Free Verse

Where Now, Brown Tadpoles?

Where now 
     brown tadpoles?

Swimming in your stinking tidal pool of woe -
darkened sperm that’s spent 
   upon the thirsty ground, 
              offal of your parents’ froggy lust - 
wildly you try 
        to fly 
beyond your watered womb, 
to sprout your legs 
            to leap into the waiting 
but still you lie in 
all your thousands strong 
                    along the river’s flowing course, 
a waiting smorgasbord of snacks for fowl and fish
to dine on

How now 
   grown tadpoles?

Your numbers shrink before the summer’s 
and most of you are fodder 
            in your larger 
                  neighbors’ stomachs, 
gullet goop to 
       soon be joined into the water’s 
while some of you, 
       o holy few!, 
will hence become en-legged 
capitulated copulating, 
            croaking in your species’ 
                              fevered gambol
Blank Verse

The Grove

Somber sways the oaken sea in ranks of waving hands upon the breezy wind

Deep within its fluid bulk the tiny birds and beasts cavort and flit between the rigid boughs

Ancient in its rightful place, the herd and herdsmen stand in stubborn dance

Stolid through the branch and bark in patient, waiting care the mass of green persists through skipping time

(featured image source)


Mental Health

Cesspool of Dreams

It always starts with the whispers.

Voiceless premonitions – indications – intuitions – that something is bubbling up from the cesspool of the mind.  That I’m about to fall down.  Down..  Down…

Into the shit.

Sometimes the pool swirls in silent rage.  Breaths quicken, limbs twitch, thoughts run and yell and scream.  A possession of some Otherwordly trickster, an agitating sprite of confusion, an eidolon bent on overwhelming, on breaking my psyche and memory.  Beatific filth flows between my teeth and out my gaping facial orifice.  Fuck.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit.  Cunt.  Prick.  Fuck.  Fuck!  FUCK!

It always starts with the whispers.

I can’t sit still.  There is nothing to do and everything to consider.  Unholy possibilities assail my mind, with dancing images of stabbings, explosions, missing limbs and severed heads.  Conviction flees my soul and I am buffeted with doubts and questions.  Uncertain vacillations about my doubts complete the madness’ deconstruction.  Before me lies an empty world of nothingness.  A life bereft of meaning and hope.  Eyes twitch – unfocused, confused, lost before the endless, awful possibilities of life unlived.  Questions slit my remonstrations’ throats and leave them lying in the void to die alone beneath a cruelly crimson flood.  Madness reigns in melancholy happenstance as fevered thoughts flash and flit and flirt before my addled brain.  The world’s become a tenebrous place.

Sometimes the pool stagnates in torpid sloth.  Instead of a storm of agitation, frozen death begets the meme.  Breaths labor to flee my shrunken frame, limbs lie limp within gravity’s constant grip, their strength stolen from them by a black malignancy, sunk into my core.

Weighed down by sorrow’s bloated weight, my head rests heavy on my heaving chest.  I cannot raise it.  The sadness of the world assaults me, overwhelming whatever paltry defenses I’ve been able to develop since my last swim in the pool.


I want to believe.  I want to see hope and experience happiness, but the pool is no place for such positivities.


I want to believe.  I want to see hope and experience happiness, but the pool is no place for such positivities.  The part of my mind and soul that’s able to experience joy is a wasteland.  Scorched.  Torched by too many years of wrath’s acidic flow.

Unfocused, I drift.  A dead-man breathing, wasting air best utilized by one whose mind is not a corpse alive to all its rotten possibilities.  Floating on a sea of misbegotten vagaries, I weep inside with tears bled dry by habituated hatred of self and all my hopes and memories.  Before me lies the Void, a yawning maw of apathetic sorrow, sadness putrefied by time’s remorseless trot.

The whispers are never far.  I hear them always, waiting…  wanting to throw me once again into my cesspool of dreams.


Poets and Monks

Poets and monks do have a communal role in American culture, which alternately ignores, romanticizes, and despises them.  In our relentlessly utilitarian society, structuring a life around writing is as crazy as structuring a life around prayer, yet that is what writers and monks do.  Deep down, people seem glad to know that monks are praying, that poets are writing poems.

– Kathleen Norris