he slices the backs of his thighs so
that one day they’ll notice it hurts

but not today –


today is too soon –


maybe, one day, a
will see the scars he
sat on for years

and care that he’s not ok;

Bouts with Flies

I chase flies against the window panes –
bashing at my reflection with claws retracted.

A big one creeps out of reach and nestles
next to the sealant in the top right hand corner.

So I watch it obsessively. Watch it. Until its buzzing
eats my ears again, burrowing into my headspace.


The people open windows for me. Shoo fly!

It obeys and returns to the world at their command.

I’m somewhat sad to see it go.

But there’ll be another along soon.

The Parting of the Ways

His feet – decades ahead and
achingly wise – have walked
the gravel in which my soul
now tries to shine. We exist
on different planes, despite
the matched crunch of our feet
in the dirt of a shared way
that ties our lives as tight
as the blood in our try-hard veins.

We walk this way together
a heart’s generational divide
that finds its echo in a loving past.

He told me to make the way my own
for his shell is not mine to escape.

The scalloped cup of the silver
spoon, resting heavy in my
thankful mouth, can never redeem
the trust of its inheritance.

My pilgrimage, found
in his magnificent footsteps,
diverts in ink onto handmade paper –
two roads diverging in a wood.

Austen’s Smile

Austen’s face, pressed against my prejudiced
palm, itches to change hands. You need
her warmth to line your pocket, a patch
against the driving rain, a small smile
against your soaking thigh. Her smile
may afford a night’s respite; her smile
may buy you oblivion. Who am I to judge
your choice of pockets to line?
I can but judge my own.

Always: an Abecedarian


Brimming with possibilities, I
Constantly search for poetic end points,
Devoted to the ideas but
Evading the effort.
Failing myself is a
Given, knowing that I’m not
Helping myself by not starting.
I give up before I even begin.
Jokes aside, it ends now.
Keep going. Keep going.
Learn to persevere.
Make it to the end.
Never stop writing for fear of failure
Or failure will surely follow.
Perhaps that is the key:
Quietly, doggedly carrying on.
Unwavering when faced with the
Very wall you are
eXpected to climb with ease.
You tell yourself you will.
Zone out. Zone in. Write always.