Charioteer, before you stable your horses for the night
Reach out to the ghost like wisps of clouds drifting
Up to meet you before they fade into Sky and die.

Your children, I know, are these soft white specters
Seeking out a loving word from their father so busy
Everyday, with important work for us mortals.

See how their tears have dried them to just a thought
That I have watching them from the deck of my ship at sea,
Ocean’s gentle ripples, calm, for now, carry their wishes.

Charioteer, before you stable your horses for the night
Reach out to your children begotten by mortal lovers
Like half immortal souls looking for their substance.

These soft white specters, faded and drifting
Seek your love as if forgotten among many others
Who still mingle among us mere mortal workers.

We send our thanks along Ocean’s gentle ripples to you
And your Glory shines even as the end of your ride
Dulls you, tired, I can tell, from the deck of my ship at sea.

Charioteer, before you stable your horses for the night,
Before you release your last green dot of light to me
Pass along one loving word along Ocean’s ripples.

Your children, I know, will rest then, and know a pleasant
Demise. Touch them, and they will see their heavenly home.
Love them, and soft white specters they will be no more.

See how their tears have collected around me, raised me up
Fathoms above restless souls buried, eternal, among seaweed
So I can love you from the deck of my ship at sea.

In Response to a Poet’s Love Song of 1/24/17

My body now wakes up on its own at 4am
Somehow, transformed from insomniac
To discover the backside of night
And find it as pleasing as Goldilocks
Found the third bed eating the third porridge.
When I talk to the old poet in my journals
Or in files found on my computer that don’t
Remember being written, he chuckles at the
Absurdity of the idea of me waking early
To do anything other than take a piss.

My body now wakes up on its own at 4am
The acoustics of this silence are similar
Yet so very different. Waking creatures
Are more for meditations like these than
The beasts that haunt hours that aren’t stilled
Inside a heart that hears only its own beating
As it tells tales that ache with longing, with pain
That never really was felt, only misunderstood.
This depth, this texture, this darkness marks
The underside of my eyes just as well, thank you.

My body now wakes up on its own at 4am
Still needing coffee in my oldest possession
Aside from stuffed animals hidden from view:
The coffee mug bought at a convention in college.
My hand still holds the pen, a new lover from Japan,
My sensuous mouth still spills familiar treasures
That makes me fall in love all over again. I adore this.
But now, I feel a presence, like eyes glowing through
A window. I am seen. Seen, my stories take me on
Journeys I didn’t even know I wanted to go on.

A response to https://braveandrecklessblog.com/2017/01/24/poets-love-song-romantictuesday/

With additional thanks to: https://thereluctantpoetweb.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/the-backside-of-the-night/
for being inspired enough by the phrase backside of night to hopefully start a meme

What is the Best Time of Day to Write Poetry?
for asking the question that got the whole backside of night thing going to begin with

Father, Son, Stars, Loss (for Bobby)

I start to count them and stop
Not because there are too many
But because I cannot hold them
Accountable; the code sparkled
From their eternal glow calls
Me to be accountable to my life:
Precious. Let us look, son,
Out the window in quiet
Prayer for the loss, inexplicable,
That weighs down our hearts
Until sleep pardons us this day.
Tomorrow we can wake and run.

He Rebuilds a Lost Sister (for Jack)

Lost in the supermarket
My special Lego creation
Lost somewhere between
Gummies and hot dogs.

Mommy looked all over
But can’t find it
It’s okay, I’ll build another.
I know I can build another one.

Just two shoulders and arm pieces
A chest shield, two legs and feet
One hand will wield the best sword
In the bin.

This new creation will be cooler –

It will be the coolest.

Almost done!
My best

But I cannot
Find the right mask.

It must have the right mask.
I cannot find the mask.
Daddy help me find a mask.

Daddy, I just want my creation to sit up.
Daddy, I just want my creation to take its first step.
Daddy, I just want my creation to say its first word.
Daddy, I just want my creation to live.

Daddy, please help me
Find the right mask.

Please help me, Daddy,
I need my mask.



We all belong somewhere

I stumble (slip) along a slope
up the mountain I built
but cannot climb
I sit, defeated, until
the silence speaks to me:

“escape to the world within
to stories of romance and adventure
set in the forest behind your house
Ivanhoe and Rowena will come to life and
Peter chase the white witch through Narnia”

I hear the dreams in my head
and weave them into the quilt of a smile
to warm me when winter words chill.
Out of the cold around my soul
and the whispered stories of silence
I design a home.

I belong.

Originally published in The Powhatan Review, Norfolk, VA 2006(ish)