Outside the Lines

purple smokebush autumn


O bloodied branch, femoral

artery feeding lusty

lies, if self is emptied out

(radical transfusion), might

your stump become a tree of

Life for me? Might skin, peeling,

bare veins which would bleed, not for

egocentric comforts or

satisfaction in single

dose, but multiplied networks,

capillaries of comfort

and compassion? Let leeches

drain decomposition, let

radical revolution

leak Love radically spilled,

in living outside the lines.


virginia creeper evening


She fought it hard, this slow death.

Every photosynthetic

cell that relinquished its green

became the Enemy – each

sag, each ache, each decaying

limb strangled her dreams with dry

rot, made hope a withered thing.


The colour came later, much

later, apologetic

at first, drops of iodine

swirling in a glass. One day

she woke up amber;

one more dying struggle, one

further convulsive release

and scarlet draped her shoulders.


Now one with the world’s sunsets,

her fight is no longer with

the pain that has painted her

so robust a shade. No, she

lives, dying, more alive than

ever before, breathing air

tinged gold, dreaming newer dreams,

intensely saturated

with expectant undertones.

Once, When Looking Up

yellow aspen

I see You there, covering

me – a cathedral ceiling

of finespun gold, aspen-boughs

crowning my way with glory.


I hear You in the whisper,

silent assignations passed

from one trembling yellow throat

to another, gentle sighs.


I feel Your gaze rocking me sweet,

and I breathe, slow and deep, pause

mid-stride to rest in dappled

acceptance, cherished by shade.


You are here. You, Your essence,

Your presence – it sings, sunshine

in shadow, gold filigree

on an altar made of wood.


Splintered, I crack open. Your

notes rustle in my veins, seep

past knots, and I’m rooted here,

utterly, completely me.

Bag It and Tag It

You thought you’d get away with it,

brush your issues under the carpet,

bury the bloody hatchet

under leaves soaked in denial.


baggage has a way

of popping up at unexpected ports,

velcro to warm woollen socks,

 giving away your egress

with a resounding crunch.

That rake in the corner of your garage

hasn’t seen much use;

it has your name written all over it.

Time to wear off your summer snacking

and take a good hard look at

what lies all over your lawn.

Bag it and tag it,

and the snow will find

softer landing.


I see your pain,

the places where jaws masticated,

flesh was torn,

air stung punctures

and cud was savoured.

Offender took his leave

with no idea of how badly

you were trodden upon;

oblivious to damage,

he went on to bigger and better things,

and earned his wings.

I would say that I’m sorry for your hurt,

so very sorry –

because I am.


those holes –

they give me

the only ray of light I’ve had

down here in years.

They give me

precious beverage,

liquid life,

as rain trickles over

your jagged edges.

So don’t waste your energy

seeking Offender long gone;

know that

I am better for your scars,

and know that

I think you’re


Take It Off

Go ahead.

I dare you.

Take it off,

take it all off.

Bare your soul

and strip away pretenses;

let go of Halloween masks

invented to disguise

inadequacies, insecure crevices in

paper-thin skin.

Let them fall,

meteors of rotten flesh,

crisp lying remains of misplaced notions.

Take it all off.

Embrace the Fall!

It is the you disrobed,


exposed to autumn breeze,

that is breathtakingly beautiful.