prayer

you are the looming gray cloud
overhead everywhere ominous
a reminder of rain too long absent

pour yourself onto this field
where cracks and lines trace
the years of scorching loss

i stand in your shade
a respite from an unyielding sun
waiting for your rushing flood

stone’s throw

a boy takes refuge
in the silent woods of winter,
trading the noise inside
for the soft crackle of leaves
that mark each step to the frozen
lake below. standing above
the icy water’s edge
he spends hours lofting stones
towards the sky, waiting
and watching each one,
like words, poke a perfect hole
through the ice and softly
sink into the startled stillness.

 

From Awaiting the Images
stone’s throw first appeared in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Number 42, 2015

Bereaved

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.

Lightfall

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.

Tonic

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.