They’re All I Have


you said to the poet
words aren’t enough

so she took them
and held them closer
breathed into them deeper

then handed them
back to you

look what they can do


One After Another


Cloudy sky at daybreak,
White as far as I can see.
Wind whispers at my window,
Shakes the branches, greets the trees.
Beyond the near horizon there’s
A storm heading my way.
I go about my business,
Pretending I’m okay.

It’s just another morning—
Sun or clouds, it’s all the same.
I’ve weathered other systems
Bringing ice and snow and rain.
The thunder’s cursed it’s loudest,
While the lightening struts and preens.
I ignore their histrionics
And exaggerated scenes.

The gray sky doesn’t scare me,
I don’t need to see the blue.
I know the sun is out there
And there’s nothing I can do.
So I kiss the wind in greeting
And invite the storm inside.
My life’s an open door now
I have nothing left to hide.

Tomorrow Never Comes


where do i belong
in life, in love,
in form?
can i answer with
affirmations sure
or more denials—
that is not me
i won’t go there
this doesn’t fit

where do i belong?
not on this earth
in this life
with this face
whose eyes stare
back from the mirror
i say i love you
she cringes and i sneer
she knows i lie
i know i lie
we’ll try again

A Work in Progress, or a Lost Cause?


Half-done, half-begun,
The edges hold, a fragile frame.
Many pieces snugly fit,
Yet many gaps remain.
I rush to place the missing,
Make them fit with all the rest.
This jigsaw life of mine—
A cardboard box, a jumbled mess.
Large sections done, the picture clear,
Though gaps appear each day.
Stolen pieces disappear;
I don’t know who to blame.
The box still holds the balance—
I’m not finished while there’s more,
Though the pile’s looking smaller
Than it ever has before.
I try to piece together what remains,
But they won’t fit.
I lay one down, then pick it up.
I wonder what I’ve missed.
Knobs and grooves all patterned,
Fancy curves that won’t align,
Each piece more a mystery now,
Perhaps they’re not all mine.
Did I borrow from another box?
Why don’t I recognize
The patterns in this picture,
The fragments of my life?
I fear I’ll never finish.
Pieces vanish from my grasp.
There’s not enough to work with,
Too much memory has elapsed.
What good is such a fragile frame
Whose middle cannot hold?
Scoop all that’s left back in the box,
And nail the coffin closed.

Maybe It’s the Full Moon’s Fault

It wasn’t thought, more a flash of insight. Not insight. Fear. And it lasted for just a moment. It took longer to wrap words around it and present it to my mind. What if there’s more? There can’t be more. I wasn’t afraid of dying, I was afraid of living beyond death.

I felt panicked in that instant, simultaneous with the non-thought. A flash of panic. I might not be done when I’m done. I might have to go on…and on. I couldn’t bear the enormity of that possibility. What if there’s no end? What if I wake into another world?

I need rest, I thought. Oblivion. The end of all things me. I don’t want this consciousness to continue. I want to be free of it. From all of it. This life alone is more than I want. Please don’t make me live another.

I wonder sometimes whether I will panic when actually faced with death. Will I regret these feelings then? Will I wish for more time here? Will I fear annihilation? Or will I, as in that moment, fear that there’s more and cling to the familiar, unable to let go of mortality, the promise of an end, the not knowing. At least in this life we can hope for that final day. We know we are finite creatures, here then gone. As long as we are truly gone. I want no traces left of this being. I’m not strong enough to continue. I crave rest. True rest. No thought, no being, no consciousness.

And yet…I talk to my dead parents as though they still live in some form. I call on angels to help me when I’m afraid or need a good parking spot. I think about my higher self and wonder about my soul’s purpose. I read and read and read, hoping to find answers to the mysteries of life. Why do we exist? What other life exists in the universe? What other dimensions? Are we alone or just lonely? Is spirit real or fiction? What do the stars tell us about our lives? Why should we care?

It wasn’t a thought and it took less than a moment. It was a feeling, a flash, a moment of odd panic. I don’t know why I feel so tired of life.

I Worry About This


breath stops
motion stills
a thought
a flash
there’s more
it can’t be
i can’t be
no more
panic grips
and holds
there can’t
be more
after this
let me
this person
drop away
into nothing
no more
after this
one life

What Needs To Be Swept Away?


The bridge felt strong as I crossed,
Before the winds took it, and you.
Why did you wait there on the cliff
Watching me make my way alone?
Why didn’t you join me on the bridge
Crossing with me before the wind?
Now I sit looking back at you
Across the divide, with no way back,
And you, lost to me, as though
Blown by the wind into the void.
I see your camp and the others
Who have joined you at the edge
Of your life, singing the same
Songs we sang in our youth,
Gathered near the fire,
Safe from the dark and the wind.
I waited for you to throw me a rope,
To build a new bridge, to join me.
Can’t you see me here in the mists,
Waiting and watching in the wind?
I carry still the bag we packed,
Stuffed with stories we wrote
Together, a pack full of names
With no faces, dead friendships,
Our only belongings. I offer them
To the wind, their weight too heavy
For me to carry alone.
Let the mists rise, fill the gap
Between us. I cannot wait here
Standing alone against the wind,
Watching you warm yourself,
Laughing, bridge forgotten,
Me forgotten in the mist.
I must walk on with no guide—
no pack, no name, no stories—
Walking into the mystery of life.
No past, no path, just wind.