May 14, 2012


Southwest flight to Portland 
everyone with their backpacks 
olive green, Nalgenes, 
long hair, instruments in hand. 
In this state, 
I will find you here. 

"Play a song for us."

I remember piano keys
emanating from the red walls 
as I lay my head down to sleep, 
sweet, musical themes of my childhood. 

"Play it for us again, would you?"

Tell us a joke
when we're angry
give us a laugh 
when we cry.

Chipper spirit, kin
tell me about your dreams
tell me about the worlds you see in your mind 
the ones you create.

I remember beach hotels 
Years ago
Warm porridge in the morning
Golden syrup friendship
We didn't need any others. 
I remember sandcastles 
Hours and hours on masterpieces
and then the minutes spent scrambling 
when waves force us to work 
faster than we'd ever thought we could...
"Anything is possible," you'd say.

I remember real castles, 
walking walking walking
old stone remnants of the life lived,
Maybe they were a warning. 
We'd climb over the rocks 
find the walking sticks
And hike the hills
we'd never seen in Illinois;
these were our adventure stories.

You were prince of Egypt
and lakes
we'd part 
the red sea with our staffs,
Disney movie euphoria,
and happiness--singing all the while.

"Sing for us, would you?"

You were the leader.
Fellowship of the ring,
in our backyard woods
smacking down the nettles 
with our sticks,
Pioneers in a marshland
soon to be conquered
by the children of its owners. 

Conquer the world, my friend, 
and rule it well.

I remember the time in the subway 
in the city of France that glows
You were the charmer in the movies
joking with the locals.
I remember the top of the mountain we climbed, 
looking into other countries,
where you taught me to see 
without border lines in the way,
blocking my vision. 

Teach me to smile like you have
so many times,
show me how to play like you do…
and please, 
"Sing for us whenever you'd like,"
and dream with me 
like I know we always will.

Inspire us, dreamer,
and whatever you do, 
know that you 
are loved.

January 30, 2012

things start splitting at the seams now                                                              
things start splitting at the seams now

anything to make you smile

in my mind
you are
the ever-present love that remains like a ghost

I hold this book, looking, questioning, wondering
I believe
functional things,

but slow guitar sounds
remind me
I’m tumbling down
tumbling down

only to hold me together
only to act like I can.

control, ooh, the thing I know best.

do I really know me at all?
what suppression leaves me with
empty, quietness in tones I’ve never heard
not loud enough to wear hand-knitted perfection.

it’s a good thing your will exists...

stubbornness cowers now
thank god, it does.

January 19, 2012

Whitened pine needles                                                                                
Crisp air steaming in our noses 
Smiling hellos and goodbyes 
Like we never slipped 
Down this steep angled hill. 
Frigid waves, fingers shaking 
Looking up to face the sky 
Only when we remember at times 
How we've forgotten the warmth of the sun 
We absentmindedly ask for forgiveness 
and hope it comes before we reach the end 
Far off a sailors waltz calls 
Drunken adventures and worlds to see 
Oceans to master, maps to make, 
Pretty impulse romances to try... 
Yet this beckoning call 
Tells a heavy tale, 
Sadly howling in the nighttime storms... 
Still it pulls us away from the bitter reality 
That is home. 
This northwest wind 
closes proclaiming mouths 
so it hurts to smile 
and hushes precious shouts of joy 
It calls us names like Insanity, Naive 
and we forget how to remain in truth 
Returning from voyages to unknown, 
Sadness feeling like blanket chills 
Rocking shipwrecked wood--
and we say that is freedom? 
No escape changes anything, ever. 
It's living here that sometimes feels like slow monotonous breathing, 
and that will be all 
Until we find our love again, 
Which we won't 
We never do, 
We won't remember. 
Lucky truths define themselves 
Before our narrowed eyes 
Warmth finds us. 
We cannot search enough 
Try enough 
Read learn grow speak hear enough 
We're running numb 
So we can't feel enough to stop 
And the warmth finds us. 
That's how it comes, 
The sunlight peeks through these grey towers and white, 
and dawn is on my face 
Like I never knew 
and I remember 
The newness that means fire 
melting all the harsh 
and igniting all the good, 
Sparks on my tongue 
so powerfully sweet. 
We laugh heartily 
warmth returns to our lungs 
And ours is the steam that we see 
The vapor echoes of praising hearts, 
Glory in misfortune turned 
To a story of hide and seek 
freedom in fires lit by 
Helping hands 
Magical hands 
Miracle workers in our days 
Before we even knew to 
Think of remembering to look up.