Map a Return Into the Ocean’s Lost Metaphor

There is no causality, no maze

to transcribe into memory,

simply a chance to breathe

near the bottom of the stairs;

and, like a mouth singing 

arias, I crack open the bones

in my chest to find a way

into the warm flesh, to dip

my worn fingers slowly in,

to feel the heart’s contours

define the next last moment,

to map another return into 

the ocean’s lost metaphor.

(August 25, 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)

continuous balm (101)

“but little thought”

—W. Wordsworth

today as I drive past sorghum fields

on my way to work I recall

a train in the Netherlands

decades ago moving through tulip fields

long strides of red and yellow

that stepped toward the horizon

(December 8, 2020)

you forget yourself (97)

“interwoven by the tragic spiders of the present”

Ingeborg Bachman





I am not 

who i was

nor who I will be

I am only 

who I am

nothing 

and no one

nothing more 

than anyone





memory lies 

laughing

like autumn leaves 

feed

the ground 

from which spring

emerges 

knowing 

only itself

through a summer afternoon

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (70)

the cat rolls

like time

into the sun

(July 2, 2020)

nostalgia’s a desire for the present

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (64)

what he remembers now

is different than what

he remembered then

.

now he is old

and does not remember

as well what happened

.

then he was young

and foolish and remembered

trivial things

.

of little use then

even less so

now

.

as he holds 

his aspects together

between fragile hands

.

facets of the past

spin off light

for a moment

.

and he sees her eyes

that first night

they almost kissed

(June 16, 2020)

charmed life

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (63)

DCF 1.0

inevitably

we would join hands 

twirl a circle

with wild abandon

then fall into laughter

on the fresh cut grass

.

summer was summer

for longer than a summer

could be or ever would

be again

.

when the kids on the street

were everyone we knew

and the world was safe

nearby

(June 16, 2020)

the lethargic day’s disquietude

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (50)

time does not flow forward it folds and turns

as mind rattles from thought to thought like rain

drops into puddles making the water

wetter as it vanishes from itself

.

the flow turns inward like the subduction

of one tectonic plate to another

it circles back in an eddy’s slow twirl

until its start is lost within its end

.

time takes its time to tell what time it is

what with the past’s present nature

contending with the present’s obsession

with tomorrow’s constant unravelling

.

then quite suddenly it’s no longer there

like your last stagnant puff of fetid air

(April 9, 2020)

ongoing

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (45)

the field is a smooth green

small lines define

the gain and the loss

.

there is no loss

there is no gain

we are there

.

flowers and flowers

dance in decay

no daffodils today

.

he sighs and wanders

along his way another day

another day

.

time is the construct

the die never falls

it just falls

(March 27, 2020)

Daily Prayer

“we are our own prisons.”

            –Joel Brouwer

barely audible

tumblers click

into place

words turn keys

jam snap off

and trap us here

telling the same tale

confident the end

will change for us

confident the end

will not end for us

as it always has

forever and ever

amen