From silence, we return to silence.

Out of language, we reinvent ourselves.

The Other hears our sounds turned

words turned signs turned sounds.

We speak only fire in the smoky village.

I scrawl spidery marks on blank parchment,

connect them to thoughts, things,

project meaning to sate my senses.

I harbor strands of image in sources, sources

in substance, substance in image ad infinitum.


A goldfinch balances on the feeder,

silently dancing within. Feral cats prowl

the premises, salivating for a taste

of life of death of nature’s violence,

the bloody law: tooth, muscle and claw.

In the distance, clouds gather in clumps of gray,

heralding the deluge in which we shall drown.

A saving ark remains buried in Genesis,

the way forward lodged in the burning sky.

O to march in silence, serene and secure.


I juggle sounds like old skins of wine. They do not

balance in the wind: full, bottom-heavy. Hemingway

guzzled from them on a bus through Spain, headed

for big-hearted fishing, a matter of life and death,

as was any task for the wounded surgeon of prose.

Driving an ambulance in the Great War, he died

inwardly. A black shadow, ragged at the edges,

followed him like a lost dog. Tail wags in silence,

lures him to a shotgun in Idaho. Poetry is no match

for death. Still I write as though eternity descends in time.

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