Dark tower

February 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

I was never able to return.
That’s just how it went.
I walked, I crawled, I lay flat on my belly and pulled with my arms.
The stone base was in shadows, but I was close.

You were a large white angel.
The only thing you came to end was this.

It’s cold
and dark.
All my feathers are gone.
I am just bones in freefall.

It turns out your message was always kind.

“Let it go.”


Drawing Poem

December 22, 2017 § Leave a comment

I love every bit of my uncertain lines –
their waver, blotch, and smudge.

They are like living stems and leaves
that curl to cuddle sun and breeze,
bent and notched, 
broken, dying and alive.

I feel your need to edit them,
to make them sleek and polished,
curves perfected,
tapers symmetried,

But look at this proud petal,
the hint of wilt so happy,
this twisted, regal stem.

Why can’t I leave mine in?
They are me.
I am them.


June 16, 2017 § Leave a comment

Two is such a tiny number,
innocent of creases made when seasons
fold back against themselves.

But here we are,
all done with One
and from this angle, Two is huge,
packed full of Anything,
and looming like a great, pale fog–
no path and no horizon.

What else is there to do
but warm it with our breath
and mold it into guileless moments,
childish pictures of us
sowing seeds on sunny afternoons.

We can finish mourning withered cotyledons
and marvel as the things we planted become
long walks in the hills,
a flower, or a song sung well enough.

And we can jerry-rig some
quirky towers to milk clouds,
and dance by seaside fires
while we’re jostled down to vapor
by the friction of good friends.

And we can sleep
and wake
and touch
and breathe
and celebrate
and change.

The things that made us

April 26, 2017 § Leave a comment

I can never taste the whole of you—
only little sips, sparkling springs from hidden wells

fed by flows that brought us here:

I’m glad you saved this part for me.
It had a chance to mellow in the weather.

What joy to know that we will never know it all.
I’ll touch a place and find it wet, and press
and feel the droplets form
and weep because I never guessed.

I’m glad I saved this part for you.
It had a chance to bleach and split.

The more we speak, the less we say.
Thank goodness words are not enough.
Thank goodness we are sweet and tough
and curious and bold.
Thank goodness words are not enough.

My Patchwork Streets are Beautiful

March 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

The wear and tear,
the quick repairs,
the heaving roots,
the shifting underlayers.

Like paint over graffiti
over paint
over the scribbled marks of a surveyor
whose children
ponder his last pair of steel-toed boots,

the patches are stories
and the stories are uneven patches,
cracks, and potholes that ask us
not to stop, but pause, and

see their graceful asymmetry,
read their faerie calligraphy,
before we lose them forever
under freshly spread concrete.

Photo by Penina S Finger

Never Arriving

February 15, 2017 § 1 Comment

It’s a hard habit to break, being
always on my way somewhere,
everything in motion
or just paused, waiting
for the next train
or the snow to melt
or the hill to wear away.

I’m fine with my itinerant life,
and I recommend it.
It’s just that I would sometimes like
this impatient tide to
slow long enough to soak the riverbed,
let some cattails grow, catch light,
and feel the tiny dragonflies whirring in my hair.

Leaving Union Station, photo by Penina S. Finger

Thank you

February 13, 2017 § 3 Comments

There is an eagle in the back of my throat,
with a wingspan the length of two tall men
and a hooked and unforgiving beak.

Right now, it speaks in raw, red coughs
but very soon
it will rise high up into the sky
where the air is thin
and there are no beaten paths.

It will pause on your shoulders
and then leap with a lurch so great
its talons will tear your suit
and its weight will throw you down.

Photo: Bryan Hanson | Morguefile

Nobody will ever

December 15, 2016 § Leave a comment

… hear this song but you.

… see this drawing of a mermaid, but one or two.

… or taste this genius soup I cooked,
though I could post a picture on Facebook.

They won’t be reading this poem,
so I write to hear myself talk,
to knit words while I ride the train,
and count syllables as I walk.

I fingerpick the uke,
and find pretty sounding chords
for myself to hear,
and maybe you will like the words.

Joy Ragged

October 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

When I see a silken
wilting flower, I don’t ask myself
if life’s worth living, or decide that being alive is great.
I only want to
tell the world about these perfect petals,
pink, and bruised to purple,
crumpling and

This exquisite impulse
transcends symmetry to dance drunk,
fling torn veils, and be.



September 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

I’d like to sit in the big chair
but everybody’s leaving.
No one left to lord it over,
at this rate.

I’d like to fade to gray-
be a tiny gray bump on a granite face.
No one would spot me in the crowd,

These loves are, in fact, not like death at all.

Someone gave the china cupboard a good shake.
No matter how wide I stretch my arms,
I can’t catch all the falling crystal.
One at a time, the pop and crash releases shards so fine
they make a mist.

My eyes water.

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