Thoughts and Prayers

I wrote this poem in response to the mass murder in Las Vegas several years ago. I am sad that I return to it again and again.


Villanelle: I Am Greater Than This Darkness


March – a poem


gold blades slice
weeping bare limbs
pierce cold earth

ice water
bright tonic

sleeping roots

February Haiku


Thin gray twilight draws
Threadbare blanket close around
Winter’s stony heart

A Second Opinion

A Second Opinion

 I won’t tell you
 these things happen for a reason
 and other cruel lies.

 I will tell you
 I’ve seen your feral cells under my microscope.
 Unlike you in every way
 their genes encode bald greed.
 One of you must go.

 I will tell you
 about tears you can’t spare.
 You will ask how terror
 restores harmony to the universe.
 A perverse counter-weight
 to immense good.
 A life lesson that takes life. 
 You will hate your new vocabulary:
 anorexia, intra-thecal, stochastic.
 You will say chance insults intelligence.

 In the end, if you still seek a reason
 I’ll hold your cool hand.
 I will tell you
 chance favors greed
 and greed serves only the greedy.
 Beautiful one,
 this life is a world apart
 from your generous heart. 


 Now comes the quiet hour.
 The sunflower bows its heavy head,
 its soft petals curl,
 drop like tears to the dry ground.
 Now the finch eats her fill.
 She sparks across the garden 
 to hungry chicks
 and sings one true ballad.
 All depends on this quiet hour,
 the faded flower, its heavy load,
 the finch's wings
 and one true ballad.

October: When to Worry

October: When to Worry

 Today you would not write lines on October
 like the musings of your youth. 
 You said the rosy sky was afire and the smoky air was sad. 
 You smelled leaf rot (deep in your soul), and so on.  
 You marveled at pearly dew sparkling in morning sunlight 
 because that’s what dew does, and that’s what a boy writes  
 the day he sees October.  
 He’s learning to write October.

 It’s time to worry when you see brown.  
 When you hear “the terminal sound 
 Of apples dropping on the dry ground.”  
 You’re going south the day you see 
 geese flee, sunlight fail, green grind down. 
 You’ve got bigger problems than gray wind and dry rose hips.  

 You’ve pulled out of your dive the day  
 brown becomes cinnamon,
 when October nods, slips into red, and Autumn creeps. 
 You’ve turned the corner the moment you see  
 Summer pause on sunlit hill, weep, and move on.



 I want heaven above shattered. 
 I want its silver splinters 
 picking my skin like leaves of grass 
 among clumps of green clover.
 Give me a taste of salt-in-the-wound sweetness.
 I want hell’s madness searing my soles 
 like summer dunes above the bay. 
 Bring the cool burn of gin, 
 kiss my sunburned skin.
 I want to know 
 what I’ll be missing.

The Passing of a Poet

Mourning the Passing of a Poet

You distilled life to a poem
Knew what to hold
What to let go.
Like a poet only you knew
Each word you left out.

Absence carves niches in my heart
For the absent.
Memories cast light
On what I cannot see.
I mark your passing as I write.

I read back lyrics
Milled from memories
By my split heart.
I grieve with and without words.


Remember, echo is to laughter 
as bronze is to sculptor,
reflection can only recall a face.

Remember the echo grows mute,
all traces erased in time.
Unlike sun full gold upon your face
memory of sun leaves you cold.

I remember: A memory drawn
from grey matter
like ink up a quill, wicking
up neurons, seeping down limbs,
leaping pen’s synapse with paper,
becoming this poem.

So much in time
is remembered far too little
and too late in time.