wHere Life is Real


The Life I Almost Lived

One time, I took a pig’s tail

off the slaughter table

and stuck it in my pocket

as I walked home in the cold–

my granddaddy never knew

because I could walk stealthily

around the equipment shed turned 

slaughter house.

And one time, when no one was looking,

I threw baby sparrows out of their nests

and watched them writhe in the loose dust below.

Their eyes were blackened moons beneath a veil of skin,

and their naked bodies unnerved me.

Once, down the road away from the house and grownups,

I stuck my arm down the narrow muddy shaft of a crawdad

and reached until my check touch the cool, wet ground.

But there was nothing there.

And usually, when no one is around, I let my hair

run wild and curl up around my face and dream of the 

life I came so close to living.

All Gold

Chapter I

A Found Poem from Huckleberry Finn

Poetry Palate

I was going to write a poem on a plate–

scalloped edges, round, and white.

I thought I’d serve up a helping of delicate diction

lightly seasoned with metaphor and image,

garnished with a spring of symbolism.

I had a recipe, “guaranteed crowd-pleaser” it said,

“they’ll be asking for seconds.”

So I found my mixing bowls and spoons,

Clanked though the utensil drawer

and found the measuring cups.

I was ready. My apron strings were tied.

Recipes like this take time and a precise touch.

I read the instructions carefully

then wondered where I’d gone wrong.

I was certain it was more complicated than this:

“Empty contents into saucepan. Simmer gently.”

Hmph! As simple as that, I thought.

Now…where did I put the saucepan?




A Poem in Cliches

The star filled sky,

Dew drops on flower petals,

Your smile and the warmth it radiates.

All I really want to do is fly,

Gather dust on my feet.

When the tough get going,

Love builds a bridge.

Two hands  together–yours and mine–

Crossing borders and knowing no bounds

for the soul and love and God.

Misty mountains and star spangled flags

flying over baseball and apple pies

and even a glass of sweet tea,

in this romance, this love–

as pretty as a picture worth a thousand words

in which we burn the bridges,

a flaming sunset–the fingerprint of God

that wraps around this pen whose might is greater than the sword.

Ex: out; Patria: native country

Native country–

the words tumble from my mouth wild and free,

as if I’ve been loosed from an untamed place.


Native country–

where oak trees grow and wait for new spring light

before they release last year’s life,

where cotton field stubble bristles against the woody earth.


Native country–

where mouths move in slow rhythms

and embrace each next word–

a seamless connection of thought and time.


Native country–

where memories collect like mud puddles

on the gravel drive where the child I was

kneels in the rain, trying to damn up the ever-widening river.




Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: