You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it
–Robin Williams

When I was born
A Candle was lit inside of me
It will burn for as long as I live
or until
I extinguish it

My body is the shadow it casts
Dancing wildly when it flickers
And it flickers whenever
fancy strikes it
a particularly
forceful breeze

Some will snuff their candles
Some will have them snuffed
Some are smothered
Some burn out

Their lives
Are cold
And gray

Fire beats inside my chest
Fire fills my fingertips
Fire lies behind my eyes
Fire is who I am

Don’t lose it.

The Lonely Banner

What happened Here?
on this hilltop
Why does the flag

Imagine a War
A thousand soldiers
and the Victor
a flag
in the Ground
his foes.

Imagine a Boat
A ship of starving sailors
finding the sandy shore
their feet.
They kiss the Earth,
while The Captain climbs
and claims
The Hill

Imagine a Man
A solitary figure
beneath the Lonely Banner
it Means.

The Other Oven Bird

There is a dinner of which all have heard
Loud, a mid-autumn, and mid-wood bird
Who makes the thinning families fat again
I says the year grows old, and that for feeding
Mid summer is to autumn one to ten.
I says the best food has not yet come to pass
When grandma’s not brought potatoes for eating
On cool crisp days, always overcast.
And in that fall we name the fall,
I says together, highway dust brings us all.
That bird then ceases to be as other birds
When steeped in the sauces of grandma’s works
But even still, the question framed in all but words
Is always still, what’s for dessert?


The ethereal quiet that fills a house at night
That simple state of stillness
The quiet sound that is not quite silence
but the steady sound of your own breath and beating heart
The rushing of air
and chirp of insects
of life, when all is asleep
And the soft blue glow of the night sky refracting moonlight,
to spread like a blanket
over everyone,
and everything

Smokey Seas

Skin stretched too thin,
over too much bone.
With long sinewy fingers, and nails to match.
Calloused padding that knew hard work
But also knew the contour of the pen, the brush, or the musicians string

One reached into a denim pocket,
Finding a small box and beating it against the others palm,
opening the top, and pulling out a cigarette.
Diving back into the blue to find a lighter too,
And with a flick of those fingers, coaxing a small flame
from nothing,
to the tip of the stick,
and into his lungs from there.

With a deep breathed exhalation, smoke billows out,
rolling like fog across water, and wavering like waves to match,
With us like sailors on the smokey sea,
alone in the world
water from horizon to horizon,
The moon and stars high above
The very surface upon which we stand rolling and lolling beneath our feet

Scents of salt and smoke perforate the moonlit darkness

Should we ever go back to land? I ask.
Away from the smoke and waves
Away from the moon stars and clouds
Away from the peace of our solitude
Alone on the seas which stretch from horizon to horizon

As though my spoken thought stirs him from sleep
He looks at me from his reverie
And replies to me simply

I should like to finish my cigarette.


Have you ever looked out
at the glassy surface of your backyard pond
and seen the little fish swimming there
and imagined that they were painted there
in excellent
but not quite
perfect perspective


Have you ever looked up at the clouds
And remembered what it was like to be five years old
When everything was so big, and you were small
And you still felt a sense of wonder at it all
Reading the stories that the great sky told
Uninhibited imagination running wherever you allowed
And you allowed it