Lucky one

someone knows the crook of your elbow well by now, must be
some heart advances, while one retreats
someone knows the trail of your shoulder and the slip of your back,
some code to crack,
your heart is worth it

in the quiet and staccatos of drilling,
in the rattle shake whistle of trains
you build, you travel to build
if in the space you catch the other
if in the eyes your gaze meets,
there is a well there filled with pennies,
someone is lucky

Manchester in blue (and a bird’s nest)

Manchester in blue (and a bird’s nest)


There’s a coward that lives inside of me and he’s an old old man by now.
Sometimes I yell at him,
“Methuselah come out!”
But most days I hide behind his bearded face and own his shying ways;
This hermit man likes the caverns of my heart
wanders deeper into stone and says
He’s found a mountain he’ll call home,
so why should he leave?
There is a mountain in Lebanon he says,
There is a stonefaced wall,
there is a valley,
There is a place where the holy men live;
In their hideaways of stone like osteoporotic cancellous bone,
and I am a holy man,
He says
and I don’t ask too many questions
(He is a coward after all)
What more is there to know?
I abide it, this old man living inside
And I know why, I know full why

There’s a liar that lives inside of me,
Except she’s a child maybe seven sometimes eight, almost as old as me
I never shout for her to leave,
She keeps the old man company and
He won’t hide from her
Those two get on just fine,
She says the caverns are palatial
and how bright, look how bright
She’s made her home there too
by now

And I am wandering chained to those two
When I peer inside my heart,
There we are, us three
Unholy trinity
And most days like today I say,
Well then I’ll leave, you stay
You stay

'Questions concerning the nature of the universe' or 'On another earth they are blissfully in love'

Here only one watches tides to see how far this fabric will stretch and if reflected eyes are changed by having seen them

The train to work passes through an open air cathedral where the pious make their tracks of carved hills sacrificed to a nameless insatiable god

[Note: All the while eyes avoid eyes accept for theft and glut themselves on sound, straining often]

Meanwhile only one is wide-eyed in wonder some nights, wonderful fear most days but always caving inwards always

Here one says to the other…

[Note: In speaking speaks to poorly insulated walls and a pillow and the night sky and a ginger tomcat on the prowl]

Here one says of the other:
Oh thou blue flame (?)
Says, “Can i keep you always, here where i am caving inwards,
Will you stay?”
Says nothing.

[Note: Stutters. Stutters. And conceals]

Here one dreams of the other earth and its twin and a million million others where they close eye to eye and dance to belly laughter and no one floats away or drowns or stutters or sleeps alone


Tell her something true in plain speech heart upbraided
Tell her true, tell her she is muse
Flesh-formed through dusk and lantern light and dawn
and heart unbraided

Tell the story, find voice and do not falter
Tell how the dry bones woke from slumber, say when
“This is my beloved,”
“This is my friend”

Say how August is a promise that time will honor,
Say how summer miles are kind, kinder than most
Their distances lush and languid and
gifting time like a slow wandering breeze
that travels the hours on balmy nights~

Tell her, tell her it will keep
by water’s edge to wait and pause
and pray for slowness on an August day
to walk the length of a summer mile
and say,
“It is you lately.”
“Lately it is you only.”


Here. I cannot find the source of light or pin down a particle that would lead me if followed in the right direction. Wave. You are somehow all things and yet the sum of you is somehow greater still. This is an article of faith.

Is the breath of life more than chemistry? There is pressure from all sides now. Every point condensed and bearing down. In the beginning the firmament divided the waters from the waters. Now only chemical gates now only less than perfect saturation. Now molecules. Now numbers. Breath? Only for winning numbers.

What gates? I can’t breathe. I can’t.

No sad lines tonight

One day for pretty things that won’t fade
No snapshot eyes and bold lines
to fevered press peony to page
As in other times in pressing plead

One day for beauty
One day for all things good
Only forever wonder
A day for jewelled sea
And ocean beds covered in pearls
“Hello, I missed you”

A day for water’s edge &
Sun-kissed shoulders
Candles and salted lips and sea &
Your face never fading

All the pretty things for you;
Every happy thing

Only flowers for your garden
Only lanterns for your night sky


Today is shaped by pauses and a man with an apple head whose wisps of grey hair dance with the breeze sporadically, stand aloft and wary some, salute empire others while he licks his finger to turn the pages

This is a matter of some revulsion and yet absorbed in another man’s absorption one does not look away, one does not

Here in the aftermath of libraries turned to rubble where fire was victor and history the greatest loser of all, the apple-headed man turns and with sausage fingers, some page-licking fingers flatten down his stray greys, flattens down the known world too other times with his opinions

Anyway he turns but looks a ripe peach, purple like the Mediterranean but sours a lemon quickly as two young ones crowd him and speak in loud indignant starts and stops the Foreigner directly to his left looks up and clucks once and buries her eyes with her impatience, buries them in her pages

Meanwhile the ocean grows larger

Meanwhile other men trained to shift sands and prevaricate, practice the right smiles and fierce faces in pauses in expensive suits with tax dollars and oil money

The greys now matted and clinging to moist liver-spotted skin rise in weak rebellion as the man no longer burdened by the chatter of youth and their bold escapades as the man now wizened peach puffs to exhale

Meanwhile the oceans grow larger
Meanwhile their depths conceal

Calton Hill, Edinburgh
March 11, 2014

Calton Hill, Edinburgh
March 11, 2014

Between girl and sea

On the beach where the girl had taken her first steps returned to white sand,

Sand on fire, girl on toes edging to sea and foam
The earth yields up her treasures for the seeking and sea swallows
Looks over her shoulder, wind feeds hair
“Come with me, come to the salted sea”
Glass in her eye,

Toes sinking in crushed shells, on tiny homes and tar beans washed up
black pebbles washed up, squashed
The romance of childhood knows refineries, knows black gold
~will know lumps in breasts, wilting lungs and missing neighbors
Black tar creeping into homes~
soon enough

But now sand on fire, sand turning glass, giving up treasure
Green pebbles, blue some ambers
Salted, shaped smooth cool glass
Not sticky sweet

Edges to water, knees sinking at the cusp
at water’s edge
Soft sand, the burning yields to warmth,
wet, cooler

Sun beating as she yields her neck,
Walks to water
Horizon line, girl marring
color block scene:
white, blue, sun-faded blue

Girl yields to water, to first womb returns
The true daughter,
Dark hair coiling wet snake down her back
balm to skin on fire
skin yielding copper
Dark hair sun strips to copper

Sun beats stirring wind
unhurried waves, quartz blows over
glass specks

Girl meets water meets sky
And mercy reigns
mercy, mercy, mercy

The same day repeats

Two twisters danced at the edge of the frame, her point of view
The low blue sky, sun-faded blue
Expanse, horizon and sand
Blue swing set, monkey bars, slide
And sand
Desert, the great oppressor
sometime liberator too
as teacher too
The sun, also oppressor
The sun, also teacher
this time beating skin,
this time biting small ears
this time twisting wind in funnels

The child, mirror
Alone, always alone
Listens first but she watched before
She saw too
The failure in the skies
same skies
Shaken and rocked, falling skies
and earth shaken
the kingdom of adults shaken too
That afternoon
The shock too, hers absorbed
She is six but knows to stays quiet,
knows to slip outside
Alone, too much and too often
But she is six and elemental
Is a child but won’t grow,
Is not so wise but old
Too old

POV: Hers
Sun fades away, sky scatters sky
The child not six, much older
knows not how to stay quiet,
knows not how to stay
knows not.
She squints to remember
Eyes closed/
Remembers desert sun, beating
remembers burning sand, burning hair
The empath, the elemental
Wants to know, wants;
is wanting
Weighed and measured and found,
Knows to slip outside,
Knows only this
Knows to slip out
Seek sun, seek searing sun