Full steam ahead –

without flinching or thinking,

without looking up to see the damage

I might do.

I got red in my eyes

and a scent in my nostrils that burns

like sulphur.

Remember that story

in the Bible

about the cities that God judged?

Fire and brimstone.

I wonder if they smelled it coming?

Wonder if I smell like that –

judgement, damnation, a reckoning of sorts.

I’m all in a rage and can’t shake it –

gargantuan beast who tramples the ground

and doesn’t care.

Maybe I don’t want to stop,

or shake loose the crimson in my skin.

Maybe I want to be done turning

the other cheek

and let someone else carry the scar for once.

painting by Eric Tippeconnic


Where were you during the storm?

When the wind shook the sky

and bullied the trees, and that old windmill,

just bare bones,

took the brunt without a word.

And then the darkness bellowed and taunted the light

like a petulant tyrant.

And the rain battered our skin as though

we were made of paper.

Did you see the clouds puff up,

all arrogant and full of fake machismo?

But the sun smirked and pushed the squall aside

like it was nothing and I felt okay again.


photo courtesy of Tiffany Simmons


Those wildflowers along the highway,

mixes of yellow and light pink,

and the Indian blankets I fell in love with

as a child.

I know most of them are weeds

pretending to be flowers,

but I try not to think about that too much.

I’m sure there’s a lesson

in there somewhere about a wolf in sheep’s clothing,

but sometimes I don’t think the weeds

are like that.

Maybe they’re trying to be deceitful;

maybe they just want

to be accepted,

to be looked at and smiled at

and not thought of as only a weed.

They can’t help it –

it’s what they are, and they have a job to do,

but it doesn’t mean they still

can’t have a little moment of happy

before they play the role of executioner.

Irish Beach

Imagine what’s over that hill –

so green that it looks like grass out of a fairy tale.

Only Snow White or Cinderella

or that Frozen princess could live in a place like that.

I can see miles of sand and the mixed blues

of sea water just beyond

the swaying grass.

Suddenly I’m thinking

of every movie

I’ve ever seen that involves a beach scene.

Is that where Harry Potter

landed when Doby died and every person

watching that scene cried

at least a little.

Free Doby sacrificed his life so gallantly,

while still wearing that sad little tunic.

But he was free when he died,

and he was on a beach. Maybe even that beach.

The sky is almost like the water – mixed shades of dark and light blue,

with thick white clouds.

As the waves crash against the sand,

I imagine clouds in the water too.

I bet I could be free there, just like Doby.

But I would be better dressed.


I wish I could follow the sand,

moving down the beach

like snow in an avalanche,

moving at 100mph.

Or seems that way anyway,

as the wind slaps

my hair back in my face

while I watch the sand.

I wish I could follow,

just go with the wind

and not care where I’m going

and not care that I’ve left.

But instead,




so the sand

doesn’t get in my eyes,

leaving tracks

that look

like I actually went