Cyanide in the forest
Dead fish in the sea
A loaded gun
Where the sun should be

May those who sold us
Down the river
As polluted
As the lies they told

Find their banknotes
Nuclear active
Their gold.


Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash

family portrait

Family Portrait

the salmon fail,

winter catches them
one freezing current at a time –

we lose
the oak first,

roots crown, tired
with the earth

as we are with the animal
inside us that we have failed

to quiet. Winter
is an old milk

we leave
for the missing,

a starving flame
that calls

the unnamed

Photo by Luis Enrique Ibarra on Unsplash

come sweetly

come sweetly

It starts
The way

It ends—
Fingers of

Impossible light

Over your
Face. In

Less waiting.

Mouth gunk
Or a gunked

Up heart—
Going is just

Back inside.

Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash




make me whole again

to love

the shattered truths of me

spilling out like dragon’s teeth

through the hot lies

of those who say they love


when I am done

each shard will spring up

complete and armed

like a warrior woman

hot to be dealt with

slipping through alleyways

of musical night people humming


was a white dude.

Photo by Juvnsky Anton Maksimov on Unsplash

naming chickens


Don’t Name the Chickens
Charles Simic

Let them peck in the yard
As they please
Or walk over to stand
By the edge of the road.

The rooster strutting about
Will keep an eye on them,
Till it’s time for them
To step under a tree

And wait for the heat
To pass and the children
To return to their toys
Left lying in the dust.

For, come Sunday,
One of the chickens may lose its head 
And hang by its feet
From a peg in the barn.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash




I was lying loose from God. Strange is it not best   
Beloved, in the New World, in this skinny life,
Intemperate with chance, my spirit quickens   
For the fall’s estate. In India, the half
Hour is the hour, we were like that then—
Jammed wrong & wrong in the diurnal
Mangy chambers of our carnall
Hearts, the rose robes rustling loose as velvet
Curtains at the stage prow, passing   
Into the strange salt air of an Indian
Ocean, hoarding kindling, heading   
West with hours, later than we might
Have known, counting tins of meats & oil left,   
If they should lose or last the night.


Photo by Tiago Donangelo Figueira on Unsplash

red language

Red Language
Heid E. Erdrich

If I heard the words you once used
in our wild place rough with scrub roses
in sand—if your words came back
gray and kind as mild winter
believe me I’d still understand
offer my own red language
my tongue to your tongue
so we recall what we once said
that made us live
                        made us choose to live

and death shall have


And Death Shall Have No Dominion
Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Photo by Emre on Unsplash


Babette Deutsch

Silence with you is like the faint delicious
Smile of a child asleep, in dreams unguessed:
Only the hinted wonder of its dreaming, 
The soft, slow-breathing miracle of rest. 
Silence with you is like a kind departure
From iron clangor and the engulfing crowd
Into a wide and greenly barren meadow, 
Under the bloom of some blue-bosomed cloud;
Or like one held upon the sands at evening, 
When the drawn tide rolls out, and the mixed light 
Of sea and sky enshrouds the far, wind-bellowed
Sails that move darkly on the edge of night.