Hands (Inspired by “Hairs” by Sandra Cisneros)

Everybody in my family has different hands.
Ayden’s hands are short and agile for a two year old.
They love to turn the pages of books, fit puzzle pieces
together, and play games on touch screens.
Ellie’s hands are small and slow.
She reaches up to be held and rubs her sleepy eyes
with her chubby little fist.
Her hands love to clap and explore textures.
My hands are coarse, hard and practiced,
dexterous as a monkey climbing a tree.

But my wife’s hands,
my wife’s hands are soft and thin
and fair like a porcelain doll,
smooth as a polished vase but warm
as a mountain meadow in springtime and
every bit as fragrant,
and gentle,
gentle as a silken petal brushing my cheek,
and when she touches me
her hands are the doll,
the vase,
the meadow in Spring,
the pedal on my cheek—
and everything.

Love and Hatred

Which is more powerful, 
or hatred?

Hatred of a race,
a circumstance,
a condition,
has rallied millions under its banners 
to fight
and kill
in ways we are ashamed 
to think or talk about. 
It has formed nations, 
raised armies, 
showered wealth on victors,
heaped sorrows on the unfortunate,
hollowed untold graves for both,
and filled them
with thier sons and daughters.

But love
of money,
of power, 
of land, 
of resources, 
of God(s)
has rallied,
and buried 
just as many.

Perhaps love and hatred 
are equally matched
because they are extremes 
of the exact same emotion.


Should I write because I can
or only when I have something to say?
Do I write to build the facade of a writer
or because I need to express my thoughts
and feel I do that best in written form?
If the latter, why doesn’t my journal suffice?
Do I need my words to be read
and appreciated by strangers?
But writing is an act of faith
in the permanence of
the words being written,
and inherent in that faith is a trust
that someone will (eventually) read
and enjoy what’s recorded.
Is art a selfish process then,
used to inflate the ego of the creator,
or is it all presumption,
undertaken by those who
think they have valuable insights
that no one else has had?
Why do I even ask these questions?
Writing makes me happy, so I write—
but even that is rather utilitarian of me to say.


We set my phone’s alarm ahead
then said our prayers and went to bed.
The beeping woke me from my sleep
when the event was at its peak.
I thought that dreaming changed your mind,
but if it had you were too kind
to tell me so, and so we crept
past the room where Ayden slept,
unlocked the door with with quiet hands,
and gazed up at the bloodred sands
a quarter of a million miles away:
the wolf-god Hati’s ancient prey.

From the starry depths of Mimir’s sky,
in the cloud of myth it hides behind,
God’s single, crimson-shrouded eye
rolled over the world, cold and blind.


When I lay here with you 
like this
I feel as if we’re boulders
touching in a mountain stream,
and time rushes onward 
all around us,
fast with a Spingtime thaw
or slow with slushy frost—
now choked with leaves 
and broken sticks
now thundering by 
in seething foam.
The seasons blur before us
and wash the world
around us,
but here we are
like boulders:
and timeless.


I love falling asleep with the windows open
when it’s warm outside and the breeze
is playing with the leaves.
It stirs the grass, the blinds,
the chimes we bought in Nassau,
and my mind. It carries a scent as it sighs
through the trees and into my room—
a green scent that never sleeps,
but tumbles, ageless, from one tree to another,
from one town to another, from one end of the earth
to the other. It cannot be seen,
and so engages only my other senses:
smell and sound and something
deeper, something primeval,
like the force that drives migrations.
It calls me like the ocean calls a mariner.
I lay in bed and wonder where the breeze began,
where it goes, and what it does in between.
But then I remember;
I already know what it does in between.
It stirs the leaves, the grass, the chimes—
imbues them with its scent and is, in turn, imbued.
It stirs me as I lay in bed,
and, slowly, I drift away with it.

This discount computer

almost stolen for the price,

was purchased on Black Friday.

It only came in Walmart blue,

and the keyboard didn’t work at first.

It trudges along with too-little RAM

and only runs my word processor and internet,

but that’s really all I’ve used it for.

On it’s (replaced) keyboard I have typed

a million discount characters

in poetry and school reports

and earned an associate’s in writing

that’s worth less than my slow computer

to everyone but me.