A sense of place in a time of loss

Photo by Octodrone Maxilla

Shelter me

says the millipede to the leaf
as the air goes cold in springtime

Oh, shelter me

says the leaf to the twig
as the breeze lifts her fellows ‘long the climb

Oh, oh shelter me

says the twig to the branch
as the storm becomes less than benign

Shelter, oh shelter me

says the branch to the tree
as it clings to the strong wooden spine

Shelter me, oh, shelter me

says the tree to the forest
as lightning’s child razes her shrine

Shelter me shelter me

says the smoke to the air
as the last ash drifts dusty and fine.

Shelter me

says the speck to the millipede
as it settles to ground

and becomes part of time.






Light captured
in blown dust
makes a timbral ping,
plucked from air.

Thud of a boot
landing from on high,
a softer thump
than a running heart.

The hollow hoot
of a wind-blown bottle
Less lonely then the runner
Emptied of home and hope.


Please visit http://bordercantos.com/
Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo

The Ninth

This kiss for the whole wide world, he wrote,
but without an embrace of his own
to quiet the klaxons between his useless ears,
he continued conducting to a silent hall.

Tortured and divine, and in the end merely mortal,
his unhappiness and hopefulness is eternal.

Embrace each other now, you millions.



Worst Friday

That one day was a bum deal all around.
Betrayal: check
False accusation: check
Torture: check and check.

Just a few days prior to the Very Worst Day,
The people were excited!
Running around, hosannah-ing right and left,
“Oh Jesus we love you you’re the best”
but soon calling out the name of Barabbas.

The Most Awful Day pressed on.

Even worse than the torture
was a sudden deficit of disciples.

Deny deny deny.

Did he know things were going to go sour
so quickly? All indications are
yes. Still…

As always, it was the women
who showed up, really showed up.
And that one apostle whom Jesus loved.

By then, all that was left was the forgiving
and the dying.

IMG_2258Painting by Robert Valienti-Neighbours


Not Alone

I am you,
and you, me.

Help me, I have no hands
to feed the hungry,
nor lips
to sing songs of praise for the morning,
nor eyes
to see and rejoice in the babe, the crone,
the strapping youth,
the old man creeping his path toward home.

I will help you
carefully prepare and serve
sing with beauty
see clearly and
rejoice loudly.

I am you,
and you, me.

The pain of the lash, halved.
God’s gift to the world, doubled.


**For the women of Blaine Street Jail. Thank you for making art with me, and making me a better person.