Redwood forest eats our house

Forest eats our house
Mold, mushrooms, banana slugs
Decay what we build

     Death and beauty hand in hand
     Show us our impermanence



mom’s not a widow
she’s still married to my dad
even though he died

she brings him morning glories
he brings her one pure white rose

a white rose

They never told me mourning would be beautiful

mourning happens most
when forest plants die, decay
underneath our feet

feeds new life and feeds new love
mourning: sad but beautiful


Dear (late) Father…

You visit the shrine I made for you
In remembrance of who you were
When you were alive
You like that I put rocks there

You visit my mother
And bring her flowers
You tell her not to visit your grave so often
You’re not there anymore

You walked straight into Love
With no fear left in your heart
And now everything you express
Is through that Love

When I wear your clothes
And carry your rocks
Next to my heart
And wear your whiskers
In a locket
I feel who you are
And who you were
Seeping into me
Down deep into my bones

Everyone tells me
I look more like myself
In your clothes
Than they have ever seen me
That for the first time
I look comfortable
In my own skin
In my own culture

You speak my language
A language of things
Not words

You gave me
All the right things
To find you again
Even past delirium and amnesia

I hope I can be in life
Half the person
You are in death


Plea of the Holy Fool (circa 2003)

Help me O Lord
For I am surrounded by friends
Who seem as bad as enemies
Save me O Lord
From the twin demons
Of pride and self-hatred
They both magnify me
And place me above you
The worship from the hypocrites
Who wish to turn me
From village idiot to holy fool
Is no less a sacrilege
Than the hate from those
Who view me as empty and worthless
But it is more treacherous
Because it comes in the guise of friendship
I have loved you and will praise you
With every piece of my soul that I can muster
Help me to turn towards you
And away from lies


Poem every day

I promised myself
to write poems every day
springtime in my heart

     flowers blossom inside me
     I plant poems by the road


Outlines and Mirrors and Turning Away

I am reading
And the words go into my eyes
Into my brain
And I am connecting
Again and again
With a man I’ll never meet
Who doesn’t know I exist
But who is connecting with me
All the same
He is one of the rare ones
Who writes with his eyes
Into restless souls
And understands things
That he’ll never say
And when he turns the corner
With his mind
To avoid having to explain
I can see the outlines
Of where his words don’t go
The places his mind
Evades and avoids
And it’s as much a communication
As if he’d said it out loud
Is it wrong
To be grateful
For his suffering
Because it mirrors my own?
Maybe that does make me
A selfish monster after all
Far more than being unable
To cry
Or maybe we are all
Selfish monsters
Some of the time
And only believe otherwise
Because nobody is saying it
Out loud
And when I try to find the words
To say what’s in my heart
My mind turns away
Just like his
So as not to betray
If you want to really know me
Look for what I will not say
Even to say this much
Feels like handing the keys away
Handing keys to strangers
In a dangerous world
Well no matter
Because you need more than keys
To understand what you see
When you unlock the mind
Of a person
Like you, or like me
You can peer all you want
At the silhouettes formed
By my retreating thoughts
But if you come here with malice
Even just a trace
You will never understand
What’s staring you in the face
You’ll get twisted and turned
Around and around
Until you find yourself outdoors again
Dumped on the ground
If you come here as a friend
Then the key is all you need
Come in, you’re welcome
Let’s all plant the seed
For a tree of protection
To grow in this place
So that none of us need worry
About malicious strangers
With keys and with greed
You can drink the water
From the well in the ground
I will join you in a moment
And without a sound
We will look past the barriers
Look past the pain
And burrow a tunnel
To keep out the rain
Then you and I
Can be the kind of friends
Where the learning
And the sharing
And the joy
Never ends
I can feel you right now
Over thousands of miles
Hoping all the while
That there’s someone
On the other side of time
Crossing that line
Without leaving a sign
There are billions of people
And millions of years
And somehow we connect
In an underground village
Without fear
Without shame
Without disbelief
Though we shake like a leaf
At the wonder
The shadows we cast
Are taller than trees
But the light that creates them
Is brighter than anything
We can stand to see
One day we’ll meet again
Inside of that light
And there we’ll uncover
The end to all fright
But until then we live
In our burrow underground
And talk to each other
Without making a sound
And I’m no longer alone
No longer in pain
No longer imprisoned
Inside of my brain
I wrote my way out
I wrote my way to you
You wrote your way to me
And our life begins again:


love can mean urine
sprinkled all around the house
sharing of your scent
     I stopped that at age twenty
     admiration: you still dare

Continue reading


Traditional Family Values

I believe in traditional family values

It is my obligation as a family member
To do everything in my power
To keep aging or disabled family members
From having to live or die in nursing homes

This was passed down to me
As a child
Through the example of my great-uncle Lindy
Who moved in with my great-grandma
To keep her out of a nursing home
As long as he could
Even as she broke her hips multiple times
And became frail and bedridden
She stayed at home as long as she could
Because of our family values

Because of our traditional family values
I was able to visit her every year
In her tiny little house
Smaller than some of my apartments
But filled with love and kindness
Because she was a hard-core Hufflepuff
And she and her house
Had a long time
To become part of each other

What, you were expecting something different?
Then either you’ve grown too used to hearing
Right-wing propaganda disguised as tradition
Or you don’t know how many valuable traditions
A family can have

I am very traditional in my own way
Even if you can’t see it
And it is traditions like this
That are at the core of my value system
Traditions that come from love
Not from unthinking obedience to hate

So next time you hear the words
Traditional family values
Think hard
About your family’s best traditions
The ones that come from love
You might not have any
But you might
And you might be surprised what they are

And if you can find any such traditions
Then do all you can to take back the meaning
Of traditional family values
To apply to the love your family has taught you
Passed down through the generations
That’s what tradition, in its best sense, means


Rocks that fill my heart

dark cradles me
granite and obsidian
rocks that fill my heart

hands holding granite and obsidian rocks