Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Idée d’jour

The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.
– Nadine Gordimer

Friday, November 16, 2018


I am a reliquary for my ancestors:
I carry their sacred bones
in my silken heart.

For their part, they embrace my soul
and carry it through the paths of eternity.

Today, as I eat my lunch,
I feel carried by Mom-mom.
I can taste Jello chocolate pudding
With a dollop of milk on top.

Later –

She blesses me when I meet
another grandmother
Enjoying the afternoon
with another blonde grandchild.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Elegy: for my brother


Born under the judgment
of an angry goddess
and her 5 o’clock hand

Born to suburban streets
you came of age
In hill & meadow

Born to darkness
born to light
before you knew your Name


His spirit was formed
before the dragons were born,
so he embraced the flame

I light this candle
in memory of my brother,
one year gone

I hear his voice
born of an owl’s wisdom,
echo from green rice fields

I light this candle
in his memory
for he hungered for justice

He loved justice
He lived mercy
He walked with integrity

I hear his voice
echo through the foothills
as I light this fire

I light this fire in this circle,
for my brother
now one year gone

His flame is not lost
it lingers in eternity
soaring on the updrafts

I hear his voice
I seek his justice, his
mercy, and his passion

He embraced the flame  


The lost little boy face in the mirror
Does not belong to my brother or my father

Those eyes are my father’s,
The tilt of my head my brother’s

That cracked grin is mine alone.

When I sing, I hear my father’s voice
When I teach, I hear my brother’s voice

When a dark voice condemns me
it is my mother speaking

I built this poem from my memories
what’s left are the stories I’ve been told

The true fictions that build a life
The ghosts that make a lifetime

And I carry these ghosts
in an old knapsack

I bought at the Army-Navy store
These old bones these old voices

This face in the mirror,
this face I carry before me

With my father’s integrity
and my brother’s courage  


Your spirit soars
On hawk’s wings
above the Texas foothills

Your eternal vision
Hitch-hiking the updrafts

Beyond the thin places
To where brothers embrace
Once again  

Work in progress

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ideé d’jour

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn:
Those to who evil is done
Do evil in return.
— W.H. Auden

Friday, February 09, 2018

Ideé d’jour

The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.
– Thomas Paine

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Idée d’jour

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
– Isaac Asimov