.

i can see us and the fires are cooling though we still try to be opaque. we will keep trading strength for strength until we are old and gray - then the temper will be tamed and i won't be afraid to weep. you'll still hold me at night and we'll whisper our dreams as we watch each other sleep.

slowly we trade the fight for the dance. the perfect is beginning to look shallow as lines form and gray begins in your beard. i am young and old. you are old and young. when our bones rust i will still laugh when no one knows why and you will still tell me horrible jokes.

and the sharp iron will lay cool by the fire.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

sing, sang, sung

the rain on the plain ground in the plain town grows no trees, for plain grows nothing. the water just floods and washes away as there's nowhere to seep in hard clay.

the oddity of a seed ripping itself open to display its soul to the earth and then grow a tree came from a need to be free, to reach past the soil to the sky, and so the very small things become shelter and shade.

the breaking inside me will wound me, but i will try to reach for the sun and stretch out my branches and soak up the water in the earth and grow leaves till i die.

Friday, December 29, 2006

a mournful drinking song

Oh, the reaper’s gone a’courtin’
And he’ll dance away the night
Yes, the reaper’s gone a’courtin’
And he’ll dance away yer life.

His favorite song is a mourning dearth
And he always loves a wake
He rises early to catch you quick
And he always stays up late.

He loves to sit and philosophize
While sippin’ fruity wine
And he’ll be the first to tell you
that he’s never not on time.

Oh, the reaper’s gone a’courtin’
And he’ll dance away the night
Yes, the reaper’s gone a’courtin’
And he’ll dance away yer life.

My mother caught the reaper’s eye
And has teased him ever since
But she’ll never let him in her bed

“you c’ain’t never love a man who gets mud in the sheets.”

My father loved the reaper long
And played his mournful keys
And when daddy breathed his very last
The reaper laughed at me.

Oh, the reaper’s gone a’courtin’
And he’ll dance away the night
Yes, the reaper’s gone a’courtin’
And he’ll dance away yer life.

I almost let him take me
In the middle of my car
And a dared him still to tempt my hand
But he left only a scar.

So if you spot him through a window
Or in the bottom of yer glass
Don’t sing all his catchy tunes
Or you’ll be fertilizin’ grass.

Oh, the reaper’s gone a’courtin’
And he’ll dance away the night
Yes, the reaper’s gone a’courtin’
And he’ll dance away yer life.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


it is iniquity that drives us to make sense & understand
age sets into recognition and there we see a broader stance
death comes to the window and we gaze at truth at last.

i am a preacher-man's only child -
he wanted a son, but got a daughter
he made me stone then hit me hard to find the water.

i have stared down the ages that he left for me to wander
when the pain became too great and he cried out at last
"heal me, Lord, for i have sinned" and he broke upon his past.

i looked and was sure i saw his face
until i blinked and saw my own.
blood proved strong a tie though i could not keep his name.

i am a preacher-man's only child -
he wanted to believe, but broke his altar
the vision proved strong a hold though he never would remember.

i looked again, and saw the winter
the cold seeped in and the blessed numbness was my shelter
i never wished for warmer weather

i saw the days, i saw the age, i watched the death
i dreamed of rain and took his pen and drank his wine
his music started off key but soon a strong chord took hold.

here lies a dead man, poor child never knew better
i heard he wandered away one day and came home a preacher
but he never found the words to break the spell.