Was It the Best She Would Do? (Day 2,600: Take 2)

A stanza added
to three quiet ones—
it could become a record
of the commotion caused
by one silent train
rolling in, another one
about to depart.

Ode to Silence








Church Bells of an Agnostic

Church Bells of an Atheist Agnostic

There’s a soaring chime
that can’t be recorded. A murder
of them takes over
the northern sky
as another day crumbles
into itself. Come again 

night. More than six
of them, six beats
to a measure. A rest
is noted but not taken
till each bird has evaporated
into another winter roost.

Rotate 180 Degrees

Silver Lake on the way
to work. Is the Actor Happy
on the way home.
A black charm knocks 

the train off its rails
onto a parallel ride
through some serious winter air.
En route, I 

lose all ability to distinguish
between those two masks.


Deceptively simple, deceptively
broken, some collision
of Southern Gothic
with Stevie Smith’s “not waving 

but drowning”—I know so little. 

All I can do is keep
listening to the music.  That’s what’s left
to do.

Black and White Sky Over Loring Park

A winter’s civil twilight breaks
open a black bird swarm.
That caw commotion over church bells
reveals how little she knows.

December 24 (Day 2,593)

Half page ads peddle faith
in 45-minute segments
by the hour on two campuses.
And a website to worship. A faltered blizzard 

reminds her of her own faith—how
it works better
without a forecast, without
a Twitter account. Not 

a without—a within.

Winter Solstice

A man in the corner
of the corner
bar sings “Moonshiner.”
A beat-up harmonica
gets swiped 

across his mouth
between lines. She’s returning
from the dark side
water to her lips.


She wails when he plays
it. If only those bellows were paper,
she might forgive 

her father this disturbance.
Her mother says
he’s a little off 

key—she should know. But
that’s not it. Her distress 

is buried in the mechanics
of what we inherit.