the music of my uncle

through the speakers, a
mentor sings truths, and despite
the news, a fragile peace.


So Glad You Came

All music and merry,
your hands on the strings,
trading places and voices
and other fine things,
the cocktails passed,
don’t care whose is whose
’cause you’re all full of whiskey
and no one’s got shoes,

two gypsies wear top hats,
black leather and white,
while another keeps leaving
to check on the night,
one is a songbird,
her voice travels high,
and the player, he plays
with a smile in his eyes,

and the first flash of lightning
cracks open the sky
as the poets all gather,
some dead, some alive,
and tonight, the rain answers,
coerced out by Dylan
and Cohen and Jerry
and Ella and Gillian,

they stay in your pocket,
nights such as these
when something new happens
despite all you’ve seen,
and that is the magic
of friends round a flame,
where the truth tellers linger
and you’re so glad you came.

Rabbit Hole

Down from the tawny

mountain, ambling,

as a January afternoon

unrolls toward the black

bricked fireplace where you

will stack logs extracted

from fresh-cut summer

piles, and perhaps discover

the difference between

how a man makes a fire

and how a woman

makes one.  Burgundy

velvet detour, couch

pillows haphazard,

swallow you into the

ceiling patched one

hundred times.  Books

stacked, encyclopedias,

brown and gold backdrop,

a grandfather’s collection

and the new amp tag

hangs over a rainbow

of pastel pedals – reverb,

wah-wah, compression,

orderly perfection

of sweet disarray

to the boot stomp

and the dust cloud

rising, a puff for every

beat.  Mad music upsurge

from the red rug island,

a drummer’s first touch,

punk rock, homemade,

notes inlay in oil paints

on the sequined walls

of this Saturday rabbit

hole, magic, and glad

to follow Alice, one

more song before

we ramble on home.

Trail of Yes

We are blue trail
treading on berries
of juniper, fractured

branch, bleeding sap,
anointed air. We are red
bud cactus flower explosion

between stinging needles,
and golden lichen on
the gnarled stump. We are rattle

of raven behind white clouds
and whiter still, we are sun-bleached
deer bone signature

of the lion’s night prowl
that makes hairs stand
on their ends. We are footprint

echoes on wet, black earth,
wind from beneath the precipice
and a changing sky before

the rain. And we are
porch swing, screen door open
chord guitar music,

first star strumming
half moon rise, and we are yes,
and yes, we sing,

for the many bright and broken
colors, yes, we sing,
there is living to be done.

Dublin Sunrise

It does not matter that you
had not met before,
you know each other now,
and like the River Liffey
that flows blue
into the Irish Sea,
so have you come together
from your many
scattered sources
to this wild night, dark
and damp beneath
the waning crescent
of a disappearing moon,
and you would stay,
yes you would stay
with these fine
familiar souls
as song and lilting story
dance you round
the fire’s bones
until the Dublin sunrise.

And So It Begins Again

The sun – at last, the sun.

Moving our bodies,
and the morning light streams in.

Everything is new
again – me and the green grass,
succulent with life.

A band plays
on the first long night of summer
and inside my chest, also
there is music.

In the hot spring, we
find an answer for every
a question for every

I’m not sure what it
is about rivers – perhaps
it’s the sound,
it is that
there is nothing
to hold on to.