Ear to the Hole

I set my ear to the hole—how there the ocean rages on in violent little whimpers 

But what is said, what whispers, in the space between the ocean & its crushing tide? 

Only the moon knows. Only the moon. With all its glitter, all its pale pristine, all its faultering purity, its revolutions, its waning, its humble wailing, it listens to all the oceans of the universe—these whispers of storm & turning tides, how lovely to sit in silence on this precipice. Just listening, watching as night bursts forth, shadows & soft light. 

Cesspool Poetry

…having been awake, having said a prayer, now what am I to do?

Poetry has its way of pouring from the cesspool of drained sores…

The quiet smoke in the dawn

The rustle of the birds in the tree

The silence of the sky

Turbulent as the sea

So you gape open, as do I

This is what it is to be a part,

Oozing as it is, of humanity

I Cannot Raise the Gun…

I cannot raise the gun with you. I cannot shoot down the wicked. There, they stamp, tall busts bellowing, a holler against some imagined injustice. Yet, I cannot raise the gun with you. I cannot shoot them down. Like splintered roots, the weeds, they rise, they rise. For every fallen, five rise. 

Have you seen the blood upon me? 

My face is torn open. I’ve the skull inside, the flesh giving way to its hardness. Inside, I’m alive & dying. My eyes have seen the lamp shade skins of the dead. I’ve seen that the hatchet can dive in & yet Death, that fickle friend, may leave you crawling to the grave. I’ve seen such spitting hate, spewing as the bath bares the soul to Sheol. 

My skin, every so slightly raised to golden from the sun, warm & beckoning, but never dark enough, it glows. Ghostly. Or ghastly. All in stunned aching silence but for this: let them scream. 

Let them raise their anger. Let them spit. Let them holler. 

…and this, the forest of me, does not hear. 

Inside, peace came washing over me. Inside, the young girl, brown & curled hair, & lips whispering in prayer, I heard none of it. My ears have refused to hear. Inside, the young girl, pale & blonde, grabbed the other’s hand, and we walked, souls as they are, complex & intwined, we are one little girl, & neither of us will listen. 

…and when you raise the gun I will ask why—fortitude is a passive courage, despite the possibility of rage. Rage leads to rage. I must resist the hunger & the pain, the cold. Against that, what is there to oppose? 

You raise the gun. The shot, I did not hear, but felt. It lays, lodged in my chest & I’m asking, what of my silence has offended you? Was my refusal to feed this fire your fuel? Fight your evil! Fight it then! Watch, as it consumes your heart & soul. Watch as it creeps from the justice within you to become the administer of what you hate. Watch as you shoot down, bleed out, fall, & rot all the heathens as the emerge, one by one, millions upon millions. How heavy the toil, the toll, the tumult. Fight it and become it. 

I sank…my lips still so silent, but for the gasp of surprise. My eyes, they will stay locked, and they will haunt you. I promise. You will see them when you die. 

Autumn’s Onset


Tho light spreads forth 
i feel the falling sun—
the smoke choking the morning glow
the subtle way
nothing feels quite right
but surely, nothing is wrong

i keep the quiet in my throat
as i feel autumn’s onset, heavy
with its strangling cold
but, oh, so lovely,
oh, so strange
oh, so silent this nearly
imperceptible shift

…and the corpse of summer
falls, against autumn’s chest
this is the slow slide to all
that is dead, all that is cold

We’ve Woven


the way we’ve woven
moonlight into madness just to taste
the terror & the dream

your little laugh-line lingers
there, upon your cheek, a kiss
of who you are underneath
the worry, beyond the reaches of
regret
how heavy life is, i know, i know
its baskets of burdens piled high
like unopened gifts begging
to be unwrapped & examined, joyously?

so often it must be, that you’ll sit,
amidst the gifts sobbing, leaving them unopened
their heaviness being postponed
but still, i can feel it, that weight,
as can you.

i weave with this moonlight
something light, a certain, madness, a terrifying madness, of
lightness, & some unknown, yet dear, dream

Lost In Translation

here i am, lost in
the murmuring translations upon these prairies—
the hard english glazed in sharp french, a drizzled bitter of
distain & broken tongues & backs
there, fresh off history’s bloom
raw with rape-red & bruise-blue
a meandering river of tears
that tinkle with light that scorches unending

there, the tangy berries of despair unleash themselves against hearts
that wander the rolling—what was it you’ve been looking for?

all the shadows crawl free across the scarred landscape, downs & meadows, rigor mortis trees with sharp nails stretching high against my prairie sky, drawing the blood from the sunrise, in long, flowing ribbons

…and then the storm, heavy & booming, drumroll upon drumroll, that can never wash
everything clean

i sit there, smoke of muskets & the sharp sound of both the arrow & the plunging thud of axes, digging deep, swift to the grey
drawing forth vast oceans of blood & misery & turmoil, i feel the women, pushing forth spawn after spawn on the land—
these aching children full of rage

there, the ground, hungry again after the digestion of so much gluttonous misery, it’s howling,
tongue lolling out, dry but salivating
you, your perfect face, shining in the rise of the sun, small lines, fresh sun-scorch, a small streak of dirt where all tragedy lies, just under the temple, deep inside the brain, heart pounding—there,
in the hardened earth, you feel deep below, the mantle crack, the core, swell to tide, all the fires burning, all of history repeating
there, i, small & silent, so trembling in imperfections i glow white & crimson, i sit so quiet, watching the quaking prairie storm

the low growl inside me rises, gutteral, small flecks of timid
falling way to force until it is strong, sure, loudening against time’s awkward push upon me
i’ve a small scar, one deep but small on the outside, tingling with a dulled memory of this excrutiating pain, & now its aching, both to be left & to be touched, these bruises & their oxymoronic pleadings
the silver line tingles in the last rays before the clouds & there it is, glowering in sad silence

the starlings, rise & fall, sacred tribal dances upon the sky—warm, mixing with the cool

i hear the grass shiver, scratching upon the bare of my leg as if a child, begging, UP!

but all must face the wind & become either tame, or so very very wild

Canada (Prairies—MB)


how silent the moonlight
screams across the blankness
of the prairie

summer has the little axe warming
on the grill, sparking
off winter’s chill

a moment more
i fall away against the cool breath
as the dance begins
all above my head & taunting

but i’m stuck
where the shores, caked in ice & black, howl, standing in
the low surf
of yet another long lake