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Shattered

This moment
I wait.
Listening to the four-wheeled collages of metal echo by
I actually feel some relief
for the apparent
forgetfulness of my acquaintance
as I was not in the mood
for chit-chat to begin with.
Like a warm rubber band,
I am trying to find my elasticity again.
This moment
I have no snap.
Or a crackle or a pop, for that matter.
Is it lack of love and respect for me
that causes you to respond to him,
or is it because you find it unimportant
one way or another?
I keep trying to assure myself that it's the latter,
but then again,
I have convinced myself of so many "truths" where you are
concerned already, not questioning why I am motivated to do
all the convincing.
I don't want to face that.
Is there some wished truth about me that you have brought
into existence?
Doubtful.
I am not watering the seeds of my retrospective plant.  Or
maybe I am.
I do not feed them, give them warm baths, or towel-dry their
bright blue ears and bring aid to their bleeding gums.
I merely drink their blood until the flask has become dry and
sticky, thick like paint, this life-blood, with no medium to temper
it, hard to work with.
I smell and see first signs of the rebirth of corpse trees and
look forward to the panoramic greenery on the mountain.
My beloved mountain, where goats watch me as I check the
mail.
Where hills and valleys are laid out before me like a just-
finished quilt.
Pride and life blazing their trails.
I have wished to be in the rolling hills,
camouflaged in green drapery, rather than being dragged
across the rocks like raging waters.

2008
__________________________________________________

Visage of Dreams

it's a place you've seen in endless photographs
dark reds and amber sky
a mile across "as the crow flies"
pale dust moon and smoky incense cliffs
visitors huddled with cameras in caverns
and vast overlooks without end
you have to experience it for yourself to know.
the native lands
sorrowful cries and strength
handmade dreamcatchers
colorful beads
proud heritage
i've never seen such humble beauty
nor felt the presence of God like this.

October 2007
________________________________________________

Yes, you can experience a love story.
A season in Hell
Rattle laundry
Pandora's Box
Retreat
A thief of residencies
Wide awake fields
First prize artist
Translated by deadlines
The gathering region; memoir of trust.

September 2007
[Written as a "collage poem" for a Creative Writing Class in
Asheville.  We cut out words from a magazine while in class and
combined them to make a poem.  I did mine in 10 minutes and
then waited another 45 for everyone else to finish!]
___________________________________________________

Embers

I am the embers of the fire
I function better in a blaze
In a parallel universe, I am a match
And clawing at you like a falling man on a rock
The numbness awaits the beating of the drum
And the shaman is silent and oh so patient
Grains of sand meticulously placed
But the big picture
is still to come.
I wait as my log becomes cold and unfriendly
damp from the rain
Wishing it would catch fire again.

2007
__________________________________________________

Clove

It's one of those clear Fall nights
where you feel you can slice the moon
and eat it with a knife and fork
My clove cigarette crackles like a comforting fire
I am in and out with my usual burning desires
my mind goes to gentle things
streams and falls
cascading water taking me at will
I don't need gloves, I am warmed by the coffee cup
in and out of stores, looking for inspiration
in faces and places
beat beat beat of the drum
melodic escape
where i'll end up I don't know
but it's not here
i'm tired,
oozing out of my skin like that last bit of toothpaste
street sounds are like caramel for my ears

2007
___________________________________________________

Juggernaut

Juggernaut of steel
crushing metal down my skin
breathing in the horse's wind
road winding curving
branches of broken limbs
scaled-down life forms
and where I begin is not where I ended
be still in my dream
and listen to the call, the whisper
the shattering edge
blades of love
and risk
surrender

2007
__________________________________________________

At the divide
Where the known and unknown collide
Lies true art.
I am the door.
The telltale brush
Colors of countries
Indifference  jubilation
I am reborn.

2008
___________________________________________________

Parade

Let my mind go blissfully blank
quaking flowing
watching my parade of wishes
go by with noise and shudder
talks and tales
in my head
of connections
words never spoken
but it was never was
my choice to make
or my promise to break
your words seared into my brain

2009
___________________________________________________

The Air

The air,
thick with corpses
In the cemetery, I walk.
Only the dead
permeate
Invade your olfactories
like invisible grim reapers,
telling their story,
promises of your tale
of your end.
You'd be lucky to rot in our cemetery,
they say.
Some soldiers
Some fighters
Of the daily war we call life.
I wander the rows,
And contemplate
Why she dedicated her life
to following her husband's shadow
Why the infant died so young
What the earth looked like
When they were buried here
So much history, so much
to prove how insignificant
They were
And I am
But you wouldn't know it
By the way I act,
My inflated self-importance
and shroud of self-loathing,
a fearful
shivering
bug.
I can take a bullet,
but I can't handle how I feel
when she looks at me that way,
when she focuses on something
other than my little designs,
when she shares her heart
her thoughts
her words
With another
Anyone.
I'd break a mirror
Just to feel the glass on my skin
But then I'd just have more imperfections
And I can't handle the ones
I have already.

2007
_________________
_____________________________________________________

Impact

my eyelids are shovels
my eyes are cotton
wet with warm saltwater
my arms are sand
I melt into the floor and disappear
the voice floats
the words escape through the door
the cold air invades our space
like little mutants
with sleeping darts
dreamy pitchforks
echoes in the hall
clicking shoes
remind me of junior high
mothers retrieving their sick & wounded
writing/stealing hall passes
running into the woods after school
smoke & steam rising
from those houses without sin
where Johnny goes in for dinner
but doesn’t have to worry
about the drunken slob
pounding on the table
falling into the fire

it’s morning again
alarm
same old cornball on the radio
reciting        the school menu
the weather
where to buy a car
telling us to come get an autographed
Neil Diamond record this Saturday
yea, I’m forever in blue jeans babe
overalls
horses with wagging tails
and steaming piles
tables of cheese & grapes
plaid – pink and green and blue
boys hiding in the trunk
so there’s more cash for beer
stumbling home
with pennies & peanut butter
on our breath
so mom won’t know what we’re up to
well…yours won’t
and when we’re released
and free
it’s anticlimactic
melodramatic
hey, don’t go
c’mere, I wanna tell you somethin’
who are you?
you’re still here?
time to go
look me up
I miss you
when did we get so old, and
have you heard from so-and-so?
what do you want to be
when you grow up?
or should I say who?
who are you doing
who can’t you live without?
who is that stranger in the mirror
always lying to me
product of a country town
religion without substance
schools where they don’t dare
talk about the problems between the races
homosexuality
closed-mindedness
why Leroy is so proud of his silly rebel flag
why no one looks anyone in the eye
why we can’t talk about
what’s in Dad’s glass
and why sister is barfing again
and why Mom is gaining weight
and seems so sad
and I’m depressed on a Sunday
and I’m only seven
and I live for escape
and fumble with older boys in the neighbor’s yard
and I hate school
and I am afraid
and I make a tent in my room
with blankets
and hide in there and
pretend to be someone else.

November 2002
_________________________________________________

Diane

“Catch Yellow Fever
Plant Daffodils”
Is what the bumper sticker on your car proclaimed.

Just seeing that old car made me smile.
I remember seeing it on the parkway one morning,
finally catching up to it
(warm heart, lead foot)
to see you talking.
I thought perhaps you were engaged in a discussion –
one far more interesting than the radio talking head diatribes -
even though there was no one else in the car.
I later found out
that you were praying.
As you apparently did frequently while in the car
to maintain your patience and serenity on the road.

[We all know what Northern Virginia traffic can do – even to
the hardiest soul].

Your face was bright
like hot air balloons
Dancing in the sky
Dripping joy
For that moment and always
Those balloons, the “big picture”
as you were
Not wasting time
On bitterness
On regret

I am thinking of you and your cohort Golden
“Thelma and Louise”
I’d call you

Your laughter filled a room
Like butterflies
Brilliant and free

And your immaculate home,
with everything in its place,
But still comforting and inviting.

Family photographs in every room reflecting your priorities in
life.
Your treasured moments.

I’ve never seen so many plants
I thought I’d stumbled upon the Garden of Eden
(or got lost and ended up in the backyard)
As I stood in awe,
with watering can in hand
Listening to the particulars
of each plant’s temperament
And you didn’t get upset in the least
As I spilled water -
All over the floor,
All over the VCR,
(which I noticed on my second visit had been covered by a
blanket).

And the beautiful garden -
your happiness personified.
Telling me, “take some of these, and some of these…”
Which I did, in respect and with gratitude,
not telling you they stood no chance with me,
that they’d meet the same quick fate
of so many plants and other unsuspecting flowers
that were unlucky enough to end up on my doorstep.

You are a gift.
Not just any gift, but the first gift you open on Christmas
morning
when you are a child
And those precious moments which can never be recaptured,
but always will be a part of me.

You are a teacher
Of what is true and what is right
And what selflessness and forgiveness REALLY look like.

I will never forget you, or your laugh
I will carry you with me as I would a warm blanket on a brisk
and bright Fall day.
And I will look for you every night,
As I open my eyes to the sky,
Knowing I’ve found you when I see the brightest star.

In Memoriam, Diane Finlay McCain (1936-2005)
August 2005
________________________________________________

I am left
At the end of a night
At the start of me
Following a weekend
Of transformation
To my better self
Conquest
Again and again
Over my brittle but loyal heart
Flashing of souls
Passion of past & present
Spent & flourished
With the inner stream
Consciousness
I flow
And flaunt
Insecurities and wishes
Tomorrow approaches
But I am still
Whole
And shattered into bliss
Picking up the pieces
To assemble them
Again
To give back to you
Over and over
Until my and mine
Are yours

October 2004

_________________________________________________

I am burping sushi
Revisiting my food
That was shared on the floor
With my one and only
And the stinky one
The dog, that is
Gulp it down
And don’t cherish
Give the taste buds a quick check
Before it’s all guts
And no glory
Riding home
Worse for wear
And then follow the animal
With bag of plastic
Scooping up remains
Of ginger, peas
And whatever else
She sneaks in when I am not looking
Now staring at yet another screen
Looking for information
Answers
Wanting to call
But sitting on my hands instead
Hope you are restful
And thinking of me
With a smile

October 2004

________________________________________________

I’m doin’ the ole’
Afternoon puff-puff/move the car routine
My new thing
Taking carcinogens in,
Expelling air,
Chasing a new habit
And other ways to remove, reflect
Tell myself I’m
Different, special
Even though I
Destruct at will
At fleeting thought
Reveling in my pain
Agony
My master
My weary comfort
A familiar face
A drone, cog in the wheel
Invades my space momentarily
I feel my everyday annoyance at the human race escalate
Until the engine,
Awakened from its slumber to move to another dwelling,
Announces itself
Squeaky wheels
Straining tires
Until it’s out of sight
My sense of entitlement
Without fences to trap it
My former therapist
Adding that to her list of feelings
Prompted by exposure to me
Thoughts work their way,
Forward and backward
Hit rewind
Fast forward
Wherever the pain is
At least now I
Sometimes wish to stop it
I was there,
A heap of flesh
No bones, leaving me
The day she walked out
A watery shadow
Convulsing
and claiming it belonged to me,
Though I had separated it from myself
The phone call
My wait, reprieve
Feel this
Express that
Categorize and sympathize and analyze
When all that truly mattered
Was time and distance
But I know it lies in wait
to resurrect and terrify
Once more
Basking in insanity’s warm glow

October 2004
_________________________________________________

moon on fire
flames of blue and green
jetting on the ebb and tide
fingers like rubber bands
they reach and snap back
choosing the path of sticks and rocks
instead of the paved one, easy to travel
no destination, like falling through shivering
skin, losing my   losing my
thought and gone again
but back when i forget

bite it, sink your teeth in
fruit, bitter and sweet
turns to bark
flavorless and tough to chew

October 2004
_________________________________________________

I was a canyon
Filled with soot
Rock
And fire

You came to me
torn
First together, then apart

My skin was removed
I was burning
Upper layers
Inner layers
Outer layers
Laid out for you

You were a hand
Soft and warm
Cold and hard
Distant and so close

Pummeling me
Soothing me
Forever changing me

Like seasons
Like rain

Like a stranger who never forgets
The last town they abandoned
The last stop they made

Standing at the door
Watching the light fade
Watching it change colors
Seeing it go

October 2004
_________________________________________________

Restless Mind

My mind is open
My body tired
Thoughts race
Wandering is where I begin
Back to the origin
Wings on my eyelids
The broken wagon wheel
The mystery of crawling legs
Follows, emotion
If it pleases you
When you arrive
I will put on the face
And keep by the door

Fireworks still inside
Jerked around my consciousness, on way to the next
The archway where two days meet
Sleep deprivation has made me nimble with mania,
But there is lack of rebirth, I am weary
Tomorrow will rekindle
And patience my trusted guide.

2010
___________________________________________________

Her tongue
A velvet explorer
New lands
New senses
The shore wet
Throwing rocks back in

How long was I there
A lifetime plus one day
A twenty-four hour journey
Into myself
Not realizing I was the fury
I was the fiend
I, stone hard and crumbling
Losing the foundation built on dust

I held back
I flashed forward
I gave all and I gave none
Ever
To anyone

No one has known
Felt me
Through me
Without my pretense
Without my shell

I watch you
I wait
Yes, bring me that
Another helping of agony
A side order of blistering pain
Follow up with a nightcap of torture
Of silent screaming

I have looked into windows
And around corners
And behind walls

I found the tempest

2004
_________________________________________________

Persona

I lay.
Decomposing
in a shell of tradition
of societal circumstance.

The guidance I seek,
unbridled desperation,
comes at me
as a staggering horse.
I am but a shadow in its presence,
I wear my veil of shame.
At times, though,
I rip it off in proclamation.
I am getting better.

How can you betray me?
All that I am?
Declare my love is wrong?

I do not have a lying tongue
I do not fan the fires of hatred.
I do not partake in evil.
Yet I have this malediction
by words of strangers who are dust.

I am fragmented and devoid
Yet I am livid.

I stand in the doorway of my confusion
and will remain until there are no more days.

2010
__________________________________________________

From Night to Day

Prosperous wings
Like the day to my many years of night
I acknowledge the sound of birds now.
I like to race them to sunrise.
Their songs used to bring about a devastation,
As I knew I would not revel in the sunshine.
I watched people, their activity, in action, astounded.
I was inhuman.
Devoid of life.
Every day was the same,
Heavy sighs and the terror of the ringing phone.
Conversations forced and resented.
Frolicking with my demons.
Then my salvation.
They found the right combination,
Chemicals of freedom
A pill, or two, or three,
Set my soul alight.
I learned again how to walk.
How to drive.
How to be among the living, whose life–force had confused me
so.
I emerged into my dawn
Where there had been sleep.
There was life again.
How cliché this awakening, as I write
But the words and feelings are familiar
To go from cold to warmth
From Winter to Spring
The breath of everything.

2010
___________________________________________________

Boot

I remember your
spark  fade
folly  demon
the sweat in your eyes
the burn on your tongue
sweeping the floor with me
my designs,
a blueprint for a house of cards
the shoe on the roof
it's torn and tattered
doesn't matter
I gave you the boot.

2010
__________________________________________________

Grinder

My mind's at it again,
won't let me sleep.  It's on that train.  The locomotive to the
land of the agony dwellers.

There is a sawing on the roof in the back of my mind,
my head is grinding like sand under the weight of a hammer
and the lever to the machine doesn't have an “off” position.  
All it takes is one word, one phrase, one beat of the drum to
send me spinning into nowhere.  At least nowhere pleasant.

So, how do you do this, make me shrivel like a slug under the
flurry of salt?
How do you take the last rise from me?  How do you make me
fall under the weight of my own consciousness?  Because I let
you.  I let you seep into me like poison.  Your vapors, the elixir
for the self-righteous.  Always the devouring.  Never just a bite.

Time does not bring me respite, I can only hope for the
forgetting, and words of assurance in the multitude to soothe
my teeming brain.

If only I could harness these words, these thoughts, these
schemes, I could erect monuments to honor the inventors of
time.  I could transcend the metaphysical, develop mental
concrete.  But then what would I do?  I might be happy, I might
not wait for the other shoe to...come crashing through the
ceiling.

For now, it is quiet.  For now, the forgetting has arrived.  For
now, I will savor the look, the life.  Until next time...

2010
___________________________________________________

Shot Through The Heart

Bullets break the silence
and start all over again
I do not wish to escape.

The turret of gathering dust
brings sleep to my eyes.

I see you there
in your covered grace,
hiding beyond the gaze
of blistering wind.

How should I see you?
so fair and true,
How should I love you?
With my own soul to be.

They say a soulmate
is one who shows you yourself
and teaches you to see.
If that is true
you've shot through the heart
with me.

2010
___________________________________________________

Restrain Me

Restrain me
find my core
I will bite
claw and scratch
just to light the match

Back into me
you are the door
friends for a moment
then snap me like a tree
that has fallen inside of me

Consider this
I am not lying
aren't we all trying to avoid
the shivers
glass slivers

It doesn't seem real
my head circles
the swarm of bees
forever in blue
it's my skin falling into you

We all flow into the river
we all turn to dust
we all are shattered
needs and endless fright
trying to win with our own might

Look at me
and don't look back
I know who you are
you are a slippery eel
and I know how you lie to feel

Fake me
break me
go ahead
go on and take me
I'm just who I am lately.

2010
___________________________________________________

T.F.

I shudder.
I see you there,
over me,
straining to find
anything in the dead garden.
Where weeping resides,
where fire and flames
lick the surface of my unveiling.
Not too hard to cry,
but yet to stifle the piercing
gaze of time not spent.
Flowing down rivers
of lies
of questions never asked
because they were already answered.
You were not my answer,
you were a riddle in a boring game.
Tired and broken, sick with
shelter, dying on the vine.
You wither and slither
around a halo with pure venom
You ruin everything you taste.

2010
___________________________________________________

Modern-Day Lazarus

Like a modern-day Lazarus
Needing prophesy for rotting flesh
They need resurrection from living death.

Worshiping false idols was never my thing.

We all have those things
those people
who put the death in us.

And we all lament that we “aren't what we used to be”,
even if that just means we'd like to get back to our high school
weight.

Who wants to be what we used to be, anyway.
Then we'd never grow.
And as it's been said, “pain is the touchstone to spiritual
progress”,
so some are very spiritual.

A seat in church is like their holy anchor.
Desperately clinging to the next nugget of hope,
wanting the effects of the God-potion to carry them through
another week.
Free them from their beasts of bondage, nurture the bite
marks.
Looking for their spiritual ointment, healing wounds.
They think that only god can free the tethered rose.

March 2008
___________________________________________________

Flashback.
Stance.
Coldness licks the furnace
I fall into sky

Remembering the downtrodden – myself
as the words cascade down my river.

It's familiar, that silence in the car
drowning out the curves of my failings

Shelter from the heat, following the chill
of my icy stare
and frostbitten hands

What wills you,
What stake has pierced your eyes?

The coming always comes
to rifle through my memory
and remember the distance of a falling rose.

Times of triumph,
Times of worry,
Times of spitting hunger

And I forget to remind myself
of the haunting

And I forget to remember

And I watch as your words
flutter through your fingertips

And I wonder how I got back here.

2010
___________________________________________________

Wreck-Stenched

Wreck-stenched of foul mouth
Closed consciousness
Freedom of snakes, wrapping around my folly
I seek you, but you are self-worthy
Sitting atop your hills of dust and current
I wait in the stream
I dance from the storm
But I am alone.
What is the purpose of this life spent down?
Sunset, endless
I need your comfort
But there are other, more important things.

I'm not one of them.

2010
___________________________________________________

Night Flash

Another night flash.
Another instant.
My desire is ineffable.
You are the sound.
It is a distant planet, and I am dizzy from the heat.
Falling underground, seeking a shroud for the remains of my
dignity.
I feel your softness, and it sends me alive, to your throne.
Because I know your silence.
I am meek but whole if only for an instant.
Of course I would crumble.  But that is me.
Your house of cards, waiting for the inevitable windfall.
You become just a voice, just a farce in the moonlight.
I can't pretend anymore.
Your secrets are safe with me.

2010
___________________________________________________

The Forgetting

Medical myth and legend.
I buy it.
What happened to the fire, now coals, burning without the
heat?
I remember, and I am weary with the forgetting.
Why did you bring your monster here?
It is grotesque and lurks overhead.
No light to escape, flurry from the flame.
As freedom comes into focus,
I am scared and wanton.
Your voice floats in the hall,
finally finding a resting place in the corners of my mind.
The phone rings, I jump.
Pardon my distraction, I know not what I do.
Well, that's a lie.  But I can't help it.
In my mind's eye, I am blind.

2011
___________________________________________________

Unhappy Marriage

My existence
Unfathomable and wanting
I once saw Spring in your eyes.

The banister has been left cold
No jacket to warm it
Shades of our Winter
Hesitant haste.
I catch the suit
Hanging empty in the closet
Shattering foreskin
As I used to I
I'll take your emotional property
To my grave

We've been reduced to pens & Post-it notes
& hollow phone calls where your voice
was once golden.

2011
___________________________________________________

My Father

I haven't been able to write to you
these last almost four years
because the emotions were too painful to face.

I just want you to know
That I miss you
And I grieve for the life we could have had together.
I always needed my Daddy.

It was my fault, it was your fault.
It doesn't matter now, and it didn't matter in the end.
I know you heard me and understood me that day
When I made amends to you and forgave you
And told you how much I loved you.
And you cried, real human tears, as I had never seen before.

I am truly your daughter.
Even Mom says so.
All the good and bad.
But you know what?
I am proud that she thinks I am like you.
I am sorry I never showed you the respect I felt underneath
the pain.
Thank you for all that you provided, often much more than I
deserved.

I think of you every day, for you are part of my soul.
Every action I take you are there with me.
And sometimes, yes, I can feel your concern.
I also feel your love.
I don't know what has become of you, of your essence,
but I believe you are at peace.
And that is all I ever wanted for you, Dad.
I love you and will never forget you.

2012

__________________________________________________

Some poems from the 80's and 90's:

i like the smell of
houses being built
tubes of caulking oozing
their contents
blue flags the phone company
didn’t want you to steal
drywall that writes like chalk
skeleton of what is gone
and promises of what will be
dirt and dreams soon
to be past and visions
of my mind
_________________________________________________

Better bypassed than better understood.

Too deep in thought,
Exposed to doom
The webs they weave
Emotionally consumed.

My adonis
My invention
Intense pleasure
A mind’s detention.
_________________________________________________

i once had a vision,
it was of the moon
and a stream
following a dream.
i once felt a breeze,
as breathless as midnight
whispering through the trees.
i once touched a star,
its brilliance was freedom
and shone from afar.
i once felt a heart,
beating from the shadows
i reached for its power
and it tore me apart.
_________________________________________________

the sunset
caresses the ocean with
an ever present
feeling of content.
waterfalls in my mind
flow through dreams
washing away my non-reality.
the sharpness of pain and focus
no longer evades me
reaching out to touch you,
finding only empty shadows.
fragrance in the air
drifts with sadness
the void calls to me
with a sarcastic tongue
twisting in its mad vortex
the stranger has a knowing grin.
_________________________________________________

darkness masters the soul
and touches the flame
this fire of reason innate,
hatred of the same.

an air of mystery contained
in the lies of the night
and with the sun,
entered my fright.

the knowledge that meaning was lost
truth is unforgiving
my tears wash away my illusions,
the demon remains living.

one cannot question why
the world is cruel,
reason will predict
to care is to be the fool.
_________________________________________________

madness
it burns with the sun
and deep into the night

fear
it envelops my world
with the keenness of sight

hatred
it builds
with each passing breath

freedom
the resemblance of birth laughing
in the face of death.
_________________________________________________

i envision you
my forbidden arms
await
the snakes wrap around me
but keep me warm
it is frigid
and will remain
when i’m outside
for that fragment of
nonexistent time
i am awake
and let you pierce through me
my blood stains
but is crimson & thick
i would like to paint with it
a picture of you
to hold you in this moment
so you can never leave
_________________________________________________

when will you learn
your words are florid
and have little meaning
everything you say
is suspect
but the difference is that
i no longer care
it’s a refreshing stream
that i bathe in
lukewarm like i’ve never known
or felt
it was cold
yet invigorating
but i’m too old for it now
you play games
with yourself
and new players
they aren’t players
they’re jokers – at best
quagmire    let them sink
i’ll be another’s fool.
_________________________________________________

rivers and streams
flowing lucidity
the wind whispers to the trees
worshiping the sky
with its misty embrace
a pale moon rising
welcoming each dying ember
thoughts reassemble
and come into clearer focus
we all long for some mystery
to envelop us and prevent reality
from becoming our whole existence
freeing the spirit
of the perpetual void
for now i watch the lion
and give precedence his patience.
_________________________________________________

my avidity surrounds me
with a turbulence
the malediction of ages –
a chemistry past,
seeking refuge in dreams
peacefulness known not
to my burning limbs
on fire with the years.

the paradox of reason
escapes not my intentions,
as the mirror image
stares back at me with
anticipation
my eyes burning
on fire with the years.
_________________________________________________

"Soul Exploration"

Part I.

The eloquence of a single breath
Which encompasses life and death
A brand new world begins to unravel
In a mental universe of silent travel...

Part II.

Although it's compelling in squandering ways
Its omniscience diffracted in violent rays
A new dimension begins a drift
Over wandering stars in an inquisitive shift
A unification of all existence...exaltation.

1990

[My Dad had a stroke in 1990.  Shortly thereafter, I was taking
a nap (I was in college at ODU at the time) and woke up twice
with the above lines in my head.  Each time, I wrote them
down, not knowing what they meant.  When I re-read them
later, I realized that combined lines were about reincarnation.  
My Dad was always very interested in reincarnation and
voraciously read Edgar Cayce's writings.  When I was very
young, and I asked him what happens to us when we die, he
told me that when our physical body no longer lives, our souls
go to Heaven and wait in a closet on a hanger until we are
ready to be re-born.  I think that's an interesting way to
explain it on a level that I could understand and visualize, in
addition to being an answer representative of his philosophy
about reincarnation in tandem with his seemingly contradictory
spiritual beliefs.]
___________________________________________________

My Father

I haven't been able to write to you
these last almost four years
because the emotions were too painful to face.

I just want you to know
That I miss you
And I grieve for the life we could have had together.
I always needed my Daddy.

It was my fault, it was your fault.
It doesn't matter now, and it didn't matter in the end.
I know you heard me and understood me that day
When I made amends to you and forgave you
And told you how much I loved you.
And you cried, real human tears, as I had never seen before.

I am truly your daughter.
Even Mom says so.
All the good and bad.
But you know what?
I am proud that she thinks I am like you.
I am sorry I never showed you the respect I felt underneath
the pain.
Thank you for all that you provided, often much more than I
deserved.

I think of you every day, for you are part of my soul.
Every action I take you are there with me.
And sometimes, yes, I can feel your concern.
I also feel your love.
I don't know what has become of you, of your essence,
but I believe you are at peace.
And that is all I ever wanted for you, Dad.
I love you and will never forget you.

2012



I feel I'm going under
Got no time to breathe
You aptly steal my thunder
When you turn to leave
Life is but a folly
Racing to the shore
All those times I left you
You left me wanting more
"Let us remember...that in
the end we go to poetry
for one reason, so that we
might more fully inhabit
our lives and the world in
which we live them, and
that if we more fully
inhabit these things, we
might be less apt to
destroy both."
- Christian Wiman, Editor,
POETRY magazine