Omnipresent Love


Beautiful-Couple-After-Making-Love

If flowers bloom when winter ends, their fragrance rising, too,
These I, on bended knee would give, and even more to you.
Celestial stars and distant moons I’ve gathered up for thee -
And as the angels sweetly sing, profess your love to me.

The tides should rise and surely ebb with every breath you take;
Each heartbeat to mine own entwined a passion full awake!
Softly pressing palm to palm, our fingers tightly laced,
Pulling closer, closer still, a warm and tight embrace.

Each minute to the hour unwinds, and still the night unfolds
Timeless and eternal as we lay in sweet repose.
The morning comes on the rising sun, our love in warm reflection
Whispering low, we are even so lost in introspection.

Such is our love, so tightly stitched, the seams appear transparent -
And to the world our vows are writ in verse now made apparent.

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The Poet and His Prostitutes


whore

He was a lover of street prostitutes;
not the sable-wrapped uptown girls
who sold their tight-toned wares retail,
but rather those working-class girls
perfumed by the sweat of their labors;
standing beneath broken streetlights at 2 a.m.,
in cheap, colorful makeup and Wal-mart lingerie,
with asses bubbling back and flaccid breasts;
those colorful painted whores of the night.
In his youth, he had been scorched by the beautiful
and he would never again have the fevered yearning
of lying with flesh more pliant and comely.
Street-walkers fed his pathos and filled his inner void.
They would let him kiss them on the mouth,
and wouldn’t complain when he couldn’t get hard
because of too much beer and whiskey.
They’d always wait patiently, filing their nails
and filling the silence with meaning-less chatter.
If he couldn’t function, they didn’t condemn him,
but would play with themselves upon request
so at least the failing of the hour felt sexy.
Most of all, they didn’t lie.
They wouldn’t tell him what a great lover he was
or offer up false platitudes on his endowment;
They used their real names and would share their coke
for an extra five, and he would pour them shots.
Sometimes, he would write beautiful sonnets for them
and they would be genuinely moved to tears.
If the sex was lousy, they took it in stride and didn’t bitch.
They didn’t conspicuously spit into folded Kleenex
or stuff their mouths with wads of spearmint gum
after he had come, just to lose the taste of him.
Rather, they swallowed because they, too, didn’t care
if they got one more filthy, fucking disease.
They were like him; defeated and empty,
just grateful not to be judged and discarded
like yesterday’s rotten fruit.

Last Call


ghost

Last night, as I lay muddled,
in my whiskey-soaked slumber,
A wraith-like mist appeared;
blue-black and musty scented
in tattered rags dipped in dust.

My burning sleep-clenched eyes
could not squeeze the scepter gone.
Her orbs, two onyx stones
set above translucent cheeks;
her mouth, a gaping maw
spewing ruby-red flames.

She floated on an icy breeze
scented with blood and bitters.

“Last call!” she hissed,

pouring me two bony fingers
of amber absolution,
judgment oozing from
her snake-coiled tongue.
I listened to the familiar tinkle
of liquefied reasoning cascading
across ice-cubed rebuttals.

Fear terrorized me,
stroking my belly with cold hands.
My gut curveting far and high
like smoke-flecked stallions
raking the black sky
with their steel-sparked shoes.

the earth reached up
with vise-gripped soiled fingers
grasping my naked ankles
and pulled down my saturated bones;
my drunken soul laid out and set
beneath lichen-laced granite.

Jagged stone-edged knives etched
my name and this,
the year of my drunken descent.

About This Site


“The Winter Bites My Bones” 

Blog Image

     best-of-month_75._SL75_V192214394_     download

Hi, and Welcome to My Poetry Blog,  

http://astore.amazon.com/wwwdlmchaleco-20

If you are an interested reader, or are a poet yourself, whether you have very little knowledge of poetry or quite a lot already, this website is mainly intended for you. The bulk of this site contains an anthology of my work from 1981-2013, but it also contains a few contributed surprises. Topics range from light, fun poems to the darker, more contemporary poems (the heart of the website) reminiscent of the two Charles’: Bukowski & Baudelaire.   It’s still young and growing, so check back often for new material.

You’ll see this blog enjoys a vast viewership (in excess of 41,000 readers) and contains up-to-date comments, but the web page itself is permanent.  Guest contributors are welcome to take advantage of this wide pool of readers. Please indicate if you’d just like to share, or if you are also looking for constructive criticism.  To have your work featured on this site,  email me your prose and/or poems to dennis.l.mchale@gmail.com.

Your comments and critiques are not only welcome, they are essential to the continued growth and development of my writing, and that of my guest contributors.  If you prefer reading articles that  range from contemplative to general musings, please see my weblog, Insights and Observations: Critical Meditations @ http://insightsandobservations.wordpress.com/

Thank you for visiting.  Happy reading and writing!

Dennis McHale

blessed

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Self-Reflection


death

I am the ripe red apple,
plucked from Eden’s garden
Contemptuously bitten,
no hope for God’s pardon.
I am Achilles heel
that hobbles my stride;
Odysseus’ curse,
my insufferable pride..
That lock of hair
that claimed Sampson’s life,
And the brother of Able,
I’m Cain with a knife!
I am the snakes coiled
in Medusa’s dark mane -
Like a lance to the boil,
my mercy is strained.
I’m the brew in the cauldron
of deep-forested witches -
The ugliness that comes
from Frankenstein’s stitches.
I am alone and afraid,
but to stubborn to change;
Hopeless and lost
and most certain deranged!
I’m broken, defeated,
and reeking of sin,
The lowest of cowards,
the most evil of men.
A life, ever wasted
on cheap wine and women,
My descent into Death
is just now beginning.
This ghost will remain
as my spectre of shame -
I’d rather be dead
than live more of the same ~

Poet’s Defeat


fallen angel

 

Let the night unfold as may;
I am sleepless and nocturnal
a carpet of stars lights the way
across blank pages of my journal

Though little light is cast, and sure
No verse forthcoming pours from me
for all the emptiness I endure
One inspired word would set me free

Yet these droplets fall in un-metered rhyme
for me to unravel, on bended knee
I am as useless as soliloquy to a mime
Or autumn leaves to a winter tree

So loose my bonds and set me free
No more my pen to scribe
No vacuous lines of poetry
There’s simply nothing left inside.

 

A Failed Seduction


seduction_of_innocence_700w

in the cool black-velvety jacket of midnight
she threads her hair with purple lilacs
her lips licked lightly, eyes half-closed
arching breasts filled with urgent breath
dancing under the moon with wild abandon
no care for which way the wind blows
or where the water flows
each step held lightly
pressed upon dew-soaked blades
of summer’s green grass
she sings a broken verse
whispers each refrain, to bury her meaning
while cool rivulets of passion’s sweat
run like melted snow down
from her brow to her rapturous breasts
rivulets dropping like rain on the
broken down-beat wings of angels
dripping to the parched palm of earth
gathering into puddles of sweet supplication
echoes of forbidden memories
perfume the nighttime air
places and spaces filled
with the frivolities of youth
she comes to me on bended knees
reaching for my turned up face
in the ticking of this hour
no time in my disgrace
I push away her yearning

My Life’s Palette


palette

It all began
with the glowing green meadows
cool, dew-moistened  blades of grass
softly pressed into the shape of a
child’s naked feet running
frivolous and joyous
in the backyards of my innocence.

In time, the azure-blue skies
puffed with the carefree
brilliant white cotton-candy clouds
of my adolescence fed my wandering dreams,
lifting me to new heights,
pressing me tenderly against the heavens.

In my teen years, the skies grew heated
beneath the raging, orange-flecked
storms battering
the massive walls of my pubescent limitations.
I fought bravely against
the darkening forces shaping me,
but was laid low one day
with the sizzling strike of a silver bolt of lightning;
my body then forged in the ruby red-hot fires of puberty.

As a young man, there came a day
with you in it, that a star as yellow-bright and full of light
washed over me, igniting my purpose and possibility.
I was blinded by the sheer beauty and intensity
of the nearness of you, awakening within me the
amazing brilliant white glow of desire, love, and hope.

Eventually, the purple-black sheet of night
was pulled over me; the skies darkened
to a deep onxy and I was left lying in the
of the shadow of Death.
The lights dimmed as did my voice,
and the murky fingers of Death reached toward me.

I was immediately lifted up
into a new beginning,
as the soothing winds of forever
upon the palette of my life and
once more dipped my heels into
the forgiving  green  blades of grass
to paint eternity’s meadow.

Lost for Words


rose
she was
seductive and transcendent
demure and evanescent
lost in the shifting shadows of sexual sensations
her chatoyant gaze, her dulcet smile
she was erstwhile my beloved fixation

her words kissed my ears
imbuing my imagination
with fugacious desire

her touch left vestigial sensations
demanding a desultory and deep dalliance
her lissome lips lilting softly
ineffable moments transcending opulence
something surreptitious and sumptuous
serene, slavish, and sexy

 

12:08 A.M.


clock

12:08 A.M.

At least I think it was 12:08 A.M.
My eyes were wet and unfocused
as I hunched over the toilet,
regurgitating about $200 worth of
top-shelf vodka.

It might be 12:03 A.M.,
I just don’t know.
Everything is blurry and
the indiglo clock on the towel shelf
kept blinking faster than I could read.

I wiped my mouth on the right sleeve
of my cashmere sports jacket
and with my left hand,
flushed the john two or three times.

Again with the numbers!
It always comes down to the fucking numbers!

If the police ever question me about
where I was on the rainy night of  October 14, 2013
at either 12:03 A.M. or 12:08 A.M.,
I’m pretty sure, like the filthy tiles surrounding the toilet,
I had it covered.

Crucified Beneath Her Touch


Image

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

From the falling of the sun until the break of dawn,
pouring ice-less cups of bourbon to free my tongue,
burning with each gulp as I exorcised my demons
on the back of half-torn slips of
empty bank statements and creditor threat letters.

My loving Kate stood sentinel outside the door,
occasionally sneaking in a tepid bowl of broth
or a grilled cheese sandwich;
she both hated me beyond all measure
and attended to my waking needs with a love that
stung me to my bitter core.
She stayed because she could see in me
what I could not, as I lay crucified beneath
her touch. I stayed with her so that someone
would be around to answer the angry phone.

In the daylight, awash in the cool grey light of morning,
I tucked away in the roll-topped desk
all evidence of my madness.
Beneath a shower of scalding water,
I made vain attempts to wash away my sins
of the previous night.
I stuffed my walking corpse into
a starched white linen shirt,
draped with a burgundy tie,
and stepped into my fresh-pressed suit
(dear, Kate!) I kissed her dry lips goodbye.

Each day, I drive into the city,
interviewing for jobs I would never accept,
stopping by Tommy’s Irish Pub for a shot of Johnny,
and napping the afternoon away on a
faded green park bench outside the county courthouse.
At 5pm I headed home to flee the light once more.

Dinner would rest un-touched
as I passed straight through toward oblivion.
Kate would be at her spinning class
as I dropped the suit and all pretense,
pulled on a pair of faded jeans,
and slowly drifted into my melancholy.
Each day, I would rummage through her dresser,
lightly tracing my fingers over her satin underthings,
remembering when.

I’d pull another freshly  bought bottle
of amber courage from the kitchen pantry
(dear, sweet Kate) and poured
myself another night.

 

A Bucket Full of Words


bucket-list-words

I went to the muse market
bought myself a bucket of words;
just a pail full of random nouns,
verbs, adjectives, pronouns and such.
Too cheap to purchase any rhyme or reason
(too expensive and out of season),
struggled home with my overflowing bucket
balanced on my hip, splish-splashing
similes and metaphors all along my path.
Arrived home just before sunset
and placed my now half-empty bucket
in the darkened corner, far from the open
flame of inspiration.
It sat there, settling, growing cold.
Later that night, I took a ladle, dipped
me a spoonful of now soggy words
carefully pouring them upon the
withered sheet of paper splayed across
my wooden desk.
I sponged off the excess dribble and
let the rest dry freely in the night air
The next morning, I rolled up the paper
tied it with a black ribbon
and sent it to my editor
He sent it back the following week
now tied with a red ribbon,
a matchstick tucked neatly beneath the bow,
both attached to a bigger bucket.

 

The Destitute


bolivia-prison

This is the refuse of humanity;
huddled in these corners,
iron-chained and forgotten
souls. These slimy walls
reverberate with muffled echoes
that slip through iron bars, devoid
of white wings to carry
hope to a voiceless god. The
ceiling hovers like a heavy mist,
dark and putrid, thick and barbed,
chocking any head held high.
Footsteps fall on a threshing floor gaping
with endless chasms where
missteps twist the misstepped into
vague memories. Here, forgivers are
unforgiving and the soother speaks
with a forked tongue lashing through
grinning lips, while the outside clamor
of unbound hands applaud and
beckon for an encore. This is where
a healing touch decays and
withers as the cacophonous
shadows swallow warm light.
No stars pave the way to an
escape; no amount of strength can
tear the bonds of this furious
storm that confines vitality amid the
waves of rotting life. No
song comforts. Listen to
the empty void of removed memories.

 

Beyond the Blackened Veil


The long days, the forgotten nights
have left me scarred and depleted;
I’d consumed my fill of sour cabbage and
cheap whiskey and slept on damp piles
of rotting leaves, wrapping myself in
regret and self pity.

There were, of course,
lucid moments when the wind would
caress my cheek softly, like the touch of
an angel, and in those moments, I made
vows not meant for keeping.

My coat, now threadbare and reeking
of last night’s vomit and rain, has been my home;
I dwell deep within its folds, seeking
some comfort there and finding none,
toss it to young mulatto boy, who will be
dead before winter finishes lashing his
heroin scabbed flesh.

But listen, my friend, I have known joy and love,
and those in copious measure, when I was young
and foolish enough to believe that even the
wilted rose retained her charm. I have lain with
princesses and chambermaids with equal
passion, the rusty moon of autumn casting
night shadows upon our secrets.

I once handed out ten dollar bills because
the roll in my pocket was so big it chaffed my thigh.
Now, the cold jingling of pennies and a nickel
mark the cadence of my stumbling gait.

In my youth, and folly, I read Yeats and Eliot
and took solace in their pretty tomes; they
hung bejeweled words around my neck and filled
my boyish mind with infinite possibilities. They
lied, of course, but still I welcomed the deceit
and even scribbled a few haughty poems on
love and other falsehoods myself.

Don’t misunderstand…I do not rail against the
imbalance of life. Some ride the festooned
dragon across velvet skies, while others bathe
in the shit and piss of their miserable existence;
and certainly we will all go down together beneath
the broken sod.

Today, I just look for a patch of yellow grass
upon which to lie down, close my blood stained
eyes, to catch my final breath and let this
bitterness go. I have no fight left for this life

 

(Sketch by Josef Rocha)

The Skirt


 

You laid your plaited skirt
on the foot of my bed,
neatly folded as though
in doing so you could somehow
retain your virtue.  In the midst
of our fleshy thrashings, I kicked
it to the floor, and you began
to cry, deep sobs that rattled
the mattress springs.  I moved,
too reluctantly, to retrieve it
but you said, “Why bother?”
Making love doesn’t always
mean making sense, and so
I threw my feet to the floor,
pulled on my jeans, and looked
back, although I would never be
able to see.
“So that’s it?” you sobbed.
In affirmation, I buttoned my
shirt and turned toward the door,
…as an afterthought, picked up
your once plaited skirt, tossed it
carelessly over my shoulder,
and left.

The Poet’s Lair


Whiskey sour. The most appropriately named
of all libations. It dances circles around “whiskey
neat,” because I’ve never been neat about my
drinking, but I’ve often been sour.
“If you’re going to be scribbling in that journal,
howse about you take that someplace else,”
barks Rudy, my corner bartender. I’ve been
a steady since before Rudy came to work
here, but there truly is no sanctuary for the poet.
“Kiss my flattened arse, you bastard, and pour me
another,” I reply without even looking up. He laughs,
flips me the finger, and grabs a near empty bottle
of Maker’s Mark. “You ever published any of that
shit?” he rejoins as he pours. “Listen,” says I, “stick to your
areas of expertise, which I believe is football (soccer)
and whores, and leave the writing to me. We’ve
both problem enough with our own curses.”
“You ever write about me..the bar?” he persists.
“Not until this very moment.” I concede and with
that I slam my notebook shut with profound defeat.

An Infinite Pain


And they will say, “At least he’s not in pain anymore.”

Really?

I have left this world just as I was beginning
to understand my role in it. I will never experience
the wonder of new lands, nor will I ever listen to the
crashing of a wave against the shore. I will never again
hike the wooded forests, or climb a lush green mountain.

I have widowed my wife and whisked away her best friend.
I will never feel the softness of her lips; hear the laughter in her voice.
I will never share with her my deepest secrets, nor will I receive hers.
I will never love again as I have loved.

I have taken my children’s father away
before they were even halfway home.
They will grow, and marry, and have children of their
own, children who will never be gathered into their
grandfather’s arms. In time, they will forget me
altogether.

I have ceased to be a friend, forever,
to those I held dearest. When my name is called, I will
not come. When I’m needed most, I will not come. I have
taken so much, and will never be there to return the favor.

I will never feel the warmth of the sun
upon my face, or smell another fall as it rustles in. I shall
never shower in a spring rainstorm, nor will I taste another
snowflake in winter.

In what alternate universe does any of this mean I am free of pain?

To spend eternity in certain knowledge that I have failed everybody
and everything that I hold close in this life? I would rather live racked
with the physical pain of cancer for the remainder of my life than to
steal away a single day from those I treasure most.

Do not say, “At least he is not in pain anymore.”

My pain is infinite. My sorrow will bleed through the ages.

Secrets


My shadow falls away.
No sun will touch this truth.
Wandering, cold and revealed
almost naked in my sin.
I have squandered the best of me,
descending now with the rest of me.
Secrets eat at my guts
and I am consumed completely.
Would that my lips could part
and exorcise that which I dare not speak.
I am taunted by courage beyond my reach.
My body is cleaved in two;
one side dead, the other living in fear of living.
My own hand betrays me,
and I cannot sleep eternal.
The truth is an acid
eating away any hope of resurrection.
I am undone, yet left standing.

Descent into Light


 

 

 

 

 

 

The windows of my existence
slam shut with profound resistance;
no light reflects my life’s regrets
dark thoughts are my subsistence.

I’ve lived a life most shattered,
redemption lay in tatters –
I close my eyes and realize
nothing really mattered.

My path was paved with sharp-edged stones;
each step cut deeply to the bone -
My blood revealed a fate long sealed,
No pleas were heard or crimes atoned.

Acceptance as the midnight falls,
my time has come, the hour calls-
Into the haze, beat down and dazed,
in darkness beats a heart, then stalls.

The final beat, a deeper cut,
the vein of life has no rebut;
spilling forth with little worth
the contents of my tortured gut

Beneath the lily and graven stone
The soul has fled, I’m all alone.
Now in the tomb I find some room;
My darkest fears are overthrown

The window opens, new hope descends
Now lifted up, my doubts rescind;
escape the grave, all pain is bathed
Into perfect light I walk again.

Writing for Hogs


Writing can oftentimes seem like
an exercise in slopping the pigs:
You throw your words into the mud
and hope they whet the appetite, but
even the most discerning hog will turn
up his snout if it stinks too much. Your
only hope is that a truffle or two will
sprout beneath all that filth; a sparkling, tasty jewel
in a sea of slop that sparks a feeding frenzy.

E = MCreativity


Einstein gave us relativity,
but failed to factor creativity;
His theorem’s certain, yet we are not,
and mankind therefore slips the knot.
While science deigns to draw the curtain;
the power of us is all but certain.
Quantum physics, both here and there?
Mankind can not be factored square.
String theory speaks to nature’s state,
while poets reveal our human grace.
Unification without the arts
is faulty from the very start.
There still remains the mystery
of how we simply came to be?
Big Bang theory explains the stars
but does not speak to why we are.
The paradigm begins to shift
When we factor in the artist’s gift.
Equations writ in bytes and bits
Cannot explain Beethoven’s fifth.
As so we argue with endless indignation:
It’s all little more than our imagination.


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;

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 arms of my Da, and on the night I was conceived

It lent its sexuality.

Bright and slightly hesitant, still it burns, weaving moonbeams

Like silver threads through the tapestry of our lives.

Illuminating 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 whenever I am consumed by darkness; it watches

Over me and comforts me; reminds me that there are so many ways

To become illuminated.

The Lantern

These Bleeding Words


For every word written, a piece of the poet dies.
The quill might as well be filled with blood,
Leaking out upon the pages
Like a hemophiliac, prose flowing with little
Regard for the health of its father. Slowly,
Drained and deep in pain, awash in fear
And certain disdain, the task is finished,
As is the author. So many artists die
By their own hand, or at an age that attests
To the evil of this sport. Why, then, do we
Do it? Because to live without words flowing
Through our veins is to have already given
Up the ghost. It sometimes hurts more to live
Than to write your own obituary.

Rebirth


Stars descend on blackened veils
Guiding my steps to the ocean’s swell
Waves swallowed whole by gold sands porous
A symphony’s repeating chorus
As the moon reflects its softened light
The summer winds caress the night
My thoughts turn toward the heavenly spiral
Of shooting stars and earth’s denial
My eyes ascend to northern lights
While thoughts unformed take sudden flight
Carry me toward a heavenly vision
As my soul begins a new revision
Eyes once blind now clearly see
This single moment is lifting me
Beyond a life of imperfection
And giving me a new direction

Process


Words fall like polished stones

tumbling upon the page with a splash

and I take no credit

for how they configure

A wind blows through me

and emotions stir

My only job is to give the wind

a voice and to put a new page

down when the old is full

Writing is less me having something to say

and more something which must be said having me.

Snoqualimie


The ground beneath my feet rumbles. Softly at first
and then with each step increasing in its timbre
The air is damp and mossy with a gray light
filtering through the canopy of spruce and pine.

Wet thunder rises and my ears are muted
by the intensity of a river plummeting over
slick rock lips; a roiling, massive death
spiral. Half the volume swan dives elegantly
hundreds of feet into a pounding foaming white pool, while my
own heart matches the outpouring, beat for beat.
The other hangs mistily in the frigid air, gently
nourishing the brown-green algae with its spit.

I cannot help but marvel at the sheer anger of it all
wondering how many open-mouthed bass,
thrust forth into open space, gargolyed eyed as
the river disappears beneath them, recognize this,
the end of their swim? Death, anger, power…and yet
so serenely beautiful. Rage onward, Snoqualmie, before
the winter’s freeze deprives you of your liquid dance.

Silent and Eternal


I still love you; still need you every day
just to breath, to rise and be alive.
But you must not expect me to
ramble on about the world outside
or the pain inside; I am not wired that
way.
Take comfort in my silence and my nearness to you,
it’s all I can do with what is left within.
You need validation, and I can give you that
I just can’t give you insight; I have none.
“It’s a man thing!” you cry, but I
am as far from that as you are from my words.
It’s a sad thing, and I would wish it not so,
but it’s the one thing I don’t possess.
If you must embrace more than my face
then, please, take the time to read what I
write. It will inform you, though probably not
warm you. For that, fall into my spent arms.
They will always be there for you.
“You don’t love me, you don’t love me,” daily
goes the triad. I comb your hair and caress
your skin near the fire, and for hours my eyes
lock upon yours. We simply spell differently,
see?
I will live my life upon one knee, if in doing so
you could understand. What I know about love
I’ve gathered from your touch, your voice, your
grace.
I can only give you everything. Please don’t ask
for more.

The Love I Once Had…And Lost


I have no thought of future love –
That’s a bridge I’m not ready to cross…
I need time yet to heal
From the pain that I feel
For the love I once had…and lost.

It’s not that I don’t feel the need –
In truth, no need is greater;
But unless I survive
What I’m feeling inside
I’ll have no need for later.

Be patient with me, please understand –
I’m not a man who’s made of stone…
I’ll deal with tomorrow
When I’ve dealt with the sorrow
Of living today all alone.

I’m not giving up on the future –
I just have no time for the thought
Of loving again
While I’m still lost within
All the love I once had…and lost.

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.

False Start


The morning rises. Fingers of sunlight
Caress the sleep from my eyes; dew
Trickles on the windowpane, and beyond
A new day stretches awake. Stirring slowly,
As though each movement would shatter
The world, I slowly pull my feet from beneath
The woolen blanket and gently test the cold
Floorboards of possibility. I trip.