what can happen in an instant (a poem)

you catch my eye

a bird takes flight

a light flips on by switch

you steal my heart

a New Year starts

a gambling man gets rich

our lips meet

the cold retreats

a baby comes to be

we hold on tight

day shifts to night

a wave returns to sea

a keyboard clicks

a cuckoo ticks

your heart begins to wane

as lightning flares

a tightrope tears

and nothing is the same

a star falls

a car stalls

you turn your back on me

my throat clumps

a lost man jumps

and just like that, I’m free


The first of (hopefully) many pieces inspired by 642 Things to Write About.

surviving the holocaust

I heard a woman say,

“The Holocaust makes you think

of two things:

concentration camps

and the number six million.

And nothing in between.

But the Holocaust

was everything in between.”

She was a survivor.

She survived the terror,

the horror,

the everything in between

that was in fact

so gruesome,

we simply cannot imagine it.

The unbearable darkness

that humankind can unleash

on its very own.


Now 70 years after that brutal war ended,

headlines brag

of an 89-year-old Nazi guard,

charged with 158 counts

of complicit murder–

one for every trainload of prisoners

that came under his care.

Appearing in court with a cane,

he’s held with dementia, but no bail,

and waits to suffer the consequences

of his teenage actions.

Of things he did or did not do.

Of people he killed,

or did not stop others from killing.

Of acts he committed out of terror,

and horror,

and survival.


We all applaud as he’s taken away in shackles

and a green jumpsuit.

Because if this man is guilty,

then maybe we are less so.

But little do we know

that sacrificing one guard

for six million souls

will do no more to even the score

than removing a teardrop of saltwater

will help to dry up the sea.

Perhaps if we focus our anger,

and sadness,

and remorse,

and regret,

on understanding

the beliefs,

and culture,

and values

of others,

perhaps then,

we are freed

from the prisons of our histories.


And we can all become survivors.


gargleblaster: who dunnit?

smoking gun art print

Fresh blood spilled on the ground,
eyes darting all around.
Suspicions rose,
but bodies froze,
as ears rang from the sound.

With tensions running high,
none knowing truth from lie.
The smoking gun—
held by each one—
whispered in the air, “Goodbye.”


Photo credit: Neon Noir Smoking Gun Art Print by Etheloos on Etsy

Gargleblaster #156: Answer the question “Who dunnit?” in exactly 42 words.

gargleblaster: what’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?

close up water color painting of a woman's blue eye

Like lakes of deepest blue,

Those eyes draw me into you.

You laugh and flirt; I just stare.

You bat your lashes, twirl your hair.

But you aren’t the reason my gaze won’t stray.

I see my reflection and can’t look away.


Photo credit: Original watercolor from ForestSpiritArt on Etsy.

 Gargleblaster #155: Answer the question “What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?” in exactly 42 words.

prayer of the mourning child

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

But still I lie, eyes wide awake,

And feel my hands begin to shake.

For in dreams that wait to strike my mind,

Your heart beats on; we still have time.

I feel your laughter, hear your song.

I hold your hand and hum along.

I have no troubles; all is fair,

And I don’t dread what’s after prayers.

For momma’s love still holds me tight,

And keeps me safe till morning light.

But dreams are wishes of the soul;

They cannot make the broken whole.

And so my mind runs unaware,

Of lips that whisper children’s prayers.

“Now I lay me down to sleep.

I pray the Lord your soul to keep.

If I shall die before I wake,

Please wait for me at heaven’s gate.”