and their ashes will blow away




The old photographs

Tell a story like he could never;

They’ll keep your secrets,

Those long departed who needn’t hope to die;

And they’ll smile – frown –  sit, pensive,

Or be caught in a moment of ecstasy eternal,

Until the day he tires of their ceaseless, immortal existence –

Then, he’ll build a bonfire on the beach and

Pale, ruinous flame will lick and flick at their edges –

Their smiles will curl one last time, and be gone,

And their ashes will blow away,

Still burning.



love lies bleeding



I hold my breath until my chest burns,

And my stomach churns,

And all I am yearns for the air I will not inhale;

My love lies bleeding, pale,

And I pray that the holy host, crowned in amaranth will hail

Him with kegs of the finest ale, and I can think

Only in the currency of kisses,

And all of me wishes

That they were as numerous as the riches of the empire,

But for all this desire,

We are down to the wire and, sharing a final embrace,

He turns to face the angels in their grace,

And I weep for him,

As the willows did, in that final wartime summer.




I saw you, yesterday,

Holding a rose as our lives converged

For one fleeting moment;

And I knew it was not for me,

But imagined it was,

There in the tunnels,

Where the clouds of our breath followed us

Into the train,

And all the way home,

A miasma from a different time, another place,

Now lost;

The world in which that moment was spawned

 Having changed, irrevocably,

For such is the nature of things,

To never stand still,

Even for an instant,

Not even long enough for me

To see the flower you didn’t pick for me

As more than a brief, blood-red blur

Of a life we will never live,

And a moment

We’ll never recapture,

Enraptured though I was,

By you,

And a red, red rose

Destined to win another woman’s heart.


The Last of the Snows Came in May



The last of the snows came in May,

And I must confess

That I was gladdened by their arrival,

As I was lovesick that winter,

Into the spring,

And it quickened my heart

To see the new buds in your garden

Wither and turn their faces back

To the loamy soil that had birthed them,

And whose final freezing,

Like the closing of a door,

Had brought with it the cold breath

Of Death, face pale and bloodless

As yours had been,

Curling my shaking fingers ‘round our promise ring,

As you returned the ill-omened thing.

A Better Man Then I



I wanted to write you into a love poem,

but I had not words enough for the sorrow I felt in your arms –

hush, don’t touch, let’s not rush this thing;

God, I love her so much,

clutching her in the sea of eternity

as the darkness descended

and I defended my inch of Hell in No Man’s Land,

as dawn broke and so did I,

as the tide subsided and revealed

in morning’s pale light the wreckage of our ill-fated love –

hush, love, kiss me, now, in the red dawn;

soon, you’ll be missing me, and I you,

and the serpents will be hissing in our ears,

but for now,

kissing you on the shores where our dreams came back home if only to die,

I can’t help but thinking

in the silence and the stillness and the calm before the storm

how fucking beautiful you’d look,

in a love poem penned by a better man then I –

one whose hands are pale and bloodless,

one who can find words and world enough

to write you like an arrow,

straight and true.

Ten Thousand Distant Suns



I hope you did not hear me call your name

In the middle of the night,

When darkness fell too heavily upon my shoulders

For me to bear its weight alone.

I pray you did not witness my weakness

In the crimson dawn,

So weary was I from the waiting

That I wept as light flooded the valley.

I wonder if you saw my fall

In the strange noon-day shadows,

And if the glint of the guillotine will remain, ghost-like,

In your memory, at night, when silence surpasses all sound,

In the dark, when the weight of your guilt falls too heavily upon your shoulders

For you to bear its weight without praying for redemption,

But I cannot yet forgive,

And you will shoulder the blame as Atlas upheld the Heavens,

Weary, and with much regret.

I hope you’ll hear me calling, then, and

I pray you’ll remember my moment of triumph –

You know the one –

And one day, when night falls and our Kingdom comes,

You’ll hear the music of wild, feral drums, and

The darkness shall be lifted by the foreign light of ten thousand distant suns.