Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Pieces of your early life fell
into my hands again,  just yesterday
And surprised me so;  such brevity
linked with such candour, still
I had forgotten how courageous
you were inclined  to be
When writing down the memories
from that storehouse
in your mind, that great private
bunker where such personal
things are stowed.

Not for the first time I wondered
whatever  had possessed you
to expose yourself
to the scrutiny of those
Who would eventually see the lines
for what they were; the detailing
of a life lived flagrantly
In defiance of what was expected
by almost everyone
You ever came up against
or with whom you will
most likely have to coexist
for the remainder of your days

To fly in the face of convention,
 Is that what drove you then
 and what drives you still,
 To pen the words
 that crawl across the page
 and seep into the minds
 of all who view them,
 Without most even realizing
 the effect of such seemingly
 innocent notions
 On the psyche and the soul,
 As they peruse your verses,
 Your non-rhyming poems
 that serve to tell the tale
 Without saying much at all,
 But saying all, just the same.

Read between the lines, they said
When first you wrote
I remember the sound of your laughter
And the incredulity in your voice,
'There’s just space there,
What do they think they’ll find…'

At the time, I thought you were kidding;
I searched with the rest,
And there was nothing, as you said.
It wasn't until much later
When I re-read your words;
I think, in fact I know,
It was soon after your brother died
You began to write again;
Your new stuff very different
from what I remembered,
Starker somehow,
And I wanted to compare.

It was as if I’d been given
new eyes, or maybe the years had
Just granted me some 
much needed insight
Along with the inevitable
Gray hairs and experience.
Your words made sense finally,
And I saw how very bare
You’d laid your soul

At this second first glance
You frightened me with your boldness;
I couldn't stand to read very much
of you at once and wondered
How it was that I had been
So misled and blind the real first time
Or if I’d tricked myself on purpose

Not willing to imperil my own sensibilities
To such a raw emotional exposing
of one’s deepest private thoughts
and feelings and essence really;
the very essence of you,
put into words for anyone,
to trace or touch, or roll off the tongue.

I've wondered
if ever you've found yourself
Regretting such revelations
Or if the unburdening
Was as freeing
as you always said it was.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Between the many medieval villages
Crumbling walls give way to history
Lost among fields of native grass
And wildflowers beneath the scorch
Of Italia's summer sun baking hard
Once arable land now thirsting so
For a merciful rain not in any forecast
And fences fallen into disrepair are left
To rot, sheep and cattle both, roam
Free - to find water and feed wherever
Possible - or death, which one comes first
It is the fourth or fifth desperate summer
In a row and fences mean nothing nor
Does the idea of farming or ranching
Not down here anyhow - where Christ
Reputedly stopped - Eboli, and south
It is not hard to believe no God comes here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

dreaming the lake mayliewan

bull-rushes all around and swathes
of dry wheat stalks almost obscure
the reflections of the rich owners’

mansions— almost but tonight
they are mirrored so perfectly
it is as if another group of elaborate

houses lies beneath the calm surface
a surreal Atlantis where I could slip
and enter the fantasy as easily

as entering any other village
the demarcation point where they
meet, a still distinction

it would not be drowning or death
but gentle in the undertow I’d be
taken in the rhythm of the bees