Finding My Own Moon
in this skinny howl
as if it were
of dark chocolate
its own tail
in wild circles
with the joy
of a dervish
in that slide up
to the high howl
and in the quivering
sustain that follows
and makes me stop
whatever I am doing
my own moon
The Last Time He Opened His Eyes
These eyes, the color of fog,
blind as night,
reaching out of the driftwood of his body
in place of the arms he could not move,
they held me in a way no arms could.
He, who has given so much,
gave me now this final gift,
this last time together.
This lover of sunsets and old trees,
his face now a shadow cast down by disease,
lay rough and limp as parchment,
an old map washed ashore by time.
In every dark wrinkle,
through each drawn crease,
and over the strangely smooth hollows of his cheeks,
flowed the gentle kindness that marked his life.
As this, his last sunset
broke in exquisite sadness,
there were no colored clouds
to share the waking dusk.
All his strength went into his breathing,
all his will to open these eyes
the color of fog
heavy with the last light.
Never too old to slam
A performance of the poem can be played below. If you would like to see a printed version of the poem, you can do that here.
Girl braiding hair
She combs her hair as if to untangle
the tussle of his touch, powders plum skin
still stinging from his grizzled tentacle,
over is over when the pain begins.
Elderberry lips are smeared red to hide
the ache, and the baby that was to be,
a hated thing, no longer lives inside,
over is over, at last she writhes free.
Emerging from tide pools, how her eyes swell,
gleam blue, brim briny with bright tears of no;
her anguish, a warped lens, a fractured shell,
over is over wherever she goes.
Easy enough to layer a right hand
full of hair limp on the wild red rope held
snug by left, hand upon hand upon hand,
over is over, when love's flame is quelled.
Not so simple now to grab another fist
full of life, or to be braided again,
when what blooms and wrenches within is missed,
over is over when twisted hurt ends.
--from "Inspired," a Loveland Museum Gallery Anthology, 2011, by permission.
~upon the passing of my mother
The dying have no sense
of when. Everything is
was, each breath,
a terrible wind.
The light of those they love
gathers like a tempestuous mob
shaking smoking torches
outside the window,
blazes like a hidden sun,
flooding the river of glass
with the searing certainty
of inevitable dawn.
The dying always walk
the other way, forgetting
all paths lead back, like breathing,
the way in is the way out.
I was there when she tumbled
like a flaming magnolia
down the long well of her mind.
I felt the exquisite weightlessness,
then her fear. What happens
at the bottom? She clenched
my hand in hers in mine in hers.
Although she was ashen as a tear of dust,
hollow as the peeled skin of snake,
I asked her if she remembered
the time in temple when her just
fallen father's thick veined hand
squeezed hers squeezing mine.
He came to tell you
it's all right. She remembers
to let go. Falls forever.
Nothing is more beautiful.
--from Leaning Toward Whole, a Liquid Light Press Chapbook, 2011, by permission