Her Cupped Hands

Leaned on the pane
are the outside edges
of her hands, pressed.

Light from without
dispelled at her will
to see inside of me

the dimmed refract
of loves shadow lens’
concave mystery.

Leaned on the pain
are the outside edges
of her hands, massaged.

Her light quartered
into the chambers
of constant flex

of cardio compulsion.
She feels the bleeding
coming in and going out.

For Barbara

Will You Catch me If I Fall?

There’s a difference between being a fall out boy
and free falling, falling, falling out of
something uncontainable.

God is love, that definition of terms
spilling out the aching side of
humans walking about as trees,

and if a tree falls,
it falls in love.
Good catch.

Political Parenting

A house of the Middle East,
boarders and borderline personalities.
Right here, right now.
Meshing, melding,
separating, single filing.
No peace, nagging negotiation,
diplomatic dysfunction.
Sometimes instead of coos
a coup de take down
of parents into disunity.
Rock throwing is
“accidental” they say.
For us Arab springs up
in any season.
We enter Camp David
to advise each other.
We are always adopting
new policies.
“We, the two people.”

Families of adoption, for adoption, in adoption of children of abuse and neglect, this poem’s for you.

The Beatles Met Me Half Way

“Poetry never left me stranded.” Mary Karr

1981, and I was dropped off along the beltway.
She gave me a ride only so far.
The place to begin a short cut
brought a shortness of breath
and a left-alone pang.

The sixth sense, that of entitlement,
dulled, after a half mile mule-like
walk on a thinning path.
The day was thinning too,
and darkness rose

like flood waters toward my pale face.
Ellenor Rigby picked up rice,
I could too, and I imagined
people feeling sorry for me
as they stood outside the church.

The Beatles took me the rest of the way
back to Bible College.


“Therein lies the tension.”
Some minute barrier
between last night’s rain
and the wood planks.

I’ve noticed patches
where moisture
slips through the
worn walkway.

Oil lifted by one
step after another.
Carried off on the soles.
Beads no longer form,

those tears soak in
to be trampled again
and again, pressed in
to the grain, against the grain.

Now in the midday solace,
when the deck is dry,
its aching creaks
can be heard under the din.

For those whose tears aren’t strong enough to bead up in the tension, whose souls have no oils between what is and the hope of what could be, I’ve come back to these two words time and again:

“Jesus wept.”