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Winter. First frost, yesterday. No snow yet.

I have the little tape recorder, and a cassete.

I look up at Venus rising, bright, pink far above.

Is this madness? Is this hope? Is it foolish? Love?


I still carry the limp from the wreck. You are gone.

I still hesitate. I am still afraid. Must act before dawn.

I sit against your gravestone, and I press down “Record”.

Hoping to hear your voice, that same haughty chord.


Voices of the dead are silent, but can be captured.

The veil of Charon can be torn or even raptured.

I want to hear you again, know you linger still behind.

I want to hear you again, say the prayers for peace of mind.


Sitting in my room, getting ready to play the tape back.

It’s a hope for a faith and dream that I will always lack.

Will your voice came quite and proud, as in our mad life?

Will it be fear that comes, torment, caught in purgatory strife?


I press play………..


These Dark Hills

The crows fed me, as I stayed at my slain brother’s side, in the dark hills.

Morning and night they would come, as I would not leave my brother’s side.

These dark hills. This dark war. I hear other things in the darkness.


I talked to him. I sang to him. I cried over him.

Waiting for our fellows to come for us and take us home.

Keeping his soul safe from those things in the darkness.


These dark hills. Shadows and unseen things keenly felt.

Not just the mortal soldiers who took my brother’s life.

Things ancient and fetid and that hate all the world.


I stayed at my brother’s side, and prayed, and kept watch.

Waiting for our fellows to come for us and to take us home.

For him to be laid to rest, and assured of his place at His side.


These dark hills. This dark war. All that hunts us in darkness.

I stay by my brother’s side. I’ll keep him whole and clean.

I will watch over him, until our fellows come to take us home.



Odysseus strove 10 long years for it.

I never left mine.

I can’t find it at all.


A blood brick Baptist church.

A big stained glass window.

Jesus haloed by the rising sun.

I can’t find God at all.


I sit in a swing.

The church playground.

Still and misty morning. Little light.

I can’t find myself at all.

Just Atop That Wild Hill

End of shift, almost.

Standing outside the docks of the grocery store, where I work.

Smoking a cigarette after unloading a delivery.


The sun coming up.

Streaks of red and yellow and orange.

Muted and burning.


On the hill, just over there.

Thick with brush, knotted trees.

They hung witches.


1600s, a wild panic.

The gallows to hang witches.

Just atop that wild hill.


No one else here knows.

Everyone tries to forget.

Act like it never happened at all.


Just a vacant, brush, trash filled hill.

No other sings of the lives taken there.

No one sees or hears the ghosts.


No one else here knows.

Everyone tries to forget.

Act like it never happened at all.



Magnolia AVE Madonna

The young woman, all of nineteen, sat on the short stone wall, by the busy street.

She was lost in thought, or prayer, or a day dream.

The setting sun gave her a beatific light, even through the orange smog, and thick haze.

She was still and holy.


She looked up, down the busy street, past the night.

Her long chestnut hair spilled out of the hood of her sweatshirt.

He said, hood up, long hair free, she looked like Mary,

in the drawings from Sunday School, when they were children.


Her thoughts were prayerful daydreams. She tried to remember

how to fly, like when she was a child, when nothing touched the ground.

He would come soon. Maybe they’d walk and talk. Maybe get Cokes

and talk inside somewhere, in cool AC, before beind tun-off.


And not even Mary had had it easy she realized now.

All the weight of fate, and her Son turning away, and then dying.

Maybe he come back, but it seemed to make no difference anymore.

The placid Mary of Sunday School was a cruel fiction!


In the haze, the distortion of the heat that she felt on her

like a dirty second skin, she saw him coming, as tired as

the sun shining through the orange smog and filthy air.

Tired, but still coming to see her. She sighed, wanting light.


She felt a cool breeze whip her hair, and cool, for a moment

her skin. She strained for hope and a place in this world.

He felt like home, but she felt him pulling away, Lucifer tempting him

to run into the wilderness with him.


And she was strained as Mary, trying to hold onto something

turning away, but not to light, not grace, but to addicting rage.

They would walk and talk, or drink Cokes in the cool inside.

But fate takes us where it wants, not caring the damage done.

Blackberry Winter

A blackberry winter, cool and mild in May.
She again wears her navy blue hoodie,
Soft and warm, soothing her troubled heart.

She remembers picking blackberries as a girl,
Her little fingers stained with the purple juice,
Her arms and wrists pinpricked from the thorns.

A blackberry winter, when she was sixteen, so cool
On May Day, her first kiss from a gentle boy, passionate
About what the world could yet be.

So much older, the coolness of a spring day, without
The sweet treats that drew blood, or the hope of the
Future or the touch of a kind lover.

A blackberry winter, her hoodie is soft, warm, soothing.
She hopes she’ll find wonder again from what’s left,
That she’ll find one worthy of letting touch her face

In Memphis, She Headed West

Not only is sex evil, but it’s gross.

She turned her head away from him,

blocked his mouth with the flat of her palm,

watched the city pass outside the bus window.


He turned from her, miffed and silent.

The body and all it’s working, it’s hungers,

and it’s frailty and disgusting detritus,

was only redeemed by soft, and simple touch.


She wanted to hold his hand, cuddle close,

lay her head upon his shoulder, maybe fall asleep

as the bus drove on through the night to Memphis.

Even the kisses he fished for had the taste of sickness.


She watched the world pass by, past Nashville, into the west,

and she knew in Memphis she’d he heading out alone to Denver.

He wanted what he wanted, and would take nothing less.

The revolted flesh overwritten by the perverse pleasures.


Just touch me, leave all the other to rest.

Touching, the weight of another in her arms.

None of the mixing, none of the risk of new life,

and all the damnation it brought upon an innocent thing.


In Memphis, he left her. In Memphis, she headed west.

God only touched another when touch was all there was.

Sex, the evil of debasement and cruelty and vice.

Sex, the original sin, the most despairing, the least despised.


Angel might now keep her company in her dreams……..

Slim Shoulders

She had slim shoulders. The weight of the world slid right off them.

Thin and bird hollow angles. Wings were kept under her satin coat.

Loose and curly chestnut hair fell over those shoulders, hiding joy.


She smoked expensive and smooth French cigarettes, white as time.

Thin fingers that picked the eyes of the dead, like crows on a battlefield.

Almost an Orthodox cross, but there’s no line pointing to heaven, or hell.


Those wings did not unfurl, restless and bitter, made for another world.

Fae she might have been, glamour of an alien, or half-human changeling.

She walked away, into the crowd, hungry for eyes and her crow daughter.


The scents of putrid tobacco and exotic cruelties lingered, a soft barbarism.

The little independent book store was closing for the night, too early for death.

In the crowd, I saw bulges under her satin coat, and the bouncing of chestnut hair.

The Stars Will Come Tonight

Just, be silent.

The stars will come tonight.

They will twinkle and glow.

Just, be still.


Words, to make her face,

her qualities beyond words,

as if, like Pygmalion,

she’d become real for you.


The song, conjures her.

The words speak a sacred invocation.

In the dark, and alone, it’s safe to dream.

Dream of her, dream of love.


A dream is clean and whole,

or it can be, can be the last sacred thing.

Don’t talk to her. Don’t look her in the eye.

Dream of her, dream of love.



Columbine’s Blooming

Edge of May, weather warming in Colorado, the columbine’s are blooming.

The park with the crosses of the martyr, and the one who led me to a God

I’ve now left behind.


So long ago, edge of a century, the last years before the next one began

on a warm September. I loved her and I loved her lord, but know they’ve

gone rotten with hate.


If she was still here, still in this world, would she stand against the monsters

who use god as a gun to hold to unwanted heads, or would she cheer it on,

or worse, excuse it all?


I loved her across time, as I healed from the darkness, but god’s light burns now,

for it shines not on the lost and broken and left behind. It’s light is found in the fires

of burning crosses.


I loved her, but it’s better to burn in hell than spend eternity with the cold blooded

faithful. The columbine’s bloom, the warm weather comes, but this all that’s left,

we’re without holy light, only indifferent glow of the sun.