When You are Stoned

In response to Yeats

When you are stoned, faded and full of cracks
sprawl cross the floor and continue to puff -
Till your walls begin to deconstruct -
Smoke till Jericho falls and your face slacks.

How many have been bettered by you,
Improved the world by following your lead?
The drugs will show you your every deed
Your ego turned off and your vision true,

Cry out, laid humble, how your self is dead!
Confront your constructions high over head
It’s time; hide no more and face the real you.

I’m Already Packed

I’m already packed.
I’m ready to go.
I left this place.
Weeks ago.

I live out of a makeup case.
Use a backpack for a suitcase
I have paired my wardrobe
Down to indestructible accessories.

This time I leave a life line
This time I leave a trace
I got my compass
I found my north
A gentleman’s spirit
And an explorers worth.

I had to connect to both sides to do this.
For I contain both my father and my mother.
Both wanderers in their own way
One in the Navy
One in her life choices.
Both settled after the fray

I lead to follow the footsteps of my forebearers
To reconnect with things abandoned long ago.
I don’t know who I am any more.
I lost it along the way.
Every baggage dropped
was a thing forgotten -
A little piece of myself
discarded into dust.

I go to find them.
I hear their call.
Each a treasure
Once a curse
Bags on my back
Hands on my purse.

I clutch my instrument in hand
In all the meanings of the bards of old
I go forth with a clarion voice
And a story needing told.

This One is for the English Majors

Take that, E.

sung to the tune of the “Yellow Rose of Texas”


We used to value grit.
It served a coarse purpose
In the hands of the maker.
It built bureaus and cut curios
and wore away the excess of elephants,
revealing only the polished products
creating something
by removing everything unwanted.

Of course, we valued grit.
It takes a rough hand
to move mountains
and to clear forests.

There is a certain destruction in creation.
A time to be as loud as a blasting cap.
A time to bite like the edge of an axe.
A time to split the core and get to the heart.

We selectively sheer the accumulated layers
Wood and stone,
Blood and bone,
House and home.

We will always need grit
when it comes to the finishing.
That pernicious insidious scraping
The stubborn scouring of the surface
Until all that remains is someone’s conception,
who saw something beautiful and useful
and set to work destroying.

The Philosopher’s Stone

This legendary formula of two parts,
Sought by the golden and the lead,
Is wrought by gathered celebrants
With alchemy in their hearts.

We start with the diamond -
The cutting clarity
And faceted philosophies.
He contains compressed secrets,
The carbon component needed
To form the living bond.

We add our reagent,
gleaned from the heavens
flowing elegant and beautiful.
Clad in billows of white,
draped in the gossamer of the clouds,
She is a lattice of storms
And radiates the wave forms of grace.

For generations, we have practiced this careful formula.
We take one part diamond,
One part ivory,
We gather in a sacred place
And we all watch the union.

We are honored to behold the transmutation.
In this crucible, we stand sentinel.
We are the heat and the billows,
The tinctures and the alembics,
The catalysts and the stabilizers.

We watch them combine,
And, in their reaction,
we, too, are transformed.
The old are reminded
Of their own formulas.
The young divine a glimpse
of an elemental happiness.
The broken are mended.
The blind revealed.

We are all enlightened,
as conjoined rings are formed.
Made anew.
By this legendary formula of two parts,
Sought by all men and all women,
Gifted now to those with love and wisdom.