Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Strip

I strip
I peel;
layers reveal
pin pricks and pin holes,
sensations and memories,
calendars once hung,
wallpaper once

bare scarred walls,
surfaces uneven
and etched.
A heavy hand
and thick steam,
I strip
I peel,
I patch and
I heal, sanding surfaces
smooth, whitewashing
the past.

I’ll paint
and I’ll texture,
bright colors,
shiny and new,
if only you
don’t look
too close.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Four Years: Grief Part III

Four years -

it could be a lifetime.

I see your girls, I knew your life;
I see you everywhere still, on the streets,
in the bookstore,
at the market,
as I drive by

where you used to live.

Now you only live
in my mind, in our hearts.

You died so young.
You lived so well

that it’s hard for us all
to live without you.

Pain doesn’t really lessen
nor does grief subside.
It’s a familiar ache, still a stunning loss

and one that I won’t ever
truly comprehend.

Grief Parts I and II here

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Women of the Congo

Women of the Congo singing,
we will never be broken -

brutality rampant babies crying 
six nine ten men guns firing
bayonets slicing lives organs
in shreds no place left for love
fragments feebly stitched disease spreading
babies dying beautiful women singing,
we will not be broken -
no worth no bride price abandoned
shunned bodies maimed diseased
gang banged cruelty soldiers
seed harvested hateful intent

sing out sing out, they cannot take me -

bodies shattered spirit courage

they do not know me

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


You hover,

a nameless face in
the corner of the room.

A faceless shadow
in each family picture;
the whoosh of a stirring breeze
through the silent room -
the prickly sensation
down the back of my spine.

I sense you with us,
and yet not with us;
the pain that never quite leaves.

You hover.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I Am

I am
the piece that 
no longer fits; 

the single note
that won't complete 
your song. 

An exquisite 
gem in the simplest 
of settings; 

it was never 
your reflected light 
that made me shine.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Grieving, dear son,
is what you are doing.

The sadness you feel
isn't self-inflicted, but
a slow insidious rise
from so deep inside;

all those faraway places
you thought had been
left long, long ago behind. 

A lullaby turned elegy,
and bright memories discolored
or were they just mis-colored –

the more recent, hastily drawn
pencil sketches, not quite complete,
some partially erased.

None are what
we expected them to be.

When you hear
the tales, or watch others,
knowing what might
have been or what never should be,

it is grief that you are feeling,
not pity, not just sorrow –
there's been no body to bury,

but he's gone just the same.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sage Advice

You tell me
that dots will not connect
in rooms painted
by children.

Any persistent
search for intrinsic patterns
makes no more sense
than an attempt to
count the stars.