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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Since September...

Sacred Contract

did you know for months I called you
with music , repetition, from far off fields
blue at night… tell me o muse of travelers
far and wide… calling me home
to knock on a door that has been closed
for so long… by a fist to the face.
in years long past…spirit
hid inside something cold--
I cried when I called you
not imagining you’d hear… Forgetting
the soul knows no boundaries—like art
Timing inspired—
Divine. Passionate. God
wrote your name across my heart
at the beginning of all things when
we agreed to help each other--
You are of Me—Soul group—
we have a contract to fulfill
La mia famiglia! My family!
That voice…your face… I know it
too has met the fist…
Built the walls…
Knocked upon the door…
I answered you too.

king james

king james came riding in ona white horse
no wait
he afraid of hights
it was on a wave fast as light
kinda underneath-like.
watch-u want, boy?
slidin’ under my bedroom door
knock. knock. knock. knock.

slippery as a shadow
smelling like church
king james whispered in tones dulcet
and ancient—i paused
yeah baby, i heard that sermon before
heard it better
knock. knock. knock. knock.

don’t you know i got religion, boy?
hell yeah. oh he know.
but down here we ain’t got no
crosses, boy
ain’t interested in crucifixion
just bars and churches, bars and churches
hmm… maybe a magnolia or two
Wanna see?
knock. knock. knock. knock.

i want, says king james
soundin’ like a song
from the old, old days
gimme those hills and valleys
gotta kneel before the mother
put flame in her heart
lawd! how i remember that tune
you a right good gospel singer, honey!
knock. knock. knock. knock.

i love me some of that old religion
ginger and milk
leave it out on the step for the boo-hag, boy
neath the porch swing. she’ll be round to get it
in a minute
and ride you all across this land—up and down
up and down—shit yeah,
‘till you can’t see no more
even when the sun rises
knock. knock. knock. knock.

the horse’s hooves, hear em?
da hag ride at night
and she got a mean streak, that one
don’t listen to no king; ain’t got one, she says
no country, neither—just a room
where she keep the wrecked souls
They cryin’.
hear it?
knock. knock. knock. knock.


do I go there?
don’t know if I dare
down the halls of that old school.
smells like dust and vomit
no matter how hard you scrub
it ain’t comin’ clean.

just keeps spewing out
the mouths of children
like apples
stuffed full of ugliness.
there was no warning—

They can’t stand the light.
but it don’t stop comin’
Neither the light nor the
poisoned darts
through the glass--
the lookin’ glass.
it’s all i see now.

hear that mama?
skirts are flimsy shelter.
he’s been deaf since birth.
new baby’s cryin’,
hafta figure it out my ownself.
jus’ hide for now--
don’t let no shine through.
stay quiet.
Don’t breath!
cover your head and
black out the sky.
If you can’t see them,
they can’t see you--
or the starlight.

it’s dark under here.
no good air, either.
But jus’ sit awhile and listen
‘till they gone.

Dancing In the Spirit

The drums beat, and the color’s so bright,
you can’t understand the heat of this place
until you’ve slept under canopies of Spanish moss
in trees older than stone.

The gound’s alive—songs all night long—every night.
No pause—never—not even for January.
Ringing out through the limbs of a hundred Cathedrals are
whispers of Wappoo, Wando—the Kiawah.

They’re rattling the bones—chanting for the moon,
calling back to the Africans—“Angola! N’gullah!” and
breaking chains against the cobblestones in time to
a fiddler who sailed from the Barbados to
taste Carolina Gold.

Grains made the white man’s fortune.
Its rattling echoes down sleepy streets
raising the dead to stroll among the living.
There’s a rhythm, a dance of centuries… many souls
woven together like sweet grass—gold, black and brown.

We are still carrying the weight
in shared baskets—blending together,
as we walk through the stream—
pirates, ghosts and courtiers—all
still Dancing in the Spirit.

A New Country

There in naught in me
Nothing more to give.
Nothing to take.
No belief.
The still small voice urges me to go…
to release, detach—move across this groundless
place where Fear and Hope wear the masks of Theater.
They put on such a show; it’s hard to train the eyes away.
So I sit—watching.
Hope whispers promises; Fear screams threats.
But the lines never change.
It is a play with no beginning, no end—no meaning.
No point of reference.
I study in vain for familiar terrain, but there is only black sky
meeting endless desert lit with a million flaming trees—
each one a star-blazing eidolon.
The burning grounds—the heat of loneliness?
Hope and Fear dance—whispering—screaming, as I shoot
across the place of ‘sky in the land.’
I am nowhere, and there is nowhere more beautiful.
Faces in the light—so many have come and gone before.
Angels and Demons, drunk on illusion, dance about the boughs,
unaware of the line between black and white.
From nowhere the break is visible… the horizon between sky and desert.
The two meet perpetually, always in change—this never changes,
and I may alight there, and ignite…
a new tree, aflame in a New Country.


  1. It was raining, so I didn't stay outside long. Grabbed a cup of coffee and found these poems. Warm combination, like sun on a grey winter afternoon.


  2. Sacred Contact is marvelous. The part from "I cried when I called you" through "remember?" just slayed me. I read it over a few times. The ending is melancholy.

    I enjoyed them all! But I have favorites.

    Dancing in the Spirit is another that grabbed me by the eyes and burned my retinas. The beginning, sleeping under canopies of Spanish moss. Wow. The whole poem is stirring.

    A New Country is also riveting. Beginning with naught. Then taking a journey, and ending with the perpetual meeting, the flame, the tree and the new country. Again, wow. Sorry, I should have better words, but these poems really sing, and they are moving pieces. Thank you for sharing.