Saturday, December 31, 2011


The furniture contains the room,

Defining boundaries

Between here

And the unknown world

Where stories

Pass in waves no one

Can hear..

A woman has cleaned,

And a man defiled

This small life square

Space of gathering

And parting,

Storms and


Standing on the roof

Of a hotel,

Watching as a city

Goes dark

To make way

For the fireworks

That burst below

In this upside down

World where

The tags on our clothes

Are worn on the outside

To announce our haste.

Copyright (c) 2011 by the author

Thursday, December 15, 2011



Gathering up the darkness,
Carrying it with tentative hands,
Dropping it into box
After box,
Pushing it down
To make room
For more of same--
Depressed moments,
angry outbursts,
Tearful farewells,
Recognitions of regret,
Layers deep,
Compressed until it all fits
Inside worldproof walls,
Secured by titanium tape.
In big black letters, I write:

Copyright (c) 2012 by the author

Friday, September 30, 2011


For love of laura:
Everpresent, ever-bright,
Unquenchable fire.
I named you Laura.
We talked about you for hours
As if you were real.
As if I know you--
I think in terms of Laura
What will you be like?
Images of you--
All the stages, all the looks,
All things you could be.
tIME keeps extending:
To days, to years--forever--
Scarring each moment.
Always the questions--
From my friends, from family--
I can’t explain you.
I tell those who hear:
I know just what I’m doing.
But of course, I lie.
ONE YEAR is measured,
And I wait, anticipate
Things to say to you.
Waiting for you now,
Like waiting for the high tide,
You will arrive...soon.
You were just a dream--
Just a thought, a plan, a name.
You are. You will be.
Curled up in the mind,
Reality check: LAURA?
The fire has been set.
They’d call me crazy
If it weren’t for the dream
Of embracing you.
Dresses, dreams and more--
LAURA, the world waits for you.
Your family waits.
My child, treetop-bound,
Arms and legs a blur, rising,
Ascending the world.
Child over cat--freeze!--
One second to catch the sight,
Then gone, both running.
Kept up by child screams,
LAURA, allergic to summer,
Now sleeps by the fan.
Mental snapshots: yes.
Of a child as yet unborn,
Can’t wait to hold.
Her fear of falling,
Descending stairs, she hold on
Tightly, then laughs.
Riding through tunnels--
Through open windows she screams
And laughs,laughs, laughs, laughs
I prepare for you.
I am to be inspected--
Found worthy/wanting.
Pages torn from books,
To be rewritten, n time,
By fragile fingers.
Red, white, blue blocks--up!
Sky-scraping, room cluttering,
Filling up your world.
Energy compressed,
Held tightly within your soul,
Prepared for RELEASE.
Captured arms and legs,
You pull me down to your eyes,
And I can’t escape.
Crackerjacks with prize,
Little fingers tear the box,
Scattering the crumbs.
Now, you are singing,
High, sweet voice--this is your song--
Ascending sweetly.
You are jumping rope,
Keeping cadence with your friends,
With your childlike chants.
I’ll trip on your toys--
Remnants of your busy day
Scattered on your wind.
From stories to sleep,
The slender thread leads to dreams
And back to daylight.
Crayon-deco walls
Washed clean--again, again--
Just for you, washed clean.
The world’s your toy-box.
You possess the continents, 
The islands, and more.
There was a time, once,
A friend took time to teach me
What it is to dream.
And she is watching
To see if i understand--
Truly understand.
Like a spool, around
Which a thread is wound and wound,
You are my center.

Copyright (c) 1991 by the author


Life begins at that point
Conjoined--mind and soul
Decide upon a path,
Then take it, fearlessly


TUMBLING down into
Daylight, trying to land with
Aplomb, with courage,
And not to stagger,
Reach groundward, gracefully,
Arriving from darkness,
Having been evicted
From night for too much laughter,
Not enough silence.
When I land, feet first,
Knees bent, all the stars applaud
A safe arrival.


When the rain comes
The wash all summer’s dust
From the world, erasing
The heat from our memory
Drop by delicious drop.
Autumn will now reside
Overhead, all around,
And all the leaves will change
Just because they have to,
Our shortened days progress
Toward Halloween
When children crave freedom
Of dark streets and costumes
And laughter and candy.
And then we all turn our
Attnetion to winter,
No longer happy with
Autumn and its rainbows,
Looking, instead, for white
Of winter’s veil of cold days
And we begin desiring
Longer daysthat bring spring.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

9/11 tribute

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So, yes, I burned

The bridge some twenty

Paces back,

No regret,

Without hesitation.

Anger, mixed with

Despair allowed me

To wash my hands,

Clean of a score

Of years of memory.

The links--

Once golden,

And highly prized--

Are covered with dust,

Consumed by


Of silence.

I knew what

I was doing,

With an evening’s

Anger still in my head,

Simmering for hours--

Too hot to touch.

When I left,

When I lit the match

And watched the flame

Greedily devour all

Secrets, unbreakable


That would forever

Separate me

From a childhood friend.

We weren’t kids

Anymore. We were

Building diverging

Lives where

There would be no

Spare room,

No empty chair,

No place to sleep,

Or talk

Until dawn.

Strangers, once, we

Are strangers once again.

Copyright © 2011 by the author


Iron-scented anger,

Metallic despair

Never ceasing

To flow,

To rush

Through miles

Of subterranean,

Subdermal tressels,

Content to move,

To cleanse,

To carry away,

Transport oxygen


Emotion pierces

The sky

Allows blue

To become


Because words

Are not enough,


Are not enough.



Thought and

Action are


And reality


Pain exchanged

For pain,


For skin cutting--


The body heals itself:

Why can’t the heart?

No answer comes.

Copyright (c) 2011 by the author

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I want to

Plant stones,

And have flowers spring

To life in every color

Stolen from the rainbow.

Do the leprechauns know

That their gold is now exposed?

Beneath the stones

I plant, where seeds

Slough off,

Life awaits.

Without stones,

Where will I find fire?

Without fire, how do I stay warm?

Cook food?

Sterilize my implements?

Without rainbows,

Where will artists flock

To gather visions

From the muses?

Where flowers grow,

Stones gather--

Names carved deep,

Final messages written

Stones from flowers/

Flowers to stones--

Life discarded

By the faithful

For the future-perfect,

Life dislodged from its pedestal,

And shattering,

Giving birth

To small stones--

Seeds of all kinds,

All colors,


There is no such thing

As a weed

Arising from this soil.

Wildflowers only

How does this garden grow?

Copyright (c) 2011 by the author


Pounding sound,






Instinctive retreat:

From a distance,


The pulse

Gains clarity,

Loses its threat,

Gains its value,

Recovers its beauty,

Recording its passage

A wave

To break

Against a shore



And a harmony

Can be found

For what is now

Just Noise.

Someone feels a need

To share their playlist

As the calendar flips,

Digits roll,

Dreams meld, one

Into the next,

Windows are open,

Freeing this cacophony

To find its way

Out into

The cosmos,

Wave after wave

En route to

The beginning of time.

Billions of


Yet to

Be pierced.

COPYRIGHT (C) 2011 by the author

Friday, July 1, 2011


(for North Dakota)

The river dances

With power

Of melting snow


And threatens

To overtop its banks,

To wash away

Levies of sweat equity

To take adverse possession

If only for two weeks--

Or maybe four,

Maybe six--

Before relinquishing

Its occupancy

Of houses, farms, fields.

Fear runs

As cold as the water,

As fast as the current,





It can carve a channel,

Cut its way

Into the heart

Of a life

That it once


Cold, cruel fluid,

Moving quickly,


Winter out of spring

And into summer.

They dream hopelessly

Of binding up


But wait

For winter’s fruit

To fall

Before new life

Can be replanted.

Copyright (c) 2011 by the author


(for Melissa)

Within the safety

Of madness,

No words need be spoken:

All doors and windows

Are secured,

Keeping the world at large

At beigh.

The words bounce,

Breaking down

Into syllables

Without meaning,

Sounds without


There is no dictionary

For the pain,

The confusion,

The fear

And anticipation.

Not all doors

Are physical,

Wood or metal,


Withselected keys

That hang from a ring.

No reasons,

No stories,

No contact allowed,

No affection,

No attention to be paid

To ragged rage,

Slender fear

That slithers

Up and down

The spine,

Along the tongue,


Eating wordswhole

With one quick snap,


Bitter silence.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2011 by the author

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I have power

Thank God

For the words

That keep

My blood

And bone

Safely contained

Within my skin.

Words on the page

Are equivalent

To a cut

Intentionally inflicted.

When the words

Won’t come,

This is when I am afraid.

Without language

To spill onto the page,

All my insecurities

Race back

And forth


Brain and fingers

In search of

An exit.


His words--

Free me

From my demons,

From my hatreds,

From my loves,

From my hurts.

September 30, 2010, the last


My last relapse,

My last raising

Of questions

For which I had

No answer.

A public act

On the bus

On my way home

After my first class.



No hiding--

I wore a sleeveless dress,

Cut myself on my shoulder

With my house-key.

I found blood--

I saw red--but

Was unsatisfied,



And so,

I stopped

Though the reasons

Haven’t changed,

The impulse still comes,

The emotions still rise.

“Leave me alone: I am

Enjoying this day,

This life,

This choice.

Leave me alone.”

And the demons--

They listen.

I do have power.

Copyright (c) 2011 by the author

Saturday, June 18, 2011


The curves







To the precipice

Of dawn, night

Falls away,

Reminded that

It has to descend

In some other time zone,

Some parallel life,

The closing quotation mark,

The final word

Spoken somewhere

Over the horizon.


Through an open window, a radio

Continues pulsing

Music though

The child it comforts

Has lost the fight

With sleep.

The music plays,

Favorite songs

Go unheard,

Commercial jingles,

The announcer’s voice

Trills out another


Selling everything

To no one

Until the daylight

Trips the alarm,

Day has arrived

To invade the dream world:

Gone, that conversation

With that person

Impossible to reach;

Gone, that visit

To that corner

Of the world;

Back, now,

To life as we

Know it,

As we believe it,

Ready or not,

Here we are,


From the fall

From grace,

But breathing--

Still breathing.