“It took dominion everywhere.”
            –Wallace Stevens
why do we pretend
our moves determine
so much as to what
we allow ourselves to see
like the harried tourist
stopping along the way
to gather the view
into something known
something  manageable
something easily folded
into a pocket and lost
the wilderness flows
without our definitions
of control or of what
we want the wilderness
to be for us but beyond
beyond the tight margins
on our inscribed maps
beyond dream’s awareness
beyond what we pretend
to grasp in translation
stuttering each to each
(October 20, 2014)

rhetorical questions

Is it simply naïve
to assume your answer
is in play at all time,
or that the question
involves you at all?
Do you see a line –
a place to cross,
like a roadside memorial
of a brutal death
casually caused,
yet purposely desired?
Where do you place the rose,
pour the wine on the ground,
shed whatever tear you have?
Does a monument manifest
a space around itself
like a finger lightly
touching the water’s surface?
(July 19, 2014)

an umbrella opens a space in the rain

Our souls’ tendrils long
across narrative fragments
arbitrarily held up as one,
lacework traces to veil a chaos;
the folds, vaguely demarked
like sheers breathing into a room,
resonate a stillness like rain
within the day’s tectonic fractures:
sense abstracted into a reduction,
momentary and illusive like air.
(July 7, 2014)


the word for teaching is learning
                        –James Britton
the scales’ swing’s never justified
I learn from my students more
than I could ever teach
I dole out my talents
with parsimonious guilt
but balance manifests within
the flow of the day to day exchanges
one mind to one mind into another
I offer what I have
time to read and think
time to write and reflect
the arcana of teaching begs
to disappear within the learning
to find what must be taught

(from a work in progress: “Arcana,” VIpentacles, January 31, 2014)