Monday, September 23, 2013

For My Father

The boy lived with his father and mother and two little sisters in a small converted gas station
    in a small coal mining town.
                                    They were building a house-the boy and his father and the men in town.
                                    The men drank beer and labored every evening
    and every weekend.
The house was almost finished.
                                   It was almost Christmas
                                         and the boy knew he would be getting a pump action BB gun that looked just like his father's pump shotgun.
Then he would learn to hunt,
  he would learn to be a man.  

On Monday morning, Clyde came,
                                                           as usual, so they could walk to school together.
                                                                               The boy answered the door and said, "My daddy died."

His daddy
      died in winter. Nine days before Christmas.
Came home sick from work on Friday, pronounced dead on Sunday.
The boy was only ten.

After that, he hated
snow- an
          abhorrence matched
               only by his hate
               of God, who
have fared better,
had he also died that cold December day.

the white began to melt into first signs
poking, pale
and the lawns in town, dappled in dew droplets might have signaled promise
and the sun
cradled fresh
declared them sacred,
               the boy's
mother prayed her son would be okay.
     Trees reclad with flair, emerald frondescence everywhere,
posies peered, checking progress of moseying slush,
birds cheeped cheerily, confident
                                                 the freeze was over.
                                                                     Spring tried hard that year;
                                                                           in high spirits and with vigor, strove for reclamation,
but the secrets of last season
                revealed themselves in a relentless rain
       that commenced mid
Unallayed, it came in torrents,
tearing blush stained apple blossoms from their branches,
                             dragging buds from soft soil
                                                 shushing any hopeful singers,
                                                 and winter's fight,
displayed in violent weather,
proof of reason to dismay.
                                     The boy knew he could not avenge his father's death by the killing off
    or nature
but the
former image of a safe and sweet, if stern,
 old man
watching from the sky
was dashed,
by the now evident claws
             of a rash and criminal creator and destroyer
                                          who roamed the earth,
                                                               took at will
                                                                              what he would.
                                                                                        The boy heard the roar
                                                                                                 of this bitter new truth in
                                                                                                     the thunder
of summer,
saw it
in the fire strips of lightning,
    tasted it in three cruel seasons,
                                      so by the time fall arrived,
to mark a passage
and leaves
                                   laid deep,
rusting the grave he could no longer bring himself to
his heart was hollowed by a boyhood swallowed.

His little sisters
   somehow managed to sustain
thus joy,
in stories,
adding innocent made up details
                              and he listened, allowed the sentimentality and the fabrication but did not partake
                     and he exiled
                                   from the comfort.
                                             he made his own sort of peace with the tragedy.
                                                                   Wading in the width of lack,
he navigated
reality's rivers
with an energy reserved for
With loss as his lot, he let no one near.
                And God he banished, though he doubted not
                               his actuality.

Years ceased to vary.

Decades after, undistinguished,
       and any whiff of wistfulness
brushed off like irritant flakes of

He found (too soon)
                the bottle
    drank as for deliverance,
lived then for years on the brink of death's cliff,
    destruction, theme of the dark Poe like poem of presence.
Being, a casualty in the accident of
       grand scheme -
or so he attempted to
    ignoring any clue preempting
battering baton
                   of call.

Betrayed by waning
he wished for death;
                   received it long before he breathed his last.

Hounded season after season by rhyme without
                                    a mystifying snow found him well before winter in a new year,
                                             fell so tenderly
                                                            that even heat of inebriation could not provide escape
her whispered telling.

spoke of his father's love,
said it came grieving in the tears of rain,
and screamed in summer's storms,
      and missed him when in Autumn, he withdrew.

He wept at
             the warmth he'd
and by spring that year,
                       he'd buried the bottle.
                                         Time revived in the flowering surprise of grace revealed
                                                                    and the man answered the door and said, "My Father is alive."

The Sunday Whirl


Friday, September 20, 2013


I sense the need for strategy, a battle plan, or at very least,
                                    a change.
The inner man is
while appetite of
                                         flesh, unsated
                                                               draws lines.
                       So, I study plot and step,
                                                   a map of curious sorts.
Heat creeps in, elated, breaking
                                    breach of peace
                                         and pursuant, she circles round my frail human variance,
                                                                               exposing weakened will.

To keep within,
                                                  hold fast
letting go.
War is a theme, but there are many ways to fight, and
               the true hero, though he
                 evades not danger,
waits for call.
    I crouch and listen.
and when signal sounds,
               shift course,
weave through enemy land.
    Armed at last with quietude, I am unafraid.
                                                  I find victory
                                       in surrender.

The Mag
Poetry Jam

Monday, September 16, 2013


Did it begin with a woman?  Her voice?
                           Her dreams?  Some days, I don't believe this, though
                                                                         some days I do.  Years wasted busy,
                                                                                                origination, a hard recall
but vigilant of winter,
fall, behind,
            I am cradling
this single
           thin, transparent.
It responds to song;
                          spreads like favor or like a flower, baits
                                                                          with visible
                                                                                           echo of
and then
bits of wool take flight
and wistful
mist of past
creates and cleanses
Now learning silence, remembrance vibrant,
the discipline grounding....
          though I'm bent to
Vagabond that I am and
sent here with feet,
I want
glitz of angels,
command of comportment.
My flesh craves
but this
wilderness is void of viewers.
   I bow
anyway and
God chuckles at my Shirley Temple antics.
                                   His delight
                                         draws me back
to ponder,
master posture.
Did it begin with a woman?  Her voice?  Her dreams?  Garden, barn or castle?
                                                                                                                      Some days I sense more sumptuous
diversion, manipulative
whispers slithering
      in and vacuous eyes but
               the tree
is withering, fruitless.
  Some days I strive against base being
              and the wiles of noise,
pray for an undepraved heart and ready womb
               and find myself a coward.
Only this sliver of vision still tapping,
 steady and
flaunting hope
Vivacious face about,
I chant along-
sweet repetitions
until I remember and know.

The Sunday Whirl


Thursday, September 12, 2013

I am new.  Insatiable.  Blue as the moon,
while making ready for wake of morn.
       My desire extends
beyond the flesh.

My hands
bless what's becoming.
                     as the stars strategize
                    layout of their luster.

                     I have never spoken, taken, clung this way,
                                                so, I linger
withstand the ache awhile.

And with words and heart poured out,
                                            though light pursues,
I am grateful for the dark tonight.
                miss your skin already.

My pretense presses up against your chest,
                                      and everything
                                that was mine,
I plan to leave with you.
       You will happen upon it later,
                        and in that moment,
                               I hope you don't remember where it came from.
                               I hope you see it new;
                                                          that nothing's missing.

              we have circled through each season,
and as
fall again
and the air smells wet and rare,
                       I am tempted by a different telling.
                       I want
                                to stay.
Aware of the shifting, I am slow today but greedy,
                      still hearing summer's heavy heart beat
                      still warmed by her superior heat,
                                and though,
I've said before
I am quite well able to withstand the fire,
           there is exception in this flush.
                               now, I am
                                            mastering the rift
                                               and tallying the loss as I
lay down pen.
So silence me with your stroke before spring sidles in,
                                 before winter takes her
And later,
in the chill of in between,
all this bygone galore
will no doubt
                                         defend you
from the bite of blight.

I will keep you even in the wilderness and pray you off to sleep.
I will share my joy, send it with the wind,
             and when budtime
take flight.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


perfectly, so firmly,
in this space
between what all is right and what all is wrong,
between what's left and what is gone,
     between where I've been and where I'm headed...
                               and I am waiting for the air to cool and the leaves to finally
I am waiting for a new and softer light to mark my way.
I am here, in between the silences, between my will and hope,
  and I am holding on to what I shouldn't and
fighting for
                                       what I think is mine
                                           and my
like the weather,
 is playing tricks...
promising what it can't
   or won't
    I am waiting for rush
                          of gold while grazing
in this pasture, green, and still am in between all silver nights and gilded
I am waiting for the noise to lessen so I might hear the
In between strengths and weaknesses, patience and the loss of heart,
I wait,
     a stranger,
in between.
I am soft but hardening,
alone with many,
and I am half numb and partly sparking.
I am speaking
          out of turn
and then looking for my tongue.
Acknowledging the shock,
                   I am in between the wisdom and the place I've long since turned my face from.
I am stuck in a moment calling for its purpose,
in between
my own acceptance and temptation of escape.
So I am waiting for the air to cool and the fear like leaves to finally fall,
I am balancing in between the seasons,
merely visiting the false fluorescence  of what was once familiar.
I am teetering in between the comfort of the fire and the scorch of
And in between superfluous and not enough,
I try with words
                                              to mark
                                                  my way.
Here, between what's left and what's been taken,
I am letting go of what I should
and surrendering all I thought was mine.
                                In between the time of skittish squatting
                                                                                      and the courage to carry on, my nature like the elements is equipping to deliver.
I am in between two worlds
on pilgrimage
and my knees are shaking but my feet are heating
so I am in between
but  moving on.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013



Her flesh burns, and she despairs at this dependency.
Caught between terrene and
                                                                                          it is
only with eyes shut,
that she knows what she wants,
wide awake,
relentless fist of guilt is stalking.

Fenced in by so many false promises and blocked from light, she is yielding

The primal earth beneath her feet of clay both welcomes and reminds.

If only she could bring herself to say his name.


He is close.

       She feels him in the
       sway of ghost like gusting wind,
                              and in the feather
soft seconds of silence she
comes to,
harlot, scarlet heart
pounding out words
                 later forgotten.

She arches like a cat under the stroke of sharpened senses,
                                                       keeps time by the inhalation
                              that somehow
filters out the train
           of lower thought.

She thinks
his nostrils flare,
and she
lowers prostrate,
tries to
swallow back the gushing
    and the bitter taste of shame that prickles backside of her tongue.

When quiet
the pieces pierce
    and the fierce concreteness of
where she's always been
out in triumph.

If she could
but gather these fragments,
and present
            them as an offering
she would hear him
say her name.