While learning kanji

Are you waiting for me to say

that all of my stones are made of

silk sewn Kanji?


The 20,000 symbols that you want to read in me are in the dictionary of a long history of places I cannot always recall by shape or brush stroke.


you have that complex design for patience and pain and love in your own sewn silk letter form and i read you with a persistence.


We are in the middle of an ancient language.  A thread pulling our mouths open and close together in a center


sliding through all of our points of contact and weaving through us a pattern that we can only discern


by laying still and listening to the other breathe.


In the lamp light I painted your jaw line with my finger tip and wrote your name with a practiced brush on the pulse of my wrist


and I wonder if you felt that stone roll away from me and return as a new word like hope.

The homeless on a warm spring day



The gypsies keep coming back to me.  They need me to hold their hearts.  They say it is because they are always picking up what others drop.  Invisible somethings

that I cannot always see.


It is incomprehensible the way they smile with their eyes.  And the way they carry a small bent cart stacked high with more invisible things.  I wonder why the thin dogs drag along beside their dusty skirts instead of hunting rabbits.  They tell me they are loyal dogs.


The gypsies are at home in their homelessness.  Their hands are filled when they walk with music.  But I sit behind my car’s window quiet as my own emptiness trying not to join them.


After they walk away jingling like birds and rain,  I’m not  sure they were ever really there.

The Roofer

The Roofer

The lackluster of shingle and tar slides its way through the roofer’s callused handprints like a stretched and spent paycheck.

It travels in opacity through his skin and up nerves on a length of unraveling patience before reaching through the base of the skull to the eye’s sleepy cradle to pull them shut.

He wipes the sweat from his face and turns back to his work as the faintest breeze reminds him to stay awake.

Jack’s River 6

She splits my side open to execute an old will.


The river wasn’t meant to stay the same and i can see the tributaries in my palm changing shape.


We are wild children,  the river and i,  set loose by cold rains and singing hallelujahs for the white rage!


I will swim here in a months time but for now i cannot slip my toes in for her purging.

Shadow muse

I am reflecting like a muse

a painting that will be my face


this portrait will gray into the charcoal lines drooping to the edge of canvas and gravity


Dotted Van Gogh you are not immortality,  rather a dead man’s striving


The shadows never feel a thing for any of us- it doesn’t  matter what color we are dressed in when we walk in front of the sun


Spring poem II

It doesn’t matter which way you slide the curtains open. One panel is only ever enough material to hide a certain amount of light.


Nothing can keep the stream of morning from entering.  It fills a room of what rested through the night, highlights the blues and greens and golds with a secret that only light knows.


In the woods a broken see-saw still balances across an old tree like two friends that stopped holding hands but stick close together.  A creek there stays just busy enough to pretend it doesn’t know what happens over time, but it does.


It knows every secret that has never been kept and every secret that is ever quiet.  Children have been freed by the water there, to be let loose and wild in a dogwood church. The smallest among these searches for crayfish beneath the rocks.  If not for him,  so much that has happened would not have happened.  He shaped a world with treehouses and sticks and ziplines that cross the lives beneath Spring.


The years that drive the forces forward sleep under the creek’s stones, allow yesterday to become polished and smooth and a mother to gather pebbles for a dream she brings to life.


When the curtains open again in the morning, an ageless child takes his place in a line of eight.  And nothing can keep the light from streaming in.


to be open here in the light is a sacrifice of possibilities for

the surety of impossibilities.

to write is always some sort of suicide.

and I resent it.

but I love it.