tide and time and fire (20210428)

the log on the sea
doesn’t remember the axe
but it knows the bitter cut
of icy salt water

the salty sea
buoys the log
and doesn’t know the petals
of flame within the wood
waiting to be released

at high tide
there is little chance to
to wash ashore

at low tide
it will be swept out
among the seals
and the gulls

another beach

ashes ashes (20170917)

was everything you felt for me
a trick of the light?
some magician’s smoke
fanned to achieve

the appropriate density?
how many parts per million
were enough to make my
eyes water?

was the fire a reflection
in a mirror
without heat,
without the power to consume?

see my ashes for what they are
no trickery here
just crematory soot
bones to grind into flour

untitled (20170418)

the sun throws rocks at me
and my umbrella
shudders under the weight
of these fiery meteors

my hair reeks of smoke
tiny holes have begun appearing
in my shirt where the cosmic
ash has fallen

how i wish they didn’t carry
all that gravity with them
in addition to their smoldering


It’s National Poetry Writing Month!
Day 18

Check out these sites:

no more titans (20160918)

i rest on my back
staring at a ceiling
scraped smooth
and white
by previous owners

the only thing tearing
at my liver
an eagle named
anxiety as the weekend
slips over the horizon
with the sun

i close my eyes
and see an expanse of white
and open my eyes
and see an expanse of white

i wonder what it would be like
to give the gift of fire
without getting blistered hands
if being chained to a rock
is all that bad
having made a mark
that went down on his
permanent record
and i wonder what color
his sky is

eye of the devil (20160723)

the sun hangs angry and red
two hands above the horizon
like a sleepy devil’s eye
burning through smokey clouds

though soft and orange
i am punished for looking
it scars the inside eyelids
i see its echo when i close my eyes

i will see its echo
when i sleep
and dream blind


The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Punishment

sunset and messages (20160722)

we saw no angels only
the aftermath of their
swords cutting the air

orange sunset through
clouds of distant smoke
and somewhere a single

dog barking
__________i hope someone
threw that loud bastard
a bone to calm him down

as for the angels–well
they can carve up heaven
as they see fit

there aren’t enough
actual souls down here
to complain about it

wings of ash (20160607)

everything moves in a circle
what i have breathed in
i will breathe out

my spine pushes its way out
through the back of my neck
hot skin, dry eyes
no pain, just pressure
like when the doctor says
you may feel a little discomfort

everything moves in a circle
what i have breathed out
i must breathe in

heavy, dark wings
emerge from my back
black snake fireworks
intumescent ash and billowing smoke
rings of fire carving new bones
where my shoulder blades once were

these wings beat
throw dust into the air
create tornadoes of choking, blinding sand
but they cannot lift me
and my arms hang now useless and free

everything moves in a circle
what i will breathe in
i have already breathed out

brick (poem 20160520)

when i die
i want to be wrung out
like a dish rag
every ounce of blood
every drop of salty water
squeezed out
i want to be pressure cooked
and made into ceramic bricks
that will last forever
and i want to be built into
a fireplace
where you burn logs
on cold nights
you will hear my voice
whispering in the flames
and the fire will warm my cold
brick nature
and i will feel like flesh
to your fingers
when your run your hands over me


The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Brick

smoke (Poem 20160501)

someday soon i am going to catch on fire

not through any action of my own

not by smoking in bed
i’m too cheap to buy cigarettes

not by standing too close to an open flame
while wearing non-flame-retardant pajamas

not by standing beneath a giant magnifying glass
on a sunny day like some ant cooked by a bully

not even from some smoldering look you
carelessly toss my way
though that would be my preferred method

i think spontaneous combustion is nature’s way
of cleaning up its weeds
turning us into carbon-rich ash for a new
generation of green things without nettles

so i tell myself i won’t mind so much
when i finally smell the smoke