Better to Give

We walked beside magnificence,
And I was full of glory;
Of how the world itself would change
The day it heard my story –

She listened to me carefully,
And never raised an eyebrow,
But in her wisdom, waited; for
The truth would hit me, somehow —

A twenty-one, I owned the world.
But meant no harm so doing:
It wasn’t what I tried she feared,
But what I was eschewing

So she said finally to me
When she had heard my all:
“It’s better to give a little, than
  To never give at all.”

It’s like she new the future:
Disillusioned as I’d be,
That I would court retreat when things
Did not work out for me.

But here, beside the same small pond,
Her words ring in my head;
They can’t bring back my innocence,
And cannot raise the dead

But I can add to happiness
As long as I’m still living:
It’s better to give whate’er you can,
Than just give up
On giving

before the spell that winter cast

before the spell that winter cast,
i lived with autumn for awhile –
the days were twisted wide and vast

and there, upon a sudden smile
she looked at me, expectantly;
amused at all the raging bile

the news had likely fed to me –
a room in which she would not dwell,
a noise she heard, but would not heed,

although i found it just as well:
the ideas, words she didn’t need,
for all that came so loud had passed

and quiet on the autumn mile,
the few short months that we amassed
of my vain stretch, and her soft style

were all there was to her and me —
a picture snapped, a photocell,
a life, a time, a coterie,

a season down; a day that fell –
the itch you scratch until you bleed,
the open sore you see aghast,

the long regret that spans the screed

before the spell that winter cast



Perhaps there’s no one that you know
Who tells the truth the way they should;
Perhaps the world seems dark indeed,
With little left of what seems good —

But when the wind is blowing, you
Might find a place safe from the storm;
Perhaps it seems like little, but
To have a space you can be warm

Is more than many have, and more
Than you have had on certain days —
Perhaps the world is crazy, but,
It needn’t be – not here – always —

So build what love can build, and know:
No overnight can tame this curse,
Perhaps the world is cold, but we –
We can at least not leave it


i had some semblance, it wasn’t much of one –
just a tiny semblance, often
made fun of by the other semblances

people would confuse me for someone else;
i insisted i had a small semblance, at best

like my last vestige of sanity,
my slightest inkling what you’re talking about, and
my miniscule odds of recovery,
my semblance soldiers on,
wearing its meagreness as a badge of honor

in no small measure

When She Found Out He Lied

When She Found Out He Lied

When she found he lied, it was
A strange and fateful day.
She looked back and could see
It happened many times before —

Exactly why she’d missed it, she
Could not exactly say:
She only knew that this was it.
She wouldn’t stand for more.

The fall-apart was messy, but
It was necessity.
So, freed from all the hastiness
That she’d known in her youth,

She set out on the journey to
The woman she could be;
But with the awesome, fragile thing
She now knew was the truth —

It matters not what you’ve been dreaming of,
For love is only love
That acts
Like love.


Song, then song, goes flashing by
And memories of every kind
Come pouring back like ocean waves
Upon the shoreline of my mind —

I was fifteen and playing ping-pong with
Three of the guys from school, and
We were all laughing.

We were taking our first trip together, and
This song was on the radio as we headed to Gatlinburg.
We held hands the entire way.

This song reminds me of the beach.
We heard it every day that one summer,
The one where your hair got so long.

We’d all go to that buffet place, and
The two of you would be singing in the back seat,
Mangling the words of this song.
But I loved hearing you sing it.

Oh my gosh.
This was the best slow dancing song ever.
Or at least, the best one out when we slow danced.

Wow. I love this song.
People used to sing about changing the world.
And they believed it when they sang it.
I still believe it.

I remember you, lying in the leaves, humming this song
Staring up at the sky and hoping for something
To come and take you away from all of this.
Only I didn’t know, what that longing meant, yet —
But I found out.

The memories that fill the air:
These things you thought no longer there —
The songs picked out from all this din
The right antenna can tune in.

The wonder that’s a human life,
The soul that’s born to run and sing —
The mystery that is ourselves,
The everyday that’s