(originally published in Particle Magazine, Autumn 2015,
University of Nottingham)
Raging. Fear. Gray.
Some call it dreary or drab
despite the grab, the pull of the roots,
but it is your story,
your May Day,
Pit-pat. Thrush. Gush.
Youth finds you growing,
stretching your arms and fingertips
to reach a new sidewalk,
a new grass line,
a new curb.
Billow. Wisp. Sigh.
Retreat your Mother Sky,
and hopes rise.
Face reflecting people walk,
Still. Sun. Heat.
Father Time cups your soul
in his hands
The sidewalk is dry.
You are but a memory
the way we held hands.
(originally published in Particle Magazine, Spring 2016,
University of Nottingham)
Nobody wants to bare their heart—a whitewashed wall,
on which hang the faded memories of yesterday and the grand sketches of tomorrow
—not when it shows the dirty fingerprints of children,
the crumbling drywall from the fight, or the blood droplets from last Tuesday.
Even the loved are not safe from the cobwebs of time or the settling of dust on a lonely soul.
Society saunters in, sporting a suit and carrying a pail of touchup paint.
When she asks, “How are you?”, I follow protocol, dipping my brush
in the pail of cheery, yellow lies, dabble it over the latest spot of mold
and smile, saying, “I’m doing well. How are you?”
(originally published on Spillwords)
she’s the reminder that I need fresh air—
kiss of sharp needles, stabbing my feet as
they plunge in this icy green lakeside shore from
liquefied glaciers where old trunks sank and
stick up like a cross-stitch quilt; when you ask
me to listen, rest my head atop your
chest, please don’t ask me to relax, for still I
feel the avalanche, lifeblood of this sphere with its
veins of ash and fire pulsing to drumbeats
in the deep; she first stole my breath like a
pickpocket, making me double-check my
back. I can’t grasp hold of fear when it is
keeping me alive. this earth is my home—
my heart core in that cavern you call my
chest—I’ll hold my breath, dreading the next earth-
quake, because it’s more than shivers running up
my backside, making my hair stand on end;
it’s a reminder that this, my wild heart,
is only one organ in our world of
orchestras, setting the march with drums now
Most Read Poem of 2018
In memoriam of the siblings I never knew
her antique bones
as she stoops forward
and rises on her legs,
Would that I may be so loved
should age settle in
like a silk layer
like the sand
sinking in an hourglass.
She first changed her dress
when I was but a child, still
playing hide and seek behind her bosom—
later my mother lost
would she or he
Now I sit and turn the pages
o’er and o’er while the fireplace
the forgotten summer days.
Readers’ Choice Poem
Have you ever seen a flowerfall?
The way the petal spills down the rocks,
a bouquet of white and purple icicles.
The cherry blossoms unfold like origami—
one day baby buds, the next busty blooms,
then their color drips away like waterlogged paper.
The sky’s painted blue; somebody forgot
to erase the smudges of white and with one stroke
a blur of purple-gray thunder shatters the illusion.
Not even the ground is still—
she crawls with ants, writhes with worms,
cracks from the dry days all too firm.
The tomcat stands petrified in the field;
the hawk swoops down; the dog bites dirtas the mice wait for the rain to come down.
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