Tuesday, May 21, 2013



It's said, no man is an island
yet from where I stand
all I see is shoreline
crashing waves and foam
lapping at my toes
no matter how high I climb
these breathless peaks of quenched fire
mine's the only road
passing by below

Sometimes from the summit
I see white wings on the horizon
always too far to tell
if they're the feathers of an angel
or the canvas of a sail
and though I set fire to a beacon
it never does much more
than warm me for the night
I guess the smoke that I send rising
toward the moon's soft argent light
loses its way among the clouds
fades behind their shroud

When it's quiet and the fire's crackle
at last dies to an ember,
the last memory of its flame
I lay back alone and listen
to the gentle humming of the world
to the subtle strain its playing
over the snare-whisk of the waves
the soft, strumming promise of her coming
an angel, a star as yet unnamed
I close my eyes to listen
feel her crescendo in the earth-song
her heartbeat pounding in my veins
and I know that with her arrival
my island will never be the same

I wake at the tide's insistence
shrug away the dream
wash off the sands of night
in the salt of the lonely sea
roll all my hopes before me
to my post upon the peaks
and when I spy another feathered sail
somewhere out to sea
I let my dreams tumble down again
to my signal on the beach.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


It's strange how much easier it is to open up to strangers than it is our friends, and then, only if they don't get too close. We let people in until they reach a comfortable orbit, then hold them there with our gravity, keeping them drawn in and close so they don't spin off into the empty void, but never close enough that they might flash through the atmosphere that guards us. We so rarely let true seeds of life settle in. And yet, we broadcast ourselves out into the nether, into the open maw of virtual words and shout in a voice so loud it would shame thunder, yet are barely heard, the space is so vast. But those stars out there, who listen, our secrets seem so safe with them, so open and yet, still tiny pinpricks of light in our lives and our loneliness. And the secrets! The words! Tiny vessels soaring into the universe full of our emotions, colonizing worlds far beyond sight, traveling so fast it may as well be the speed of thought. How good if feels to put them out there, to stand open and naked in front of the galaxy around us, to bathe in the Milky Way. How fast we withdraw, call ourselves home and cover ourselves as if our darknesses embarrassed us. As if the curves of our hearts and the contours leading toward their soft beating required the modesty of a Puritan dressed for winter.

We withdraw in fear, the dread enemy that we cower from as someone passes too close, so close they might see so deep into us that they may see things, good things, bad things, that we may never see for lacking their perspective. There's the fear that we're not good enough. The fear that if we draw too close, the moons we've gathered will break free from our orbit and their beauty lost to sight. Fear that for once, we'll get exactly what we want. . . and it won't be what we wanted after all.

This adventure is hard, it is frightening, but courage isn't a lack of fear, but standing in its face and saying, "Here I am, explore me, be close. This is who I am, stay or go as you will. I will allow you to be one of the dark gods that come into the tiny clearing that is my soul, my life. May I have the courage to let you come and go. And how, oh, how, I would come and go from yours."


I spent the Sunday evening before last with a ridiculous smile plastered across my face. The music was good. The movement was the same as it always is, pure joy, perfect in moments, awkward in others. Conversation after conversation after conversation, one woman after the next, then back to the first. I fell in love with a smile, for the night. I do that. I notice her shoes, the rise of her hip, the valley of her waist, the curve of her breast, the line of her shoulder as it rises to a neck, and get caught in that final facet, where the light shines most. Her smile, the upturned corners of her mouth that soften even the hardest lines, and like the lights slowly brought up on a dark stage, stretches almost miraculously into her eyes. It’s hypnotic, that smile, and I feel myself falling into that trance, that 3-minute long love at first dance. Sometimes, the smile laughs, sometimes it simply is in love with the moment, like I am. Whatever it is in me that is drawn to a woman before I come to know her adds up all the pieces, sets her smile as a crown, the final brushstroke of a masterpiece and I fall. Beauty is magnified exponentially in an honest smile.
It is hard to maintain interest in dancing with women who don’t smile or smiles that don’t dance well. Both are castles in the sand built too close to the rushing tide. If I had to choose, though, I’d chose a patient smile who was willing to learn.