Monthly Archives: June 2019


You spoke
And matter collided into being
In perfect order
Animals stretching forth to sing
Praises in a new tongue
To the Creator King

And I will be whatever You say I will be.

I sin
Striving hard between
My broken flesh,
Emotional deformities,
And spiritual stubbornness
But I have seen

The glimpse of Your beauty beyond comprehension.

You redeem
From the darkest sins
I stand only on Your work
And when I stumble again
I fall into You
Spare me from the recoil of men

And allow me to sing,
Whether in exuberance or agony,
To You, my eternal Savior King.

Pondering on Wandering

I never belonged to the barking hawkers.
They heralded my path to perdition.
Sufficient without their momentum-
Forgive me for seeking their permission

Even their affection.

What may be their mission,
Is an expression of my conformity
Overturning my design for
An infirmity of form

A painting over a painting.

I am not incorporated.
A single person from humble beginnings
Flailing in the freedom
Of expression, and service, trimming
The wicks of history

I am painted in
The broadest expression
Of human experience
And it is a transgression
To seek heightened, narrow pursuits

A tower, a city, a mantra.

I have walked the earth
In the barest of feet,
And in my poverty
I have dined with kings.

This is who I am
And it is dishonesty
To amble with troupes
When I am made to be me-

but distinct from the sea.

Dearest Tenderness,

Rain pelting my swollen face, but
I wandered barefoot into the storm
In searching rays the unbroken sun rises:
Your face shines; by grace I’m warmed
And the laments, the wails,
The twirling vapors of fate
A million broken stories
Step back in shadow to wait
The bridegroom draws close,
His musical entourage swells
My knees find the dirt
The black dog felled
Footsteps, and a harsh word
Would shatter what remains
These few, fragile shards
Wearing my name.

No voice has earned the right
Like Yours
Yet You share Your worth;
Your worth is sure.
And of all the swirling majesty
Calling electric praise
From grounded souls,
Endless shouts to the Ancient of Days
From finite vox
The clean from the unclean,
It is Your infinite tenderness
That reigns supreme

In the frangible, sensate-awareness
Of my mortal and immortal being.

The Ghosts of Lyells

We were already homeless
When I moved out
Slowly, toe by toe,
Piecemeal, until I was whole
On the outside
So as not to offend
And you called me a name,
Standing in the grass outside
Someone else’s home,
What was it?

I was blind, and did not see
I left behind a piece of me
In that spot.

You procured a house in Lyells
My brothers orbiting
Expecting I would return
To live, to rely, to wait
To be married off
According to custom,
And the world we’d been evicted from
Continued on
Behind the looking glass.

So many familiar things
Heaped in piles, bags, and shelves
I asked for tokens
Some photos, some mementos,
Some toes I’d left behind
Your pursed lips
Denied me:
I forgave you instantly.

Later, I returned
When my familiar things
Spoke foreign tongues
And every corner sang
In minor chords
All the edges wild,
Days in disuse, disowned,
You asked if it would be so bad

And part of me felt at home,
So I ran.

In my rented compartment
Years and miles away
A swift bird flitted by
Singing of your abandonment
None stood by your side
When the final moment came
And I drove all day to find you
Back down the endless drive
To Lyells

Empty rooms
The cavernous throat
Hollowed out and rotting
Like a dead beast in the forest
Food decayed on plates
The final moments
Wasting away naked
Slips of paper pasted
On every surface


Who are we to forget?
The musty, fusty smell
Of rotted youth
Treasures dumped as trash
In the great heap
Of time and the shattered,
Irreplaceable toes
You were long gone,
But the walls whispered


I took no memento
From the macabre museum
Our mausoleum of bones
I stood while all the walls
Shrank around me
Counting eternity
In shallow breaths
I clutched my keys,
And backing out,
I left.

All the little pieces
Scattered along my way
I saved for some return trip
Braving some stronger day
An ace perpetually up a sleeve-
Until the songbird crowed again
I pilgrimaged down the endless drive

All gone.
Razed to flat earth
Every exhibit
Details of form, weight, and shade
Ash and dispersed
Into abstract ghosts
Wandering, screaming,
Haunting the eroding memories

All that may remain:
A wave of lost pieces
Phantom limbs

I’ve heard it said:
Live in a house
And it will not crumble.
Time may overturn its contents,
Coins rolling into every crevice, yet
Memory builds a timeless structure
Wherein no man may live,
Nor flee,
And every stage
From birth to death
Exists simultaneously.

Sunset So Soon

The summer blades
Carving monuments
In derby cars and soap bars
And skidding bicycle tires
Rolling with the ants
In itchy pollen sleeves,
Plump, fat leaves forming
Shade tenements
And eternity is summed up

In a single afternoon.

The Heir Apparent

Years ago, I spoke it clear
Our society by design:
My father took my mother’s name.
My father gave me mine

Until a brightly cheerful
Blooming summer day
I made him stand and watch
As I gave his name away.

There before all God and man
His name dissolved in rice
A smile, a hug, a warm farewell
Atop the sacrifice.

Nestled home, a new woman,
And never quite the same
I gave birth to a daughter
Who bears her father’s name.


I’m tired of being a fractured dish
The smallest on display,
With all my jagged, broken bits
In vibrant disarray
Like some offbeat, off-key,
Off-kilter cabaret

Are these seeping seams
Caused by fragile health?
Gifted with loyal friends, abiding love,
The immeasurable, unmerited wealth
Of grace in constant, freeing aspersions:
I’m tired of being the worst version of myself.

If these breakdowns
Breaking me down
Are caused by some physical intruder-
Misfiring nodes, a chemical frown:
Mend whatever interferes
And bring me back around.

If these longer shadows
Signal another pruning season-
Don’t let me run from the blade,
Nor commit the tiny treasons
That prolong the day
Finish what You began:

Deliver me to the day of completion.

Hand Me Down

I gazed through the back window
In a car in Warsaw
Staring backwards
Past the houses
With jumbled yards, and
Those with squared lines and
Mowed precision
Past the jumbled years
And expectations
Drying up like fall leaves
I stared
Into the broken homes
And dark rooms, the violence
The battered hours
The flesh on flesh
Twisting, pounding,
Staining childhood with the
Bloated, purple corpses
Of hope, or trust, or
Any layer of security.

Still a child,
Still purpled and sullied,
I saw it move through
Generational brokenness-
An excruciating inheritance,
Those who came before
Cast echoes through
The ghosts that are to come,
And I prayed fervently:

Let it end with me.
Let me be the last one.

A Word By Any Other Name

The continent of literature
Is a brassy fashion show-
Five common ideas,
Models we all know,
Displayed and disguised
Tarted up to impress
To detract or distract from
Vulgarities expressed
Humanity enlightened
Donning emperor’s robes
Nude barbarism: crude and
Bloodthirsty xenophobes
Photographing gaunt
Yet familiar faces
Twisting the heel
Stomping graceless
Through the annals of hawkers:
Myopic mankind
Draping their finery over five
Emaciated spines

Identical turns lauded
As a new revolution
Five common ideas
Immune to evolution.

The Bell Tolls

I read Plath
And all the while
I was mad
As a March hare.

It’s the relative passage of time
That wrecks us,
Splitting the infinite paradigm
The smallest flecks of
Moment and inkling
Memory as masons, paving neural networks
Christened by the sprinkling
Of patriarchal guesswork
While a fresh pulse of ink flows,
The sands of time fall still
In the aura- outside demands grow-
Earth, round, spins at full tilt.
No sanctum as refuge-
No sanctuary to claim
In the pagan temples of refuse
Maiden debris of names
Cast-offs of Indifference
The altar of unsculpted desires
Running crimson with reverence
Withheld from the fire
And endless rounds of the savage
Beating of drums,
Stanzas repetitively ravaging
Linguistically numb
Quotidian queens in full regalia
Stooped under headdresses
Worn for the staggering saturnalia
Of autochthonous excesses-

And we gurgle, flail, and elsewise drowned,
In the words we repeat, but never write down.