Footfall Notes

I remember you
Walking in slowly like fingertips
Transversing a weeping piano
Notes as quiet drops slowing,
Collecting on the pane
That holds us at bay.

I heard you
Humming a doleful dirge
Between the bars
That stir our hearts
To refrain, to merriment, to holiday-
Your solemnity undergirding

The beauty of your sway.


Potential Energy

These grinding bones
Have ground me down
Weighted still,
Full and round,
With future endeavors.

Please forgive
These heavy days,
Moping, groping,
To find my way
Back to passionate.

It doesn’t matter-
My changing positions
Because You are the God
Of every transition,
And even in this twisted state,

I am still Yours.


I don’t ask for help
because there’s nothing wrong;
It’s these damned unavoidable days-
Broken in the most alienating ways
And how I crave sunlight,
cash in hand, and the
sounds of streetcars and city cabanas
advertising syrupy cocktails-
Concoctions to dull our time
and senses.

I don’t mention it,
because it can’t be helped,
and it doesn’t help to mention.
My intentions are to return,
to work, to folks, to the higher call,
but these stalled days
feel like fingertips slipping
off the edge of the precipice,
And the silent falling
through some fathomless abyss

Because every surface is deep.
Plumbing the depths,
my casual breaststroke,
dredges infinite silt to pan,
to rub between hands
unconsciously familiar with the task.
Each granule forks in
endless serpentine directions-
These introspections are too numerous,
so I ask for leave-

Sunlight, and
some cash in hand,
For temporary, shallow relief.

Warmth Borrowed

I’ve walked these streets
Since my bare childlike feet
Stumbled unknowingly
Over glass and stone
So desperately alone
In my blood and my bones
Within throngs of hardened faces.
I still remember these spaces,
Hungry and graceless,
Exploring, hoping to discover-
To unearth, to expose, or uncover
Some version of safe, or love, or

Home- that secret fantasy repeating
In all the orphans’ tiny beating
Hearts- ever keeping
The fire kindled, the native
But long forgotten language
Like the memory of a pledge
Not yet redeemed,
But always blooming unseen
In the hidden depths of dreams,
And hopes fallen as wilted petals,
Blackened by the cold metals
Of bustling souls and pedestals
And ashes.

I looked up but once, I know,
There in the window, a glow
Of candles, and smoldering souls
Sharing some spark of smile,
Of tender warmth, and I, beguiled,
Lost the hard miles,
The frostbite, the feet that bled,
The serpentine paths that led
Through frigid humanity- instead
I fell in love with all I saw through the glass
A world unknown, unsurpassed,
Beyond my grasp,

But the only thing I’ve ever seen.


I called on You last night,
And You were there.
Closer than a brother, fairer
Than ten thousand- mighty,
And tender.

They tell me how to speak,
How You would have me,
All reverence, or all intimacy,
As the King, or the Seeker,
Or the Savior

Narrow forms of appeal
And I quake with fear,
But You play no Lear
To my clumsy Cordelia
Or my calls,

Through all their intimidation,
I cannot remain unspoken-
I call on You as one broken
In childlike trembles of desperation
Looking for a Father

And You’ve never waxed pernicious
In my improprieties,
So patient with all of these,
And ever the God with us-
With me.

I called on You last night
As just me to only You,
As with all else we’ve been through
You showed up and made it right,

Looking at me through You
That I may be lovely in Your sight.

Pass the Time

Passing time
Like the proverbial buck,
Down in the mouth,
Down on my luck,

And checked out.

Passing time
Onto someone else’s shoulders,
Easier still than making the most
Of growing older,

And numbering my days.

Passing time
Like a passerby,
Wasting smiles, wasting miles,
Wasting the days until I die

Working so hard to pass the time
As though it exists in endless supply.

Late September

A skipped beat- so swiftly I remember
That rotted stump of tree
Felled in late September
Amid the pale anemones.

It’s stature carted, splintered, stacked,
And now reduced to ash,
Taken by a sudden attack-
A severing metal clash

There, the stump sat in grief
Impotent roots clutching dirt-
Rotting in its disbelief,
Nothing but scars relived its worth.

There, its secret hacked to earth,
It made a room for yours
Within the pulp of inner girth,
It contained its tragic stores.

How long the days have pressed to pass,
Wild adventuring laid to rest,
And I’ve neglected your crevasse
That rots now in my chest.

I haven’t called on you, old friend,
In the many lives I’ve borne
While the one that would not mend
Stays ever hidden through the storm

In the rotted husk akin,
Weak and weatherworn-
To all that might have been!