Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

From sleep to nightmare dragged by Captain’s calls.
Perched on thrones of banner and rusted pike.
Watching distant throngs and nearer foes alike.
Standing that this fair city never falls,
Though ravenous black beasts covet these halls.
Our remnant ranks, well torn, repel each strike.
Stone eyes stand between loved ones and spike.
We wait out morning atop smoke charred walls.

Once more they reel and beat upon this rock.
Each man to arms and armor weary go.
Cold sun in sky falls fast, our fate to mock.
Not long ‘fore this desperate high fight falls low.
Unknown to us there move traitors within,
Who whisper pale secrets to save their skin.

(I get a little adrenaline rush every time I read this one.)


The End of Purpose

Posted: August 14, 2014 in Fiction
Tags: , , ,

When the Tiger growls
It slips Its tongue over short incisors.
Not merely to display aggression
But to swear It likes the taste of blood.

When the Tiger moves
Its pads touch soft grass, Its irritable tail ceases twitching.
Its purpose is stealth and purpose is all
It knows It is nothing to see, nothing to hear, and everything to fear.

When the Tiger roars
It flattens keen ears against Its head.
Not simply to give dire impression
Tiger knows noise is for prey and hates Its voice.

When the Tiger strikes
Its jaws swing bared teeth behind claws turned inward.
Its purpose is Death and Death is all
Tiger. In every moment, Tiger is flight and might and killer and Tiger.

Village gunners are flesh and wood
Bright and joyful loud and stink and anthill bite.
They hunt in packs but never taste blood.
Still, Tiger is Tiger, and Death never greets Death.

Moving On.

Posted: August 13, 2014 in Fiction
Tags: , , , ,


Held my own heart in my hands and quietly considered myself.
Slid it together along the vivisection lines like a puzzle,
A Djinn’s broken lamp after an earthquake.

Ready to fall apart, it no longer held as it had done all those years.
The muscle thick with weakness and clipped wires and scars,
A half-seared roast basted with candle wax.

They won’t let me keep it no matter how many times I ask.
It is not a discarded umbilical cord or tonsils in a jar,
And it was mine long enough.

Someone else had one they weren’t using to loan me.
Not sure what to think about the fairness of that,
No matter how hard I try not to.

So here I am, four good years later with a good-hearted woman beside me.
Breathing, beating, winning, working, writing,
Learning what the heart possesses is transferable.

Originally published in the 2010 farewell issue of Poesia.

Presage the dying of the sun.
Look hard. The shadows darken quick.
You know it fades and glows in rhythm.
Presage. Watch how all life breathes deep.
No more. This pitch will never end.

Panic, weak of heart.
Steel, hidden minutemen turn.

Shiver, the hour is upon you.
Roof tops. Man’s last sundowners ride.
Epoch. Sol burns horizons red.
Shiver. It sets to rise no more.
Presage the dawning of the Night.

The end. Whimper bang.
Dream. World-loser’s empire now.

Witness the dawning of the Night.
Howl. For sights and lights and sounds.
Embrace. Cold bed or beloved.
Witness! A bullet for your thoughts.
React. Join the feculent dead.

Too hard? Survive then.
Fight. Fight yourselves but what comes next?

Nothing save the dying in the Night.
Vigils against the dying in the Night.
Hardships. Draw closer. In the Night.
Nothing without pain of losing.
Hopeless life in umbrageous Night.

Filth. Fungus, worms.
Poor fare. Poor trench-born multitudes.

Hunger what you have and what you don’t.
Murder. Take from them what they take.
Chaos. Fires rage to slow the freeze.
Hunger. Gnawing teeth gnawing bone.
Wretched survival at such cost.

Soon. Despair, surrender, quit.
Let Death’s hand bump you in the Night.

Small bands huddle tight for a time.
Humans. Your race is almost done.
Dig deep. Grasp earth’s warmth. Fill your grave.
Small bands. You forgot how to fight.
False light! Yield, for I am the Night.



Power. Voices whisper in the dark.

Wars end. We needed each other.
Mankind, staring doom in the eye.
As one, tore open the silence.
Wars end. We build and reconstruct.
To live sheltered by earth from sky.

Now. We lift up our faces bold
And watch Man’s work invade the night.

As near as I can tell, The Longest Salmon is now defunct. That being the case, I am republishing Mud Man here. This one means a lot to me. Please feel at liberty to share your thoughts and criticism.


There was once a man who lived
in a deep hole beneath the ground.
For a time he did not question his station in life,
preferring instead to hide his eyes from the changing sky.
This man would wake to the jostlings
and happenings of the world above him
and shake his brow and be glad to be free in his hole
where the dirt was cool and close and the stale air familiar.

In his quieter moments the man would grope
for his own beginnings and his mystery heritage.
He would whisper to himself that some day long since past
a queen must have walked over his hole
and in that instant given birth
and passed on,
for he knew himself to be noble and strong
else how could he have thrived?
Surely few others could live his way.

Curiosity and hope stirred in him.
In wilder moments he convinced himself
his strength was such that he could leap out of his hole.
He would climb until his caked fingernails grasped grass
and would hang there,
waiting for his eyes to adjust to the light and the speed
and for other eyes to notice him.

He made contact this way
occasionally with a passerby
a child at play
or a woman who wished closeness.
In the endings his hole proved too small
or it would rain
and he would assist his departing love,
sinking his feet into the mud under her weight
and, lifting her,
give to her the freedom of open space and breezes.
He would not climb again for years.

The man grew old in spirit.
His mind shrank to stubbornness
and his heart to mistrusting all above him.
Jealousy infirmed,
and injustice steeled and destroyed the life-long low
so that all his action became rebellion.

This bravely resentful man shunned all but his hole
and whispered in his heart that it was his,
only his!
to defend against compassion or attack,
neither of which can come when hidden in a hole,
no matter how much he craved it.

Conversation is necessary to life
and lacking in lonely holes
save for the worms, who are dreadful dinner guests.
The man would fester restless
and rail and shriek to himself about ideas
like fairness
and potential
and walls of mud which give and demand strength,
all the while hitting and pushing and thrashing against his hole
through private night
and dreadful noon.

Until at last
the world above grew tired of the protestations
of the wild soul in the hole,
and drew up busy plans and brought in heavy machines
and filled in the man,
and his hole,
with Rebar and concrete
in order to support the central column
of a monument to freedom.

Here’s a recommendation for anyone with a love of poetry. I read it, and was impressed with its powerful language and the depth of feeling within the works.