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.


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.

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.

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.


On Writing: The Value of Editing

I have a confession to make. If you were to ask me my biggest flaws as a writer, I’d probably mutter an excuse about purple prose before ashamedly admitting to my greatest writing sin: I despise editing.


I never edited my first series of (unpublished) novels. I am sure that if I were to read far enough into them, they’d be riddled with plot holes and whole legions of spelling and grammar mistakes that are the hallmarks of a first draft.


I wrote those 1,076 pages – roughly 350,000 words – when I was in my early teens. It just doesn’t feel right to go back and change the words and ideas I labored so long over. There is something sacred about one’s first work, and I cannot bring myself to break the spell I cast so many years ago.


I am beginning to see the virtues of editing, particularly as I tend to discovery write my fiction. I am also starting to go back and rework some of my poems, though I still find editing a struggle.


I am on the third draft of this poem:


The Last of the Snows Came in May

it quickened my heart
to see the new buds in your garden
wither and turn their faces back
to the loamy soil that birthed them,
and whose final freezing, like the closing of a door,
had brought with it the cold breath of Chaos,
face pale and bloodless, as yours had been,
curling my shaking fingers
’round some glittering, ill-omened thing;
our promise ring.


An earlier draft is also published on this site, should you like to see the progress I’ve made. I am still working on the poem, still changing and tweaking and fiddling.


If pressed to say why editing is so difficult for me, I would explain that I get far too attached to my writing – my characters, my prose, my metaphors; everything.


To call on those who have quoted and misquoted Faulkner, I suppose I must ‘kill my darlings’ more often.


I’m off to do just that.

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.