Wednesday, June 25, 2008


a violent boy
with a red-headed Irish temper
went to war
his gun repressed his anger
his rifle defined him
the grenade, lobbed far,
took bits of his rage with it
and exploded like fear

each step a step to madness
each bout of madness
stripped another layer of veneer
he laughed at death
and cursed the dead
both friend and foe
wondering at their smallness,
their insignificance

how could a man
be held in such a sad husk
he gloried in invincibility
that others might fall, but not him
death was all around him
and he killed always from a distance
crouching behind the splinter shield
of the twin fifties

he thought he knew death’s face
name, rank and number
though he had never brushed its hand,
then he met his enemy
stumbling over something soft
hearing the muffled groan
his rifle locked and loaded,
he met his enemy’s eyes

of course he pulled the trigger
it was what he was trained to do
but a moment of eternity passed there
and he learned fear
his red-headed temper swaggered still
yet he was a hollow man
living among other hollow men
each unaware of the others

he lived with this another 35 years
until his hand gave in 
to the call of the gun
he had bought for no certain reason
to clear his mind
and bring the circle to completion
through the stench and the haze
to where he met his enemy once more

Friday, June 20, 2008


when i learned that my son was dead
something clenched deep inside
though my face made no change
except maybe a twitch under my left eye

i saw my wife collapse on the kitchen floor
all the bones of her body gone
but i could not move to help her
not until the twitch under my eye let me

in the days that followed my eye grew calm
and unreality moved about me
i swam inside it like the sea
neither warm nor cool nor shallow nor deep

my wife formed bones again strangely stiff
i could almost feel them pushing my hands away
a hard ghost stood between us now
his touch too much to bear

a closed coffin built by another’s hands
mocked the tools skills and material
i knew well what my son knew
the better craftsman than his father

when the builder builds he asks not why
his imagination too narrow to see
that the building will eventually fall
and another builder build again

the creator creates us finite and weak
our struggle so great we need no help
in discovering new ways to die
so rages my mind

my son one of many in the foreign place
one of many fallen into whose hands
of the many families who grieve
who can never unclench again

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I wait for my son to return to me
but he only grows
up, away, apart
leaving me distant and separate.

A time will come when again he will cling to me
I tell the lie to myself
knowing it never can be
because I have pushed him away.

Orbits weaken with the stress of time
cracks widen, the circle dissolves
spinning to unknown directions
to reform and repeat the cycle.

I dream of my son slain in the darkness
the youth and bravado
charging heedless, mindless
dying inglorious, stained and torn.

This unexpected fate turns up on me
although it wasn't supposed to be
not the chance
that takes him from me.

Time weakens the tissue that connects
the soul to the heart
and so, tangled and dangling the body,
the spirit flees.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


1. Burnt Flowers
2. Silver Sin
3. Earthbound
4. Cold Beauty
5. Borrowed Time
6. Letting Go
7. Tuesday's Song
8. Deadfall
9. When Winter Dawns

Sunday, June 8, 2008



over thirty years gone and I can still see his face
a face so accustomed I awake from dreams 
thinking him a friend
I know his face better than my own 
which I must see in a mirror to realize
but like a secret open only to me 
I see his surprise as our eyes lock
I see his flicker of life into death in a frozen moment
the surprise wiped slack 
the knowledge drained out
and a new understanding that life is death 
and it is bound to hold us

occasionally I wonder what would be 
if my face were living inside him
a ghost that arises at unpredictable times
a face both alien and kindred 
both known and unknown loved and unloved
wondering what it would be and who would be beside it
amazed at the ease of which life turns to death
and all dreams and what would be are erased
the touch of a cold hand in the night
the distance which was none too far ever closer


I await my daughter's return to me
but balance shifts and becomes imbalance
and all powers fail to return the balance
decay sets in
the spring of the clock loosens
and only entropy remains
what was once immutable and sacred
is changed and corrupted.

How much of the fault lies within
within the mother within the daughter within me
this cannot be contemplated
would I find fear in place of duty
and which duty is required
the protection the lesson the release
and in what part of me is the answer
the mind the soul the heart.

The first time my daughter drowned
I caught her easily
and whisked her away from the danger
the pounding heart belied the steady voice
and fear like bile rose in my throat
but after I'd swallowed even I could pretend
that nothing had occurred
and all was at peace again

The second time she drowned
was not so easy
I scrabbled hard across the rocks
cutting deep blood tingeing the water
but was it for her or for me
that I flung myself and with bloodslick hands
pulled her forth
wondering if I should let her free.

And then she drowned a third time
and I wasn't there
and the waters took her away
and when I saw her body
picture perfect yet left of life
my soul exploded like a hollow thing
a heart of ash crumpled in my chest
but I never knew for whom this occurred.

In the balance in dreams
I see my arrival before she is gone
watching unsure in motionless motion
I see her face descending
the hand the fingers flicker
and all time stops
drowning always drowning
with her fingers always out of reach.

When I Was an Animal

When I was an animal
I tasted the animal tastes
such as blood, feces and urine
and savored each in turn
my tongue delicate and wise
without disgust or revulsion.

When I was an animal
I smelled the animal scents
such as fear, anger and despair
and they prompted my responses
my nose leading my mind
without thought or reason.

When I was an animal
I saw the animal sights
such as teeth, claws and snouts
and was quick to react and attack
my eyes weak and dim
without color or discernment.

When I was an animal
I felt the animal feelings
such as hunger, pain and cold
and each lesson learned lessened
my sensitivity ground down
without empathy or love.

When I was an animal
I heard the animal sounds
such as groans, grunts and howls
and the cacophony outside
my ears heard as a symphony
without rhythm or time.

When I was an animal
I thought the animal thoughts
such as then, now and when
and they built a senseless fury
my mind tied to my senses
without past or future.

Now I am not an animal,
isn't that nice?

jeg. '06

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bismarck's Boots

I used to dream of greater things
but now I eating daisies,
by the roots,
and being trod upon
by Bush's boots
and he's rushing off
the center stage
before my vengeance
has time to bloom
a folded flag and a salute
tears that will never touch
and I'm left alone
with eternity to brood.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Lie

Told once,
and again
and I almost believe it myself.