Joan Miro, 4/20/1893 to 12/25/1983

We have only space
and it flows, unbidden,
speaks for us
about  things for
there is 
no other voice.


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Sometimes, under large oranges discs

when her distant face makes endless, sad ooooo’s,

the moon sings in pools of harmonica nights,

sad notes

wound around sinuous pickets of silence


light beams,

stragglers, fallen here when you left,


the lights of the inner valley realize

they can do nothing about it,

shrug in their brilliant simmering


and then I, for a moment,

allow myself you … a cool glass

of what I nearly had


in this motionless place

earthy darkness, a honey-sweet moon

glides its silver, strumming

along rememberance


and that soft brush of life

hums a nearly perfect pitch

almost harmonious

heavy with nights berries and

tentative, blue music


unheard but felt,

a tantalizing wisp

a quick firefly spark of

another life, now gone


into this breathing darkness

only faint tones,


a distant window

slams shut on someone’s

jealously guarded dream


whose tiny pieces could waft

long feathered tails, wrap around

a subconscious clothesline and

flap slowy, softly

like sheets drying hazy cotton

of the past and

I listen


can hear their moths

treading this illusion of light and



and somewhere in there is

that place where I can find you,

a telephone man who played harmonica

and was nearly my dad


and if you failed to love me,

what was love anyways?

little more than a barren twig that shuddered

in your winter or mine ….


Or maybe it was even the

slowly spelled words

of a large, orange moon when

suddenly I know


that you will certainly appear,

smiling that guilty, careless radiance,

white doves that forgive the wind


yes, gone, but only because

you’ve been stringing

phone lines into empty space

(all these years!  Just for me!)


and on a special receiver

concocted with the fire of stars,

we will begin


to hear

the luminous voice of the moon


finally able to tell us

just what he’s been trying to spell

all these years.


I see pennies, pennies on the ground all around.

And I see people, homeless people hugging the sacred ground,

Holy as the water makes sound, holy as the green ground.

I see deep in the hungered eyes, as the water draws miracles

In a cup, the flies are cold as winter as summer sups.

And hunger quakes the bowels like terror shredding terror’s claws.

You gave me meat when two men walked in front of their nose, 

when two men walk a hard, hard road, the least of them my brother.

You were a stranger in a kingdom of friends, and the Lord of the mansion

Took me in, naked and he clothed me with what I will be,

Sick and the King visited me, his hands are flowers day and night,

You captured your prison in Self, and the rest of the World

Dug up your roots and burned your bridges with your cross –

And You came unto me.

The young face the young and blame the old men in their house,

They see pennies on the ground, pennies all around,

And their knees never humble – know no King.

  John Amato
Isaiah 55:11


My House

I was locked in a wave of time,

a wild finger

beckoned, and I knew to

whom it called

all around me,

its dazed eye towards Jupiter,

the house turns slowly on

its thickened stem of events,

plans of well seasoned pollen

which, nonetheless, will scatter

into the canyon wind,

probably at night

while I sleep

this furrowed place contemplates

its eventual demise,

angels walk right out of

chiseled stone statues,

the crystal shatters

spilling adjectives among

the asters,

and seeds of yesterday's light

which always defy explanation

why you were always gone,

but the thought withers among

nouns, socks, and a phone ringing,

perennial sounds while

light beats its sweet way

into wings upward

scattered among

the faucet's steady drip

meandering to the canal,

to the river,

to the sea

to the green depths

of some
         November or December,

when you won't return,

when days will gently fold

around the hour

where we

will end

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"The Lord is my light
and my salvation
Whom shall I fear?
Psalm 27:1 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ghost Particles

great faces unbend

in pale light, breathing

a stubble of cold pine, frostmarked 

like the past

like the still curve  of dawn

since the last footprint left

vacuumed away


prisms or shadows

nurse neglect, those secret numbers

you kept

splinter a river into the palest thought

a thousand transparencies      

whose small voice answers:

you really didn’t care


so just remind me how sleep,

remind me when to breathe


there is nothing further than you

hoarding light from an invisible source

a point somewhere on the map, to linger

turning like slow water

certain of your destination

away from here


and trees paint a lenghtening

azure circle, hiding the distance

where you cough or laugh

stars remember a line or two

also all the stone verses cast like concrete

a crumbled substance

now trailing nights long arc of planets

 a long way erased


your diety an empty river

packed into a briefcase, under a trunk

twisted with branches


I had no idea about these

petals I’ve become, nothing more than

crushed in soft

falling under passage

11:40 pm edt 

Saturday, September 3, 2011


In a dark pond's glass

I saw you again,

an image edgeless, deep

water so far cornered, the

grassworn patch and globe

we swam as

unknowning, tiny fish who struggled

cold currents, the swirling

world textured blue-grey

and formless, the nearly


delicate canvas

on our backs

and its fragile finger

painting dark trails with more

than we could have known

fish lost

in the rush and wave

of an era

the emotional spawn of

moments strung with 

scented rushes,

now pulled dry and

everything ordered into

the chaos we have

hung on the wall and

named, still

we hear sometimes

only a wrenching birdsong

away and

time, unaccountable,

has turned its face.

12:55 pm edt 

Friday, July 9, 2010

5:35 pm edt 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A.D. Solidified

The slopes yawn in stiff light,
unbending, breathing
how rock forms moon’s

soliloquy in cool pine
settles in the stubble,

the castoff air
all the stillness

this is where
I know I will find you 
in the shell of the opalized moon
its solemn
ice birds perched
in glittering trees
who always vanish in the morning
like ghosts burned by light 

somewhere here in

the frozen hollows
love curls, stillborn

shadow or river?
currents splinter … indigo sounds of
birds, their indistinct tones of waking

yet I was, having owned the leaves
crowning the days, having possessed
the great garland of hours
and all the light 

how little remains here:
a box or two, monochromotic scraps and
a ring grown cold, its
sounds shaken, sieved
voices of stones

yet night, 
thick with vowels
is still apportioned me
so these remnants I have, and also
some paper words
which peer at the stars
from their anchors of pulp

their thick brows contort in thought,
scribble unimportant things about stars
dim, windy glades
hopeless candles
mistaken for science.

‘Something lost', they note
‘Planets erased.’ 

You left words like lanterns
their rustle haunts the wind

restless, and I'm left with
a vast circus of trunks
hollowed by fire
no one else saw 

and all the days, too, something
I still unwillingly possess

many many stars know gravity, the way it 

clings to light, flickers

then is done 

12:04 am edt 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Leaving Escalante

in these prismatic archways, here,

the Grand Escalante came to rest
reminisced in
its own vast loss, its
subtleties of color, immutable memories

blood and rock

a complex, explosive past


so now the stern cliffs rise, solemn and upright

austere and dark, having learned
the folly of their violent past


all that lava, all those rock bombs
scattered from 
spewn upheavals,

now lukewarm

why, they just simply wouldn’t think of it now


eagle canyon,
a dried black dragon barely breathing its

small fist of goldenrods, Indian paintbrush,

how the fragile things have overcome the giants

slumbering loudly under the low clouds,

one frail root at a time


We don’t talk of our divorces, instead speaking

of how, at 12,  I flew across the black ice

of the Lombard lagoon,

sailed on skates made from

the crystalline fire of the stars, more free than

I’ve ever been since


and how he as a boy so badly wanted a stuffed rattlesnake,

opted instead for the cheaper scorpion encased

in plastic, back when

he and his dad traveled these roads and


oh, you just haven’t lived till you’ve gone into

the Salina ladies room,
absolutely no doors, but guarded by

a 16’ Indian out front,

his raised tomahawk crumbled a bit, 
amaged, perhaps, in long gone battles
chopping away at some pesky

peeping Toms


this roadside stop

a small pinpoint of vulgar light,

a tiny circus of silliness surrounded

by the weeping dark,
the vastly inscrutable endlessness
of the Grand Escalante

It is an ineffable eternity

of geometric puzzles

that God has patiently worked out,

His interlocking buttes and cliffs

intricate in streaming color,

covered in tears of sage

battered by fists of coal


ahead, an improbable enterprise

leans wearily, cowboy style, on bars of the
shafts of sun,

a lone beacon to the folly of man in
the form of a self-serve worm stand

and I idly wonder

who inventories the livestock, what sort of

loss prevention they have concocted


And then Tom makes me laugh, saying

“if you’re born in Gunnison,

does that make you a son of a gun?”


behind us there is so much unseen

and even more unsaid, so much that is eternal

slips away into the darkness of Route 16

and soon we see in the headlights

a 1200 year old cliffdweller abode,


crazily perched 15’ above the highway and

guarded by a small chickenwire fence.

Both of us think the same thing, but

we don’t speak of it.

all of its ignomy 
its shining and beating
chaos, sublimnity
all of its reckoning ....

there was a story here
but few to tell and, like us
and our past,
no one lives there any more

1:24 am edt 

2016.04.01 | 2011.09.01 | 2010.07.01 | 2009.07.01

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