Alone

I fear silence

for it leaves me

to my words.

Their whispers

mouth

my periphery,

like minnows

tear a worm’s

flesh from

the steel hook

glimmering

in a creek’s

slow eddy.

(May 11, 2021)

turn turn turn (140)

with spring’s violence flowers burst

into bloom from winter’s death

as chimes toll slowly in the tree


mere weeks ago ice creaked

tightly along the chase tree’s

twisted branches as the chimes

hung limp and people froze

to death alone at home

(May 9, 2021)

Layers (122)

the cat slept all day

turned tightly into herself

a sublime wisdom


snow begins to fall

silencing the day’s hard sleet

the night grows colder


ice brightens the moon

along the bare branches’ backs

like a hot whip’s snap


by morning the snow

drapes the yard as if with light

the chimes slowly sound


a lone mockingbird chirrups

inside the house the cat waits

(February 18, 2021)

doorway (113)

formed out of these walls to shape

the air to separate here from there


beneath the dark winter quilts

my skin presses to your warmth


longs to be more than my limits

more than what’s contained inside


more an opening to other spaces

other ways with different lines


to cross with a limping accent

a creole to hone words into an edge


I know only what I know

my cell wall’s textures memorized


through the season’s slow change

the light and shadow through the bars


play their fingers in the silent air

like puppets alive to the string’s pull

neither a whimper nor a bang (111)

the last whisper’s echo went

as if the silence was always there

behind his last breath which fell

away like ash from an ember


simply not there any more

not even a hole where he once stood

(January 27,2021)

source

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey”(73)

beneath this static

this white noise

silence flows


unnoticed

pervasive

the river’s source


as in prayer i kneel

cup my hands

and drink


(July 9, 2020)

in the absence of god

from a work in progress, “process, not a journey” (66)

a grey cat twitches

her tail in the grass

.

who has time

to listen

to a sparrow’s

stressed twit-twit

from a tree

(June 19, 2020)

Surface Tensions

“stop, children, what’s that sound

everybody look what’s going down”

—Stephen Stills

Another day spreads across the sky

as the flood waters continue to rise.

There is little to stand upon now

that does not tip into complicity.

Ice melts along its edges. One moment

we are there watching the turmoil

below our feet, then the ice is gone, 

and we are all breathing water, 

floundering in the lies we live. 

Our words fill our lungs, and

silence gurgles past our lips

as we slip slowly deeper

beneath the cold gelatinous sea,

to drown in our undeserved comforts

(June 8, 2020)

Contained

“I contain multitudes”

-Walt Whitman

I am not a voice,

but an echo of silence—

before and after.

Like dried flowers in old books,

I live pressed within these folds.

(May 27 2020)

excise

from a work-in-progress: process, not a journey (38)

I like the silence of morning the slow hum

of the refrigerator from the kitchen

the soft purr of the cat curling around me

as I wait for the coffee pot to finish 

it is there beneath all of these sundry sounds

that the true weight of silence can be measured

as each strain’s lifted from the cacophony

and there’s nothing left but the strum of our blood

(March 11, 2020)