Ocean love song

The stars are out

And the moon hangs soft and low

Just above the waves gently crashing.

The water sweeps up, baptizing her toes

And sometimes her calves.

She sits at the edge of the ocean,

The far-stretching infinite ocean,

Under the stars and moon in the heavens,

The far-stretching infinite heavens,

And all I can see is her.

Her skin glows gently in the moonlight.

Sometimes I think that the moon takes it’s light from her.

Maybe the sparkle and shimmer of the distant stars

Is borrowed from the light in her eyes.

Maybe the soft and eternal ocean breeze

That gently stirs her hair

Is her breath breathed out and returned again.

Surely the easy and slow crash of the waves

Finds its rhythm in her heartbeat.

I surely do.

I’m lost in the light of her skin,

The shimmer of her eyes,

The inspiration of her breath,

And the open rhythm of her heartbeat

As I sit at the edge of her ocean.



There is a balance in everything.

There is a point of stillness

With a tipping point in each direction.

Balance is the resting place.

Move through the tipping point,

In any direction

And rest becomes strain,

A struggle not to fall.

Sometimes it’s good to fall.

Walking is a fall indefinitely postponed, after all,

And the sigh of a breeze moving through leaves

Is the shifting slide of air

Seeking equilibrium.

Likewise, falling in love

Is the shifting slide of two souls

Finding a balance

In the recognition of self in the other.



Balance is rest.

Losing balance is progress.


Balance is stagnation, too.

Falling can hurt.


Too much


Not enough.


Find the balance.

Personal thoughts

These are mostly just thoughts I needed to write to get them out.  A little trite and sappy.  You have been warned.

Some days I wonder if I’m crazy.  Can it be normal to have such unexpected mood swings; high to low, peaceful to tumultuous, excited and optimistic to resigned and depressive? It seems that my whole day can shift from one to the other without rhyme or reason.  Upon reflection, I think maybe it is normal.  I think, maybe, that I haven’t been normal, that up to now I’ve been blessed or cursed to have long periods of consistency in how I feel about the world.  I guess I’ve been generally happy or generally unhappy and always for obvious, uncomplicated reasons.  Am I growing up?  Or is it that, now, I have greater aspirations, greater hopes and causes for hope, greater ambitions and therefore, greater fears related to all of them?  Maybe both.  I don’t think of myself as immature but I’m sure that, with some effort, you might find a person or two to make the case for a certain lack of development on my part.  I’m certain that I’m ready to fly much higher than I have in the past.  The cliff is behind me and beneath me is only air and a long fall.  That’s a scary thing.  My wings, to stretch the metaphor, are built of faith, hope and love (these three remain) but a voice always whispers “foolish”, “reckless”, and “unreasonable”.  Whispers are insidious, particularly when they cater to the insecurities that tell me that I’m not up to the challenge and the arrogance that tells me that I need to be in control.  To the insidious whisperer I say this, “Too late.” I’m off the cliff now.  It’s fly or fall.  These past few years I’ve been hit harder than I’ve ever been hit before.  My preconceptions of life have been shattered and reconstructed.  Staying safely on the cliff became a bigger risk than leaping off. I had nothing to left to lose.  Now that I’m in the air I do have things to lose.  The things I could lose, though, are the things that are holding me up, faith, hope, and love. 


Truthfully, I mostly only hear the whispers when I’m tired these days.  I’m stronger than I used to be so I get tired less than before.  I’ll keep getting stronger, I’ll keep flying higher, and I’ll hear the whispers less than before. 


Here’s a caveat for those who don’t know.  I’ve been told I’m a pushover.  I’ve been told that I let people take advantage of me.  I’ve been told that I’m too easygoing and that I need to learn to stand up for myself.  Those people have either never known or have forgotten what I’m like when my mind is set on a thing.  It’s true that if something is unimportant to me I will give way.  If I have no particular position on an issue I will give way.  If the choice is between a minor sacrifice on my part and a sacrifice on another’s part I will usually choose to make the sacrifice myself (you can’t really volunteer a sacrifice for someone else).  If, however, it is important; if I truly believe that I’m doing what’s right; if I’m standing for someone or something that needs standing for, I will never, ever, ever give way.  I will never quit.  I will never even slow down.


I hate.


I hate being weak.


I am weak though.


I’m weaker than a stone.

If I slam my hand down upon a stone


Will be hurt

And the stone

Will not.


I’m strong enough to get a bigger, harder stone

And pound the first stone to dust.


I’m weaker than a bear.

One swipe of a bear’s paw could end my life,

Tear my flesh,

Leave me drooling lopsided out of a crooked mouth for the rest of my life.

But, I’m clever enough to make a weapon,

Or dig a pit

Or build a trap

To kill the bear before he even knew I existed.


I’m weaker than a tree.

My bones, in a collision with a tree, would shatter

Long before the tree suffered more than scraped bark.

I could be impaled upon the branches

Or, if I were as foolish and stubborn as I occasionally am,

I could tear my muscles

And pop my joints,

Trying vainly to wrestle the tree from the ground.

But, I can learn to make fire,

Or an ax,

Or even, given enough time,

A chainsaw,

All of which would remove the tree from my path

With no more consequence than a mild sweat.


I’m weaker than a mountain.

Whether it falls on me

Or I fall on it

Or it just remains as it is and never lets me pass,

I am inconsequential

To the mountain.

I can live and die on its slopes

And do nothing more than add my corpse to its mass.

But, with a shovel

I can re-route a river to wear it down,

With a pick I can chisel my way through the heart of it,

With the right chemicals I can blow a hole through the center of it,

With a word I can throw it into the sea.


I’m weaker than a thought.

One thought,

One casual comment,

One tiny temptation,

One doubt,

Can work its way into my head

Like a virus

Until it resonates

And dominates

In every part of me.

But, I create thoughts, too.

I can learn discernment and


I can believe in what’s True

(With the intentional capitol T

Because I believe that there is Truth

And not just small, individual, true-for-me truths).

Truth is stronger than me

But, in Truth I am stronger

Than doubt,

Than temptations,

Than untrue, virulent thoughts.


I am weak,


In myself, I am weak.


Through gifts given to me I am stronger than any opposition.

Filling the Hole

“I wanted to be needed…

Or at least, to be missed.”

Such sad and poignant resignation in those words.

This is a deep longing in ourselves.

To leave an impression,

To register,

To be recognized and to recognize

A kinship,

A shared something,

One to another.

To be the subject of

“He would love this.”


“I remember when she told me…”

Our hope and our fear,

One to each side of the coin.



We do, you know.

We do matter.

We were created to fill the hole in the world

That’s shaped like us.



We are recognized.

We are needed.


When each of us has moved from this place

(To a far better place)

We will be missed.

I take heart in that.

Shared Moon

My moon hangs low,

Bright and clean

Through the leaves and branches

In the cool night air

Of early spring.

Your moon hangs there too.

Same space,

Same lingering luminescent beauty,

Same wistful grace

But in your sky.

I imagine you sitting on your porch

Looking out at my moon

As I look at yours.

My sky is tinged a bit

With melancholy,

But melancholy is the sweetest form of sadness

Like honey has just the hint of bitter at the back.

I hope your sky is full of joy.

That thought brings some peace to mine

As I stare up

At the shared shimmering beauty

Of our low hanging moon.


Dunhallow, Georgia was not a big town.  It was not a small town either.  It was an hour or so from the coast and a few hours from the mountains.  Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah were only a reasonable drive away.  It boasted less than ten thousand residents and more than five thousand.  It was absolutely perfect for a man looking to avoid attention and ready to hide.  It was exactly the type of place they would look. There was no way Henry could stay here more than six days.

“Dawn has dawned.  Shake your legs and get after her.”  Maude’s daddy said that every single morning since as far back as she could remember.  She was fifty-four and only saw her Daddy a few times a week-

“Let me see, I saw him Sunday so I should probably check on him today or tomorrow.  That man is so stubborn.  He never wants to slow down but he just got to realize that he’s eighty-two years old and can’t do like he used to…”

-these days but she woke up with his voice in the back of her head saying that almost every day.  Most days she was up well before the dawn.  Most days, like this day, she was unlocking the back door to the diner while the sun had another hour or so in bed.  Jorge, her short order cook (whom she always called George), would be arriving soon and together they would get things ready for opening at six.  The morning waitress-

“Let me see, that would be Ann today”

-would arrive in half an hour to make sure the tables and silver prep was done.

“Let me see, Tuesday means Mr. Williker will be in to wait till the pharmacy opens, and Pete Bolt said he was taking the day to do some fall break fishing with his boys, and that nice Mr. Morgen said he was coming back in…”

Fortunately, she never saw or felt the blow that severed her spinal cord.

“I’m just saying, that don’t make no sense, Monny.”

“I’m not telling you it does, Sam.  I’m telling you the Mayor told me that he wanted us to handle the investigation and not farm it out to GBI.  Maybe he’s applying for a grant or something.  You can use their forensics but we’re not turning it over.  In house.”  Monny Gamble was a tall man knew how to use that to his advantage to make a point in a conversation.  Sam Waters felt himself ease back slightly as his boss leaned in.

“Yeah but I’m pretty much the whole of “in house”.  Me and Phil are the whole investigation division and he handles property.  Homicide is, by definition, a crime against a person, which means it’s all me.  Miss Maude was a sweet lady and she deserves better than one overworked cop.”

“You can make use of any officers or resources you need.”  Monny sighed and leaned back.  “Use Phil too if you need.  I know Miss Maude was a nice lady.  Hell I’ve eaten lunch here at least three times a week for fifteen years.  But I’m telling you what I’ve been told.”

As his boss turned and walked away, Sam shook his head.  Monny had been on the force for his whole career.  He’d only recently been promoted from deputy chief and he was used to having someone over his head giving him orders.  Well, Sam was used to that too and now he had orders.  Not very many homicides happened in Dunhallow.  At least, not many that couldn’t be handled with a couple of witness statements along the lines of “they were drunk and fighting and then one of them pulled out a gun and shot him dead.”  No witnesses here so far.  No drunken arguments or domestic disturbances that went too far.  Jorge, in his initial statement, had said that he’d arrived at 5:30, as usual.  The back door had been open, which was not usual, and he’d found Miss Maude on the floor inside.  Sam had arrived before they moved the body and he’d seen that the back of her lower skull had been caved in.  He’d have to wait for official COD from the coroner but that part seemed fairly clear.  So far that was the sum total of all of his facts.