it’s all so forced, like rainwater on concrete, pooled and stagnant and longing to slip between the cracks, seek the fractured pathways to seep into rich earth, slumbering seeds, they must be there somewhere beneath the cap of tar and whitewash, tell me somewhere deep beneath my soles there are still the sleeping possibilities of fields and forests and wildflower meadows, fairy rings, the places to which our kind had always escaped until we found the way barred and can now only pine, in ink or charcoal or stanza, for flight and sanctuary and drop tired, so tired, to scrape our knees on the cement, but maybe just a drop of that blood will find its way down into the dreaming soil to soak into the hard black core of a seed and remain sealed there, safe, safe in a way our bodies and hearts above ground shall never be, but at least this single bead of our essence may remain protected while we stumble on in our endless seeking, desperate for proof we can still flee to sanctuary, just promise us we can still flee


You’re like the desert, parched for life-giving rain, longing for sustenance, yet while a drop of affection dries too quickly on your cracked and dusty surface to provide even a moment’s nourishment, a downpour of love cannot soak through quickly enough and so roars as a deadly flash flood through the gullies and pits of your scars, wiping away what weak green buds have managed to take root in the unforgiving soil.


I have been to the place where the Prince first Fell, where he tore such a hole in the sky that the sun’s molten heat still pours through in blistering waves. His impact crater is a land unto itself, a waiting predator disguised in rubble the size of mountains, ancient layers exposed by tectonic shifts like the sharp vertebrae of the earth. Everything here is stark; the line between light and shadow, the shift between baking heat and freezing cold, the sudden swift wipeout of parched earth by a flash flood of tempest’s rage. Great black birds circle overhead each day and each night the ground dwelling creatures creep forth from their cool dens, eyes flickering in the moonlight. There is no land harsher on Earth and yet life struggles on in this place, oblivious to the workings of men or angels, and when either perishes here the scavengers strip their flesh like all the rest. If the Prince still walks this land it is in the rattlesnake’s venom, the coyote’s piercing howl, the thunderhead reaching down with lightning tentacles to scorch the earth.


[ Warning: haiku dump. ]


Dear elliptical:
this love/hate relationship
is more hate than love


wind brings clarity
in the distance mountains loom
sharp enough to cut


coconut oolong
one cup buys a moment’s warmth
melts away winter


how hipster is this
sitting in a coffee shop
scribbling down haiku


The lighthouse fell years ago in a thunder of cannon fire and crumbling stone. Its scattered skeleton sleeps in the shallows now, though some say that at night if the moon is right you may glimpse its ghost rising from the fog, milky and insubstantial, sweeping white light a beacon to the lost ones still. I cannot speak to the truth of this but if you venture the shore at low tide and plunge your fingers into the thick wet sand you can dig up word fragments buried by the restless sea. Step carefully, though, lest you cut your feet on the shards of glass hidden amid the ruins. Every storm uncovers another layer of slivers so hard no amount of time and waves’ caress can smooth their edges, so shattered the bulb may never be pieced back together.



amid steel and glass
still the silent places wait
refuge of dreamers

[ Picture of Lake Trubsee in northern Switzerland, taken on my trip there last July. Title (a German phrase meaning “the feeling of being alone in the woods”) courtesy of Better Than English, a highly entertaining website every wordsmith should visit. ]


as like calls to like
so we opposites are drawn
twins in discard

- – -

I shall cast away
adrift in a sea of words
anchorless and free

- – -

colors bleed and blend
butter yellow, midnight blue
finger paint moonrise

[Moonrise over Vashon Island, Washington. Apologies for the blurriness of the photo.]


beyond the window
white foam and whispering waves
beyond the water
solitary snow capped peak
slumbering giant

[ Inspired by the view from my back porch which overlooks Colvos Passage, Vashon Island, and Mt. Rainier (the largest mountain in the lower 48 states and an active volcano). I am so never moving from Washington. ]


[ I mentioned I have some crazy dreams, yes? Consider this The Ruins... in space. ]


“———–traces of —————- contami————————-tain, do you copy?”

Sudden chaos as consciousness returns. A dozen different lights flash; a chorus of alarms shrill and beep at ear-splitting frequencies; cracked screens scroll with damage reports made meaningless by their severity.

“—– can’t send assistance until —————ings. Please repor——–”

Brade wrenches her leg free of the debris thrown loose by the crash and delivers a solid kick to the control panel. The disorienting hiss of radio static clears and the signal sharpens.

“Captain, do you copy? Genesis One is prepared to begin emergency extraction and is awaiting confirmation the surface is sterile. Please transmit planetary biological hazard readings immediately.”

Sticky blood seals one eye and Brade scrubs it away with the sleeve of her flight suit as she surveys the damage. During the crash her research vessel became vertically wedged in a steep, narrow canyon, its nose pointed toward an unfamiliar sky. If not for her safety belt Brade would have been thrown to the back of the ship on impact. As it is, her whole body aches and the wound on her head leaks a steady trickle of blood. At least she fared better than the ship, though. Staring at the remains of the flight panel, she knows she’s lucky the damned thing hasn’t caught fire.

“Captain, do you copy?”

Another kick silences the radio completely. Brade doesn’t need the delicate biological scanning equipment, now a jumble of broken circuits anyway, to get a biohazard reading. Beyond the ship’s shattered bubble shield the dusty air dances with green motes, questing spores of a carnivorous plant Genesis One has already classified an extreme threat. A mere handful of the minuscule seeds is enough to form a rapidly spreading colony capable of eating away at metal as easily as flesh, and the crash has shaken loose clouds of them from the canyon walls. Genesis One can’t risk contamination by bringing her back on board now.

The ship may not be on fire yet, but neither she nor it is going anywhere. Brade leans her head back and coughs, feeling the first spores take root in her lungs and spread their tendrils through the spongy muscle.



in cooling twilight
a glimpse of nature’s wild heart
gift of Providence

[ I'm just back from a trip to Yosemite National Park. While approaching one of the trails behind our lodge one evening, I managed to come within about ten feet of a bobcat walking the same path. He didn't seem too concerned to see me, so I was able to snap this picture before he sauntered around a boulder. I've always been very connected to cats, so this was an absolutely breathtaking experience for me. A minute earlier or a minute later and I would have missed him completely. ]

[ P.S I'd like to note I just added a nature category and will be going through my old posts and categorizing ones under it, so feel free to check it out! ]


ting! ding! cow bells ring
through valleys and o’er mountains
Switzerland’s anthem

[ I took the picture above last July while on vacation with a friend and her family in northern Switzerland. There are dairy cows everywhere in the mountains and you can hear the ringing of their bells for miles around. It’s one of the most peaceful sounds I’ve ever heard. ]