Til Death Do We Part…Or Until Today

September 25, 2004 - Our Wedding in Mendocino

September 25, 2004 – Our Wedding in Mendocino

Well, we didn’t quit make it to death.

It certainly feels like death.  Same darkness. Same eternal silence. Same gathering of mourners offering condolences on our loss. Same tears both from self-pity and genuine sorrow. The only thing missing is a stirring eulogy, although I imagine that’s what I am writing now.

The photos above mark the happiest day of my life.  These words spilled out now before you mark the saddest.

I remember our wedding day as though it happened this afternoon. We were married at the Heritage House on the cliffs of Mendocino overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The day started out foggy and overcast, cold and wet.  Kerri and I were certain it was going to be that way all day and made our mental adjustments to allow for a less than perfect wedding day, but fifteen minutes before the ceremony began, by the  time everyone had gathered and the music filled the afternoon air, the sun burst through a bank of clouds and the fog burned off, leaving a rainbow arching against the horizon.  A flock of pelicans flew over the dais where I stood anxiously awaiting my beautiful bride.

My best man whispered, “pelicans are a symbol of eternal love.”  I smiled.

Well, here I stand, 9 years later, and the fog has rolled back in.  The sun is nowhere to be found, and I am almost certain those pelicans are dead by now, as is my marriage.

I don’t ever want to go through such joy, followed by such loss, again. I don’t keep these pictures as a way to torture and punish myself for all the beauty and wonder that is leaving my life.  I keep them as a reminder that at least once in this wretched journey called life, I knew unfathomable  love and joy.  When people see this broken shell of a man in future days, they will be hard pressed to believe that once I knew happiness and beauty in my life. These photos are all I will have to prove that we once existed.

I have had my fill and am quite content to end my days in the certain knowledge that I was once loved by the best.  She can have the house, the dog, the friends…. I have have custody of the memories…and that will have to suffice.

Now where is death, and why has it not done its part?

I am waiting.

How Do I Say Goodbye?


How do you say goodbye to your sweetest hello?

When the woman you wake up to every morning, serving as an affirmation that all is well in your world, no longer shares your bed..or your life?

How do you maintain your balance when the center of your equilibrium in a world already spinning on a shaky spindle, says, “I love you, but I want a divorce?”

How do you formulate words with any meaning when the one person who truly understands you no longer wants to hear the sound of your voice?

You don’t.

You simply get up, put one foot in front of the other, and hope, with every fiber of your being that today, you will survive, you will move forward.  Whether you believe it or not.  Hope that you don’t stumble and fall into a crumbling heap.  Hope that your sense of purpose and direction will one day return.

The next 24 hours will be crucial.  We have been living together for the past 3 weeks, ever since she decided it was best that we don’t.  We have been loving and supportive and oh, so much in denial.  We thought that through maturity and feigned patience that we could forestall the inevitable…the crushing and the shredding of our 18 years together, without too much drama, without too much pain.  But as I stand here, packing my bags, whispering tender goodbyes to our dog, the pain and the anguish are mercilessly pounding at the door.  They demand an audience.

It is too late to correct our course…things have been put into irreversible motion.  The families have been gathered and informed. Friends have been brought up to speed.  Luggage has been bought and sadly packed. Her Facebook status has been updated, even before I leave the house. It was so fucking important that the world knows she would soon be rid of me.

I bought a used car to facilitate my exit.  It, like me, is creaky and worn and dangerously close to its final days here on this earth.  We deserve one another.  As I drive off, quickly glancing once more at a lifetime of love and memories fading in the rear view mirror, me and my broken down car will try to nurse our way down the highways of life.  We may not make it very far, but we won’t be here anymore.

How do I say goodbye?  “See you later” seems altogether absurd and insufficient.  “I love you…take care of yourself” sounds seditious and false.  “Be well”…perhaps, but I know she won’t be.  Not for awhile.  And a tight hug would only mock our separation.  I’m afraid I’d embarrass the both of us by not letting go.

No, the best I can come up with is to quietly slip away while she is otherwise distracted posting updates of my departure with her faceless friends on Facebook.  The non-people of cyberspace who seem to bring her more joy and comfort than an actual husband.  Unlike me, she can pour out her heart to these faceless creatures who offer her false comfort and advice.  They share memes to bolster her decision to quit this marriage, as though they are writing her name on some imaginary wall of support that disappears when she powers down for the night.  I “unlike” you all.  You inglorious bastards.

How do I let go, one last time?

By simply…letting go.  And not looking in that rear view mirror.

A Prayer for Her


Last night, as I lay quietly weeping next to my sleeping wife, I prayed with all my heart.

In four short days, we will be separating for good, a prelude to the divorce she requested just before Christmas.  Looking at her through my tears, I could tell she was exhausted.  The past few weeks have taken such a toll on her.  We still love one another and have both been trying so desperately to make our inevitable parting a process of love and respect and peace.  But that does nothing to stop the inevitable pain of letting go.  As she has for our entire relationship, her primary concern has been for me.  Doing whatever she can to make this in any way less traumatic, easier to endure.

She has always been selfless, up until she finally gathered all the vestiges of her courage to finally set herself free.  I desperately want her to be happy and fulfilled, even if that means letting her go.  But I prayed, nonetheless.  I prayed like a condemned man facing the final seconds of life knowing that in a few short moments the executioner will do what he must do, and it will all be over.  I prayed like Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, asking his Father to spare him from “drinking this cup.”   I prayed for everything cowards pray for when the consequences of their actions stare them squarely in the face and demand accountability.  I prayed for a way out.

And then I realized…this is exactly why I’ve lost her.  In that tender moment of the night, watching her toss and turn in a fitful sleep, I had failed her once more.  I failed to pray for what’s best for her.  I failed to pray for her happiness and security.  I failed to pray for her future.  I failed to match her selfless act for selfless act.  I failed, once more, to love her with all of my heart.  Too consumed with my  loss and pain, I failed to consider hers.

This is undoubtedly why I should not be allowed to pray. Or to love. My prayers fall on silent ears because they are offered in false pretense.  I haven’t evolved enough as a person, let alone a man, to put the needs of those I love most ahead of my own.  I have no faith anyway, so why I continue to dabble in the mysteries of prayer, I don’t know.  But with or without faith, I am going to give it one more try.

This time, my prayers are for her.  For her happiness. To ease her suffering and pain.  For the joy she so richly deserves.  To be surrounded by people who are stronger and more present than I ever was.  And more truly loving.  For the strength to grow from this, to risk again, to find her true meaning.

To let me go without second-guessing.

Perhaps, if just this once, I pray for her needs before my own, then tonight she will sleep more comfortably.  And I can cherish the few remaining days I have with her…for her sake.

These Final Hours


The doomsday clock to our marriage is ticking.

I can hear it echoing nightly.heart.  The sands are virtually pouring through the hourglass in these are last days together.  After 9 years of marriage, there are literally hours left before we go our separate ways, and with each passing second, another piece of me withers beneath the weight of this nightmare.

Each breath I take seems labored and futile.  As I write this, I am glancing up from the keyboard every few moments watching her fix her lunch, a cup of tea…going about a normal routine as though divorce was just another item to be marked off of her daily checklist of things to get done.  “Do you want a cup of coffee, sweetheart?” she asks.  Are you kidding me?  What I want is my wife…my life…my sanity returned to us.  I can’t eat or drink or think.  I can barely function.  Can’t she see me dissembling right before her eyes.

She’s keeping our dog. My heart.  I get custody of the memories.

Goodbye Beneath the Redwoods

If you searched the term “divorce” and ended up here reading my post, chances are you are searching, as am I, for some meaning in this painful process that will lend some comfort, some understanding. I am no expert in this subject. In fact, I am myself just now entering into the unknown turbulent emotional waters of facing the loss of my marriage; the rejection of what I had falsely and carelessly assumed to be an everlasting love. But of this I am certain – there is no comfort to be found.

When my wife finally uttered those fateful words, “I want a divorce”, I was strangely numb and accepting. At first. I understood  the intensity of the frustration, pain, and sorrow she must be feeling to come to the conclusion that she needed to save herself. It took guts and strength, or so I told myself. Hell, I wouldn’t want to be married to me either! I had failed on so many levels and, obviously, made the fatal assumption that I would have time to turn it around. This, despite her repeated warnings over the years that she was not “a bottomless well.” I’ve spent the past week reflecting on how many missed opportunities I had to save our marriage, and only succeeded in uncovering a bitter truth.

I really fucked up.

But why, then, am I so angry? I’ve done a great job of pushing that particular emotion deep down. I kept telling myself that this was my fault. My failing. The pain and the fear that arises when another human being ultimately rejects you … my consequence for my actions (or lack thereof.) But at 3:06 a.m., I awoke suddenly to a new realization. What could be more abusive or more of a betrayal to a marriage than seeking it’s dissolution? To quit. She kept telling me that I destroyed it…but here she is, walking out center stage dressed as an executioner, ax in hand. Giving up. She, not I, is destroying the marriage.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming her. I am just pointing out the obvious. And it brings no comfort. And before I get blasted for feeling sorry for myself…that isn’t it. I know I could have saved this marriage. I know I could have dug deeper and spared her from ever having to make this call. This was all my failing, and I will have to live with it.

If this had been a short relationship that didn’t work out, perhaps I’d feel differently. But it’s been eighteen years. Eighteen years of dreaming together, building together, and yes, overcoming the setbacks, hurts, and disappointments together. Love is not the convenience of celebrating triumphs and victories alone. It is the steel that is forged in the furnace of overcome hardships, shared pain, and forgiveness. Did I dip at her well once too often? Undoubtedly. But this would have been so much easier if she had simply said from the beginning, “For better or for worse? I’m not down for that.”

I don’t know what I am hoping to find in putting these thoughts to words and sharing them online. I know it won’t bring comfort or understanding. And I am not going to magically rationalize my way out of this divorce. It’s going to happen. But in order to demonstrate the love I still have for her, I need to be supportive of her right to destroy this marriage if that is what she needs to do to live more fully in the future. I have to be the “man” she thought I was so many years ago…and find the strength to let her go.

I refuse to make this any harder than it has to be. Perhaps I am finally learning to give her the love she needed all along…through simply letting go.
Last night, we sat beneath the redwoods before a roaring fire, trying to comfort one another. We failed completely. We are still friends, and hope on some level that the memory of our better selves outshines the memories of our failings. I wrote her this poem…although I will never share it with her. I refuse to cause her any more pain than she (and I) are going through having come to this final crossroad. But I had to write it. I hope someone understands. I sure don’t.


The redwoods swayed in a post-romantic way.
their crowns in the planets, toes tucked below soft earth
under carpets of wet needles beneath our feet
- that’s how we said our soft goodbyes.

Our love smoked in the fireplace and I could see
the flames flickering in your dampened eyes, but I looked
away, too much the coward to own your pain.
You said it was the smoke, one final lie to comfort me.

We spoke in the soft, cordial tones of defeat as the
air hung heavy and silent between us.
Neither of us could hear the babbling brook stretched
beneath the fading stars as the waters carried the
last vestiges of hope downstream.

I will save my tears, the wrenching of my heart
for the long, dark nights ahead. Tonight, my love,
my forever lost love, let us wrest some warmth
from the dying embers of this fire; gather one last
bouquet of memories to set us on our separate ways.Image

My Book Now Available on Amazon.com: The Winter Bites My Bones: New and Collected Poems, 1980-2013



On sale for a limited time….

Originally posted on The Winter Bites My Bones:



Well, it’s finally here.  For those of you who have been following my work, my first book is now available on Amazon via this link:  Thank you for your patronage and I look forward to writing for you for years to come.  ~ Dennis

View original

A Failed Marriage


I left bruises on her heart,
not memories, but empty spaces.
There is no fossilized evidence
love ever existed.
Her contempt folds in stages
like a Japanese silk fan,
while the flowers of our youth
drop their tired and wilted petals.
For better or for worse was a lie
easily uttered when I held more promise,
but as the years, and my failings, took their toll
it was easy to toss me aside like bitter fruit.


The Absence of You

crucified beneath her touch

I want you every second,
every minute, every hour of the day

I am flooded by an agony…
a physical longing for you…
brought to my knees by a craving
for your nearness and your touch.

Through tear-clenched eyelids,
I try hard to imagine your lips on mine.
If I could only hear your laughter,
the sound of your voice once more!

Nothing and no one, anywhere or anytime
could kill the love I have and hold  for you.
I have surrendered my individuality,
the very essence of my being to you.

I have surrendered to you my body
time after time to treat as you pleased,
to tear in pieces if such had been your will.

My spirit never seems as joyful
as when I remember the kisses you gave me.
All the hoardings of my imagination
I have laid bare to you…
There isn’t a recess of my soul
into which you haven’t penetrated.

I have clung to you and caressed you and slept with you
and I would like to tell the whole world I exist for you.

What strength have I that I may bear it,
that I may endure the absence of you?
Is my strength the strength of stones
that can wait for your return?

You are my mistress and I am your lover.
Kingdoms and empires and governments have tottered
succumbed before now to that mighty combination:

“I love you” –
the most powerful of sentiment
and words ever uttered in this world.


Best In Morning



I love you best in morning…
In that quiet hour
before the sun fully rises
and the shadows of the night
linger possessively;
as I lie motionless
beside you
the seductive blush
of a new dawn
filtering slowly through
the frosted windowpane,
caressing you in those last
moments of sleep
with warm fingers of light.
It is in that
special time,
that magic time of morning
as I, too, caress you
with my eyes
and with my thoughts
that I love you


The World Remembers Delaney Ann Brown



We have all been following the courageous battle of Laney and her family this past month, and are deeply saddened to learn that this precious young child was called home to heaven this Christmas Day, 2013.

“December 25, 2013– on this chilled and grief-filled date, the gates of Heaven were flung wide open
as God embraced Delaney Ann Brown and welcomed her home again.”

The sun arose this winter day -
Across the world the children played.
Homes echoing with carefree glee,
As Christmas day was meant to be.
Each parent dreams of such a vision -
‘Til life injects its cruel revision.

Yet, like a child’s lost innocence,
Cherished and held in reverence -
In just one moment swept away
No sympathy for child’s play.
Into her life a darkness came;
Into our own, an infinite pain.

Our hearts now filled with an empty space -
of sweet Laney and her joy-filled face!
Malevolence came and stole her future,
A wound too big for mending sutures.
We heard the sounds of angels cry –
The day we watched this child die.


We swallow hard; prayed harder still -
Our heartbeats faltered against our will.
The deafening blast of pure insanity
We’ve lost the best of our humanity!
A nation mourns with silent tongues
The senseless death of she so young.

The doctors did their very best -
Nurses offered up their loving breast
To shield from cancer’s savage blow -
To buy this young one time to grow.
But she slipped away, lest we forget…
Upon her memory, no sun will set.

Sweet Laney lost and taken away
Beneath the sun of Christmas day.
We are lost within an anguished grief,
As even celestial angels weep.


Impeccant cherub laid to rest;
God took from us our very best.
The loss we feel is real and deep,
The pain forever ours to keep.
No answers to the question, “Why?”
Our babies were not meant to die.

So, brush away our tortured tears;
this truth is too demanding,
and whisper in our silent ears
some prayer of understanding.
Laney’s star now shines above,
Eternal bright and beaming love.

The Lantern


Do you see that lantern on the mantle?
Its light has shined on three generations of this family.

My grandfather learned to read under the tutelage of its glow.
He wrote love letters to my grandmother in verse reflecting
The warmth gathered from its flickering beam.

My mother found her way home through lost woods
To the waiting arms of my Dad,
And on the night I was conceived, it lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still burn brightly
The night I was born, weaving moonbeams
Linking silver threads through the tapestry of our lives;
Illuminating my path through the years,

It has lit my tears and calmed my fears;
Beneath its flame we all found ways to heal
To bind up old wounds; to celebrate new beginnings,
While keeping vigil as loved ones passed away

One day I’ll pass it down to my children
Now crawling on the ground
And in its light they’ll learn to see within themselves,
Beyond themselves

I take it down and light it it’s blackened wick
Whenever I am consumed by darkness;
It watches over me and comforts me;

It reminds me that there are so many ways
To become illuminated


Merry Christmas to All of My Faithful Readers

Two things upon this changing earth can neither change nor end; the splendor of these few holiday hours, the love of friend for friend. Merry Christmas to all of you.  You’ve enriched my life with your presence!  2014 – Bring it on!


Opposite Sides of the Same Pain

A Sunni mother silently watches:
overhead, a gathering of scavenging ravens
paints the dusky sky above
the broken bodies of her three children.
Bewilderment mixed with horror and beauty,
accented by the pebbles beneath her feet,
polished smooth by a flood of tears.
An acrid wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
confetti raining on freshly scorched earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the loss of its precious fruit.


In that very moment, across the sea,
a Haitian waif reflects:
A flock of seagulls angrily position
above the ghetto garbage heap
next to a crumbling shanty
where her newborn triplets scream with hunger.
Bewilderment mixed
with horror and beauty,
the waste beneath her feet glistens
with the flood of her tears.
The stench of rotting wind swirls
with scattered hope and broken dreams;
flies rising up from quaked earth.
Another womb is rent in unbearable grief
at the bounty of its damnable fruit.


Ocean Walk


Silver threads woven through midnight skies -
Shooting stars as the white crane flies!
Cool autumn winds and the moon’s reflection;
Shallow tide pools inviting full inspection.

The ocean roars and rolls cascading,
White foam shorelines, slowly fading.
Footprints, mine, wet and dissolving -
Deep in thought, me, a life evolving.

Have I lived the life I was meant to live?
Did I take what was offered, did I offer to give?
Have I fought for the causes that helped to free men,
Or did I justify excuses time and again?

Did I love to my fullest, did I offer my heart?
Did I honor my word, or just play the part?
Have I sacrificed joy for immediate thrills?
Was I too vain, or humble, did I help to cure ills?

Did I live a life worthy, will others be proud,
Will I be buried alone or there with the crowd?
All these and more are the questions I pose.
These really aren’t mysteries for me to suppose!

The Sun now is rising, with fingers of light -
The end of reflection, the end of the night.
I turn with my back to the blue ocean swell;
I’ve too few answers, and that’s just as well.

Life is for living, and there is no exception -
We aren’t meant to dwell in such introspection!
The truth is unfolding, and this much is true;
I’ve plenty days left, and too much to do.

My Book Now Available on Amazon.com: The Winter Bites My Bones: New and Collected Poems, 1980-2013



Well, it’s finally here.  For those of you who have been following my work, my first book is now available on Amazon via this link:  Thank you for your patronage and I look forward to writing for you for years to come.  ~ Dennis

Surrender to a Better Cause



What we have in common
stretches beyond our mortal shell;
If I have a kidney, it is yours
I have two – take one, and live.
If I die, my eyes are yours – see for me.
My heart is yours for the beating -
My lungs breathe for you; they no longer sustain me.
All that I am is yours.
Let me be folded into your chest.

Let my sacrifice be worthy of your hope.

Cathedral of Shame


It was never my intent to return to this place
dark halls of betrayal, and lacking in grace
Lustful intentions, like geysers of steam
sex memories ‘neath mahogany beams

Yet I come on this day to recapture my soul
To quiet the screams now three decades old
Black flowing robes with collars of white
Incensed chambers to the left and the right

The bones of saints litter this brothel of sin
While confessions absolve the evils of men
The innocent novice here silently cries
Behind red velvet ropes of cardinal lies

Like lambs sacrificial to the altar are led
While the pure hearts of angels are quietly bled
I kneel before God, but my prayers silent fall
In the shadow of Christ in this candlelit hall

The peace that I seek here doesn’t exist
Where the holiest men refuse to resist
Hail Virgin Mary, full of sweet grace
Help me to rise and get out of this place


A Dark and Vile Seduction


Photo by MaggieKai

I can see your soul
in the dark pit of despair, my love…
you have a demon lurking.

Sweat drops in rivulets of panic
staining your face with guilty roadmaps;
crisscrossing your haughty cheeks.

I gave you my faith – you whispered a cursed prayer,
condemning me to the eternal flames
of your vile inequities.

How could I not see the beast
raging within your tender breasts;
the sharpened fangs masquerading as nipples
glistening in the dark?

Your undulating hips covered in thorns,
your lying lips sweetened with vinegar.
Your reddening eyes, beacons of hate.

Just what is you think I’ve found?

Something deep and dark and inviting
despite the screaming in my brain –
I have no voice but to consent, not thought but to obey.

Don’t torture yourself with hungered thoughts;
devour me as your wicked appetite compels.
but please, spit out my bones for Heaven’s sake.

Crucified Beneath Her Touch


In my darkest hour, rolled up into a drunken ball upon the divan
reading Plath and Poe, fantasizing about the sweet silence of death;
writing angry verse raging against all things holy and full of light;
then, and only then, was I full of purpose and certainty.

Mindlessly pouring ice-less cups of bourbon to free my tongue,
exorcising my demons on the back of torn bank statements;
scratching out never-to-be-read poems pulled from the bottom of empty bottles.

My loving Kate stood sentinel outside the mahogany door, matronly and superior,
occasionally sneaking in a bowl of tepid broth, or a grilled cheese sandwich;
she both loathed me beyond all measure and attended to my waking needs
with a love that pierced my frozen heart and stung me to the bitter core.

Awash in the dappled grey light of morning, reeking of whiskey and fear
I stood shakily, tucking away all evidence of my madness in the roll-topped desk..
Beneath a shower of scalding water, I made attempts to wash away the night’s sins.
Stuffing my walking corpse into a crisp linen shirt, draped with a burgundy tie,
I stepped into a fresh-pressed suit (dear, Kate!) and stumbled downstairs.

With the coldness of a ghost, I kissed her lonely dry lips goodbye.

Each day, I would drive into the city, interviewing for jobs I would never accept.
Stopping by Tommy’s Irish Pub for a shot of Johnny and a 2 p.m. round of lies -
later napping on a faded green park bench outside the old courthouse.

Dinner laid out would rest un-touched as I passed straight through toward oblivion.
Kate would be at her spinning class, pedaling broken dreams through salted-tears.
Rummaging her dresser, lightly tracing my fingers over her satin underthings,
remembering when, then forgetting why.

I shed the suit and all pretense, pulled on a pair of faded jeans…and wept.

Dedicated to Brooke and Her Sister

Originally posted on The Winter Bites My Bones:

This is dedicated to two sisters who I have recently come to know and adore. They are the embodiment of what this poem attempts to convey – that we are transformed by the love one has for another.  I’ve posted this before, but never has it spoken so loudly until I understood the transforming love these two sisters have shared in their very special bond.


By Pino – Two Sisters in “Afternoon Respite”


I don’t profess to understand
The power of Love’s transforming hand
But I can’t deny what’s plain to see
Loving you is changing me

As a child walking on the shore
I saw the ocean…nothing more
I cried, “Oh God – what senseless waste
This vast expanse of liquid space.”

Yet now, with your hands guiding me
I cherish the life within the sea
I built myself a one room home
And dared to…

View original 97 more words

The Sacrificial Child


Reposted by request…..

Originally posted on The Winter Bites My Bones:

Let not secrets fall outside these walls;
Ignore this child’s anguished call -
Don’t trouble me none, with your tellin’ tongue,
May a silenced voice save us all.

Oh, sweet child of mine, now is not the time
to be breakin’ down in tears.
Your father’s touch didn’ hurt you much,
and he’s gettin’ on in years.

I’m your mother son, and it troubles me some,
this fear you’ve seem to got.
I may turn away when ya’ll come to say,
“oh, Momma, make him stop”

Yes it grieves me some, that you’ve come undone,
jus’ keep it in your chest!
I know how you feel, just give it time to heal
And we’ll put it all to rest.

Got a call, my boy, from your school, my joy,
sayin’ you broke down in tears.
Don’t you know, my love, that come push to shove,
I’ll deny your tender fears.

View original 59 more words

Mandela’s Legacy to Us All


Sacrifice. Discipline. Forgiveness

Whatever the indignities
and misfortunes life throws at you;
No matter the depth or the breadth
of your personal pain and suffering,
these three virtues will anoint
and lift your very soul.

You have within you an enormous capacity
to endure, to turn the other cheek,
to rise above the relentless,
crushing tides of injustice and hatred.

Sacrifice. Discipline. Forgiveness.

When you are tempted to surrender;
to see yourself as a hapless victim
crushed beneath the yoke of life’s
inexorable thumb upon the scales of fairness,
in that moment, you will remember
that somewhere, someone
is bleeding more profusely,
hungering more painfully,
dying more senselessly.

Sacrifice. Discipline. Forgiveness.

Our capacity to ignore
our own anguish
and to ease the suffering of others
confirms our angelic humanity,
and releases us from
the bondage of helplessness.

Sacrifice. Discipline. Forgiveness.

Lover’s Delight

Originally posted on The Winter Bites My Bones:


With desire spent, we leave the night
Our bodies bathed in morning’s light
Our limbs entwined like climbing vines
Our kisses sweet like summer wine

Our spirits soar, our hearts set free
Beneath a verdant canopy
Of flowering trees and running streams
Of fragrant winds and lazy dreams

Such sorrow shall we one day know
When either you, or I, shall go
And leave the other to sorely miss
This warm embrace, this soulful kiss

As the sunrise drives away the night
and sunlight fades to starry light
So does this love, in ardent gladness,
Dispel the weight of parting’s sadness

But let us in this moment know
One final bout in passion’s throe
And leave the morrow to the night
This moment now is our delight


View original

Do Not Be Afraid


Do not be afraid
to lose yourself in me.
My hands are strong,
yet gentle
and, if need be,
I shall carry you
within the calm shadows
of my love.

Do not be afraid
to laugh with me;
the warmth of my love for you
I gather from the
rainbows of your smile.

Do not be afraid to cry with me
when life overwhelms you;
I will gather your tears
within the well of my understanding
and pour them carefully
upon the fires of your fear.

Do not be afraid
to live with me;
I will build for you a home
with floors of tender mercy,
Walls of compassion,
ceilings of hope,
and windows of promise.

Do not be afraid
to die with me;
I will lead you through
the dark forests of your doubt
until the bright meadows
of forever rise beneath our feet
and the cool waters of eternity
swallows our souls, together.

The Case Against “Fluff” Pieces on WordPress

Originally posted on Insights and Observations: Critical Meditations:


I might safely estimate that well over 80% of the material I have read on WordPress is what we writers might call “fluff” pieces. A “fluff piece” is a news story or pieces of writing which are essentially feel good op-eds.  The writing is meant to be cute, funny, or something like that. For example, if a writer does a story about kittens, it is a “fluff piece”.  Stories about kittens are essentially unimportant (oh, I can hear the hate mail churning!) The writer chose to write about kittens, not because it was important, but because it is cute and may help his/her viewer stats.

Fluff may take on numerous guises.  Aforementioned kittens?  Fluff.  Family travel logs?  Fluff.  Best make-up products on the market?  Fluff.  But to me,  the most offending piece of fluff on the WordPress market today are the countless stories that try desperately to convince the reader that the…

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The Wisdom of Living for Today

Originally posted on Insights and Observations: Critical Meditations:

Three Roads: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.  Which one will you choose?

Three Roads: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. Which one will you choose?

The reason most people find themselves stuck in a rut is because they insist upon seeing tomorrow as an extension of today, and today as an extension of yesterday.  To adhere to this belief is to voluntarily step into mental leg irons that have no key.  It will hobble you in all you strive to achieve, for it is a false assumption and a dangerous one at that. 

Yesterday is a story that has already been told. The book is closed. The lessons, hopefully learned. No amount of regret can change the ending of a story that is complete.  How can we begin a new chapter if we keep dwelling on endings that cannot be altered?  Our past has served its only purpose, which is to instruct, and to deliver us to today.  Today is all that truly matters.  Today,

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For Better or Worse



For better or for worse, I am a dark writer.

 It isn’t something I wanted to be as I grew up…it is more something that had to be done to give my inner grief a voice so that the pain and suffering did not consume me. The events of my life have consumed me like maggots feasting on the carcass of a dead child. Have you ever wondered why the best of Irish writers are so dark and depressing? It is because they were consumed and compelled by lives lived in abject poverty, disease and general disrepair and despair. Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Frank McCourt, …all suffered from severe moral disintegration, from morbid ideations brought about by the unrelenting ugliness that this so called “good life” thrust upon them.  

 The French poéts maudits;  François Villon, Baudelaire and Rimbaud?  These were simple men forced to live  their lives outside or against society, awash in the abuse of drugs and alcohol, insanity, crime, and violence. They all died pitiful, painful deaths. Or how about the Americans?  Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Bukowski…each caught up in what life does best…grinding their souls to dust in the absence of any lasting hope until the merciful fist of death grabbed each by the ankle and pulled them under.

 You may think I’m just cynical and indulgent…but I tell you, for every ray of sunshine you can conjure, I can show you ten bolts of lightning that rip and destroy.  I am glad others have happiness….but I myself was pushed through this veil of insidious despair without my consent, and I’ve learned to navigate life in the absence of hope.  And yes, I find some comfort there.  It’s what I know.

 People are always saying, “try and look on the bright side,” and to them I say, “ Look around you, for fuck’s sake!”  There is an ocean of pain, agony, and suffering washing over the majority of the earth’s population…and you think platitudes  and sweet rejoinders make a difference when the crows peck the eyes from a dead child who has starved in the Sudan? Or when 20 beautiful innocent children in Sandy Hook have their precious lives snuffed out, or when entire populations are being systematically wiped off the face of the earth for political expediency?  Get real.  Take off your rose-colored specs and take a deep look around you!  Evil flourishes upon a people’s unwillingness to see.  They are blinded by their blazing sunshine and forced optimism.

 Yes, we live in the same world, but I see the shadows where you see the light. I don’t write this kind of crap because I have something to say…I write it because something which must be said has me to write it. My apologies for the rant…but I get so ill in my gut when people say, “there, there…the world is a beautiful place. Just try harder to be happy.”

 The world is obscene and delusional. And it hurts.

We Write What We Know


I had lived one life with my face turned from the sun,
breathing icy winds and my father’s sin.
He is gone now but his fingerprints
remain a stain upon my broken bones.
My sister traded his midnight hugs for an opium exit;
her ashes instead of his lashes.

I took my refuge in dark shadows and withered.

I told…once.
Was rewarded with a year sabbatical in a red brick asylum,
bought and paid for with my mother’s silence.
She collected her ransom daily/offered up her womb’s fruit
to feed him like grapes to Caesar’s gaping maw.
She furnished her home with lost innocence
and found comfort in our cries.

She is buried now and I am robbed of my mourning.

Unearth me when tomorrow comes.
Set my broken feet upon polished stones;
let ascending steps carry me home.
My screams no longer echo from the mountaintops

My dreams no longer tether my pain.
I am not healed, but I feel, and my words
anoint my open wounds.

The Insidiousness of Life


The insidiousness of life is that it constantly presses upon you;
it is unrelenting in its demands that you nurture and refine it.
It evolves, with or without your consent, so there is no rest,
to simply put it on cruise control and enjoy the passing of time.
For me, every breath is a nuisance; every step is a cursed journey
saddled with failed expectations and societal derision.

I never belonged to this world, nor has it offered itself to me,
and the contempt with which I hold its false promises
eats at my guts like ravens nibbling away at my meaning.
Where others are guided by the soft-bent wings of angels,
I am weighed down by the relentless nagging of demons;
wicked little imps who mock my waking hours and torment my sleep.

There is not a grave dug deep enough to bury my sorrows,
nor do I seek any forgiveness for my sorry state.
I will wash away the stench of my miserable existence
with endless cups of liquid absolution, and in my drunken state,
I will stumble through somehow.

Tomorrow’s sunrise may warmly embrace the multitudes;
each with their cheerful dispositions and infernal optimism.
I, on the other hand, will wither beneath the heat,
thirsting constantly for the darkness beneath a waning moon,
for it is in darkness that my soul finds its true voice.

The Seasons of Life

In the youngest years, there is fear and pain.

In the middle years, there is ecstasy, laughter,
hope, promise. happiness, delight, pleasure, bliss,
confidence, optimism, courage, faith, joy, desire,
hopefulness, buoyancy, brightness, anticipation,
choice, sex, cheerfulness, and contentment.

In the older years, there is fear and pain.