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.

Grandfather. (Prose)

Sometimes I wonder who you were, what kind of person you were. You were my father’s father. You are dust now. You are in the death of an ocean well. 

This glow like an oil lamp through my window as I write on the anointed page, I thought of you tonight; a star-still night that moves enraged shores on a pioneer of darkness. You were in a dark time. Slept through the metal, the blood, and the strange perverseness of a dream. Maybe night terrors. It was most likely PTSD from a war that did nothing but ruin good men. A shelter of fusion, white as bone, and red as arteries that accompany you in the whispers of the snow, poetic in the bruised blossoms masked in silence; and a dream of life. 

Your voice is like death. Your skin is death. Your hair is death. To be part of the blue you are now, we don’t even know how you went. You were very sick, my mother had told me. Eyes a tulip shade, stillness that could be mistaken by the dead birds—a mirage of an unfolding past. You make me think of a tree and life. How strange. You’ve been abandoned in fragments in memory—it’s like sand. You kick them in the waves, and they thrash around in the waters until they are forgotten into the beauty—the beauty of the ocean. You’re a droplet off the planet, abraded by torment and tragedy all throughout your life. Gone. Then lost. Fragile in the small breath of the world, a temporal feeling of sorrow bubbles behind my face, rived like a rock. 

In a hungry expanse of the dry and winter of the season, I remember when my father told me I spoke to you on the phone once. I remember something like that, I pause, but it is empty like the wings of a moth; and at times, I must have confused it to talking with my uncle. I was a child, five or six. It doesn’t make a difference as I was entombed by a hazy detachment—obliviousness. My memory is dislocated on this. Thrashed around like the wind that becomes colder, a spirit to the shadows by the blackness of a fruit bush. Shards of your person, you’re a ghost in my head. You’re small bones in a coffin. You were pursued by the hunt of a war that took your mind. There is always an impracticality of humanity when I think of you—it blossoms like a tumor that you were here once on the same planet as me. Existing. Lines crossed once but never again. You exist in the words, in the pictures, and in the letters. But, somehow, you never existed to me as real. You were a figment, a reeded shadow that burrows itself into the twisted grottos. 

You were my Grandfather.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.

A/N: Listened to this while writing. It made me think of my Grandfather, inspiring this piece.

Also for reference, my Grandfather served in Vietnam.

Forgotten (to silence).

“Anger” by David Sutton.

Stare at the ceiling,

I am an afterthought,

dreams cast

forgotten memories

in twilight’s tongue

rivaling alone

the silence of the world

that pretends to be still,

when it’s

fucking not;

I wake in the room alone,

I intend to sleep;

in weakness, the oeuvre is loneliness

as it slips

bloodily on begotten words


to fragile oaths

in dark’s pariah

in a mistrusted world;

I gorge no more words

from my psyche

but I hunger

and I born

through mind and liberty,

emptiness, rage,

and cooled scars

by disarray, the throbbing

of spring

shamed by the mirror’s


shackled to the ebbs


to shadows

to silence in the end;

I gorge no more words

from my psyche.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved.