Give Me A Home


how a three-chord ambient sound

repeating over and over

for a half hour or more at a time

can hold me –

Major mode largo

effexed for deep tone and soft transitions

moving like a quiet slow-rolling river

in no hurry to get anywhere

My soul to flow like that

So give me that home

where the mysteries roam

and the violins quietly play

where never is heard

a discouraging word

and my mind is not clouded all day

Morning Stroll

it’s of no consequence

the bare black trees in winter’s drab stasis,

vertical snags frozen in tableau like gnarled crones

all black-souled and twisted

but no consequence to me,

nor the solitary heron still standing, still

stolid sentry in a field’s dead center under grey sky

watching from the corner of his eye that sliver of blue

drifting this way if it will alter his view

or mine,

for my wife thinks dead wood is beautiful

and maybe she’s right

but my mind is on gnarled twisted humans

in their extremity frozen alone

in fields of their own

scanning to see what slivers of blue

might alter their fortune too.

they, I think,

they are beautiful.

therefore, none of us has it easy.

Not a moment too soon

Photo by Alexander Grey on

this diminutive pre-pubescent lad

(one-of-a-kind and everyboy too)

possessed already of that sense of humor that

pops out unexpectedly here and there

midstream when you won’t expect it

makes us laugh every time

singular short pre-man with long stringy hair

terminating in dips of experimental purple

as random-seeming as the words

that pop out of his brain

look close and you’ll make out

the troubled itches of his mind

furtive insecurities scanning his environment

evaluating, secretly navigating

and so when we sit beside him for a second

to see how he’s getting on in his project

(his project is his life)

the unmistakable stench rising up from his seat

makes us want to back the fuck up

but we can’t out him

and we won’t let on

because he knows

and he wonders if we know

and he probably knows that we do

and we wouldn’t for the world

so we mouth-breathe

(management skill in acute care settings)

and hang as long as necessary because

we’d rather give him something we didn’t get

than take the focus off

the man he’s going to be

i like this kid in me

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”

–Pema Chodron

flow river flow

It’s now softly blowing and now and then softly raining

not even very cold; but a winter breeze carries its own frosty edge.

It’s walking weather

Here it doesn’t surprise you at all

isn’t unusual for the wind to accelerate into gales, gusts

for the rain to fall swiftly, urgently

It’s walking weather all the same

albeit with an edge

the element of discomfort

a challenge to accept and enfold into the walk

allowing the energy of atmosphere to infuse itself into you

until it becomes yours

you matching the wind and rain

you acknowledging and answering

gusto for gusto, pluck for pluck

respectful determination to claim your place

I live here, too.

Do you wish you were the horse standing in the corral

somehow patiently ceding the wind, enduring it

your back turned toward the wind with your head to the lee?

Do you wish you were the straying dog

glad of freedom, always looking for a post to pee on

oblivious to rain, even of the coat you wear for protection?

Do you wish you were the songbird now huddled in the hold of a pine bough

waiting out the earth’s fervent lecturing

glad of a brief reprieve from scavenging and watching for every sign to fly again?

Well, smile at them and let them go

It’s you that notices after all

who walks here, who breathes your way through;

you all the way home.

oh little town

under winter coldest stars the rural burg

refuge of a toiling caste in remains of a dream

stronghold of brave young mamas

dodging grimey bristled beggars

huddled at night downlane

wornout worker bees quaffing on the cheap

puffing in the alleys, refuge of the sinners

their urchins wheezing new diseases of the world

and yet will any here deign to drop a dime

in a bellringer’s bucket just the same

for that worndown ancient tale

mystery of a god showing up

beyond notice of the sparkly noise

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on

in the alleydark as one of us

humana incognita

the quiet consideration

of such a thing


I never seen it before, just only in pictures, but that’s not the same, the same as being somewhere.

To really see something you have to be there.

Like those willows bowing under the blanket of its pillowy weight.

Watch it fall like cotton from the white sky and wonder if that’s where it got its color.

It only tastes like something that was there and then wasn’t.

There’s nothing to hear except the sounds of birds chirp from tree to tree.

What kind are they that didn’t go south where I used to be?

If they fly and don’t leave tracks like me, are they really here?

I am like the soft nod of willows.

where it lies

she has a say in what this is

this sorrow taking residence in her bosom

staking a claim there, sure to make good

the urn she cradles in her hands

made of clay, like we all

goes before her, in solitary funeral march

against the wishes of her people

perhaps the law of the land

in coded disregard of their common end

the food of worms and purifying fire

wholly reduction of our earthy homes

to their component elements

and so going step in front of step

in divine obedience to her very heart and

the sweet, severe and redeeming verity of

spring’s insistent answer to winter’s demand

this knowing, knowing, knowing

traced in muted tracks of salt water

like misty waterfalls from her brave eyes

to where the arable soil meets the ageless sand

and the sand the salt-soaked seas of a million such tears

to stand there nobly broken and fragile strong

she opens the cradle of her swaddling hands

and lets pour herself as she might have been

upon the winds that bear her child’s bones

upon the hallowed waves of each days turbulent tide

for there are ways in which

these things ought to be done

and so

she will have her say in where it lies.