Tuesday, September 13, 2011


after the world fell down

it left a weighty weaving darkness

full of fury but no sound

so quiet

we could not hear our own voices

*I wrote this poem on September 11, 2011 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.  OpenLinkNight http://dversepoets.com/

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Death is an unnatural thing.

It is a soul mate
wrapped in a shroud of
disquiet and tears.

It is a fickle friend
who chastens life with non existence while declaring,
“You are my best and most enduring part.”

-OpenLinkNight http://dversepoets.com/

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am an heir to a jagged edged apprehension:
no one and no thing will claim me
by claiming,
teach me to claim myself.

As I race toward the grave
mainlining self-doubt,
snorting regret,
confusing mere stimulation for feeling and
pulse for life;

My repreve comes in
the echo of a soul writ large,
a voice laced with crystal sugar and
singing of joyful misery without the
oft obligatory shame.

It is a voice that
repeats a vow I had only heard before
in dreams;
a promise
to cry my tears when I can't.

*Written in tribute to Amy Winehouse.  I wanted to express what her music has meant to me. Artists have the power to transform the consciousness of others, but they can pay a heavy price for that power.  I hope that Amy has the peace in death that she could not find in life.

-For OpenLinkNight at http://dversepoets.com/

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


You are my gift…I am your affliction.
You help me claim the parts of myself that I fear most.
With you, I can endure and build my life anew.
My survival constantly compels your destruction.
You live.

-For “One Shot Wednesday” at http://onestoppoetry.com/

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


You made a choice which allowed you to keep
the world you knew.

The world beyond was a child’s fantasy-
to you
even in its very real appeal.

You chose what you valued, but
to your surprise
that fact did not make what you got a treasure.

Once, you only needed your prize for love.
Now, you need it to make up for all
you believe you have lost.

Instead of a victor
you feel like a human sacrifice to ideology
to a wish of the mind that destroyed hope and

And what of your discarded love?
Like a prodigal
you now see it as the gem it could
never have been before.

But is this impulse Truth, or
is it the desire of an ego to keep itself safe and fed?

Regret makes us bolder, but
it does not always make us wise.

Which option should you have chosen?

What price could you afford to pay?

-For “One Shot Wednesday” at http://onestoppoetry.com/

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


“Tag, you’re it,” I said
dramatizing my own feelings
unwilling to see the you that lay
beyond my hopes and intentions.

I double dared you to confirm
what I had come to believe:
you would be just another memory-
another regret.

My problem was not confusion
but the weight of my truth.


You were the brave one
who said, “If we love, let’s love!”

You gave me
a new beginning
that has the taste
of the purest childhood.

we go to another country where
we can pretend
what we pretend to be
we are.

In this place
you are water
I am sand.

-For “One Shot Wednesday” at http://onestoppoetry.com/

Sunday, June 5, 2011


In my yearning for solitude,
I missed The Epiphany of

Alone, I found surety
but discovered that
it admits
no wonder.

What remained for me was
A Thought
and, occasionally…
A Dream.

When we suffer enough, we learn.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I wanted to distill
the essence of the world and
contain it in a bottle so
the sweetness,
that fades upon possession,
would never leave me.

I picked and chose
bits I deemed important and
threw away the rest.
What I didn’t know is that
the rest gives the bit its meaning.

this knowledge
springs from my being like
a shoot from a plant.

I realize that
forever requires
a gentle embrace.

-For “One Shot Wednesday” at http://onestoppoetry.com/

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


My heart is
a jewelry box-
a place where I keep
the odds and ends of
my existence.

My treasures fill the box to
overflowing, and
some adorn better than others.
I can discard none.

Each is a necessity,
a site of memory
recalling me to myself.

-For “One Shot Wednesday” http://onestoppoetry.com/

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Your heart
has many compartments,
like those of a train.
They stretch through time.
Their contents,
your passengers,
never touch.

Their bond is
the containment that you provide
as you journey
from room to room
in a look
in a smile
for that one
who reflects
the you that you want to be.

 -For “One Shot Wednesday” http://onestoppoetry.com/

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


"They messed up his mouth."  
Momma scolds the funeral home,
under her breath,
as her hand tentatively hovers
over your closed face.

Now, your lips are thin smudges
that barely cover the teeth.
Your lips were full once.
I remember.
I used to watch them.

As a child,
I watched
as they told stories, jokes, and dreams
while we all sat at the kitchen table.
The words that came then were
more restful than sleep.

I watched too
to distract myself from
the ungodly fear that I felt
when their pursing gave way to
the clench of your fists.

You are so small,
like a child
wearing his father’s suit,
as you lie there
in the box.

Ten years before,
the suit fit you well.
I remember.
You sat at your desk
counting the days take,
pausing at intervals to
wet your finger with your tongue
to make the job easier.

With head down and
eyes focused intently
on your task,
you asked if I would be coming home
for the holidays.
I made some excuse,
a hollow one, that
made it obvious that
you would not be seeing me
that year.

Just for a moment,
you looked up.
The expression on your face was
the same one you wore
the night that
Momma fell.

I was shocked and

To my surprise,
the box holds more than
a once was,
hastily bound together with
paper, wire, and glue.

All of your wounds
have risen to the surface.

I stand,
I look, and
I can't help but wonder:
Which ones did I inflict?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


While in the desert,
I stumbled into a mine shaft.
Even in its depleted state,
I found hidden riches…
Once I survived the fall.

In this place of Death and
Sight is not given but

While in the desert,
I stumbled into a mine shaft.
In this gaping tomb,
I found a chance to go forward and a
Way back home.

-For One Shot Wednesday http://onestoppoetry.com/

Two news pieces inspired this poem.  One was the story of a miner who fell into a Nevada mine and died there after many failed attempts to save him. The other was a report about how scientists study mines for clues about the earth’s beginnings and life on other planets.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We waited together, but
She got there first.
I saw her, as I walked up to
The bus stop.

She was small and frail in
Her tight blue tank top and
Way too big khaki pants. 
She looked like an ancient child
With her sunken face and
Concave chest that trembled with each puff of her cigarette.

“We just missed one,” she said as I sat down.
“That bitch saw me, but she just kept on going.”

As she talked, her hair,
As red as her thin cracked lips,
Waved in the breeze like the weather beaten flag of
A nation that has been long forgotten.

She muttered more curses, but I didn’t hear them.
I was looking at the dark pink scar above her chest.
She caught me staring.
Touching the scar, she moves closer to me. 
Her toothless grin reveals a darkness
Like a deep well that’s
Been waiting to reveal its secrets.

The thin low tank top did not hide it:
The memory of seared skin that bubbles,
Then crusts and finally smooths out.
What remained had the appearance
Of often used candle wax.

“That’s my ‘bottom,’” she said as she fingered the scar.
“Your bottom?”
“Yeah, he come for it, but I wouldn’t give it up.”
“My last 10 dollars.  I needed my ‘rock.’”
“Your rock?”
She saw the confused look of the uninitiated on my face.

“Weren’t you scared?” I said.
“Yeah, but I needed it.”

She went silent and looked down at her feet
As if she was admiring her white high heeled shoes
With yellow at the tips that covered her toes,
A yellow with the hue and curve of a small just ripened banana.

Still looking down, she said as if talking to herself,
“I cried later when I got straight.”
“I almost died for 10 bucks.”
“I quit after that.  Been sober for nearly a year.”

She turned away from me and
Took another drag of her cigarette.
Then, she used a free finger to dab a piece of debris off of her tongue.
She examined her find with great interest,
Totally oblivious to any thing around her.

I saw our bus off in the distance.


When eternity comes,
We will stop protecting ourselves
From our feelings
With words that confound like
An outstretched hand that,
Alternatingly, pulls close and pushes away.

When eternity comes,
We will embrace truth and refuse to utter
The niceties that feel
like the kiss of a reluctant lover; 
a pout planted flatly on the lips.

When eternity comes,
We will reject shallow beauty
And embrace the
Penetrating wit
That is our birthright.

When eternity comes,
We will leave the banality of this life
To those who fear the fall.

When eternity comes,
We will, finally, give ourselves over to
Flesh that does not obey.


The cry is not heard.
The grief can no longer be consoled.
The knowledge comes too late.
What we took for second best was, actually, first.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Your eyes-
speak recognition,


Without self-consciousness
Gives of its self,
Expects nothing,
Lures everything, and
Has no rival.


I search for the meaning
amongst tiny bits of wreckage that
dance in slivers of light and
quickly disappear.

I try to touch,
I can't.

There is nothing to embrace,
the forgetting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


we wake to
an inscrutable restlessness
feeling our mutual masochism:
the perfunctory invasions
the passive depletions.

we are united only in our regret for
what has been lost and
resentment of the instinctual and
inherent pull.

we persist, because
we know that partings do not
always lead to better things.

we endure until
the fear of paralysis becomes greater than
the fear of the unknown.

we part, but
the taste of the old love lingers
in our memories
like the tastes on the tongue:
bitter, sour, salty, and sweet.