Archive | March 2013


This twists as it runs
through my hands —
and a coiled energy
gathers there
and waits:
Either time
will wear it down
into something less vivid,
or we will take up
these instruments —
pen, paper,
wood, string —
to release it again.

And I tell him,
this is how
it’s to be done.
With careful choice
and slow advance,
allowing it to be
the fitful and frightened
thing that it is.
You may not
force it to your will.
You must bend with it,
what builds within.

Because I do not follow
the expectations
of all the worldly wives,
you think me blind
or indifferent.
And you are wrong.

Every detail
sharply defined
casts a brilliance
that blurs with motion
in the sun.
And there is no call
for my interference,
for my judgement,
for my disapproval
or denial.

He makes his home —
cherished and reviled —
and we fill it
shallow and deep
with living.
He worships
at the altar
in the curve of my hip,
and so
this is how we go on —
reveling in the wondrous
foolishness of us all.

Let go what will go.
Hold what is constant.
And I’ll keep trying
to be the better man.



Carry it down deep.
Seven days of exposure
wreak such havoc,
and this retreat
is a chance
to take the measure
of these changes.
The ice has almost gone.
A mute swan rides the edge,
and the bluebirds
are staking out
their nesting grounds.

It progresses
when our backs are turned,
and we search anew
for what is safe to touch.
My uncrossed arms
invite the world to nest here,
and I am surprised to find
it does not diminish me.
This alluvial movement
only leaves more sediment —
rich and dark —
a place for seeds.

And in seven days,
there is more to be held
than you might think.
His changes are disarming,
but still,
adaptation is slow.
Wait for the settling,
for the new to rub off.

It’s a puzzle,
and I examine and rearrange
the pieces,
working out
how these shapes
might fit together
knowing all along
that it’s nothing
we can’t solve
with a little fooling around.


Winter’s left me dry,
yet I find
this electricity

You flash down
like lightning,
without warning
or intention of harm.

All my reason
is burned up to ashes.
But still,
I search the sky —

not for a sun
to break the gray,
but for another
banking cloud.

You’ve stricken me
well and true,
and still, I’m on my knees,
begging for more.


When did these hands
grow so strange —
paper-thin skin
curled in against coldness?

You write another song,
wielding words like knives.
And I was already bleeding
from the thousand cuts.

But take it.
There’s still more.
Take it all, if you want it.
Just please, leave my hands.

You can break me to pieces,
for hard and hungry times.
And but for these stranger’s hands,
the rest is yours.

You can make of it
what you will.

That Pool of Sunlight

It’s so fucking irresistible.


In the morning, the dog lays around there, and I wonder, what is it about sleeping in a puddle of light that’s so keen?


In the afternoon, I give it a try. And I gotta tell ya…

The dog was onto somethin.


I am trying to be careful.
The current’s too strong
to push against.
Once we walked
a rain-street city,
and I stood alone
at the rail
to observe
the tense and writhing waves —
but for this presence,
and an irresistible
aggression that rides
just below the surface.

And I still don’t know
what happened with that boy —
there were no words,
there were no hands,
and yet —
and yet —
somehow he
was transgression,
an arresting moment.

So you see
what it does —
the smallest thought
of even the possibility
of kisses stolen in reverse.

And you think I don’t know.
And you think I don’t see.
But it’s just different.
I have no fear
of these immutable laws,
and know there is no way
to avoid the traps
of our biology.
None of her kisses
can reach me
to hurt.
And I know
how he is terrified
of falling,
but loves to confess.

Right Hand

The blood won’t wash —
see how it rests
like rust
in the folds.
And crackling wires
sputter and miss
all the messages.

But I have been
a witness to the magics
it has made —
with string,
with dirt,
with keys and hammers,
ink and the smoothed hue.

Now the wind whistles
along the wire.
I pretend
to feel it,
and fear to read
its lines of portent.

Fingers wave and fall,
one by one.
Clumsy and cluttered,
I call it to order,
bending bone to my will,
avoiding definition or diagnosis.
It’s later than it was,
but there’s still
a little light.

Written this morning at the red lights and shared for Open Link Night No. 87. Head on over and get your poetry fix, friends.