Clemson University, 2006

One solid crunch 


and it’s 2006,

treading out acorn paste 

into names graven long ago,

on the way to Daniel Hall

in my ancestral home

in the foothills. 


The Mark

Pull back into your chest,

deep, back, and down.

Train your eyes, your sights,

down the lane

and find the one thing

you seek in that sea of green

and blue.
Pull back.

Push down.

And feel, and see, and hear

your hope arc up,

and fall down.
And if you are good –

or lucky – 

you will be rewarded

with a small puff of 

orange chalk

                         and smoke:

A metaphor, standing for

five meters of death

and destruction. 

Something Together

I wonder why music has always appealed.

Why from just after time, rhythm and

melody have entranced and befuddled;

Plato to Zwigli; Aristotle to

everyone else.

Something about that sharp

split of air by the long-sustained violin,

or the flute pulsing to breath-beat, veering

off towards separation.



families wailing, but wailing

together, in unison or harmony.


This was quick and (very) dirty. It is heading back towards the dangerous free for all that characterized my early college poems.

Ancient Joy

To feel your breath in your fingers, as once

I read it, is to receive instant feedback,

immediate expression of your art;

to hold in your hands, tunes older than you.

And out the back door with the punters.

All those who don’t understand this joy.


This ancient joy.


A little St. Patrick’s Day poem, courtesy of the five hour gig I played with Emerald Road. I don’t really want you all out the back door, don’t worry. Tongue in cheek and all that.


What an awful responsibility!

To see a man, soul to soul, and give him

what he deserves, what his deeds have earned him.

To hear his last words, the next to last

human sounds, besides the final wet roll

of his crown, to give sentence and take life.

What an awful responsibility!


This is another poem inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire. This one is based on Ned Stark’s words to his children about the responsibility of a King: “We hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”