A Prayer

Kathmandu Post

I walk my dog by the children at play.
I must stop to admire a small girl upon the swings,
Kicking her feet straight out and leaning her body back,
A challenge to the dimensions of air,
A brave heart to dare push her feet against the height of the sky.

Yes, this girl, smiling in the joy of her challenge and dares,
Will carry her brave heart into her youth,
And, I hope for her, she will carry it to her grave,
Dying with the bravest of hearts.
Unlike me, who carries a heart tucked away
Inside this lidded vase kept upon a shelf.

Arrival of Spring

From google images

Spring arrived

Barely seen.

Our eyes turned inward.

Suspicious of air,

We could not take spring

Deeply into our lungs,

Feel the warmth of it on our skin,

Taste the freshness of it on our tongues

For fear.

We counted our first born

And tried prayer.

Had we forgotten the blood of the lamb

Above the lintel?

We sought protection in distance,

longing for human touch.

Hate and fear drained us.

We grew weary hearing–

Wash your hands

Don’t touch your face

Wash your hands

Prayed Mother Mary full of grace

Six to ten feet apart we must stand

We feared to touch

Our mothers

Our fathers

Our sisters

Our brothers

Our sons

Our daughters

And longed–

All the more–

For touch.

Yes, this will make us aware—

Appreciate what now

We could not do.

Yes, we would improve,

We would appreciate all.

Technology would see us through.

Somewhere in our collective soul

We had doubts, questions–

We had to know–

Hadn’t there been signs?

HIV, Ebola, Bird flu, Swine flu,

Zika, West Nile too,

All killers, all unseen—

Hurricanes, droughts,

Famines, earthquakes—

Natural disasters ripping

The world to shreds.

Had we done this to ourselves?

We hadn’t been the good stewards

We were charged to be.

Drowning seas with plastic, killing bees,

Melting ice caps, making greenhouse gases–

Killing the mother God gave us.

We hadn’t loved each other as we were loved,

As we were instructed to do. 

Then our arrogance, a weed within our souls grew.

We killed, pillaged, maimed, raped, started wars–

For the one skin that made us master,

For the name of God, the only one to worship,

For riches, since the strong should prey upon the weak,

For gender, after all women were things to use,

For sexuality, holy books said there’s but one way to love,

For everything was ours to take.

We’d killed each other

For these grotesquely grandiose ideas,

While calling ourselves Godly,

Saying our actions were sanctioned

By our God, our religion.

Only we knew the natural order of things.

In pride, we claimed

Where we walked—

Holy Ground.

Then guilt filled our lungs,

We finally questioned—

Was this it–

The fourth seal broken?

Had the pale rider been loosed

Upon the land?

While wanting to believe

It was all simply science.

Drying Time

Turn toward the hours passed.
Size them and arrange.
Let soak in dyes of prism colors
As the minutes pass away and then
Lift them, dripping dye,
To hang in the warming sun
Over tight strung wire.
Watch the colors drip, splashing on the floor.
Wet splotches collecting in puddles
Of liquid silk to be mopped away
As the hours drip colored dye
In the drying of time.

Ash and Blood

image from Moblog by orbits

Ash soft upon the brow.

Atonement drifts

On frankincense smoke.

No one ever seeks

To wear the stigmata

Upon hands and feet.

There be no martyrs here.

Confessions worn down

By touching whispers

Of brokenness.

A shattered seeking

Of what heals in ash and blood,

Whispering of saints and sinners.

Wingless prayers spoken for things lost

In a darkness of light.

The wish of a murdered truth

Contained in dusty grey skies

Of wanting and desire

 Sought over again–

To now seek and send a trembling

Hand to reach with no strength to grasp–

For a soul too wearied

From the grinding away

Of trying.

Wild and Tame

My own image from Provincetown, MA 2015

Originally written in July of 2015.  Revised 2020.

My friend, the squirrel, sits at my feet.

I wonder perhaps should I be sitting at his.

He is tame

Unlike me.

I have peanuts for him.

He knows.

He is willing to wait

And teach me

All the lessons he knows

Of a heart

That is wild

Yet tame.

I marvel at all

That is contained

Within his tiny heart.

The joys of peanuts and sunflower seeds,

Being unafraid in the face of strangers,

And making friends so easily,

Of finding a home among things lush and green,

Knowing no fear to leap

Into things unknown.

Will he instruct me

In the ways to live once again

And move on?

Tell me to remove these rings

Linked to a grief buried beneath grey granite?

Can he share with me the lesson

Of what to do with all things circular,

New and old grief– link upon link of chain?

Teach me the ways of letting go?

The ways of living without fears

To staunch the bleeding of wounds

Both new and so very old?

Is this the meaning

Of being wild and tamed?

Tears of Fire


Originally posted in August of 2017.  However, after driving from Dallas to Houston to take care of some business with having a home built and experiencing nearly deserted roads because of the lock downs and quarantines, I thought I’d touch it up a bit and post it again.  

The seven descend.

Each with wings spread

Enough to fill a house.

Shalom not upon their tongues.

Throughout the compass points

They search to find

All the gnawed bones,

The muscles and sinew,

The heart and entrails

Torn with teeth of hate.

And once the seven

Found all the tiny bits,

With flaming swords

Used as needles,

They did try to stitch

All humanity’s bloody bits

Into one thing well knit.

Neither their swords,

Nor spirit of their breath

Did have the power to seal

The meat and sinew to bone.

And then they knew

Those who showed no mercy

Would be given none.

Their heads hung

Inshallah upon their lips

As they ascend.

Their flaming eyes

Weeping tears of fire

As they saw the pale rider

Striding across the land.

The seven knew humanity’s

Avarice and hate

Had broken the fourth seal.

Maa shaa’Allah a whisper of smoke

Within their throats.

Their flaming eyes

Still weeping tears of fire.

Scars of Flame

My scars flames–
The sides of my back,
pock marked brown
drying dark
if not daily oiled in
the red, orange, white
of flames,
trailing once welted scars,
faded, now barely.
if even seen–
Feathered flames
enabling flight,
if I should like,
or if I so prefer,
burning back past paths
behind so I may fly
to places I wish,
keeping promises
to my soul.
My scars flame–
Only I see
and only I know
the power contained
in my flaming scars.


Image from Wisegeek

In this day and age
We ought to be able to be wired
Wired for anything, everything–
For hope—
Wired for it all and more
Wired for an add on room
In the heart when we’ve run out–
For expansion of sound inside
When we’ve come to love the buzz of silence.
For blood that doesn’t run dry,
Doesn’t clot to clog the works up.
Wired so we always have just one more try
Inside souls always filled
With the romantic dreams of youth.
Wired so there are stairs always to climb.
Wired so no wounds ever cut so deep
Blood runs out, runs dry.
Wired so we can learn
Yet pain be erased.
Wired, just wired,
Plugged in with a soul of shiny copper wire.


For K.M wherever you may be 

Use of your veiled power
Brings me here to this door
With the knowledge I must keep the touch of that power away from those
Who are loved.
Psalm 23 as I enter the valley,
The shadow you have always been
Since a night long ago.
Now midnight, on a summer’s night as it was once before,
I am stone
As I enter.

Though it has been thirty-three years since the night of such destruction
And twenty-six since face to face we have stood,
You are as you always were–
So beautiful yet still–
Elegant clothing of black silk replacing your leathers,
Shining long pure white hair rather than chestnut gloss wave and drape round your shoulders.
Though there are creases round,
Ice yet frozen sparkles still
In the blue topaz of your eyes.
Words tumble from you like the pebbles of a river bottom in the floods.
The veil of your power used
Only to get me here
You would never touch
All I hold dear.

Talk. Just talk is all.
Sit down, please. A drink?

I sit, accept.
Though I’ve consumed too much liquid courage
Just to be near,
To calm all the fear
Of what I thought I must surrender.
But not this.
I had not thought it would be this.
I sip something too effervescent,
Too sweet for this.
And wait.
Sip and wait.

You sigh, drop your head.
A curtain of snow, a veil, falls
Hiding blue topaz.
You begin once again the apology
For the night long ago,
So long ago,
When you lost control,
Your anger, your fears
Ending our three years,
Ending our youth,
Ending the selves
We can never recapture.

“No, don’t. It’s done. Over with. Forgiven. Forgotten.”

You reach for a file.
“No. Not so. You haven’t forgiven or forgotten.
I know.”
And there it is–
In print outs, photographs,
Transcripts and more,
My life in the folder.
“I have always known– everything,”
Your answer.

At the evidence of this—obsession,
“Why?” my only question.

“To help if needed,” you say.
You drain your glass,
Pour more and continue.
The words pour down and over,
Wearing away my stone,
And we are humans
Who were once young
And loved together.

The ice melts and
Rains a deluge from blue topaz.
Your shoulders curve inward,
Your breathing wracked by sobs.
And I know then
Flays your soul
Just as you once,
Losing control with anger and fear,
Flayed me.

I pull you to me
Lay you down
Your head resting in my lap.
I stroke your hair,
Dry your tears.
And I see all the years,
All the years of guilt written there.
The beautiful artist I loved once within,
Yes, still near.
While my life and soul healed, leaving just a little scarring,
Your soul is yet flayed open,
Raw and bleeding.

Perhaps an hour passed.
We talk of the present and the past.
It is then you ask for what I cannot give,
A future of us.
For even if I could, even if we could,
You would not find what you need,
What you seek,
In any reclaiming of our past
In the makings of a future.
Your soul would bleed still.

The last chips of ice melt
When you hear my answer.
And when it is finished,
When you are done,
You take my hand from your hair
And kiss each fingertip,
As if you thought to kiss the statue of a saint.

Then you rise with cat like grace
Try to give me the last painting you did
You say some sixteen years ago,
The last time you held a brush.
It is of me.
From memory
You say,
Speaking of our three years,
Of how often you watched me sleep.
I can barely recognize the body, the face.
But, yes. I guess it is what I was once.

I hand it back,
Saying it is me no longer.
I cannot accept a me I do not recognize.
You take it, gently. Put it aside,
Then touch my cheek.
Ask me to stay,
Just to sleep.

I cannot.
But I hold you for a moment
Before I turn to go.

You place a slip of paper into my hand
Tell me you will watch,
You will listen– no more.
That should I want in any way,
Should I need in any way,
I should write the secret words upon a page you would see
And you would be here.

I make the promise
You need to hear
And leave.

Though you once called me your Helen,
Money and power your Mephistopheles,
The time is long
past the hour of any damnation.
For wherever you may go,
Now you know.
Nothing can be recaptured.
Nothing reclaimed.
Nothing would you find there.

Because I once loved you,
Once held you so dear,
Within my forgiveness
Given long ago,
Within yourself,
Within your soul,