Tearing Fall Leaves

The cold gravel
is littered with leaves.

I tear a green leaf;
juicy velvet
like moist frog skin.

I tear a red leaf;
the curled spine cracks,
leathery and strong.

I pick up a brown leaf;
the tattered skeleton
crumbles to dust between my fingers.

Tearing Fall Leaves

The Man Who Wanted To Build A Perfect House

There once was a man who
wanted to build the perfect house.

He took out paper,
and set down to design it.

Lines were drawn
and erased
and re-drawn
and re-erased;

weeks went by,
then months,
then years.

“Nothing less than perfect
will do” he said to himself.

The man grew old
and the edges of his plans
grew crinkled and stained.

Finally, the old man died
and when the people came to take away his possessions,
the sheets of paper were crumpled up
and thrown into the fire
without a second glance.

man who wanted to build perfect house


The sound of my footsteps
mingles with falling rain.

The water droplets hang
along the brim of my hood
like diamonds.

Am I any more
than the mud that clings to my boots?

In silence I was knit;
in silence I will be unknit.

Underground Men

I saw eternal freedom;
its caves,
where the underground people live.

Belly-down in damp rock tunnels,
they search for crevices and cracks;
smaller, darker spaces.

Cursing the cold,
hard rock;
cursing the darkness,
their own stench.

Unable to go forward.
Unwilling to go back.

underground men



The thief’s world is distrust.
The mother’s world, tenderness.
The writer’s world, meaning.
The believer’s world, a test.
The athlete’s world, a competition.
The academic’s world, a conversation.

I see so many worlds;
worlds contradicting
and yet somehow co-existing;

people walking side by side,
but worlds apart.



Thirsty plants want rain;
their roots search in darkness.

A river wants the ocean;
pushes its way around, over any obstacle.

A boulder wants to fall,
roars down a mountainside.

Thirsty plants,
flowing river,
falling boulder:

wanting is a natural force,
everywhere, in everything,
driving all things towards what they must be.


A Sad Leaf

One day, the leaf noticed a brown spot on its skin
that was not there before.
Then another spot.
And another.
It realized it was growing old.

And it grew older and older,
until one day,
it barely clung to the tree by a thin stem,
ready to fall.

And as it hang there,
the leaf cried,
for it had never left the tree:
never felt the ground.

sad lead

Man Is A Fool

Man is a fool.

He knows that he will die,
but instead of living the life he wants,
he waits until death is near,
then says, “If only…”

He knows that his loved ones will die,
but instead of saying what he wants,
he waits until death is near,
then says, “If only…”

He looks back on his life,
wishing he had risked more,
but insists that his children play it safe.

He consumes that which destroys him,
worships that which enslaves him,
and hates that which loves him.

Man is a fool.

I Watch

I watch the steam
rise off the bark
of wet trees in sunlight.

I watch the water drops
that hang on branch tips
like tiny diamonds.

I watch the long beige grass
that sways and shines
like gold.

HD Morning Dew Wallpaper


I cling to the bar,
knuckles white,
shaking with exertion.

“Let go.”

I will not.
I squeeze tighter,
strength failing,
will giving way,
emptied of strength,

I let go.

I hit ground,
feet firmly planted,
shake tired arms,
blood rushes in.

“Get back up.”

I will not.
The ground gives way beneath my feet.
I scramble and run until at last
my legs fail.

I reach, grab the bar again,
legs, rest and refresh.
Until finally, I hear once again:

“Let go.”


One leaf,
balanced on one stem.

One stem,
balanced on one twig.

One twig,
balanced on one stick.

One stick,
balanced on one branch.

One branch,
held firm by one trunk.

One trunk,
held immoveable by hundreds of unseen root.


Didn’t you realize that all the world
was playing outside your window
while you were in bed?

Didn’t you realize
that so many other beautiful things
were crying out for help?

Didn’t you realize
that all you did
would come to nothing?

And yet, perhaps you did.
And yet, perhaps still you built.

There Can Be

There can be silence in sound,
and sound in silence.

There can be stillness in movement,
and movement in stillness.

There can be order in chaos,
and chaos in order.

There can be ignorance in wisdom,
and wisdom in ignorance.

There can be hunger in fullness,
and fullness in hunger.

There can be death in life,
and life in death.


The silkworm twirls,
suspended twenty feet in the air.
Thread glistens white in the sunlight.

Rears its orange head,
front two arms extend together above:
a desperate prayer.

Yanks down.
Rises a fraction of a centimeter.
Adds an armful of silk to its tiny clump.

And again.
And again.


Two Mountains

A poem should stink of its poet.
A poet should stink of his poems.

The writer: bent over a page.
The poem: silent in the winter of nowhere.

Both eternally alone
in their spaces.

The two are neighboring mountainsides,
joining at one common origin,
then rising up,
ever away from one another.

The Page

The page is the runner’s track;
alone with oneself.
At the starter’s blocks,
trembling with anticipation,
wanting to know what one is capable of.
Wanting to know the pain one can take.

The page is the silent counselor;
it never offers advice,
remains open to any possibility,
demands nothing,
offers everything.

I love you, page.

Sing Strong

Sing strong.

In your own voice;
be it quiet or loud,
sweet, or coarse.

Sing strong.

With your own words;
saying what you mean,
and meaning what you say.

Sing strong.

For they listen
not to your voice,
nor to your words,

but to how strong
you dare to sing.

The Other Side

“I’m in pain,” you said.
“I need to crawl back in bed,
need to say it aloud;
name it.”

I, on the other side of a wall.
Never crossed:
the impassable.

There are walls of experience,
between us all.
The roof that keeps out
the rain of others’ pain,
in order that we might be a dry place for them.

Is it not a terrible, and blessed, truth
that on the other side of your seeing there are
gaping wounds;
on the other side of hearing there are
desperate cries;
and on the other side of your feeling there is
pain and cold?