Ashes, ashes, we all fall down
And yet — if we do
Won’t we be carried by the wind
To every corner of the world?
Won’t we descend on fertile soil
And cause new life to awaken?

So what if we fall?
Let us be brought down
That we may drop
The unnatural yoke of gravity
And be transformed, transported

Weightless, wafting through the air
Alive, aglow, and not a care

This poem is Part 3 of The Unholy Triptych


St Sebastian

Where arrows pierced your skin, your legs, your side
I felt the pain
I promised myself never to forget
Because I was there and I was you
Pierced by a million gazes like arrows
My weakness exposed

Some averted their eye — they understood
Others stood and defied me
Their meek and mild words
Inflicting a million wounds

Sticks and stones to my flesh

And when the body could no longer bear
The pain, it released its grip

My spirit rose and burned
With crimson flame
Then orange, yellow, white

They looked away and shielded their eyes
But for what? Why now?
We all burned in effigy
The crust was pulverized
And those who dared to look
Were able to see

In the place of judgment
There was life

This poem is Part 2 of the The Unholy Triptych


Ave verum

When snow had fallen and melted
And the stars had been felled like trees
I embraced the darkness
Of your eyes
As an old friend

Plunging, I swallowed up the deep ravine
And caused the decaying leaves
To upwards spiral
And turn green midflight
With envy

This was my demise, and my redemption
I felt ground give way and peel away
From the soles of my shoes
And I walked on water
And lived

I lived

This poem is Part 1 of The Unholy Triptych


Your face

I’ve known your face a million ways
I’ve watched it all these years
I’ve seen reflected in your gaze
Your longings, hopes, and fears

Cover to cover, I’ve read its every page

Your smile, my friend of olden days
My mentors were your tears
Your gentle touch, your warm embrace,
Have brought you and me here

Act by act, as characters on stage

Now trees shed leaves, the days are gray
Some things may leave while others stay
Earth to earth, dust to dust
We shall sink into Earth’s crust

Breath by breath, together we engage
Each one more humble, each one a sage



A spark is born amidst the dark
A tingle, crackle, burst of light
So vivid, potent, solid, bright
A promise given, hope revealed

From little more than crumbling bark
A warm, inviting, gentle flame
Which longs to grow, to earn a name
Not knowing that its fate is sealed

So swiftly stilled
Its ashes spilled



I like to sit with naught to do
Without a plan, no thing or two
I like to sit
To sit and wait
And do no more than ruminate

The sky ahead—my mirror specs
I turn to that which all reflects
Just like it does
I too must do
And turn over a thing or two


A tree in a forest

A tree in a forest, a fish in the sea
A pea in a pod, a hive-dwelling bee
Surrounded by others, each one just like me,
Searching and yearning for someplace to be

We stand, and we swim, and we sit, and we fly
Never quite still—goodness knows why
Unable to stop, reluctant to cry
Hoping that somehow the living won’t die

Like trees in a forest, like bees in a hive
Each one so hopeful, yet barely alive
Like peas in a pod, like sea-dwelling fish
Keen to be granted our one dying wish

For once to feel loved, for once to feel healed
For once to let go and lower our shield
For once to be cherished, for once to be held
Just once to see God before we are felled


A quiet morning

A quiet morning when all is dark
Implements scattered across the desk
Like random thoughts that cross my mind
Without a purpose, unrefined

Echoing briefly, then—exeunt
To be replaced by what comes next
A futile medley, it would seem,
Akin to slideshows that I dream

Outside the window, the world is still
Inside my head, against my will
Synapses madly push and prod
I cannot seem to rein them in



I long to see the morning break
And fill me with its warm, bright light
The gentle passage of this rite
A mother’s kiss as I awake

From dreamless sleep whose tight embrace
Has left me limp and short of breath
Still pumping air, but wishing death
And hoping then there will be grace

Will morning come and bring me bread
Or will I lie here left



One sliver

One sliver
Of an inch
So close
That you could pinch

Its toothy
Fleshless face
Devoid of
Any grace

Its breath of rot
And sin
That vilely
Beckons in

You thought
That you could win?
You thought
That you would ace?
You thought
That I would flinch?