not for me

this space is not for me
not for the skin that clothes me
nor for the hungry soul that sustains me

every leaf colorful fallen
from every thinning tree about me
could easily inhabit this empty space

the manifest destinies
of myriad multitudes could adorn
these walls like tinctured tapestries

each beating heart in Tunis
would crow in absolute abandon
at the enormity of this eager world

and yet were I to shrivel
coldly cowering in the narrowest
corner, still this space were not for me


I have wandered beaten paths
and caressed carefully stones
hewn millennia before my birth
to adore gods I never knew

I have willingly surrendered myself
to as many beliefs and hopes
and fears as could account
for the storied life of a man

yet it is with sadly utmost certainty
that I can say, my most honored one
that even the winds know me better
than you, and I still do not like to be


Ages ago when I stood alone before Yazılıkaya (the City of Midas) in Turkey (1992)


When she finally left,
he welcomed the quiet,
despite the bitter remorse
his heart shouted
into the emptiness.

He sat over the garden
and stared at evening petals
paling as they fell
from withering stalks
to dry in sullen earth.

It had to be this way,
he told himself relentlessly
as he went inside and prepared
a meal he would never eat
and poured another drink.

This was the best he could hope for
in a world of bartered love
and dullest candlelight
and monotone colors
that quavered angrily.

No, this was fine enough,
he thought watching the light fade.
There was nothing wrong with this.
He was just fine alone.
He could watch sunsets on his own.

when we are one

how many times have I hoped in vain,
the train of my thoughts hurtling
fatally towards oblivion

and yet, would that be so very wrong
to be emptied, bereft at last of me
welcoming a shadowy embrace

I have listened in the night to her laughter
while I lay in the darkness alone
so very weary of my own company

but I know the path is ours to take
for her joy in this life is also mine
which is so much greater when we

are one

open seas

as the waves rose ever higher
i grasped the tiller hard and fast
and searched the waters behind
scanned the horizon beyond
apprehensive of what lay ahead
knowing no more of what awaited me
but only keenly feeling the fear
that clawed at my calloused skin
this angrily aching aging shell
of fury and doubt and distrust
that has so long imprisoned
my fervently frustrated soul

such is the make of a man unrefined
the mark of a man undefined
by clear and conscious reflection
that he would lean then on the tiller
and strive his vessel to return
as swiftly as may be to the haven
of his all too familiar native port
so far short of the goals he desired
of that to which he in earnest aspired
before the grasping need of years
before the deftly growing fears
his heart had cowardly overtaken

yet hearing then the voice of the wind
feeling then the outstretched limb
of time’s so fateful trembling
of time’s insatiable dissembling
pretending at truths beyond nature
preening colors grown too bold
by the coldly demeaning stature
of solitude and sorrow and death,
i stayed the course that i had chosen
craving the hope that dearest love
had to my soul imparted and never—
never will i look back again

waiting in silence

my heart trembles in moments
that crumble quite effortlessly
beneath the pitiless weight
of waiting alone

my heart bleeds an angry voice
so egregiously impertinent
perfectly hardening marrow
to shivered stone

every night i listen quite untended
as silence beckons an end
to a mournful melody
that no one can hear

every night i weep for a grove
that could never grow free
of these clamorous needs
that thrive in such fear

Salinas 19 Dec 2012

silent night

how lucid are dreams
conceived in a tempest
of smiling casual silence

nightmares grin nurturing
thoughts driven mad
by such amiable placidity

life quite unwilling endures
pouring salt into wounds
scored by jealous memories

still scarring breathless
this brittle impatient soul
hungry for something more



Salt Lake City 21 Oct 2012


how very surreal
is this life

the life of

a wanderer
who has travelled
to far distant shores
only to lose the capacity
to move

a dreamer
who sees nothing
but deepest darkness
when he closes his eyes
at night

a lover
who has touched
the flesh of the beloved
yet sleeps now perpetually

a teacher
immersed in knowing
lecturing to generations
yet having somehow forgotten
how to learn

a writer
whose unremarkable
name adorns dusty spines
while his latest pages display

’tis time
i think at last
to lift this rusty ax
to sever these cursed roots
and set myself free

Salt Lake City 12 Sep 2012