Saturday, July 30, 2011


The twitch begins behind my left eye,
the dusty one,
lazy in long hours.
Prepared to wait it out,
I gather myself
into shadow and sheet,
drinking in the firings of
each throb
and wanting
a deeper dark.
Finally I surrender to
those bending furls of purple
and lie with the music
of this clutter,
stilling the hurried rush of blur and trailer
into a settled space of gritty warmth.
Sleep dispels the brightness,
subduing it under a collapsing wooden dock
so that it settles down on its knees
in fishy mud,
browning away
from that shuddering muscle
of weakened sight.
I dream of thick glass,
old-world pirates
with eye patches,
and the gray tabby hand puppet I played with
when I was five,
the one with the rip in her left ear,
the one who heard
(and saw)
my stories.


These hooks hang onto hunks
of a color I can’t name,
Not auburn
or burnt sienna.
More like the
ubiquity of rust
And the flakes of its oxidizing
The tumble of bead
over stone
like the kaleidoscope
my mother gave me
when I was twenty
and its assurance of flow.
The horsehair smells like a
hay on a wooden floor,
and the funk of farriers’ tools
warming in the sun
after their congress with horseshoe,
and nail.
It sticks and streams
from hooked hunks
of barbed wire,
a testimony to presence,
the imagined body of absence,
and how they play together,
like the glow of new metal
before rust reaches it
and gives it blood.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How Long?

How long will it take me to get from there to here? From the place where I was to the place where I am?
I start off with freeze-dried lentil curry and lots of water. I have a good map and strong legs. I miss my music. I hum fragments of Kind of Blue, bits and pieces of Two Little Feet, a bar of Concrete Sky. I stop to wash my hands in the spring and notice a callus where I used to grip my pen. It seems lonely.
The birds sound the same in the morning here as they did on my mountainside. The dawn chorus. Pink and mauve light filling feathered throats, an old view weathered by many visions. Lonesome, haunted. Crepuscular despite the early hour.
I make up songs as I go along now. My mother said she used to do this all the time, not just as a child, but all her life. The little old man on the tractor was so ugly he got a song all to himself, an homage to his puckered face. I make up triptychs of verse about Queen Anne’s lace, bear scat, and why crows always seem to travel in threes.
I pull at a loose thread on my flannel shirt. It wraps itself around my finger and the snap of string from sleeve is gratifying and crisp. My socks are wet and I want to go home.
The blackberries I find taste good and they get stuck in my teeth the way they did when my grandma made cobblers for us. All that crystallized sugar and flaky dough swimming around in a big white Pyrex casserole dish. These berries go into a baggie and I count them out on the bone of my knee as I watch the sun go down.
I had a dream last night about a bracelet I used to wear, a yellow rubber thing with a famous athlete’s name on it. It disappeared at the Y one afternoon when I went swimming. I didn’t miss it at all until I had this dream but now I wish I had it back.
How can people live without writing things down?
Pretty soon the loop will be complete. I’m still not sure where the time went. The crows are still coming around in threes, but there are also more hawks than ever flying above me.
I like the way I think music will sound when I’m driving in my car.
There are no blackberries left.


Emptiness conspires with grace to present itself sometimes as fullness, as a replete warmth, a sweet creature well-fed and mild grazing in a field behind a farmhouse.
This is not one of those times.
Today the laundry became a carnival of twisted threads and shredded silk, a mandala of rips and stains from clay.
Today a favorite song suggests to me that anywhere else would be as good as, if not better than, this place. (Boots and faded jeans an imagined charm for completeness and right being. But not really.)
Today I neglected to take a seat when I ate my Irish oatmeal and instead gulped it down through a mouthful of gritty raisins while I shuffled through student papers and looked for my keys.
Today while I was in the shower the coffee made friends with the linoleum, a hot brown lake eddying across the countertop and lapping at the rug in front of the stove.
Tonight, I swear, will be different.
Tonight I’ll let myself be dazzled and stilled by the spools of stars and planets visible in the sky above the ballground.
Tonight I’ll write the first few words of a great and daring poem.
The rest of it will find me soon.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


these wild dandelion wanderings
let me need what
the blue morning
tells me

This is sort of from the haiku magnets. 

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About Me

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or