{ leukemia }

just three, and already the word —
how do young parents find the strength
to love the unexplainable away?

when it should be just
skinned-up knees, or maybe
like a cold to shoo away?

with elsa and anna on a blanket
wrapped around a tiny chest
in a room and a city far away

just three, and who knows why, or why
the autumn haze like butter melts,
and they’d give limbs and heart and life
to take that pain

away

rise above.

let what moves you, carry you.
we cannot by will go high —
sand may bar or harry you,
sometimes it’s best not to try

but surrender to the current
underneath, and all around:
all the goals that really weren’t
so much shifting, changing ground

feel yourself be lifted, weightless:
the “cease striving” part of love —
borders gone, the world grows gateless,
this is how we rise above.

life is fragile, frail, and flimsy.
we’re but tissue strapped on bone —
it’s okay: indulge in whimsy.
float awhile on

your own

Somewhat Midnight Hill

Far from the place we used to live,
Wandering rivers find the sea;
There, on a somewhat midnight hill
Stands a young couple, you and me,

Far from the gray mistakes we’ve made,
Foundering ships and trips on wire,
There, on a somewhat midnight hill,
Watching the smoke float ever higher.

Oh, for the now appearing stars,
Indigo sky and velvet blue,
There on a somewhat midnight hill,
I can be I, and you can be you,

Far from the flags and voices raised,
Ocean heard breathing, constantly:
There on a somewhat midnight hill,
I can feel you, and you

See me

Eidolons & Echoes

Bent
From the ghosts we carry, daily,
How much we knew we only thought we knew —
As beautiful, in leather binding, we
Stand perched upon the shelves of
Our denial

The smell of binding, permeates
The air that’s seen the shadows of
What was our best intention: we,
The afterthoughts of all the thought-before,
Like echoes in forgotten caves,
The tomb of innocence.

Where is the harmony once felt?
Where is the melody once sung?
The singers stand on risers, now, unheard:
To face an audience
Whose backs are turned, and faces are up-lit.

What does it mean to understand?
What does it mean to add to human progress?
Is it more than just a phantom, shadows
Of an eidolon; a word forgotten like
The way we used to organize
The universe?

“… the world is new.”

“In memory yet green, in joy still felt,
The scenes of life rise sharply into view.
We triumph; Life’s disasters are undealt,
And while all else is old, the world is new.”

– Isaac Asimov


It’s 6:21 in the morning, and I’m dressed for work. I’ve been up since 3:11 am, which is not that unusual for me. I’ve done 40 minutes at the gym, watched a bunch of football highlights, put out the garbage and recycling, and read a few work emails in the last 3 hours. I normally would already be at work, but something is wrong with my car, so I’m waiting until 7 when the auto repair place opens to bring it by.

I think it would be hard for most people to imagine living my life; but then, I think it’s hard to imagine living anyone else’s life. Most of us could not have imagined that we would live the lives we have lived. This is because life is big and full of randomness, and by “randomness” I mean, things outside of our control.

Most of us authors / introverts are kind of control freaks: in our works, we can make things come out like we want them to. This is rarely true in actual life.

This time last year, I was sitting beside my mother’s hospice bed in Green Valley, Arizona. The almost three weeks I spent there are a part of me now. My mother’s view of life was that we are all just links in the chain: she had seen her parents pass, and they had seen theirs, and so on.

I think seeing her three children made it easier for her at the end (we were taking turns, several weeks at a time). She said to me, at the end of a day when she’d mostly slept, “I’m so glad you’re here.”

I grew up near the beach in Northwest Florida, the youngest of her three kids. We still have photos of a time my parents took us out to the beach in the fall, just to take pictures.

And yes, it was warm enough to go barefooted. I was, I believe, 6 or 7 years old.

My mother’s journey took her from upstate New York all over the world. My mother-in-law, who lives in town and is ninety-one years old, was born here after her family fled Russia/Poland to escape antisemitism. She’s lived a life impossible to imagine, although I ask her about it every chance I get.

Life is a great chain, I think: we are all connected, both back through our ancestors and to each other. But each link is still different, with unique memories and experiences.

And while we can’t fully imagine each other’s lives, it’s worth trying.

Depressed

At times, she barely knows herself,
The image in the mirror:
Whatever all she’s thought to dream
Grows anything but clearer.

Her life is chaos: interweave,
A web, a maze, a lattice,
And if not for irrelevance,
She’d have no other status.

So many think her fortunate:
A star in this big circus —
But she knows emptiness, the kind
That comes when hope

Deserts us