Tag Archives: loss

Gatlinburg By The Shore

I drive straight through until I get the sea, just stopping for gas and quick snacks.

Gatlinburg on the shore is what this town is, but I can see the endless waters here.

The threat of rain as I sit on the beach, the sky the color of an old, neglected tombstone.

The waters just as dark in color. But oceans separate the worlds, the planes of being.


I walk on the sand, heading away from gaudy, crass city. There are cigarette butts

and beer cans and plastic trash in the sand. Nothing sacred or beloved. No pride at all.

I walk on the sand, and maybe just in my imagination, I see a mermaid out in the water,

and I hear her tempting and mournful song, the only true psalm in praising loss.


I stand there, between kingdoms, wanting to leave this one forever, not knowing how.

I see, however real, a mermaid past the breaking waves, a dream of spirits and angels

that made all this world pure and treasured, before we made all of it all about ourselves.

Her song is mournful, a psalm to loss, and standing there, I wish for the will to go to her.

She Will Not

Quiet. Cool forest. Little creek.
I hear angels. I hear them speak.

Autumn comes. She will not.
Her battle won. Her battle fought.

Ghosts can’t haunt the bandstand.
I sleep there, her Armageddon planned.


A lock of her hair hold scents of perfume.
It’s seal holds our hands fast, hurries doom.

I lost my way home. I was directed too.
In cold, stony ground, her orchids grew.

A derelict department store has the grail.
The church took the casket, kept her wedding veil.


Autumn is a sweet kiss before she slumbers.
I’ll have to stay awake, keep dialing God’s numbers.

She is close, but being unable to touch hurts.
Stay away from the club on Farragut’s outskirts.

I keep a lock of her soul in my whirling wings.
I hear her. I hear heaven. How this wonder stings!

No Tracks

The snow has not tracks,
and neither do her arms,
despite what was said.
The forest is still, quiet,
and I can hear a voice
whisper in my head.
Her voice, I hope now,
and am I Percival here,
in a world gone blood red?
The road has eyes on it,
even in the dark, but she
went into spaces between air.
A diamond can disappear
from you open hand,
the point giving the skin a tear.
How can that light go out,
even in a winter night on the peaks?
How all quests end in despair!
Time makes her eternal,
reading the stars, tea leaves,
and the misunderstanding of grief.
Percival or Ahab, hunting for a
war or an enemy of some mystery,
or holy writ in veins of a dead leaf.
And even the trackless trail to
what was sought so hard, so long,
that heaven will offer no one any relief.

Gentle Monster

The thunder of the music in her ears.

As it roars her head finally, finally clears.

She’s come so far. She’s come so far.

Still playing her favorite teal guitar.

Dark of the club, not even a light show.

If she were to cry, the cheering wouldn’t know.

No longer smoke filled places, like in her youth.

Even if he was here, they wouldn’t sneak a smoke on the roof.

The crashed car. The headlight pointing to the black air.

Crying, wiping the blood from his face with her long hair.

The black stained red, a veil that he passed through.

“Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me! Our world isn’t through!”

And the music is a lulling dragon whose fire is cool.

In it’s teeth the peace of her voice can finally rule.

His ashes and his grave spun into a melancholy thread.

If she still loves him, still feels him near, he isn’t dead.

And the ringing in her ears, the thumping in her breast,

this gentle monster still the exorcist that soothes the best.

And still her teal guitar, that she bought when he bought his own,

still bright in this dark place, still the devoted weight, tender millstone.

Embraced By The Sun

Over the Rockies from Denver, as winter came,
and the snow began to fall, wispy and delicate,
down to San Diego, to the sea she never saw.
She was a high school girl I loved so tenderly.
We’d talk between classes, at lunch, study hall.
Sometimes she’d hug me. Like being embraced by the sun.
All those years ago she was killed. I watch the light go out.
No reason at all, other than someone else was cruel.
They said God made her a martyr. It was a lie after the fact.
Still, the ache hurts and is sweet and is filled with venom.
The memories of her touch softly, and leave burns on me.
I promised I’d see the ocean she never saw, wanted so badly too.
I sit on the beach, morning cool, salty and harsh wind coming.
I see a girl there by the water, wrapped in a blanket, looking at sunrise.
I don’t know if it’s her, or my broken heart’s wish for a better world.

Hope. A Wedding Dress

A gone to seed part of town,
by the water tower and interstate.
Thrift store beneath the overpass,
spend afternoons, our little money.
We made wonders of these scraps,
we made our light from these rags.
We found treasures of The Word there,
and we found a place to be as one.
One day, you found a wedding dress,
pure white and chintzy lace, faux pearls.
You came out of the dressing room,
looking like an angel, most wonderful girl.
Always said, you’d never marry,
never had a family, never lead that kind of life.
Seeing you there, I wanted you to be wrong,
for it to be you and me and on my wedding day.
And the years have passed, and I’m not young,
and you were taken from us, ripped from us.
You never married, and neither have I, will I.
The winter is just a reminder of light passing by.
I remember you, in that wedding dress, so bright.
Smiling, so happy, so lost in some dream, of hope.
It wasn’t our wedding day, and the world’s moved on.
But I remember, waiting for the hammer to fall.

The Cross Stands As Winter Comes

Nicole: Who were you?

The name in pink on a

purple cross, on a lonely road,

out in the open fields and farms.

Young and dreamy, maybe distant

and angry, maybe on top of the world.

You were loved. You are missed.

The cross stands as winter comes.

The high school is nearby, did a boy

cry when he heard, heard his love was gone?

Does he dream of you at night, or remember

a first kissed shared under a starry sky?

So many crosses on so many roads,

so many endings in lonely places,

so many that can only remember now

those who were the world to them.


The silvery moon shines through my window.
Where you are tonight, my love, I don’t know.
A war in a far off place took you from my side.
Who ever knew, that this world was so wide?

The old bar on the end of my run down street,
the familiar place, where every night we’d meet.
Beer and pool and laughter, and once, a soft kiss.
The future that that kiss promised is my emptiness.

The moon shines on all the world with it’s cold light.
The dream we hoped for is lost, nothing to put it right.
And the bar is just a hollow shell haunted by your ghost.
I lay in my bed, in the dark, with dreams, the tears they host.

Come back to me.

Eyes Upon His Wings

The Death Angel stands in repose, eyes upon his wings

blinking open and shut in fluttering waves;

lives going away, lives just coming in.

A bright spring day, almost warm, birds singing,

and the world’s coming alive again, green overcoming grey,

but you aren’t here with me, your favorite season.

Our daughter cries in my arms, hungry or tired, and I try to

soothe her, calm her, promise her the bottle of warm milk,

and a soft song to quiet her pain.

The Smoky Mountains are green and mist covered, still an emerald

against the sapphire crown of the sky, still were dreams, ancient and cool

call me, still were we felt so close to whatever is behind the sky.

Inside, feeding our daughter her warm milk, calming her and quieting her.

A pain overcome with a sweetness, round and round even at the start.

Sorrows come and sweetness washes through, and then washes out.

And that Death Angel’s eyes blink open and shut, lives coming, lives going,

and I still feel you near, and a soft warmth with the ache and loss,

and an eye opened with our daughter’s birth. May it be sweet before that eye