wicker man



first bits

then fragments

fall away

like branches

on fire

crack off


wholly ash


which wind then

wisps to air



a spirit singing

in each breath


(August 9, 2018)





A Confession Must be Heard


Much of what I write these days

sounds like a rote confession;

yet, I am no savior, even to myself.

So to hear the nuance thicken

around a verb in my own ear,

I must speak a native tongue;

and like all true stories I tell,

I shape myself to a form

which best suits my desires.

I collect what is at hand,

charting all my little failures

as profound, as if the paucity

of my life could ever be enough

to transcend these humble clichés.


(May 31, 2108)

Against the Background of the World’s White Noise


Repetition runs counter to chaos.

The steady tap-tap declares one

to be; it belies the random

scratch upon the prison wall.

Only for a moment one rises

above the skitter of rat’s feet

through dry straw to say it

again: I am here, I am here.


Too often ritual’s condemned

as too difficult a constraint

to work within. Yet, there is no

freedom in the sun’s fire and fusion.

Freedom’s found in the patterned

improvisation of predictability.


(May 7, 2018)





love and fear bond us

the collaborative

notion we are dead

without the other

that god exists

within not without

as the beast devours

the ones on the edge

together we hold

what wisdom we have

in the stories told

as we eat our bread


the dead like god live

as wine in our blood


(February 8, 2018)

Time’s Lackadaisical Continuum


A fire flares and flickers

As the dark embers pulse,

Keeping beat to the dancer’s

Feet twirling in a circle.

He hesitates to speak,

To throw his slow mind

Into relief against her quick

Laughter rippling the room.

His words bind him to earth

Like roots tangling underground;

Hers flutter like butterflies

Rising as one from flowers.


Flames, flowers, roots and embers

Turn, and turn, and turn again.


(January 30, 2018)

Ritual’s Slow End



As he has each morning,

Treebeard, the orange tabby,

Leads me down the stairs

For a first cup of coffee.


Today he shows his age

As he descends the stairs—

Something off in each soft pad’s

Touch upon each familiar step.


He stops at the end, and meows

To be let out into the dark.

I slide the door open; he sniffs

The cold air, then slips away.


I watch him move through the flowers;

I shiver, not knowing what to do next.



(January 5, 2018)

Improvisation on a Common Theme

Bourbon becomes the answer
These days; so much
So, I have forgotten
The question.
Should I be
—and thus
The heckling Nag crows—
“Let me sip the succulent eye.
You may forsake one—
For a greater sight.”
Certainly no parallax
Need be sought,
When secure inside
Such a truculent vision.

(April 1, 2017)

She’s Present

Do you see
            the air thicken
                        in thought?
As she speaks,
            the light refracts
                        through all
a shimmer,
            like the moon
                        upon a black lake.
The words pull the world
            tightly around us like skin,
                        ecstatic and vibrant.
Each soft chant:
a new iteration.
Each soft chant:
a way away.
Each soft chant:
her mind’s kiss.

(March 6, 2017)


Language is how ghosts enter the world.
–Anne Michaels, from What the Light Teaches
the world’s collected
nothing’s left but to wait
on the dark to grow
deeper into the dark
until light which seems
so far away and small
as to never return returns
slowly drawn along an edge
as a knife opening a throat
to sing blood into the wind

(October 25, 2016)


if I lay a rope
in a circle
about my feet
longing to be hung
upside down above the ground
will you
pat me on the head
and trip the trap
then as the blood
pools to my tongue
and I inexorably swirl 
in sync with the world
will you
dance your patterns
out in secrets
whispered only to me

(September 17, 2016)