Sep 27 2023

morning stories of the modern world

it’s dawn
and the mockingbird
is spinning

suddenly i want

to fly again
straight off the ends
of this square peg earth
into the winding path
of freedom’s glee

burrow deep into the heart
of day-blind skunk
and know the strength
that builds red bricks
from beasts of prey

ripple down
across the shoulder
of this rolled-boulder current
pounded smooth against
a blanket of doused flame

no longer
broken open


and mirrored

yet again

i climbed a mountain to return a heart-shaped rock,
walked a forest
and forgave the past of everything,
broke a leg and knitted living back together,
vulture cliffs and jumped only with my smile,
crack-lipped hallelujahs beneath the twisted tree of pain

it’s morning
and the mockingbird

is singing


. . . . .

Jan 11 2023


i got so stuck looking for the map
i forgot to wander

these hills and valleys of deliverance
knocking down signposts
and standing there
at my own confusion
in the same way you led me here
as if it mattered
as if i mattered
and the trees just keep breathing
their dark ragged breaths
as if dying and winter
are the same

: :

i built a red cairn
in a bowl of misfortune

balanced everything
just long enough
to understand

falling is a journey
of its own
and landing
is not

Dec 18 2022

the poet’s manifesto

integrity is honesty in words and actions

damn the game-playing,

: :

i’ll take the bird singing joy
surprised by each sunrise

the child’s new word
wrapped in giggle and smile

i’ll take the plate washed with love
to complete a good meal

and the call in the night
to remember what’s real

i’ll be quiet and staid
in a world filled with pretense

wrinkled and worn
in the fountain of youth

i’ll walk steps on the path
my own feet have created

humble-quiet and found
through dark forests of pain

: :

i will listen with love
and be your best mirror

shining back your lost song
from a field
sown with grace

Nov 6 2022

you felled the tree

and i carried silence

limbs crashed as everyone watched
gladiator gold and cold blue judgment

but it tell you, i buried the seeds.

tending was a way of life
and you left me to it
trimming fat
from bone

it’s not the burnished quiet
that destroys me

it’s the wind echo
petrified singing

cracking hope clear through
ring-counted hard-growth years

the sunset stays the same
holding space for another


all i want is the gift
of a bare sapling

Apr 17 2021

i’ll sing a song for you

in the black lace
morning moment sunrise
hand held branch felled heart meld
water warped meander walk
of worship

Sep 13 2016

poking holes
in the theory of yesterday

negative space holds the shape of things

we know this, but choose to dance in the open plains
because existence enjoys being contrary

explain to a child the difference
between holey and holy


or the nature of sanity
and the way the stars all revolve
around one direction

or why i’m bound to sit
facing southeast

watching a halo of hair
glint off the arms
of the distant day
you embraced me




Aug 1 2016

whispers of everything

we want things to be black and white and the world is made of color. we don’t even get shades of grey to choose from, we get red and purple, orange and blue, green and yellow. we get the full spectrum, an elusive rainbow made of light and still, all those colors are never enough.

my garden is thirsty. i’m thirsty. we’re all thirsty for something, always. we’re all here beneath the same blue sky, the same night stars, the same tired sun, and the world spins round the way it always has. we think we know better. we refuse to see the forest for the trees because the trees refuse to acknowledge our presence.

i step outside at night and listen. i look up at the stars and there are no answers, only questions. i know the names of some of the constellations, but others i’ve forgotten. i don’t bother relearning them because i’m tired of naming things. some of them don’t even exist anymore, even though i can see them. a name seems so irrelevant.

gravity holds me in place and keeps me silent and makes me laugh with the cage of its promise.

i’m not a tree because i’ve never grown roots. every tree out there has made that decision. but i’m the one carrying water. and i have no idea what that means.

we thought shoes were a good invention. and guns. and cars to carry us to other places. we think we are smarter than ourselves.

this is a prayer and i don’t pray. this is a mantra that needs no chant. this is the morning a flower will open.

we are not seeds but we know how to hold them.

we plant hope and beg for rain.

the sky is grey, the sky is blue, the sky is orange.

all of these things are true.

or false.

depending on the day.




Mar 22 2016

my cathedral mixes metaphors

with the calm assurance of a master
beating back forest and flight and wildflower
in a dark cloud of apprehension
broken just enough to let the light through

one bird’s sky is another bird’s justice
and we call this fair on days when the sun shines
sitting in shadow with friends on either side
claiming balance

there’s a riptide of ballast claiming souls
and blooming has its own cost
one dime for pretty and two for compliance
while whispers of revolution father breezes

seeds will find a way to scatter
because we’re rooted in this circle
rose and thorn as proof of humor
bleeding through each window’s lock




Feb 4 2016

holding blue up to the sky

the way a tree holds up time for everyone to see


i ran on the side of the road to a place i can’t get back to

a stranger asked if i was lost

and i wondered how he knew


peace is always an illusion when the default is chaos


the red-winged blackbird wears his heart on his sleeve

and i follow his lead


regret is the stepping stone of forward


crooked is the path that gets you there