Words of Destruction

If you speak in tongues
to cut how can I forgive you?

The child in her first
winter saw white and no sky;

the second snow, laughter
and joy.  Now, many cold days

a type of blackness
that kills.

But the deaf child feels
flecks of radiance, knows

beauty in silence, touch.

The angry voices of
storm's violence

she cannot hear.


The Gift of Burden

Let's remove this silver
spine symbolizing captive;
return body to softness.

In my house, I gave you gifts
others see as tragic: 

a human heart, its dense

walls and strange measures,
careful instructions on how

to betray yourself.

A new creature whose

only life was dream and fire
thinking beyond appetite

to love, to wake smiling,

the ability to recognize
the terrible, anonymous
reflection of existence

in a small star.


Grey Wolves

In colors of wood & earth, 
like two moons moving
through rocky fields 

considered shadows
or exquisite nightmares
in their large dark cloaks

creeping northward.

Without using word or
wild or savage, their world
all grey, stone, leaf, tree
and dream is habit.

So like river or raven
with virtues of flow, of flight,
of journey-  remain magic.


Into Madness

they come from
I know their faces:

the bloodless, young
woman holding the hand
of a cloud-headed


a man completely
on fire with lion claws
and his wife's wings 

folded and charred,

a girl whose heart
is a mouth that speaks
a foreign language.

In a room of dark
strangers:  slowly move
into the light then

name them.  



These seasons become a place,
different light shadows, water stains,

a far-away singing, a moaning siren
whose sadness reveal near edge.

Slowly thick molasses, blood drips
on untouched snow.  A wind whose

tiny hands flash quickly like a world
reveals fragility of distance- 

here from there.

Product of imagination, imprisoned;
truth astonishingly clear.  Now pray

this shiny, broken face, this sense
of body splitting spares you from


Never Falling or Rising

They climb, not with feet
or hands but entire body
writhing upward.  

Some stray to the side, even
downward attracted by unseen
forces.  Do you suppose they

know the distracted might
play a role supporting
the journey of others?

And yet, there are singular
blossoms earth-tied in tangled
bundles, always raising

their heads in fear of
being forgotten.

The Natural World

After a day and another
evening bending to night,

no original shadows or 
stubborn hearts, now the 

silence.  Great black silence;
a sadness and exhaustion.

Life's wheel turns, turns
then breaks with violence

but the nature of the soul,
its other-worldly compassion

rests quietly. 

Give Us a Sign

You can't bear to see it,
white against white, abyss
in deep, swirling fog,

the self in myth.

The purpose of illusion,
its nature to deceive, leading
light into unexpected

darkness is departure;

this life moving towards
self-less absorption.

For what other reason does
moon clutched desperately
by night endure its unending



Fool Through and Through

There is a mouth where it shouldn't be,
an ink stain.  Yes I've said certain things

that amounted to nothing.  I should say
them again to multiply nothingness.

What fools do well is what fools
should do.  This makes us foolish

but with confidence.  


The Highest Bloom

Because you are paralyzed, 
wounded but loved, you were given
voice, a song of struggle, 
a singing shadow.

It doesn't matter you're different,
like purple striations on wildflower
or albino moths whose moonlit wings
attract night birds

to swallow them whole.  

Perhaps you're a messenger 
and no one is listening.  Like
hearts when the body stops
breathing or prayer memorizing

well-rehearsed words.

It's not as if you understood the value
of punishment, the purpose of
suffering, the meaningful beauty
of resting ever so lightly

on the highest, most dangerous
bloom in the field.


The Flame Quickens

Burned, I remember
patterns of rain sinking
and the zen-like
trajectory of things

that catch on fire
and fall.

I will miss the black
stars, the two yellow
planets whose sadness
was this life 

looking out through 
the bodies window.

The smokey ring,
the coal eye narrowing,
a strobe light catching
motion, the click, click

click from birth
to quickening flame;

an orphan striking
matches in a thunder