I turned just far enough
in my chair to see
through the window to the trees
outside as the storm pounded
the concrete with surprising fury
lightning cut the sky into white ribbons
thunder echoed between the buildings

I thought
not moving
about where I stored the candles
should the power go out 
what would I do in the morning
if the power still is not on
and I have to work?
I cannot leave the apartment
anxiety mounts
it still storms outside

The power is out across the street
I watched lightning strike 
straight down to the ground
like an arrow
alone in the darkness
I go into the other room
to find the source of a beep
I hear every time more lightning hits 
I ask myself as I go
why was it not enough
to just turn 
and watch the storm?

la 2020


I wandered the unused path
heavy and overgrown
looking for small opportunities
to see sunlight overhead
something to guide me forward
but each step betrayed me
drawing blood 
warning root and stone 
to hold me still

night apologized for truth
only opportunity
the past undressed 
bare, empty 
unwritten by the moment
do you remember? 
the darkness asked 
and I did

day apologized for truth
beautiful inevitability
one after the other
lifted from the page
like a butterfly flying 
on beach sand in the summer
then with the wind
dissolves to nothing
do you remember? 
the light asked
and I did

In turn, 
I apologized for truth
for wandering, 
for rising and falling
like a breath over my lips
clearing the path
untangling the roots 
and sitting in the sunlight
so you could find me again


la 2020


rising with the breath
to sit in between that one
and the next
a conversation
born in the swell
under the wide evening sky

nothing to hold
wind through my fingers
the day rests on the horizon
slipping beneath the rolling sea
your words land
like the crashing waves
on jagged rock worn by years
between who I was and am

morning brings the same
as waves touch the shore
shaping the sand
stone stands in salute
to the passing light
drawing long shadows
to greet the ocean's return

la 2020

yellow notebook

still has the price tag on the back
neon orange sticker 
warning me 
that for a $1.99 
wounded lines
will scatter themselves
in black ink
visible in the sunlight
scrawled over
torn pages 
until the crisp cover 
is worn 

a hundred days of verse
by the rage of existence
separate me from the stones
rolling in shallow river water
set me heavy
against the current
until I am smooth 
from the turning

you will be 
the only witness
catching drops in the creases
hidden beneath to cover
fingertips reaching out 
to hold what cannot 
be touched

keeper now
between two pale cards
like cupped hands
along the riverbank
on the
toes grip the sand
drink deeply
before letting go
once more

make room for more
more stones
broken wings
sunlight dancing in the ripples
I watched you go
with the clouds
another storm passing 
wind bending
the trees low
tearing the earth
like paper 
stillness stumbles in
held my breath long enough
before going under
turn the page
to write I love you
the poetry of
caught in the reeds.


la 2020


I wake before the sun again
listen to the passing train wind its way 
into the city
through the trees and sleeping streets
to greet the downtown
blue-violet sky not ready yet
to welcome the soft pale pink tendrils
of morning into its grasp
pull the blankets around me against the chill
a few moments longer
I left the window open 
frosted-night breeze slipped in to remind
my hand lies empty in the darkness
calling to you to hold it
while the rest of me falls away

silence sits heavy on me
can't move until the next breath
or the next in between
not ready to let go 
sheets and blankets tangled limbs
stumble to the kitchen for coffee
I watched through the glass
another day unfolds itself
to steady march across treetops
until blue-violet night unrolls again
to fill the frame

la 2020

anything to say

I threw down 
the dusty bag 
untied the cord
and pulled the fabric wide

golden face of the sun, 
white orchids and blue morphos 
greeted me, 
a whisper 
of what remains unsaid

old photographs, 
half-finished stories, 
unsent letters 
fill the darker folded corners 

and I, 
I am left still looking 
to see
if I have
anything to say


la 2020

I did not ask

I did not ask 
After the sun had left
For anything
Not in the darkness
Or the darkest part of the night
As the rain fell outside
And sirens wailed
Somewhere in the streets
I did not ask one word
In the stillness 
Within the walls of
Concrete and plaster
But I lay within listening
To the wind dance 
With autumn raindrops
Waiting for sleep to steal in 
Between one breath
and the next
The weight of knowing 
Like pouring honey over
A hornets’ nest
until no longer 
Can I stay in place
To receive the consequence
Or help those
Who must bear it
I should have asked 
To be taken
Like a leaf newly turned
Dropped from the limb
Swept up from the ground
By the wind then left
Plastered by the rain
On some other window
Waiting to be seen
To be discovered in time
Then discarded long enough
To return to the soil
I know well
I should have asked 
To scream my silence
Pierce the night
Until dawn broke in 
And let the light reveal
As it could
I should have
But could not
Instead in the darkness
Wrapped in blankets 
against the chill
I listen to the rainfall
And imagine parts of me
Washing away with it
Into the deep night
Hoping dreams
Will take me there

writing poetry in the waiting room

writing poetry in the waiting room
worn seats in lines 
bland taupe comfortless
to the pain and discomfort 
of others
I wait for my child’s return
alone in a quiet corner
somewhere a doctor watches 
over them
does what I cannot do
heal, find answers or 
more questions
all I can do is wait 
to see what will unfold
within the walls 
and pray 
the discharge may bring
nothing but relief
a familiar bed 
a hot meal
fresh clothes
a cup of tea
all of which I long for
sitting with the stench
of vomit 
and creeping malaise 
every emergency room
the same
those who vomit blood
sit next to the short of breath
the anxious mothers
daughters, fathers and brothers 
a nurse washes spittle 
from the window around her desk
a woman with a broken foot
and a scorpion tattoo on her neck 
swears at the wait time
a ninth ambulance rolls in
and we wait together
under the silent flashes
of the televisions 
hanging on wall
high and out of reach 

You will always

Day 30

you will always
be safe with me
to unload your heart
on a sea of tears
or to rage
in the last few hours of the day
to laugh through the veil
to question and share
moments of doubt
of fear
of uncertainty
of relief
of joy
of quiet stillness

you will always be safe
with me
because I love you
without condition
or restriction
I love you
like the sea loves the shore
like the cloud loves the sky
like the tree loves the forest
like the stone loves the river
like the bird loves the wind

You will always
be safe
with me
to just be you.




I lost three days

Day 29

I lost three days
like pennies
falling out of my pocket
I have no idea
where they have gone
If I wore proper glasses
I could look
in the folds for them
under the cushions
in the corners
turn the living room
upside down
but they are gone
leaving my heart heavy
and head bewildered