Birds often search trees
and scractch the dirt for breakfast.
This calling is work.

Poem sometimes rise soft
from the mind written
before ink lays on paper.

Often we hoe and rake words
hoping to sprout a rhyme,
image, from a stone hard page.

Every sound teaches
us how to recarve ourselves
and appreicate everyword.


The Long Lie

When you must say
What you aren’t allowed
But the words remain
A bit of phlegm in your throat
Then what is left but silence.
I love and yet its confession
Is just something that must hang
And sweep along the ground
Gathering dirt but not dust.
Wait, why doesn’t it gather dust?
Dust is an image of disuse
And lies are always in use.
The withholding is a battery
Of nerves and tension. Knowing
Waiting with what can dissolve
By being revealed.


For D

And the plane took off
Her face stuck in a smile.
I looked over her shoulder
As Tibet shrank beneath us.
It was like pulling away from
a beautiful beach as you watch
waves quickly erode it. A void
of blue seemed to pull us upward
as we look back to earth
longing to stay but needing to leave

Leaving China

And in the End it dawns on you
How unimportant you are
To this person. Despite the intimacy,
The kiss, hugs, conversations and jokes
They are walking away one syllable at a time.
You can spurn them with all that is in you
Or hold on as they pull away.

You are happy here in China. The bartender
Know exactly what you drink and how you drink it.
The free stick of BBQ at the street stall. The friends
Whose jokes lift you up and who buy the first round.
The guyd who’d after the 5th will tell you to go home
Or throw you in a cab. The gal who tell you secrets.
You are happy here. The job that is easy but tiring.

Worshippers at the Temple

Oh, America
you temple

whose call
roots in self
between the Romans
and the Aztecs.
Blood runs
in the streets
and yet knives
must remain sharpend.
The blades we carry
will protect us
from the gleam
of other blades.

Oh, America
you temple

of the machines,
Organ grinders,
funeral directors,
and scarpping
from the ground
in dried blood.

Oh America,
you temple

that never
allow silence.
When the news
overwhelms me
I used to
find solace
in a bottles,
clear liquids
brown ones,
until the Atlantic.
A tomb
and a traqulizer.

Oh, America
I don’t want
to return to you

but what is left
for a black man
who see through
the songs. Marching,
fighting, the personal
is political so no one
is a real personal anymore.
We are all politician,
protestors, organ grinders,
typestters, funeral directors,
we ain’t all bloodletters.


Do you remember the slow river
that passed below your feet
and wrapped your words in
gruggles and glups? “Walk”,
you said because the water
is shallow. The river was slow
moving you said. Slow things
aren’t deep, you said. “Walk”,
you said and now as I sink, you run.
You scream for me to come back.

In Hell, I’ll be in good company

Dedicated to the Death South
Hitler, Stalin, Mao and men
who claimed God or the People
led them here reside in cool
flames. Wriggling in fire
or being ground by the teeth 
of the starving.I was a lender 
who charged intrest. So, I wake
having different parts of myself
slowly stolen. One day I will have two 
brown eyes and the next, an empty socket. 
My unbaptised child runs around the first circle
just a head of the cloud of insects that sting him.



A Bad Line


Are a poem.

Each second

is a letter

and every movement

a punctuation.

What will you write

with your days?

No one knows when

their pen will run dry

so write bold what you want

the world to remember

and dare the rain to erase your words.

Dare the clouds to cover them

and the sun to shine

on them until they fade.