In mind.

catalpa, heart-shaped and boney
your daddy died years ago,
in redress of his mind, where I leave
my fingers on the stone,
and I’ll never see him, he is just a rock
he is just a worm;
you’ve been in my mind
but never knew me,
I tire; death
is half the stradivarius of the birds
and their strings of gut
than it is mystifying or
to limb
by limb
and the shadow of their men.
The root of rock
tree limbs near
Anchinia cristalis
their moth wings
in arias
and woodland
mincing and misplanted
in raw-boned eulogy after eulogy
and I’ve never known him
this man of earth, of war
and weedy cypress, lizards
and their fluted skins
married to the wind;
phantom epistles
from Vietnam
fed by labored tumuli,
plummeted fingers into the ground
fall and drown, fall and drown.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Posted for the dVerse MTB prompt: Write a Protest Poem with a theme (e.g. voting, social justice, peace & war, violence, women’s rights, human rights, environment, pandemic, etc).

This is not quite a protest poem, but I think it communicates the same idea about what war takes away from us, including our loved ones who either passed in war or lived through their traumas until the end of their life.

Originally published on Ephemeral Elegies. I dedicated this to my Grandfather who fought in the Vietnam War, passing away years later in my early childhood.

“When I Die” by Nick Pipitone.

When I die, I want to go softly
free from the miseries
of my body breaking down
organs sickened, cutting off life
as I suffocate, drift away

When I die, I want to wake
in a safer world
away from earth’s torments
& adverse emotions
gurus say we must bear

When I die, I want to see Jesus’ face
wash his feet, though he’d wash mine
because he did it for the apostles

When I die, I have questions for God
like, “Why is life so complex?”
like He gave us a riddle
with no answer

When I die, I want to see my father
tell him I’m sorry
do whatever souls do in the hereafter
watch a ballgame in
a heavenly living room

When I die, who knows?
maybe none of this will happen
or all of it
or I’ll be reborn
as a butterfly, flap golden wings
when I die.

To check out more of Nick Pipitone’s work, go here.

to grief.

bare-bones / wed to abandoning in-utero
fingers; the apple bursts
like an appendix / and the sea
breast to breast / is a mistress
to the Kalahari sun
/ mouthing /
to my moon
“death goes to the worms” / alien touch / my love has gone /
threnody and dream,

as if the Earth is glass /
stranded / to the ghosts /
of ourselves / this is the body
of sand / my love
is soon gone to / plasma
/ in the lights / 

threnody and dying
the sea is an insomniac
maniac / to the glassy
violets / and stargazer flowers
spawning on an inch of Autumn 

death; stroke the worms’ gut
death feeds them well when we’re
eventually gone /

I tire to grief / alien touch / I withdraw from / the moon’s fingertips /
for my love has gone.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Written for the August Prompt #2 for Free Verse Revolution.

Reposted for the dVerse open link night.

Ocean to Ocean.

“Ophelia” painting by John Everett Millais.

Ophelia flowers


to the excessive 


by the fingernails of psithurism,

and trees that inherit the blood red;


ankles sink into the ocean

stars come to the end

of light—the angry light

that feasts 

beyond the last bone

from the tree,


and dark waves

beyond the terminus of the skies

familiar in graveyard shifts

tiptoe of the moon

made for midnight dances

in the galaxy’s sleep.


My solidity is diffusing

ocean to ocean

with the red dust of Mars,

to pathos and requiem


as death parts a river

of my reverie. 

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

First appeared in Free Verse Revolution.

Reposted for dVerse’s open link night.