Posts filed under ‘voices’



shapes have
passed and passed before me. (i am
not sure
if they were within my eye or out)
they bear
the faces of these daily
untouched strangers,
my neighbors…in my dreams
(these strange dreams)
they cannot hear me,
as i call them
nor pause their
ceaseless, unbearable pacing.

i sit encurled*
about myself
watching, unsure
if i’m dreaming
or awake
*So I have the occasional (very) bad habit of coining words. I have the bad taste to have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome with a nice high number, too. I’m also in enough pain to admit it, too bad I couldn’t manage to show it better while trying for compensation. Oddly enough too the imagery in this poem, too, has become rather real. –And I still often find it hard to admit that I’m a poet. [A poet who used to fell trees for a living? Was a maintenance man (not glorified janitor, either). Someone who ‘hung with the rougher crowd’ and not infrequently was somehow mistaken for them. The academics were pretty well convinced I just had to be a backwoods ruminant while the rurals (with whom I felt more comfortable, with whom I could actually identify) were completely uncomfortable with me, from the ‘long words’ to my ability to change. I can’t imagine being able to ‘fit in with the crowd’ and I most certainly don’t say that with pride.

November 2, 2018 at 11:13 pm Leave a comment



these words refract my meaning
so easily, so strangely;
are you, too, trapped behind
like some window, through which

we gesture, soundlessly.
though we can touch–and yet do,
at time
it seems sometimes we parted years ago.

(‘love’ contains so many meanings! like
pouring a river
into a drinking-cup. odd, it never
seems quite to contain it…)

yet we remain together; trying,
at times, to pursue meanings;
at others simply side by side,
old friends and lovers.

but again and again
i struggle to find the words.

I really wasn’t going to publish it. Then I just reread it and realized that when I wrote that I was 20. If you’re 50+ you might identify with that.

November 2, 2018 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

The Atlantis Submissions that were…


Some of these may already have been posted here. This is poetry from “Voices” the ms.. 




In this little
as we enter it
there is no time.

These: a sandbar, mostly blocking
entrance, an old
rowboat, half
filled with water: a tern:
a duck.
In the distance three cattails. A lone gull, far
like freedom
This woman’s cool-
fingered touch
at nape of neck,
at hand.
This moment does not
become. It is;
there is no further passage.

Timeless, the moment
pauses and holds us,
(for once) wordless. (In silence learned I song.)


with falling rushes
of surging blood you knew her, and she you:
tempestuous passages, perhaps
as much of pride as love…

there were times
you couldn’t endure yet still needed her, wounding
yourself like
some speared bull at corrida…

It always seemed odd
to realize how little you knew of her,
once she left you; odd, too, to know
it was only your own reflection

that ever hurt you


Bright motley jester…
his voice was light, and high.
Guitar his accompaniement…
Fair! Fair! his face,
and sad.

One would say his eyes
could not outlive the seeing
of the deeds he sang.
Fair! Fair! his raiment
as he began the tale
of how he’d killed a woman
in green foreign forests.

Done, his voice
faded into sobbing.
And as we raised
the rocks of our affliction–
the guilty one…
As we brought them
upon his head,
and killed him…
As we killed him…

we sang his song.

October 19, 2018 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

age (4)

age (4)

The roses stood
without my window, now
bare of bloom, yet leaved, pleading
to sky for deliverance
from the coming
fatal frost.
I would paint them, yes,
tomorrow…and tomorrow
grew away.
Frost come, leaves fallen
three bare
reproaching fingers
jut upwards.
Time is short
before remembrance,
too, ceases.



July 2, 2018 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment



pausing at
the Hill of Skulls,
we left three flowers. (somewhere
near, rubbish burned; and a homeless mongrel
scratched at the earth)

but there was
(i am not sure
i expected any) no answer, and
after a moment
we merely walked away.

that Hill
was merely dead,
a blasted place, choked
with weeds and rubbish, and He

(i saw, to be honest,
no record of His passage)
was not there.
(my mouth was dry.)

pausing at the
Hill of Skulls, i think,
i left my soul.


Same summer.  Nikos Kazantzakis.

April 24, 2018 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment




old poet, you
who strive to teach me, i
can tell you miss
your classes! your scraps

of tattered accomplishments, clipped
and collected, suggest
your dreams’ remnants, your
need for some, for any

audience, seeking
for response’s hint, some
answer’s faint echo
or intimation…

and you have known too many
rejections (“no, not
quite that, it does not

suit our needs just now”),
have known too many
listeners, displaying
patience far too clearly.

old poet, with
your quatrained verse
and cliched line, your
failing, trembling voice suggests

your need, your shame half-hidden
(you defend, i think,
too much, at too great
length–to no attack).

and, having displayed
your loneliness like some hidden,
shyly revealed (and ugly)
wound, you slowly fold
your achievements’ scraps
into your venerable, time-marked
briefcase and slowly, awkwardly walk
(impeded by your aching joints)

away, awaiting only
another, similar call…packing away, too,
that loneliness, like some
heavy, nearly unbearable burden.


Written in the summer of the year I turned 15.

April 24, 2018 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment



The joy that you gave me
has all become remembrance,

Duck mirrored in the lake:
his hoarse call.

The desert madman…
they called him wise.
He starved to death.

This face recalled: surface’
So bright, so sharp.

And to truth?–silence
or a laugh.

After the word, silence.
After birth, death.
And after singing noise.


All for tonite methinks.


February 28, 2018 at 11:37 pm Leave a comment

Journey to the West

Journey to the West

this sightly, seemly road
set out upon: at times
bewitching, at others merely

a dull trudging, day
to similar day, no new thing done nor mountain known,
one unrefreshed, thirsting

for some unnameable liquid. (let us state, for the
record, that Lamb’s blood and milk left only that

at times, to the side
of our path,
or before, we can see
vague intimations of some goal, or ending-place.

…Shapes that sway
in the fog of a moonless night; peripheral phantoms,
never quite visible, straight on.

At times i think the journey means more than its end.
Without this shifting, dimly-seen path–where would we


I remember writing this quite clearly for a number of reasons.  A Dr. Runner  (of Dordt University) was visiting at the Canadian border–I don’t remember which side–and on the strength of my comprehension of a very funny joke before he’d actually finished telling it, told me I had a scholarship awaiting me, all the way through to doctorate.  This fitted in well with my first acquaintance with Nikos Kazantkis, a growing feeling of a need to do something (it sounded, from the way they described it, like a ‘call’ except that particular thing was supposedly devoted to be devoted to one of the ministering professions whereas mine had to do with some particular task, not yet known and I just didn’t want to try gambling since I was positive I’d suck at trying it; I kept ‘ignoring’ it with more and more difficulty as it grew toward compulsion.) The exact parallel was when I discovered poetry and realized I was a poet, although I still don’t claim I’m good.  That’s for others to consider; I strive to produce art that most of all is an ongoing examination of what “reality” might be and where the source of it could lie but with a first concern of striving toward beauty while concentrating secondly on ‘truth’ or at least a painstaking attempt to convey exactly what is sensed.  [One of the keys to determinism (behavioral psychology, Pavlovian psychology) is; ‘What is the source of the various criteria employed in defining the environment?’  In many respects behavioral psychology is learning theory–especially when it comes to things like rigged tests, rigged so the test-taker will fail because of wilful lack of consistency on the part of the test-giver.

February 28, 2018 at 11:22 pm Leave a comment



the meanings you seek
i think died long ago. silence
can bear many freights. i speak not,
expecting no listener; my words
are uttered only to the void. some understandings
are hard to bear,
can’t be forgotten.

the shape a gesture makes
remains, i think; i’m not sure.
certainly, at times, i’ve
withheld my self. to not care…

i watch you watching me,
and say nothing. what could i tell you
you don’t already know?–
you do not hear
my unspoken words. but then,
you never heard when i spoke.


Yes, this has a lot to do with my evaluation of human relationships and the ability to communicate outside of assigned roles–which have generally been presented as ‘truth’, and thus any disagreement must be lies.  The implication I just made was not at all incidental.

January 12, 2018 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

some flights

some flights

in this silent, ending
moment, i survey
your scar-marked passage
through and past me
and wonder where
the meaning’s gone.

i’ve kissed the blade,
i’ve tasted blood, made
my last sacrifice
to the image
i made of you;
i can make no more.

you heard my song
my touch unfelt,
my name unknown…
i can make no answer
to the wind, the rain–
nor you.

i bend, pick up a stone
and throw it
i do not see
it land, nor care to:
i only wanted


Allegory or not it’s also true.  Pardon me, “true”.

January 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

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