Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year three

This is my third year of making a book for my folks of the poetry I have written and pictures I have taken over the course of the year. This year's book is titled This Course of Grace.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I feel like
at any moment
I will quietly slide
into another world.
My mind is already
halfway there, you see.
Just move this bit, here
one inch over
like so,
and, Boom!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mind the Recoil

Stop negotiating with terrorists:

the terrorist friends who hold your heart hostage
wanting just one more ounce of empathy
for the dramas they have created

the terrorist job that poisons your mind
with its biochemical weapons of ethical dilemmas
and adult daycare demands

the terrorist body who will never let you rest

the terrorist mind
who tells you that fear is now your mantra
who is judge and jury and executioner

the terrorist idea that karma has you trapped.

Stop negotiating.
Breathe slowly.  Aim true.  Shoot cleanly.
Mind the recoil.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Soldier Heart

This is a jagged tear, my friend
flesh torn of teeth and grit -
worn down to bone and break.
You think it will not pass,
that you won't survive
and I promise you, dear
I promise that you won't.

The you that you were before
is dead and gone to this world.
He could not survive through
this present grief.
Betrayal and hope are the bitterest of foes,
destined to share this fallow land
of our hearts.

But this field is where we warrior on,
every minute from now is hard fought victory,
the most important work we do.

Who will you build from these broken seas?
That man,
that man waits for you to find him.

Know that not now,
not tomorrow,
but further on
wholeness and love sit in silent expectation
for this soldier heart you will forge.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Promise of Wings

Grief is this wet veil
that chokes the air of love from me
closing tight against my mouth -
a dying kiss.
I must let go of the dream of you,
all these things you never were,
all that I blindly hoped.
This death grows my second lungs
and stifling as the cocoon may be
there is a promise of wings,
of a world governed not by
the gravity of you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


A flavor like wild honey begins
when you cross the river. On a sandbar
sunlight stretches out its limbs, or is it
a sycamore, so brazen, so clean and so bold?
You forget about gold. You stare—and a flavor
is rising all the time from the trees.
Back from the river, over by a thick
forest, you feel the tide of wild honey
flooding your plans, flooding the hours
till they waver forward looking back. They can’t
return; that river divides more than
two sides of your life. The only way
is farther, breathing that country, becoming
wise in its flavor, a native of the sun

William Stafford
from The Way it Is: New and Selected Poems

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Some Penance

On what day did I become
so hungry for friendship
that stars shrunk slowly from
my sight?
Was it the day we met?
It might be so.
For every day hence
my stomach growled
for food that did not grow in you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ein Sof

Has every life apart from you
been this way?
Every breath aching with grief,
How am I to bear it?
Your absence has shorn any
wing that might grow,
the bones grow dense
and lose their hollow flight.
I cannot escape my own judgement
and must find more careful hands
to cradle such a fragile heart.
I fear I slay it
with every turn.

Narrow Lonelies

What were we before this?
Before all body, before self -
inside Confluence, what were my bones?
Did lines of narrow lonelies
knot and wrap around themselves to shape me?
Can I unloop myself now to return to them?

The truth is, we are fluid in cement forms,
once moved and changed,
we're battered, re-formed, re-made.
but never those bones again.

You wait for me to see that
apart from you, in this place,
I am lonely lines no more.
And this mystery of labyrinthian knots I have become
is unerringly steering me back.

I will return to you
whole, my love,
and we will knit new days from these tests of strength.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

This Course of Grace

I do not know what hand
stays this course of grace,
slow as I am to move through this life.
With dim eyes, indeed, did I see
the true movement of love.
Though separated by the heaviness these bodies contain,
present and waiting it has been.

To field and ocean and back again
my patience runs
yet you sit, ever gazing at this progress.
You are my sea, my land, my rain
my sun,
my endless graces.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Garnet Weight

I am always, always looking for you.
Down streets and stranger's faces,
in the rain
in the beating of my heart,
I'm searching.

Knowing I will not find you here
is relief,
a garnet weight that lightens
to jet over time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fires In the East

There are fires burning in the East
where the mountains seem unlikely mothers
to bear such heat and flame.
Still, they are alive inside you.

The showers of ash blow thick and cloudy
slowly creeping the sun from its roost
to reveal a new lush land
where the shadows of beasts are broken,
shed into gravel quarries
for our tears to make dust.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The River and the Axe

There's a river that rises within me
swift waters make fallow the ground I hold
and bring an ocean's tempest inland
to this world.

Great magic has held these banks,
floods pressed low beneath the levy
and confined by ignorance,
a necessary amnesia.

But rapid waters in this embrace
have lost not their alacrity.
With an unknowing hand we have bound
that which will remake our bones.

But now, now - our grasp loosens.
And as the waters rise to eat our shores,
the Great Axe has begun its cut -
from above it shears blindness away,
descending to meet these waters.

And what of man will be left
when Axe and earth do meet?
Some newer form, perhaps -
with new sight? a truer voice?

Even as I press my eyes to know my fate,
I feel only unabetting land,
rising tide,
and the wind of god's descending hand.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Trick of Light

The day is a snow-grey, low-cloud,
slush-slick sort of place
to rest a weary summer ache
strained from carrying the weight
of your sunrise.

I fit well here amidst the snowbanks
and soot-soaked roads,
free to be mysterious and black
when thoughts take me down into the shadows.

It's cool where we are, this trail and I -
echo-y and still.
Not a place for a sun ray as bright as you.
But I think you would be surprised to know
that this grey place carries its own cloak of light.

True, it is not your brand of golden spikes
that burn my skin,
but more like smoke that bends the trees to bear,
suddenly lifting from the forest floor,
tricking the eye into seeing flame
where only vapor and evenings past
have come before.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Always Ever

I could explore you forever,
weaving myself in and out of your lines
and pathways.

Labyrinth confessions will become our
Navajo tongue,
encrypting that which is not
for others' hearts.

I am always for you, though,
never far,
never gone.

Always, ever,
this path is ours.