By Fire

Strangers gather on the green
choking on smoke and the scent
of seared flesh.
The sun is climbing down
to meet the flames,
As her ashes smolder
 he dampens her gown.
Just  before the winds whip up
she is in Elysian Fields.



Sandalwood and lavender

When dawn became morning, with the graceful arms of a ballerina, she tossed bread crumbs to finches and towhees gathered at the feeder.  Sadly the flowers lay drenched in nights raindrops, puddled  petals in a potpourri garden.

Wiping dried wax from the  bedside table  she replaced  melting  candles that held too many memories.  Her silk   scarves were cached in a pale blue armoire but for the rose hued tossed across the night lamp.

The hours pass slowly in  a room  blushed with moon-glow,  the  faint scent of sandalwood and  a hint of  dried lavender.


Image result for art by Mark Spain

Mark Spain Art



A young birch sways

like a newborn giraffe

its limbs lean out over

wilted grass and ochre

vines wind a marble sentry

whose eyes never flinch

but guard eternal  while

winter snow stacks on

solitary bones until May

winds stir the crowns of

trees filled with the wails of

wingless birds powerless

to fly on.



powerless birds.png



Let me be the  summer sun
who shines for you without expectation.
A  rhythmic  breeze that shapes soft
passages where you travel uncertainty.
Let a  herald of archangels fill your
your heart with unworldly treasure.
I will be  your blood moon,
the swell and pull of tides  that
draw you near.
Ascend with me on a windscape
strung of stars  far from
the world below.



If just once more I could return to your provenance  I would bring you this offering. The Words you loved,  that you spoke a thousand times  or wrote just once.  I would place them near, leave these tender verses beside you.


Wild wood

A trampled path winds

its way through the

reaching arms of evergreen

to a misty wild wood where my

heart lies down with yours.

White tail deer nibble goldenrod

And lift the veil of solitude.

Spring showers and wild flowers

flourish where

April lives forever.

image © Joan Egert

Common Ground

He doesn’t know why she hurts,  what she is thinking,  he is not adept at examining   those fine points best left in the pit of her belly.   Her  thoughts are dangerous bells,  once rung they can’t be silenced. For him the final line is the closing, for her it is profound sadness.


 The heart can fall like a suicide

spiral down like the shade of

midnight deserts

  cold as petals on an icy lake

a flowing grave of dreams

an echo chamber of pain

Let my tongue flirt like

a butterfly among


rather than polish my scars

debride my wounds.






a soft breeze carries  the sweet scent of  cactus blossom,
wet with copper  clay we commune to life again.
 I am the quenching rains of  spring,  the  night-fall shadows saturating your body.  
Nomad  of  the desert,
the taste of Marrakesh on your tongue.






Metaphor of Birds

Birds twitter in my ear,
my  begging palm opens
expecting metaphors to flutter
down like fire flies, settle softly
on  my life line.
From here I can see the river Delta,
a dark green tarpaulin stretched over
the hemisphere.  It’s murky  waves
reflect on fleeting clouds.
Suspended here in the boredom of life,
sinking in ruins of  past lovers with out
consolation to soothe them,
what’s left of words is refuse,
A cache of cliche, the bitter rind of orange
gnawed and  tossed away.
Where is my simile of stars?
A metaphor of sea oats,
the delicate wings of melodramatic
birds caged in my throat?
Imprisoned beneath  footprints,
the crumbling leaves of winter
grieving debridement.



Artist Unknown


the edge of seasons

Even in death we live on

until the last breath can

no longer recall us.

Rooted in the cold ground,

ethereal,  is there a soul

beneath that cold marble?

Has time returned to the origin

before there was light?

Perpetually I come here,

through the edge of every season

beneath the purple sky

I breathe the eternity of you.

Do you ever scream  out unroll the earth,

dislodge these stones?

Do you ever feel my unfathomable

grief in your mouth.


Because tonight I am weak

Satellites of eyes orbit my dreams, cellophane specters inhabit this space of detachment. Here tongues are no longer foreign and  truth is the language I hold to my lips. Without fear  my mind dances gently into the night that folds softly into hours


art by Lu Jianjun