I strive to open,

to reach and touch,

to spread beyond myself,

to connect in holy union.


I strain to breach the wall of my skin,

to break the circumference of my circular thoughts,

to pierce the veil of the joy and fear and yearning that fills me,

to be more than the less that I am.


This tiny universe,

this infinite, ever-expanding cosmos,

this Heisenbergian, super-positioned, paradoxical realm of possibility,

Wraps me tight and firm.

I am the island of myself.


I dream of bridges but cannot build one.





But now for the miracle.


The bridge is built



To me.


And once abridged

I open,

I expand,

I overflow the banks of my boundaries

And spill into the worlds of others.


Becoming less I become more,

Life to life to life to life to life,

Unto the age of ages,

World without end.



Summer fades slow in the South.

The air still burns with the fading passions of the season,

Insistently stalking into September and October.


Summer don’t die easy here

In the South.


Things hang on, here.

Things cling.


Things do die, though.

Things release.


Look close.

Peer at the faint edge,

the thin edge,

the razor edge

of the leaf on the tree.

You’ll see change coming.

Senescent browns and golds hovering at the edge of the leaf.

Shivers of cold creeping just beyond the bounds of the skin.


This is the precipice.

This is the pause,

the inhale at the verge.


I can see the sneaking white.

I can feel the encroaching aches.


My whole life

I’ve wanted to fly.


I think I did.


What’s a fall if not a shorter flight?


Now comes the Fall.


Autumnal life

Autumn rides chill evening breezes.

It is the edge of ice,

The long, slow slide to sleep.

It is the whisper of a falling leaf.


Autumn is the riot of color,

The hope and memory of sunlight and hearthlight painted across trees.

It is the scent of spice,

The warmth of cocoa and rich soups.

It is a soft sweater on a clear day.


Autumn is memory,


It is the sunset of life.

It is the descent into night.


As night falls,

Autumn is the time when the world exposes the hidden grace,

The unexpected beauty that has grown unseen inside.


The promise of spring

And the growth of summer

Burst forth in rich sensory passion

To light the long night.


People have an autumn.


As I move into my night…


I hope…


I hope that the graces of my life



May I be trees painted in sun and fire


To light the long night.








The Thing With Feathers

I carry my wings along this old road.

A journey of trudging steps,

One by one,

Each taking me to the next.


This is the season of tasks.

The season of present,

Now, rather than future.


Nothing to see here.

Move along.


A to B to C to D to …


Things done.

Satisfying, but not enjoyed.


Just done.


The day of trudging steps.


This day like the past day,

Like the next day,

Like the next.


One step leads to another along this winding road.


Move along.

Nothing to see here.



(and salvation comes in the “but”),

One day this road will lead me,

To a place where my wings unfurl.


I will be the thing with feathers.

And my wings will carry me.






Armor Smiles

We wear smiles as armor

With bloody wounds beneath.

Our banners are the tattered remains of old dreams,

Fluttering in a breeze of sighs.

We drift around one another like dry dandelion florets,

Smiling our armor smiles as we pass without touching.

We paint our lives with vibrant hues,

Portraits and pictures of unfelt peace.

The skin of our lives,

The carefully crafted, molded, and made-up skin,

Is often a plastic wrapping hiding shared flaws.

The smiles we put on every day are sharp inside.

They tear the wounds anew when worn as armor.






Three things I’ll say:



We were not built for isolation

and deep wounds are only healed by another’s touch.



The beauty of life is found in the scars

and it takes bravery to fly even tattered dreams.



Armor smiles protect best when they come from an open heart.

Wandering moment

Wander a moment with me.


Step down this dusty old road,

Two worn ruts with reaching fields to either side.

Might be corn or cotton around here, or perhaps soybeans lately, though tobacco still lives up north.

The crops change but the road still runs and the fields stretch on.


Between the fields the dark woods still hold,

In little stands and sweeping swaths of pine, oak, hickory, and dogwood.

No roads here but trails run through.

Squirrel and rabbit and boar run through too.

And generations of little boys and girls have run through too.


Turn now down this high bank,

Running the edge of the marsh,

With the long black-water river running beside.

Move lightly past the pine and pickerelweed; the southern swamp lily and the aged cypress.

Here are the deer and possum and the croaking frogs and water mocassin.

The air is heavy here, carrying the weight of ages.


Follow the dark water long enough and come to the salt marsh,

Rich with plough mud and sawgrass,

Alive with oyster beds and tiny crabs.

Take care where you step.

Solid ground may not be solid and the mud holds well when it takes hold.

Be careful when you step.

This place is ruled by the eternal time of the tides, riding the ebb and flow.


Just past, we find our feet upon the shore.

Miles of sand and shells

Washed and sifted by the reaching waves,

Bordered by saw palmetto and sea oats.

Old pilings and posts reach out to sea

And tidal pools hide the occasional flounder or dying jellyfish.


West again and we must climb.

The hills rise to mountains,

Old and worn,

Granite bones under rich, dark soil

With hidden hollows and wildflower meadows and black bears and beaver.


With each step, our footprints join those who came before and those to come after.

We make a line through this place,

Not the first, not the last,

But the ones here now.

Now is our walk through this place


Wander a moment with me.