Of Life & Death



We are born as infants-- 

all helpless & shrieking

while God, sitting over all meaning,

smiles (our direction) 


The first shrill cry, 

fresh as mother's morning bread

& innocent like nothing ever said

by man's tongue


What is beautiful of life? 

maybe that life creates

abundance & celebrates

all in itself? 




Shine bright as emotion, 

sweet Love

(as a northern star

south of me) 

Shine with desire, 

hairpinned future

(sainted past) 

Love controls us-- 

binds us in

swift hips(dancing) 

& holds us


holds us above




Nobody believes

there seems to be

nothing at all

to believe in


Nobody sees

what could be achieved

through the shining

in themselves  


Nobody tries

to make sacrifice

for life & death

& reason


Nobody at all

(just all feeling small) 

filing alone through

life's turnstiles




Weeds of Death, don't consume me

'fore I die, a suffering tree

as desecrated & broken as my body

my form (very purpose) resembling

something greater than simple reality

Weeds of Death, don't consume me

i wish to be alive as a songbird

i wish to be alive as a songbird

whispering secrets of universe & yes

(their language no novice can know)

i wish to be alive as a songbird

raise my eyes towards the heavens

& today smells like pine(needles)

i wish to be alive as a songbird

to exist in emotion,feelgood sonnets

escaping my inner as forgotten

i wish to be alive as a songbird

believe,not answer all the questions

(no)body can be (god)

i wish to be alive as a songbird

i wish & i do singsongsing

alive to be

The Sea

Rolling & purring & crashing so

fierce waves smash upon the lazy east coast

And ah, the sea! The beautifully ancient & haunting sea! 

Filled with washed up love & ship-wrecked dreams


Old man paces, folded arms behind his back

& steadies himself from a wave's swift crash

We all grow old, we all grow frail

I've seen the youth of my life set sail


But so yet the sea, wild & wide & mysterious sea! 

Contains something greater than all of humanity

Contains maybe god itself

(or maybe we contain god ourselves) 


Old man falls from the swift, evil tide

Lands on the sand beneath his left side

Lands on solid ground

(or maybe this is hollowed ground) 


All of the chatter of the birds & the waves

Cover sacred silence where a greater destiny is laid

Laid pinned upon its back

(or maybe we are pinned too) 


Pinned to our restlessness, almost as the sea

Ah, the sea, the sea--purring brother to you and me! 

Surfacing both pleasure & pain upon its silver caps

Reminding us all of the constant, the changing, the past


(Tybee Island, GA)

(Tybee Island, GA)

infinity lasts forever

Jun 14, 2016, 5:00am


Aboard a greyhound from Alabama back to Pittsburgh, running from your fractured teacup dreams, mile-by-mile the markers ticking off time in your life


All you've got is time

Since your daughter died


You worry for your family waiting, their reaction to where you've been & who you've seen & why your eyes are so puffy and red


Explaining duality

Mustn't be done easily


No sleep for three days, weary from travel, you befriend a complete stranger--open your soul to him & confide, confide, confide--this word is so foreign but tastes sweet on your lips


Connecting inner-spirituality

(So much easier than soul-searching) 


Be kind to yourself, secretly fragile woman, & hold tight to those dreams you'll never achieve while your robust character will allow you to


Those days seem like never

But infinity lasts forever


Wrong-Eyed Jesus

Wrong-Eyed Jesus: simple face of forgiveness

Still child, remember your wickedness


Bleeding Alabama: crossroads of his life and ministry

Oh Lord Jesus, please deliver me


Homeless Charlie: friendliest disciple in Birmingham

As if love were deserved for every man


Parkbench Women: sun hat and petticoat statements of faith

As if there was something to celebrate


Turpentine blood: shed upon the cursed tree

Oh Lord Jesus, please deliver me


Wrong-Eyed Jesus: come down from that hungry man's cross

Before we blink and all is lost


"Hungry Man's Cross" (2006), Lonnie Holley, American (born 1950). Mixed media.  Birmingham Museum of Art.

"Hungry Man's Cross" (2006), Lonnie Holley, American (born 1950). Mixed media.  Birmingham Museum of Art.

by accident

for a single moment time stopped

& there we were, not realizing exactly who we were, but rather what we could be

at some rural ice cream hop in upstate NY, golden beams simmering down to whispering strokes in a july sky

grabbing a dole whip, flinging half of it behind an abandoned strip mall & stopping at a rest station before heading for the falls

the damp desolated restroom squeezing life from every corner of the warm thick air

there are certain unspeakable joys found in simple things (brilliant greens found in midwest midsummer nights) that are forgotten until remembered

& that's where i found myself: by accident at a dairy stand among nobody familiar & a painter, when for a single moment time stopped