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.



like this-
barely shadows
thin clouds across
the sun

in a palm

and a brew
of lightning on
night sky
or love in sudden
tense regard,
bright and bitter

in the doorway
waiting to go
or leave

is how I remember.

Ghost in the door,
palm with its
a mouth
too tight-

all a storm
dark and a little
in its making
along the Atlantic.

And this,
the reason
to go when I ran,
yellow could be
like dahlias
and black just
professional attire/

not reminders
to re-mind again
that the cracked
walk, the fractured
frown following –
a memory of

of grief and

now held
in the bones that
must be un-done
and how tiring.

Could sing
unkempt and
broken vowels
like the hair that
wasn’t combed and
spoke instead
that the heart
is red, and bloody
but so quietly

and of fiery dreams
set ablaze
to burn hotter
than the very thing
that could have
taken them away
if not taken in a hand/
the broken relics
to find.

In the night
a coyote runs
along a river
telling the pack
how he runs

and I run with him
for awhile

every belief
left unchallenged
the held heart
shrieking to
be free,

to love.

Gray cloud,
same old, same
old ghost in
the palm,
in the fading lines
of barely there

a bright moon,
maybe a white moth
on the tufted ear
of an owl.

in caves

grow | beneath
cliffs, a din heard
in the mouth
small sound

roots deep,
stems bracing 
waves that crash
high like a hand
held to the face
with eyes closed
pauses all
of it

some will arrive
by wandering
but it is dark
and so much 
to wander
freely or 
to stay.

We see only
their crowns
as they breach
the unseen,
their beginning
is close, just
a step
into a place
the sun holds
without ever saying,

we could know them:
their bright faces
petals a happy 
yellow and lovely,
framed in what some
would say is joy 
but they are shaking 
their heads slowly 
no, yet again
with each rising
and setting, 

they follow from
the place they
would leave
if only these
deep roots
inch by inch
would pull

Did you know 
stems grow in
the night to
the west so
the head can 
sway to the east
at sunrise. The
stem guides

like stars in the
night, desert sky
are persistent
or pollen on
a honeybee
is small 
easy to miss
but irrefutable/

are guided far 
round cold corners
wide, clementine
eye, happy and 
content/ how
the heart
keeps the mind 
stays the heart
to keep on

and the sound 
in this hidden place,
brushing upon
damp walls: the
wind at the end 
of its journey
over wave
and accidentally
in this hollow
is song like 
woman who
whispers, do not
let me break,
please but
same way,
rounds corners
and rejoins
the sky-

you may slide  
cliffside into 
deep ocean,
not seeing
it is a cliff
where waves
will slam 
the mark of
this place,

and will swim
near a place
dry but dark
and cold
when no one
is around
to see you.

Wild sunflower
grow, long 
leave, I  
would say
this old cave- 
Eye following
the sun even
as it sets with
you, no madness
or sad keeping
of memory but
growing round 
cold walls into
the quiet beauty
one day, of 
knowing nothing
of the previously known.


In that former innocence
a second sun bloomed
in my heart, and I
tucked dreams
and hopes

within my small fist
a moth within-
I held it
in careful regard.

I would tear, slightly
a ghostly wing
no space
in a hand to

I shook or would

And so I began
when it was night
and I could hear the
urgency silenced

to still squirrel away
each fold of brain, the
tender stomach
delicate bones of a toe/
all beneath my pillow
where I would remember
I could rest

and today, there
I hold my hand
in sleep, reaching

in my hands.

paper crane prayer

Blooming in dark alleys
these bullets called innocence:
children who discover the world
sting my eyes

these bullets called innocence
pepper on the page
sting my eyes
and they are wet

like my father’s 
when reading, The Little Prince
and they are wet
between the pages

when reading, The Little Prince
and I am riddled with responsibility
between the pages 
a crumpled paper crane, a bookmark 

and I am riddled with responsibility
leaning between pages now a pause
a crumpled paper crane, a bookmark
this tired from saving the world

leaning between pages now a pause
thinking what kind of story is as good as:
this tired from saving the world
and knowing/ the beauty of night jasmine

thinking what kind of story is as good as:
children who discover the world
not knowing the beauty is them,
blooming in dark alleys.


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.

us, mirror

The way of a mind like a seed
on the wind floats up

instead of with the wind
somehow, or people born
wedged in sidewalk cracks

deep away from the sun
know where happiness
resides tumbling

upon its arrival:
in this I feel almost
a lucky misfit.

Even a self divided is
scattered like pages
lost within the house

with no binding.

I see windows in every room
that inform nothing except
where I have arrived from,

and, I, in every room
stitch a binding, day-
in and out, am

surrounded by a puzzle
of words on paper.

But aren’t us the
song? Aren’t us the
dream and

attuned to truth:
the paradox of remaining
genuine when a melody