Another Piece Of History:  The Apple Tree  

Snowstorm After The Snowstorm 

Maple Leaf And Oak Leaf  

Broken Branch Spear 

The Actress 

Through The Wall

The Different Ways To God 

From One Of The Fallen:  Fort Robinson Breakout, 1879  

In The Past 

Without An Apocalypse  

Born Again?  Who?  Him? 

Right To Life 

True To What We Say 


To The Sea


Another Piece Of History: The Apple Tree



Another piece of history

is gone.

The apple tree.


I remember you throwing your shoe

up into the air

to knock apples down

from the highest branches.

And even though they were small apples

and deformed

compared to what we buy in the store,

you loved them

because they came from the tree,

and you were used to eating fruits

the way they came,

without being polished and disguised,

or nurtured by

big money:


into the world,

fighting every step of the way

to being born.

Eating them

was your way

of honoring them,

and giving love

to the wounded tree.

And the sight of you


underneath the tree,

half-child, half-midwife,

playing, dancing,


just being alive,

is one of the memories

I most cherish

in my solitude.


But now the tree is gone.

A fierce wind

took it down, after

coating its weary branches

with heavy ice,

that weighed more than all its years.


I saw it yesterday,

just lying there,

uprooted, its trunk hollowed out

by age and sickness,

perhaps because you were the only one

who ever loved it,

and now you are far away.


And I thought - no

more apples,

to remind me of you.

Another piece of

history is



Back To Top



Snowstorm After The Snowstorm



The snow fell yesterday.

But suddenly,

the snow is falling


Not from the sky,

but from the trees.

The wind’s work.

And I’m all alone

in my private snowstorm

- the snowstorm

after the snowstorm

- yesterday’s snow

which is still falling

on me.


Back To Top



Maple Leaf And Oak Leaf



The maple leaf

and oak leaf

lying side by side.

Down on the sidewalk

like soldiers

shot down.

The maple leaf

and oak leaf.

From different trees.

Side by side

on the ground.

They look like brothers



Back To Top



Broken Branch Spear



I see the branch,

jagged like a spear now,

a part of it broken off

in a violent way

by a storm,


Though it looks

so sharp and threatening,

what hits you most

when you discover it

is its pain,

you can almost hear it

snapping apart, all over again,

crying out in agony,

losing a piece of itself,

alone in the wind.


And the sharp edge

that seems so much like a


is really only

an endless howl of misery,

a stormy night

when no one came,

that will never end…


Back To Top



The Actress



She played Medea.

She played Iphigeneia.

She played Antigone.

She played Lysistrata.

Then she was Cordelia.

Then Lady Macbeth.

Then Miranda.

Then she played Maud Gonne.

On a small stage, but she

made it great.

(Just like a soul that’s desperate

to be born

will come into the world

through a poor mother,

the Maud in her

had to emerge,

even off of a

dark street.)


Every mask

she wore

brought the house down.

Every line was real.

No one called it


"Can you play _____?" someone with money

would always ask,

coming up to her after the show with

the next person for her to be.

With the next theater for her to wear,

like a jewel;

like armor.


And the merry-go-round of lives

spun round and round,

turned by her talent,

and the world’s longing

to cry its tears

in the dark;

sometimes to

crouch behind the shield of a laugh.


Around and around,

the painted ponies and the cheers,

around and around

the masks

and the years.

It went on and on.


It was like hollowing out something

from the inside -

most everything was gone

before anyone noticed.

One day, she woke up with a glass

of vodka in her hands,

and the ice asked her:

"Who are you?"

And she began to fall

into the endless depths of that

unexpected question.



an awful undefined regret

that left nothing else inside her.

A sense of being utterly lost,

like someone discovering herself on a strange street,

at midnight,

with no memory of who she is,

and no identification papers in her pockets.

There was no time to

sort it out.

Not at this stage of life.

She pulled out someone’s business card, and

reached for the phone.

"Hello," she said to a stranger’s answering machine.

"This is ______. I’ll take the part."


Back To Top



Through The Wall


[Thanks to U2 for "One."  It plays a part in this story.]



I knew her.

Through the wall.


For a few intense months,

she was my neighbor,

trying to make a go of it.

And her life came to me.

Through the wall.


I had seen her, of course,

sitting mysteriously in the hallway,

on the ledge by the window that she’d opened,


It was like she was trying to get away

from the spotlights of a prison camp.

Each night she made the same escape,

and each night she was recaptured,

after the cigarette was gone.

We said "Hello."

What else could we do?

We lived on the same floor.

And then, there was nothing more to say.

This is the city,

and you don’t talk to strangers.

Which means that strangers

always remain strangers.


Still, I got to know her well.

Through the wall.


Of course, there wasn’t much to go on.

But just enough.

Those escapes into the hallway

gave me a face,

and an idea.

The beginning of

our story.


And then, one day, I heard the yelling.

An angry man.

Yelling in Russian.

Her replying in Russian.

No word I understood,

yet everything.

Her sobbing,

defenseless and wounded,

too hurt and broken to

crawl out from beneath the injustice.

It did not seem like a blow

had been struck,

it didn’t need to be.

It didn’t need to be.

Whatever he said,

I could tell.

Through the wall.


And then, there was another glimpse:

this time, she was dressed up,

going to work,

it seems she’d finally got a job.

There was a certain pride and joy

in not sitting around,

any more,

I could see it in her smile;

and new hope that the money

would not run out.


But then, I began to see her sitting around, again,

smoking more than ever.

Leaving cigarette butts

beside the hallway window,

that had bars in it

so that children wouldn’t fall out.

But those kind intentions

didn’t keep it

from looking like a prison.

And I didn’t see her leaving to work,

any more.


And then came the song: her final friend.

Her final dream.

The last chapter in our story.

I heard it.

Through the wall.


"One love

One blood

One life

You got to do what you should…"


Over and over again.

Four times, five times,

back to back:

her discretion as a neighbor,

her invisibility overpowered

by her dying,

the volume suddenly turned up.

I knew she was trying to ride

that song to somewhere,

out of the pain,

trying to climb up it,

use it like a ladder

out of the pit.

I knew she was sitting down,

alone, maybe on the bed that had

brought her so much pain,

along with liberation (temporary -

so high, but only temporary);

and I could feel the tears

in her eyes,

and the soul filled with hurt and hope,

on the edge between flying free forever

and breaking into pieces that would never

fly again.


"One love

One blood

One life

You got to do what you should…"


It felt like she was calling out to me.

Through the wall.

But, of course, she wasn’t.

She was calling out to God.

And I couldn’t help but wonder

if He would answer.


And I couldn’t help but

become a satellite of her drama.

Through the wall.

Like a soap opera addict,

who must tune in every day

to see what happens next,

I would stop whatever I was doing

whenever she decided

to come to me through the wall.

Would she make it?

Would her heart’s longing outrun

the dark shadow?

The man?

The rent?

Would it survive the dream’s interview

with reality?

Would the sad sitting around and smoking

finally have a happy ending?


Sometimes, I thought so.


"One life

With each other…

We get to

Carry each other

Carry each other…"


Other times, it didn’t look good.


"You ask me to enter

But then you make me crawl…"


No, not good at all.


"And I can’t be holding on

To what you got

When all you got is hurt…"


Sometimes, I felt like knocking on

her door.

But her life was too much for me

to handle.

I could tell.

I couldn’t even handle mine.

And so I just kept listening.

To the song.

Through the wall.

The song with pain

and hope.


and freedom.

Hoping she would

catch the part of the song that rose up,

out of its own grief,

above the grief.


One day, leaving the building for a moment,

I saw two suitcases standing outside her open door,

waiting for someone.

There was no person with them

to give away their meaning.

But after that,

the song ceased.

I listened for it -

my steady companion for over a month -

but heard only silence.

Weeks passed,

and the idea of a vacation

began to lose force.

More silence.

And then, one day,


voices speaking in Chinese.

Through the wall.


And I just sat there, numb,

wishing I had flowers

to lay beside the wall.


The song hadn’t been enough.


The cigarettes had known,

all along.

For months,

she’d been smoking

her last cigarette.

And now, at last, she’d had

to go.


She couldn’t pay the rent.

I knew it.

And love hadn’t been there

to soften the blow.

Instead it had carried her up

on its wings,

then let her fall.

She had thought she was a child

in an angel’s protecting arms,

then discovered she was only like an oyster,

lifted up by a seagull

so that he can drop it

to break it open.


And I could tell, her soul left my building

with a black eye.

And her heart left in pieces:

like fragments of a treasured keepsake

carried away in a paper bag,

just in case somehow,


someone might be found

who could put them back together.


And that’s when my wall stopped

playing: like an instrument

that was broken.

Like a violin without strings,

or a piano

with nothing inside it.

The life that had made my wall


for so long,

was gone.

No more song.

No more tormented heroine.

No more possibility of a happy ending.

I could tell.

Through the wall.


And I wonder about her, now.

And about the wall

that is trying to hide her life.

And about the wall that keeps

us all apart.

Back To Top



The Different Ways To God



The eagle reaches God

by flying through the air.

The fish reaches God

by swimming through the water.

The horse reaches God

by running across the land.

The earthworm reaches God

by crawling through the mud.


When you tell someone

to take your way to God,

you end up losing your own way.

A friendly whisper of advice

is not the same as a


If you think that you have

gold in your hands, share it

with all the travelers

that you see,

but don’t kill anyone

who does not accept it.

Maybe they have an

emerald or a sapphire,

or a ruby

or a diamond. Maybe they are, themselves, gold

- walking gold.


You don’t reach God

by using him

to divide the world.

God loves life

more than roads,

and for him,

blood drops

ruin everything.


Forget about Heaven,

forget about Paradise,

forget about the angels with harps,

forget about the dark-eyed houri

bringing all the love that the world is missing:

they’re not for you

who try to drag

corpses through the holy gates.

God doesn’t let

killers into his house.


Everywhere he has given you signs.

Weeping mothers

and the eyes of orphans.

Signs that melt your

cross, your star,

your crescent moon.


When you truly look at a

human being,

you see something greater

than a church, a mosque, a temple:

you see

the reason that they

were erected.

No prayer can

purify a

violation of that sanctity.


As for the holy books, they are

filled with gems that sparkle

from amidst the rocks.

Everything is in them,

but not everything in them is equal.

God thought you could tell

what sparkled.

He didn’t think words could

hide the heart that

lives there.

He never thought you would

tear the gems out of the rocks,

then leave the gems behind

to take the rocks, instead.

What happened at Jericho happened

on the way to God;

the people had not yet reached Him.

The trumpets were holy,

but not what happened

after the walls fell down.

Spare the people.

Go to the gem of Isaiah, saying:

"And they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks:

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

neither shall they learn war

any more."


The eagle reaches God

by flying through the air.

The fish reaches God

by swimming through the water.

The horse reaches God

by running across the land.

The earthworm reaches God

by crawling through the mud.


What happened on the day that

the eagle asked the fish to fly,

and the fish asked the eagle

to swim?

What happened on the day that

the horse asked the worm to run,

and the worm asked the horse to

dig his way through the earth?

That’s when death

rained down upon the earth.

That’s when the fire of a great gift

fell like a burning roof

upon the head of the world’s



The eagle reaches God

by flying through the air.

The fish reaches God

by swimming through the water.

The horse reaches God

by running across the land.

The earthworm reaches God

by crawling through the mud.


Each finds God in his way;

and God is more important

than the way to Him.



Let your brothers live!

Love them for who

they are,

do not say,
"I will not love you unless…"


Are not some

statues beautiful

even without their arms

and heads?

If you would be perfect,

accept the imperfection

of others.

Let them take their own road.

You take yours.


The eagle reaches God

by flying through the air.

The fish reaches God

by swimming through the water.

The horse reaches God

by running across the land.

The earthworm reaches God

by crawling through the mud.


Understanding this

is the way to

peace and holiness.



If you listen to nothing else

I have said,

in this long, long life

of hurling my heart into the wind,

listen to this!


Back To Top



From One Of The Fallen: Fort Robinson Breakout, 1879



He told me this in a dream:


I couldn’t get the horses.


I ran and ran,

but they came too fast,

on their own horses.


Over there, on the ranch,

they were waiting for us,

the wings we needed to fly away.


If I could only

make it through the cold,

hard and piercing my lungs,

before they got to me.

The ones who had their own horses.


And I could hear my heart beating all the way

like thunder in my chest,

and that feeling of sickness

that you push through

crept into the pit of my stomach,

and suddenly I was all alone

in the night,

with the vapor from my breath;

and the sound of my running footsteps

became as bright as the moon,

in my mind.


I was all alone.


Behind me, I heard the shots,

and the cries,

and thought,

if I don’t reach the horses, soon,

I’ll really be alone.

There’ll be no people left

to ride away on them.

No one left to see the

miracle of the

beautiful ponies

appearing suddenly like

a vision

out of the


Brown and black

and streaked and spotted,

like earth and snow

running free.

Stolen from the corral,

and given back to the plains,


and carrying us on the backs of their escape.

Two spirits that are the same,

theirs and ours,

never meant to be

behind a fence.


And I thought:

If I don’t get to the horses soon,

a whole world will end.

The children will not be born

and the ghosts, who need the

living to walk, will be forever lost,

searching for a memory to feed them.

Who will tell the stories

that keep the campfires



And I was all alone.

The women were yelling, still,

from somewhere far behind me,

and the men were shouting out like

wounded bears.

While gunshots spoke,

much too loudly in the night,

like a couple thoughtlessly arguing,

saying things which everybody overhears.


The cold night air

carried it all to me,

like a messenger,

saying, "Hurry! Hurry! Before it’s too late!"


And I ran, bursting from my desperation.


On and on.


Until finally I heard

the hoof beats - not of the

horses I was running to,

but of the horses

that the soldiers were riding on

to bring me down.

The horses too used to saddles,

turned against their own hearts.


A terrible fear

came into me then -

a fear that I would let my people down - and

then, an unfathomable sorrow - a



That’s when a bullet hit me in the back,

as though I were a coward

abandoning my people.

If only I could have told the soldiers, then,

that I was not running from them,

but towards the horses that could save

my people.

That my running away

was really a way of fighting,

just like a charge

straight at them.


I wanted my death

to look right into their face,

and laugh at them.


But I didn’t have the strength.

I just stayed there on the ground.


And then I thought of my people,

and the beautiful horse herd

I had tried to reach for them,

laying just beyond me in the night.

I failed, and the people had to turn away from

the life-giving hope of the ranch:

the pursuit was too fast.

From then on, it would be them,

on foot,

against the soldiers, on horseback.

Right in the middle

of the winter.


And I thought, again, of the beautiful horse herd.

It was like a star

in the night sky,

its light was the

most beautiful dream I ever had,

though it never stood a chance.

Tears were still coming out of my eyes

when I heard them say

"He’s dead",

and ride away.


That night,

shots continued to sound,

like a storm sometimes close,

sometimes far away.

Even though I was dead

I crawled a few feet more,

just to show them

I was a Cheyenne.

And then I stopped forever.


"Please, save my people," was my last prayer.

Then the tears froze on my face

and I was just like a rock

that had always been there

and would always be,

though now,

I only move in dreams.



Dreamer -

part of what you have seen is true,

and part of it you got wrong.

But the heart is there,

and that is what matters.

You are a house

that the ghosts can live in.


You are the end of winter,

because you can still hear

those who

died, trying

to reach the



Brothers - get the horses!

His voice comes from me!

It is not too late, even now!

Yesterday, I thought it was,

but today I see that it is not.


Back To Top



In The Past



In the past,

he would have saved your


He would have led the


He would have

brought the most food

to your people.

He would have left

a legend everywhere

he went.

He would have been

the most loved.


In the past.


Now he is sitting in

a jail,

because you turned

the world upside down.


Now the hero

is the one who

lies, or cheats, or

doesn’t care,

or lets himself be used

to spread darkness.


Now the

warrior is the one who

sends others to die

for him,

or says Yes to a fool.


Now the one who brings

the food

is the one who walks over

others to get it,

or lets others walk

over him.

And he doesn’t share

it with the hungry,

he takes it right out of the

poor man’s mouth.


How could you expect

him to be a great man

in this world you’ve made?


In the past…


But it is not the past.


It’s now.

The upside-down world.


Where ugly is beautiful

and beautiful is ugly.


In the darkness, his

great heart and soul

lost their way -

going where

they always go,

they found it had


and suddenly,

they were caught in an ambush

called the law.


Trying to be great again.

Trying to save the people

who were in his heart,

but who he could not find.


You left the door open for cowards,

and turned the door for heroes

into a prison gate.


Not everyone will

understand this poem.


But this poem is

not for them.


It is for who he was -


in the past -


not now.


Back To Top 



Without An Apocalypse



Please, Universe,

help the world

to be made over

without an apocalypse.


Please let love come first.

Please let love erase the need

to erase the world.

Please let the human heart


even in the darkness,

so that there will be no need of

floods, earthquakes,

fire falling from the sky,

plagues or beasts.


Please put a new beginning

in our minds

so that we will not need

an end.


Please purify us

with life’s possibilities,

not death’s torrents.


Please let the beautiful things of the earth

win over the ugly things,

until everything is beautiful,

and the lightning can find

nothing to strike.


Please let the world be rebuilt

by changing what is inside

what is already here,

not by wiping the slate clean.


Please let us crawl

out of the old snakeskin

of who we were:

let us shed it,

not die in it.


Please keep the Horsemen

off the earth,

let the children grow up

dancing in

sunny fields.


Please, Universe,

help the world

to be made over

without an apocalypse.


Let the whole human race

float above

the madness,

let the Rapture carry us all

to the new world,

not just a few.

Please spare my enemies,

so that they may become my friends.

Please spare the sinners,

so that they may

find their way.

Please let us struggle

to perfect the imperfect,

don’t give us

the fresh start

of destruction.


Please give us a chance

to find our way through the maze,

don’t save us from

the complexity,

by blowing down the walls.


There are beautiful souls

down here,

please don’t fire into the crowd

just to "get your man."


Please, Universe,

help the world

to be made over

without an apocalypse.


Back To Top 



Born Again? Who? Him?



He was born again?

Yeah, right!


What kind of birth was that?

The sad lizard

became a happy lizard,

that’s all.

There was no wisdom,

no peace,

no humility,

no sacredness,

only greater joy

in his teeth

and tail.

That "Hallelujah"

was just a great big


More confidence

as he slithers on the ground,

because now he thinks

it’s what God wants

of him.

And his appetite

has become

a holy war.


Born again?

Yeah, right!


How many people has

his birth consumed?

How many more

will it prevent

from being born?

He sure takes up

a lot of space.

His birth forces a lot

of people

over the edge,

into the night.


Born again?

Yeah, right!


Back To Top  



Right To Life



[Note: In my mind, abortion is a complex issue - that is to say, deep emotional dimensions are involved that transcend the basic legal conflict that is taking place in our country. I have known people who support abortions, and have had abortions, and, among these, people who, on a personal level, regret having had abortions, and people who do not regret having had abortions; just as I have known people who are very much against anyone having abortions - and I have found basically good people on "both sides" of the fence. Different perceptions have produced different attitudes. This is not a poem about abortion. What it is, is a poem about consistency. I see, on January 22, 2003, as President Bush prepares to launch a war against Iraq that most of the world is against, that he has spoken out against abortion, saying that Americans "must protect the lives of innocent children waiting to be born." Although I know that many anti-abortionists must also be against the impending war, the paradox of some ardent "right-to-lifers" being in support of a violent war that most observers feel can and should be avoided, has provided the basic motivation for this poem. - JRS, Jan. 22, 2003.]



Your sign says

Right To Life.


I’m in another crowd

but, still, I don’t dismiss

you cheaply.


But I do have some questions.


Your sign says

Right To Life.


I wonder:


Will you help her to take care

of her baby

once she listens to you,

and steps back from the "place of death"?

Will you give her your hand

when what should be the greatest joy

becomes the heaviest weight,

and she starts the race

from last place,

always behind,

always trying to catch up

for the rest of her life?

A girl

broken by a card of beauty


too early in the game?


And I ask you again:


When the roof is falling down on her head,

will you be there to pull her out from the disaster?


When the flood is sweeping her away,

will you be there to pick her out from the waters?


Will you adopt the child

you save,

if it comes to that,

or just leave him to grow up

in a world that doesn’t care,

not because of her,

but because of everything that

led to her,

which flies the flag?

The dark crevasses


the failures of the American Dream

are hidden away

in the blackness of blame.

Down with the forgotten histories

of chains,

and vampires that stole the blood

of races and generations,

and Bible-toting monsters

with belts in their hands,

who sent their children

running into the night

where desire seems to be love,

and needs kill;

where the drug of a

hotel and a bed,

or a car seat,

promises to conquer the pain

of two-faced families?

Of two-faced nations?


And if you do adopt the child -

will you let it grow free, or

do you only plan to whip it until

it becomes another you?

Do you want it for who it could be,

or only to prove yourself

to God?

Or your neighbor?


Your sign says

Right To Life.


I respect that sign.

But still, I must ask:


Why so much energy

to save the unborn child,

when children who are already born

are dying all around you?

Everyday, they are being

aborted by poverty.

Every day, they are being

aborted by racism.

Every day, they are being

aborted by bombs.

Doesn’t that count as a

"late term abortion"?


From the womb of the universe,

precious life is being ripped,

all the time.

Even as I write these words,

planes are being loaded with bombs,

being made ready to

abort a generation.

The clinic

in which the operation will take place

is called Iraq, and

the doctors who will perform the operation

are called soldiers.

Where are your hymns, now, and your Bibles?

Where are your picket lines?

I see only flags,

hoisted above the death to be.


And that is not all.

What of the dark, loving wombs

of other lands,

filled with millions who want to live?

There, poverty is performing

thousands of abortions every day,

removing adults who are still the fetus

of what every human being longs to be, and


too young to understand,

who are like insects without a chance,

about to be sprayed or smashed,

crying their whole short lives

in the arms

of mothers who seem so stoic,

though their hearts are breaking,

vanished into the bottomless depths of their wise,

sad eyes

that know there is nothing they can do,

that love can’t save,

only say good-bye.


You say the unborn child is alive,

though it is hidden in the belly of

the mother.

And you try to make the mothers

see that.


I say to you,

the poor peoples of the earth are alive,

though they are hidden in the belly of

other lands (sometimes,

just around the block).

And I want to make you see that.


And I say to you,

the people of the earth who

you have built your bombs to kill,

they, too, are alive,

though they are hidden in the belly

of your ignorance,

hidden by the distance

of their homes

from the planes that

only see targets,

never a face,

or the love someone feels

for that face.


Your sign says

Right To Life.


I respect that sign.


I only wonder

why you march until your feet are bleeding

for those not born,

but look the other way

when it comes to those

who are already here.

Is it sex?

Is that the problem?

Do you have something

against sex?

Is this your way of telling people

to take a cold shower,

and come more completely

into the gray world?


Or is it that the unborn

are like unshaped clay,

with the promise of being molded

into your image?

While those already born

have begun to take the shape

of something different,

something you might not

be able to control?

Are you, perhaps,

like the frightened parent

who, having no knowledge of what is safe

and dangerous,

rushes to kill every innocent spider

as though it were a black widow,

even though it is only trying

to survive in a little corner

of your house?


Brothers! Sisters!

What has happened to your


How is it that

you want to take over other people’s bodies,

and control their lives,

when you do not even

control your own - when you cannot even stop

yourself from killing, from hating, and forgetting?

From needing things that destroy others,

and from lashing out

at anyone who leaves the

"Sir" off of "Yes."


Brothers! Sisters!


Your sign says

Right To Life.


I respect that sign.


But I am wondering

why you don’t carry it everywhere,

why you only hold it up

outside of some doors,

and not others?


Brothers! Sisters!


Your sign says

Right To Life.


I respect that sign.


Now, I am waiting for you

to respect it, too.


Back To Top  



True To What We Say



If we all

would only be true

to what we say

is in our hearts.

Wouldn’t that solve everything?

For you

and me?


In the beginning,

don’t we all say we want

the same thing?

Don’t we all start with a few

beautiful words,

like Love, Peace, Justice, Hope,

and don’t we all stand there together,

in one pure country,

before those sacred words

begin to unravel

into angry specifics

that cannot live together -

into different flags,

and weapons pointing at each other’s hearts?


Is it too late to go back?

To the holy place,

before the waters divided

into many dark rivers

that say they never met?


Is it too late

to find the moment

when we would have died for each other,

instead of killed each other?


If we would all

only be true

to what we say

is in our hearts,

there would be no need

to tear up the earth,

to knock down the joy of mothers

with a wrecking ball.

We could sit down

and talk -

and share a tea,

without worrying

about a drop of poison.


I would listen to you,

and you would listen to me.

And if I said,

I don’t agree,

you would not

think it was because I was not


You would listen to

my No, and I would

listen to yours,

and we would both

give it time.

Why rush?

Like the sun, we

would set,

and return the next day,

shining with the light of

new thoughts.


we would find a way - if we

were true

to what we say

is in our hearts.


And what we wanted

would cease to be what we could

only have

by making the other cry

or bleed.

And we would only covet

what brought life

to us both.


If we were

only true

to what we say

is in our hearts.


Back To Top  





If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

It I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?
If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


What is your gold?

What are your eyes?

What is your throne?

What are your lies?


If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

It I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?
If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


I don’t have to be

what you want me to be.

I can just be.



Take off your shoes.

Every life is holy ground.

Every soul’s a burning bush.


And I don’t have to get up.

And I don’t have to sit down.

And I don’t have to fly

or stay on the ground.


If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

It I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?
If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


Life is you and me,

not me trying to be you.

Two YOUs isn’t life,

you need ME, too.

Love me, and you’ll see.

Hate me,

Laugh at me,

Use me,

and lose your power.

Because I’ll see

right through my kneeling.

Go on, judge me:

you’ll just open the shade

to the window

of the house of my

foolishness, and let me look in.

And then, I’ll laugh, too.

At the clown

you almost made me be.

Before I was free.


If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

It I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?
If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


Like a soul

floating out of a body,

that finally wakes up;

that finally finds fear

is all smoke

and no fire;

that jumping through hoops

isn’t real.


That crowns are

just pieces of junk,

and that mountains are only

invisible specks in the


And that everything

is all right…


That I am

all right.


Let this knowledge open

like a bud, tonight.


Right now.


In life.


If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

It I was killed,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.


If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?
If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

If I was dead,

wouldn’t it all seem foolish?

Let it seem foolish today.

Back To Top



To The Sea



You’ve been walking

a long time,

over the harsh land

towards the thought of the sea.

You’ve wanted it for

so long.

The pure white beach

by the waves,

that clean, fresh air,

and the cry of birds

who know the sky so well,

that they barely need wings:

they’re on their way

to becoming clouds.


All the long way,

feet hurting,

endless dry landscapes passing,

dying trees,

withered grass,

a few gnarled plants,

the kind that know how to grow up

in a wound;

the kind that one day of not

being tortured

gives the strength

to last another



Hard ground,

burned by the sun,

not the sun of life,

but the sun of

desire that’s

gone wrong,

like a rape.

Charring what it wants

but doesn’t love.


Every step,

like being whipped.


The daydream of pain,

a kind of endless sleepwalking

through the barrenness.


But the thought of the sea…


The thought of the sea…


And suddenly you

think you can begin to hear the waves.

And that fresh strong smell

comes to you,

the smell of the sea,

a dream?,

a reality?,

more heat -

no, there it is again!


And then the waves

begin to grow more vivid,

the whisper too clear

(though still not near),

to be an illusion,

the sound washing

miles of painful walking

from your brain;

and then, the distinct


the piercing welcome

of the birds.


It’s hard to believe.


The sea…


After such a long walk…


Tears begin to

come to your eyes.


The sea…


Not far away now.


You weren’t dreaming…


It’s still there,

after all this time

of living away

from it.


It hasn’t forgotten

to be itself,

and it hasn’t stopped



All this time,

it never gave up

on you.


It never

went home,

saying He won’t show.


Each empty day,

it kept on

rolling onto the beach,

just in case

that was the day

you finally

made it.


No, it never

gave up on you.


The sea…


The sea…


Look how far

your thought of the sea

has carried you…


To the sea…


Back To Top  



Poetry & Lyrics Contents


Creative Safehouse Contents




Site Contents