Cradle to Grave

Deep roots.


My breath is the warm onshore breeze hissing through sawgrass,

The rattling clatter of autumn rushing down through the gnarled mountain rhododendron,

The slow summer exhale over fields of soybean and corn.

Winter winds falling all the way from snow-frosted mountains to the pluff-mud marshes.


My bones trace through stands of pine, red oak, and live oak, ancient and gnarled.

Through granite boulders and cliffs, high in the clear air,

Through rich, red clays and coastal loam.


My blood is black-water rivers, twisting through field and forest,

Deep lakes over drowned homes,

Tidal marshes, home to crab and heron,

And the salty edge of the Atlantic, eternally crashing on the shore.


I am rooted in the generations that lived and died,

Built and planted,




And wept.


Where I go,

this land goes too.


When I finally rest,

This land will claim what remains.



Night choices

It might be a cave.

Perhaps a pit,

A chasm,

A long, dusty hallway shrouded in deep shadow,

A door to a dark basement.

Whatever the shape

It will be dark.


Fears live best unseen.


You will be weary,

Tired to the bone.

Wobbling and weaving on shaking legs.


Fears feed on exhaustion


There will be reasons.



The whispering voices of experience and common sense.


Fears sound almost like truth.


Two choices.



Rest where you are,

In the tiny pool of light,

Listening to the whispers of reason.




Stride off into the dark woods,

Into the cave,

Down into the chasm,

Beyond the hill.


Daylight waits beyond the hill.


Stitch by stitch,

I’ve made my garment.

Stitch  by stitch,

Layer by layer,

Armor made of fears,

Carefully gathered over a lifetime of hesitations.


Fear is wisdom paralyzed.


Stitch by stitch


I saw a photo today

Of Mountains, dark in blues and blacks,

Edged and capped with streaming wisps of white clouds

Palms in the foreground

Dark silhouettes against the light.


It was beautiful.


I see images every day

Of beautiful places I may never visit.


Shared perspectives,

Moments held by other souls,

Foreign memories.


I’ll share too.


I live among fields.


Fields brown

And green,

And white,

And gold,

Changing through time and season.

Bordered by dark trees

That edge into quiet woods.


I live among old farmhouses

Falling into their age,

Crumbling old gas stations

On roads untraveled now,

And black rivers winding their slow way

Past deer and possum and wren

To the lowland coast.


I live among flat salt marshes

Of thick black pluff mud,

Beaches edged with sweet grass and black gum trees,

Dogwood and saw palmetto,

And sculptures of driftwood, shaped by sun and wave.


These are the pictures of my life,

The memories,

Drenched in the past and the present,

Sprung from the deep soil that birthed my bones.


I hope you can see them.







Winter is long.


Winter stretches on,

Sometimes beyond the horizon.

Winter follows winter follows winter follows winter.

Sometimes the world seems frozen forever.



Winter is the long rest.

Life lies fallow.

Life gathers itself quietly.





Spring comes.

Patchwork fears

I wear a shirt of patchwork fears

Stitched piecemeal,

Slow gathered,

Lovingly layered with trembling fingers 

Patch by patch,

To hold me safe and warm. 

Safe is a place beyond the reach of pain. 

Beyond the reach of cold winter mornings 

Where each breath burns the lungs with life. 

Beyond the reach of summer sunshine 

Baking my bones to the marrow with its fiery passions. 

Beyond the reach of every stumble and ache, 

Every fall and cut, 

That might teach me to be better, 

Might teach me to feel… 
I want breathe chill and crisp breaths in the heart of winter. 
I want to burn with passion in the swelter of summer sunshine. 
If life brings pain, 

So be it. 
No more wrappings of raggedy fears. 






The heart of me lies not in the words


But in the spaces between the words,



Before the words,


After the words.




I believe,


That our,


(Yours and mine),


Most heartfelt cries,


Deepest sorrows,


Swelling joys,


World-shaking rages,



Are expressed,




In the moments of quiet.




The deepest communications


Never mark upon the paper,


Never vibrate the air.



The deepest bonds

Are with those who,


With a look,

Or a touch,

Or a smile,


Manage to listen well enough

To hear the words

Written in the