Monthly Archives: December 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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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