Untitled (We need poem)

We come in threads of silk and tweed

with lists of all the things we need.


Clipboards high, we requisition

goods befitting our position.


Through honest labor, never greed

do we collect the things we need.


Ownership’s a tricky dance

when what should be mine is yours by chance,


but on this we’re all agreed:

none may deny us in our need.


Do you see how well we dress?

Does this not in and of itself impress?


We’d be sore ashamed to make you bleed,

but we need all that we need.


Your cries of want fail to move us,

we are short on pity, long on purpose,


likewise your communistic screed

will not change the things we need.


So though you may attempt to court us,

do not think that you can thwart us,


for shake a hand or draw a bead,

we will get the things we need.

Nature Walk

A clear-water rill threads over black earth,

salaal, bracken and sword fern

crowding thick from either side.


Overhead, the canopy, where evergreens

mesh with maples, a friendly clash of greens,

and bluejays scream, crows caw,

chickadees chicka dee-dee.


You don’t like it here.

There’s nowhere clean to sit and

there is mud on your shoes.

You will go no further.


It does no good to point out the salmonberry flowers;

you point out the devil’s club.

I say trillium, you say nettle,

I say huckleberry, you say

let’s go back to the car.


But look, I almost add, there’s a bleeding heart.

I don’t. You won’t see it anyway.

Hour 6 Poem



I believe in the secret life of things.

Moss has a purpose.

Trees sing.


More, I know in my bones

(smooth, white, hard and supple)

that when I sip my coffee

the cup tastes my lips.


I admit, I try not to wonder what the toilet is thinking.


But the river! What a joy that must be!

To sip the ice off a mountain

then dance all the way down

skipping off rocks

skirling from bend to bend

and finally

spending myself

in the trembling ocean.

Big Talk

(Sorry, this one says some not-nice stuff. It’s about a not-nice person, and in no way reflects the views of the author.  If you are uncomfortable with strong abusive language, keep scrolling.)


You know what I said, girl?

I told the sons-of-bitches they could all fuck off!

But they’re still out there, spreading lies about us, kid.

Got to circle the wagons

until all this talk dies down.


Yes, I say“nigger” if I want to,

because I sing the blues.

Even B. B. King said I was a white nigger.

Anyway there ain’t no dirty words, kid,

only hurtin’ words

and they only hurt if you listen.

No one’s making you listen.


Don’t walk away when I’m talking to you.


Call me a bastard?

Call me a son-of-a-bitch?

I could shoot you where you stand, girl.

You don’t talk about a man’s mother

unless you are ready to die.


You know I won’t cheat on your mother-

don’t roll your goddamn eyes at me!

I’m not a cheating man.

You can’t understand it but

a man’s word is his bond, his honor;

aside from whiskey, it’s all he’s got.

Fairytale Ending

The prince kissed her sleeping lips and

she woke with love in her mouth.


Radiant, like the sun, she rose.

Blooming, like the rose, she shined.


He said “You’re hot.”


He said “I want to spend some time with you.”


Because she was a princess

and he was a prince

she thought it was destiny.


It wasn’t.


She should have died of a broken heart.

It was in the script.


Instead she stepped out into her bower

light pouring over her like honey,

air heavy with perfume.


Rose, jasmine, orange blossom,

it was a wonderful time

to be awake.


Hey all you

plenty of fish in the sea!

I have a question for you:

what is this bait, and is it worth

getting your lips ripped off?

After Hours

Thanatos came in an old-time Black Maria

and parked with one wheel on the curb.

“No need to drive carefully”

He laughed.


“Be honest, you’re happy to see me.”


Am I?


In the soft moonlight,

in the held-breath stillness

before the brightly looming stars

cede the sky to dawn

I stroll, hands in pockets,

down the darkened streets of home.


Strange, when my ride appears,

I realize how much I like to walk.

The Adventurer

You’ve seen the fish, seen her home

the silver flashes ‘twixt the bones

the flickering motion of her tail

in the wild ocean from which she hails.


You’ve seen the bones, the carcass rotted

dark, alone but for the fish you spotted.

You know the cost of wandering deep

and falling, lost, in that soggy sleep.


Yet still you dive.


You imagine treasure in every reef

and with that pleasure comes belief.

A newer place, a better haul

drives your race to plumb it all.


You prowl the wrecks, you pick the bones

loot the decks of fishes’ homes.

With no pity for what you plunder

you trash fish cities and bash asunder…


…It’s how you feel alive.

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