I found you near the river’s
edge after the soldiers left.
Your child breathed softly
in your arms, eyes glowing
with wonder. You were asleep
to this world, wide awake

somewhere else. A shade
by our sides, perhaps,

or galaxies beyond our sight.
I whispered a word and walked
away, and the autumn light
flickered in your child’s hair
like flecks of gold as I carried
him across the fading horizon.

High Tide

This is the first poem of mine ever published by a journal. It was published by Offerings in its 4th Quarter 2000 issue. I have no idea whether the journal still exists, but I am thankful that it encouraged me to keep writing, as I encourage you to do the same.

High Tide

He is too far away from the sea
to notice the sun dance on water.
He will never hear waves
pound against sand.

Too far away to play with children;
to believe sand castles
will never fall, then rebuild
when they do.

Instead he is fifty stories above
ground, grinding towards
a muddled dream as the first
floor fills with water.


He sits against a fence
listening to the wind slip
through the ragged slats –
Whispers, whines, groans
too low for the soul to bear.

Light drips from the willow
overhead, illuminated shapes
spring across the dirt and grass.
Wind. Nothing else. Emptiness
filled with rays of brazen life.


More than a blanket
that covers shame,

you are an elixir which
removes wretched spots.

You dissolve in blood,
are carried from veins

to the depths of rebirth.
Something eternal stays

behind: specks of light
scourging dark cells.