Category Archives: Pallor

On the Inequality of Passings

Tender, timid, untouched petals
huddled side by side
Fearful of the unfurl
Or falling under stride

Growing stronger silently
under the sun’s gentle hand
Braving a peek, a stretching forth:
Petals trust before they expand.

A moment of gray
tents the sky, west to east,
A tiny moment alone
with an unknown beast:

The wind stampedes
Pounding his chest
Grabbing the throat
Of the flower at rest

“Bloom!” he thunders, “Bloom now!
Your bloom creates your space!”
Shaking her petals open
to expose her childish face

Endlessly the wind chides
To bloom a different way
So she stretches back and forth
Bending against the sway

Lost and fallen petals
blown apart, out of vision,
crushed spaces and voices-
“Why?” she asks the wind

and he replies,
“The fault here lies
entirely on your stem.”


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,
Overgrown
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
Exposed
Slips of paper pasted
On every surface

“”Remember.”

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

“”Remember.”

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.


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.


Memory Pangs

I’ve read our memories are best plucked
By specific scents, the sense of time
Bends and folds in sudden agreement
To retrieve a moment from where it’s tucked.
Forgotten years may be retrieved
By a single sniff: A whiff of aroma
Translating ancient hieroglyphs
Into tactile memories perceived

But this roving feeling in my gut:
Hungry, ill, then intractable will
Empowers empty to give its fill:
An illusion of some ethereal glut-
This precise, vivid language, rarely-used,
Unenthralled, unwraps the shawl of years
Exposing in the clarity of muscle-squalls,
“Ah-ha! I remember! This isn’t new-

I once lived here.”


It May Be

Maybe we belong
because we’re here
but we’ve linked belonging
to some intangible nostalgia,
some forgotten garden aroma
of “home”
Souls wafting similar fragrance
take the wandering vagrants
by the nose.
Those who’ve said farewell,
whose Home has retired
to either heaven or hell,
transplant their definition
beyond the earthly conditions.
Everyone feels like they’re hurting,
or working, or searching
for a place they belong-
some fantasy of found-family:
Maybe it’s all wrong.
Maybe present is accounted for,
and there’s nothing deeper to be found
than sharing the same ground,
in the same days.

Maybe we belong wherever we are,
just as much as the next dumb soul.
Maybe the concept of home, or love, or whole
merely reduces into shared ideals
when everything deconstructs
into parts we juggle.

Maybe I got stuck, and struggle
to see what’s real.


Pardon the Mess…

Today is the part where I sincerely,
pensively, and meticulously consider
scrapping everything.
In disparate, unique states
my two sisters struggle under heavy loads;
one walking on ageless, solid truth-
one crawling through nightmarish apparitions-
Both overwhelmed,
and I have nothing to help.
I also go it alone-
Our mantras don’t rise
higher than the gasses that comprise
our voices- our self-centered choices-
We are encaged by our eyes
Their limited field of vision
casts no farther than our own proximity.
How can any overthrow these
Fortresses of Flesh?
The timeline is an apparent infinity
of myopic grasping.
A globe of collectors:
Collecting things, collecting flattery, power, or security,
some with the audacity
to try their hand
at collecting souls.
Grand things and thrift things
are all the same-
Decaying into a mass-grave,
a landfill of spent distractions.
Flattery is deception,
doctored photos and inflated perceptions-
Drugs for the addict
Distasteful to those who are not-
Sometimes a horror.
Power and security are the other triplets,
Deceptions and addictions,
based on shared intangibles
Ideas that run humanity
like a hidden engine-
a magic machine-
some deus ex machina.

But souls?
Collecting souls cannot be
A hit-and-run endeavor.
You cannot amass more
than you can cultivate-
Knowledge and skill
to impersonate relationship
but just busy enough
to avoid it.
Our eyes keep us alone.
Island shorelines erode
changing in the absence,
confusing returned travelers,
and no soul remains
if they cannot know and be known.

The gift of our Creator,
Who strives with man
to know and be known

But we have no time for something so non-essential:
Our landfills won’t fill themselves
Our merriment takes work,
and years, and fun
is the new fortress.


Night Moves

I curled up to rest in confidence,
In a feeling of accomplishment
A day where everyone excelled-
My insecurities quelled
But the night crept in
Indelicately stepped in
Scratching where I slept
With terror, in a tragic overstep
And it moved me to waking,
To trembling, to quaking,
To mistaking what’s proved
With what the night moves.