Winter’s Ceiling


It was the place where Grandma lived.
Her unassuming modular home sided
With white vinyl, sharply contrasted against
The copse of red pines, ash-colored and branchless until you reached

Their tops. Like pencils lancing the earth
They pierced the ground like the arrows of giants.
I didn’t like them. A forest should have leaves, not needles,
Which seem small imitations of the trees from which they fell.

I had hot and dusty freedom in the summer,
To wander about among their thin
Ugly trunks. A forest should have mystery, closeness, and dread
Not clear lines of sight like a clean sylvan highway.

But they did aspire
To a kind of beauty in the winter
White flakes covering the dead ground-things
And I realized that those ugly shafts

Had become pillars holding the trusses of the sky
High above my head. Gray bark giving way to green needle
Then to white snow. This forest has its own mystery, majesty, and law
When crowned by the clouds of cold winter’s ceiling.

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Rogue Planet


My life was drawn to your clay

An ever widening circle we danced

Close at first, to the sphere-music

That brought us together.

Now I have become your satellite, a pale, pocked admirer

Regarding from afar.

                                                                                I set course to make our place in the stars.

Your jewel-blue eyes

Are veiled in dust, their depths disguised by distance.

My circle widens, as I bring the universe into

My journey’s circumference

No longer fits within your arm’s reach.

I have sent myself searching into cold in-betweens.

                                                                                “What are you doing out here little moon?”

My calculations have sent me years beyond your

Jealous grasp of gravity. It isn’t the only

Force out here that directs my course.

This is something harder than rocket science.

A faltering step, a cosmic wobble

And I’ll either crash into your surface

Or fling myself away.

                                                                                Do I even orbit you anymore?



“Pure white.”

Was what he told me sightlessness was like.

One day, he ran out of medication

Life-blood stopped reaching his eyes

He’d gone blind on that Ohio freeway

Semi-trailer parked on the cold road.

His sight illuminated but useless

Now he pays whatever price

To never miss a pill again.


What a disturbing thrill

When your own body subverts expectation.


Assuming a void, we don’t have to answer

“Where does the light come from?”