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. 

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

New Age Retrograde 

Promoting my daughter’s little beginner business: New Age Retrograde—Jewelry featuring unique vintage & antique book illustrations. 

Many of these are sold already but you can track down her wares at New Age Retrograde on both IG & FB. 

Go check out her stuff. If you like something claim it quick. 

Custom orders taken & she will hunt for the images you’re looking for. For added “charm” each piece also has a well thought out embellishment hand made in house to compliment each image. 

Every image is hand cut from a vintage or antique book.

Inspiration? 

What it once was—the black root worming, a snug grub

Skinned from the inner lump of my heart, coal black & whining with sorrow & regret, a childhood agony

I dropped free~freedom came rushing at me

Soul & mind & blood, slick & smooth & flowing river-fast & aching cold, refreshing

How long I wallowed, in the warmth of my own mud, it’s stench restful in its uneasiness 

Then, the freed sparrow of my throat, a small warble, rising in the wind, clean in the sunrise—how sweet, how sweet

Despite all the woes, to rise, finally free. 

Brown Sugar Charlotte 

So, for a week now we’ve been getting to know this little pup. She’s an American Cocker Spaniel & she’s lovely & so very trainable. She’s got striking geeen eyes & she made last week’s terrible decision to put Nysa down more bearable. She didn’t ease the difficulty of the matter but she did prevent us all from feeling dreadfully mopey. Even Roxy lightened up from what is an obvious missing of her life long friend. I’ve never seen a dog miss another dog before. It’s truly heart breaking. Charlotte has already adapted into our lives & I’m certain that after all the things people say about getting or not getting another dog while going through the death phase of an old dog’s life that getting her was the right decision for our family. We can go out and leave Roxy & know she’s not alone. The kids couldn’t help but play with her & laugh despite missing Nysa. We had heard not to make this decision while being so emotional, but we knew we couldn’t leave Roxy without a dog partner. She’s half cocker spaniel & very attached to her people & was very attached to Nysa. I can’t imagine leaving her alone those days where everyone is busy & gone for the day. That would be torture for a dog like her. So, getting her another dog was an emotional decision at an emotional time. But, that didn’t make it a bad decision.

So glad we found a great breeder who breeds responsibly & cares about the welfare of her pups. She’s not registered which makes her less inbred & less likely to develop the health complaints of the breed & her moms (it was a double litter, two moms one stud, both litters raised as one large 15 group with both mothers mothering) were so lovely in disposition that we look forward to having a dog from really good parents. We are on the list for one of next year’s litter too because Roxy will be nine this winter. Knowing how quickly an old dog’s health can decline, we want to make sure we get a bud for Charlotte before Roxy gets too old. 

(Her mom is the brown & white)

You know, as a child, tho I loved my family dog, I would have said I was a ‘cat person.’ I snuggled the cats & loved being in the wood shed watching the kittens play. But the dogs we had were farm dogs; Coon Hounds & an Airdale Terrier. The hounds were obviously hunting dogs. They had their dog houses & were chained, simply because they could truly run away if they got onto a scent. Dash (Treetop Dasher) our most memorable hound, was more like a pet but other than him, the other hounds were working dogs, and some not recommended for kids to be too close to as they were somewhat unpredictable. Jake, the terrier, was a typical terrier. Messy, scruffy, sweet in temperament, but not a cuddly companion dog. He was a rodent hunter for the most part, patrolled the property with enough gusto we felt safe. 

So, having Nysa & Roxy has been my first experience with companion dogs. I didn’t much understand the relationship between people & dogs in that way until recently. Dogs are ridiculously loyal. I always liked the aloofness of cats. That cats require a relationship that can be quite complex & if they decide they don’t like you, oh well, your loss. They just didn’t care. But cats always liked me & I understood their tempered affections. But dogs, my goodness, they have a neediness. But alongside that, comes a loyalty & a trust. If you love a dog, they will LOVE you. They will be happy to see you every moment of their life. When you take them for their final walk to the vet, they will be happy you loved them till that last moment, & that’s all they’ll ever have asked of you. That you be there. You don’t have to do much else for them but be there. That’s a truly stunning gift worth the work of them. 

After all these years, turns out, I’m a dog person. 

And I have learned: Always trust a dog that doesn’t trust a person. Never trust a person that a dog doesn’t trust. Whichever way you want to remember that. 

Nysa seemed to know when I needed her at my feet. How, I’ll never know. But a dog that’s in tune with you is so cool. It is a magical friendship. 

Voids

the most obvious hollow is
the void

time has a hollow
but emptiness in the place
of the something lost
has an ache that time
cannot cure
but it fills & fills
rushing to an ever rising rim
untouching to spill & water beyond

this void always the same distance
from the water’s top to the rim
this hollow of an echo
across the waves
unheard