long lost brother [over the rhine]

I thought that we'd be
Further along by now
I can't remember how
We stumbled to this place

I wanna do better
I wanna try harder
I wanna believe
Down to the letter

Jesus and Mary
Can you carry us
Across this ocean
Into the arms of forgiveness

Trouble is I'm so exhausted
The plot, you see, I think I've lost it
I need the grace to find what can't be found...


my new Sierra heart

so much snow--6, 7 foot tall banks of white
on mirroring couches, friends draw close
yes, i'll have another glass, this gladdened heart.
in the mountains, you joyfully forget the old pace
you walk free and easy
each breath of thick winter air filling those forgotten spaces
in, out. you are alive.
welcome to the silence. to the shared journey.
welcome to the beauty & disaster
to that intimacy you've been begging for.


[the unspeaking center of her monologues]

There is too much to trust, these days. God can be so damn demanding. I just remembered I don't know anything ("Oh, right!"), and probably it is high time to move to Northern India and run from the scene that's so intense, that's weirding me out too much.

Does anyone know when 20 year-olds stop feeling like 12 year-olds? Or even 6 year-olds? Or do the feelings of being totally unprepared for and surprised by and overwhelmed with life never go away?


on the roof we read a script of sacred words;
we sing disjointed, ardent songs
under waxing moon and cloud-shrouded stars.

thanks be to G-d for the difficulty and softness of our days--
thanks be to Goddess for carrying us forever in her arms.

enlarge our hearts! we cry
but oh, how i love protection!!


rosemarie springer

All of 77 years old and climbing 4 flights of stairs to your apartment,
Gnarled arthritic hand, gold rings, holding mug of tea
you gladly offer us our own.
Professional counselor, informal listener and friend
Still single, beautiful, and dating
Strong and powerful and not quite 5 feet tall
Wise and active, you have determined to "celebrate the days as they are,"
Oh Rusty, I hope I'm like you.



Take a picture with your words
these mounting tides, these shining barnacles, this ancient pool
this stone and salt and wind
& all the all the all the light.

Tumbling waves, rocky coast
stains of piss and alcohol
memorize these patterns, son. Memorize, memorize.

The labyrinth of stones on this sacred ledge
new & sweet languages ringing in my ears
and that bass rebound!

On rock altars, & you can hear
the snare drum of surf, echoing, erupting
reaching such great heights--rebound off the rock, time and erosion, repeat.

Oh child, feel how the air is thicker now
how it thickens all around you.

And there are places, oh there are places,
where everything is on a different scale, a different dimension, even
And I'm telling you, the largeness of it all is dizzying

Growing up in that island town, did you heard the foghorns?


paper hanger / mewithoutYou

If you're still looking for a blanket
Sweetie, I'm sorry, I'm no sort of fabric
But if you need a tailor
Then take your torn shirt, and stumble up my stairs
And mumble your pitiful prayers
And in your tangled night's sleep, our midnight needles go to work
Until all comfort and fear flows in one river
Down on the shelf by the mirror where you see yourself whole
And it makes you shiver


From dust you have come and to dust you will return.

Have mercy on us.


blazing lungs and blushing heart
quietly in the sunlight i wait
oh, unanswerable questions!
oh, sweet and bitter recollections!

and i burn with the drama of these things
and i burn with the neglect
& i burn.

tell me sir, can we be honest here?


eddie vedder [into the wild]

On bended knee is no way to be free
Lifting up an empty cup, I ask silently
All my destinations will accept the one that's me
So I can breathe...

Circles they grow and they swallow people whole
Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they'll never know
A mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul
And so it goes...

Don't come closer or I'll have to go
Holding me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you...

Everyone I come across, in cages they bought
They think of me and my wandering, but I'm never what they thought
I've got my indignation, but I'm pure in all my thoughts
I'm alive...

Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere
Underneath my being is a road that disappeared
Late at night I hear the trees, they're singing with the dead

Leave it to me as I find a way to be
Consider me a satellite, forever orbiting
I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me