Posts for June 9, 2016


Chemical Fire

I slept in a
dead woman’s bed

dreamed of my
father engulfed
in chemical fire
didn’t know
at the time
it was
the burning loneliness 
that would 
overtake him
– Jessica Swafford 


Being Human

And there was the one night he almost cried for the hole in the universe, his heart, any understanding of either. Random music colored the air as he danced around the room, each lyric from lives past by turn a love song or a dirge. He sang along when the tears came closest, or perhaps the other way around. In either case, the wall between joy and sorrow was, at its strongest, the thinnest of ancient, half-dust swaddling, prepared to be pierced at any moment. 


An Exercise in Folk Song

He’s left you here, my dear my dear, tell me why you wait
He’s left you here, with no one near, and the hour is growing late.
Your heart, poor dear, bares a sadness so heavy and so slow
You will not feel its end until to the Summer Fields you go.

The raven to the square is flying,
And your love he is a-sighing.
The raven to the square is flying,  
And my dear my dear we’re all a-dying.

The sun moves ‘round, sister moon behind, and stars bright and dim
They whisper, dear, to see you here, and pretend they know your sin.
But here you are, waiting at the door, knowing he’ll return.
No one sees and no one hears the question that in your chest burns.  

The raven to the square is flying,
And your love he is a-sighing.
The raven to the square is flying,  
And my dear my dear we’re all a-dying.

The candle’s out, the shutters closed, the locks all strong and barred,
You hope he sees the path to you in tears and blood you’ve carved.
He’s left you here, my dear my dear, and here you shall remain,
Because he’s coming soon and you only hope he remembers your name.  



elsa who is sort of small 
(in comparison to the rest of us) 
still manages to fill
all the empty space

even when she’s completely curled
into herself
tip of her tail touching
the tip of her nose



At 19 years, my son
is seldom in the same room
with me. This morning
I’m busy blogging
and he’s standing in the dining room
eating apple pie for breakfast.
I remind him I’m leaving for a week
and for him to stay safe. Minutes later,
he interrupts my typing
to surprise me
with a hug.

Austin Rathbone


I was paralyzed for an eternity
It’s hard work, being willfully clever
The unseen figures from the waterfall’s peak
Demanding to know life’s meaning
Hurtled rocks in the meantime
Just on the other side of the gently cascading curtain of water
But looking at your serene face
Was all I needed
In a moment my mind was free
…as a bird
What bird?
A swan
Instantly the lullaby melody soundtracks my bliss
I never felt myself so graceful
I scream it back at the boulder-chucking assholes
Your laugh, rich and shuddering
Not to be given away easily
Is quite the reward


The Bold

The bold win big
Or they lose hard
They might fall far
‘Cause they drop their guard.

The bold break free
Or they stay under
But one thing’s for sure
They never wonder.

The bold curse devils
Or they praise gods
Always building life
With iron rods.

The bold find joy
Win or lose
Because they are always
The one to choose.


a perplexed squirrel

outlandish diner
shares nibble on thoroughfare
a perplexed squirrel


Thoughtful Poem

Would you be sad if you died right now?


Her Gift

tools of cartilage performing
double duty—hearing speech,
understanding abstract language
in each exchange  

Mamaw’s keen detection
picked up on all cues
including those concealed
within heart’s keep  

to every word,
to non-words
in private shadows  

such a rarity,
a tender skill of patience
often overlooked
or discounted              

an innate ability
conscious attentiveness
attuned compassion
empathy at work  

at the kitchen table no more
I miss our time there
I sense your gentleness
within elements of my spirit  

while I can no longer
experience your audible gaiety
I can always hear
your echo