scene from the holler

the clouds came early
following the crick
from the mountain’s flat top
down to the church

vibrant greens of the holler
fading under all that humidity
layers of lives
hidden in the trees

there are secrets
waiting to be told
moments we won’t recall
songs we’ll never sing

tonight, the wild flowers
lit by the hazy moon
sway softly
but we can’t feel the breeze

each breath is heavy
wet branches surround
holding us so quiet
while the lightening bugs dance

June 27, 2023 nature


   i will
     follow the curve 
      your spine
       a midnight drive
       the rumble 
       our racing hearts
      your breath
     the back hills
   i will
  give you space 
 but only
the vast kind
keep your body
 close to mine
    in the deep
May 9, 2023 love


filter the crisp creek
water through your toes
who’s life adds rings to trees
climbs their fibers
sees the world from their spires

allow the stream to climb you, too
raise your arms
in the quiet morning forest
stand tall
still, except to bend with the wind

your hands can catch the sun
as well as any leaves

but remember not to crush
the life that light brings
remember to trust its flow
these waves
from ages past
that have leapt from star to star
and journeyed to you
offering a touch of warmth
a moment to feel

May 1, 2023 nature growth

the last rain of the year

i wake to the last rain of the year
pushing down on us from above
it’s an even pressure
no favor shown to the rich
or the beautiful
we are all held by its constancy

across the city, you dream
liquid music sets the scene
a backdrop we share
as the future looms

and tonight we’ll kiss
as the old washes away
it will be a moment
the same as any other
time moves forward
like the rain falls down
with no regard
for those caught in its current

i’m grateful for the rhythm
for trusting that the next second
will arrive just as this one departs
i’m grateful for your touch
for trusting that your skin
will welcome mine
even after this embrace has passed

hold my heart to yours
but loosen your grip on time
watch it slip through your fingers
hear it mark its tempo
see it fall from the gray unknown
and believe we will stand its test

December 31, 2022


six haikus on grief

your quiet sorrow
wakes me from the winter night
to sit by your side

a drink to warm you
a friend to hear every word
my arms to rest in

kiss the pain goodbye
watch it board the westbound train
are you lonely now?

these are the phantoms
fingers around our ankles
demons rising up

offer up your skin
a sacrifice to the grief
but keep your heart close

i will cry your tears
let your agony scar me
together, we mourn

December 2, 2022 haiku grief

a toast to our sins

the waking light
paints folds in the linen
curtains, intended to keep out the day
but he meanders easily through
asks us to return to life
somewhere between here
and there
is a better reality
one where gentleness
can’t expire
where my hand never leaves yours

my waking thoughts
gather all our choices in the pool
water, there for the birds to bathe
but they drink instead
swallow the past down
one gulp
at a time
a toast to our sins
to our forgiveness
to every fork in every road

November 23, 2022 love growth

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