Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Sonnet #280

the shadow we cast is as much of us
As any bone or strand of hair
For to be a presence here
To be a living moving being must
Needs create a shadow; my shadow
Is alive because I am alive
It dances when I dance and tries
To reach long at end of day’s bow

Extending what I think of as myself
My physical presence into the shadow
Means my footprints are also myself
And the paths I have shorn as I mow
A footpath with just my feet, my lonely self,
To take the trash beyond the kitchen window

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sonnet #279

To all the trees I've killed, an apology:
No death is ultimately devoid of meaning
But all of yours haunt no dreaming
I do not regret my mistakes of botany
That knocked you down to sticks and mud
Also, I stomped upon such seedlings, kicked my feet
to send the birthing acorns to tar and concrete
I took the axe and hacksaw -- traded sap for blood
I failed to plant you well, or failed to water well
I failed, and I will fail again, and trees will die

This is my apology: I'm sorry that life is felled
before it has a chance to paint the sky
and those old bones plane down into my citadels

Your justice will come after three rooster cries

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sonnet #278

The woods are a sacred place, but like all holies
The woods will take your blood, your body
It will drain you, and devour you slowly,
So remember to dress for this church, properly

Wear boots, and tuck your pants into them
Wear long sleeves, a hat, bring water, a small knife
Or, if you're really going on a pilgrimage, then
a big knife, a big axe, bring food, prepare for strife

We left these forests, once, recall, and we killed
wolves enough to scare them off, killed bears
enough to make them skittish. The trees will
welcome us home, but they will rend and tear

Where we hold each other. There will be blood,
Ticks. There will be the suffering of roots.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sonnet #277

Every sentence must be doing, being

Every thought we have must come in sentences
An actor or participant engages in a thing
We move. We seek. We scurry. We fence
ourselves, inside our minds, to moving, moving
Always doing. We think this way: get busy
living or get busy dying; as if death is a thing
requiring our participation, as if the hurry
is the sign of life; what did i do today?
What did you today? What accomplishments 
will line the walls of your obituary?
We need a new way of talking about existence
That does not demand anything of anyone
To speak without speaking, both did and undone

Monday, December 10, 2018

Fiction Coming Soon: "Tiger" in The Reckoning

"As a one-star Inspector General for the UN’s military police, I was uniquely positioned to assign myself any case that I chose, particularly after many years of hard assignments. I had chosen the matter of the mysterious Doolittle, a sort of multi-national guerrilla artist whose work I had encountered in my time amid the water riots of Bangladesh. The machines were dangerous, like wild animals."

Here in a week or two, my short story "Tiger" will be available in Michael J. DeLuca's The Reckoning 3.

Watch for it here:

This publication is eligible for awards for the year 2018, as well, so read well and adjust your ballotry accordingly.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sonnet #276

If I am supposed to be a man, to earn
my place among the ancestor ghosts
who earned their place among the holy host
who earned their place when light was a burn
And every day was scratching and long knives
And still they found a way to love another
And still they found a way for peace to cover
All festering coals, I think I should live
a little leaner, then, and walk a little narrower
Where the barrows beckon and hard games
play hard ways until i fall down into the harrower
Let me be a man like they were, if I am to blame
myself for all my sins, allow me strength of scarecrows
To stand strong in the skyline, scare birds with no name

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sonnet #275

Before they burn in autumn sunlight, they
will feast on candlestick trees, golden yellow
as the sun where the flowers feed their fellow
firebirds, to burn without a puff of smoke, they
eat a feast of sunlight, fly to heat, burn with no clouds
Cloudless Sulphur on the wind, the beating wings
Flicker brimstone, dead oak leaves falling
And these little golden flames fly proud
About the place; to decay is to burn a little
To feel the energy being peeled to gone
And in this gentle, slow fire's spittle
New life follows seasons' longest song
Where the leaves fall, brimstone butterflies flicker
And the ruins' end comes quicker, quicker

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Sonnet #274

"We who own the wind," they say, "We own
the sky and ground. We own the wind, how it
blows through the canyons, how it screams, sit
down in a field that we own, too, and know
these men who came before you and took claim
of the water in the sea and the minerals in soil
We planted flags on moons and invented water's boil
We own the process of the boil, we own the same
things everywhere; nothing is new, nothing is not ours."
That is what they say, what they always say to us
That come after them into the canyons and valleys and fjords
That we owe them just standing. At first, we believe because
We have heard this song so much, until we shout
loud enough into their wind, and decide that no one owns us