Ten thousand questions, unanswered

Dear John

Surely you now know

What she thinks

Of what you did

And how she hoped

That I would rise up

Against you, and avenge her

It would t be the first time

A son has killed his father.

But you beat me to it.

Dying when you did.

Leaving her story to

Stand on its own.

Surely you now know

My doubt and insecurity

And my longing to know

What kind of man you were

How much of you was a monster

How much of you is a myth


For the prompt at dVerse! https://dversepoets.com/2022/11/01/poetics-dia-de-los-muertos/

A poem to my birth father



Down the hill

Behind my fathers house

Ran that little brook

Where we would torment fish

And push the water around

Or dig in the clayey bank

It was an innocent worship

I didn’t know how that water

Seeped into me

A river came through my property

Bending hard behind the house

It took st Francis from me

And delivered a folding table

And several numbered plastic ducks

The question then that I didn’t ask:

Who am I to doubt the wisdom of the water? As I lay in its endless flow

And tried too hard to let go

Sixty three feet above sea level

Six miles to the sea

Sandy said “you need the dunes”

I want to speak of my house

But I have come to the sea

there is the salty sea

I hear it, it is in me

Or rather, (no, also)

I am in it

And for that,

There are no more words


For the prompt at earthweal https://earthweal.com/2022/08/22/earthweal-weekly-challenge-river-gone/


One Hearts

You may find yourself

Digging around inside yourself

Looking for your heart

And after years

find one small precious gem

Which you place in a gild cage

And shine a spotlight on it

You won’t talk about the

Alarms or the guards or the dogs

Or the fence

The meager covet, and therefore hide their wealth.

Kings put it on display.

Hang your valuables on a post by the street

Mount them on a pedestal in the public square

In Each moment I am undergoing

Open-heart surgery

In gratitude, and in Devotion

I offer up all that I have

All that I am


It’s open link night at https://dversepoets.com/2022/08/04/open-link-night-321-blast-off/ come join in!

Comfort Uber Alles

OrYour Dollar Is Your Vote
I Still Buy Plastic

Bring it on, he cries!

Fell the trees

Divert the rivers

Mine the ore

It’s the mercy

Of the guillotine

Sharp, but quick.

I like to sing

I like to look up

The angels are so close now

The effluent is up to my ankles

This is how I hide.

Don’t we all?

To curl up in a cozy ball

With my Internet and comfort food

Maybe Burtynsky will photograph

My body next

My face practically falls off

The front of my skull with

The weight of ignored sadness

When I’m too tired to hold up

A smile anymore.

My lament rings out

In my echo chamber

Yet my wallet still opens

For convienience

For plastics

Each dollar, a vote.

My words don’t match my actions

Until I can do that I’m part of

The problem.

Yet for all the railing against humanity

This I think is misplaced

For our nature is this. Even those who see

Are also against nature,

So what?

So what hope?

Is there any path

Save mass extinction?

Should we let the next pandemic

Do it’s job and run it’s course?

Surely she could shake us off

Even now, even when it’s worse

She’s done it before. Life is the

Reward of life

So why are we here anyway?

Can we wake up to what this


Experiment is, before we foul

Our earthly Petri dish?

The best I can do is pretend

That there might be some miraculous

way to balance *all* this

And dare not remember

What lies beyond…


For the prompt at earthweal


Tall Oaks

Music begins it all
Music brings the light
Music makes the world
Music *is* the world
(Break it down)
Every particle is only a vibration
Vibration and it’s playing for you now
Even if you don’t want to hear it
Once that seal is broken
I can’t go back in the box
Well of course you can, for what is the box?
Just another song!
So Singh!

That’s where the lion gets his heart from
That right there is your tin man’s grease
So slather that salve all over your self
It is Balm
It is lube
It is an endless battery
So let it bombard you
What will you make with it?

OK so this time
I want to come in from this at the top
And drill down
I am the oak, making acorns

Of course I am!
And didn’t I have it right, all along?
Except one thing.
I have no idea
What I mean
When I say I



each new trap
is darker
with a bigger maw
and slavering fangs

so go ahead
put the stones on my body
put the boa around my neck
lock the door behind me

forget the net
the oxygen mask
the lifeline

im going in


‘slavering fangs’ is a nod to an early computer game.


i may yet need
to turn that loathesome knob
endure the screeching hinges
leave my footprint in that ashen dust
thick upon the tear stained floorboards
I may yet need
to dare lift my voice in that hollow
and pass that magic mirror
where a demon lurks
risk those reverberations
running down the cellar stairs
(those creaky musty stares)
and pool before his quaking
neglected terrified buster browns



The wild animal catches a whiff
The reptilian brain swift
To stir emotion, motion
The higher brain fills with notion
The heartbeat tide of oceans
Then and when contend
Away from the now they bend
The edge of the cliff is stiff
And so very near!
Clenched in Fear or deep
Into the beer, devotion to
An idea of the world unfurled
Like a flag on a pole, nothing without
Mere wind. We sinned. Out
In a wide world we could get
Away with a great deal
Now it’s too raw to close
To feel. Snared in our own net
Simultaneously reaching and
Recoiling, confusing immediacy
With the present moment.
Headlong! Oh would that we
Had done nothing, pandemically,
Earth shakes off a few million pests.
But would we learn from such
A monstrous teacher?