a garden of peace, child

A garden of peace, child
Bowed lips, each a cherry blossom petal
Cheeks, satin and pink-rosed pinched by heaven
Your small hands–the hands of an angel, clasping their hidden treasures of bees balm and forever dreams
Diamond clusters of baby’s breath adorn your wrist, delicate dewdrops on wind and wing
How your dark chestnut hair swirls with endless copper beech highlights–so warm and inviting, the soft yellow ducks have come to slumber beside you
Blankets of hyacinth and lavendar protect your perfect skin, white as daffodils
You, a beautiful, sweet Lily, to forever bloom in the loving heart of your adoring mother and all those who cherished and nurtured your blessed life
for my cousin, Marie and her sweet, Lily

my silly secret

like a blazing stogie dangling from determined lips
all other luminous pricks lured away by post-holiday sales
my eyes navigate the smudged thermal pane
a lone gleaming star outside the milky glass
I must get closer
I’ve got no answers for anyone this year
and more questions for myself with less time to respond
the kitchen slider is an obstinate fucking portal
I remember falling on scabby knees
praying beneath the Northern Star
for wisdom and ‘wiseness’
crying for everything I couldn’t find
and God knows I still look for
the star
storybook glitter brilliant enough to sustain my disbelief another year
pulling at the door handle, dropping f-bombs with each yank to the right
gotta fix the damn slider in 2017
I must get closer
to this sparkling beacon of Christmas birth and glowing yuletide renewal
this year, this year it’s more important than ever
shit, you know I declared the same thing last year
shivering in the dark, I’m standing on my splintered deck
finally nearer to the star
I whisper to her pointing ears, ‘guide us somewhere safe’
we must believe in something more than ourselves
or we will implode upon our self righteousness
I’d pat myself on the back too, if I didn’t hurt my shoulder opening the fucking slider
the pulsing star
limitless hymns composed for her singular brilliance
orbiting existential principles
liquid onyx landscapes and oceanic skies
I lift my watery eyes
my lips smiling with their silly secret
this isn’t the prominent Christmas Star shining brightly 19 degrees above the horizon
it is Venus
she’s the one who lured me to heavenly hopes all those years ago
when I was a child and didn’t know which way was North

wood nymph



it’s unsettled, this thing in our chest
delicate as the velvet underside of lamb’s ear
bellwether of change
preparing to die
in the dark
in the cold
as winter shoves her fingers down its sleepy throat
dormant into the dirt
winter steals beyond the plant
she will claim our hearts with frigid hands 

I am sorry I have no answers
experienced in living
neophyte in death
parse these words gently
it’s unsettled this thing in our chest
delicate as the velvet underside of lamb’s ear

I do apologize for this lamentation
this jeremiad from dust
to dust

oatmeal walls

oatmeal walls

sketched last year-no one died for the writing of this piece-all is well

did I really know her

how well did I really know her
not well enough to know
she taped notes to the underside or back of every holiday decoration
to ensure they returned to their same perfect place each season
I did know her well enough to taste the warmth of her home
before that front door ever opened
how well did I really know her
not well enough to know
she would begin creative endeavors quite seriously
collecting all the necessary supplies
then have a go-at-it for awhile before leaping to another adventure
another collection of precious stuff
I did know she always looked lovely from her smiling eyes to her tiny feet
in perfect shoes
I later found out
she sometimes purchased 2 identical sweaters
just in case
I did know her well enough to sense
her plans were her dreams
I knew her well enough to be a part of her life
and her love
the very same love that kept those big dark eyes of hers speaking
when she could no longer talk
how well did I really know her
well enough to keep her memory
strapped inside my chest
for as long as my heart continues to beat
purple-wild-hair-editscreated this weekend
happy b’day Aunt Nina, forever in our hearts

gazing back

the warm door sweeps across the holiday welcome mat
light spills out the snow-stained windows onto the walkway
it’s cold in the dark
gazing back over her small shoulder
familiar laughter escapes the dried glass seals
happy voices are chimes in the wind
tender images tuck into the deep pockets of her travel coat

the warm door gently closes behind
moonlit bells accompany her slippered feet

she walks above the snow
her thin, petite hands glide into her bulging pockets
caressing the beautiful memories

she slips away into the night
as the walkway disappears

Deer Friends

this post was previously published last year for my Aunt Nina (my Godmother and namesake-Ann)
it has been edited quite a bit this evening, I hope for the better this second time around
she would have turned 83 this Saturday and dancing sweetly on her cake

I hope all the folks along the Atlantic coast, especially FL are spared catastrophic damage as Matthew strengthens

only Jack London really knows

Eternal damnation. Eternally. Catholic school hit the point pretty hard. Don’t be pretty. Don’t get hard. You’ll surely float up with the saints as they go marching by, blowing no heralding trumpets. Damn, I want trumpets. If you’re not planning to burn at the stake anytime soon, better make sure you’re not gonna burn in hell. It’s fucking hot down there. I just got back. Can’t keep a drink on ice, but Lucifer can throw a jam–had a rompin’ time with that cherry-faced son of a bitch.

We laughed about all the crap upstairs. All the nasty junk people hide–toil over in the chasms of their suggestive inside-voice minds. That’s why they teach “use your inside voice” in preschool. Start ’em early so their dance cards don’t get Eternally punched. I know a few folks who don’t think much, other than what the weather is going to be like next week in Poughkeepsie. They don’t want to get wet leaving the grocery store with their Cheetos and ice cream. But when the ground looks all wavy from a distance and the steam doesn’t break, they say the devil is just warming up. Francois uttered it best when he prophetically cast, “Dat Buck two devils-” Dat’s why Jack London be in heaven now.

We’re going to burn in round two. Dat’s what the little blue pamphlet with Jesus on the cover says. Too bad as I’m not really a big fan of burning. Tried it once during spring break in Fort Lauderdale. I day baked all kinds of warm ruddy shades. But night drinks were free, cooling and many. Big Red, that hot demon likes a drink. I watched those confidant curving lips of his suck a liter down like nobody’s business. Now on the burning, I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than death-by-water. Considering the ark can only accommodate so many comfortably and the chef isn’t Anthony Bourdain, I’m not all that interested. No culinary orgasm, no boarding. And the chef is an author too. So you know his chops must be fucking creative.

In the end it’s pretty simple, enjoy your life because no one knows what the ‘hell’ is going to happen. If they say they know, don’t believe them unless Jack London has returned their calls. (Now that would really be something) Oh yes, let us all put forth our best efforts to be kind and human-like. xo

hall monister

just a fun little sketch done last year while on a subbing break-oh, what being back in school does to me, thank you


culling the night

he threw stars away by the handful
his threadbare pockets lined with dull gold dust

unbeknownst to him
she’d been following for sometime
maybe always
plucking up his shiny castaways
tucking those illuminations close to her breast
warm and safe
she once lived near the moon
never near so many stars
he once loved a girl
want still reigning heavily on his heart

long ago, on a night immersed in five pointed light
fluttering lashes wiped all indigo from the sky
open kisses tasted of breathy moonglow
blue-gold eyes spilled northern ribbons
how they pulsated with constellations
his heart helplessly lost
his mind silenced and indelibly gone

her unbalanced passion soon flamed out
against a fiery twilight sky

she cast out his intent like a dead planet
his jagged heart punctured by razor points

a discarded man who
damned the light, the sun, moon
 the brilliant gleeful stars
happiness was not in them
liars all

he now walks the world, culling the night
spilling the stars from a blue pitcher
and there she is picking up those shiny things
smiling in the darkness
her tired ruby lips whispering to his locked chest
there will come a day
when you notice my eyes
perhaps not as brilliant as hers
but certainly more dear

you and I will return the stars
then we will make love
beneath the heavens
pretty map lady

heaven or hell

it’s probably a big mistake to be pressing these keys right now
there are so many things pressing inside my chest
is it possible to come out of this
as one person with one dream
when everything leading up to the dream is fantasy
the impressionists began as an anonymous group
maybe I could be unknown
a founding member of the “what the hell” group
we could laugh and never care
about anything until we have to
and at that point we’d only need worry about two options
no more than that
heaven or hell
I’d simply select
which ever one has the best wine list
and maybe a tattoo parlor

Angel Cone