Friday, August 18, 2017


Earth is strong and can take it
fading to the color of smoke: blue
boiling smoke outside.

Dead leaves shine of rust and butter.
I feel it in me: the end blanketing the room
as humankind tweets unkind

human beings considered collectively.

I write because I have to
for me, for you, for us
amidst the smoke outside
as vulgarians clumsily tramp down the
frosted grass sleeked with freezing drizzle.

America is strong and can take it
blooming again next month(?)
stronger because of the system 
we are forced to live learn love lie laugh laze lessen liberate
to die in.

Wars of words swirl 
a belief concerning death
for me, for you, for us.

To become aware for the first time,
bringing myself to light:
refracted rays of sunlight;

Grabbing at its tail,
slipping through my fingertips,
I glisten in the warm glow.

We are what we know:

to know more
to be good, and
to do good
is all we have to do.

I create this space, this silence
for me, for you, for us.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


I place books around my house
the way others place home
accents.  A throw-rug under this table.

A math book on my nightstand.

Alexander Hamilton near my office window
overlooking suburban Americana.

Mary Oliver in the kitchen
watching the bird feeders swing gently:
an abandoned swing-set.

Dylan Thomas in my liquor cabinet.

Education books in my backpack.

A Don Quixote audiobook in my car
(George Guidall commuting with me)
driving Rocinante to work each day.

I wander around my house picking up
and setting down books during these
long summer days.

My literary accessories heighten the semantic style of each space:
Instead of a white globe on a gold stand, I read Gulliver's Travels.
Instead of driftwood and blown glass bowls, I read James Joyce.
I have no need for a Mehndi hand, painted wood; I'd rather read
Rumi and Tagore and Kamala Das.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


until my head aches.
Close my eyes.

until it soothes my aches,
my sorrows,
my being.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


The house where she lived (or continues?)
grew cold after she passed.
I can only imagine the intense heat,
blinding, sweaty stinging in my eyes, of the crematory.
Now, I sit by the gas fireplace and
get a chill down my fragile spine
as the skin on my back heats slowly (I feel no pain).
I sit and bake and think of my mom.

The primer is still on the walls of the entryway;
her Martha Stewart attempt at interior design.
I stare blankly at the line where she stopped,
the blinding white juxtaposes the melon green,
staring back at me as if to say "This is when that
tumor debilitated my arm."

I can feel the cancer when I enter the door.
I can see it on the walls, and feel it in the air.
It stinks of emptiness, loneliness, death,
making it easier to weep.
The cold, white kitchen-tile stabs sharply
at the balls of my bare feet.
I feel dead all around me in this morgue
(and half expect to see frozen bodies:
eyes shut, skin cold and damp--like raw chicken)
in the drawers
where my father now keeps his knives.

The bedroom is the worst by far.
Walking in, I imagine the mortuary in MT
where I had to view my grandfather.
The carpet was a deep burgundy and
matched the backing of each pew.
Row after row, the pews (with all their hymnals and bibles)
gently led me toward the front.
I marched manditorily and tried to avert my eyes,
but his cold, dirty, blue skin froze me still.
His hands were swollen
from the embolism.
My father grabbed his hand quickly as if to
catch him from falling deeper into death.
He thurst this hand in my face, but I only
winced and stared at his suit: neatly pressed
and freshly smelling of mothballs and chloroform.

Nearing the waterbed where my parents slept,
and made love that one night I walked in,
I want to see my mother,
cold and pale.
Her urn distracts me.
The shrine my father has made scares me.
Her ashes are so close to that bed and
I feel nausea seeping through me and
it feels like the disease.

Our house feels haunted, but its not.
She cannot be a poltergeist, and phantom,
the urn is sealed tightly
and filled with ash.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Lucy and her Diamonds

Lying face down in the grass,
my face is moist.
Dew collects on my hair;
I am sweating.
I breathe now, not having
done so for some moments.
The grass smells of summer.
The blades scratch my face.
I open my eyes:
cannot see.
I am disoriented:
How long has it been?
I roll over:
cannot move.

My mind is processing movements.
My body is dumb.
The fresh air fills my stagnant lungs.
The sun warms my back.
At least I can feel it now.
I melt in the sun and slowly move.
Pain seizes my joints,
but I face upright.
I see my reflection in the sky
next to Lucy and her diamonds.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


Her naked back,
silhouetted in the darkness,
is relaxed.

An odd shape,
pools of white
reflect my image, my stare.

Surrounded by the ashen forest,
a clear meadow
shines in the moonlight.

The bright light
blinds me momentarily,
for I need to stare,
but remain in the shadow.

Shielding the delicate,
it is powerful
and makes her strong.

Sloping toward the shades of gray,
I cannot tell which side is up,
or where to begin searching.

I am intimidated by the sheer
face of the cold slope.
I begin my climb,
but cannot finish.

Sliding down her spine,
I cannot control
my movements.

Heat radiates
and she begins
to glow.

The ridges
of her vertebrae
are stacked like building blocks.
I want to play.

Still and cold
her stone
collects snow in patterns.

Water running
over her shoulders
collects at the nape.