In Dreams

In my dreams I lost four fingers
and was worried about
playing the guitar
(we do not own a guitar, but what if?)
and when we woke I was lonesome
for the lives we’d lived, just now,
apart from each other.

Cold Spell

the buds will be nipped tomorrow,
no promise of peaches,
no scent, no skin
we will grieve them in small ways
and larger ways,
and we fear only this coming snow
and none, thereafter.


No more grist for the cross,
no more bones broken on the wheel,
no flesh for the pyre,
no blood from the rack,
just clay milling in dull offices
too bored to wail and
too acclimated to this
state of waiting,
for the story to pick up or end,
for the narrator to resume
or announce an end

Virtual Aquarium

Could a clownfish know they’ve been 3-d rendered?
Their movements chalked up to variable rates –
a turn here, a bob-dance twice per day,
nuzzling in a polygonal anemone on demand.
Could they dream of themself –
not hunting for food,
nor suffering predation,
a version that will outlast them,
forever dancing,
long after their eyes have been devoured
and their flesh returned to the sea?

Painful Necessities

A fistful of feathers and a fistful of grist
wrenched out from a heavenly gift
crashed futilely into the Cuyahoga.
Where did he come from,
why is he here,
nobody knows –
let us gut him like a fish and see
how the wings join the ribcage,
and we will marvel at the
dull and dying brain, let us
celebrate and speculate
on this creature from beyond,
let us drag them all,
trumpeting and screaming to earth.

The Idle Dead

The lichyards are filled with hard-working bones
in caskets, in coffins,
in heaps down deep ditches,
the hard-working eyes stay shut, at first,
dreaming long dreams of wasting tomorrows
and, finding at last that tomorrow is vanished
they cease searching for work
and their ethic is burst.

Land Of Meek Forests

How narrow each tree
in this newborn forest,
all the good
timber gone and replaced
with pin-oaks and paltry pines,
oh, someone must have enjoyed
a bountiful harvest from this land,
someone is living in houses with
solid redwood beams, with hand-forged nails
and thick planks, with
a toothless saw hung in some far corner,
unconcerned for the weakness they’ve
seeded in the world, someone who does not need view
bald hilltops nor
empty mines,
who scarcely considers those of us left in a
land of meek and meagre forests,
a land of empty traps and barren nets,
of particle-board and plaster,
we who must replant the forests
without ever guessing the end of this labor.

Migraine Headache

This pain isn’t noble nor needed,
not a lash to match a misdeed
nor to keep a hand busy.
Some aches simply happen,
no cause – all effect,
despite our best efforts
some prayers for rain go unanswered
for weeks,
and when it falls, miles from here,
they consider themselves blessed.