Thursday, February 28, 2008


His blood's thicker
than troubled water,
that much we already knew.
His blood's thicker than Pepsi,
I tell ya that's good news,
for the generation.

His blood's thicker than
cowboy coffee
boiling under the stars,
thicker than a Guiness
'tween a drunken driver's knees.

His blood's thicker than a sea
of sorrow, thicker than
the tears of all tomorrow, thicker than
a tide of grief or the pride
of a thief.

His blood's thicker than bad blood
between brothers, brother.
It's thicker than your skull,
thicker than skin,
gratefully, we drink it all in.

When we empty our hearts
its His cup we fill,
sweating the details in the olive garden,
to our Father's will.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

By One

My father's last breath
will follow
his next to last
by one.

My father's last breath
won't have the will
to cool a tea cup,
but it will change heaven
and earth
by one.

My father's last breath
will leave us looking at the lake,
the lake evaporating
to make clouds,
the clouds going dark
to make tears.

Eternity will begin
with this last breath.

Wheat and chaff,
the only consequence
worthy of our soul,
separated, one by one,
by the One.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pillow Talk

It's only after midnight
you can force the clock to jump.
Ask the minutes to miss
a tock or two.

My neck is stiff,
muscles sore from pushing
the days away away.

Break two eggs in a pan for one.

Calendars get filled
tearing away pages,
moon becomes new
vaulting the pines.
Only an empty man
is full of himself.
This is sleep without you,
pillow talk
beneath my breath.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jesus in Jeans

Jesus in jeans
isn't much of a stretch,
tool belt, thermos,
some decent boots.
He might shave for Sunday
sit in the back pew
of every church in the world
and smile at the preacher.

He's an everyday Saviour these days,
raising our spirits,
raising our sights.
Story is He overheard a cafe conversation,
"O halfway houses are a good idea,
but not on my street."

Jesus leaned in,
paid for the gentleman's coffee
and whispered, "According to My Father
the whole world's a halfway house.
Don't forget to tip
the waitress."

He's an everyday Saviour these days,
donating blood, again.
Every time we lift a finger to help
we're helped.

What would Jesus do without us ?

Truth is He couldn't stand it.
That's why He stands at the door...
ready to knock some sense of Him
into the heart of the world.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Counter Top

Always a spoon for sugar,
never a pinch,
get something that sweet
on your fingers
Mama make you wash your hands.

Salt is something
a cook can rub together,
smile come across your face
cool as a cloud of Vidalia onions
and sweet celery.

People with real jobs
get equal at lunch,
briefcases and bandanas
led by their bellies.

Day will come
we'll pass our hearts
easy as pepper
at the Lord's Table.

Right now, eyes big as
sliced tomatoes,
we put in our order
and wait for grace.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Too Familia

My daughter flips
earmarked magazines
from a chair in the lobby,
a mountain of brooding men
modeling revolutionary colognes
and capture the world watches
in half dressed leather rooms.

I won't whisper to her
but hope she hears me,
"Don't expect the world
to be the world to you,
every piece has been sold,
everything touchable marred."

We pay the insurance,
make a bond to collect her due.
In all her years I might shape this minute
or that, pass on a smile,
the wealth of a psalm.

We hope and we know we hope,
we lift eyes and head each morning
to the mockingbird's trumpet.
Some of the day's march
falls silent on our knees.

If I could hand her love in alabaster
velvet smooth and white,
a cup to catch the tears of Jesus,
holy water for her branch giving leaf,
then I'd be a father worthy.

Sand and pearls will
make her song.
Distance keep the war from hurting.
Dinners with grace and the boyfriend
careful to care,
I buckle as she drives us

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mandatory Eight

I circled today to stop lying.
I'll need to make another mark
to surrender snide,
pick a date to bury
the fake New York accent,
lay the sharp tongue
and Woody Woodpecker laugh
to rest.

Don't speak when hungry
except to say, "I'm hungry."
Don't speak when lonely
except to say, "I'm lonely,"
"Tired" when tired.

A mute button
would be bionic mutation,
what better machine than
a scale to weigh my words,
a vision of my voice in the world
as perceptive of sour notes
as American Idol judges.

This different drummer,
unsteady in time,
skips from the lightness
of laying down the mask.

As I step through the ropes
for the knock out punch,
my ears perk to the bell
ringing true.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fits the Hammer

A boy's hand
fits the hammer
shy of his father's grip.
You grow into this business.
Center the nail
plane the planks,
doors, chairs, tables,
sign your name in sweat and sawdust.
Easy to daydream,
hope swinging from a tool belt
on the pegboard,
someday all this
will be all there is to it.

A beach girl
eyes the line of blue wind
and water,
her mom measures the clouds
for storms.
The difference between them
will narrow with years,
today's sunshine and sky,
the one thing they'll wear
forever, whether the house is full
of dreams, screams
or memories.

If it were only that,
buttering bread
and naming kittens,
we'd all be kings in castles
and our children saints.
But homes are broken,
holidays divided,
the most we hope for
is half of what we had.
Losers weepers.

Brother's keepers.
The ounce of prevention
roots underground.
An army of the other cheek turned
springs eternal from the empty grave.
He's charged us to carry the cloak in danger
a geography of extra miles.
Pick up where we're crossed
and swallow free,
there's only so much a cup
can hold until
it runneth over.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sky-Stomach of God

Today  the butterflies are flying scared
the butterflies fly scared today
in the belly of God.

Butterflies fly scared
in the sky-stomach of God,
blue powder, gold powder wings
torn like the ozone layer.

Among a ring of monarchs
a petition circulates,
billions of butterflies needed
to fly in formation
above Antarctica snow.

The crimson rose of Ceylon,
the windmill of Nepal,
spearwinged cattle heart of Venezuela,
Burma's jungle glory,
blue adonis of Latvia,
purple spotted swallowtail
the island butterfly of New Guinea,
Mexico's figure eight and the Grecian shoemaker,
the red lace wing Filipino
and the sky blue morpho of the Amazon,
Nicaragua's blue doctor,
the clipperhead of Vietnam,
Hong Kong dragontail,
the button jewel of Dublin
and the Berlin emperor.

Butterflies in a row,
a living thread
to sew
the atmospheric wound.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


To expand my tiny heart
I go to the woodshed.

In an expression of empathy
with everything awkward,
I take in air
and let loose through the brass
bell of a soprano saxophone.

When my embrochure squeaks
I wrinkle my brow
to feign intensity.

Hoping to claim a serpentine charm
I begin each hour's lurch
with a long single note,
alone in a minaret
I call myself to prayer.

In tremolo,
I imagine legions of men
dropping the walls of our stubborn
private Jericho.

Brothers in circles playing
saxophones to learn what moods swing
when we come home from work.

Brothers playing saxophones
in compassionate schools.

Mentors humming harmony, as
the I am responsible reed section
mixes courage, saxophoning and air, 
the practised hearts
of men.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The secure test of hammocks

Never alone when we read,
always alone when we write.

Worst fear
is can't afford
a lessor one either.
A lesson is what prevents
a lessor one
from climbing the list.

I sin less in the kitchen
than other rooms,
the eye consumed
with small beads of air
in the honey.
The ghost of mama's spoons
whisk me away.

I have a minute
to pen a poem.
I have a pen,
just a minute,
it's a poem.

Early encompasing dark,
the Devil would say perpetual,
sunlight warmer through glass
and the grace to set ink
on a page, proves its not.

Time with,
time for,
all secondary queries to
Who is time from ?

A day of blue
sun baked
I've been drinking it all day
as He fills the cup.

What we did to someone here,
not even a footnote
to what He did to get us clear.