Saturday, June 23, 2018

found an old poem from baby felix

Don't ask me to string together syllables
abstractions or analyses--like beads
my brain congeals--these days
are thick: concrete, real
with rosetender skin
soured milk smell
squawks and squabbles, babbles
whys and wipes
stepped-on rice grains gluing themselves to socks
my body and my heart on call
to be poured out or spread
for hungry mouths and minds--

Dear god, make me the widow's cup of oil
this drop i have, this last drop
this very last drop
and still finding the last drop there 
to take
with one last fist of flour
hands falling into the familiar knead and press
to bake, again,
into their daily bread

Thursday, May 24, 2018

economics 2

In God's kingdom we all
make the same trade

can't refuse His demand: All

so we bring our hands full
what we made

of ourselves
What could we have saved?

so many handsful of trash
shredded and stinking

keeping back nothing

not the hate, not the scars
not the sick, not the dark

Come, said the Master
Come as you are

Come with all you have to offer
all you should have been

all the truth you scoffed at
all you're still too sick to see

Come make the trade.

All you need.
Paid in full.
Oh we fools! Clever monkeys
we cherish our reckoning

each with her bank book.
How much thanksgiving

is correct? Is this living:
pay our debts, tally dues

count up who's an honor
to the Kingdom? Do you

hold a list and check it
to watch your sister's credit

is she really repenting
enough to earn her pardon?

He said it was finished
Paid in full

this terrible measure:
for every sin

just recompense
And the Lord has laid on Him

the iniquity
of us ALL

Dear monkeys, little sheep,
let us wash off this filthy reckoning

This sister pitted and deformed by sin
receives more mercy, more cherishing

And you, so tender to the law's demands
are fitter to be treated as a man

The one who's been most crushed, who's been most cruel,
who's toiling out of filthy, monstrous places--

will we deny him one scrap of grace
whom God gave All?

No: let us grant more modesty, more grace
to one who brings more shame

and lays it at the Cross:
God for us

Leave off this reek, this tallying
what I brought and what you bring

and have the mind of Christ

Let us breathe and speak and live this trade:
each ALL receives ENOUGH
we cannot reckon up the way of Love.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

economics 1


I have a house in God's Kingdom,
a good house
well-built, modest--well
within my means. I pay
on the mortgage monthly: three fifty,
more when I can spare

I keep it nice, too: fresh paint yearly, dusted daily,
every corner clean--

Then she comes knocking, wanting
sugar (who doesn't have sugar?)
for cookies or something
Her kids eat too much sugar anyway, it's not good for them
and watch way too much TV--

It's almost midnight
and she comes with her cup

and she says guess what Jesus--

Oh do you know Him? I say

Oh yes, she says Jesus
gave me a mansion

Oh did he I say
a mansion
How expensive
and how do you keep it clean?
I suppose you want to borrow my vacuum cleaner as well I say

Oh yes, she says, he did--
he said it's free

Thursday, October 26, 2017


not to buried sleep--not
to wait close wrapped
for wings
inside thick skin
beneath warm dirt
here quivering, unskinned
to unfold
heart, belly, bones
unravel grubmouth, to
grow feet
intorn and squashable
this one, these five, these ten
unspin these cells
to spend this self
to, bought and builded, grow
brightwinged, tender, bold--

The world is full of teeth;
its wind is cold

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


how does the camel
fat double humps
bundled and burdened
bags and tassels
hospital bills
dental coverage
high speed internet
ballet class
her knobbled knees
her thick lipped plenty
through that needle:
to emptiness
to need
how does she
heavy laden
to grieve

Sunday, July 23, 2017

birth story

Begin here:

Begin with
the unscrewing relentless
open oh

its beginning
the small
tensing the
thin primitive smell of
ancient fear: so

it begins, so, unbearable,
it goes on opening. This
unbearable breach, still

how i am opened for you
bloodpainted, torn: i am made all pain, and mute
a door for you:

So we begin the hungry months:

the hungry months, the dear birdgullet days,
their endless small indignities
the heavy tender breasts, the constant leaking
--i will be weeping:
milk, blood, tears

i will be made your milk
your meat, your bread
your fear, your comfort, your bed

what i deemed my body broken--breaking--
in crumbs to fill your little needs--
how shall i feed you, small famished soul?

And you, weaned and closemouthed at last
will (unbearable opening) you will
go on through my heartbreak, opening,

what will my heart unscrewed
and opened bring into the world?

Friday, March 24, 2017


mostly for me, and also for my mother

dear mouseheart trembling
in My hand
stitched in your grey silk pocket-skin
huddled in it
covering your eyes--

dear oyster, curled
around your grief grit
hold and worry it
into a polished world
walled up: I know you nearly,
dear, your
hidden liquid quiver
gray and clear

dear mouseheart: stand
and speak: in lion's roar
or timid squeak
Truth remains sure--

I give it to you: fire
in your core--
little trillbeat you are
(I say it -- I)
You are transformed

(perhaps the three sons felt every flame
bite at their cells
felt every intolerable hungry claim
on their frail dust-
and they--
I standing there--

I name you, dear one
salamander heart:
burn, and endure

and in the fire find yourself,
dear self, reordered
not dissolved, but more
who I say you are--

find in the shatter
to speak My name

go, little heart--
grow, little tree--
when streams are deep sunk
and dry dirt chokes your thirsty feet

dear heart, burn
as the three:
of, beside, for, speaking

this, dear heart,
unbearable as flame
I gift you:

your name now
wrapped up in splendor,
in My Name