Sample Poems

Below is a small sample of some of my poems.


In Defense of Intellectual Labor


It beings innocently enough

With a wondering.

With a however hung

On a what if.


With a maybe

Married to a possibility

Not yet exposed

Or explored.


Sure, there are answers—

Some of them are even



What is deplorable

Is thinking the obvious

Is obvious

Just for existing.


It requires

Some agility—

Some frisky flexibility

To not become distressed


When provoked

By a question

That turns into a quest.


Heavy Elements

(Originally published in Dead Snakes)


The lightening rips

A seam of sky

Wide open:

Slashing a gash

Through night’s

Ash dark manuscript.


And the stars are

The trillion eyes

Of an unseen god—

Each eye lit

Like a candle wick

To illuminate or ignite


The parchment

Of our hearts:

Our weeping wax—

And sticky pitch—

All our combustible

Bits and parts


That come from

The same stuff of stars—

(Or so I’ve been told).

Formed in the furnace

Of a cosmic bonfire:

4.6 billion years old.


Here There Be Monsters

(Originally published in Think Journal)

…one cannot slay an absent dragon.

–Percival Everett


And so I slew myself.  Not a suicide, but a surgery—

A crusade against the ravenous dragon of the heart.

Green & serpentine as envy; slithering like greed.

The serpent hoards the hurts it needs.

Coiled & constricting around the glistening rot

As the forked tongue flickers, hissing its forget-me-nots.

The harrowing of hell begins at home.

Alone with our home-grown hazards:

The hand upon the hilt—the sword oiled within the scabbard.



(Originally published in Cyclamens & Swords)


My wife is on the couch,

peeling a pomegranate.

Ripping the rind and

plucking each red jewel

from the wreckage.


It is a bloody and laborious affair:

a ritual that I despair of

because I have no patience

for this Phoenician fruit.


When next I glance over,

she has the scarlet loot piled high

on a bone white napkin…


and the seeds look like tiny hearts,

offered in terrible tribute to a wife

who eats them like an Aztec goddess:

one by one, sacrifice after sacrifice.


He Contained Multitudes

 (Originally published in The Poet Community)


Then aren’t there these two forms,

largeness and smallness? –Plato, Parmenides.


Walt Whitman’s ambitions

were so large & ferocious

they filled an entire Kosmos!

Mine is a smaller gnosis—

a microscopic intuition,

a ghost almost imperceptible.

A poem that goes bump in the night.

My tiny poltergeist

of the philanthropic transaction:

Just watch me disappear

out of sight with satisfaction.

I am infinitesimal.

I contain so many subtractions.


An Epistemology of Flesh

(Originally published in Lyrical Passion Poetry Ezine)

The suffering of the body
is most factual.
As real as a rock;
absolutely actual.

Pain is certain knowledge
on a cellular level.
An epistemology of flesh
as hard and sharp as metal.

But love can loom as large
as what pain can comprehend.
So we turn to metaphysics,
when we break instead of bend.


Why Go to Church?

(Originally published in The Progressive Christian)


Because I’m a hypocrite

and so are you.

And it is good gospel


to have this truth

revealed, rehearsed

and reviewed


in a community of

the wounded and

the anointed.


If you are looking for

perfection, then you will

no doubt be disappointed.


For the church is filled

with sinners: with preachers

popes and pimps.


Of course religion is a crutch,

but what makes you think

you don’t limp?


—Inspired by William Sloane Coffin Jr. —


In Memory of Robert W. King


(Bob King was the founder of the Colorado Poet’s Center

and the author of the full-length poetry collections

Old Man Laughing and Some of These Days.)


Some of These Days go by too fast,

But deep down we all know

The days don’t last regardless.

We all miss his voice of course:

The sound of honest sandpaper

Or gravel gurgling

In a rough, river bed.

He could hold you, spellbound,

At a poetry reading,

Becoming everyone’s

Favorite grandpa in verse.

Thank the muses we still have his poems.

Poems which slide on the mind

Like well-washed jeans,

Loose and tight in all the right places—

Good for pacing the distances

Between hope and hopelessness.

From now on, when the sages ask:

“What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

I will always think of you, Bob,

And the sound of an Old Man Laughing.


(Originally published in VerseWrights)