Oct 25 2016


in my dreams i fly

to alaska

build a nest somewhere high

in the trees

lay in a stock of sharp pencils

marry words

to make sense of all i see





Today I am over at dVerse Poets, with a prompt about bucket lists and firsts.
One of the things at the top of my list is a trip to Alaska.
Come join us with a poem about yours.

Jan 4 2016

in the back of a drawer:
your lipstick

slide open twist
red slice inhale and

snow like stars on cars
the way you carried me

half moon trundled and
sleep-breath cloud

lifting both of us
from a day like any other

marked by tattoo
kiss on fevered forehead

sweet dreams tiptoe
door gently closing



Join us over at dVerse Poets for Poetics with a prompt to
write a poem about a memory evoked by scent.


Nov 3 2015

this land is my land,
this land is your land

I stand on these acres of history, long fallow fields of tears forgotten and brittle reminders of years blown by, remembering how once we grew green shoots of conflict and the next spring plowed them under, making food for the forest of memory we drive through with broken blade, always turning earth, always searching for what we’ve buried. But the worm always works alone, adding air and rich casting to this hard-baked, clay-caked soil, choked with rock and seed and ancient bone. This is my home,  this place where dinner is served at noon and the sky is always hungry. I pose on one foot in the shade of a tree that neither of us ever mentions, a scarecrow of deliverance for the red cardinal who lands on my shoulder and feeds me the coldest hour. Our nests have become identical, and you laugh as you toss broken frame and bent missive in a fit of tidy redemption. There are no berries here, no reward for existing. There is only wind and the silence of everything, whistle warning us through each night.

my skin crackles with
growth and tick tocking question
unanswered roots entwine




Joining in over at dVersePoets for Haibun Monday.



Oct 27 2015

you are the candle

i just want to say that i see you

pouring love onto
the sidewalk
doing your best
every day
to fill in all the cracks

i see you standing there
alone and afraid
and giving
and giving
and giving

burning bright
not just at both ends
but in a circle you’ve drawn
all around us
keeping the darkness at bay

you’ve outrun the odds
and the lot of us
beaten strife down
with the soles of two feet
always moving

taking you places
you’d rather run through
valleys of burden
and pits
of responsibility

and i want
to carry your heart
to the top of the mountain
feed you sun and
silent breezes

wash your blisters and build you
a sky-high fire
to throw enough light
for you to find
your own reflection

i just want to say that i see you


for nana




Today I am hosting Poetics over at dVerse Poets
with a prompt to write a poem telling someone you love all the things
you want to tell them, now, before it’s too late.

Sep 29 2015

the signature of
mental sadness
{love, hippolyte}

the night

i showed you
the shape
of insanity

you called me a liar
and a thief

screaming your colorful
banshee derision and demanding
the return of your soul

i had no way
to make you understand

i’d given up my science
for you

walked away from theory
and formula

left behind explanation
and conclusion

i wanted to show you
my passion

i wanted to offer
my heart

i wanted to light
the darkness
with new stars

and share the pattern
love makes
as it races
through the night
from you
to me

but you
were unable
to see




Hippolyte Baraduc (1850–1909) was a French physician and parapsychologist. He believed that the soul could be captured with a camera, and made the capture of those images his life’s work.
Today I am honored to be hosting over at dVerse Poets with a prompt to write as a member of the opposite gender (hope you’ll join us!). I chose to be Hippolyte in love, where none of those pictures could ever be enough.
Photo (entitled The Signature of Mental Sadness) from Baraduc’s book The Human Soul, Its Movements, Its Lights, and the Iconography of the Fluidic Invisible.

Sep 17 2015


because even the light can trap you if morning
comes too soon and each tiny thread
is a miracle of meaning
drawn tight through the fabric
of pattern’s dedication
with all the patience of temporary

everything we build is false and
ruins prove nothing but existence
which is why the sky
is always the only witness
held captive in stuffy hotel rooms
and protected by a new name
every season

but i tell you
the earth keeps turning and we are all
just figments of gravity’s imagination
built of stone and empty vessel
carved raw in the likeness of star and spider
held together by shiny bits of belief




Sep 8 2015

on the banks of the river silence

Overhead, a flock of tree swallows circled like vultures. She wasn’t sure why, or where they’d come from, but the sight of them stopped her in her tracks and she stood there, face upturned, mouth open, watching quietly for several minutes. Remembering how to fly. The air hung heavy on her skin with the weight of long-discarded clothing, and she swam through each breath with the slight panic of not enough rising up in her throat. Sweat ran down her back in sheets, and leaves pasted themselves to her skin in a rorschach of camouflage. She wasn’t lost, or floundering, she’d simply decided to marry the landscape. But the forest had a way of closing in on her even as the sky made her taller, and she had to keep moving lest her feet take root.


she wandered the floor
in search of midnight feathers
fingers clutching blue





Linking in over at dVersePoets with a haibun for Haibun Monday.

Aug 20 2015

my heart worn smooth
by the shore of your fingers
{snippets and stories #5}

I found another rock the day you planned to leave me, white granite, sharp-edged, palm-sized, set down right in the center of my path like a gift or an offering or a message.

It felt just right in my hand, too, as if it had lived there once, forever, and then been lost. Later, I buried it beneath the pine in the corner of the yard, embedded in a sea of needles.

And even though it was a rock, it took root and grew beneath the surface, became a boulder. I know, because I tried to dig it up once, I spent a day on my knees with a pick and a spade until finally, at dusk, I gave up and filled it all back in, tamping down and spreading smooth the bed of my discomfort.

I slept beneath the stars that night, too tired to move and too silent to care, refusing to listen. The sky whispered lies and the stars held their arms up high like a prayer or a promise or a salutation.

I kept my cheek pressed to the earth, kissing gravity in gratitude for holding me in place, the rock beneath me still warm from the sun of exposure.

In the morning I went inside, boiled water for tea and sat in the chair by the window, already forgetting about rocks and love and heartache, my head filled with dark sparkling stories.




Linking in over at dVersePoets for Open Link Night today, join us!

Feb 24 2015

merlin’s tree

planted from a seed wrapped in blood-soaked cloth
on the edge of a forest scarred by arrow

blind-told witness held by treachery
and stars

in the season of growth and green glory

each ring forged of gold
crowned by emerald

each year fed by tear
and ambition

each branch forced to sky
by the sap of lost soldier

broken lock

buried heart

bitter potion

taking root

in the foibles of sand




Nov 4 2014

sure there are things i miss

the color of sky in anchorage at midnight
the eyes of a girl i never quite met
the forgotten sound of my mother’s voice

none of it was gravity enough
to hold me in place
and so i wandered among you
straddling two worlds on the razor’s edge
of my own incomplete sanity

i fell often, cut and bleeding
through the fabric of a shroud
no one else could see

this wasn’t my decision
it was my destiny
and no amount of fighting
kept me whole

the whisper howl of the wind in a pine dressed forest
the warm slide of good whiskey down a life-parched throat
the crackle of a fire lighting words on a page

i was cold and silent night
played loud on the radio
in a room arranged to be
my last companion

i grew up in a house
the color of empty
raised by ghosts of worn out intention

i laughed like a child
until i was thirty
and then i started leaving in a circle of return
all the things i never had
packed into tattered pockets

the call of a loon on a star scattered lake
the warmth on my skin of a sun gone to silver
the weightless cry of a hawk soaring through hunger

one saved letter pressed tight
against the thump
of my own flawed heart

proof of existence
in a shadow
shaped by please




Linking in over at dVersePoets for Poetics today,
where Grace has us writing poems from the perspective of the dead.