It is the official release day! I’m honored and grateful that my friend, Candice Louisa Daquin, “gently” nudged me to do this. Additionally, I am indebted to Candice for believing in me and for her diligent work in editing. Thank you, Candice. You are one of the most giving people I know. I want to thank Tara Caribou of Raw Earth Ink who has been patient with this novice at every step in the publishing process.
I also owe a debt of gratitude to Susi Bocks,
Ivor Steven, and M. Brazfield who were willing to provide advance reviews on short notice. Thank you so much.
From the tip of my fountain pen—
Not smooth enough–
Fails capturing anything
Within this labyrinth of senses
Have I seen Heaven in her eyes? You ask.
Can anyone see heaven in the eyes of another
Is what I must ask.
I have seen love, the soft one,
Take a seat and
In the eyes of others.
I have seen hatred, the snake,
Uncoil and dance,
Spitting venom at everything and everyone,
From the eyes of others.
Too often, I have seen death, the thief,
Steal all the treasures from the eyes
Of those I loved,
Leaving them hollow and emptied out.
I have seen other things
In the eyes of others
Along these long years
I don’t really think so.
I may be too old to see such a wonder
Or too young yet to know it
When I see it.
So, to answer,
I would have to say, no.
No, I have not seen
Heaven in her eyes.
When you found the things you could,
A mist of breath showed in the rain,
Twin clouded rain shimmered colors
Of gray stone before you on a path you would go.
If only, if only, you should know the bones of us,
Move knotted stiff with the griefs you’ve piled upon your soul,
We’d glow of phosphorus and neon in velvet darkness.
Walking the dark, shadowed canyon of dreams
Wilted by disappointments and deflated sunshine
Waking to dimmest daylight at noon
Where you cannot bear to look
Upon your own reflection,
A sight of horror in your own eyes now
In that cracked crystal ball where you stand,
In your own self-consecrated field
Of plastic flowers bowing their majestic heads to you,
Your straw haired head is bowed,
Smiling at the ground.
The wind and rain stopped by last night, Had a few minor temper tantrums outside As I stood watching from the door. They slapped the trees limbs around a bit And kicked at bits of loose trash in the street. Nothing more violent than that. No pushing down trees. No pummeling hail. Rather calm for a storm. Yet it killed the heat of summer, Murdering it without a hint of passion And ushering in a cold windy day To begin the fall to winter. At dawn, I stand here, Warming myself With this cup of coffee, Mourning a summer That passed without passion.
Tell me a truth of burning flames. Better yet, Chant me all the truth Of a holy rosary. Or would you whisper a truth Of a head on a silver platter. Perhaps, you’d like to Express the truth Of a dance through the city. Or act out the truth In the washing of your hands. Could you do all that, Plus destroy a temple or two, And it be the truth Of your heart? I know you say it would But no bushes burn, No seas part, No lepers heal, No dead rise When you know nothing Of your own heart and soul.
This red heart cedar stump,
With its dark crevasses
And holes where bugs had homes,
Was sanded smooth.
A urethane finish added for shine
The rings are visible still,
Rings that count the years
Until the tree fell in a storm,
Twisted from the earth
By tornadic winds.
Thus, I found it
In the yard.
Took the chain saw to the tree,
Cut it into chunks,
Along with the others that fell
That day while the dog and I
Sought shelter from the storm.
Now I sand and chisel away.
Routing out some hearts concave,
Bowls to be used for filling
At some future date,
Now standing empty.
Sanding some hearts level,
Tables to be used for holding things,
Yet these are empty too.
All this red heart cedar,
Once stood filled with life,
Now stands empty.
Truths we’d rather not see
Raked into the compost,
Used to feed vines,
A soul stilled
in one place.
In the shadows of the mountains
Where beasts have fled,
Leaving behind cloven hoof prints
In the inky muck of the forest floor
Beside the pristine waters of a rushing stream
Near the fading timberline here,
The scent of decaying pine bark and musk
On a faint icy breeze
Weaves all into the forest primordial.
Nothing human can be found
In a fear filled chest.
A whipped dog, Head down, Eyes, lowered, Ears back, Haunches drawn Dreams the wolf-- Sharp weapons of tooth and claw, Armor of hide and fur, Heart of a free, wild warrior. A dream of the lone wolf, Who may find comfort Here or there For a season. Then moves onward alone Before what will come As the whipped dog knows, Always, always does.