I collect stones to feed it.
Sometimes it is full, while others
it ties a rope of them
to cheat its empty stomach.


Mary asks
Have you ever seen the other side of hawks?

I close my eyes to remember
and suddenly there are shrouds
made timeless in Carrara marble.

Suddenly to fall
through clouds is nothing.
It is cold.

No Mary, I am so bad with birds.

Here is a tale of magic lost
when the hummingbird
dies upon learning
it’s all a matter of
precisely arranging
petunias, to hell with


Mary flies far away.
Her back must ripple timeless
at the soar,
but I am not on the other side
of grounded.


Mother will he see me
if I plant my feet

like a living thing waiting
for water or the special night

God’s creatures bow
all at once, willow

and wolf and weasel
or do I need to spin

spidersilk and guard
his yellow moonskin.

Mother I’ve eaten
so much snow, you could

shake the flakes from
these bloodied nostrils

and still they would
be so pristine and white.

Tail feathers on a dove
unsullied by injury.


Ordinarily the bullshit
gets thrown over,
and certainly the weather
controls most of the journey.

Somehow the anchor
is in the air, dripping
sea, pulled up to dangle

like God’s rusted
pendant, and I’m dry
heaving sick, tonguing

the chain to restore
its shine. Doesn’t anyone
know I am hungry.


Published in Heavy Feather Review.


A Scattering of Koans That Are Not