(warn the stars)

Night again. as inescapable as morning, though

morning’s timid, trusting optimism has died,  

cold. Burning sadness like a blue-flamed oboe

its notes of ache scorch nascent poems inside.

Words scramble away, their thin edges charred

or scream—inchoate, singed to grey wisps—

disintegrated dreams slip through bent fingers, scarred:

cities unseen, no sailboats glide through mists,

never a tree where once a seedling was planted,

never a grandchild whose laughter sparks yours

never the longed-for recognition granted,  

winter’s bright-blinding slap of ice floors.

Time held in cupped palms, the universe, whole

At once then and now; blue unmoored soul.


No one warns the stars; what need have they

of preliminary alarm? Their power over you

spreads, then bows to the moon’s constant sway

orbiting a dark planet’s memory, deja vu.

When we were there before, did shadows threaten

to illuminate the past, or wipe it blank  

did we use love like a balm or a weapon

spellbound kissed, light blue precious thanks

dear love, if you were the tree falling – no one

in the forest – did it shake your cells to their souls?

impact still reverbing, did you lie there stunned,

breath a silent echo, sound a black hole

You, pulsing into space while felled on the ground

inescapable night, daybreak yet to astound.


My dry red eyes bleed, imagining too much,

implore sunrise to reveal a truth more stark

tree roots converse underground, seeking touch,

feed each other nutrients, messages in the dark

Only the solitary tree falls before its time

its roots stretched too thin, parched too dry

thwarted in its determination to climb  

never bursting through to the blue of sky

Now I’m running out of money, time: broke

Now I wonder if we ever did – love – in fact:

We fell: down through dreams, and later awoke

in the night again, our instruments cracked. 

Invasive species burn us through with no resistance

while blue-flame smoke dissipates my existence.