Love poems…

Love flashed on and off

He had a wound record,
A rite of passage
Two fingers of gin
And all sweet hell;
Out of his handgun’s sight
A naked night stood straight,
He let his victims squeal
Then the red velvet blood
Inched its way out;
Not of grief or mourning,
Vagueness was enough from
A smoking revolver.

Big private detectives are mostly
Little men with dark, shadowy
Offices, yet he had knack for
Smelling out the taste of the
Stupidest part of his clients,
Especially the ones he fell in
Love with, especially if the color
Of their eyes were lapis-lazuli
Blue; their hair the color of
Red, fiery dust; tall with lots
Of rouge makeup in the right
Places, and a look that stabbed

Him in the heart like a dirk. He
Never had to look hard to find
Them, they always seemed to
Be in the right place—standing
By his window sipping in the
Groundswell of traffic in a big
Angry city, feeding him all the
Answers like pennies being fed
Into a gum ball machine; and
Constantly getting the same
Color. One, however, had a
Score to settle—and she was

Hungry for revenge. Finishing
The drink she had been offered,
And being slightly tipsy, drew a
Rather pointed knife from her
Clutch. You must be congratulated,
My dear, how deceitfully clever,
He said with a certain hollowness,
As he stuffed his cigarette into
An already smoldering ashtray.
But not clever enough as he fired
Off one round from his gun
Which was neatly available in

His desk’s top drawer. The spill
Of her blood was slightly halted
By her quivering hand held over
The entrance wound in her stomach,
He mistook playing luck far too
Long. Handcuffed and arrested,
Was sent up a muddled river
By his nemesis, a judge on the take.
You won’t like most of the cons
In the joint, and they won’t like you
Too well, his raspy voice clamored.
And the coffin velvet inched out.

Love flashed on and off


I struggled towards the light

Only when
as a water shade I touch your memory;
I touch you with my

Bands, bands, bands of time
away the hours of you,
and un-pulse forever, grasping
beneath your skin
until time dries you out,
whiter and whiter.

I am helpless and desperate
in a nightmare-
I meet the apparition of you;
I feel you
one more time,
your smoky hair curtains your

Flecks of your skin
like whitewash,
I am parched for your
I am in a dead walk
in a dream.

I smell the sea holding you up,
I wonder,
is this the beginning
and shall
I be with you, my love.

I struggle towards the light
in the barren,
stormy existence
of you;
pulse and pulse
in the bag
of night-
brush your lips with mine;
a moment for
our souls.

I struggled towards the light

Poems flowing to the sea…

A song of water

When the sea was waking and the
Waves yawned loose,
He prayed on bent knees in a muted house
(this old decrepit man lived his days blind,
veined in poor, three sheets to the wind,
dreaded being sober; fished for his supper)
Prayed for a meal in a sea of calm.

And the gulls perched on his nets,
The slaughtered skiff floor with bait
(too proud to die among the flocks of fish);
The old man braved running the gambit
Of waves, hooks in his hands, salted wounds;
The wind choired and cloistered, brawled
With the sea, banged guilt on the skiff’s rudder.

Of darkening clouds, a shudder of rain
(heaven’s crier, aspiring for a storm),
Monstrous or immoral, living flesh to a
Watery grave; fate not telling, death in the
Waves. Never shall the old man’s chant
Be heard, carved forever in brine; yet his
Fate got lucky, washed half-dead on a beach
(endless breviary turned by his aged hands).

A song of water

Ballad of the Agnes Jack

Her bow glided down into the sea
Covered thinly with waves at first;
And the bird coast blackened,
Thrashing rain trodded down,
Rang the cobbles, clanged the bell.

Then good-bye to the sailing barque
With its canvas torn and free
As an albatross hooked over the sea,
High and forlorn by the top of the mast.

Blew the wind, a long wailing sound,
And the bulwarks creaked and quailed;
For my sake iron nail, hold us to the gale
Said the seafaring brig-rigged vessel.

Her sails gulped the wind
And in waves black as night
She sped into the drinking dark;
The morn, shipwrecked on a shoal
As the moon swam out of its hulk.

Timber and masts splintered in a whirl;
Good-bye the sailor on the sea-legged deck,
To the fish gut that sings on his heel
To the drowned that stalk out of the sack.

Good-bye to homes chimney stacks,
Burdened wives that spin in the smoke,
Men are blind to the eyes of candles
In praying windows of waves and tide.

Ship’s anchor swings like a pendulum
In its fuming bow, rakes along the shoal;
A squall of birds bellowed and fell,
A cloud blew the rain from its throat.

And nothing shone on the water’s face,
Not Jesu’s stream, not an oar in its lock;
The Agnes Jack plunged like a humpbacked
Ton, lured to its final resting place.

Upon the whitecap waves, the laid veils,
The black nooses tied round their lungs;
Strike and smooth, the decks their drums,
That drifting sound, that drifting death.

One by one in dust and shawl, wives clung
To the hand of the sea; goodbye always
For their prayers are cast like echoes into the
Prophets of dunes; the headstones of sand.

Ballad of the Agnes Jack

Beyond the breakwater

On a balcony of rocks, clouds with their
Crutches walk stiffened and folded;
Washed sheets of waves engrave themselves
In the barnacles;
The long coffins of shipwrecks anchored like
Moles in the sand
Stretch for miles, clanging the death toll-
The sea is sick with what
It has swallowed:
Limbs, images, shrieks;
It cannot bandage its terrible faults.

How superior it is, like a touched saint-
Its pallors of sea mist
Veined into glassfuls of holy water;
It is consumed by silent fishermen, then
Hung by a tided cord,
Drowned in a wet tomb; the toeless foot of
This saint plumbs their souls.
And the onlookers- obscene on a shore,
Their tongues, coffins of ash.
Their sorrow, empty benches of memory.
Their faces turning, wordless and slow.

I, standing in the sea sand, watching
Mock those who deride the dead;
My heart’s blood still as a tidal pool.
A dry wind blows, pushed up by the hairs of
The sea; it steers through salt,
Rooted wave and roe. It is a time unraveller,
Its scissors oiled,
Cuts the invisible, clocking tides-
They shall not be latched to the faith of those
Who have perished fulfilling a dream.

Beyond the breakwater

How long can you run

In the white light of a candle, sainted Jesuits open the scripture book:
They lash out at the long tongue liars-
The Ignatius man
The holy ghost
The big grave digger
A secular cleric in a church house shuffles on his angel feet
pelts these sinners with his dark milk speech:
how long can you run
run for a short time
whistles out his hounds to chase you down
His shovel with bullet-headed steel shoots the ground
a layman in the hole asks
how do you live here.

Walk in the dark and grab the iron gate
pull out your cards
and play the spades
God in the burial yard shouts, my hand is full of death
slams his hammer
down on your sacred earth
whistles out his hounds to chase you down
how long can you run
run for a short time
He summons up a Jesuit priest
shuffles on over on his angel feet
stones your heads with his dark milk speech:
Be damned you long tongue liars-
The Ignatius man
The holy ghost
The big grave digger
God’s going to strike you down
come nightfall you will be
in the dark hole ground.

What did you do? Desecrated the bible-
Seminated the night
The Jesus plight
The holy scriptures
Purloined and plucked the man born blind’s bread
drunk away his blessed red wine
Black, like a memory wound, stole the jewels
from the Curia crown land
gave seed to the catholic diocese
Rolled the day blind dice, the bones of your followers
rolled them into dead-end lives
In anger, the wrath of God hounds away your temptations
puts you in the dungeon of earth
And the pope soft-shoed on his angel feet
stoned you with his dark milk speech:
how long can you run
run for a short time.

How long can you run

Two fantasy poems…

The ravenous beast of Bagwater

From beneath great depths like a breach, the violent serpent,
There the blue mist and hoar on spiny back,
Ere the crescent wave doth dwindle, shrink, and fall into the dead sea’s tomb.
Round the masted ship whose heights the first-born cloud doth touch,
Round the sea’s brow once a course set long since bade be free,
Breaks, whence all the ship’s sailors begat pride and spirit
Nurtured where north wind holds its reign in canvassed sail.
All the wandering waves of a sea with deathly waters, foam-flakes of scattering schools-
herring, grunt, salmon, hearts endless pounding;
If the prey ye be, within you fail, be broken in your breasts,
Shall ye drive the vultures from crag and rock, slaves to a feast.
As the sky darkened, the scourge of a beast seaward towards a vessel,
Strife to strife aboard soon panicked, rammed the bow thrall and bond;
The serpent’s mouth lashed and thundered, laid waste the soul of men.
Clothed with blood, rose-red curdled- frail to fetter fast in an engulfing sea.
None survived, sheathed into the great beast’s gullet, limbs all gaunt and riven;
Round the sea beyond the shoals bared the darkling screams-
The creature’s wrath smote thee; ship’s remains on soft-sanded banks,
Scavengers with tongues together rapture on wings, trembling in cold
As they trod triumphant, rasped their murderous song; saluted the dead with feathers.
Yeah, no god may stand betwixt them and the shadows of the deep,
Nor family’s prayers may plead- they are clothed in black; they close the graves.

The ravenous beast of Bagwater

G’mueth early found a sacred love

The Battle

It hath been seen and yet it shall happen
And evidence of wise kings witnessing,
No liege shall set sight of the great throne;
The strength of an army has been the strength of one,
Among the downs, deep in the fields,
Of great blood to make warriors men.
He, G’mueth, flawless and whole upward from foot to head,
Wore the armor of a lordly man,
Full of quick sword in a wind and many a shaken earth,
Laid waste of soldiers, all but one,
Was nigh feeble before her fearful blade;
Her mercy in her from least years of battle,
Would ease the fallen, a most gracious thing.
The chapels of her beliefs of saintly priests
And in the thought thereof worship
That in the fighting, time was bled.
The lordly knight with marvel of blade knelt before her-
St. Aurelia. Golden hair and eyes like sleepy pearls,
Stooped her neck sideways and spake pleasantly:
Thou shalt have grace and my love full tenderly.

The Heart

There is no touch of sun, of fallen rain
That ever fell on a more gracious warrior;
I will face the wrath of armies, the bite of swords,
I bid you my love, for this my pleasure,
O sweet one love, O my heart’s delight,
Not twice in the world shall gods do this.
And by the great sea they wed, under sunbeam and breeze,
The betrotheds with lips athirst for thine to slake.
The dust of victories cast into the sea’s fervent flakes of blue,
Battles allured no more, now king and queen of air and sky;
Their love deeper than all plummets sound.
St. Aurelia subtly warmed in time soon bore child,
A princess of bluest eyes, the bluest of life;
Great gods in heaven, what beauty shall be,
Yet all immortal are they, clothed with power,
Not to be comforted by all- a kingdom too great to appease;
By a creed, all ye shall not live, but die.
The sound of iron oppressed the sun, can anything be otherwise-
Soldiers marched, held fast to swords, to death.
To each other: my sweet, for me no more with you, goodbye…

G’mueth early found a sacred love

Still waters run deep…

A dream, a dream is it all

Dawn is dim once upon
The clear soft flowing water,
Its smooth round stones no longer deep,
No longer fair and flawless.

So once the rivulet sang for lovers souls
Softer than sleeps caresses,
Brighter than moon shadows waxed and waned,
Now sighs for love it cherished.

Sunless hangs the dark sky’s weight,
Cloud on cloud the storm winds veering,
Heaped on high, veiled with ominous vapor,
Lures and lulls subdued by drought,

Less mighty than the heaving of time or fate.
Now, clothed in dust-colored clay
Lying beneath wooded trees,
Warped and wrinkled, endures a woeful state.

It scorns the shore and leaves them free,
Strange as death, fair as life,
O sea-robbed November;
With once statelier semblance, now feigning.

Come early Spring, the white-winged Nor-Easter,
Snow doth melt and spurs the sea,
A dream, a dream is it all—sky, water, wind;
Rivulet, feel your rebirth, your slumber leaving.
(Fulfill with the pulse of diviner pleasure).

A dream, a dream is it all

Sea waters and a small unregarded sun

A desolate land that is lonelier than the
Salt-encrusted sea,
Far fields where weft of grasses lay beneath
Thick woven clouds,
Exhausted by the changing tides;
The marsh holds the wreck of its riches—
No shelter for fallen boats or fishers.

Far flickering sun and winds lacking breath
Offer no hope for waifs of Glaucous gulls,
Their thrall of flight hath sinned;
On wings of mercy they are relentless
In the wan sky where nightfall stands erected.

Late day the seawater is haggard; in her darkening
The sound of tiring carp, bass, bullhead,
Their breath fulfilled for a day,
Yet the hands of waves are not weary of giving,
Whitecaps lay the lash on until fish call in the billows.

Seawalls have no granite for girder,
No fortalice fronting its stand,
The reefs are less bank in its sands,
For the fishing boats have no surety to be
When the bank is abreast of their bows.

The dawn out of darkness is but one,
Out of waters that hurtle and crash,
No rest from the wind as it passes,
Where, hardly redeemed by the waves,
Lie thick among the grasses,
Scatheless across the sea.

As the souls of fisherman disburden
And clean of the sins they cast,
The sea life is guerdoned,
Its flesh the dust of wrecks.

Wave upon wave that the wind cannot
Number are lulled by the chimes of the tides
And here in the sea press drifting
Are the anchors of time—rusted fast and firm
In the marshes, the tomb of those denied.

The sun’s eye flashes to the sea’s live light,
Its warm lips breathe back to breaking clouds,
It kisses the wafted breeze; dense waves change
Under its colored arches, its caps are tipped with gold.

Miles and miles in leagues without a change, yet time
Forgotten, the sea’s borders deep as deep; its plumage
Sharp and soft—salt and splendid, gleams and glows.
Streak of glimmering shoreline, its steeples cleave the low
Bright sky; stern above, the dune hill ranges where life
Has ebbed, too fast its faith of heart was broken.

Sea waters and a small unregarded sun

Two poems from the crypt…

A bizarrely improbable coincidence

A coincidence ago,
She who once held the iron justice gavel,
The sea sexton clapped in a diver’s bell
And a waxed contemplating skull
(Spoke not a word in three lean months),
Swapped all in a relic scrapping
For a road east to Prague, a fishing rod,
And water on a frog- exchanged not a word,
As her twin gab banged a blind exchange,

Now merrily on her way, compassed, puffing her
Excess pounds, to a Czech republic by a dissected
Fishery water (with reel and bait), with a
Riveting-tongued amphibian; all in dusted conjured
Footprinted soil; she, chiming the time with a gavel,
Sextoned salty directions (fogged breathing), and
Skeletal candle, spindled laterally with enough
Currency for both; their destination near with the
Proper passports and bus terminal lockers.

Both arrived like an exodus from a book chapter,
Who then is she? The den of her shape seemed
Remarkable; dressed like a folded garden (the other
Intricately cultivated); both pleasing to the eye of
The beholder. Image of images, stepping forth
Through the timebell, the bronze clapper in motion-
An unnatural parallel. The world stood still in this
Thimble of coincidences- bizarrely improbable,
Both ghosts up from the conjured earth soil.

A bizarrely improbable coincidence

The wayside bride of the empty house

Under a conceiving moon, on the dry
Grass plain,
There this night she sat on the
Swing board
Where barren tree longed for death in a
Cemetery of leaves,
She labored in love, many dark hours,
Pleaded for
The seed to grow inside her, yearned for
The wisp of a breath,
Yearned for a child in the milking moonlight;
Time by,
Dust on her flesh, shy with the rough riding
Boy that died there

Who once in a summer loved her, twined in
The roasting sun,
Clung to each other, thrashed in the bushes,
Rippling soft
Like a white lake; white gown bride in the
Church house,
Wooed flow of words, promises, soon scurrying
In the dowse
Of betrayal, he, quick in another love,
Bounced in a bed
But nothing bore, no mouthing veined;
He was a simple Jack
With a boulder of affairs, he kissed the
Mouths of dust

With his mole snout blunt. Man of my
Flesh, know now
Your vice and the scythe-eyed raver,
The bridal blade.
Fear not the flat, scathing blood, fear
Not the pine box screws,
Socket and grave, the grassy earth;
Ghost with your ghost,
Stroke your bones on mine, look into
My spittled eyes,
Feel the desolate child dark of the
Wombed coffin;
Feel not the holy flood of my desires,
My stuffed lung crying for love.

The wayside bride of the empty house

January 2020

Because the winter wind teters on the steel rope bridge,
Shall a blind man walk straighter in its shadows?
Shall a white cane and tin cup lodged in his palms suffer
The emptiness of a dark room?
The snow sniffs, pours on the tip of his tongue for a thirst,
It clouts his spittle like a broken life;
The sightless beggar alone in the twigs of his
Eyes, two burning embers
Smoldering, licking his life through a deadly accident,
Plucked by an explosion,
Forever, as his tongue breaks its
Rounds at the end like a wagged root.
Because he stands alone, one story out of a
Bum city,
His frozen wife’s juices drift like a fixed
arctic sea
Secretly in statuary,
Shall he, planted in the cold and desolate street,
Turn to stare at an old year
Toppling down in the muddle of glass
And cement
Like the mauled reflections of immigrants?
The salt trucks and melted asphalt
Furnish heat from manhole covers in a
Dead warmth,
He, a bent over man in anticipation
Is plucked from frostbite in a saving grace.

January 2020


I make these in earnest warning when
Each omen, like a stone-tongue
Breath’s rag, puffed and blown into
Your breastknot, your nettled innocence,
Quite frank like a closed pearl,
Molested sea, glint like sirens, staved
Into whale caverns, the ivory town,
Huge as Jonah’s five assassin fingers,
Who made a weapon from an ass’s
Skeleton, walked the sea-sand in the
Toppled sundown, eyelids fastened
On a killing, murder’s sake, dark into
The jaw-bone like an approaching wave,
Wounded the whale skin- the hero’s
Head lies scraped of every legend.

From his mother’s womb, he has a religious
Tongue that laps up the mud, love’s
Anatomist with the righteous beads,
Saves the hopeless with their inch-taped
Lips from the Roman rank and hood; his
Cross to bear- buried in sacrificial linen,
Sewn with black venom’s thread; resurrected,
For all the dead ascend, summoned up by the
Breath-white, curtained mouth of forgiveness.

These blind eyed lepers breathe a wind of
Vision, their cauldrons rooted, fume like a
Dead Sea; toss in the burning crows feet,
The crumpled packs of toads, the rindless
Hares, beat the cobwebbed drums; pour it
On the terrible world of their brethren’s skin-
One rood dropped down like stacked cards,
A dismal pyramid, ruins filled with rooms of
Errors, the rock shroud in a sharp wind.

The burning bush with its loud fire, written
Tablet scriptures, and the Jesus ghost,
Mild as a pardon, delivered to the Moses
Man on a hailing hill covered with cold
Flintsteps; his words lost to the limp,
Uneating silence and the locked tents;
These are his contraries cast in stone.
The golden beast follows in its molten
Flight up cinder-nesting columns of
Nonbelievers, the starved herd; they walk
The warring sands sprawled to ruin,
Bray with the jawbone of an ass; seek to
Hang with beheaded veins for murder’s
Sake- the noose in a sun-gloved hand.
They have picked the live heart of a savior.


Prologue to a marsh

Autumn winding down now
As nature speeds winter’s snow
In the solstice frigid sun,
In a marsh’s tidal lagoon
By a river’s bend
Tangled with sawgrass and reeds,
Mire, fowl, fin, and feathered quill
At a basin’s dancing current,
By salty sediment, starfish sands
With their fishwife cross
Terns, pipers, cockles and snails,
The sky up there, crow black, rain
Tackled with clouds who kneel
To the sunset nets,
Heron nearly in flight,
Mummichogs, silversides, and shells
That speak brackish seas,
Eternal deepened waters away
From the urban sprawl
Whose neon towers will catch
In the lighted night
Like stalks of cattails, strumpshaw grass,
A poor wind sings
To you suburbs, though a melodious
Yearning, a faithful act,
The screech of owls in
Disappearing wood,
Splayed sounds
Out of tree-thumbed leaves
That fly and fall,
Crumble into earthen soil.
The rumpus of snowflakes
Trumpet the marsh,
A bellowing white ark
As winter begins
Over the sleeping bogs,
Moonbeams flickering on
Plumbed byrns of mud
Down to the sea, curlew,
Into the dark shoals,
The water-lidded lands.

N1 Prologue to a marsh

I, in my mask

I have made a mask, a wall to shut me from
Your hate
Of the dark, delving eyes and
Sharpened claws
Rape and pillage in the nurseries of
My face,
A gag of mouths to silence
Your enemy
Your bigoted tongues a trumpet
Of lies
Shielding your dead brains, the countenance of
A dunce;
This tear-stained widower’s grief forged by a
Clumsy orator
Laying my family’s ghosts in pine boxes, my
Body held in death’s corridor, I tread in blood
And bones;
I seek an escape out of this
Naked entrail.

Image of images to the world, your
Phantom meddle,
Mortal, unmortal, I in my confusion leap from the
Steeplejack tower,
Tread through the perilous air, impale myself on a
Pike; the wooden insects eat my flesh. I am your
Invalid rival,
Turning counterclockwise in your
Swastika symbol.

You have climbed to your country’s pinnacle, up through its
Cadaverous gravel,
It falls thick and steadily into our
Corkscrewed graves;
The neck of our nostrils can no longer breathe.
You bring out the dark patrol, your
Monstrous officers
And decaying political party, sentinels garrisoned like cocks on a
Dung hill,
Crowing to their presidential savior who rings out the
Hangman’s bell-
Be you your own ghost, your bodiless image on my stick
Of folly;
We are stoved bones thrust into his shipwreck
Of muscle,
Locked in his struggle; I am no longer alive in
My skin,
Clawed out by this carnivorous reptilian in his
Rotten fathom;
Trapped in a water torture till my savior conjures my soul.

Surreal Mask ABstract with Many Wires