A Lesson in Ethics


Consider part of a human heart,
a left ventricle
or tricuspid valve

ripped to shreds.

The frayed fleshy bits frantically forced back together in an incomplete puzzle

The tug-of-war between
Desire and

The carefully calculated prose

and cons

pulling heart’s strings
in the delivery of fresh oxygen
and the removal of metabolic waste.


The answer, simply, is
to drown Desire in the freshly opened lake
holding her head under freezing waters
her warm salt tears stripped away in a
single displacement reaction with ice crystal catalyst

systole and diastole
systole and diastole
systole and … diastole

hanging onto winter like
hangnails, bleeding cuticles
she can’t stop picking.


Detangler and Patience


This tangle of hair,
a rat’s nest of memories
of speculation
of self-doubt in the face of
carefully constructed conversations.

This blonde hair
needs never met;

A brown hair our meeting, mingling
flesh on flesh;

This pink hair a frazzled friendship
trust torn from the scalp;

And the long, curly hair found under your blankets.

I wallowed in heavy curtains of human hair
yours, mine, hers
a keratin coffin
concealing, encasing
suppressing, oppressing
for Too Long.

How to trust again?
How to love?
With conditioner and comb,
I pick mats apart strand by strand
sometimes scratching too hard at the scabs of your scalping
flakes falling on pillows
for lovers to see.

Detangler and patience.

Bile-soaked hairballs
still threaten to choke when they catch in my throat
As I sweep dusty split ends under the rug.

Love Letter to Your Body


Through an open door I peak as you slip on your skirt
your flesh holding secrets      whispered nervously in my ear

like toes touching under tangled cotton sheets
or subtle musks after a long ride      your thighs flexing with each push
of a pedal.

Secrets Delicious, like the hardness of your cock in arousal
or the sweet softness
your belly my Safe Space.

Your arms:
warm and enveloping      or
rough and commanding desires I freely meet
as I am helpless in your chest-hair refuge.

My favorite freckle
which sits on a nose
on a face that fills my entire being      with relief      to be



Norway Spruce,
grandmother of this grove
I follow turkey feathers and deer scat to your doorstep,
a wall of weeping tendrils quietly crying
somber celebration of Spring.

Snows have vanished, revealing secrets
left by raptors roosting in your tangled arms
twiggy chambers criss-crossing
dissecting spaces warm and inviting.
Thimbles of fur scattered about
and the remains of feathery feasts
Last Year’s cicada skin somehow preserved
under your permanent security.

I cautiously invade your sacred circle
as intruder asking permission to enter,
to run hands over smooth bark,
to contemplate lazy streams of slow-moving sap.
I place a finger
gently collecting a single drop of your golden juice
dabbing on wrists a sticky forest perfume.
Soft spiked arms hug my shoulders
a green shawl draped heavy across my chest.

I’ve waited for this embrace.
You give me everything by caring not,
Nature’s apathy my deep comfort.
With the wind you respond
infinite hands reaching to the sky:
“Stand up, dear one, and love with all your heart.”

– 16 March 2015

Three Poems at Spring Thaw


I very occasionally write poetry.  I tend to be most poetically inspired at spring thaw, which has finally arrived here in Wisconsin after a long, long winter.  It’s only fitting that I share some of these poems after a long, long hiatus from my blog.  Happy spring equinox!


Daughter’s Comfort and Completion

Fill my nostrils     with the wet scent of forest floors
That which clings and mingles with my father’s flannels
as he wipes the sweat collecting on his brow below day-glo cammo
The smell of pines at winter’s thaw with the moon
bright light casts shadows and I need no LED
Decaying leaves and mossy rotting half-stumps
remind me of mortality and morality
and beauty in death

Fill my nostrils with the sweet scent of forest floors
Spirals of spores, earth and sweat
Dad’s Dodge pick-up filled with
fresh mud on hip boots,
last year’s locust leaves,
and our bodies
I finger the acorns collected in folds of Woolrich and lay my head down on
Dad’s knee
He always smells of the sweet, wet scent
of decaying leaves
on forest floors

– 10 February 2009




Suffocating, smoothered below dense snow at thaw
Matted shag carpet muted green

Sick or dead things
submit to the routine of rot
Leaves unmoved by the beauty of their decomposition
grasses yawn through re-immersion with soil
cattail stalks whisper secrets as skeletons
as ghosts
as witnesses to Winter’s final hours passing

Short of breath
her chest cavity unable to expand in
stagnant air
suffering birthing pains of a new season

muffled by reluctance

– 26 April 2010


A Hope

Packed snow thaw slick
heavy hearts sing into Spring’s first glimpses
A thousand rivers running over roots and under boots
carrying winter’s heavy layers.
She moves awkwardly
alongside earth’s memories’ impressions,
coyote defecation,
feathers and skin from a mid-March meal,
and warm spring-fed waters
bright green flora,

– 14 March 2014