r 1h

Three grave plots, a statue
of Christ holding a heart
pierced by a dagger, Machu
Picchu's granddaughter,
a black patch covering
the right eye of a dark night,
a baby grand, sand through
a dying man's hourglass,
an oar carved from a cross
planted on a hill  near here
I hear, an essay on The Art
of War, a nipple mounted
on a ring hard like quartz,
an antique mirror famous
virgins have passed hours
in front of, thirty-three feet
of catheter tubing, a crescent
wrench, a white bulldozer
broken down on the side
of a strip mine left bare
somewhere in West Virginia.

r 6d

We can never be
both patriots and racists,
we were once the open arms
to the seas on both sides,
to the oceans of grasses
and deserts between,
we were once home
to the huddled masses
having no need for castle
walls and moats built
to segregate the freedom
we forget doesn't belong
only to us because we are
more than the buffoonery
and blowhard bullshit
saturating the evening news,
it takes more than a tweet
to govern a country, we are
more than the flag we hold
hands over hearts to honor,
more than the Trumpets
and twilights last gleaming,
we are the space seekers,
the star dusted travelers
brave enough to strap
ourselves to rocket fuel
and hope, we were the first
to help, we are more, and
it is time we were it again.

r Jan 8

Silence comes
  from bones
that rot in the Earth
beneath a wet stone
with a carved name
   white as good teeth
in a hard jaw.

Silence is
  a homerun some kid
hit in Tennessee
in 1973 and a father
remembering the ball
  going like a bullet
deep into left center.

Silence is
  a brother grimacing
whispering your name,
through salt
  and tears on his cheeks,
one last time.

Silence, it just is...
  quiet, like pain.

r Jan 4

The Moon is like lovers -
some so full of themselves
you can't break your gaze
away, while others
are half-lovers -
here tonight, gone
tomorrow - and then
there are those -
the quarter-lovers
- you know, the kind
who shine and pass by -
slow in the short nights
- not stopping long
enough to even whisper
- goodbye, my love.

r Jan 1

Once I spent a winter
with a poem; everyday
in the woods at work
I would say it, never
writing a word until
I had it down in my mind;
it became what I called
a floater, a work song,
a chant, until it sounded
just right and undramatic,
and then I wrote it down
in the dirt with my boots
without changing a word
leaving it there for the birds
and the worms and the roots.

r Dec 2017

to me
is taking
my pain
and making
it sing.

r Dec 2017

I raise my glass
to you, dear woman
across the horizon
out where the water rises;
here's to all the years
I've spent waiting,
to all the miles I made
myself across, a life
spent wandering in haste,
wondering just how
your salt would taste.

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