tread the line

a prayer,

this fog before
the dawn, crunchy
leaves so light
on the old elm

ignites wildfire
in the blue hour

dry | scattered
who couldn't
let go

and awakened
full but still thirsty
before the sun

could release
the moon's edge.

Like a river

effortlessly, truth
takes many turns

and hand-over-hand in
darkness, thoughts:
soot and smoke
on the water,

pray a choice
of stillness

And of freedom, a
life not owned
by shadow,

instead like all things
shocked must do

as all living is shocked

until nothing of old
leaves any ember
that may spark/

even hope
and the cruelty
or the way

can be a rebellion

when loved have gone-
pray any fire,
a peacemaker

if the rebellion
must go on.

And for the wailing cat
hungry mouth
and mangy

too messy
to grow love
or to have a
warm hand

upon it,
pray, too;

for daisy chains,
crowns on would-be
princesses and princes,
for baby frogs in pencil
cases, and lizards
clamped on

the children's play
is survival

and to smile at the abyss

at its ferocity, then
because we are fierce,
the same.

But, pray especially
for paper dolls

torn with rough edges,

the square pegs
in round holes

that they know
who they are
and are curious

of what they are not-

a rain held as it grows
having been brave
to accept their

and that of others/
knowing need.

Pray for the thirst
the blue hour

every line of every
hill, clear as the
moon’s edge

when the sun so close
will soon arrive
or soon go,

a time to shake free.


love like life of stars

Young and drawing in light
‘to grow up,’ holds the
moon’s shadow, swallows
the sun, quickly,
and it’s better than soup
warming the lips/it

burns | move along
or maybe this burning
place will hold

to gravity of the
heart, a slumbering stone,
eyes like a cup

of black tea. But, a human
cares against common sense,
same way I like to sink

into nowhere and give
a world and give a name.


I believe in the soft, distracted smile
turning my way and the girl who
draws vines on her white Keds
in permanent marker.
I believe in stately trees and turning
pages beneath their boughs
with searching hands.
The adept hand signing, “hello”
when there are no words to be heard
or knitting colorful yarns on
telephone poles. I believe
in gardenias that bloom between
the alley and the sun, the sounds
of Cohen from someone’s kitchen.
I believe god
is held in the mouths
of philosophers and children:
that beliefs are dangerous without
love and art is an act of goodwill.
I believe in ethics and the
responsibility of leadership but even more
in the resiliency of the human spirit
like a ghostly pounding heart
as we sleep.
I believe in the spaces between:
in pauses and think-backs and could be’s,
especially in “perhaps” and
I believe in the dog’s paw
that smells like sugar cookies
now that we are family.
I believe we should be careful
of words like, “inconvenience.”
I believe in the storytellers and song-
makers and especially in grandmothers
watching mothers turn the page.
I believe in simplicity of
needs: the hand that must be
held and the mouth that
must be fed. And, the
needs that go untended,
the boy clutching his teddy
as he dreams.
I believe in the untenable
breadth of the universe
and the starlit dust
inbetween it all. I believe
‘god’ is in the trees
and the wave tumbling
towards the shore and
the eyes of strangers.


We, built like river reeds

wrench the heart: holding on

who      root claws

upon rock & between crevice

like orchids hold the very air

they need/ somewhere above the jungle

where rain prefers to pass,

and must pull       pull hard

as feels unnecessary

when everyone says it should be easy;

but the air is thin

broken air.


many worlds

All the reasons the heart couldn’t form,

a humble stem/kitsch in your mother’s attic:
there’s a hundred hours left

still,and the sun won’t really set
just sway into someone
                  a world away, 

looks like you, looks like I,
holds a star like space holds/


Even how love, was the baby frog I kept
in my pencil case to bring 
along to school,

‘little buddy,’ because the softness
of empathy is there before words
get in the way

but only realized when we talk about it.

It’s likely not many notice
the beauty of someone young
holding their space fully/

or how         outside of god
we hold the words of many gods
we have loved in our memory:

I still will sing
at the end of the world
walk into storms the same way

a ghost can only be ghostly.

Eat the cake! I really think it is fine
and to love peculiar things
like tiny frogs and funny-nosed sloths:
because love informs when chaos
gentle at the gate is hot
and all-too-ready.

the crash

Truth is to forget underwater
how the waves crash
beneath the seam

how the waves crash
truth in seconds
how under

the shower I crash
how in dreams I
collide with colossus

and tragedy and conquer/
uninhibited, un-able to
drive seed to

stem. Truth: I forget
to crash beneath
and end up above

the waves in
love thinking this
is who I become now

like summers I swam
between mangroves and hot
sea surging, that perfect

storm on the horizon – I love
so deeply in truth
underwater in the crash
of waves: how the seam

defines if we will live or die/

the crash beneath
stormy skies
and showers:

and how wide
is the breadth of
a wilderness like I.