Of Grief and Cases

there was an offer to help unpack your griefcase

as you journeyed from the dark side of the moon

you stepped inside the circle, oft assuaging

while ghouls whispered ill, of o’er containment

we wrestled with buckles of fiery quicksand

as sequestered skeletons rattl’d moldering bones

we offered cleansing for aged, festering wounds

/suppuration clung, cobwebbing logical thought/

patterns wrest from faded ledgers

we edit in the cold light of day

your demons reigned in the gloaming

cajoling, glib with their forked tongues

my pores weep for all the losses

I taste the salt poured in your open wounds


Huracan and Hephaestus roar

spew forth their fury

remonstrating rage

reminiscent of days of yore

repercussions blaze

at the injustice

                        at the arrogance

at the almighty ignorance

tree nymphs and spirits shrivel

innocence sacrificed


to the selfish consummation

casualties of the self-absorbed

they wither into ash

                        raining needless deaths

in black pre-emptive night

Helios and Eos grieve

this demonic devastation

                        the unholy alchemy

of incessant power and greed

Conversant in Thistle and Butterfly

I am perched on a boulder

hidden in the shadowed corner

of the garden

behind the nodding thistle

perspicacious heads of lavender

spy nonchalant while I

whisper to the yellow jacket

of my hopes and aspirations.

reticent in rectitude

I whistle

ruby hummingbirded

wings, bejeweled

of agile green escapes

while my cheeks

shift from aching to numb

on the roughening façade


I flew here to lament

my autumnal crackling

tears quiver, unfallen

past the tickle

of thistledown coating

the chill of my belabored bewailing.

sun cajoles prickly remorse

from the thistle

it drips sticky stamen residue

at the scars it gifted

in my passing.

a fritillary alights and wistfully peruses

the honeyed depths of contemplation

nectar beads, seeding

the coveted urn of renewal


I am at home here

secluded among the desiccated foliage

it was well tended until season’s end

now it is covered in harvest residuals

scarlet and umber detritus

girding itself to winter over

tears threaten the dam

swelling against patches in my heart

the yellow jacket’s docile sunning

belies the fury of his reputation

as I, akin, do mine.

I have stung betimes

solely under the looming adumbration

of imminent mortal swatting.

my shins glisten

with lazy droplets of blood

imprint of thorns’ bequest of sheltering

to label them scratches


the bounds of damage

as we humans are wont to do

the thistle meant me no harm

as she bowed

under the weight of the reckless wind

grazing my fragile skin.


the fritillary opens and folds

wings of spangled spun gold

the steady metronomic beat,

a saffron rhythmic hypnosis

unravels universal mysteries.

wing beats fan the furling fronds

fashioning a fictional furrow

where I can bury angst

overlay with crunchy amber dust

canonizing my misery.

littering the air

atomized must


stokes rueful rumination.

decrescent rays caress

my rumpled brow

reflect obsidian obeisance

hang on horizon’s whims,

diffuse coral

clots of anoxic penitence

as the fritillary glides afield.

I surrender to the gloaming

tippling crimson cumulus

as the yellow jackets

buzz in approbation










your fingers

on my spine

move no planchette

summon no spirits

writ in alphabet soup

the tingles

you trigger

are not hair-raising

in your arms

I warm

to the notion

of my resurrected



synaptic lapses

spectral cortical spasms

float ghosts

unchained and rattling

silent condemnations


my jellied brains

phantasmal spook



trailing chilled irons

clanking against composure


eyes prised wide

locked upon

tawny mirrorings

tether myself

to this moment



in coveted communion

I banish

badly behaved banshees

shrieking sprites


my ghosts

Cooking for a Ghost

my contacts are blurry

sedimented with the salts of tears

cried and un-

the crows scarred your eyes

with the feet

of their raucous gathering

your skin has been kissed by the sun

though you rebuffed

the intimacy of its affections

I stand before the sizzling stove

stewing nurturance

for my lover, never you

while your ghost spins

on the blades

of the ceiling fan that won’t turn off

trailing tenacious tendrils

of ethereal palpable scorn

I can’t stop shivering

Discomfort, Unrehearsed

my truths

scratch your surface

unsettling as nettles

woven through

silken scarves

despite laundering



they refuse to lie





my reality

braids cactus thorns

in cashmere

scores my skin

and yours

my authenticity


your narrative

grazes sensibilities

brier patch

among cultivated beds

you smell skunkweed

in my budding rose


Questions of a Broken Heart

do you hear my voice


phrases most mundane

familiar intonations

in moments unexpected?

do my turns of phrase

sui generis



when I am far from mind?

do my soft familiar


slip between chill sheets

warm against your skin

in the dark night

of your dreams?


I banish your ghost

ad nauseum



a played-out rerun

you reappear


I’ve been rummaging

through our graveyard

stirring up dusty ghosts

as I forage

for crumbs of a life

amongst the splintered


they don’t lie still

our bones

they poke me

in my sleep

with their



the jumble

of their burying

jabs me


my hard fought peace

upon shards

of yesterdays

littered with the sooty detritus

of futures

that would have been

should have been

if only

I hadn’t immolated us

I root

disheveled and thirsty

amongst Golgotha’s leavings


on order

promising our remains

they can rest eternally

given a proper burial

I scour the charnel

splitting my fingernails

on the stones

scrabbling a bloodied


I cleanse our skeletons

with endless tears

press them gently

autumnal leaves

vaseline’d in an encyclopedia

capturing all the scarlets

I slither from the necropolis


on my traitorous belly

groveling to Mictecacihuatl

sniveling entreaties

for redemption

our bones


pierce the heaving soil

and my gut



Razor’s Edge

your words are saw-toothed razors

rusted in moldy marinade

arsenic and cyanide

I knew you

when compassion

your modest camisole


from beneath

sweatered scrutiny

so I swallow

serrated fragments

disembowel myself

with hardened consonants

presupposing credence

I tattoo your epithetical


etch upon forearms

contemplate resultant gore

in concentrated


having held your esteem

close to heart

the whetted edges

of your sentences

press against my jugular

I funnel blood

into my quill

suturing begins




Collections of a Life

traipsing along the shores

lapping edges of a life

she collects

souls’ vestiges

shimmering shards

salted among

flotsam and jetsam

eddying in surf’s

ebb and flow

she is pulled

by sparkling hues

singing kaleidoscopic

mermaid refrains


jagged or tumbled smooth

slosh- suck at heartstrings

filling sandy pockets

she embraces

all reverently

even those that wriggle

frenetic and foaming

retreat to murky depths