Upon These Waters


Rudderless, slipping, sliding, gliding,
Over shallow, deep, and hallowed
Wedded lakes. Creek-chains binding,
Winding, whittling ways between
The sumac, cedar, pine.
My paddle dips and tallies,
Through nature’s splendid alleys
Oh sweet intoxication of forest wine!
Perch dart into black deep, while
Blackbirds perch on narrow reed.
A Sandhill’s guttural trumpetting stutter
Abruptly commands our heed.
Smooth rocks set upon a log
Twitch and dive at our approach,
While whorls of silt spontaneous appear
In the trail of some aquatic ghost.
How steep the slope beneath these waters,
That in one boat’s length disappears!
Mysterious plant life rises treelike –
Tall, subsurface trees that seem
to reach up out of the dark abyss
over which we appear to fly
as flying overhead the Sandhill may,
deceived by the reflecting surface sky
(save the tremblings outward from our bows)
Imagine that she swims.

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On the Women’s March

“Behold the handmaiden of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.” These were the words spoken by Mary, who in so saying conceived Jesus Christ, who commanded us to “Love one another, as I have loved you,” – which is to give our very lives for one another.

fullsizerender-3Yesterday, in great numbers across our country and throughout the world, women chanted the exact opposite of Mary: “My body, my choice;” who in so saying negate and destroy their own children, and in the most direct manner possible in all of human capacity do not merely disobey Jesus’ command, but summarily and wholly defy it.

Truly, this is a sad time for humanity. There are no dictators, past or present, who can match the level of egregious atrocity that is mothers in the millions, for nearly half a century, exterminating the most vulnerable and helpless of all mankind, within their own selves – the very sanctuary of human life – and celebrating it.

In a world where the sanctity of a child’s life is subject to the whim of personal or collective opinion, value, belief, or choice of any kind, I promise you that you will not see the day where the equal dignity of each person is respected. So long as a child’s very life is valued less than any other perceived good, no life is sacred. Dictators and corporations and interest groups of any and all kinds cannot be held to higher standards than a mother’s love – and if a mother’s love is conditional on any character, aspect, feature, or circumstance outside of the inherent and intrinsic value of a child’s life, there is no cause or standard whatever to deny the same conditional treatment of any other human life – in business, in politics, in law, or in family.

Long has the world held fast to hope in the goodness of mankind by asking with utter confidence, “What mother would not die for the sake of her child?” It was an age when a mother’s love was sacrosanct.

Ask this question today, and you will see how now it comes to be so shaken, riddled with doubt and fear, and plagued by distrust.

The future never looks so bleak as when a mother ends the life of her child for the sake of benefitting her own. An unholy terror strikes the heart when there is no sanctuary from the morbid savagery of a murderous womb.


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The Color of the Rose


Past heaven’s gate, I should like to know
How came the crimson color
Of the rose?

“Warning,” we alarm in red,
And so the widow on her sordid web –
Or is it an invitation? Love is sticky
Business, it would seem:
Desirous to both devour,
And be licked clean.

Crimson’s warm like a loving heart
And deep, as love’s not shallow.
But crimson red was drawn, too, by Cain
As love and hatred want the same:




Had the rose yet bloomed in Eden
When Eve yet loved her spouse?

Or did her thorny spine proceed
From the bloodied soil ‘neath Abel’s head:
At the germination of that apple’s seed,
The first rose grow in its stead?

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A Walk Among Trees in Spring


Tender cotyledons rise through wet decay –
Sons of wood, to synthesize the Sun of May.

Beside, the recumbent matriarchal bole
Bares wistfully her weathered, mossy scroll.

Our silent footfalls pause, advance, and pass:
In one brief and hallowed moment, we saw their first and last.

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I feel a cold Autumn wind at my back, and rain,
Walking away, or trying, from the past.
Had She decreed that you were honest then,
or could have loved me well – well,
it would not change the scene.
I reached for your face at midnight
and it wasn’t there to touch, but gone.
I strain my mind to think on it:
half a lifetime that started as some pleasant dream
and turned to hell and nightmares of the heart,
plodding on and giving everything I had and was
to some phantom screenplay
you wrote yourself out of, and into
another man’s arms and bed.
I am left here disillusioned and confused.
Was it a good, is there some purpose
to so much of life spent dreaming?
What of waking, I want to know,
to what end or purpose shall I go?
I cannot abide this season’s change –
it does not turn to winter, but Antarctica
whose mirages are of love
where none was ever.

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In the Room


Two cellos’ cries, in unison,
like anguished souls hov’ring
bound within their haunt,
tarry and lilt in this harrowed air.
The lamp is dim and idle,
casts its yellow hue upon
an old photograph on the end table
whose thousand words are questions.

You would not know by visiting here
there were a missal on the shelf,
flanked by vague philosophies and
the diary of a woman mystic.
In tattered leather binding,
printed on thin leaves like starched silk,
there is, according to rote,
some unintelligible answer. 

Next to the dusty Virgin
stands a shadowbox. Inside,
among the gray and worn artifacts
we’d found within crumbling plaster walls,
still filled with tiny white tablets,
an apothecary label marks this small bottle
that seems to wink or nod sometimes
toward the end table. 

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In Tune With Nature


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