take me through it
and tell them
you held my hand
the trees sough
and the ground
breathes musky life
i put it on my tongue
because i want to know
and little worms
slide in like sugar
i slip, sigh, slide
through electric wet memories
generational mommas telling me
shh, child
shh, don’t touch
my path is through old trees
and i taste their fruit regardless of my fear
i might be poisoned
they smell so sweet
and i have been so empty
and hungry
spent with need
don’t take my shoes from me
i have places to go
let go of my hand
you are a weight
i’ll not carry
the sky is calling me
it billows
and roils
and beckons me up
up, up
on the wings of the poor
the world is a millstone
warm hay
and honeysuckle
it smells so sweet
i could die

*Mine, from 2012

A Love Song

I remember when we were first dating
No touch yet,
But eddies were drawing us together
Churning between our bodies
Sweet and warm,
A gentle pulling under our feet

We stopped on the sidewalk
You looked at me,
I don’t remember which one of us was talking
Other bodies around us in the sunshine
The smell of green,
Life was suddenly so bright and pretty

Your face spread into a smile
Your pupils opening,
You were a ray of the sun burning my skin
Searing, blistering, burning, setting me on fire
I am ashes,
Rare wind from the south blows me into your pocket

Bird In Hand

I take the day in my hands and hold it like a little bird,
Sing baby, sing to me
Its heart beats staccato against my palm,
The sky fills with clouds at its trembling feathers
I set it free

I take my love in my hands and hold him with warm thunder,
Come closer, love me more
He expands to meet me, and his skin tears at the thin spots,
My heart comes down like a gavel
I set him free

I take my life in my hand and hold it like a filthy rag,
Leave me, i’m so tired
I see the paint, the spots worn through
My blood is umber stains on faded cloth
I tuck it back in my pocket

The world takes me in its hands and holds me like a little bird,
Hushabye, dear one, shhh
I see your pain and rage and promise, your terrible beauty
My heart explodes, my mouth opens in song
I am set free

Going Home

I’ve travelled far, a-wandering
I was not woolgathering
I was untethered, flying but unfeathered

I’ve given so, sincerely
I was not expecting
I was beseeching, despite the bleeding

I’ve borne it all, unconsciously
I was not indomitable
I was brokenly bearing, regal and lame

I’ve known you from the inside, dear
I was not your rival, love
I was ever your champion, and shall ever be

I’ve trysted with death, lingering
I was not infatuated
I was betrothed, but broke its bonds

I’m heading back now, the way i came
I was never one of them
I am the light, and shan’t bide their darkness

I’ve paid the price of entry, perchance
I was not aware there was a bounty
I was weary beauty, dropping coins like crumbs

I’ve set the wood alight
I was not the hearth, nay
I was the fire, and i burn

Toes In The Grass

The sadness i embrace is ever present
so very deep
It eeks from my bones and suffuses my flesh with its chill marrow
traveling the rivers of my body, bobbing along in my blood
Morose and resigned
stopping my heart over, and over again
I gasp in pain, wanting to run from it
to drown it in wine
I want to return to the Land of the Dead, where i’ve dwelt all my life
I’ve felt this sadness already, and the pain
But no
Not like this
That was all the voices crying out in my brain, wanting to be heard
to be seen, to be known
That was brain pain.

Now my body cries out from the acres of death where it dwells
No more to be a dead thing encased in living flesh
a golem from the past
I send out tendrils of warmth and light from the Upper Room
They float down the stairs and illuminate the spaces that were once flat blackness
a nice enough place
Needs a bit of work
The rooms are crumbling, although they’ve never been lived in
Like Chinese malls.

Too old to not yet have lived in this body
I was born in a riptide, barely keeping my head above the water
Mindlessly, mechanically,
moving my way through the rushing of the water
Fighting the current that never stopped
sucking at me
One day i grew strong
and broke free of my prison
Building a boat out of hope, i sailed the vast sea of my mind
I charted its waters until i grew bored
Letting the wind and the waves plot my course
I thought i’d found peace
But mystery beckoned me from the shores
The smell of the air promised fresh adventures
I jumped off the bow
and swam for the shore
Dolphin-slicing expertly through the currents.

I stand up on the beach and look round
The sand is not much warmer than the water
Perhaps the green i can see ahead is as warm as it looks
I walk slowly up towards it
When i crest the embankment i stop
My feet step into the grass
It’s warm, it’s wonderful, and i scrunch my toes into its
I have toes
I look down and see my feet

And i gasp myself awake
Only not awake
Not dreaming
My window has crashed inward from the storm raging outside
I’ve been struck alive by a bolt of lightning
What was dead now lives
The tendrils of warm light coming down from the attic illuminate the first floor of my house
I’m sitting in an old chair that’s never entertained a guest
Life is pain, and i ache to find it so
I shudder with the power of the pain that fills me
The sobs that shake me
like water from a paintbrush
The light moves past me, fluttering and waving along
Curious to explore other rooms
Every step, every movement,
Every moment brings pain
But i follow
I follow the light.

Life Quacks and Dogs Poop

I’m a huge fan of the artist Amanda Palmer. I bought her most recent album, and not just an online version – i had to have the actual CD and sleeve and artwork and her notes and thankyous and all of it. I wanted it in my hand, to touch, to have for realsies. One of the songs is called “Runs in the Family”, and it resonates deeply with me. This verse of, i don’t know… Whatever it is, i wrote it to the rhythm of the verses of the song. It’s stream-of-consciousness and sort of poetic and maybe (i hope) funny and uplifting. If you want to get a better sense of the patterns i patter at (because there’s definitely syncope at play here), maybe give it a listen. Of course i recommend her most strongly, but art is in the ear of the listener, isn’t it?

Hold on, hang in, stay safe.
Love and Peace,

I look out the window as i wash the dishes
and i see the water is SPARKLING! so it has just
broken through winter’s hard crust and now i can see
small dots of movement and their QUACKS! reach up to me
letting me know that they and life has landed
and soon they will fill up the BANKS with their babies!
as geese and great swans do the same as the ducks do
the frogs start their ribbeting WHICH they will keep up!
until all their noises fade into my background
as i become transfixed by ALL of the green things!
that push their way up through the just melted crust
of the earth that surrounds me and FILLS! up my nostrils
with glorious smells of its living fecundity
unlike the fetid and SOFT melty dog shits!
that pepper my yard and make me glad that i have sons
who live at home and must TOUCH! them to please me
i picture my land as i finish the dishes
how it will look in just a PALTRY! few weeks of time
lush with green grass and the trees will be bursting
with big juicy leaves for the BUGS that will torture me!
but i won’t mind too much cuz i am walking with my
dogs and we won’t be STAYING! for too long
in one place we move fast we’re onward and upward
the sniffs make them so happy TAILS wag their butts right off!
but right now the driveway is muddy and squelches
around my boots as i take SCRAPS! to the composting
bin that we have around back for our garden
that last year went fallow cuz MY ASS was crazy then!
this year we maybe can have some tomatoes along
with the flowers that GROW! in the front of our house
that is crooked and little and perfect and we are
all safe and sound out here in SPITE! of the sickness
that rages around us and hurts other people and
makes me feel fine about BEING! a hermit
which while i am sad and my anxiousness threatens to
swallow me whole i know I AM so fortunate!
that i live in this piece of world with this man i
love looking at life i KNOW! it will always out
so i look at the water and hear the damn quacking
and smell all the poop that wafts UP! through the window
it fills me with gratitude for what i have while
the quacks gird my loins for the CYCLE of life! that
is winding down in me and cranking up elsewhere and
it is so beautifully REAL! and transplendant
my eyes fill with tears that are not ones of sadness
and sparkle like water like DIAMONDS in paradise!


I am a tree
Tall and strong
My great limbs bend into smaller branches
I’m covered in rough bark
But underneath, the wood is green and fragrant
You cannot easily break off a piece with your own hand
You must wind it round and round
Cursing its soft strength
The branch splits apart yet still holds
You curse and twist
And while some wooden strands give way
Yet others hold fast
The green and gold, like oats at harvest
My leaves are a story
Some yes, are curling
But look at the rest
Full and lush
Verdant and heady
The crispy and dry make way for the vibrantly shaking and whispering
Singing leaves and tawny wood
I set my roots deep and dare any comers
Try to move me
None shall move me
I grow here and stay
Let birds find shelter and insects feed
I thrive
I give shade
I am life
My roots are deep and i remain
Stay awhile and rest underneath my canopy of greenery and love
I am a tree


I looked for you and you said, I’m here
So i followed the sound of your voice to the place it was coming from
I leaned down and whispered Hullo?
But you weren’t there in the brackish water, or at least
You chose not to surface
I slept that night and dreamed of you in the forest
Beckoning me, Come
In the morning i eagerly dressed and ran outside
I heard your voice on the wind
It tinkled through the leaves like living bells
Oh please, is that you?
I climbed some of the trees there, hoping to find you
After a while the bells seemed more like brittle laughter
I fell down and scraped my knee on some bark
The blood marked it with my passing and i was glad
Next day it was scabbed over and i picked it
Wanting to bleed again
I’ve written you letters but there’s nowhere to send them
I seal them with my tears that drip like wax on the paper
And my heart
Leaves my body while i sleep and tries to deliver them
It returns every morning, grey and empty
I kiss it long and deep as it buries itself back inside me
I ask others if they’ve seen you and they tell me
Oh yes, just yesterday!
Their stories burn my skin and i smile while it blisters
They don’t seem to smell my flesh cooking
Can they not see my bones?
I bake you a pie and go where they tell me you’ll be
I’m wearing tight clothing to keep my flesh from falling off
I sing with them and listen to their stories
I’m putrid and dying but yet my heart beats
In my best mezzo soprano i tell of my love for you
Hullo, are you here?
They all love my pie and ask me
Aren’t you amazing, aren’t you grand?
My heart climbs out of my chest and carries me home
We eat my flesh together, and i cannot hear your voice


This is not my garden,
i’ve tarried here too long
I cannot keep it,
it does not rise to my touch

This is not my garden,
its fruit does not sustain me
The taste is bland and unripened,
the sun too rare

This is not my garden,
nothing here will grow
No verdance, no smell beckons me,
It’s time for me to go

This is not my garden…
It never was

Image: Gardens of the Dying Light, by QueenOfRohan


Today i’m low
Oh, i’m so low
I can pretend i’m not, but can i not pretend?
Dear Ms. Therapist, i am trying
I thought i had it rough, but now i know i didn’t – not really
My brain can do this amazing thing where it takes me out of the shit and fills my face with someone else
I float
I float up here and watch some actressrobotclone do me for the masses
If it’s too much to watch, the door in my belly bids me come
It locks onto me like a tractor beam and pulls me in and slams behind me
I am nothingness
Was it all that bad if i wasn’t even there for it?
I inch my way slowly past the beckoning door, pressed flat against the far wall
I take the stairs down into my guts
It reeks down here. Like the smell of their fear that i could never scrub off me
Afraid of a little girl
The air tastes like salt and metal, like his hands when he pressed them over my nose and mouth
Shh, be quiet, shut up, stop fighting me!
Why do i have to come down here with these old ghosts?
I cleverly escaped their filthy clutches – why should i return?
They paw at me, and they stink
I don’t need anything down here
I look up and see my heart, beating blackly, shivering with pain
Reaching up, i place my hand firmly on it, the muscle quivers like a horse’s flank after a race
I pet my poor heart until it slows
It stops twitching and warms beneath my fingers
Stop running Dear One, i whisper
The race is done
We won a long time ago
I’m going back up the stairs now
Still tired and low, and this didn’t change me
There’s a light at the top that bids me come
Going carefully up over slime covered stone
I look down and say I’ll be back and that’s funny
The bilge water needs to be pumped out
My shoes are soaked and my feet, ice
I’ll bring salt when next i come, to dry up the fine, slick crust
I wave from the last step, and hope it doesn’t take me as long to clean the basement as it did the attic