even when words begin to burn


even WHEN silence is not listening.   the body does.

surrender, a much maligned form of negotiation.

       here, scrunch over.   make some room.
at lion’s first sight of antelope.   described as honest desire.

not a threat.   appreciation.   the lion said.
       you are me, the lion said aloud, being literal.

       every morsel.   all the way to the end.

no less a noble life, becoming me.
see my feet my legs.   how swift I am.
        fanned into flame.

       I am a grounded bird.   hovering.
       here I am.   on your lap.   you are my nest,
       she spoke to me.
every day is another prayer.   a circle drawn.
       a question framed.

       toes kept inside the rounded thought.
       wet nose on a cold dry night.   familiar.

       then some rain.

my star has a tail

my star has a tail.

well maybe, we all do.

a fish, they have one.   an octopus, goodness, I’m thinking the number eight.

us.   how many.   is it two, perhaps it’s four.   crawling or standing up.

       does that count.

       some tails you know proceed the cart.
my tail is reaching seventy light-years far away from here.
       that’s history on the hoof.

       are we falling torso first.   rhetorical.

       most questions are, don’t you think.

does light ever really end.   dim is not the same as gone lost & stray.
dear Sol, the letter begins.
they will know you farther and nearer than me.   you are more bright.
but I am still, a part of the inside of you.   always.   us.

     when they see you, they see me.

     I promise.   no lonliness.
for you, I make bright words.   my share of gravity.   lifting Light.
no lie, as you include me, so too, doubt is spliced into my sensibilities.

     truth is, ignorance is not bliss.   no tail sewn in place.
     no circumference.

wet the end with your tongue and lips.

     bare threads.   hand over hand.

image:  Solar System Quilt by Ellen Harding Baker 1886, public domain


water is my hand

what’s it like being water.

       remember, no question marks.

not water in a glass.   not coming out of a faucet.
not in a bottle, no matter the shape.

something free.   that’s the water I want to be.

looking out a window, there’s Monterey Bay.

       that would be more than fine.

       that would be a relationship to last for life.

       fish & squid & crabs, some whales too.

       heaven beneath our feet.   water is.

feeling, tasting, embracing every thirst,
they’d find me close in, your shoreline found,

       the edge of being, adored.

in-between your toes.   don’t be shy.
there was a man I knew, no, more than that.
       he sang a song.

       it became my own, became clay in my hands.

       there’s one line, the answer to pain is love.

today that feels hard to accept.   my fault

I think not being open for love to enter me.

       do you notice, pain only begins from inside.

come water waves, wash into me.   my prayer.

and now I remember another man who taught me prayer
       with his dying breaths.

       he’s now gone, but prayers remain.
how much ocean is in a spoon.   (a question, yes)
I can’t write poems any more.

this isn’t me writing this.   if words appear, don’t blame me.

if I can become empty enough, maybe ocean will arrive.

I pray to be a better bowl.

MBA webcam views of Monterey Bay used with permission.
please visit and/or support the Monterey Bay Aquarium.   
they make the ocean more alive.   us too.

please do enlarge the header image.

the meaning of this is

moon.   one third leaning right.    the moon sees everything.

I live inside a poem.

right here.   this one.

the one you’re reading.   right now.

     look again if you don’t believe in moons.
we pretend we can’t see each other.
     we can.
everything I see, I see from here.
every curve you draw.
every voice you make.
every motion a finger inscribes.
children taller than parents are.
every breath.

each word.   you know some of them.
each ray of Sun fallen onto the floor.   feelings gravitate.

     dreams of slow gathering.
     a cradle with a cat sleeping inside.
when prey’s life is inside a predator’s mouth
beauty is described by taste more than by hoof.

     is change merely a different us?

     are we just bigger than before?
     I don’t like question marks.
when I die I’d like to be Summer, maybe Spring,
as far front-faced to the Sun as possible.

     something with a big Sss sound.
for us human folk, process matters more than result.
join us here laying in the Savannah shade beneath a tree.

     sometimes a meal will come to those who wait.
     I want to use the word, delicious.

don’t think I don’t like the austere spaces in-between the words.   I do.

there, did you see that movement in the grass.   (not a question)

I don’t so much choose the words I eat as simply say yes when they arrive.

hold my hand inside the stalking moon’s eye.   please.
what we are is, observable.   a moon can see us.   anyone can.
says the moon.   dont’cha know I am never far from you.

floating in your hand.
all of life painted there.     colors.     see.
notes beside my feet.

initiating quote, by MERRILDSMITH in comment to artist/poet Kerfe.
and notice how so many leave words of music behind where they go.
the moon sees everything, a small yet right thing to say.

small observation for the eyes.   moon scene, found before intended.
suggest click the image to enlarge, then a second time too as the image
is rather large so each expansion is something of a visual waking-up.
     maybe a delight.

for Pádraig and the universe



               did you see?

that small hardly-seen twig and leaf, and I like to think, flower,
that’s the way I remember you.   so slight.   some say filler.

       I say not full without.   beloved.
like walking to the beach through the dunes.   barely given sight,
this minor green and brown, not the center of anything I think to
see.   and once past, forgotten face.   yet here, of this fog, the first reveal seen far miles from home.   and so I write.   because.

recalled, there’s a certain color, a flavor of seeing.
       there, that’s how I am remembering you.

glad unreasonably, reading you.   I smile at the thought.
this world would be more nothing without your color being here.
     for Pádraig Ó Tuama we say this.

a universe.

we are the middle of it, the universe.   we are the boundary line,
the membrane between two infinities.   inside and the other side.

one half of everything is everything.   odd, isn’t it.

     bigger than a breadbox, we’re sure of that.

a rock will remember me.

this would suffice.   when time is ripe, put my name on a small stone.
walk me into the countryside, some trail only rarely visited.   place me
there beside the trail, resting with earth, facing sky.

random folk may walk right beside.   never know.   we were this close.
     just like real life.

your good company.




it’s not just by accident.   each moment has it’s
own roots, it’s own substance within its own being.
it didn’t spring from nothing, it sprang from itself.

however, in all of the natural universe the number
one is repeated and repeated.   repeated endlessly.
we use the word ・and・to glue them all together
into another number one.   the child, maybe parent
to be revealed.   that’s where story starts getting
really good.   how exciting it is being us.   see.

the realmost expression can be plain as day.     obvious.
or sometimes we keep it in a box, for a rainy day.
our names are included too, inside that box and
to tell the truth – it pleases me saying all this.

gratification is the way the universe smiles.
that’s why blood is on the inside, and skin, here,
the outside part that looks like me.
arising naturally.     another loaf of bread.

I am this much

     it could be any afternoon
I am a poem.   so are you.

I stand alone.   you stand beside me here.

I am a book.   I write words.   I mean more than that.

I am an only son.   I am first.   I am last.

I am a student on a yellow bus.

I was young.   I have memory.   I remember you.

I remember loving you.   true, for better, for worse.

I do the best I can.   seriously.

I refuse to fight.   past and present tense.

I drove a red pickup truck.   I smile when I can.

I have rescued people.   I’ve been rescued.

I am older than before.

I am broken inside.

I love.   I eat.   I sleep.   my life.

I swim.   the ocean is one home.

I am the center of a universe.   one of them.

I am the salt in my blood.

I sleep both more and less than I might.

I am a friend.   I am loyal.   I’m not the best.

I try to be who I am.   I am me anyway.

I am tall.   I am short.

I am soft spoken.   I am persistent.

I endure.   for now.

I love you.   that is the best of me.   of all of us.

I remain.   I will go away.

I love you.   I have nothing better to say.


not about dogs, but maybe

god maybe isn’t what you think.

so maybe, can we talk.

       but yea, first, gotta repeat

       no question marks.

given them up for better doubt.
this universe, it isn’t forever.

did you know.       that’s what they say.

so, god, the notion, on his ivory throne,

       give it up for Lent.

there’s no more room in the inn.
us, we’re having a pretty good time

playing in all the light.       we even like the moon,

reflected light.       is that just like us.

       reflected life.
do we feel He owes us existence.
this shape, is this the only one.

and even in the dark, isn’t there shape enough.

as it was in the beginning, it was,

       it was dark.

then someone said, Light.       was that you.

and there was light, and birds and potatoes too.

more sticks than they knew what to do

       with themselves.

       so here we are.

funny how all that worked out to be.
       long-shots come true when

       that’s all you got.

then again, if you’re all that is, you know,


       then your word it matters much.

all over the place, everywhere.

even mud on the carpet in the living room.

leastwise, so the angels say.

oh yea, dogs too,

they agree.
now I gotta go figure this out all over again.


when I didn’t die

pneumonia in Nevada in the snow.   frozen diapers
outside on the line.   I got over it but it left me with
a leaning into cough.   mother said, never happened,
but.   that’s not what my body says to me.

when I could’ve been trampled by elephants.   there
was this guy, two, three times a week he’d rub a stone
on the street corner lamp post.   why so, I asked of him.
to keep the elephants away, he said.   some thought him
odd, but gotta say, yea, no elephants, not one.
when that relationship became a fork.   you know the
one.   the one that went the other way.   like smoke,
me following.   felt like dying, didn’t it.   over and over.
some seeds, harder than others are.   I didn’t die.

when being lost felt like being dead.   but,
       I didn’t die when I died.

every day is being on the brink.

     now.   still now.

when words arrived like leaves.
when I was afraid.
when I smiled.
when you smiled at me.   I didn’t die.
     look, really look

Pneumatic Arts Flying Trapeze Arise Festival 2019
Cogi Haggerty   Nat Street   Blair Aued   Jordan Tribble

Live,  Love,  Fly   an act called, “Consciousness”
if you’re wondering, poem came first, then the pictures.

another reason for light

Principles of Structural Chemistry
a leaf is the way a tree grows a glove.

they lay on the grass, side by side.

telling one from another is more desire
              than composition.
we are all gatherings of light,
look see, bubbles, that’s what we are.

bubbles with shells all the way around.

the concept beauty is inside the eyes.
we look around to find it, like we do

old thoughts.       old buildings.
much the same.       some of them gone.

you don’t expect when things change.
they change like choice, bigger than me.

lanterns.       flames follow wind.       light
follows that.

an explanation would be, being blind.
instead.       gratitude.

a thousand thousand lights.

another day.       and you.

another moon.