travis-bozeman-396018-unsplashWhen you broke my heart

It wasn’t you who broke it

I had to give permission

All the days leading up to that fall

And the nightmares moving behind my eyes like greyscale film

In someways I’d always ended at this sharpened point

I did this to myself

It took that finality to break me apart

I held the chisel to ice

A distant memory of two people filled with joy

Was like a sore on my skin unable to heal

But I want to close my torn chest of its gape

Not see the stain of you separating me from the strength that comes from letting go

I know in time you won’t be a memory

Or even a regret

You’ll be the nothing I wish you’d always been

A cool blank space where all potential pain

Dissolves as salt on snow will leave barely trace

I don’t even wish you didn’t exist

I want to stop wishing for anything in your name

You’ve been a rot in my soul too long

It’s time to move on



ring1Good day then

fais de beaux rĂªves

between the spectacle

shut your eyes tight

always keep them open



conducting weather veins

bristling they ebb

pointing into heavens

would they could talk

up there up there

they look and mock our drama

what we believe ourselves to be

quietly observant at the pew

head down knees knocking

Forgive me Father for I have sinned

the day I turned on others and rubbed in

the same welt

gory and open for flies

to lay their magnitude

little children

little liars

come hold hands by the roses

learn a thorn can prick but words are mightier

wielding penchant for harm

like a crystal ball

hear the soft foot fall of night

clothe us in redeeming disguise

fingers behind our backs twix crossed

one for ourselves, one for luck

nothing left to add to the stew

all poison all venom all malice is

but easy fitting shoes on lusty urge

stay your hand my girl

spend time among the rich of heart

they hold less in their pockets

more in their eyes

as first rays of morning

broker subsuming clouds

of darkness

breaking past




f801918ca3883a4898de8530a0e88a98It is true if I could I would claim you through time

circle your coiled hair and patent smile

did the photographer pose

or you just know

how to swan your neck and hide your pain

in thrice mended sweater a size too small

our boiled wool and best kept stockings

sweating out youth

if now you lived I’d show you what came after

austerity and lit eyes of hazel

wishing into the future

is it better now? or then when

the greatest harm an unmarried pin

sticking your freedom to the quick

you laced yourself in and breathed out

coal dust and fisherman’s hands

chaffed and reddened by toil

ancestors enriching highland soil

would we have been friends?

my lack of Godhead your penchant

for John Bunion and his sermon

who can say? only the field mouse’

small and mauve in death

brought in by cat laid carefully by farm-house mat

beyond a sewing room where you cobbled looks from Paris

on muslin form, breathing life

I was clumsy and wide waisted in compare

climbing trees watching for the worm

as magpie attracted to beauty

is not capable of wearing his fine theft

he is a creature of the outdoors

looking in from cleft of oak

like I summon you through time

spend a moment here

lend me strength

show me how

you endured the fallow path and

hard winter of turning twenty

as light leaches from heathered hills

and tired men return for their supper

only the fair-headed girl lingers

until last golden arc presses against

violet hour and she too must

return her gaze to humbler pasture

Quiet sincerity

575d3e8450d2b93d9ae583716b569a05I learned

long after I should

friendship comes not

in fizz and pour

nor the brightness of

shower and radiance

nor promise and its papery craft of bows

but more often unexpected slow

hesitant over years

water leaving her tears on

marble rock

stalwart and less demonstrative

a cat who watches food put out

does not immediately approach

I fell for the fireworks

the hot kiss on lost ego

glittering words

feathered protests to believe

those party animals in their tinsel crowns

pushing me toward celebration

in those days I did not mind

the quiet soul who hung back

someone you could call upon

when deserters ran out of festivity

turned their backs on former animation

I was suckered by their demands to believe

their loudest call was truth, hear me!

now I know quiet love is the steadiest

those who may seem cold or aloof

often outlast town crier

hawking themselves for fancy

I’m sorry it took me so long to

understand silence and softness

are more often truth

much like the piper who

sung children through the mountain

bewitching their longing for loud


before they grew and knew

the sweetness of sincerity


Cast in open mouth

Fickle her words



slices of lemon

squeezed on cuts

cast in open mouth

let the plaster envelop


I suppose it’s her need

to inflict harm

when her own heart devours

when lust points compass

and mercy

mercy does not show

for role count

instead choosing

to sit out turn

bashing heels against

old radiators

trying to keep warm

this is the danger of

sore hearts

seeking solace

in the unknown

corridor of others

tempered souls

watchful against


Flat hands pushing

They predicted

she would write down

the scar

since healing

was slow

words conveying

that breakage

They predicted

she would condemn

the ones who made the thirteen turns

in hangman’s noose

and pushing lightly

watched her fall like dandelion seed

catching heavy air

she was predictable

and not the one they knew

but some amalgam of all they had hated

in their little boxes of life

laid without opening on red shelf

she who carried her shoes

when stepping through

knew there were times words

could not save

could not banish

the cruelty of flat hands


Winding a clock

Whom ever first penned

the idea coldness was strength

and weakness came when we

trusted and let others in

must have known the curve of the knife

those disposed to violence

carry in their mouth

just incase a moment

should present itself

and licking their lips


they conquer and divide

our feeble entreaty

just leave us be

on the wet coil

perhaps our world measures

guts and glory

on how much blood


when after battle they come

to count the fallen

and it is always your dearest

the one who came closest

the one who said I will never

remove you from warmth

who sharpens that knife

and turns it like

winding a clock

makes it tick




Strange faced girl sits in her pew

itching wool tights with Bible corner

whilst Mormon’s console Jehovah’s

witnessing their profit in the funeral


all along she hadn’t believed

people could turn to wax effigy

the poor man in his pine coffin knew

formaldehyde truths

his children driving home

instead of toys throw words

of anger and resentment

she had always wanted siblings but now

in her black faux expensive dress

less couture than ransacked bargain store

she wasn’t so sure

how the language of the world made sense

if God laughed at those who pretended

to repent

or God was a lizard drinking from brown bottles

one block down from the mockery

of death


Behold her

Never before

the ordinary older woman

so resplendent and shining

her grief edging unbeknown

like soft light

casting favored hue

her cheekbones as rounded as

tears and regret

he could not see for he was dead

their love flickering snapshots of life

played overhead

the projector whirred

audience stirring like one

slow sadness

confined in separate outfits

of grief

she was a fruit laid bare on table

see me she said

without moving her lips

or crossing her feet

and one shake

just slight and momentary

gave away

the abyss of her loss

such beauty in her then

bending over his coffin

would that he could

open his eyes just

once more

and behold her