gray is dead

there is no gray

it’s black or white

red or blue

I miss the gray

purple too

all the way or not at all

no in between

no judgement call

you’re here or there

there is no both

friend or foe

up to you

no compromise

no subtlety

I miss the gray

or is it grey?

can’t have both ways?



He thought he was ready

He’d seen the photos and the news


Pictures don’t do it justice

It’s a problem of scale and scope

He’d never read the street signs before

Now he couldn’t if he tried

They’re buried under heavy oak and twisted massive pine.

She thought her GPS was lying when it told her she’d arrived

What she was seeing couldn’t be

She’d been there many times

It scared her

Like the only time Daddy shaved his beard

It was him

But not.

Panoramic pain

High def destruction

Wide angled angst

We’re tourists in our hometowns

Homesick for our homes

Miners in our backyards

Digging our own bones.



road trip


I do my best thinking in the car 

That’s why I left

With enough road and enough gas 

Maybe I could figure this out.

In my rear view mirror I saw a city on fire 

Or maybe just the rising sun

Hard to say 

If you stay away too long it makes it hard to return

More shocking 

More raw.

On the road I found where they grow the snow 

Our snow that fell mid Fall

It grows due north on dead shrubs in red clay

They roll it up in pink and yellow coats. 

There’s another planet just miles away and they’re shopping 

I wanted to shake them and yell

“Don’t you know what’s happening?”

“How can you buy sushi?”


I didn’t shake them 

I didn’t yell

It’s not their fault 

Their job is to keep on living 

We will catch up

And if we’re lucky 

we’ll remember where we’ve been.




whose child is this?

Whose child is this?

We gave you a name and took you under our roof


You’re not welcome at the table you broke

Your power came from your mother’s side

Your maternity tested us through wind and rain

We thought we were in charge


You brought our giants to their knees

Blasted our rocks into pebbles

They now cover a seabed of tears

You’ve stolen from our purse

So much change.


You also left us a gift under the trees

Now instead of relying on a few rocks

We have a wealth of smaller stones

Stones shaped by water and wind

The building is slow when you build with small stones

Pieces don’t seem to fit when we can’t see the plans


Now there is work for many more hands

Forgotten hands now working as one

The bond will be stronger

The foundation our own

We didn’t take you to raise


You’ve raised us up

by knocking us down



the second first

First day of school

Comes late this year

Or maybe early

Not sure

We’ve lost track of time

Students nervous

Teachers too

Most have done this many times


Not like this

Not in borrowed rooms

Not in borrowed clothes

Not with so many hungry

To learn

Is the goal

So many distractions

So many unknowns

They need each other

We all do

We always have

We just forgot


We’re learning

And that’s why we’re here




not ready

I’m not ready to go back

I forgot how to live in that place

I feel the numbness coming back

Like black mold knocking at the door

The hyper focus fleeing

He gave us purpose



Warring Mother Nature

Knowing she’d already won

Gave us something we never had before

I’ll miss the gift of presence

It showed us who we really are

Or who we want to be

I hope the scars remind us

Help us still to see