Marsh Madness

More alive than a landslide
More brimming than prairie potholes
More eventful than a carnival
It is all the wings that keep it afloat
All the dragonflies that drive it
It’s a sea bound by old poetries
The single vine of multiple waters
And mother of all nurseries
It’s the face of migrating flocks
With reeds rioting for the sun
The hive of every insect alive
Like a water lotus and pod
It’s the blazing before brumation
The hunger before the torpor
The carp that swallows the moon
Before its resting state in hypnotic cold

Apple Orchard Art Class

Paint the cider you taste
With a tint you create.

The golden delicious
Should ripen on the palette.

The brushstrokes
Ought to flower into fruit.

The composition
Must bare transition.

The rot at the core
Nature itself will restore.

Lastly, give the picture
A reason for being,

A return for all the beauty
And for all abundance.

A bushel, ladders,
A human shadow, an answer.

Old Men

The world’s come to an end.
Old men killed my last friend.
Old men hide what they hoard
Like goblins encrypting gold.
It’s a myth that old men are wise
That’s more or less a fool’s guise.
Truth is grandfathers go insane
As though panic shares a mutual brain,
And even with incontinence
They seek control of continents.
They brag about their health
And inflate the value of their wealth.
They talk tough but shake to the bone
When the grim reaper’s on the phone.
Old men wage real imaginary wars
With everyone except guarantors
And by killing those they don’t know
Add microseconds with which to oppose
The long night of their own souls.


Everyone dies here,
Everyone’s born here,
The animal body leaps in,
The water body leaps out,
Foam washes in and out,
Spirit laughs
In the face of the spray,
Spirit goes in naked,
A swimmer emerges
On another shore.

Power Outage

Better a blown transformer
Than the heart stopped loving.

Better a blown fuse
To a restless muse.

Bitter the burn
Only felt in the urn.

Better a grid failure
Than to evade Cupid’s arrow.

Better a power surge
Than to have no urge.

Behind all the darkness
Begins the undressing.

Better a blackout
Than to let passion die out.

Between these outages
The light of the sages.

Better downed power lines
Than to ageing, resign.

The night is electric,
The body dialectic.

It’ll be dark forever
And touch will be never.

The Creutzfeldt-Jacob Sonata

My brother’s dying mind
Applies another gauze over his eyes.
It’s as though my brother
Has become his own third person.
It’s as though these prions
Are cementing him in dying,
Folding exponentially
So he’s dead before demise,
As though his perception
Can’t understand
Sinking in his own sand.
Only music penetrates
Like a first religion
The dimmest regions
And grants a sense of self,
Stimulating him
To conduct with his hands,
Almost joyously, mindlessly,
Like a conductor of the damned.

First Light

The first summer oriole
Both color and choral.

The summer equinox
Redoubles the lake light.

A sun dog in the north
Melts the eye of ice.

Initial inches of rain
Produce more grain.

Foremost the waterways
Must have their say.

Primary to the present
The future having no forests.

Earlier to being right
Honesty has plain sight.

Latest to wake
A young garter snake.

A maiden dragonfly
Cuts close to eventide.

Pioneers to these places
New growth races.

The first river otters
Return to our waters.

Growing Wild

In fifteen minutes of walking
I’ve discovered purple loosestrife,
Virginia creepers, hemp agrimony,
Blue vervain, horseweed, goldenrod,
Giant ragweed, Queen Anne’s lace,
Water hyssop, and clematis…
If I keep walking down this path
I’ll discover all the names of the earth.
As at the beginning of life
As at the end of death,
I’ll take root in the sun,
I’ll turn green and grow wild.

Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes

“Hell is truth seen too late.”

The war of all against all, will it ever end?
Where does it come from, heaven or hell?
Everyone has some fear of the unknown
And the poverty of sense it promises,
We face it at the end of every day
And that’s no doubt the reason why.
Pity the living, or else a glutton be.
To shed blood makes us feel immortal,
It’s our revenge for being defenseless.


Waiting moves through time like a room
You can’t remember entering or leaving.
In hospitals we meet our human family
But don’t recognize each other on the street.
Waiting is an evenly dispersed weight
Across furniture that never asked for pain.
Car trips were like waiting in motion
Between dreams of being somewhere else,
Waiting for parents to visit, for rain to end,
For school bells to sound, for church to be over.
The shadows of birds, like fish shadows,
Move smoothly on the surface of waiting
While undertows compensate for presence
Drawing time further out into timelessness.