A Probably Blasphemous but Well-Intended Persona Poem for Open Link Night


I am a park ranger for the Lord;
I arrange His trees in concentric circles
so His children can wind embroidery floss
around, under, and through, sing a song

that is just enough about Him
that He’ll know it’s about Him; He
likes to hear His own name as much
as any of the rest of us do, I guess

(maybe more). He likes puns,
as long as they’re good ones;

lambs and trees go over well,
but He’s kind of tired of loaves
and fishes. No one knows how
exhausting that miracle was,

how few people thanked Him,
and He had to rest afterwards
and wondered why it is He
even bothers sometimes.

By His hand, we are fed, so
it seems like the least I can do,

to set up His crafts, and to pour
tiny cups of juice (apple—
goes with the week’s theme:
Gifts from His Trees) so He can
rest a while longer, and wonder.




I wrote this because it’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. The first line came to me out of nowhere, and then a persona and scenario built themselves around it. Oh, Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood …


Houses, for Open Link Night

I’m later than usual for Open Link Night at dVerse. Among other reasons, I got caught up in listening to the brand-new Garbage album — their first in 7 years, and I’m a big fan. My daughter was actually all done with her bathroom prep, in bed, and ready for me to read to her, and there I was, still rocking out. Darkly. Anyway, here’s the poem:



Never fall in love
with houses;
they’re not as solid
as you think.

They collapse
around you even as
you live in them,
every day, another
small change,
another step closer
to a change
in your address.

You will not die
in your house,
quietly in
your sleep,
or at least,
few people do;

for most, there is
a staggered slide,
here a loss and there,
until, really, it’s time
to find a place for
mom or dad.

(By the way, that’s you.)

Maybe it’s worse
to leave a house
while you’re young;
then it seems as if
you should be able to
go back and visit.

The new people have
vinyl siding, or a giant pool,
and no one cares that you
used to have a hiding place
by the downspout, where
you pretended to sew clothes
with thorns from the trees,
which may not even
be there anymore.

If you are let inside,
what will you see?
Other people’s stuff.
No evidence of you.
You will awaken, too,
a small beast inside,
a young one that

you silenced,
papered over;

now it beats against
the wall of your chest,
believes it’s finally home.


A Slimy Poem for Open Link Night


Under the raspberries
under the mint
under the leaves,

a kingdom is growing,
moving, crossing
slick trails like swords
of wet dominion.

Under the tent tarp
under our heads
under our dreams,

a whole world
is sleeping with us,
unseen in the cool
and the damp,

mouthparts always
chewing on something,
be it memory or plan.





A word about Open Link Night: This takes place each Tuesday afternoon/evening/night at dVerse, a website by and for poets. You post a poem on your blog, and then you add a link on the dVerse site, and then you get lots and lots of new visitors (and of course, you visit other poets, too). Thanks again, Anna, for letting me know about it!


Hey, Man … Have You Ever *Really* Looked at Your Hands?


Look at
your open palm,
how the branches
fork off into
so many rivers,
so many cracks
in the earth
of your life,
the map of
your world,
how it looked
just before
you took flight.

P.S. — How could I have forgotten to link to dVerse Open Link Night, which I’ve been enjoying these past few Tuesdays? Lots of great poets there — please go enjoy!