night wash

-es all color dim; in a wonderless sky smeared with groundlight we strain for space, craft

-ing dread into dream: mazed, lost, shot, alone. fifty years, so unfinished in peace

-ing phase by phase, layer by layer; your maker heart left to this scream

-ing of wind through the seasons

on creating

everything fades in time, you know
how all was black before your birth
and after—you have nothing else to go on
clinging to every look and gesture
winding yourself into being


not every spark ends in a sun
transcendent, though
your hand is on the work


National Poetry Month is ended, but I still have pages in my Yes-Words journal…

Reverse Psychology

Having given myself permission
to not write
the words don’t spill any more easily

Having given myself permission
to despair
the sodden emptiness doesn’t evaporate
with the rising sun and rose-colored framing

Having given myself permission
to keep my thoughts tied like old letters in a box

Having given myself permission
to stick to what I know
I find the cat has run up the tree
into the highest thin branches
of the thankfully not-too-tall redbud

but I would still need a ladder
and stretched arms and faith

A Simple Project

it will become a thing of utility
again, invisible except when needed;
I’ll put it back together tomorrow

you wonder what on earth I’m thinking, tired
of making halfway, but now I’ve started
I ask everyone who passes if it looks good

(sand, wipe, consider; the first brushstroke
is not always the moment of truth
a new can of paint better than a blank canvas)

the prep is the hardest and most boring
part; at least no tools are needed
for disassembly

having started on a winter’s need for change
I had the blank hours and this idea
overconfident of vision


NaPoWriMo Day 28! Telling a story in reverse.

Two Found Poems

(1) Songs of the Self

Self-preoccupation as art’s raw material:
allegory, ambiguity, blindness
obsession theories. Monophony. Bleak house.

(2) Bookish

When one has lived a long time alone
the world, the flesh, and angels—no
more than leaves of grass
joyful noise:


First, an index poem for NaPoWriMo Day 12. (Index and other phrases from The Creators by Daniel J. Boorstin.) Second, a book spine poem, a bit behind for NaPoWriMo Day 10.

Poetry Terms

Sometimes the perfect word
drops in like annunciation, powerful
unplanned: this is called Speaking in Tongues

Sometimes the words flow unhindered
meandering like a river and with a river’s music
until a dropped pebble shows no ripple
recognizable: this is called Dream-write
(also called a Draft)

Usually the words are dug dry like rocks
from the ground, shallow or deep
the best ones mostly buried and bigger
than you think; they are absently dusted
and put in the bag, or rejected and tossed
or maybe turned over and over, scrutinized
for the one hidden vein of beauty:
and this is called A Good Day’s Work


Off-prompt, NaPoWriMo Day 10, for Jenifer.

At My Age, Part 2

I’m hiding in myself
passionless and wondering
if there was ever only a finite amount
filled at birth, topped up at adolescence
and I merely burned it too fast
reckless, this love poured out
so long and that love wrested away
and every love wrung to the last drop
or dribbled out in perhaps the wrong dreams
little side meandering dead-end trails
and should there be another warning label
plastered on life, for the young—
like smoking will kill you, hiding
dry-shelled without passion
will kill you


NaPoWriMo Day 9 asks us to write something we’re afraid to say; Poetic Asides prompts a “hide-out” poem.