Do you still see the dead
walking among the crowd,
in the library, on the bus,
at the playground? Everywhere
but the old stone church
where bones grow brittle
beneath its crumbling weight?

You once said they smile
and whisper words you cannot
fathom, turn, and walk away.
They carry light in glass jars,
brushing against the living
like a winter wind through
a forest of barren trees.


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.


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.


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.

Awaiting the Images

One of my favorite things to do is to create images with words, to describe a scene, to write poetry in an attempt to stay sane in a world that rarely makes sense. Over the last 18 months or so, I decided to be more intentional about writing poems, and the result is my first book of poetry. The oldest poem in the collection was probably written sometime during my final year in college, so the book spans 20 years of writing.

If you are interested, the book is now available in print or electronic form through Amazon.