Reflecting Shadows

Looking out

looking in

looking through

rounded panes


too long focal length

can’t see

shuttered out

light kept inside

if you trust 

the reflection

not disctracted 

by the glare or

the intentional flare

artist in action

accepting allowances

for fighting 

ugly gnawing 


the upside down

turned round

picture distorted

to reality

can startle to 


of inconsequence

look inside

your lens

leave the impression

to the glass

shatters can 

be swept

hearts are harder

to brush aside 

to shadows


your light


The lights of shore are farther

Than they tease

Water colder

Than the wind on pier


The waves pull you in

Fight to fatigue

Surrender to surcease

Your body yards from shore

Lifetime from where you started


Buoyed only by the buoyancy

Of exhaustion

But the skyline is beautiful

And you aren’t willing

To let your head drop

While the city lights still shine


to land again

Elastic Limit

Elastic Limit

I’ve never heard you laugh like that
he said as we swung
from the end of our rope
tied up and together
working with one hand
for all of us

The ethereal dentist hears you smile
and will check
your teeth
for cavities
before you open your mouth

Pull your cheeks until
your lips crack
from neglect
as if you have time
when you keep losing
your balms
easy when you
carry so many bags

and give
and ache
and will another inch
because they need it

It’s going to snap
and your skin will                                                                                                                                           bear the blister from the shear

Buy another chapstick
Stack another box
Load another worry

Pray the elastic holds

and the limits forgive



I stopped moving

That pile in the corner
became locked

base of oversensitive and
siding of overreacting
ten penny nails of
hoisting the whole thing
just shy of collapse

because that where the real fun is

the disaster

splinter and crack
that’s where you can ooze in
squeeze between every
so the rust can set in

looks bright and copper
at first

when the very sacs of
air that brought back life
are twisting the oxygen
to bring ruin

The next morning
I put my shoulder to the works
and get pushed away
no headway
with the machine
must be because
I’m so fragile
levers frozen
joints clawed
into each other


A wonder
why I can’t move



If you would like to read more of my dark yarns, my new poetry collection The Gone Side of Leaving and my debut novel Drowning Above Water are now out on their own in the world.

The Gone Side of Leaving

Drowning Above Water