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.

going along

he always desires the gentle way,
and hobgoblins delight in the choosing.
for they know the path leads

through overgrown green fields
spotted with wild flowers.
on occasion he stumbles upon

another traveler and nods his head
in unison, a pained greeting disrupted
by the uncomfortable sound of feet

trudging through thick grass.
at the end, he finds himself
standing alone,

a fatted calf awaiting the slaughter.


I wrote this poem over 20 years ago in a creative writing class, one of the best class experiences of my life. There were four of us in the room: the professor (William Virgil Davis) and three students. Each week we would discuss our poems for three hours, ripping the work apart line by line, making sure our words said what we meant for them to say. It was as brutal as it was wonderful, and I wish that type of experience for any writer/poet visiting this page.


The ancient skiff glides
through thick fog
upon a waveless sea.

The mariner draws
full nets of fish;
throws them all back.

He guides the boat
away from shore,
afraid of finding land.


Why do we sometimes stay as busy as possible and then complain that we don’t have time to slow down?  Many times it is because we fear what we might find in solitude.


even in the silence
there is such inescapable noise.
the thoughts we bury
merely sprout and creep
back through the darkness.

but we keep the background
music on, the fan humming,
the conversations muffled
to stifle the whisper
of a weary, waiting soul.