The Keeping

I submit my resignation
to earth which rushes
up to meet me...

my restless wings,
his relentless tongue.

We are old friends,
he and I.

I am prepared to offer
some form of restitution.

My flesh tends
the exquisite rose.

The heart caves in
on walls of chamber...

destroying wounds.

Eyes remember quietly
the blue-white sky...

the echo of light
on the mirrored water.

The taste of earth
similiar to life...

and stones
beneath the gnarled
hands of trees

lie keeping.



We never traveled beyond
the long row of fir trees- together.

Your feet were heavy.

Your shoulders bore
the sweet weight

of your mother's sins...

a burlap sack
filled with stones.

Your prison became
my garden where

I imagined journeys.

Birds above the treecaps.
Bees in search of bloom.


Like a Bell

a bell
I tried to sound beautiful.
Like a bell and the forest said-

there is nothing more glorious
than silence. The way it rests

against the leafen floor
in a bed of mist.

There are holes in the sky.
A small quantity of light

arranged in the shape
of a cup. We fill it

with our desires. Drink
and be forgotten.

a moon
The golden belly
of a pregnant girl.

See how it stretches
as if an embryo of stars

breathes beneath it.
The pulse of birth.

a circle
Somewhere in the middle
we are justified. The end

is root. Sprouts flower.
The beginning.

The sun holds lilies
in its mouth.

The world is made of flesh.
The air erases faces.

No one truly forgets
a child, a mother.

We continue to garden
through cold winter.


The Education of Stone

I move without moving. For instance,
the body stands at a window, spilling
ink of thought that travels into the shadows
of trees, other pieces of darkness
and beyond the curvature of evening.

My father appears, every night
a different man. A strong walking stick,
a vine of black berries, a dangerous wave-

the kind which disfigures the ocean's floor.

Maybe like a river, moves away,
ebbs back. Sunlight caught
in the delicate fabric of water

as the wind plays tricks
on mirrored surfaces. And surfaces.

Move without moving. Never
absorbing or trusting. Superficial
intent that mean less
than they mean altogether.

I think without thinking. It is
a gift. Or a habit. Like hair.
Grows unseen, silent. Yet,
shines brown and gold.

These are facts. My father
said- "facts are not like stones.
They shift. Like love and how
you feel it. Deny or reveal it."

Someday, I must learn to move.
Not like stones. Not like light
on the river... more like

my father. Like love.



Silver, wood.
The night,
a hollow instrument.


beneath a trellis
of twisted stars

I hear

the choir


On the Backs of Birds

And not even the wisest man
will sleep soundly, without

burning. Without escaping

the breadth of fire. When we
cease to glow, we become

a tree. A stone. The last lines
of a short story read aloud

in the thimble of the night
to a sleeping child. A fragile hand

relaxing to its bed. Like feathers

loosening on the waxen

backs of birds. Like flame
in the lovely shape of wing.


If the Sky Clears...

Sky filled
with vultures.

I am filled
with dust.

The whole sky

bears its own
dark purpose.

I am flesh
fallen from bone.

A vast wasteland.

The uneasy weight
of discontent, the sun.

Exposes thought.
Needles in sand.

I think of water.
The sea. Shadows.

A time before
all death became

dried up, disappointed.
A fallen body.

The wind is hot.
It reminds me

of misgivings.
Searing moments

of coherence. Of
some estranged sense

of the existence
of water. Of plans.
Of cold resolutions.

You must travel
many days, many nights

to reach a shoreline.
Perhaps, you may-

if the sky clears.


Clear Poisonous Gas

You used to have
so many things to say

about nothing. Now
what has occurred-

where are your words,
your prayer, your tears?

Then, I understood
the shine of singing,

even when eternal smoke
collected in shadows,

flames of wound
connected in chains,

yellow sulphur, agony
seeped through skin.

I listen to empty spaces.
I have gone blind.

No one knows you.
Distant, lightless shore.

No one survives you.
Dark forgotten hills...

clear poisonous gas,
perfume of winter.

Between the pages,
between the solitude

of wrath's silence- speaks
violent, broken dreams.



You visit the poor, the dead
and me when you are weak.
You save your strength for the garden-

where I once lived.

We hide the grapes.
Easy enough...
they are small, (unlike)

your desire.

Never designed
to be disguised
or reduced


or wasted,

you tend blossoms
of the vine

with a grace

for saints

or phil-andering


The Vineyard

His hands were always shaking.
Wings of bee on the flower cusp-

excited or ashamed. Or perhaps,

broken. His lips on glass, on wine.
Shattered. Scarlet as the grape.

Peace comes in many forms.
On many vines. In transitory pieces.

Splendid when its found.

It is the suffered trellis
anchored in the ground...

that dreams of dying.

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The Acorn

Amid sweeping oaks
and precisely-formed rooms-

sky and earth,

we are two-winged
and elegant.

Our bodies intact without
signs of forced entry. ..

a buffer between us
and our neighbors like

faraway homes
in deep, private places.

We quickly learn to be
useful and beautiful-

carved out

walk-in closets, teak
cabinetry, glass-paned doors.

We quickly forget
the outside began
from the in-of-all-things...

how shell protects
the sweet of its meat
without enhancing

its flavor.

Acorns continue to fall
amid sweeping oaks

and precisely-formed rooms.


Guarding Rivers

It appears I have mistaken
how layers "touch"
anyway. Dermis guarding

organs. Like windowglass.

"Now", I've told you everything
that lives on the sur-face.


secret rivers "speak".

You can hardly

hear them.


Blue-Black Music

The blue... she comes crouching low
through a crack in the door
her long tail trailing- a black comet

Indifferent... to smoke swirling
around her. She comes crouching.
Like some phantom female- smells prey.

Her brother... Death sleeping in the yard.
Like death sleeps, with wide legs and leisure.
A lifeless child in the cleft- of a bosom.

His breathing... soft, low. Black music.


6 Stanza's of Winter

Those were the dark days,
blue-pink Decembers, cold
fragrant moonlight, the smell
of sliced cucumbers- sky

thick, frozen honey.

This was the year,
the arrival, the heresy
of winter, brown tongues
of weed- flower

paralyzed in deep snow.

Now is the time we measure
departures,the span
of our fingers,the silence
of storms; frost between fingers

distorting the distance.

White and lovely,
a cloak of death
spread over voices,
over snow-covered


A season to describe
the start of winter, the end
of winter and everything
in-between- uncertain

flakes fall from cloud.


The Innards of a Deity

In that moment, when all declared
the legend "banging on the tree"

in spite of everything, over half
desired no memory of forests.

But there were some
who resisted.

Night has a will of its own.
(the divine mystery of wanting
to know)

In the belly of God
everyone is deformed.

Prematurely buried.


banging on the tree.

(the innards of a Deity)