Sunday, August 31, 2014

60 Degrees North

Oarsmen heave
nets of mackerel
from cast-iron waves;

half-booted and silent,
they have no need to tell stories,
ask dus du mind?

how after creation God gathered
leftover shards, pressed them together
to make the hilt of a sword.

Women rule the shore,
croon grounded wool and songs
scented with the whisky of a peat fire,

watch the sliver of land
between water and cloud,
lightning rod of the far edge; 

where men pull and point like compasses,
breathe in the charge of sea,  
think nothing of rocks.

tk/August 2014 

Delicious atmospheric read by R.A.D. Stainforth...

*Dark Harbor, 1943 by N. C. Wyeth

Monday, August 25, 2014


The shutters are open,
there are no curtains.

Stop.  Look through the dark pane.
Find simple sanctuary without icon or lace,

a congregation of one, who has forgotten
how to pray.  Come.  Listen.

Take up residence, sweep away the dust;
expose silent eyes, deep wits.  

Light a candle.  Line the sills with potted geraniums.
Stay.  Long enough to see them grow.

Be the sexton who makes supper of thoughts,
whisks a fluffy omelet of the past.

Sing.  Something that sounds like a hymn,
what ships and stones might say.

Dote on my still possible body,
the soft secret structure of worship.

tk/August 2014

R.A.D. Stainforth takes my words to the next level ...

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I return.  Two if by sea.
God-force without a compass.
Not for homesickness.
I have no real place.

The rail acts as stylus.
Dirty crackle.  Hiss of anticipation.
I board a north boat with lanterns.  
Gulls in my wake.

The edge of the world knows
the songs of my heavy-booted fathers.
Cliffs rise to welcome me.
Oceanic.  Colder than pewter.

Wyeth skies find a home
on the other side of the Atlantic.
I see an unknown soldier in the clouds,
covered with a greatcoat.  

He whispers.  Mainland.
Welcomes me with a wheelhouse.
Offers cake.  A pillow for my head.
Shows me the next bend in the road.

tk/August 2014 

*photo: Yell Sound, Shetland, 2014, by R.A.D. Stainforth 

Sunday, August 10, 2014


We wear a zebra suit.
Taunt cats at the zoo.

You are the head.  Tell the joke
about black and white and red. 

(Embarrassed)  I shake our tail.
Rattle the cage with our hind legs.

They pace.  Look at us.
A sandwich.  Chain gang of two. 

Bow their heads.  (Say grace)
by his stripes we are healed.

Warning sign.  Loose letters.
Beyond this:  the point of no return.

(Without our glasses) squinting
gets us nowhere.  And everywhere.

We wear a zebra suit.
Share some striped pajamas.

tk/August 2014 

Charming read by R.A.D. Stainforth...ever so slight smile at the end...