there used to be a heart there
in that hole
with the briers and the mud
her blind spot
his weapon
her head
never knowing
the truth of it


bury the penitent


you break my senses
(your unsettled charms)
so my tears run down over their wrongs
to pay at my command

to release the dread
you relish
I shake their weak masters
from the groves

as fancy is mine–-
than any grave


Remember when no one could touch us?
You were Superman
I was Wonder Woman
and cape, candles, and
a length of rope
were all we needed

Love at first sight?
I grabbed at you
like in a haunted house
frantic and wasteful
horrific in its lies
but she will not have you
my right to be here
is grandfather’d in

I remember when we arrived here
such hopes consumed me–
I tried to love you, my idea of you
my vision of us, your selfish words, and
my selfish plans coated with expectation
left us in the dust

And now I think I will die here
and never see Paris
or the Thames
never throw my wishes into the fountain
I will die here
and never see Rome
or eat figs from a tree in Sicily
and Florence is just a lady on t.v.


In my blindness a friend came to me
the sound of his voice low
as if he had sat on his legs
like a child

He was an intermittent talker
though he knew more than my brothers
about my life. habits. inclinations.

I found ready ears a welcome thing
exhausted with the putting up of jars
season after season

What he did not know
was that there was no one to post to me anymore
and even he had forgotten my name

But I could live with that
mulling over eras of happiness
and subsequent pergatories

Until he asked
with hands to his hips
‘How did you lose your head?’

And the elephant in the room
kicked through the door, leaving
through the garage as if he’d had enough

My hands lifted in prayer
or charades
each part of me pawned off

For when I could no longer sing for my supper
losing so much
that I ended up in this peaceful state

Until someone came ’round to remind me
there was nothing left
above the shoulders

Grateful for life (after a death)



Lest you think
I am not grateful
For this gift of life
Even with my mistakes

Little one just born
I was transformed
Finally he was part of us
Ebullient and relieved

Like changing winds
I can’t forget what was given
For that moment in time
Each leaf hushed to know


My son was born in the same year I lost my mother. They never knew one another, though they look alike and have similar sense of humour. It was a risky pregnancy in my thirties after two miscarriages. He was born healthy and happy, and has always been extraordinarily healthy. 

(am I) Windswept

Have I written too much
about about the birds and trees–
do you doubt my sincerity
when I talk about the weather–
you and your calm, and
me on the edge
of coming to life

april 30 water.jpg

Perhaps all the new words are taken
and my pen– relegated
to thrift store fodder
rearranged and painted up
and succinct

On the edge I’ve been sitting on
since then
my own rough edges
you take notice of
are nothing
compared to what is inside–
the part I show to no one

April 30 wall.jpg

You didn’t see me anymore
and I started deleting–
rubbing myself
out of existence
one day sweet–the next sour
a warning would have been nice

Left on a shelf
like a single bookend–
we aren’t lovers
and we aren’t friends.
Is she as danced out as I?

april 30 windswept.jpg

From where I stand – stalwart
I see eternity. The
evening becomes you
and when the evening
becomes you–
you are everywhere
the moon is

April 30 spooky moon.jpg

Shadow girl

Yesterday I sat alone
in the purple splendor
of that valley

Nothing remained of my dream
of your laughter, and
your dancing blue anklets

I hear what music swells
kisses of salt and rose in your wake
because of the seasons

Lead me into thy healing
being too reconciled
to earth–grief–and wine

To make one old before his time
whisper, O my ghost
my wandering maid

Supple limbs
with dark breasts
and eyes flashing

in the primal breath
give me one song
before your wild eyes fade

I threw out your underwear

I put it off, dealing with you
I waited until the fog covered us
nothing distinct or glaring
in my eyes in my eyes

I hesitated giving you back
your shoes your book and threw out
your underwear deleting your messages
I did not want to hear your voice your voice

I postponed our separation
building only half a wall
watching you over prefab on pallets
can we stall the heartache the heartache

I put it off, dealing with you
you dragged your feet about anything real
it won’t add up however long we wait
to get a grip and deal with us with us

my eyes. your voice. the heartache. with us.

I put it off

Three shades of red

lipstick on glass

The next day after wine
coagulated in the bottom of the glass
the smell of it
my lipstick at the rim, smeared
and you, nowhere to be found

Somewhere in the middle of a waning moon
and an angry red sun, I lost you
distracted by dreams
succumbing to sleep
I could not find you when I woke

Like errant glasses or keys
I looked where I last saw you
the stain on my bed, unsettling
until I remembered Merlot at 2 a.m.

You, waxing long about your causes
the president you adored
and the one you would have
strung up if you could

And I was picturing you
with a boat beneath you
sailing and happy, and
when the water came up
to the sheets
I drifted off


**Photo from Holiday Wine Tips

Forget me (not)

dead rose big.jpg

You asked
why roses
were not my favourite
preferring the longing
of the little hopeful faces
of forget-me-nots

because roses don’t mean as much
now that you don’t love me
now that I am no more than
the furniture
or the carpet

Someone said
why don’t you go
I said, that’s an easy one
I made a promise
I always intended to keep
call me a sucker
for faithfulness

saying the words
I remember, I
put the accent on (for better)
the giggles of babies
and all I had wished for
prior to the sucker punch
(for worse)

piss and vinegar Mondays
vinegar and water on the cusp
of sanity
the kitchen a so-called haven
my dinner au jus, and life
cooked in its own juices

Fear goes bone deep
so that only God can reach it
counting on
these wee words
to tell you
how I was going to leave
but then I stayed

to report to you
how still sometimes
I want to go
then I don’t.
(I cried a little
then I smiled because life
is not over, it is
but one chapter)

There are other chapters
until they are snuffed out
watching the water
I watch the fog drift away
leaving with the last
of the morning

wet sand
bare toes
a last time