Autumn in Contrast

(The painting is by the author and is in inspired by a photograph from Rosalyn of bookmarkedpages)


to push against the darkness,

to bloom where death falls

and to live (completely, utterly

in joy) despite

certainty of death.


Open Spaces #4: Womb & Freedom

[This is the last poem for the Open Spaces Series. Open Spaces are poems inspired by some of my paintings]

Womb & Freedom

To mimic the womb

We curl our bodies,

Hide in dark places

Praying for comfort,

For safety.


I hid in dark places,

Nooks and crannies,

Beneath tables

And stairs, nursing

My broken soul


Like a fetus, grasping

For warmth—for

Love that envelopes

You in darkness

I waited and



But the darkness I knew

Was cold, consuming

Filling my beaten up

Soul with promises

Of loneliness,

Rejection and a misery



To be swallowed

Or to escape


To mimic birds

We hold our hands up

In elation and freedom

Running across wide spaces

Jumping high to touch

The sky



pushing out

Of tight spaces,

Stepping into the light

I run






Into an emptiness

A silence of heart

Of mind

Of spirit


Into the arms

Of freedom

Into the solitude

And quiet

Of nothingness

Open Spaces #3: holy ground

[ Open spaces is a series of poem inspired by some of my own paintings.]

holy ground

They taught me how to pray—

A formula of words repeated

Across beads lined up in 10s

Each recitation a promise

Of finding God

Of growing Holy


And yet each utterance

Left my mouth while my thoughts

Filled with things to do

And people I knew

As my hands sped through

Bead after bead

With words learned

In my youth.


I thought of God as contained

In these little practices

Of prayers, kneeling

And houses with crosses

Upon their roofs.

Only to find walls and words

Fading into the repetition


And then, upon a hill

Outside these churches I knew

Beneath the open sky

I saw the trees sway

The flowers bloom

The mountains stand in glory

When wordlessness

Filled my mouth

I found the God

My prayer thought they knew


For in the vastness of nature

In its beauty and wildness

Lay a prayer only uttered

With open mouth and

Wonder, a holiness

Found in my smallness

Against this holy ground

Of greatness.

Open Spaces #2: An Improbable Quiet

[ Open spaces is a series of poem inspired by some of my own paintings.]

An Improbable Quiet

I knew the sound of fury

of glass shattering as a

gin bottle flies across the air

land a few inches shy

of my mother’s scared face.


I knew the sound of breath

struggling out of a mouth

as a hand held my neck

squeezing through flesh

and fragile bone.


Every sound I knew

echoed fear worn

like skin and pain

numbed with practice.


Every sound I knew—

creaking doors, leather

hitting plump flesh,

bones breaking as wails

and howls escaped human lips

were truths tattooed in my soul.


I thought I knew every sound there was

until this…

a quiet—

of wind through blades of grass

of the sky sighing in welcome

of my own tears

murmuring  a joy I thought

forever impossible.




Open Spaces #1: The Field

I have a few paintings of open spaces and thought I try to use them as inspiration to writing. Here’s the first of the series.

The Field

I laid myself open

Like a field of tall stalks

And yellow flowers

Surrounding you with

Beauty and a silence

That sways with the breeze

Beneath the ever wide



And like those who have

Found a field

You run into its arms,

Stomping upon its stalks

Hold it in your hands

And have your fill

Until the sun sets

The grass gets itchy

And the picture taken



The ever open field

And its wide welcoming arms

Never turning back,

Never returning.

While it stands open,

Bleeding through its

Bent up stalks

Beneath the darkening sky.

Today, they betrayed us

They betrayed us
They made fools of us
They tried to rewrite a story

Today, we lost
Wounded, bleeding
Writhing in a pain that reverberates
Through the land washed in blood
And tomb-less bodies
Wailing in the injustice
disguised not in the rightness
Of truth but the rationale
Of bent up lies

But we will never forget.
tomorrow is ours
To reclaim our past
Never to be washed away
By a claiming of a nation’s
Identity upon its epitaph
For etched in the depths
Of our motherland
Are the scars of a people
Fighting for what they deserve

Rightly, served.

Child, Love Hasn’t Failed You

Love failed you again, hasn’t it? You haven’t called since we last spoke and I felt trouble was brewing on your side of this world. How have you been? I wanted to cloak you in comfort, but you chose independence. That choice bears the joy of being on your own, and the burden of bearing the pain on your own.

You told me last time you were doing better. You told me last time; you aren’t about to do anything crazy for love. But you’ve told me so many things before and how you ate your words again and again. I worry. You don’t call often, but you do at least once a month. The month is about over and I haven’t heard from you. Love failed you again, hasn’t it? Continue reading Child, Love Hasn’t Failed You