o particular cadence
you adopt when
speaking of it

the spirit moves
earthworming through the
season’s detritus

it’s enough to biograph by
not true but true

a reminder that there is more than one path
look back:
you are not followed

a mystery, then
how similar stories
have different endings

the spirit moves
in the initial conditions of it
and chaos follows


noontime woodscape
its untended topiary leaning, oblique at rest
whose leaves perpetually about to fall
never do

beneath whose languid limbs I sit and consume
to consume is to live
to live is to go on
further in

whose trunk has braced
a forever’s worth of noontimes
it does not complain
it cannot speak

so I speak for it
its siblings lean in to
listen or to catch
the water

when I leave, I leave in this or that direction
I will be here again tomorrow
or next month
or next year

to sing the same song
as always

these us


on between bales huddled
their gaze the smoke
shifting follows

i burn
occasionally with tears

i wake
wiping away sleep’s ashes
no longer heroic

different same
hesitant to say
man so i say ship

puzzle of which
pieces remain

The Last Battle

It’s not enough to repeat what you’ve heard about it
You must inhabit it

Its confusion and cacophony
Touch it and feel it resist you

You must not resist it

Your father & his father have a shelf
Heavy with preserves

You must be tempted by the jars they tell you
Their contents are bitter

Those groaning brackets beg to differ
In collapse: What then?

No you must drink deeply all
A moribund forest begs flame

You must not resist it

The seed of it is inside
It must be unwrapped

The agony you did not choose
The trauma your birthright

It is not enough to inhabit the bones
You are flesh

Flesh that shall again be remade
In the likeness not of flesh but of light

You must not resist it


Deep into the thicket you go
A story told in scars

O how they hate me

Deeper still
Sewing as you go

Your warren a halo
Your passion

Till at journey’s end you finally confront
Its maker

A face suspiciously
Your own


It’s only been a century and here we are:
We forget so quickly.

You in particular choose to read tea leaves.
It’s a familiar sort of blindness.

We don’t have to agree. But
Regardless the earth still is round.

This is the hidden knowledge:
There’s no hidden knowledge.

Or, at least, there’s not so much
As you imagine.

The Seeds

They can’t help themselves.
Their effluence flows into their cisterns
Until to thirst is to drown
Inside out.

What trickles down is also
Tainted. Sweat. Faeces.
Such breathtaking gifts upon which
To subsist.

They can’t help themselves.
So they must be helped. Might our many hands
Assist them? Up,
Up the steps.

Lay down and let the scalpel do its work.
Perhaps they will be healed. Perhaps
As ripe fruit they will
Burst open

And the crowd of children below
Will inherit the seeds.