When Aaron Died

“Why has nothing changed,”
she wondered when Aaron died.

And she cried,
and she cried,

as the very weight of her tears
impeded the vainglorious sun

and the moon being more of a heart
mourned oh so bitterly beside her

while the world was shrouded in darkness
more appalling than the blackest night,

affrighting my ancient clumsy soul
with the enduring moans of her sorrow.

I could hear the earth begin to crack
felt it shaking ungratefully again and again.

I could feel the air grow stale and cold
holding each breath with avarice

while steps slowed, and regret carved
angry furrows across my trembling skin.

And so we begin,
and so we begin.

I sat staring into the indifferent sky
begging time to permit a peaceful pause.

I do not know what comes next—
knowledge and experience fail me,

because however spins the world more
it is so painfully true to behold

that nothing could ever be the same again,
not since the day that Aaron died.

My wonderful wife Laya, with her brother Aaron, the way I remember him best–playful, gregarious, argumentative, inspiring and aggravating. And perhaps a little tipsy. Here’s to you, Aaron.

My Moon Resplendent

Brightly lithesome she dances across the sky
my joyful lunar maid, my all
her winsome ways ever appalling the jealous sun
so somber and staid, and she
unwilling to stay his commanded course
playfully japes with a rhyme.

How haughtily he cringes, wincing at her smiles
her lips teasing in mirth
birthing yet another game to play, a song to sing
my jocund jesting one
testing the stodgy sun with each twirling reel
feeling fully alive and sublime.

“Do you know,” I ask, as she passes again
barely glancing down,
“how much I adore you, mo gealach àillidh
my fair fae one on high?”
“Then rise,” she says, treading the night
“and know the truth of time.”

surviving pain

(living with Crohn’s Disease)

I listen to the grumbling within
feeling rivers of throbbing pain
coursing through my flesh,
cursing the vulnerability of being.

When the sun rises high enough,
I hobble to my seat outside
and watch my weans at play.
Which helps. For a time.

But the mind turns once more within
as the next wave of pain
rolls callously, carving inside me,
forcing me to close my eyes.

You never stop seeing, though,
or feeling, especially in the depths
of the broken man you have grown into,
moaning for an end. For peace.

In youth we consume fantasies
like an endless supply of sweets,
creating innumerable potentialities,
most of which fade into the past.

But now I thrive on the sweet realities
of my beautiful wife, my weans.
Yet I still talk to the glowing moon
and wander worlds I have never seen.

And I keep going.


It was raining then,
soft and gentle and pristine.
Covetous I watched.

The sky enveloped me.
Petals pouted in the shadows.
Moisture clinging to my skin.

You spoke to me,
your voice fondling my heart.
Laughter tickling my hope.

Forever could I listen
knowing that you were all,
adorning every moment.

Raindrops caressed you,
and I watched enthralled.
Yes. This life is ours.

Laya at Windsor

stubborn winter

Stubborn winter drags on and on it seems
transiently coming and going, an itinerant artist
drawing frigid lines on a dull grey canvas
while I … aimless, I sit and stare in wonder.

Have I ever seen the sky descend so gently?
But then, how could I even know?
Is it possible that each flake might evoke
such a distinctive image floating in my mind?

Of course not. For how could it do so?
It is not for the enduring elements of this world
to impress themselves on my ephemeral thoughts
but for me to pay them the heed that they deserve.

this moment

These bones sag,
the craggy skin that loosely shrouds them
blistering with age
like pages of countless neglected tomes

I remember well
how my feet flew across the playground,
how these hands unlined
grasped eagerly at play and joyful mirth

I watch them play now
and lay my fear to rest for a time at least,
the beast of my pains
falling silent as songs fill my heart

Time is jealous—
time is a base and wrathful whore monger,
a money lender
preying upon the naive and hopeful

But for this moment,
for this graceful gracious laughing moment,
time means nothing
and love is everything that has ever been

Or ever will be