Literary Landscape

Words to live and dream by

This page displays my original poetry and links to publications as well as poems, quotes, and excerpts that are my soulmates.

Forthcoming:
poetry from Vault Publishing
personal essay from Acorn Publishing

I Wish for More Hauntings (original poem, published by Moon Sanctuary Press in fws: journal of literature and art, vol. 1, issue 2, Spring 2020) This poem is a contribution to a renga style poem, which is an evolving poem made up of contributions by various poets.


Tyranny (It’s Generational) (original poem, published by Coffin Bell, volume 1, issue 2)
 
“I see a bunny in the moon,” the child says 
“white and fluffy, like the kind
you pull out of a magician’s hat.”
 
I keep staring at its mooniness.
white, blotchy, textures of light 
I’ll never understand.
 
there has to be a glimmer
somewhere in all that elusiveness
 
but I see him for what he is—
ubiquitous dictator
with his big O mockery mouth,
cheeks aflame with colorless
laughter, taunting us with unstoppable, bloodless
rogue face, feral as the tides
and reflections of nothing salvaged,
lying to us all
about his magnitude
a deceptive entity with only a head
and sunken eyes, he looks upon us
with disdain
at the splendid annihilation
we’ve engineered with our machine hands
and our voices smeared with hate and misinformation
hearts blackened by
three billion disparate rages—
 
desperation rages
 
so I know not even magic
not even the stealthiest legerdemain
can save us
 
the despot does not fall,
nor does the curse of ruin upon humanity break,
nor do simple, insurmountable
humor and innocence resist
 
no
 
because it must be quite a cruel trick to reform
minds that only follow patterns
others have made.



Old as You (original poem, published by Coffin Bell, volume 1, issue 2)
 
I see you in my mirror
the pores in my skin
and the high bones
in my cheeks
we are
 
wine glass lipstick
smooth, cool map of freckles
and how, when I lay my cheek
against your legs, I smell
a campfire
the fire burning down the tip
of your cigarette
hanging from your lips
 
you heaved the television
out the window I didn’t see you do it but
the television landed on the grass
and it had to be you
 
you came outside
quivering lips mouthed something,
cigarette fell
held your hands out, palms up, to catch a falling sky.
 
I stopped fearing
you might kill us
with your bare hands as we slept
you: forty-one
me: ten
forty-one: the age I am now
and you are dead
 
and I never smelled the smoke again
in your hair
on your fingers
your face
 
my guilt my absence my need for redemption
no longer catches in my throat
like a splintered fragile bone
 
but I feel it there
wearing smooth as stone
worn smaller and shiny
with trying. 



Sweet Tick-Tock (original poem)
 
I wish I were the sweet tick-tock
stepping
            stepping
                        stepping
from one number
to the next
on a red hand.
Instead I am the number
waiting            waiting            waiting
for each tick to tock,
a numb black
vibrated into stillness,
a silent scream
calling              calling             
calling out my wish
into wall and glass;
muted voice
emptied throat
straining
forcing
resigning,
tongueless
in the body of a clock.
Wild Geese   
by Mary Oliver
 
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting,
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

___________________________________

“Life is never easy. There is work to be done and obligations to be met—obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty.”

John F. Kennedy
______________________________________
Float by Leslie Ferguson
 
don’t go
the sky is rainbow
a confetti world 
beyond the clouds 
there is a skiff
that can take us
oars to steer us
flickers of light
wanderlust speed
I’ve needed you
but I must be only 
a faint misty memory
passing through you
stay and we
can lie together 
as the hull takes on water
we can put eyes
to heaven, dream
a floaty future
in each other’s arms
flecked with paper
and hope
because if you leave
I collapse
I promise to hold on
rescue you from drowning
I’ll do better this time
I’ve learned over the years
how to survive
it’s almost the same
as learning how to love.
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