What wakes from the dark

A collaborative poem with the Oracle, a puente.


Something is born when we wake out of the dark

into the cold grey light,

a stream that runs to the ocean,

bright as we want to make it, they say,

those same warm voices full of smiles that warn,

Don’t look back into the fire nor stare into the swaying branches,

just let the red rhythms of the night

flow into the slow green and blue,


~even though the window is broken~


and the wind blows cold,

learn to see the lies that shine too bright to be true.

Lead will not turn to gold through yearning,

life streams flow rough; the banks are high,

and time flies on relentless wings

always north into the wilds, but look,

even there in the clear brilliance of frozen air,

the stars.

#Three line tales: Shoot

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Egor Vikhrev via Unsplash


She had always dreamed of fame, being featured in magazines, seeing her face on the front covers, and wherever she went she behaved as though she was surrounded by press photographers.

She never just bought a sandwich or waited for a train, she posed, hoping that someone would notice, which is what she was dreaming of—a photo shoot for Rankin—while she stretched out her long legs over the platform edge.

She did make the front page in the end, but not in the way she intended, when the High Barnet train shot out of the tunnel and swept her away.

What do I know?


What I know of the age of the stars,

the quality of empty space,

the depth of oceans

and the dark, blind things that live there,

I could write on the back of a postage stamp.


What I know of the times before,

the decomposition of bone,

the dragging of stone blocks to the pinnacle

of a pyramid, a diet of chestnut meal,

is less than nothing, a wisp of supposition.


What was in the heart of the Conquistadores

or Genghis Khan and his hordes,

the householders who sent children

into the lightless hell of their chimneys,

is beyond imagining.



Where the wind blows,

the ebbing tide ends or the swift rests,

and what I will be when I am not,

are mysteries in the lap of the nature

that shapes us all.


I know only

that I am,

you are,

and when I take your hands,

we are too.

In our town

There was something about the town in this painting that really got up my nose. Not sure why. I wrote several poems about it for the Ekphrastic challenge. This is one of them.

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 16.02.07

In our town only the dead walk

or the defiant, skimming the shadows

of the empty streets after night falls.


In our town the house fronts frown,

and windows howl in outrage,

while streetlamps point the finger


at ghosts and outcasts robed in sin.

We robe ourselves in righteousness

and join the hallelujah chorus.


In our town the streets are safe,

without fear, for behind each window

framed in lace is a finger on a trigger.

To Boreas

An apostrophe for dverse.


I see you in the golden flurry

swept from winter maple trees

and in the ruffled feathers of the birds.

I see your northern fingers’ traces

in frosted patterns on the pane

the silvered surface of the pond.

I hear you mutter in the chimney flue,

teeth gnash among the branches bare,

I fear your cold and footless tread—

is this your breath, this mist of frozen air?

What needs no words


I need no guru

to teach me the wind,

the language of birdsong and falling leaves.

I need no coach to read the clouds,

the undulating skeins of geese and cranes

and follow with longing eyes their airy path.

The river runs,

tides ebb and flow,

moon, sun rise and set,

mothers curl

about their young in feathered curves,

the soft embrace of fur,

the tenderest arc of an arm.

Love is,

life is—

what else is there to know?

Bird skirmishing


robin tweets his warning cry

fiery fierce

from his honeysuckle bush

none shall enter

this private tangle


egrets in the meadow

pause in their insect search

then resume unconcerned

the bullets

were for someone else


crows mob the buzzard

black voices hoarse with hatred

but when the red kites arrive

slow in tight formation

no one moves