The Conversation

Washington skies are eye-blue
Clear as a newborn’s cry

I walk shivering and backwards
To keep an eye on a full harvest moon
Close enough to skip a rock
Far enough from you not to stop

Giving precious teddy away at the airport
Saying I’ll see you again
Knowing we’d lose each other right then
But I always thought I’d see that bear again

When the baby is close to due
I call you
And you say, aye, maybe somehow part of me lives on in him
I say no and wonder why I’ve called

Bad Luck and Horseradish

Darkness thick enough to slip on. The sun in full force only tempted shadow from its frame. A struggling abyss shambling through the neighborhood. Begging for coins and other cosmic twinklings. Stretching wide its jaw to ask for dental work and fruit and whatever was in that bag. It’d say, “whatever’s in that bag.” As hungry as newborn snakes.

When they met- It and Gayle from down the street- she threw her sweater over its shoulders- or what could be interpreted as shoulders- and climbed into his great mouth never to be seen again. O
It went silent. Only from time to time from this wandering grandma of a thing- we hear it. Gayle cussing. The Homeowner’s Association Board has no idea who to send the citation to. Children haunted by Gayle’s pre-It cussing find her palatable now and even coo apologies as they pass. Poor Ms. Gayle. Shameful she’s having such a bad time in there. Sorry, Ms. Gayle. Bad luck and horseradish.

Shallows Walker

He seems so earnest
In the shallows
Dragging his bucket through for sand

She so pretty in the drying sun
In the shallows
Pressing through for deeper water

Oh, he’d rather tickle the shoreline
And prophesy of golden castles
As she heads into deeper water
He walks among the shallows

And unexpectedly in trouble
she calls for him once twice
He destroys his sand castle
While she rights herself
Treading water

Not as pretty when drowning
And somehow it matters
That his princess needs saving
“When she had so often saved herself,”
He mutters

He scoops up a fresh bucket of sand

It irritates him
This shallow walker
Shell collector
When she walks by him shivering
Blocking the sun

When Morning Breaks

Crackling storm in the distance coming
Nearer to God as nature’s humming
Here in the breeze
Birdsong’s tucked in

I hung up at three
And your voice continues strong

I simply hear the song,
Hear the song

Hiccups of thunder
Rolling laughter
I wonder how long we’ll last together
A spritz of spiritual connection
Never keeps you dry

I hung up at three
And your voice continues strong

It simply plays the song,

plays the song

What Is the Matter With Joy?

The uncontainable smile shaped and strengthened by shadow

The soot

The pastel oils

The soft chalks of depression
Shade every moment
Highlight every joy

We stamp on it
Stomp on it
And still the flower unfurls
even in the hard gray

Yet tempered by pain
Into a more glorious purpose

Hated and called false
Because of its shadow

Which shows the shape of hope
The matter of joy

Where We Cross

Avoid the bees bouncing about the lavender
Use the bird knocker
And cross the threshold

Night bleeds into day
shadows spread into darkness
The sun yet in its place-
Only us turning away

Cross the threshold
Letting the wind yawn into the hallway
Letting the gap between us fester as ember-eaten wool
Letting the whole black freckled with stars become our only greeting

Turn to me


Pathways trod familiar
By feet my own
Which I once knew

Which I once knew could walk the forest and keep the birds singing
Lullabies and morning hallelujahs

Hallelujahs! clear as sunlight
As I daydream pushing into the wheat and beginning anew