Category Archives: Poetry

With the Dawn

With the Dawn


Admiration for those able to discover

sublimation in the tracks left by coyotes

in the snow; envy, as well, when one

captures the scent of honeysuckles in bloom

on a balmy July twilight. Here, beneath

sodium lights and stale cigarette smoke,

beauty assumes different gradations.

Across, always

across the room, someone stirs

an amaretto sour they have been nursing

for over an hour, each sip a prayer to lesser gods

from the pantheon of loneliness. Each time

a couple leaves, the glass empties a bit. Another

follows another before the lights

send the solitary out into the shadowscape.

Before the sun

spreads warmth to staggered patches of asphalt,

I will stop and breathe deep the diesel fumes

of my people in this concrete wilderness,

and I will feel gratitude when I see the streetlights

flicker on once more.


Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Miles Away, and Here


Miles Away, and Here

Some ascribe the label: The War on Decency,
for some given definition of decent, given by pastors
driving luxury cars, eating lavish meals. Your indecent hunger,

yes, but for nourishment from a different venue.
Our mouths open. Not to receive your communion of charity,
but to speak: There are already empty seats at the table.

So, yes, we fight your war–

For the young minds watching this unfurl, a wish:
that our unkindness will not be yours, that reason
blossoms within you to look past

hubris, malice, preconception — rusted tools forged
by people, not for the people, and breaking with every swing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

This Week (Which is Every Week)



This Week (Which is Every Week)


Angry white folk, as usual,

defend the tenacity of margins,

wave orange and blue tatters


while nine men and women deliberate

the validity of the ring on my hand. Somewhere

in South Carolina, and beyond, some meditate:


What is forgiveness?


Nine gravestones are chiseled,

while the antisocial media argues

guns were never to blame.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry


Leaving me speechless ~ artist: Catrin Welz-Stein

Leaving me speechless ~ artist: Catrin Welz-Stein


You recede into the alcove
between silence and whisper,

calling out through your eyes: notice me
with the undercurrent of don’t judge me

as though one could preclude the other.
Your communion with quietude—

haunting, like the sweet cologne you apply
so meticulously: always twin nebulas before the mirror
before stepping through, head lowered.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Burning Bridges


Burning Bridges


Of course some deserved it. Some

didn’t, and it took years of wiping ash

from my soles to properly discern

one from the other (with any degree

of certainty). One was arson,

plain and simple, but without witnesses

no charges were ever filed. Thankfully,

no one was killed in the blaze, but crowds gathered

in the days it took to burn, voices cacophonous:

What a shame. Separate reasons. Another was covered,

weathered by decades of exposure to the elements,

but treacherous to cross. Nails stuck out

in the strangest places: rusty, jagged.

When the wind hit just right, it threatened

a collapse with every guttural creak and croak,

until one day one of the supports gave way—

after that, some called it a mercy. Sentimental

souls called it a tragedy. I called it closure.

1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

Three Stars, Banished from their Galaxies, Explode in Deep Space


Three Stars, Banished from their Galaxies, Explode in Deep Space


So the universe itself practices the art of exclusion.

From the bed of my truck, sixteen miles from the nearest stoplight,

I am without companionship but feel


anything but alone — a part of me mesmerized by fireflies

winking in and out between hickory branches

and their more constant cousins, so far beyond.


And it may just be the beer, but gradually the stars flicker in synch

with the stridulation of the crickets. Somewhere,

millions of light years away, someone sees


a black void overhead, bereft of stars

because their galaxy told their sun It’s not you, it’s me

so long before their life began. Imagine


how lonely it must be

if they lack lightning bugs.



1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

Indiana Humble Pie


Indiana Humble Pie



  • 26 unresolved arguments, preserved
  • Bourbon (substitutions not recommended)
  • 1 or more grudges, aged


  • Regrets, finely powdered
  • Introspection (several cups should suffice)
  • 1 friendship, finely diced
  • Assorted apologies


In a large skillet, peel and core the arguments; slice 1/8 inch thick. Toss

with enough bourbon to stagger a rhinoceros,


and let seep until saturated. Light a crucible beneath,

and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer,


but don’t let it go unattended. Eventually,

you’ll want to whisk in the grudges, but one at a time,


and stir slowly. They tend to curdle. Now

begin constructing the crust: preheat your memories. Gently


dust an ungreased baking pan with regret, and begin to work

in your introspection, occasionally adding enough


to remain pliable. Mold into a hollowed-out receptacle

worthy of containing the filling entirely, and cover.


Bake until softened, then remove and chill.

Serve over friendship. Apologize to taste.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry