The garden of our bones

Photo by Jacqueline Martinez on Unsplash

We steal fish heads

from aluminum trash cans —

the flesh fileted, spine dangling

down, in gravity, to the tip of the tail


The hooked bars of bone present

the illusion of a body – in the same way

timbers and trusses of houses give the impression

of a home

yet unfinished.


We clear a patch of ground by the burn barrel,

where homeless rags stay warm on cold nights,

by edge of the dirt pitch we play stick ball at

& run coffee can bases.

We place the refuse, these structures that resemble

fish, as seeds & water them – imagining a whole school

rising to dance in the current of summer’s hot breathe

& join us in play

We chant “Batter, Batter”

to distract each other from connecting

tn such a way that the ball would project itself out –

over the fence // beyond this place

in an escape, we never thought possible,

to be lost

out there

beyond us –

The garden of our bones grew, but the fish

never bloomed & we

too soon

forgot that one day,

one day —

we thought they would.

Claudia has us writing “Garden poems” over at dVerse for the 10 year anniversary.


Posted by on 2021/07/13 in Uncategorized


The mourning after (I met you)

Photo by Andrey Svistunov on Unsplash


pinned back, erect

S of a tail twitching to/ /fro, 

a squirrel scampers      left/right,

juking a bird,               wings flailing

2keep Up— its beak nip-

ping the tip—         & neither

ever sees the car

    —another heart//beat     

in the bassline of a radio song.

So, I am guest hosting over at dVerse for the Anniversary. Been a while. The magic word in the quadrille is “juke”, feel free to join in the fun at 3 pm EST.


Posted by on 2021/07/12 in Uncategorized


i am ever(y w)here

i am everywhere

i am nowhere

i am now here

i am

on a side // street off the main market in Dharan on the chip stone stoop of a printers’ shop, archaic by modern standards but you work with what you got — in this existence

(i am)

& kids sneak peeks around the shop’s gaping mouth left by the roll up metal tracked-door, hand painted in peeling maroon and golden yellow, advertising something that most can’t afford to get, but reminding them that it is there — here — just out of reach

i am

Pungent, and unwashed, as they are, preceded by the flavor of our shared survival. His once red shirt, a grease-y crimson smudge to browns & black & their bare feet

I am

bearing witness in

bare feet grasp the sand & rock, the bones of this earth, crushed smooth in passing // passing by all their ancestors & hooves & wood-wheeled carts & bent bicycles barely rideable or scooties, hanging on as the earth spins, slower here, yet still fast enough to throw you off

i am

making finger puppets out of discarded paper scraps the printer collects in a box to burn in the street at dusk with all the other trash in a smoldering black smoke. even in the hug of the thick air heat

(i am)

telling a story, making the characters dance from pointer to index, nodding as they speak & periodically the kids dart forward to smack the puppets off their perch before darting back a safe distance. the puppets flutter to rest in the gutter of water and the refuse that leaks out of us

(i am)

but they don’t dare leave // (don’t dare leave)

& i don’t, i

just fold another & continue the story

We are everywhere

We are nowhere

We are now here

for Grace @ dVerse. For those that read my prompt at dverse earlier this week, you saw the picture that goes with this poem.


Posted by on 2020/07/16 in Uncategorized


They are anything but

plains of gold & shadow, grains & tall grasses,
a ground hardened by lack & nuptuous mounds
of bruised blackberry clouds
heavy with rain waiting.
lightning spider webs every crevice
& thunder dense with hoofbeats/footfalls/a pulse impinged
on stretched skin // drum
our severed roots cry out

& I cup my hands into a chalice
to capture everything that falls, to fill up
enough to jump in the deep end, without holding
a breathe.

Of wind, the grasses are moving
in dance, only those that have been taken
know; a captured lioness in my ribcage,
a prowling pride
stalks me(at)
& leaves
sucked clean to bleach
under a newborn sun

Perhaps her eyes are enuf
for you
to understand, but i don’t
& that

is why i // sit here
with her
tracing irises with fingers

except & accept
the frame of color this white space

Ok, this ones been brewing for days & I still feel its got a ways to go, but I am hosting the 8 year anniversary prompt over at dVerse Poets & haven’t written anything serious in far too long, much less shared it.


Posted by on 2020/07/14 in Uncategorized


peace in the parking lot

“Peace”, the voice calls out,
as if they have any clue
what it means, but pulls
me up short between
the white lines on the asphalt.

at my foot, it’s skin, once pink
now mottled, smeared grey, bits
of dirt impressed, tread on by
some shoe, taking/tearing away pieces,
unnoticed and discarded careless, by the
pruduct of someones mouth

“dang bro, it’s only gum”

“it’s only…” rings heavy, dismissing
and yes, it’s gum, and yes they once
had a name before they too became
“it’s only” as if that justified the

“who?” you ask, just look, wherever
the noose still swings under the
spasmodic dying weight
of the oppressed

“Peace,” there is the voice again
and I turn to three tawny haired kids
in the back of the jeep waiting on their
mom who said she would only be a minute
in Starbucks and throw them the two fingered
gang sign of those that believe there is
a better way, and echo
their sentiments

they giggle and i smile a prayer that
maybe they will one day
show us the way
toward it.


Posted by on 2011/05/13 in Uncategorized


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One Shot: Coming to an Understanding

when was the last time you had sex
no i don’t mean that
placating poke you give monthly
just to keep the coals warm
and check the vital signs
of the body laying next to you

i could get more life
from a blow up doll

this guy, sitting across the table,
butt numbing as he settles in the booth,
causing him to fidget something fierce
or maybe its my question

you don’t understand, my wife she just
doesn’t, she hasn’t, i tried, it’s
just that, he keeps adding layers
to his story as he explains his woes,
like someone let the air out of his
manhood and he’s miles from
a gas station with one of those
quarter inflation machines
without change

really? he nods, it just doesn’t seem fair
now does it? he nods more vigorous,
considering all that you do to
make her feel special, and a queer
look starts around the tick of his eye,
when was the last time you did the dishes?

gave her a back rub without intention, much
less her feet, brought her flowers
at work, not on a holiday or special occasion
but because it was raining, kissed her
like you were dying, sang her favorite song
off key, left a love note laying, not lying
or chased her around the house just to embrace
or whisper

dishes, really? oh yeah, hands dish panned
for her pleasure, guaranteed and he looks
at me all serious, screws his eyes into
intensity, fingers drumming on the thick
varnished wood and says,
but you don’t understand

so i say, how about them Lakers,
which perks him right up, lips flying
about the ejections and…but i am
hear nothing, cause i do…

i do understand, and start
sketching on a napkin something,
tonight, i will leave on your pillow.

When all else fails, drop it poetically, it’s what all the cool kids do…or at least they do at One Shot Wednesday…so what is stopping you…go, write, visit…and do it poetically. Doors open at 5 pm EST Tuesday.


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punk monk

mohawk erect, i sit
on the split log bench
by the grape arbor
seeking solace on bent
elbows, fingers tracing
wood grain, searching
for answers in the whirls
of tree ages

marks of storms and creepy
crawly invaders among the sun
god’s benevolence baked in
and through it all stood tall,
arms raised, despite, until laid
low to create this space

green buds & leaf adorn the vine
dry limbs, trimmed one at a
time by hand, last week
lay for the burning, but again
new life has come, trumpeted by
the song of wing

soon enough new fruit will
feed, for those unwilling
to be content only to touch,
without strength to bring
to lip & ingest, this is a
sluggard’s gambit.

in habit, breathing, i toe
the regimented red brick row
back to the house no longer
alone among the sown garden
of my thoughts.

This is a Magpie Tale.

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Posted by on 2011/05/11 in Magpie Tales, poetry


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