Suddenly Speechless

One weak, the other wild,
quiet and violence struggled
long enough. 

In a dark silence, belonging to
no one, not him or herself
she walked away into frenzy

where creatures without masks
or apologies rushed towards
crash like martyrs or those

who cut and peel surfaces
searching for the mystic,
hidden pearl.

Somewhere in the past,
his cautious, colorblind world,
he wakened to test her

though her eyes were closed,
his heart beating fast in
its tight, wooden box 

suddenly speechless.


If Moths Had Teeth

A dark night has its own voice;
every prayer a cathedral of teeth
in a mouth of flame.  

Quietly, the universe twists 
and hangs each impassioned word
in star-filled rings, releasing them
wing-like, unfurled and springs 

to a place, a spot, a predicted
geography, a uniquely fashioned
particle of being.  Below, a grey
moth clings to summer's last bloom

feathered ears trembling, brown
coat torn and tired.  Finally falling
she recognizes the burning unfulfilled
desire for light was nothing more

than dream and passage.


Sometimes small 
makes restitution
for the brave;  shine 
reflects away
from its body. 

A falling leaf 
overcomes anonymity
by motion, 

however brief

meaning love's
desperate electricity
imprints an image 

of light 

on a dead man's



Unreal Brightness

Who has outlasted you?  Listen.
Footsteps hasten towards
eternity:  a mouth swallowing
pearls as darkness chokes you. 

You couldn't have known
I was sent to forgive you.

These salty, dreamless petals
flowers of hurt were meant
to stun, to poison, to arrest you.

Sometimes God's smallest, 
fragile bones, the wildest, 
most implausible unions
fastened and joined

which is to say:  I know
you watch, have listened,
have woken.  Your body
a doctrine, an old forgotten

story of discarded wings, of
unlocked voices and amnesty
have revealed you.


Connectivity Theory

Arcs of light, shadow, ghost
circles of time floating
invisible, relentless.

The mind, the egg's shell,
the yoke, a potential creature,
a crack spills viscous white


I walked through this day
changed someone else's agony
or joy.  The untouched joining
the unseen,

ripples, dark matter, vibrations
of strings & sound
intentional the moment 

the moment started. 

I hope I am learning
to be part of it.



Of course, I will break you,
this long leather band tied
to your mouth 

I will teach you how
to be mindful perhaps

understand the muscles 
of your body beneath 
the muscles of mine. 

Like a hand cups over
the silver moth, feels
its pounding wings

in the bowl-shaped
darkness, then releasing
it for the frantic rush

towards the clearest light.

Not of This Tribe

When did wild become
undesirable instead of

The ancient prayers
made of sharp blades
and fire deserve
their blessings;

their beaks and claws
broke earth, moved stone,
defined desire.

You with your civility
and power, your diseased
organized, concrete 
towers, your thick

black lungs, grey
celled, anemic hearts
have become


My Name Is

Often, you swore not
to forget.  You lazy bastard
every woman's name 
a force of gravity swirling
into the same black hole. 

How does the single star
with its downcast eyes
resist the pleasure 
of physics

that inherently
destroys it? 



You've stayed awake 
for practice, gathered
strange soil on the souls
of your feet.

Kept your head tilted
back, fixated on ceiling
as it moved above you. 

Everything else

the swirling, beautiful
bodies, their thrashing, 
desperate dances, 

the rise and fall

of their songs, the shine
of their outstretched wings
were only distraction.  

Not yet the journey but
certainly travelling. 


Hidden Nature

We are either supernatural
or incomprehensible.  If I close
my eyes, I am no longer witness;

these things I've seen, I can
no longer condemn you.

See how darkness shields
the sky from its cruel nature

as I press my hand 
across your heart?


Slipping Out

The missing part
waits for us after all
this time:  new growth, uneven
ringlets, the stacking of drying 
wood, still green,

bees & flies each year
strangely look the same;

sometimes I think
it's sad we're still alive,
the rebellious left to struggle
against their chains.

From inside, the soul
picks at the flesh like
a wool sweater chafes
the skin,

wants us to feel 
something that reminds us
the outside world is empty,

the cocoon will rip open
spill its wet, bright wings,
its upraised knees unfurling,

the sound of its hinges


In Layers

Lies smooth, dark
emptied, sleeping.

Not seed or stone
or dream.

Like all things
hidden, its black cord
snapped rigging,

a lacerating scar
between two bodies;

grown stubborn
in its fossilized bed
forgets the bleeding

hands that buried
it there.


Falling Into Heaven

They invite you in, 
the whale's omen voices,

a grey congregation

drifting down
to the bottom

of Eternity, 

the depth
of Heaven.


Waiting for the Burn

Every evening, 
a foreign sermon, 

footsteps towards
a distant shore, 

a mournful flute
whose throat tightens

and cries "mend
my heart!"

The burning
songbird's ashes

rise in spirals,
a dark tug pulls

the soul up
out of its bottle.

Where I crouch
in the back fields,

a simple brown bird
with broken bones

and old scars, 
anonymous eyes,

waiting for another
dream-filled night

where mortal fires
burst into flower. 


We Will Be Judged

I am governed 
by thunder, invisible

relentless, prophetic.

The shadow of sound, 
its dark voice, first voice 

whose song
a perfect knife 

cuts through layers
in rapid-fire succession.

It has words
for you, for the deaf

but not yet dead.

It says "Salvation
is mine to give."

The lake, black
and shaken reflects

its torn, ravaged victims
in a posture of shame.


What Is Left of My Heart

Creation carved you
from earth disguised 
you as darkness


in our midst.

How can something
be both beautiful 
and disfigured,

so unnatural in
a natural world?

In morning's wild 
light I watch you
shrink and sway

hypnotic, afraid,

a mouth of fang
without potency

or poison.

Some images are
shadows, some shadows
visions of another


when evening comes
I tie you to my bed
to keep you

and pure.



It moved around you fast
and furious capturing its own
wings flapping; in the middle
of flight, sewn to steel 

and silenced
before the crash

in an audience of deleted
faces, you stood still as if
you secretly survived.

I know you will.  I know
you did.



What the wolf hides
the mice eat.  What is
left, flies breed; their
maggots eat.

The only things
that don't eat are
the wound

and his twin sister



is a place, a cliff above
a grey ocean, a pinnacle

the last lovely, truthful
point where a woman or
wolf, hidden and revealed

can stand in sheets of rain;

God's face on His most
lonesome day, intimate
and naked.  

For a thousand years
I'll remember that face,

the dark angels with their
black, dripping fur, their eyes

saying everything is part
of this and us.  

When my body unleashes
its soul, I'm sure
you'll find us

The Seamstress

Don't think I haven't noticed
in the still world that part
that plunges forward

as if to cast itself
back to the beginning

when the hands that held
the soul for awhile
desperately, left it

blind and kneeling.

I don't recognize you now
or myself but I hear
two voices speaking

softly about trauma,
about how stitches can
make two separate pieces

seem one

until the seamstress
snips each tightly woven

as she's been trained
to create halves of some

and mend the others.


To Stay or Struggle

I waited, resisted

One who understood
that happiness
is dangerous

that sadness itself
was life's first

I've stayed here
for years

small and earthly
stuck in the hollow
shaped by

my own lack
of skill.

Or was it devotion,
a sense of hope
that eventually

all things are moved
by some shift of

To those given passion
to work against

to squirm and grope,
to pull, to push,
to remove

their restless bodies
from the safety
of hidden places

join the gliding, whirling
stunningly surprising,
always unpredictable



A Heart is Shaped for Loss

Close your eyes;  I don't want
you to see grief.  

Unexpected, sudden accidents
that sneak up on you

like the impact of a road bug
slapping the windshield

with all the juices of its body
a long grey streak
provides a buffer,

the sound before
the blood.

You will feel it inevitably
like other creatures

what waits patiently
in the darkening

will feed on them
for years.

Unnatural Forces

There are differences between
a natural and a man-made beast.
Both deserve pity,

only one bears blame.

How simple it is to change
instinct than erase

as one hunts for food
while the other buries
its soul. 

The sun goes down,
both exist for morning;

nature with its never-ending
glory and man's everlasting


Primal Knowledge

This is complicated like
a children's story written
in cuneiform;  primal, encrypted 

but it translates:

the idiot savant
in all of us, the humble
will save the doomed.

From a dark bedroom
she watched her mother
and father kneeling

under the Christmas tree
in the living room
carefully arranging gifts

beneath blinking lights.

And then she saw
their death and hers
like a hole in a dark sky;

the doomed looking back
on shiny fragments of dust 
from a star exploding

in slow motion.


Before We Remembered

Not a moment or moments
moving through us
at the speed of light, 

not coincidence
or souvenir

but a series of 
unrelated events, 

a strange set of
disconnected marks,

what makes a body float
in salt-dense water,

the lifeless with their
absolute lack of use

for oxygen or tears

makes us surprisingly

there is no cure.

After worry, before
the terrible consummation
of inner darkness

small dots of puzzle
created to create a sense
of reassurance

instantly disappear.