The moon is my mother

Lucina, laboring like a white star, your face
Of white flesh, your ancient father grey-bearded,
Weary, cold and planetary; I am separated
From you both, the earth door is quiet.

In despair, I live here, abandoned— a dark crime,
Soberly resurrected, bending like field grass,
Their mild eyes, tender in a wafted breeze. I have
Fallen a long way, white palms, no labor reddens.

Mother, you see nothing of this— you are not sweet
Like Mary. Her hands of holiness lift me from the
Cold pews of your silence. The clouds of darkness
Are flowering blue and mystical over your moon face.

Copyright © 05/10/2020 lance sheridan®


The Morþdæd Mystery

The boathouse

Winter kept the village warm under a
covering of forgetfulness;
Spring surprised them in their little lives,
rain showers
cups of tea.
A stranger not living nor dead in a
sound of water,
a body in a shadow, in a handful of wet.
He could no longer speak
and the villagers were silent.
Had he drowned, or was it murder.
The constable worried about
his horoscope;
one must be careful these days, he said.
Under a brown fog in a
winter’s dawn
death had undone the stranger in so
many ways.
The ice thawed and disturbed his disappearance;
he lay in a vial of dry blood,
powdered, confused in his clothes;
his withered life like a
stump in time.
No one claimed the body.

What shall I do now, as he pressed his lidless
eyes in the dark,
waiting for someone to answer his knock
upon each village door;
when answered, they did not mince words,
begone stranger,
you’re not wanted here.
Cold and hungry, he fell asleep underneath
the boathouse.
I am a proper fool, he said.

Sunday morning he never awoke, all alone
he floated in Plumb’s river;
fingers broken, lifelessly trying to clutch
onto floating branches.
The constable referred to it as loitering as
he rummaged through the
dead man’s pockets-
no identification
other than a few old coins and a wrinkled

He, an old man, was buried the next day
in an unmarked plot,
eyes blank, took his secret with him;
no mourners
only a handful of dust.
When all was silent, there lurked a villager
wanting to know the truth;
dug up the grave,
dragged out the body, a dull wreck of
his former self.
Out on the ground, perilously spread,
his drying body
revealed something, a clue.

#7The boathouse

The mudwump grass

She allowed her half-formed thoughts at first
to remain silent.
A wave of emotions crept over like the tide
which flowed over
the mudwump grass,
each blade in a tuft of wind and wave.

The Plumb river sweeps wide, low, high,
enough to reveal boot-prints
in the mud
where a body had been dragged, perhaps
somewhat unwillingly.
Traces of dried blood- death by water,
or a shooting.
The tide began grabbing for the shoreline,
all evidence would be lost.
She had to act quickly.

A deep, dark voice startled her. What do you
have in your hand?
She tried to conceal the ring as her words
stumbled out.
Nothing, nothing, just an arrowhead.
Her long black hair blew gently
in the wind,
Feels like rain, she said.
Shouldn’t you be getting home then,
he answered abruptly.

A damp gust of rain began falling as she
trudged through the
mud and grass; surrendering to the warmth
of her home.
Thumbing through the obituaries, she found
nothing about the stranger;
the rain fell harder, tapping on her window.
The next morning she discovered
someone had broken in.
The ring was gone.

#8The mudwump grass

Plumb’s landing

Before she could react, the constable,
obedient to someone,
knocked her unconscious.
Controlling hands tied her to a remnant
of a pier;
sat patiently waiting for the tide to swallow
her last breath,
drown her in a ruin.
The rising river began lapping on her
clothes, the dampness worsened
all fears.

The wooden piling creaked and moaned,
resigning itself once again
to the thirsty Plumb river.
As she began regaining some consciousness,
she tried to call out,
but her voiced was muffled by gag over
her mouth.
Her eyes desperately searched for a boat
or passerby, but all she saw
was the constable
smoking a cigarette.

The river behaved as an ill wind behaves,
nearer and nearer to a
final meeting;
This is the drowning land that has already
claimed an innocent
life who held a secret about a crooked cop.
She groped at the splinters
in hope of freeing her bondage;
Is this the way my life is going to end?

Disturbing the wooded silence by the
river bank, several law enforcement officers
with a purpose,
hurriedly they approached with a warrant
for the constable’s arrest.
As it was being served, one of them quickly
waded out and untied her.
Quietly, quietly she cried, not only for herself,
but for her murdered father.
The morning sun carried the
black clouds away. A new dawn.

#9Plumb’s landing

‘i me myne’

Pio and her lover

There was an absence and the
moon stood still,
a water honeyed rain fell silent
along the sill;
her lover coming from faraway
from the great war,
in the wind-heaved twilight she
could not be sure;
a black bird kept tapping on
the pane,
then growing dull flew away its
wings curtaining the rain;
she was not certain if it was an
omen, rubbing her eyes,
is it a new beginning or an ending
she would soon realize;
in her parlor, the rain sang with her
a melancholy tune,
my darling where are you, cast her
eyes to the moon;
beneath in the silvery surf a
wooden boat,
a spiny sail cast in the shadows,
a skittery rote;
rudder slipped into silvery craters
in a simple drowse,
running down the beachhead,
crying seeping to espouse;
her hand slowly touched him, you came
to me, said in a whisper,
he lay still in the spume of waves, comes
a dark way, the redeemer.

#1Pio and her lover

Morris and his impulses

Aging grey on hair and beard
and other echoes
of time- disturbing the dust
on a clock,
shall Morris follow?

Despite his number of years
he was dignified
yet invisible in others eyes;
much like Autumn leaves
hidden in shrubbery.

So, he moved, in a formal
day-to-day pattern along
the empty alleys of
life; quite often
down the drained pools
hidden excitedly by rain
(that could not bear too much reality).

Whilst there, Morris would search
for garlic and sapphires
in the drying mud;
sing an appeasing song to
satisfy any winged bird,
ascend to a nearby tree
to join them.

His compulsion did not go unnoticed,
for on one particular occasion
a woman bird watching caught
sight in her binoculars;
she sang out in a chirping vernacular:
voice in, voice out from
wholesome lungs.

In appetency, in his operant way,
Morris invited her up to
a limb on the tree;
they clutched and clung,
fingers curled,
birds chortled,
winter crumbled into Spring.

Their love whirled like a wafted wind,
hearts afire (with deep thought and
meaning); every moment anew of
belonging to each other,
till death do they; until, happily ever.

#2Morris and his impulses

A long love

Love is handily made of what is necessary
To replace a loneliness;
A plainly made agreement on paper to stop
The holes- the one in the heart,
The one for a singular arrangement established
By a length of emptiness.

Did she mean, did he say, you do not cry,
Tell lightly what you meant;
All of which nobody not you knew.
But it is so. Once in a while you wait.
There is no search, but there is hope.

A circle of a ring and a chance for pleasure
And not getting tired of it,
It shows there is no mistake.
A commitment is a commitment and does
Not connect under a bed.
The sight of a reason, the same sight slighter,
The intention to wishing,
The same splendor is a necessity needed.

A method of love, a single climb to a system,
Lily white with a noise and a grace;
Not in a catalogue, not a resignation-
All makes for a silver lining with no ribbon.

#3A long love

Enveloped in darkness

A little called poor

White and a discolored life
and a ragged settlement,
a constant increase.

What is the length,
it is there and a dark space;
a rich line drawn in the sand distinguishes it.

Cabbage in a pot makes a boil;
inside a dirty window
shows a count of ten.

Thicker and thicker is leaning;
she is widening
and mentioning nothing.

All that is needed is a catalog,
seed clam, potato, bread a little please;
presupposed and little corners of hunger.

Notwithstanding a sickness
no money for a cure;
overbearing and a sacrifice.

Play outside when the rain is wrong,
and white is wrong as a pedestrian;
plenty of the right kind of breathing then.

Trembling cause a whole thing is
a sad size,
every bit is church wrong in a prayer.

No breaking the losing of no little piece
no more than any other

Any plan is a compressed disease
handily made of what is necessary;
the plainer is made more than reason.

A pine box is made neatly
to have holes;
is used and taken apart for a different size.

Left open to be closed to be circulating
in summer and winter,
and a sick color that is grey.

A piece of earth is not splendor,
dirty is worm yellow;
more in soil not mentioned.

Mourning if not dangerous is a pleasure
if it is cheap
supposing there are no flowers.

No cut in pennies and little dressing
and bare feet;
a peaceful life to uplift them.

~A little called poor

A blind looking glass

A death egg in a cast iron pan.
A single eye makes an excuse. Two
are more necessary;
blisters in a cup, somewhere-
sudden very little, suppose is a
There is no gratitude in mercy-
it was chosen yesterday;
crawling in a circle
and getting use to it,
there is a bargain with a cane;
some increase means
a calamity. So ordinary.

Pencil and matches being round
things are something
suggesting and a coin
likely for a number- it is necessary
to mingle in a tin cup.
Very nicely may not be
There are more places empty,
if inside is let in and
certainly something desperate,
which has feeling.
The perfect to accustom the
thing is to have a
silver lining-

A not torn color hanging in a
blight. The necessity dwindled.
Not withstanding the
and a strict occasion.
The care which is wrong and
plenty of doubt.
Suppose within a glass within
a gate which is open at
the hour of closing
blindness, a light in the
moon without a struggle;
What is the sensible decision-
some reasoning
and a sight.
All this makes a magnificent
handily made of a singular
It measures a length sooner
than a blindness.

~A blind looking glass

The mushroom effect

A kind of a cloud and an explosion,
a spectacle and nothing strange
a single hurt skin
and an arrangement in a system;
the difference is spreading.

A change has come, there is no search,
there is no hope; surely any is
unwelcome, surely it is unconvincing.
Supposing there is irregularity
of a violent kind
and not getting tired of it.
Surely very likely the little things
are no longer splendor.

There is a reason for distress to be
quite solid in standing
and to use heaviness in mourning.
Very strongly my be
fainting and not to be exaggerated.

Headless bodies makes for mercy
and a wilting flower
is loud enough
which has feeling
made handily of dust;
it indicates a cemetery journey
established by length
and by doubling.

The ground is left open to be
left closed;
a color that is earthen rust,
an occasional resource
for a body.
A sad size, a particular
color strangely;
assembling waits for a spade.

The mushroom effect has left
a message,
the intention it is an astonishment
for a cleansing,
lighter than some weight;
the pound of a wound
in an ambulance.
The disgrace is not in its
carelessness, but in
the sowing of its stitches.

~The mushroom effect

Trilogy of Faith


Childlike in white gauze bandages bent
around my head, my hands,
under the bell of full metal clasps
tucked in like twelve discipled verses-
I am a snail that walks a black line along the
holy house, in search of water wound
like a ball of rain, thirsting for an
existence; a priest condemns me with his
rosary cross, his hoisted bible- who in
this labyrinth of hymns can save me.

Who killed my life with a blunt scythe?
Time shall not murder you, he said; who
could hack out my heart- am I unborn
and undead? I felt as though time had
murdered me. Before it knocked out my
flesh, my liquid hands tapped on the womb;
my male figure fathered me like a worm-
I was deaf to spring and summer; I did not
know the moon and sun by name; my
flesh’s armor was pounded by a rainy
hammer wielded by clouds; sleep and
dreams were racks to my lily skin.

I bow down at the altar of trees in search
of new flesh and bone, where water
and earth make a mixture, a cocoon of
skin and vein till the blood runs. My heart
knows love. I drift down to the sea to
touch the shore, the tumbling waves.
I am richer by sipping on the vine of life,
christened with the milk of earth and sky,
the lifting hands of the four winds; singing
of the heavens in the synagogue of clouds.


The dust which is God

A holy stream where the Jesus fish ran
clear and cold
and the sabbath bell rang slowly
and the hymnal folks sang loudly
and the collection plates filled poorly
while the sermon was of Adam
and maiden
in the newly made earth
below the dingle sky starry.

All church goers had a natural piety to feel:
a creed written in
chapter and verse;
all crouched bare waiting for a baptismal
and a mother figure waited in the shadows
and a new church steeple endowed
the heavens
and the midwives of miracles spoke of
a name- God.

Her dust, thin as sparrows bones,
writhes down like thorns
over the Holy Ghost
over the spuming cyclone of the
black silence melt
over the black plumed reaper,
down the dumbfounded stream to the
Dead Sea- burial waves for
the holy fish.

Brethren for joy, in the name of the mother
pray with the innermost marrow of
your heart bone,
rejoice on the Noah mountain
kneel before a burning bush
and the cross of his wounds;
I am wholly to that lamenting.
Sing a hymnal to sinners whose tongues
I tolled. That bores for all mankind.

The dust which is God

The shape of the journey

His pious eye was staring beneath the
hair of clouds. When I took off
my clothes for internment, there
was only one shoe left for the dance,
the pinch of where.

Mother Mary me out of here.
Time for the flat-headed St. Peter man;
I recognize that listener.
Him with his sanctitude and bent knees:
a varicose horror.

I have come on the church bus with the
holy water dispenser and paper cups;
windows down, wind and rain
like a spray of buckshot. The driver is
the last watcher outdoors,

Moving the card players closer. The sun
eases itself beneath the horizon; the
night collapses into the sky. We all depart.
Our muscles move like jittery water
into the gully of heaven, dank as a ditch.

Up the roadbed Roman stone we strain,
past the bibles in mildewed crates;
we keep breathing a small breath.
A hellhound is sniffing for sinners; an
ill wind sharpens itself on a whetstone.

Hello, hello, says St. Peter, I am the
assistant keeper of the mollusks- let
me see the pits of your tongues, just
a formality. You cannot enter until
his holiness turns on the green light.

We slipped into the silver city, stretched
over sand grain fields, the sun glinted
its sides; we crept cautiously, trying to
shake loose eyes peering. Oh, don’t
mind them, said St. Peter, they’re

Purists- watch out for their beacon swing,
it travels like a snake on a slippery plank. We
slept all night despite the core and pith of
that ugly worm. Come morn, his worship’s words
comforted. The bus departed with a lewd whisper.

The smoke of its breath hung on like the
dearly departed; its right rear fender scraped
by a bolt of lightning- a warning from Jehovah.
God bless good old heavenly terra firma, I quipped.
He said, lovely; learn by going where to go, my son.

The shape of the journey

Reboot- I am vertical…

I would much rather be on Terra firma.
I am not a hedge with my roots running hither
In earthen soil, sucking up Artesian well water
With mineral derivatives and cemetery remnants—
So that each Spring I may gleam as a green leaf;
Nor am I the embodiment of a garden plowed
Attracting my fair share of grubs and crows,
Knowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a hedge is immortal,
And a vegetable-head’s shorter but more deserving,
I do insist on having one’s long life and the other’s bearing.

This night, in the infinitesimal bright of the neighbor’s light,
The hedge has gone to sleep
Yet, I stand aloft on this wooden ladder strewing sniffles and a cough—
I look rather pitiful, but no one seems to notice.
In between shivers, I dream of a nice warm bed,
Out here, in the cold, sleeping is rather difficult,
I rather resemble a large raccoon with dark circles under my eyes;
My thought processes are growing dim.
It is not natural to me being vertical on a ladder at quarter to three in the p.m.
I have even taken to striking up a conversation with a celestial owl.
So, for heaven’s sake, would someone come and throw me a lasso!

Copyright © 07/21/18 lance sheridan®

Take measure of your soul

The way inward and outward are the same,
it is common to all,
it is contained in our past and our present;
all of our time is a perpetual memory,
point to one end or another- an echo,
our thoughts are echoes in a world
of speculation.
To what purpose shall we follow them?
Are they no more than dead leaves-
the deception of trees
falling into the earthenware of our souls.

Look down into your drained pools of thought,
fill it with water from inside your head,
quickly, quickly;
and then a cloud passes and your
pool is empty again,
we cannot bear much reality-
what might have been,
what has been;
it is much like clots of mud in the saucers
of your veins,
circulate them, the scars which you carry;
they are neither flesh nor fleshness-
reconcile them with stitches.

We are still at the point, but do not call it
a fixity, it is more like a suffering relief,
a motion made explicit protecting us from
damnation (a weakness of our ever changing bodies);
it can be endured, but only in time.
A particular moment that allows us a
little consciousness-
the beat of rain on the tin of our bodies;
the cleansing of our souls.
Our bits of paper we carry around
like unwholesome lungs,
time before and time after.

The end and the beginning- lead us not into temptation,
only our cause can end its movement;
quick now, here, always-
shake the wainscot
of emotion, the loosened panes of doubt;
lean against a loved one in a warm haze.
Lift your feet from those clumsy shores of stimulants,
risk enchantment, stay away from the facades
of the unconscious.
What you own is not what you own,
your health is not a disease deteriorating
like a soundless wail.
Fruition, fulfillment, disown your past-
enfold into a new life.

@Take measure of your soul

The hollow man

Crazed scientist — he died with a serum.

Pennies in empty sockets for a cause.

He was a stuffed man with bandages, wrapped together,
headpiece filled with gauze;
a dried, cynical voice — all around him whispered,
like cold wind in night jars.

Those who denounced him, till death do they part,
unremembered, rigamortis in Jehovah’s kingdom;
wooden crosses staved in a field — coffins nailed shut.

His eyes you did not meet, not in your sleep,
not in your dreams; he would appear to hacksaw
your broken column between dying and reality;
noose in a dead tree swinging,
more distant, more solemn; such a deliberate disguise.

He moved as darkness moved —
a shadowy image with a dead man’s hand,
trembling with an awkward hatred.

In a moment there was time, beneath the formula;
love smoothed with long fingers,
stretched for a minute, wept and lingered;
black wreathed in a window where a candle burned.

His eyes were not there behind thick glassed goggles —
in the hollow valley of a lost kingdom;
they groped together and avoided speech; sightless
unless there was hope in an empty vein.

Black ink of morning, he searched for an anecdote —
between the idea and reality;
between the motion and the act befalls
the shell of a former self;
between the conception and the creation
and the world’s response;
life is not very long;
between the desire and the spasms
and the descent to Hell; for thine is the kingdom;
tin white like arsenic and the atrocity of death.

The hollow man

An Apostasy in verse…

The incarnate

Never until her making
Deity or spirit of evil
Did she mother a child like a debilitating darkness
Within her bones, elbow and foot,
Would go from sane to mad
Slowly dying on a synagogue rack
In the shadow of a valley of sackcloth
Anointed by a water bead (unmourning),
Dark veined after the first death
(there would be others trudging on her womb),
Manwaged, tapping like the holy ghost
And riddled with stones by pompous priests.

It chose this virgin mother on a drunken shore,
A riddled sea stronghold, yet the waves
Scolded—cannoned her with the tide; groped
Her soul. The tombstone told where she would
Be laid to rest, resurrected… she
Cried as her white-dressed limbs tore in a
Groping wind—the incarnate silenced her mouth
With its numberless tongues; nostrilled her
With a dull, evil sense—a thief of innocence.
In a taken body, it was a trespasser, blaspheme
In a brain. Now she is but sand grains in a
Seabed. Tarnished, dissolving under a salted veil.

The incarnate

The trouble with Mr. Otterhole

Between his index finger and his thumb
The crinkled paper rests; snug as a wish.

From his mouth, a clean rasping sound much
Like a spade sinking into graveled ground;

But in a glance, he takes flight, a stones throw
Down a described route: his next appearance

Perhaps in an hour; others, many have been
Glimpsed and avoided, feeling neglected.

Yet, without any warning they feel a barb in
Their pulse, and to death they do part caused

By erratic breathing; what did I do, they ask?
Draft of a funeral, circular grave, below in a hole.

Oil gray skin, clutching at dirt as a blind person
Does their cane; some neglected the roots,

The headstone tells where and when; Mr. Otterhole
With his jagged fingers hands you the paper as

Recompense: there will be others full of language,
(when? he is rather forgetful); have you left him

Nothing, not even your soul? He gropes for you
In the afterlife; four beat time for a signature.

The trouble with Mr. Otterhole

Published back in the day…

Sorrow of the row


Now the solitary one, I find no grace

for myself-
the mercy of the morning
the mercy of the deceased,
trying to pull me back into the sea.

Although disheartened,
I must for a long time
lay motionless on
sand along a
barren shore,
along an ice cold ocean
and tread the path of exile;

events always go as they must.

So speaks the sorrow of the row,
mindful of hardships
of corners cut
and the downfall
of the Starred owner.

Often, or always I had alone
to speak of the disaster
each morning before dawn;

there are not any living
to whom I dare clearly
speak of my innermost thoughts.

I know it truly that it was in
the ship building, several flaws
kept secret, a
as it were;

the sickening terror
the deafening impact
the moment of panic;

could not withstand its fate
nor did a pitiful mind
do any good.

Thus, those eager for glory now
keep secure dreaded thoughts
in their feeble minds.

So, I, the sorrow of the row
often wretched and ashamed
bereft of my duty far from the
have had to bind in fetters my true feelings
since the sinking long ago;

I hid in the loneliness
of the dark,
weak and weary;

from there, traveled sorrowfully
over frozen waves;

I sought to be
sad of the lack
of any passengers,
a giver of life;

indeed now, I can no longer think
why my spirit does not darken;

when I ponder
on the lifeless bodies
that no longer grabbed
at my sides,
their cries silenced by the freezing air;

losing sight
as the lights
sank beneath the Atlantic surface;

I was blown by the wind,
covered with the
frost from stilled voices;

then my oars touched
the ocean
with a deafening silence
and carried me away,
my seats eerily creaked-
no one was inside to quiet them;

I had chosen to
save myself.

Copyright © 04/15/2013 lance sheridan®

The sorrow of the row