Bugs

Mischief
majestic
a pocket full of
match sticks

Pre-teen
burns shelled bugs
not yet blackening
his young lungs

An angry child
playing god
a backyard monarch
lifting up logs

Unfairness
unequaled
release through
used syringe

Subjecting
crustaceans
to saline injections —
hot salt of his tears

Revenge mis-
directed
prayers go
unanswered

Unfamiliar
with ripples
stones cast
& effects

The dying
are dead
and the living
make amends

And bugs will cozy up in skulls of the gentlest of souls.

Rock Chandelier

Today
I am outweighed
By anchors ripping clouds
By upstanding conveyances
Sky bound

Today
No more dismay
No more adjectives for
falling airplanes and poking at
bruises

Outweighed
Happy to say
The sky is the limit
Willing to break rock chandelier
with fall

Outweighed
By things do change
For the better if I
grab the wheel and steer this vessel
off rocks

Today
will be that day
I’m taking back the reins
I’m melting icebergs, removing
roadblocks

Today
No more dismay
The sky is the limit
Grab the reins and steer this vessel
sky bound

 

From my debut poetry book, FM Ghost, available online.

MimiCry

Don’t complain,
I tell my kids,
knowing damn well
I won’t make it
through the day
without uttering
something
resembling a child’s whine

who is mimicking who here?

complaints
most definitely
circling
in my mind,
but do I have the mind
to keep them from
my tongue
today?

Mica

Toenails brittle,
jagged sheets of mica

Skin picked at, flaking,
valleys of cracked mud

Hair falling, lacking luster,
crisp October leaves

Everything disease, teeth
abscessed rotting trees

Everything’s shed
Everything’s dead
Letting go
On its way out
Not long for this space

Just a bundle
of brilliance
on a constant crash
course
of forward motion
Demented momentum
always
Looking back

Not meant for this place;
everything is crumbs

Rapid I

R.E.M.
Remember me
for something
beyond
flitting lids

Shave my
Beard
Shed my
Skin
Does that make me
better person ?

I am
Forgetting who
I am
One cell
at
a time

My beating heart
I have
a soft spot
in my
Bleeding heart
For her
drying tears
Her rosy cheeks

The bad things
we do
to own
the truth

Rapid I move

Remember me
Forgetting
fortunes

floating

in
my
eyes

Firehole River

Not Old Faithful.
not Mammoth Hot Springs.
not the Grand Prismatic.
not the campfire,
or the mosquito bites,
or debating buying bear spray.
not the 1,300 miles.
not my wife on crutches
from a bad ankle sprain.
not me complaining,
stomach ache.
the thing I will remember most
about our family trip
to Yellowstone
is pulling my son out of
Firehole River
when the current tried to take him.
when he said he wasn’t strong enough.
when he started to go under.
me, jumping in,
clothes & shoes & phone & all.
me, carrying him out,
blanketing him with
too-colorful beach towel.
him, thanking me.
me telling him,
of course,
I would never let you drown.

how could I ever let you drown.

True Story

To break the monotony
after dinner
we decide to walk
3.5 miles, round trip
to the natural grocers
instead of drive
for some supplements
some alternative meds
a hundred dollars?!
Jesus Christ
that’s a lot for some
goddamn vitamins
but I know I really
should not be surprised

we have our walk
and we have some fun
& I take some pictures
we walk to the mailbox
to mail some shit
and by now
it’s 9:30
well past the children’s
bedtime

then all of a sudden
we find ourselves
on the lawn of the
Seventh-Day
Adventist Church
watching fireworks
drinking beers

and then we walk on
then the sprinklers come on

and we walk back home in the shadows

we pass by two Jehovah’s
Witnesses on their bikes
friendly as ever, even in the darkness

and I carry my 7-year-old boy
the rest of the way
on my chest like a monkey
and part of the way
on my shoulders
like I don’t know what

and we make it home safe
and we all sleep like babies

Life can be unexpected like that
if you let it