Just Drive

Fear draws the reverse gear,
    shifts into first
        of the open road.

Open the throttle
   of my rock aria
      into the redrock cowboy country.

   into the low northern bridge
       of the silver-gold sky.

Ace wings taking flight
   from the snow-toothed
        mountain runway.

J o y


Dedicated to my son, who gave me the idea for this poem.


Dead Eyes

Pairs of hands grasp hands, mercy pulls into homestretch hesitation.
Our angels adjure us to flee annihilation, waiting our word.

The wind carries the shrieks and the stench of rotten eggs,
seeing fire sheets zigzag from heaven to the hell of burning flesh.

I feel my body crystallize into a burnished tomb,
window eyes being the last thing mirrored in horror.

Mind Lot’s wife.

Remains stand
still dead eyes in the back of your head
to the sulfur-soaked paper rag plain pillars.
Zombie salt figure statue
exhuming His remainders
into the mountains of culture,
melting the turbid icy snow pack.
Reanimating wadi water-washed hearts.

Be Still

Clotheslines encircle
the perimeter
of the housing jungle,
sidewalks connect
the cookie-cutter houses,
high voltage olive
drab cases
dot the landscape,
siblings scrutinize
the world of creeping ants, spiders, worms,
in the autumn grass.
Mom watches,
for a life growing
from the loam
of winter.

Previously published in the Missouri State Poetry Society’s Grist 2007 Anthology.

War Lullaby

No speech,
        violins, violas, cellos, bass
flying across strings,
                gusto, allegro

plucking staccato.

Bows rising in unison
like toy soldiers.
Andante, sooth, sleepy rhythm.

Strings play a story
for every heart to hear.


Four Windsk

Your quill into the ink bottle,
You write me to an ocean of
white-washed bones.
As the ink flows through the quill,
I open my mouth,
speaking the words forming on the page, my breath
from hope in my lungs.

I inhale
as the bones rattle
joint – to – joint
into an organic outline of characters,
poised for entry into their story arc,

eyes widen as the tendonal transitions
the skeletal framework of Your prophetic narrative.

Osmotic shock
of my emotion warms their skins,
bodies awakening as blood
through arteries,
flush with stoic sentimentality.

Form figures
before us. Again we collaborate, Your four winds bring breath from the
        north, south, east and west
skies converging to create Your final poem draft
of fireworks
to the four corners of the earth.

Martha’s Mustard Seed

My brother’s body will smell,
like the corpse flower,
his bone marrow
drying in his bones
to mingle with the earth.
How can fragrance come from
four days dead,
messy cloth-embedded flesh?

My mustard seed faith aches
to squash the ambiguous
agony of plotting the time and place
of his resurrection.
one word,
one touch,
the stake was high,

Yet casting off restraint,
coursed tears affirmed
Your love for him,
moving You
to call
for the stone to be removed.

Come forth, Martha.
Come forth, Martha.