Children of absence 

The world is strange

how for some death is a petite mort

for others, not pleasure nor hell

just a slice to be taken out and left without warmth

they can with their approximating whole

continue without sore heart

while others

they are vigil in grief

nothing mends what is broken

I was told once this is weak

it is the substance of survival that we let go, move on

those who are able to open their fists

those who feel less or brew sense of senseless things

I am therefore not strong

for death stings like it has

pressed its poisonous quill deep

my heart lays heavy in its fur cloak

nothing really aids grief

but the passing of time and memory

ushering us further from the moment

like a worried parent seeking retreat

though we know

as with all circles we will return inevitably to completion

and I wonder since I do not believe

in Gods and Devils

but occasionally I am convinced monsters may, be an exception

where then, shall we find ourselves?

after all our pieces have fallen and the board is emptied

will I feel you next to me still?

as dust, we strive to rejoin star light

or will a wink be simply a wink out?

and so gentle light is drowned

for a time it worried me until

I saw this as a curtain fall, something peaceful almost alluring

what hurts us is not our own demise

but the loss of others to the other side

where shade invagels night and the smudge of life

for none of us

not even the preacher

who believes he sees the face of Jesus in the sky

can truly know what happens

when those we love die

it is the ache of their absence

even if that love was filled with holes

incomplete moments where like a colindar 

we saw more water fall than keep

I know loving me was at best a fractured and intermittent thing

but real love is not how you felt, it is the emotion I had

Stirred into my rise, even as you walked away 

even as need became a habit, not a desire

I may have always been

following you, looking for breadcrumbs

and you may have rarely noticed

your child who wanted so badly to matter

but I find time changes those emotions

it is ultimately the love I bare

irrespective of your own

that will hurt the most

when you are not around to call

hoping you pick up the phone or

send me a postcard ‘I am having a wonderful time’

and my only regret will be

just one more day I’d like

to know you were on this earth

a feeling of being as secure as you can

with nothing underfoot

we get used to little, us, children of absence

we learn to eat what we are given

and from nothing comes so much

it springs up 

around emptied houses and abandoned lots

like red weeds will show

vivid and wild

in a landscape of naught

we are the tender feelings who labor

in spite of all

and that I believe is the depth and mercy

of a full heart 


You begin me

vvvvLay your hands on me

braced against bad weather

what a welcome

coming in from the cold

It’s every time you gather me close

all I can hear is your heart

beating like

Gabriel’s drum of skin

at the beginning of the world


begin me

with each


forming laborious as

fatigued children

stubbornly persist

to dance

with half sleeping limbs

slack and graceless

In their abundant honesty

unguarded weariness

not intoxicate enough

to peel them from an ache

for music reveals

your song

If translated

portioning day into ribbons

each wreath a moment

pressed behind slide

to reexamine in mind palace

the sound of life

cymbals beneath earth

flutes and oboe forming wood

paper as soft as hide

writing our language by intoned key

first a rise, a fall, a swell

contagious momentum picking

up trained netting drawing flickering

into chalice

drunk deeply by fingers of pyre

dipping their ember quills

thirsty ducks carving water

coming up for air

gleaming plumage

reflecting our shape

silhouetted love

It’s every time you gather me close

all I can hear is your heart

beating like

Gabriel’s drum of skin

at the beginning of the world


begin me

Chosen cohesion 


still yourself

quiet that timber within

threatening to fall

weight around our necks

chains of emotion hidden and heavy

yoke and pull

hands touching earth

crumbling from once

staring upward

a tree with open branches

catching absorption 

closing in on itself

like a black-eyed giesha 

snaps her painted fan


her silk bound feet shuffling

toward her purpose with dust of centuries

left in tug-boat wake

softly her emboidered kimono opens to reveal

a wooden center carved out smooth

she is a boat

carrying you over glass

aimed due west where the sun inks water crest with single bristle 

as lovers will carefully trace outlines

with thin brushed follow

as two cells divide and multiply

within the tree an echo

you stood here before breathing deeply

catching the timeorous whistle of life

carrying it into you as

a silver thrush will herald her joy

in bathing sunlight

you stood here before growing undaunted

no wood cutter can touch

splinter or mar your canopy

if your briar roots

welding with center and circle

woven by creators hand

shall purchase their faith in holding tight

the seasons passing

man and his feeble reach

like children aching to climb

unable to gain leverage

take to marbles below

sheltered from restless rain

their delight drifts high

oxygenated in relief

to be a child again and round the earth

sailing for eventual peace

found somewhere along the journey

as you take my hand and we listen

our heartbeats stilling in

chosen cohesion

If I do not speak of you

0b16a4ec1deb472ce57d7652d12a39a0If I do not

speak of you

part company with the calcium in my bones

ligaments and tendons

dearticulate our fusion

unpick the stitch

reduce to oil once more

our burnishing

if I untie, dismantle, cleave


scrub away

the dust of my soul

wherein you reside

filling it whole

I am left my love

with a shadow ill substantial

unknown and unfamiliar

for it was your

hand I felt against me

your face I beheld

too long I have gazed only

at the circumstance of your make

thinking myself a different race

escaping into your darkness

when I burned within my own

thin shell

you wrapped yourself a hundred times

around my need for union

where you began and I end

nothing can anymore divide

even the wind even the sea

even time and hunger and fire

even birds of prey who believe

the desolation of my shape


if I do not

speak of you

my language

my tongue

may turn and catch in rust

clacking only a hollow sound

for you fill me

like the swell and surge of saline

roosting her storm

you fill me

like burned fields herald life in autumn

you fill me

like a flame will reflect our tomorrow

it is you and if I cannot speak of you

let us leave off this pretense, belief time will heal

a rift as jarring as breath is necessary

instead, take that plunge

long and withheld beneath waves

for surely in this glassy netherworld

I see you ahead, beckoning me to rejoin

and burst on hissing sea-foam

like mythic horses left to roam undisturbed

do not ask me

do not ask me

if I do not speak of you

I am equine in my haste

ever chasing

your wild

gallop ever




Yes it’s true

holding on too tight even when they ask you to

causes eels to revert back to nature

and seek to wriggle free

you said

hold me so tight I cannot escape

I found I was

even when I didn’t know it

never good at sharing

imagining you the idol of another

I felt your place was with me

that was wrong wasn’t it?

you were a bird in a cage

I didn’t have the key

it was down your throat

stopping you from singing

and when the storm came

you coughed up all your metal

and turned it on me

I must say

you sounded beautiful

as you flew

far beyond us both


thI find myself looking at my cold hands

Unable to warm through

Destined to be dry and desiccate

Metaphor for exhaustion

When doors are not sufficient to challenge the unease of living

When it is colder inside than without

Yet retreat is the only certainty

You wound me in ways you cannot understand

Ways I didn’t think existed

They only do if you are fool enough

Long I wait measuring time in butterflies

Ravenous for nectar they summon dormant plants to sprout

Watchful for the chant of life that accompanies the sun

When you take a drive I imagine that’s what you seek too

Some reaffirmed moment

While I can no more summon faith than tan

Beneath UV

For one it beckons an end to their winter sleep

The other, she appreciates the warmth but it is

More harmful than beneficial

As you with your rough emotions

Use scythe and sledge-hammer


And then wonder

With clueless expression

Why I bleed?