Torn mad between

Disbelief and

A final cloud-soft


A Christian hoax

That hides the knife

Stabbing me everyday

Headlines broadcasting seeds

Of human decay

 Oh, sweat mead – me

Drink and forget

That you once believed

That your mom was Jesus

One who performed the

Loaves and fishes miracle

Every night of your youth

 Forget that your devout

Grandmother died blocks away

From the Church she attended


No black-robed middleman

Walked the distance for her


 Forget the sweet-soft theft

Of innocence


That you have to

Walk from this room

Unguarded now

With only darkness

Assured in afterlife

Forget the child who

Wants her pretty

Mom happily warm

Forever after


Forget the idea of reuniting

That was her – uncommonly disheveled

Ashes humorously weighted, heavy –

Your last vision to imagine

Her gray dust – scattered

But not lost

This After Life

I met a woman who said

Hell is right here on earth

 She greets  each morning

In  the bookstore

Name-tag and smile affixed

While  I ponder her life

Her gray head bobbing in

Agreeable kindness

Surely this decency

Makes days for others 

Bearable – not hell

But she is waiting for

An  afterlife;  A life after this…

The crisp stillness of a frost-bitten


The murmuration of the starlings

The fire-red epaulettes of the black birds

The gifts wrought and left

From the arthritic ages of man

The quiet of the graveyard

At sunset a golden light

Hanging  the last leaves of fall

The stone-certainty of epitaphs

This life that hides

The longing to adorn

The walls

Of this hell

With beautiful



Something better

More smile-worthy

Than responsibility

And a pulse