the somber song

we’d need a thing taller than love–
to heal us, of our broken faith, lovers
a thing– taller than the stoic mountain
it’d wish be regarded
capped in sun-brushed, purple-heather sway
tho at its peaks, a petulant child, it’d be
bellowing its stone-tablet demands
aye, its red-faced, screaming needs
tho if it should listen
with compassion
it’d hear even
a fallen tear’s trailing whimper
we’d need a thing sager
than love, lovers
silent, when instead
it should roar
in defense of those unable
as are even those strongest of men
when midnight’s loathing
throws its sooty cloak over
our days
as even horizons know limits
we’d need a thing wider than love
my lovers–
to open its broad arms
in empathy’s grace
to accept, all we are
thus far, unforgiven–
to comprehend– we are not lonely
for wish of more company
billions of us, teeming
crawling over each other
to be known
loneliness is only
the hums and murmurs
of those souls, voiceless
in the long wander
the slow piano music
more absence, than sound
which finds no white-frill dancers
to glide within its subtle rhythms
the somber song
that only one
shall hear

ecstasy of sorrows

this business of living, kills us all
“He lived a good life,” they said
one, after another–
and the women wept, the men, solemn
hands folded, heads tipped, slightly down
watching seam-stocking legs and shining shoes
growing up– out of the sullen-umber ground
the combed-hair children, epiphanous, this day
ninety seven years after his own birth
shaking, wrinkle-knuckle handfuls of dirt
tossed upon his gleaming, black-lacquer box
and what does anyone know of a man
even in a near-century, to offer in eulogy?
most thoughts exist
only within a mind’s secrecy
never spoken, their treason
nor, especially, their selfless honor
never known, a man’s ecstasy of sorrows
these, his own, his doting harem of shadows
and to each, be he devoted
aye, and to all

Who will stay?

Who will stay
Until we are old, pale, and grayed, bodies fallen?

Who will stay
When we are broken, when we haven’t words
Knowing our silence, taking our hand as we are stilled by fear?

Who will stay
Through our whispering insanity
Finding forgiveness, though unfair, their crucifixion?

Who will stay
Cut by razor-tongue
Bleeding from confusion’s wounds, yet still drawing us near?

Who will stay
Through the rain’s gray pain
Until distant morning sun gifts us hope again?

Who will stay
When summer’s butterflies are gone
When perched love birds know only lonely songs?

Who will stay
Through the tumors, illness, through disease?

Who will stay
Longer than a warm, summer evening’s dream?

Who will stay
Who will prove themselves not a fantasy?

Some may look the sky
Their question, merely, why?
All I ask, tell me, please
Who will stay?

An older poem, tho timelessly relevant to me.

unborn soul

this thing, craved
tho our wish’d be always
having learned, since children
of hope’s wanton dereliction
our orbit-paths, paralleling
as might Saturn’s chalk-dust lines
within a prism’s bent-light paradigm
falling together, meeting hastily
and then dispersing
into nothingness
once witnessed collision’s distortions
these guileless verses, whispered into the heart
of an ashen-winged soul
tho yet to grace this darkened parlor
as it pivots in place
and as we cling to its barren sand
aye, she’d find me now
speaking in tongues
praying– in my ash-tree desert
on stone-cut knee
imploring– that she’d receive me
that she’d know me, once
this, my entirety
I shall ever be
found, in all
that I’ve not written down
tho it’d exist, unspoken
thereby incomplete
and tho some squalid evenings
she’d find me weeping
into my poetry’s poverty-trodden squalor
dare I conjure
Yeats– he believed
in magic
the wishful fool
thus, why not I
in thine abiding sagacity
aye, thine benign mercy
o ye– yet unborn soul?

iron gates of black

up the road
paved, pocked, and grayed
or down it, a bit
near the tall-grass deer field
once a farm
now marked– ‘land for sale’
in peeling, red-paint letters
flattened upon
a square-post wooden sign
towers– a stone home
atop a slim, emerald hill’s incline
the house, several times larger
than those humbler homes
that surround
wrought iron gates of black
grow tall– out of their shadows
the fence-wall, spanning wide
tho the heavy gates, at the center
swung ajar
and I don’t know
who lives there
and whomever lives
behind the iron gates
doesn’t know– of me
never, the other seen
never, the gates’ moans
creaking open
slightly more
or less
tho moved
by someone–
and never
the gates of iron
fully closed


’twasn’t faith
which taught me of it
which made me a believer
’twasn’t religion’s fiction
’twasn’t even love–
for all its doubtful shadows
‘neath its amber-glisten shimmer
’twas pain, absence’s remembrance
that first time
this, my soul, be known– again
heavy, with sorrow
wordless, within its well of tears
those woes it’d never spill over
and I pondered
tho it’d be always a child
who’d been its mother
and I wondered
how– through golden elation
and primality’s crimson passion
and loss’ stilled-water ache
how– a thing such as this
could survive, eternally
no– when I shall pass, finally
so shall its stone-satchel burden

as, tho it’d oft wish
to escape me
we are one



were we to ruminate on this word a bit
we might see that it is bigger
than forever–

without fail
without reservation
without condition
without limit


without doubt
without intent
without vulnerability
without start
without end


if a word were a deity
it would be


dangling frays

I listened to some poets today, and the Mexican poet read a poem about prejudice against his people, and the black poet read a poem about oppression against his people, and one white poet read a poem about depression, and another hated most people, so he proclaimed, while one fellow read a poem about being black–when he wasn’t, and they all wore proud, colorful flags until ragged tatters and dangling frays, and they shouted veiny, red-faced spittle, thrusting young fists into the compliant, fluorescent emptiness, as I watched wondering– who my people might be– feeling rather gray.

one more day

look in the eyes
or in those moments
the subdued sighs
no one knows
how they might survive
even one more day
four more hours
two more hours
counting down
to its end
and tho
we wonder
some way, we muddle through
the moil
until that day comes upon us
which none shall survive
and at that moment
when the rusted keyhole closes
leaving us
locked inside
our silence
we might find
what we’ve always known
that there’s nothing else–
and the gravestones
in the still fields
tilt and lean
under a flickering sun
as the years pass
pushing up
through the clover
so slowly
as to be