Tuesday, December 27, 2016


While you, gray clumsy duck, swim and dream
through my big bellied days
I am not idle. I twist and twist the thread
(What swanwings some mothers dream)
Await with dread your hatching into
this marsh of imperfections.

Sorrow enough to be a refugee--
How can I bring you forth? What prince,
with what brief day's skin-inclination
will cover, too, you (angles
and wet feathers, eager maw,
mad demanding eyes)
With the thin gloss of lust unsatisfied?

Unborn, already, your wings grow
twisted: uncovered they will outrage our eyes
like skin scraped off
and if you fly--
                           (poor bird, you will not fly)
I sit sewing tiny shirts to wrap you in

Nettles and thistles:
I will wrap you tenderly, in prickles.
I have been saving thorns my mother gave me
and thorns I sought out new.
For you, little bird,
for you:
Oh, I will prick scars in your new skin.

The spinning bites my fingers.
I do not stop twisting. The shirt is oddshaped,
I work, and wait. I know
this garment I make,
rashing my hands,
it cannot make you
(Sweet crooked bird)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


In spring you shared good news--
two babies! Due November --
like a plate of freshbaked cookies.
New life is sweet in the mouth,
brown sugar and vanilla.
A taste to savor--
God is good
Taste, unseen, eyes built,
fingers unfolding,
the knitting of new bodies with new souls

Summer brought figs and wasps.
Untwinned, too, one twin
One sister, to be born
half of a pair--
What memory of sister cells long melted?
What redseamed and burning loss
sewn up in every stitch of joy?
May I beside you drop my tears
for these dear twins
Purl tears, still, for that pearl
that little lump of cells
they took--
unfingered still, and unfarewelled--
in glass

The birthday--Ruby Mae!
Born in November
in a cold far place,
a white gray winter
To know you hold, at last, the small bright crown
to nine months' long ring of grief and hope
Touch her fingers.
Hold her curled into your shoulder--
We unwrap your news like early Christmas
bright with red ribbons.
Is God not good? 
The tears we paid seem guarantee
of days and years thick with sweet memories--

Till an imperfect heart's small raveling
surgeon stitched, still opens
and opens, and opens
its unstoppable switch: breath
to emptiness.
We watch ribbons spin and shred in a black sea.
Was one not enough?
Something beside you--faroff
in my own gray home
I share the indignities:
mucus, tears, acid
puncturing the days with its
unbearable taste--
Dear friend,
Let me sit down with you
at this bitter plate.
To weep
and hope
and pray.
God is good --
To believe, together,
that promise,
that unshakeable one day.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Tell you a story

It was a long time winter when you were born,
redfaced and reaching
squawking--sure of clutching
some sweet something--

it's still long winter.
Burrow down. Hide in your caves
from the long dry drowning,
snow on snow on

a bleak midwinter--
The world's long winter bites
our bones grown weak with cold
grown weak with grief

Beneath, earth cracked
seems a myth--
no more-- we told
to strike a sputterhope into this cold--

Sputter hope--shiver
like muscles, jerk and tremble
teeth chatter
inside your ears aches,
deep inside your brain
and lips crack like riverbeds.
To breathe this cold,
you know,
is pain.

Tell you a story:
green trees. Peaches.
Halo sweat slicking your skin.
Squash thick.
Mosquito rich.
laden with tomatoes
tender beans
sweet milky corn.

You came out widemouthed,
made for thriving.
Learn surviving:
Set your teeth hard.
Set your shoulders.
Bow down like long winter
sits burden on your back
The weight of years--

Been waiting years.
Keep your guts clenched warm
around that memory/

You might see (some days) redbud fuzz:
too hopeful trees--

Tell you a story:
Summer. One day.
One of these days,
come and upsprung.
The whole globe goldened
Black dirt,
green promises unfolded.
Tell you: Peaches
drip sweet juices
down your chin.

Friday, November 4, 2016

in jerusalem

Beneath cracked skin i feel the slow itch
the creep and prickle
in bones grown thin and brittle--
unseen, marrowdeep, dividing
a new, glad blood

it is humming to itself
it will be singing

This dampened buzz, this
bonedeep itch,
is this flourishing?

Does empty earth, drummed up and soaked by rain,
crawl so minutely
into a new, glad green?

Is this the itch of unfamiliar joy?
I have seen marvels.

What new astonishments appear
when bones (my bones) unfold
and rise like grass--

arderet et non conbureretur

My skin's intact -- the fire
burns in my bones
licks out the marrowshells
curls tongues of
poured out through channels
thick and fierce
My blood is changed for fire
the vessels scream with it
too small to hold such holy
(unbearable, unraveler) desire --
I: consumed, consumed, and still consumed
O I will burn
this revelation
I will change my tongue
and speak in fire

Friday, October 21, 2016

autumn posy

My daughter beams, presenting her bouquet:
dead leaves--a damp, bunched fistful
sisters fallen from one tree, brown and big as my mommy palm
and vaguely stinking: leafmust, bitter-medicinal,
curious wet dog.
They are not all the same:
their veins, teacup-crack fractals, branch uniquely,
black beetle pockmarks unbeautify them like fingerprints,
one only flushes still with queasy green.
You can hold them all mommy, she cries
thrusts their flexible damp stems into my hands.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


does God sort people into boxes,
saving them--

I guess He would need a whole room full of
boxes just for the States of
american christians

the patriotic ones, for sure, go mostly in this box
waving their flags and their constitutions and their godly heritage
their ikons of pigtailed founding fathers

these ones are wearing bluejeans, they will lift up their hands,
they have free and beloved tattooed on their wrists and their shoulders
their box is blinking blueviolet
bass throbbing
over the praise chorus phrases
the phrases and phrases and phrases
that box contains a real worship experience,
they agree
some of them aren't solid on Who
does it matter

a box for the working class whites
much worn down around the corners
warped and speckled with grease stains and sweat stains
prickling, resentful
(what happens to the anomalies
who decide to go for doctrine
do they get a new box
or do they get thrown in with the middle class Presbyterians
and the wealthy Baptists,
with their skirts and their suits and their $400 youth camps and their
church schools)

you would think the liberal box would be pretty big
with ample space for thinking
but mostly they just fill the room up with
pinkhearted sobs and hugs
in between their
(can we say it in God's room?)
social justice work

Boxes for the white ones
the brown ones 
the black ones
a few for the ones who want to be mixed up

the psalm singers
the amen shouters
the babblers and fainters

i feel like maybe i should slip into the box He keeps
shoved under the bed
the one with all the broken pieces--

Our stories get us most of us tangled
so maybe He (metaphorically) asks us
where we want to go do this whole
"one another" thing,
which other we feel will be the least

in heaven do we get to switch churches if we
get that "outsider" feeling?

suburban faery (unfinished)

Do giants find the world of Faerie trivial
dollhouse-twee, all pastel let's-pretend?
Their eyes too high-air-buffeted to see
tender eyestalks or close-curled damp shells--
all they know is the crunch of anonymous
dull brown stones and twigs, 
all shapes the same breaking
beneath thick soles...

October glamours even the pocket lawn
behind our tidy house
Centered in the clipped brown yard, a fairytale tree
holds out handsful of heartshaped, gilded leaves
and in its branches a feathered princeling sings
warbles of spells and loss and splendid-tragic things
I can no longer hear
(It is years now since i lost my fairytale ears,
I have crushed too many toiling ants)

Its dropped sticks become swords, and wands;
its squirrels bring messages, brave tasks and tests

And the brown skink, fingerlong shadow
on the lattice,
perched in each eternity
before he spies, twitches, slithers, disappears--
he is an ancient, wise, dragoneyed thing

Cruel hunters with diamond wings
hover and dive
for morsels that creep and scuttle through brown grass

Geneva is hoarding acorns,
fistfuls of acorns,
piling them into the secret box under her tricycle seat
Is she storing up fairy seeds
smooth around so many wishes to wish--
Or nuts of gold, to bribe a bigeyed princess with--
Or maybe she wants only to treasure them,
that heap of treepromises
roundbellied with intention toward the earth--
It is enough: it is Fall, and there are these acorns
glossy brown in her cupped hands

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


The fog rolls up silent
and unstoppable
at sixoclock
it creeps in the kitchen window corners
holds out fingers thick with stories

the coffeemaker coughs and spits

this is one story: i am a barnacle
frilled and clinging, furled, alone
in this world, in this house

This house: this dead and drifting brickskinned whale
thickshelled, still i go on riding
this island
there is, outside his lidless eye
a single dark and brachiating tree
stolid among pregnant waves
a thick and secret sea

Thursday, October 6, 2016

labor (spoken word)

I am a man

unleisured, unlettered, i am heir
to as much of sky: i too partake
in 15minute nicotine drenched midnight breaks
of stars flung no less wide
thronged no less deep

than you
Sleeping in your mattress in its solid wood frame
in your 5 bedroom 3 1/2 bathroom
woodfloored wifecleaned roachless yardmowed

Look at you reaping
the fruits of your labor
casting bread on the water
did the debt snowball
you're the good Christian version
of american dreaming:
save and amass, one day you'll pay cash
for a palace like Dave Ramsey
till your taxes go to benefit
like me

(second shift third shift

what does it profit
a man
if he gain)

My name
is no less heavy
in God's hand
because it's on those documents of shame
(I have a name:)

wal mart employee
delinquent rent
stacked up infractions
unpaid child support
godforbid food stamps
haven of the shiftless unprincipled

Do you know my name? 
Your granddad called my dad
worse than a n-------
How do you figure the worth of a

white trash
no class
Back then at least he had his white skin
not at the bottom if there's someone less than

My sin
is no less grave than yours.
Your sin
My sin
For the same damn wages

And the rate of my redemption is not one drop less
of God's own blood.
I am a man

It is a much diminished thing to be a man
We lost sight of justice
we love our private school educations
   family vacations
   college savings
   club cards
   Chik Fil A (my kids eat free lunch and PB&J)
more than the rawscrape shape of love
and mercy

it is better to walk proud
in our righteous bootstraps
our heads so full of prudence up on those clouds
american dreaming
oh holy nation of white middle class self made

You want to work 9 to 5
and eat the fruit of that righteous toil
and eat, and eat
the little thistle prickles make it sweeter

A day will come
(it won't be my day)
when we at last go home
Work the earth together like we were made to

and you, with your Protestant work ethic, your prudence, your priorities
your middle class opportunities
You will own not one inch of it
that sweet black soil, wormrich and warm beneath your hands

Beside you I will weep
barehanded, bury deep this angry pride
This bitter seed, humiliation
I will reap humility

We will receive the same wages

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Even in these days and these places you may find her
if you seek
diminished to a frail and shrewlike thing
like all her kind
Always, now, she has teeth

her mouth a dollhouse steak knife
serrate, swarming
you will remember the razor bite in your thumb
and the bite in your ring finger
later, the too-pink flush and swell and itch

remember that frantic bundle
needlebones, sharp stink, and matty fur
wrapped too thin around a shrill accelerating buzz
How tiny-frangible those bones
a dollhouse skeleton
a dollhouse heartbeat

Remember you held her,
teeth and trepidation,

and were amazed

Found her:
fear and featherweight, a thing
too heavy-huge
to fold in feeble giant's fingerbones

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Snake come crawling
in my garden
snake come stinking
in my green
Old snake and i go way back
Don't like the way he stings

get back old snake i said get
get back where you belong

snake come crawling
in my garden
snake come stinking
in my song

cant keep on singing snake
where you  

old blue heavy on my back
snake slide by so sweet and black
pick up go on now
sing your song
cant sing my song no more

hoe hangs heavy in my hand
lay that burden down
gonna lay down in my garden
black snake wrapped around

i said get back
but now i'm gonna lay me down

look up at the bean threads
and the hot sun looking down

Saturday, July 30, 2016

birdsong breakfast

breakfast: black coffee
perched on the front door steps
in birdcrammed morning

its brash black smell steams into air
thick with sound,
curling around the stars and loops
spirals and whistles, pip! pip!s
spurts and whirrrs--

the sun smudge smiling blearily
into birdchat like seed full berry jam
thick heaped on toast

while muted insect trills and hums
pack thick the background
music crushed and sugar-sweet
buzz and rattle

Hear! Hear! Here! rawthroated cock
bragging and chortling
glad to be crowing up
the sun. The sun up, glowing
like warmed butter drips
and melts in every cranny
of (now)

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I will fill up the cupboards with coffeecups
and wineglasses
with mismatched plates

i will fill up the days
with sisters. Their children
will fill up the rooms with scattered toys,

and i will not count the days since i vacuumed
or apologise for the spiders spinning in the corners

i will go out for chairs, or linens, and come back with more books
i will dress myself and your children in secondhand clothes that almost fit
until i am grown up enough to do differently

i will cook beans and cornbread
and buy sixdollar wine
and cry because i wrote poems
instead of cleaning the bathrooms
i will save ten dollars from the grocery budget
and send my brother twenty

we will invite families anyway
to eat stories from yardsale plates
with dented flatware,
good stories

Oh, our backyard weeds will rejoice
and i will go on hoping
mopping sometimes, sometimes moping

it is a nice home you have provided
with its doorposts
its doorposts
and doorposts
and doorposts
It will hold a lot of truth
it has room for hope


My husband says, "I have provided a nice house for my family"
which is true.
I hear gratitude in his voice, and well-earned pride
He has worked hard for this.

Thanks? i return

prickling inadequacies and resentment
bunched and crumpled into a three year old's bouquet
(don't give me nice things)

Three bedrooms. A kitchen--a large kitchen. A dining room. A living room. A den. Two full bathrooms. A laundry room. One hallway. Seven closets.
Wide rooms, long rooms
yawning and looming
We have spread out our odds and ends into the gape:
a chair here, the Wal-Mart futon, your particleboard computer desk.
We have, at least, plenty of bookshelves, plenty of books,
too much plenty of what i call my junk
(mostly craft supplies i will never use
and things we might need someday, in ten years)
when i am being polite

A room for each child: daughter, son
i have folded and stacked their clothes in little plastic baskets
4 for a dollar at Goodwill

Oh, it is a delicious extravagance
to wear these many rooms, these empty rooms
The weight of them draped
(undraped) around my neck
in their long spaces.
(and worst) un-corner-dusted
 Cinderella draping herself in stepsister necklaces
preening and mocking
They are heavy,
they sparkle,
look at all that zircon!
--her fists tight around the locket
her mother's locket
which is brass--

Really, you see
(don't sneeze) i am afraid.
How can i inhabit these wide rooms, these many rooms?
As greasy smoke--
i will dissipate
Fade into their grinning spaces
into mere traces of grime i was
Too poor white trash to clean weekly

Friday, June 24, 2016


Oh God Who speaks Your Name-- to us--

Oh God! My mouth, my mind is full of straws,
To hold so fierce a fire:  I cannot plait
them thick enough -- the hunger of that Name
consumes these boxes. These cardboard shoeboxes
i inherited, or made. i decoupaged with third grade
Sunday School paper pictures: pinkblonde Jesus
reaching stiff arms toward such clean, white friends--

I read Your words, and watch my pictures burn.
For in this revelation the earth groans, and splits --
Rivers dry up. Seas tremble. Oceans churn.
Angels, radiant and fierce, shout out their joy. And stars
Turn cartwheels out of chaos, round what unspoken hinge
You only cherish. --
And justice burns. It marks the time like liquid stone
Boiling and flowing, hardly seen, until the appointed day has come --
And that day will come. --

Oh Love -- that Love that measured out the stars
In their million million flagrances -- that knows
Too, the ceaseless communings of their smallest parts --
That longhearted Love that sits outside of Time
That Love that burns, that pierces, cuts, and scrapes away  --
That wrapped Itself in particles -- in skin -- to walk
for love among us -- Oh Love Who will come again --

How can paper bear a live and burning star?
Yet may these words, burned up to smoke arise
Incense to You -- not sweet of what they are,
But sweet for what they long for.
Sweet for their Desire
Toward which, in Which, by Which they are set fire

reference: the Book of Job. Not done yet.

Monday, June 20, 2016

garden (repost, 2013)

so we come again to the garden

walking these our footworn paths
hand in hand
survey the land that now unjungled sighs,
settles into these tilled and wellsown fields

to docile groves, to humble carrot patches
the sweet rioting of vines contained and pruned

to fragrance of green breaths
to bees rejoicing anthems as they toil

what jungles may have been, what bitter thorns
now, stem by stem, and sweatbathed, all uprooted

those bones that writhed with shrill wormjoyful stink
rotting now quietly beneath their trees
sweetening the dark and tender soil

here we have cultivated love, and conversation
fed with delight, with honey and ripe peaches

let us return now to the good bread of toil, to salt the earth
let us brownarmed and strong together
let us raise our beesong too of work and rest

Sunday, June 19, 2016

First contact

So now there is a we

each hearing in our own tongue
(do you have a tongue at all? or three? Idioms
are the first to break

across the gap
of minds
stars apart

The translator gives us these words
for webs
a spiderbridge across
a galaxy

they touch our hearts like silk
or the memory of fingers)

This we!
(What you say comes to my ears wrapped
in the colours i can hear:

your words stare out
with shark eyes


my words in your mouth
are tied to something that)

i cannot understand

Saturday, June 18, 2016

galaxies (2015)

To trawl strange stars what net
will, dear Man,

i fear

i will go on tracing you
in blueveined, pungent cheeses
in bitter beer

Can i, hook and fishnet, know
your sighs
your skin
to hold you,

measured, scraped, unbowelled,

Oh Man!
do i go on slowly
these six years' days
building this not knowing

this bridge
our skin

sagging and folding
dear Man i will
in six and eight and ten
years, be

here, dear Man
i love! Do i
love (want)
(covet) (fear)

Oh Man i love you now
with silence
and no sweet potatoes

i know the stars
some of the stars
in your games' empires

i am jealous
for further galaxies

i want to hang stories
like constellations
on these lights
your whitebright minute victories
your pulsing shames
your blurred and shifting dreams

Friday, June 17, 2016

marginalia (2010)


After a year, the accessories of our separate lives have intertwined: i.e. the bookshelf, where my eyeliner and four thousand bottles of black nail polish have occupied all available space, have in fact expanded from a military outpost surrounded by barbed-wire to a number of flourishing agricultural endeavors, even, frequently, embarking on diplomatic missions to the representatives of Dental Hygiene, conferring at length on the bathroom sinktop. As for the bookshelf proper, see how my paperbacks have insinuated themselves, subverting (like the good possessions of an English major!) the patriarchy’s imposition of a very masculine organization. Note also the stubbornly indeterminate coffee and cocoa stains between their pages. The bookshelf suffices for an example – there is no need to point out the books, the notebooks, the pens (my own and the ones I have stolen, unintentionally of course, from you) scattered like fall leaves across the coffee table, the dining table, the TV, the floor. The post-it notes and envelopes and expired coupons and postcards flocking like butterflies to the fragrant manure of any flat open space. This is our life together: my tendrils of mess entwined with the necessities of your life. I reside with you, dear man, as marginalia. You are the strong angles and sure text, German blackletter. I my love am the red commentary (not authoritative), added in a moment of boredom or whimsy in a spidery and uncertain hand. I am the curls and curlicues of greenery, the phantastical flowers obscuring the clean reading of the text. I am the private, unrelated drama – the courtly, unsanctioned adultery going on quietly behind the great gilt curve of the capital G. Look – that dragon in the corner, twirling and twisting spinelessly around his own scarlet belly. How frivolous his emerald cavorting! How irrelevant to the auctoritee, the firm black text, he decorates. See how delighted he is, simply to be there, turning coloured flips for joy around the beloved words!

from Love Songs for Dennis (2011)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

unfolding (2010)


Alone, my body curled
into its own

From furled unbeauty,
tight withholding

Beneath your hands,
your heart,
i bloom:

a Rose,

from Love Songs for Dennis(2011)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

constrained (2011)


This is to love:
to wear your future like a coat

To walk it like a thin sharp road
between thick bristling silence

Your long bones, wide back enfold me
you are the wooden walls that hold me

This is to love:
to take for spectacles
your two brown eyes,
these windows

of my home

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

invitation (2010)

From Love Songs for Dennis 


This is love: to wait inside
my own four walls, to grow
my garden, its pomegranates,
ripe apples, fragrant cinnamon—
and, too, its patches of hackberry,
poison oak,
its unweeded abundance of
illchosen words—
To offer these my fruits,
bruised or halfripe, into your hand:

To say “come in,”
unbeautiful, but sure

Monday, May 16, 2016

How greenly leaves rejoice, when it has rained
(waxy or tender, serrate, eggpocked, lobed)
Their veins run weighed

with thick green praise
And in each leaf: each chloroplast, each cell
Sings its Holy! Holy! A thousand thousand,
countless voices swell

in each one leaf
To see one singing, teeming, eager hand
flung out, meek and fearless, to grow, to feed
with its unseeable

small givings and receivings
Unbearable its hope! For human hearts
are grown too narrow, and too etiolate
to hold such weight

of bold rejoicing
as surges in the cells of one green leaf.
And God is kind. He grants our eyes relief
with tens, with hundreds--

We can bear thousands.
 To our scraped hearts, leaves in their thousands drown
each leafsong's thousandfold rejoicing sound
in one great peace

of green

Monday, May 2, 2016

This Might Just Be My Lucky Day

Oatmeal for breakfast,
 And when we went outside
It turned all gray and rainy
Before we got to slide.

We started reading stories,
But Felix threw a fit.
Mom said he's teething.
I think he should quit.

I asked to get my paints out,
But Mommy said "We'll see."
And then when it was snack time
There wasn't any cheese.

I spilled milk on my pony shirt.
I colored on my chair.
I pushed my little brother
Because he pulled my hair.

Mommy started yelling
And then she kicked the door
And then she started crying
Cause she couldn't do her chores.

Today is not a favorite day
For any of us three.
I think that if I ask my Mom
She'll let us watch TV.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Haiku fail (March - April)

Even the birds are
lazy. Slow whistlers. The sun
creeps up, yawns pale red yawns
Half dreaming still her cool
blue dreams.
Dawn light: dust films patched
screens, cakes in window creases.
Birdsong pours in like water.
Scent of hills waking
under blue and lavender.
Down below the cliffs
urgent river gathers up
the slow hooting of a faroff train.
Delivers it, sound only
now, and lonely,
to the slow rolling to
morning shift:
stirs and twitters
rustles, shivers, new
Mars red, the ant heaps
wait like bombs. Invisibly
their millions, seething.
Joy waddles on fat unsteady
Fearless legs. Lurches into
Each dandelion
Each tree echoes with
Argument. Birdchat, windchat
April is crammed with
Secrets--a constant spilling
Of thrilling beans--even
The lawnmowers are turning it over
In their low drones:
I've heard (listen!) -- Believe it!
Incorrigible Spring!
Frivolous azalea
shakes out her skirts in lovestruck
thumbthick bees. Such ruffles!
Ridiculous pink!

Friday, April 8, 2016


New grief sat sharp in my mouth
a thinedged stone
or broken glass

it pressed heavy on my throat
i could not swallow

Like a lost tooth
or a sore new wound
i probed it

Scraped it against my tongue until
spit and blood filled my mouth

until i learned its edges
until its edges (week by week) dissolved
in tears

sometimes i almost forget
grief worn smooth and warm
round and creamy as a pearl

i Tell it now like beads
with prayer, with thanks
this precious sweet small grief

Friday, March 25, 2016

Birth day

Little pearl, little bud, little bird
curled, never hatching

i held you furled and fingerless
in lightless warmth
my bones were singing for you

we had not even wrapped you up
in a name, or names --

I hold you in my dim mind, still,
contained and secret as a pearl.

We are two stones
within one hand. One blind
pebble. And you sparking
bold faceted

you, named, unfolding
in what brilliant frills
in bright beholding

Not waiting, pearl unfurled
my day for birth--

Monday, March 14, 2016

How does the sky blue

Why does the sky blue, beyond its deep crawling clouds?
Blue, today, a sweet and sobbing trumpet song
Each note royal, brilliant, purpling
Into the next crisp reverberating tone.
Footbone, shinbone: feel the green hill roar
Its echo--blue and gold in its deep
Rocks, its secret bones, beneath its green--
Slow earth echo rings its rocks and pockets
Hums and thrills in ear, in fingerbones,
In ankle, clavicle, in old skull seams--
The hills ringing gold cannot still
Or hold this joy
Outswelling from Your bought, forgiven saints.

Made deep with grief released, with sweet true grief
That swelling sobbing thanks 
Presses their blood against their skin.
Is sung. Unsung, bursts out in fountains. 
Stains the sky:
Purple and crimson, dearly bought--
And flushing pink as cherished as a bride--
And blue! Deep, boundless blue
Spills up, and out. Blue spouts and shouts and flows--
Joy stains the wide sky with its overflow.
Eager, tender, urgent, bold
Presses every fold of space
And spangles stars in it.
Wondering, starkissed, lovestruck--heaven
Trembles. Rings with the glorious meek song.

And see! How beautiful Your chosen bride--
How radiant unveiled. Her loved face shines
And grateful tears--like gems, like stars--
Catch and reflect Your love in sparks of light--
Like stars that sing among the boundless night.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

geneva going to bed

Geneva going to bed
is a snail
(curious pause at every book or block)
ooching long inches
Leaves a peanut butter trail

Friday, March 11, 2016


At last, at least, I've arrived
at disgust. These arrogant detours
half listening to You in the
back seat. Driving down
Obstinate Street again
like self willed seventeen.
Finding myself: driving circles
around You around I. My
routes reroute through treason.
Meek here at last: Direct me.
I will not ask to
know the road. To grasp
any moment but this moment.
I'm throwing the gps out of the window.
I'm done with mapquest micromanaging
With en route panicking.
I'm handing over the keys. You
know the road, this
good road.
You drive us:
Let's go home.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Ten, ten, twenty! Ten and
Ten again! Birds
Chirp, burble, trill.
Excoriate! Attack!
From tree to tree
Leaves quiver with their quips
Their quotes, their quills!
It's spring. The bright sky rings with birdchat
Bubbles and gushes
Territorial? Or:
Joy, joy, joy of it!
This whistling exegetical
This twitter - twit - sing
Flight sung and wings unseen
Is doxological -

Thursday, February 25, 2016

found: poem

(the merest urgent thrust of green
chartreuse, threadthin shoot
between the greasy tiles

i might have been praying
on hands and knees
on grey linoleum--
i was not praying
for a poem
or anything
but, loving, to clean
smashed breakfast eggs
the sticky film of milk spilled half wiped up

and here this tender shrill emergent
green-- what unsought words
furl silent, crescent, singing
in this?) thin thread of

Monday, February 22, 2016


Praise God, from Whom all blessings crawl
Sixlegged in hungry hundreds
To trace their slow unstopping lines along the wall.
Praise Him, thirsty earth, whom He gives drink
Sweet rain, and makes your blades and pebbles teem
Surge with sixlegs. Mindless marching praise
Mindless seek entry, mindless gather crumbs.
In threes and twitching sixes, sixes
In sixes this His countless army
(each sixleg arm is numbered, known and loved)
Comes, and comes, and--crushed, crumpling, comes--
Wash walls, wash windows. Crushing, bitten, stung
Praise Him from Whom all sixlegged blessing comes.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

i'm calling this one mousewifery

--Make me, oh Lord (Thy spinning wheel) complete
The course You set -- My brain as frantic as my feet
Scurries-- meanwhile I'm nibbling truths again,
Rechewing truths I nipped at, crammed in hamster cheeks--
Hurry! Hurry! Oh, my hands love busyness.
I'm back again, I'm stirring moments of disbelief
Into a deep and rank and cosey nest--
My heart's trillbeat is panic-- Restless feet
Begin the race again. Oh, I will rest
In what I have found sweet-- and this cage, this pointless race
I'm scampering again-- let me not cease
To turn the wheel on truth. To, fainting, lay it
At your feet (how beautiful!), and rest.

(And here is a good poem.)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

blackbird dream

What happens to a poem

First they flirt
wordplay, then
urgent, feet
fistbeat: speak!

Minute by this minute
real life preferred: mama
nurses wipes noses
Watches words
startle brightwinged
scarlet flirt of black birds

Does it explode

beating and cawing
unheard (inaudible)
Wheel away into bright