Scene from the Mainland

I skipped into your waves,
your uncounted fathoms,
taking for granted the inlet imagined.
I dreamt of a compass
when I hadn’t yet found you,
then dreamt an anchor
to dive in and ground you.

Churning, your eyes,
of ocean storm’s thunder,
in them I was swallowed, by them
I am sundered
from the place whence I came,
to this threshold now,
ploughed under the prow.
To your eyes I am fettered,
their tempest blue-black,
caught up in their whirlpool, no chance
to turn back;
though my fingers yet claw
at the chain of events,
your fitful tides havoc,
by them I am spent.

But the storms they shall pass
with the crossing of time,
and a port you’ll call home,
though it may not be mine.
Looking into the distance,
the miles are shortened
by bright noons and sunsets, of
horizons unfortuned.
On the sand may you leave me,
exhausted and weary,
to dream of your storms,
the shadows that bade me
to enter the water for a changeling Nix,
and the chance of his capture
by way of a kiss.


“Units Functioning as Carriers of Meaning, Combined Under Certain Linking Conditions”

Portals and ports of call
they are
found or borrowed—

we lie among them,
leave home, then return,
thinking we’ve left them behind.

rediscovered or unremembered,
they live and die in time with their keepers.

Tribes, colonies,
civilizations upon a page,
they siege an endless expanse
’til slain by a single stroke.

We birth and bury them by lines
dually indebted—
we as much of their making as they are of ours.

As friends, forgivers, we await them,
patient, certain,
as commandants, we force them
’til glass and smiles crack.

Without expiration,
they can still sour,
leaving an odor to a room
years after they’re passed.

Un-returnable, they remain with us,
acquisitions as often regretted
as treasured, most
when the finality of the exchange
is non-negotiable.

Only as foreign as we are to each other,
a few taken together can
create family from strangers
or from the familiar, estrange.

 And though a lifetime may pass
between interpretive acts,
there are still one or two
I wish to share with you.

In A Wave

As a tremor is begun
from fingertips agitated
impelled on
by past hums and singes
tingeing the skin of memory
tingling still

So a tremor travels,
a lone potent asking
no longer grasping at
lasts left
A presence profound
in the hand that
bears such questions

A tremor once sent
cannot be unshaken, not smoothed
history, unforgiving arthritic knuckle
will not allow even attempts to be forgotten.


She sat in a wheelbarrow, waiting.

In the outfield, you stared at the sky.

Something would strike—
a summer squall,
a baseball spinning astray.

Teachers spoke in cloaked poetry,
metaphors cast her as enemy,

her stomach stretched with
the oncoming storm.
Her naked navel, a collapsing star.

One swollen eye
saw neither side
yet sensed,
like searching hands,
what lay





all we were supposed to know.

For our questions
we were told instead
to read of Io.

How she grew

consumed by clouds
that surrounded her.

And she sat in a wheelbarrow,


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