Category Archives: Poetry
Most every spring the river would flood.
we were used to it, but as Greed
continued to destroy the Garden,
the rains came earlier and
earlier, and more and more
intensely, which concerned us,
yet we learned to live with the new
normal. After all, the old log house
was built on poles sunk deeply into
the earth. worst case scenario, we’d
sip chardonnay, gaze into the forest
and simply wait for the water to recede.
in the dark hours of early morning
the crash came with shattering glass
smashing porcelain, and twisting metal.
everything paused at 45 degrees as if the
cabin stopped to bow respectfully to Queen River
like a conquered general surrendering his army.
We momentarily breathed relief
a deafening crunch as if a malevolent giant
was crumbling up the house like a piece of
scrap paper – splinters and shards,
missiles and spears, dust and plaster,
a sucking sound, a roar, sliding, sliding,
now swirling into the raging muddy river
wet, cold, freezing, gasping, grasping,
panic, desperation, no breath to scream
on and on, day after day, more panic,
so cold, so alone, so afraid, raging waters
churning, churning, churning,
scraping rocks too cold to bleed, too afraid to live,
mind numb, limbs blue, vision blurry
(i was swept downstream in the angry river
for centuries by shape-shifting Achelous, the
progenitor of Sirens, who was whipped into wrath
by the self-indulgence of evil wizards)
there is no timeline for grief
society’s grid is nonsense.
the raging flooded river carries
each one on a different journey,
a journey that never ends,
that transforms the heart
for good or for ill.
after many years, the river widened.
the current, while strong,
seemed less ferocious, less angry, less
determined to drown me,
the water warmer now,
almost pleasant in spite of still
carrying remnants of broken
homes and lives, and the bodies of
dreams and hopes and loves
only on a chart can you see where this river
empties into that river which empties into
that gulf, which feeds that ocean, for, in reality
it is all one, from mountain springs fed by melting snow to
streams and brooks, to the mighty breakers that
spray lighthouses, it is all one
we are all one
impossible to determine when it happened exactly,
but one day, still floating, now on my back,
warm sun on my face, rocked gently by the currents of
mother river, i realized that this river of sorrow that
i thought was surely my death, carried me until it
emptied me ever so gently into
My True Self
Does one ever get used to cold darkness,
To hard and bitter clay atop icy bedrock?
Many a time have I been in this place, in
Other places and at other times, all
Different and exactly the same –
Chained to walls, or once to soldiers
Alas, no more
A chill so deep, chattering teeth,
Blue lips and fingers, numb feet and toes,
Shivering, fetal position, rags and excrement
Damp stench of urine, fever, and human dung
No bars, windows, doors, visitors, except the
Sentry with bowls of slop twice daily,
Nauseating and unidentifiable
Rags only, festering sores, oozing pus,
Eyes burning and blurry, without
Cloak or scrolls or parchment or quill
No companions except the rats that
Race across my legs, looking for a
Drop of gruel. They look at me with the
Longing eyes of brothers
Abandoned. Alone. Always alone.
They are ashamed of me –
Criminal, incarcerated, forsaken by
God, guilty, must be guilty of
Why would he be there?
Chained and alone?
Surely, if God were for him
Mighty angels would have
Snapped the chains and stunned the
Guards – no, he is deserted by God,
Cast off for heresy – absurd to think of a
Kingdom that welcomes whores and pimps and
God has his reasons for leaving him there –
Prosperity, wealth, success, victory, conquering
Come to the ones with whom God is pleased
Surely, they say, what goes around comes around, and
He is only eating his just desserts
So, distance yourself, they cry, lest you too
Sit in chains
The end is near.
The executioner’s axe is sharp.
There is no victory.
No strong finish.
No kiss of grace or touch of love in
The damp – only the wails of
Distant prisoners being dragged to
Stakes and crosses and chopping blocks
So their blood can oil the machine, or,
Depending on their choice,
Mingle with the pascal mystery
And then …
I see no visions
No flashes of light this time
No audible voice this time
But he is here, and I,
Enveloped in perfect Love,
Am not at all alone.
And all is well
Warmed by grace
Embraced by acceptance
Enlivened by divine smiles
Held by everlasting arms
At the universe center
I lay me down to sleep.