Fairy Garden



She still believes in fairies.


They write her notes in the garden

Populated with the homes she’s made for them,

Where occasionally a wildflower

Will bloom, bright and blue,

Half-expected, that welcome, noble guest,

Around which the fairies will dance

Forever through the night.


She’ll hear their music.


I will, too, sometimes – rarely –

Though it’ll never sound the same,

Because that is what time does to one,

Layer by layer like a sandstorm

Stripping you of every ounce of faith,

From which you once so freely drank

Of that most holy of chalices.


She drinks too greedily from that fount.


Soon, she’ll wonder why that cup,
Which once overfloweth,

Is looking emptier by the day,

Youth, she’ll lament,

Lasts but a summer.


She knows that summer is ending soon.


The Pettiness of Dreams


Inspired in part by Herbert’s ‘Mr. Cogito Laments the Pettiness of Dreams.’


The Mariana had been COMING SOON

Since the Fall of Rome to barbarian tribes,

Yet the wasteland it would one day sit upon

Seemed to me like the fallow fields foretold to follow the End of Days,

Like a slim, white dog following its master,

Searching for scraps,
Withering away with the ebb and flow of time,

Until one day the wicked wind will whisk it away,

And it’ll waver, waif-like, before twirling away in a whirlwind

Of boundless, ecstatic freedom.


The Mariana is like that, too,

Unendingly patient, watching;



One day,

She’ll weary of waiting

In the wasteland where the pools of water –

Most of it left over from Noah’s flood –

Gather to whisper their terrible secrets

Unto the nightmares of children;

And COMING SOON will peel itself away,

And float away, dandelion-wish-like,

Up, and towards greater things,

And the billboard will continue

Rotting its way into the sea,

And then – only then –

Will the Mariana awaken from her restless sleep,

And lament

The pettiness of dreams.

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.

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 Song of the Slain



I wondered about you for hours afterward,

That day I saw you praying on a southbound train;

Later, I turned my face up in the pouring rain,

And I hoped that your prayer had not been in vain,

Not least of all because your brow had been furrowed in pain,

But also because I saw your reflection next to mine in the windowpane,

And it seemed to me that they were the same;

Each tear-stained, no matter the Gods we strained to explain

To ourselves as we tried to attain

The freedom that would break our chains;

Can we go back to that moment, again –

Sing, together, a song of the slain,

Pray to our Gods that they may always reign

Or has it waned too far to ever be regained –

That moment, in the sacred domain

Of a southbound train speeding valiantly onwards in the rain?

More Faith than Flesh



I toss my troubles

Down the wishing well,

Watch them until they melt into the inky black,

Bid them farewell, if only for the night,

And let myself wander the alpine forests of my youth,

Where the wax seal of time

Is still warm from the pouring,

And the swaying, golden fields of life

Have only just begun to be harvested,

Where the air is redolent with the heady scent of loam

Mixed with distant traces of sea foam;

And if a tree falls in this forest,

It won’t make a sound,

So unburdened am I

That I am more faith than flesh.

Long I Stood on that Mount




Long I stood on that mount,

And sang mournful poetry

That spoke of the passing of twilight

Into deep, forest-dark night,

The rise and fall of summer

To autumn,

The silent marching of the years

Over the edge of eternity.