Afternoon Light

cast two lines,
one shaded dark, one light
upon the carpet where I lie still.
This is winter light in the afternoon of my discontent.
Why cannot I be happy with this small glory; why must I yearn for the
blinding light of summer, when the carpet on which I sleep will scorch
my back with heat and blind my eyes, making me flee the sun in search of
shade, where I will think with fondness of snow and ice?

Moon River


Moon River …

you once held my Huckleberry friend,

the two of us … after the same rainbow’s end

in your timeless rhythm

as I pushed him in his swing,



white and

chipped on the edges,

showing rusty metal underneath

because we were so poor.

My heart was filled with joy

even as he cried from the pain of

being in the cold world. So new.

He would come to me and I would sing:

“Wider than a mile … I’m crossing you in style someday.”

And then when he left, his eyes would search the blurry, dark images

for me … just me.

A miracle.

Sometimes when he came back, he would be smiling, blindly searching.

“Two drifters off to see the world…there’s such a lot of world

to see.”

And when I told him he was my Huckleberry friend and I looked

into the pool of emptiness … his brown eyes,

I could swear he knew me, all of me,

right from the very beginning.

All I Ever Want


I have this image
of Him and me
in a pasture.

It is bordered on one side by a wall of stones,
dug up from the soil by generations of worriers
before me.

Behind us is a narrow dirt road,
protected by Sugar Maples flaming
in their orange clothes.

Some birches are standing close by.
They say things I do not understand
but find pleasant.
And so when they do speak,
I take notice, as if I did know.

The sun reaches inside
me and heals every rawness, all pain.

We sit there,
He and I.
Our arms are about each others shoulders
like two boys
who’ve not yet let the world
fill them with shame.

We gaze across fields
destined to die.
But, for now, they smell
sweet from dewy hay that has been cut and rolled,
waiting for the barn.

Silence is our dialogue.
No thinking,
just being.

Some hawks in the sky seem drunk
from the bounty of this last warm day.
They take daredevil plunges toward earth
and shriek
as they play.

Ghosts who scare themselves once told me
that this love is won only
from suffering
and charity,

But this is a myth;
it is not His way.
All I need to do
is rest
in Him
and He
in me.

This is simply enough
for Him,

and all I ever want.

Before The Light


There are too many times when my eyes open and it’s still dark.

It’s useless to think that I’ll go back to sleep, and it’s no good at all to lay in bed and watch the passing parade of worries that comes marching down the Main Street of my mind. When I do that, the entertainment seems to take on its own life. The parade grows longer, more spectacular, with the noise of marching bands, my thoughts, growing louder. Clowns scurry ahead of the band leader, throwing red balls in the air. There are too many balls to count.

No. The best thing I can do for myself is to get out of bed and take care of my mind and body. I can end the cold of the night with a hot shower, dress and then switch on my laptop. It’s my electronic vault, where I can deposit my thoughts, the stories of who I am and the world around me.

But there are days when it seems too much to bear being home before the rest of the world rises. There’s just too much emptiness in my small house. I leave, escaping to double Ds, where I sit and sip my coffee over a newspaper. Sometimes there are others sitting waiting for the light to come, too–like the woman who gives an animated “Hello” to everyone she meets, staring too long into our eyes. She takes out her cell phone to call a friend about the rashes on her legs. Something is biting her during the night. Raj and the other double D workers snicker, and I am drawn to–but at the same time repelled by–her morbid troubles.

Sometimes, in the winter, it seems as if the time I spend in the dark before the light comes is endless. I don’t think it’s normal for darkness to last so long; it’s probably one of the punishments for eating the apple in Eden.

I much prefer the early light of June, when the morning allows the gentle unfolding of life around me. Somehow, when the sun has chased the night away at 6:30 a.m., a passing gasoline truck rattling my windows does not sound so lonely. Nor do I mind the sun revealing the stains from rain on my windows … or the birds loudly announcing their presence in the trees. Their manic chirping awakens schoolchildren eagerly counting down the days til summer.

When the darkness is especially long, and I have already sought out the comfort of others who cannot sleep, I will sometimes return home and do what I am so reluctant to do — sit still. I take up my position in a special chair near a window that looks out onto the street. I close my eyes and listen to the heated rhythms that only my body can make. My breath … my ins and outs.

But I wonder; why is it so hard to be still? Especially in the dark before the light.

Wet Paper


Wet paper


layered, piece by piece

over a hollow form

and caressed with white paste.

There is new life here.

Soaked strips of The New York Times

give it its identity–“Teenager Kills Bronx Woman”

“Neediest Cases Fund Reaches $1.5 Million.” A

modern Frankenstein emerges … society’s creation.

I look at what is made and smile because I can see myself.

Or my limited understanding of who I am.

There is no fixed self. But I see

what I think is