Black River Water


Colors washed from the day run together;

river water darkens from green to black.

My mood, captured in the dimming sky light,

grey mixed with muted brown, is overcast.


Winter’s approaching brings with it sorrow

unshakable – even after these years

of tears, rants, and raves, followed by healing

wounds that break open with a touch of past.


Time spent wandering among trees, along

river bank and deserted beach, provides

respite – a path to remembering you.


And although we never walked along here;

I find you blended in muted color,

our love in the deep black river water.







I spilled magnetic
words across the table
in search of ‘the one’
to describe the sensation
clawing its way out of my chest.
belly – sire – trod – crass – limpid

None of them
felt right.
Temporal – tress – gild – treacle

all wrong,
void of meaning
sufficient to express this
mixture of (pain, fear, anger) emotion
simmering inside.

It is not enough
for me
to know the words
fecund – verbose – salient – sure

I must understand the language as well.
I must understand myself.



Someday I’ll explain it to you – should you
care to hear it
– pause for just a moment
in your…what? self-pity? recognize you
intentionally destroyed while I tried
to hold on, to rebuild, to wait for love;
that elusive emotion you confessed
was not truly mine, never truly was.

It’s not all about me – or about you.
It’s about an ‘us’ a short time ago;
a memory shorter than I recall…
you felt like a lifetime, my forever.
Anger, fury, with sadness blended in,
cast shadows beneath tired green eyes. Closed
off from where we were, I’m looking forward.


* I do not know what the future holds and can only deal with today – and today I need to be here, where I am. I don’t want to know where I will be in a year, except that I will be closer to whole.

Cold as Frost
Frost paints pretty patterns on the windows,
ices over the world outside. Deeper
into covers and pillows, she burrows
to hide from memories, chase them away.
Counting calendar days is a habit;
ignoring mile-markers an effort.
This is the evening one came home; the day
one left. How quickly did he cross over
the edge of the line – to the other side?
None of the dates and times are recorded
anywhere save inside her heart and mind;
she can’t erase the pain, although she’s tried.
In the season of joy – forgiveness – hope,
sorrow settles around her, cold as frost.



For us, words have been both weapon and salve.
They’ve been tender strokes of passion and love;
served as tools of destruction and sorrow.
I cherish the former, mourn the latter. 

We used them to pledge – to hold and to have;
tossed them back and forth, dropped them from above
as bombs aimed at maiming, tried to borrow
time with them as if it did not matter
how the other felt at that moment. Lost
with deaf ears and broken hearts, our words fought
battles neither of us could win – the cost
too grand for either. If only we’d sought
each other, perhaps we would not be here –
oceans apart while still so very near.


Caught in the Sky
She trembles in dark starlight,
the sliver of silver moon hangs
above. Her heart – once lost
in dreams – drifts to earth,
beats slowly beneath her breast,
gentle as summer rain.
No more hail stones
tossed at her feet
or tornado clouds swirling about.
Her imagination – caught in the sky –
quiets itself into night,
eased by her arrival home – safely.


She wonders why it’s not easier now
to tell lies than the truth – is it the pain?
the edge of rejection?  Remembered hurt
that serves itself up as a distraction
from work – the world – or a clean kitchen?

She is afraid of losing everything,
uncertain she deserves to be happy;
certain she cares far too much anyway
what others think – their opinion of her
existence, and if she matters at all.

Neruda calls for poetry that’s raw,
expressive, soiled with life-stained lessons.
Did he know the future and declare love
and loathing will walk together always…