Jul 7 2015

why i married the mockingbird

in the middle of a day
laced with rain cloud
and robin

singing hymns to unseen

i found a grave
the tallest poplar

perfect circle
of blown-out feather

grey on white
white on grey

in the center

a ring to fit

a broken finger

a hole for grief

to tumble into

and the echo


of eternal





Jun 30 2015

the night the moon ate jupiter

thorn of light
thorn of bright

in the call

of a prussian
blue night

i am gypsy
i am queen

to the hounds
of hope unseen

slipping silent
racing whole

through a screen
of web retold

counting distance
and return

with an abacus
of learn

blood roses
blooming tight

on the skin
of my lost flight




Jun 23 2015

staring blindly at the sun

and wishing for clarity

the kind that only comes
when you can’t see anything

a storm passes through
and the trees
bend to meet their maker

as water runs rivulet
to river

to wash away
a tyranny
of dust

and we must learn to beg
or perception

zig and zag
as we run free
in the silence
between raindrops

we must learn
to drop to our knees

genuflect and
bow in a prayer
of defect

broken limb and
scattered branch
the only clues
to guide us

through a cold-cracked sky
of false deliverance




Jun 2 2015

fire in the sky

and it’s the magic of twilight that draws me outside, down the hill to a swamp filled with peepers. some nights the sound roars through the darkness, and on those nights, it’s not that i can’t sleep, it’s just that i don’t want to. my primal memory wants to lie outside and count the starts into numbers too large to carry. my feet refuse to forget the sensation of walking. nothing is clear in the darkness, but everything shines, and until you’ve let the moon find your shadow, you’ve never once stood in real light. there are secrets out here, everywhere. the trees are always whispering. i want to walk into the forest and do nothing but listen. that’s where all the answers are, but we’ve forgotten how to hear them. lightning reminds us, but only for a moment. and thunder makes us forget yet again. i want to wash my hair in the rain and leaves my toes caked with mud. i want to run through the color of midnight.




May 30 2015

blue on black

yesterday my cat
dropped a grackle at my feet
alive, but injured

and i tried to save it
(to no avail)

i lifted it gently and
placed it beneath the yellow
lilies, offering shelter and
food and water and also
a projection of hope

and the bird looked up at me
frightened and resigned,
and then together, we waited


later, i carried the body
away and noticed, in the way
humans do,
that it was heavier in death
than in life

as if its spirit had somehow
managed to counteract gravity,
at least a little

and i realized
we have it all wrong,
this thing called grief
our underlying fear
of being forgotten

because the world
always remembers

it’s just that we

 forget ourselves


I took this photo a few weeks ago, and it made me laugh, Mr. Grackle looking all fierce.
I’d like to think that’s the look he’s giving NaughtyKitten™ just now.




Nov 25 2014

a broken wing
remembers the wind

some days you have to cut off a limb
just to force new growth

prune out the broken bits and
wait for them to form fresh skin

cover old wounds
and choose the right spot
for opening veins

none of it makes you less whole

less beautiful

less valuable

your resilience is your strength

gathering force from every



wear your scars like a badge
of adornment

reach for the sky
with wide open arms

the stars will fall into
your humble embrace

and you will refuse
to hold them

their light on your skin
is always

and release is the salve
of time’s flight




Nov 11 2014

the direction always
changes with the wind

the path is predetermined by the seed and the soil
and climate’s complete lack of benevolence

a straight line leads only to infinity
and so we are faced with sharp corners

zigs that zag through uncut forest
fallow field
the vagary of mountain

and you can look for the signs

proof of possibility

your only reward for getting it right

but just this morning
one lone leaf was pointing at orion
and tomorrow
it will tumble
through wet sky




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.





Sep 4 2014

slipping into life’s soft gown

I went outside last night at dusk and the grass was already covered in dew and it took me right back to my childhood, when I was always barefoot. There was a strip of red sitting on the horizon, a perfect half moon just clearing the trees, and I walked to the end of my driveway to look out across the fields.

I love living in farm country, love this spot on this hill, love the “sheltering sky” that defines my world.

It was a very busy day in a very busy week, and I’d barely looked up from the work at hand all day. And today will be the same. But I had that moment, out looking for my naughty kitten, when life caught my eye.

Funny how easy it is to forget to notice. And how simple it is to remember.

I just had to look up.

There is food growing all around me. Stars peeking out from behind day’s curtain. Eternity stretching out above me as a grasshopper jumps into my path.

The cat was nowhere to be seen, but I knew he was watching. He wasn’t ready to go inside yet and I couldn’t blame him.

He knows exactly how to live.




Sep 2 2014

spider veins

all your flaws are evidence of irony

mother nature has a sense of humor
but also, a quick temper

she sends flowers as apology on a regular basis

you have to cut your own path in the forest of existence,
with a quick-sharp, heart-forged machete

courage is your metronome and
labyrinth is another word for learn

live lost and laugh at life’s thunder

the sky remembers every flash of lightning

earth is just a pattern of old scars
hiding shy beneath a veil of tattered stars