A Prayer



Odin’s Ravens came today

To take my measure as a man.

Is that better

Or worse

Than Zeus appearing before his cupbearer to be

In the form of an eagle?



I want to be carried away, too

And I wish to die amongst the Gods,

Yes, I want my ashes to be scattered

Across the Heavens,

So that I, too, might orbit

Some greater being than myself –

Some looming star

More steadfast than I.


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.

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.

Violets in Wartime





Tis the sound

Of violence in the springtime.



Hear the herald angels sing;

Up, onwards, and towards greater things.


Find me

In the fields

Where the flowers bend and bray –

They will not leave unspoken the words you meant to say.


There, I’ll wait,

Watching you by the Ivory Gate,

And dream I may, dream I might,

That you may join me another night.


You’ll find me, my love,

Where the violets in wartime grow gentle and green;

Whether they are a portent of things to come remains to be seen.


Before long,

The angels will be singing our song.


Until then, beneath the stars I’ll lay, free as a wildflower on her dying day.


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.

rose-colored glasses: a poem




her hands shake.

it’s not the first thing you’d notice,

but it’s the kind of habit that you begin to wonder about

when you take her hand in yours,

and she’s trembling, and you take her wine glass and

maybe she’s just a little drunk, but no,

the sun’s just rising,

and it’s just rose-colored water,

or perhaps something more sinister;

either way, you cannot help but greet the day

by pressing her up against the wall,

letting the glass fall unbidden to the floor,

and it shatters, the scent of blood thick on her breath,

but it’s only, you find, because she’s bitten her lips raw,

and, oh, she must love the taste, love it as she’ll never love you –

and you can taste that on her, too,

the way she tenses under you,

the manner in which she pulls away a second or two too soon,

and then you kneel before her, your knees scraping against the broken glass and

your blood mingles with hers and

it’s not all right and it never will be,

but maybe, just maybe,

she’ll lie with you tonight,

if only to lick the bloody tears from your eyes as you mourn

what could have been.

her hands will be steady as she wraps them ‘round your throat

and that’ll be the last thing you ever notice about her, the world, and all,

save for maybe a passing thought about how there are no stars in her eyes, now,

though you’d swear they were there, earlier.