Words of advice are, at times,
like ordering a beer after a long, hard day.
The bartender pops the top, and smiles.
He tells you to drink up, it’ll do ya good–
but hands over the bottle cap instead.
“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.” –Henri Nouwen
Somewhere between my head and my heart
dwells the empty space of inches like miles.
Think it through, feel the chill.
Clinking ice to crystal, the tinny voice rings in my head and cautions:
I’ll take that drink now.
Glacier speed numbs the brain. Soothing the inward chafe.
Pay no mind to the height and width and depth of
that uncontrollable thing. Volcano belly.
The slow drape rolling red on skin and by god you don’t
forget the burn.
What is it that I’m trying to say to you, dear?
I am not trustworthy to choose.
Bookends of space there are only two.
If I use my head, O’ bloodless logic!
I’ll be a fool for sure.
Welcome to the desert of dirt
and open space
In trespass I can see for miles
But there is nothing on which
to rest my eyes
Only cracked ground underneath
Ankle-deep in osseous matter
Humanity’s humanity exposed
Some say it is stubbornness that
keeps me in the same spot
But if obedience moves me onward
then tell me exactly what
I’ve been yelling “uncle” for
some time now
The sorrowful cries aren’t impeded
in fact, they travel straight
and up through the swirling clouds
of blackened soot
The wilderness is dry
A Great Depression in my soul
a Dust Bowl, my heart
In the silence I will wait
Until I hear the
For when the rain finally
I know these dry bones will live
Machinery buried in dust near Dallas, North Dakota, in 1935. Credit: USDA.
In morning and in spring,
secrets giggle, tightly wound
and new until
bursting into youthful laughter.
She shines back toward the
The day grows tall and this
unfolding, lovely flower
is most beautiful once opened, full
Captivating bee and butterfly.
She nods while tending to the tiny buds.
Her fragrance is the richest and
sweetest once late afternoon
Drawing her world close.
Finally, when the light summer
breeze of evening touches the wizened
blossom and bids her to come,
she tosses her head back with
a ready smile and waves farewell.
Her grace on the earth;
A shower of
from the far reaches of
Roll and gather from under.
A fury of salinity.
Forward is the way and the way
and the way.
Ever keeping a baleful eye,
narrowed and drawn
on the distant
The outwardly calm but ascending
swell reaches from
the inward depths of rage.
A squall in the center,
mutters a cool rumble
to the wind.
Consider this a warning.
Quickening is the surge
who persists and grows tall
from energy that heats
You see me for the first
but I have watched you
from miles away.
A determination of will
the ocean frenzy rises.
Bending to the ground,
the feminine wrath arrives.
Your mouth opens wide but
nothing comes out.
This should have been expected.
However, you appear a little
when a smile crosses my cresting
You know the battle is lost even before I
impose the acrimony of Poseidon’s realm
and plunge headlong
The sun lounges on a raft, dipping low to
spoon the affectionate river.
We spend the quiet, late afternoon
catching up on things.
We contemplate aloud, pondering
the hopes of a clam.
Languid pauses between the words
become stone commas skipping across glass.
She and I
Feast on the pink sky.
Full mouths whisper songs to encourage
and bless our days.
The long shadows stretch their legs
in the warmth of her radiance until they
graciously bow to the sapphire night.
Leaning close before the cool of evening,
lamenting how our time together-
much too brief.
Heavy lidded and full of sleep, the proud
lady readies to make her leave.
Into the fading blue hour, she muses:
Here, in this place of beginnings and
is there ever
enough time to love
…and love well?
Most of my cups are chipped.
Probably more than half the plates
and bowls, too for that matter.
Hairline cracks extending to the
bottom of where.
Snicks, snips, dings, and slivers
around every tipping point.
None which are very good for
entertaining royalty but are
suited just fine
for the unpretentious few.
Why not rid myself of them
someone once asked–
Looking into the
cup of assorted fractures
that still cradles the hot tea
in spite of its frailty,
I can see myself.