a merited disdain

you drove her to a place where she
no longer knew what to believe,
you left her in the corner where
she learned too young to too long grieve

and though she’ll be ok, and you
are not beyond reclaiming,
i feel her hurt in every nerve,
and this is past just blaming —

so if you can, you ought to know:
real enemies are love and pain,
and they will always treat each other
with a merited disdain

Alicia at the Fountain

She placed her lips upon a stream
Of pure and crystal water;
That kids behind might push and shove,
Experience had taught her.

And so, she looked back as she drank,
The marble walls, a spectrum —
Then stepped off carefully, to better
Make room for the next one.

She studied, then, the walls up close,
As others tried the fountain;
The pair of steps, for some of them,
Were more or less a mountain.

Though I was seven, like the rest,
My memory can see them —
Alicia at the fountain on
A trip to the


a holiday scherzo

how much the merit sought unfound
a way across the habit formed
to seek a somewhere sunny ground
where head and heart and health are warmed
and yet no complicated thing
but easy is as simple spins
the tune that each and all can sing
the nothings that are really wins
  for we do not need pristine stuff
  when new to us is new enough

how far the lassitude has spread
how deep vexation fans its roots
the pillow on the same old bed
the decor that no longer suits
and yet no barrier so high
that we can’t scale with just a boost
and breathe again a different sky
and shake off what the world’s produced
  for the times are hard and rough
  some good can still be good enough

A Relationship Story

Relationships are easy to fix
When you aren’t in them.
They, however, were: and life
And character and circumstance
Had not been kind to their intentions.

Life almost invariably frustrates expectations,
Even when we aren’t entirely sure
Where our expectations came from, in the first place.
For them, each had an image of marriage
Formed before either of them really knew
Exactly what it meant to be ‘married’.

So the struggle goes on.
Life involves so much change;
But the hardest changes are the ones
We have to initiate.
They are faced with having to make changes,
Either internally, to save the relationship,
Or externally, to start new lives apart.

Relationships aren’t easy to fix
When you are in them, and they

Still are…

… for now

The Only One

I sometimes have to sit and think
Who all they were, and when they were;
A kind of map of who I’ve been
Or GPS, if you prefer —

But there’s a difference with the one,
She always with me, wake or sleep;
I tell myself I’ll move along,
But it’s a promise I can’t keep

And so I go my lying way,
A person seen, but incomplete:
I always have these hidden thoughts,
A waking garden — thick, replete —

It’s strange. I should be wiser now,
But this, at least, spells out no doom:
The only one I can’t forget
Is here, but in

The other room