The bits of ugliness that dot our ways
Sometimes connect us to the ones we love;
Through each new clime and season, every phase,
They’re there nearby: around, along, above —

Unsightliness is something we accept
To know we’ll be connected, in the end,
For love’s the thing. The rest is simply kept
Because it joins us to our kin, or friend.

And soon, we do not even see the poles
Or lines that crisscross everyplace we go;
But hold connections to our very souls
The voices of the ones we love, and know —

  But though all this connecting is ad rem,
  It can’t bring them to us, or us to them.

A Case of Non-Assent

“Assent is just another ass assuaged.”
He ran away reactively; she raged
At what a wicked war that man had waged,
But she no longer would be kept or caged.

For he’s a fool to think that he would find
Some special spot of welcome in her mind,
Inviolate is how she is. In vain
Will he approach her castle walls again.

More bellicose he grew, within this bar,
To try to shame her, and regain control,
But she has come too far, too fucking far
To lose that to some man without a soul.

In vino veritas. It’s understood:
He’s shown his real face, and it’s no damned good

You Take Peace Where You Find It

“You take peace where you find it,” you would say.
So much comes back to me of that one day —
Our little girl, worn out from hours of play,
Had made a pillow from a bit of tree;
The dirty beach was bare, except us three,
And life was all that any life could be.

“A storm is coming on,” I said, for gray
And threatening clouds were heading in our way.
The soon-heard thunder didn’t fears allay,
So I picked up our daughter, carefully,
And walked back to our car, there, by the sea,
As she slept on, relaxed, and worry-free.

You take peace where you find it. – That is true:
But I lost peace, and her, when I lost

When He Knew Amy

When he knew Amy, he could stand the sun,
And flowers, and the coming of the spring;
But now he loves when shadowed days are done,
To hibernate away from everything.

For Amy was the colors of the dawn,
The song of birds, the scent of every flower;
His world’s gone dark now: colors, scents are gone,
With naught but hollow tones to sound the hour.

In dreams, he sees her. Amy. On the grass.
The girl he thought he’d long ago forget;
Why won’t these feelings go? Why won’t they pass?
He draws the darkness toward him, like a net —

For love does not see years as intervening:
When he knew Amy, his life had a meaning


When one angle is right, you can’t go wrong.
Pythagorean theorem all the way:
Summed squares of short sides are the square of long,
You should be fluent in this, night and day.

But do not mix up summed squares with square roots,
For then you err as movie Scarecrow does:
Isosceles instead of right, to boot,
Or maybe math is diff’rent there, in Oz.

Lopsided triangles are too obtuse,
More compact ones an acute pain can cause:
The rules are tight, so don’t play fast and loose,
Euclidian’s not space, but still has laws.

    And when, at last, geometry you see,
    Your mind gets wrecked by trigonometry.

displaced river

beneath the river filled with silt, contempt
flows over grounds of guilt, and arrogance
is there rebuilt, while silence rules and reigns;
the quilt of blessing torn by regicide.

along the river of remorse, ’twas seen
the major, out of course and innocence;
the hidden force that draws things forth, and makes
the source of everything that is and was.

the banks were misty in the morn of hope,
although a bit new shorn of grass and weed;
the soul reborn, the life malfeasant, was
as worn as any tread or shoe or shirt.

as absence fills the heart with more than space,
the mist was here, and there, and everyplace


I wish these words could take me to the stars
And chase away the emptiness inside;
I’m all fluorescent lights and grids and bars,
A warehouse, fully lit, unoccupied —

I wish that poetry was rocket fuel,
And I, a rocket ship that ready stood:
So much of space, unknown to any school,
That I would love to see now, if I could —

I do not want to feel this hollowness;
For I am blinded by the vacant space
That fills up all I am with blank distress,
And leaves me yearning, standing here in place —

Near Rigel or Antares I should be:
Except this desuetude is really me