Total Acceptance

In such a car wreck as mine
you have no say-so, no line
to draw between what is now
and what will be, no know-how
or power will save you then,
nor have you say how or when;
nothing obeys your dire voice
and you truly have no choice,
but to accept what’s to come
in a state of peace, or numb,
or fearing it all, to fear
and to scream, though none will hear
whom may change what will be next,
what comes at the final text.
This is total acceptance,
this is mortality’s sense.
You cannot simply say “No”
when it is your time to go.

Routine Regrets

Lingering ghost, wraith without a head,
standing beside the four-poster bed,
reminding us of the missteps made
and things left undone, the bitter trade
of thrills for comforts from a routine
to thwart the unknown, the unforeseen
so our lives are secured by the rite
of habit, of caution, day and night.
She stands there, as headless as our lives
while steadfast in scheduled nine-to-fives,
the ritual headless, saying nought,
yet we know she would say that we ought
to have done more when we had the chance,
but each night we lament circumstance,
for she attends us at our bedside—
attends forever, our deathbed bride.


At the pinching snip of Love and Loss,
the intersection, that fateful criss-cross
of scissors cutting like conjoined knives
that separate, at length, two lovers’ lives—
Atropos and her unyielding blade
pressures us together, made and unmade,
the freshly cut edge, and the sharp ache,
that defines and destroys within its wake.

Fate’s Flow

The weirding way of life’s weirs
are watersheds catching you unawares,
and though the Wyrd is the true Word,
the flow, at any begging, is undeterred
while the weaving Sisters Three
dance round and round as Destiny
with a cascading stair’s cadence of song,
neither intending good nor guilty of wrong—
for the waterwheel the Sisters spin
is Rota Fortuna, which overturns all men,
whether jester, peasant or king,
each raised or toppled by that mandala ring;
thankless, hopeless, and blameless
as all gods named or nameless.

Fallen Kingdom


Glinting dragonflies with diaphanous wings
and catfish splashing, spreading lakeside rings;

knobby-kneed fawns wobbling in arboreal shade
and robins above, singing a triumphant aubade;

geese waddling as a troupe— gander, goose and goslings—
and angry little ducks quacking very cross things;

chipmunks flitting in tawny flashes, to and fro, to and fro,
while squirrels bicker and bite, in the trees and down below;

pond congealed with green algae, black muck, and duckweed,
and bullfrogs burping rudely, from shoal to mud to reed;

foxes playing like wildfire in the bulb-bobbing clover
and the light showers of rain as the clouds pass over;

hawks perched on power lines to search for unsuspecting prey
while buzzards circle the remainders from yesterday;

a sun-blanched skull with a broken antler crown
tangled in the cedar-post fence, all tumbledown;

a dilapidated barn with a mournful, gaping mouth
opened toward a thunderstorm rumbling to the South;

the ancient tractor overgrown with vines, its wheels rusted,
the tiller blades dulled and the engine block busted;

broken cobblestones upon the front-yard path,
a lopsided swing and a shattered birdbath;

a farmhouse peeling, its gutters clogged and its siding stained,
spiderwebs splayed across every unbroken window pane;

the weathervane’s cockerel cracked at its lightning-struck comb
and the cupola collapsing inward, like the rest of that home;

and these headstones hidden among the wilderness of wheat
where there pass no children’s laughter or words or pattering feet;

their corpses cuddling together for carrion comfort beneath it all—
husband and wife: childless, finite, fallen, mortal.