the darkness festers

into the night, then lingers

through the waking day.

(September 12, 2021)

mill horse (124)

my myopic eyes fix

toward a horizon

I cannot see

as I plod through 

this viscous mud

which will be my grave

(February 26, 2021)

And Then Not Here

On the floor

in a closet

curled tight

like an egg,

he dismantles

what’s left

of what remains;

he shaves  away

thin layers

until nothing

like memory

is left,

just a space

where he had stood

filled with air,

and the laughter

of distant children.

(October 1 2020)

answers require supplicants

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (75)

with a hand lightly

touching a wall

as guide where

do you turn when

there is no wall

to the left

to the right

(July 13, 2020)

Preponderance of the Great

from “Renditions of Change,” a work in progress

I worry too much,

or not enough,

yet do nothing.

Here at home

cats curl

in our laps;

when friends visit,

the table’s full,

laughter and wine

flow unabated.

Far away

along the edges,

below the ice,

cracks appear;

and, the ground shifts

beneath us.

(March 7, 2019)

Obsessive Voice



He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.


He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.


He tells himself:

Don’t pick it up;


He picks up the rock,

He puts it down.


He tells himself

He is stupid—


He tells himself

Not to say such things.


He tells himself

He is stupid


For saying such things,

Then says them again.


He tells himself

Don’t pick it up.


He picks up the rock,

And puts it down.


(October 15, 2018)








As laconic waves lap the shore,

Children’s laughter catches the breeze;

And seagulls’ cries pierce the sky.


In the moment before it happens,

No one notices the clouds overhead

Casting shadows on the ground.


Recently, I saw an old photograph—

A typical summer beach scene:

Two young blonde women lean over


A railing in modest bathing suits.

They look out over the crowded beach

Toward the soft clouds on the horizon.


Everyone seems happy. Everyone

Exists in the moment, oblivious

To the candid moment they are in.


The caption reads: Germany, 1936.

It could have been any day;

It could have been today.



*(historical note: Dachau opened in March, 1933)



(October 15, 2018)

Gretel Lost in the World


no dragons burn and pillage

even when lost in metaphorical

forests. the children’s screams

in the candy houses next door

are real enough not to be just

symbols in a jungian melodrama

analyzed casually over a cup of tea.

there are no stories to hide within.

the steel-eyed king and queen

handing down impartial justice

never existed anymore than the gods

who were used to justify raw power.

Whereas the black-helmed men

with polished shields and truncheons

still freely move down city streets

searching for someone else to kill.

(October 12, 2018)





like fingers slide

along rosary beads,


I worry the minutes,

feel the grain

of the past,


then shift between

decades and days

as if idly shuffling


a tarot pack. I heft

each moment’s density

tasting the cold hours’


iron passage

like blood clots

which slowly drop


from bones

strung across

a killing floor.


(October 3, 2018)

Claws Mark the Doors



Once I wrote to flee,

now I simply erase;

still, they intrude,

like cats crying

for fish at my feet.

They will not go away:

avarice, decay, lies—

all ubiquitous as air.


Explanation’s weight

allows no time to think,

nor decipher machinations.

The charms of language

no longer protect me from

fangs slavering in the street.


(August 12, 2018)