Burnt Bridge


I carefully burned the bridge

aware of the river below.  Warnings rang

from the common folk

declaring, “if your venture in this new city

proves illegitimate and you must return

to your place of old, your welcome will

be diminished like ashes from the fire’s stoke.”

In the unlikely event, I’ll build a boat

and paddle evenly across the wicked ripples

leading back to the land of old,

walk down those streets singing songs of scold

against their leaders and politicians

and those who follow that criminal mold,

and burn the bridge on the town’s other side

and allow that to be the new direction I follow.



Jay Monkee’s Panopticon

                                    –For my brethren locked up

His eye skin droops from failing Botox

and his hair thins from years of abuse.

On most days his lips are stained with red wine

and his cheeks covered in busted nerves.

His feet are deformed from never breaking

in new boots.  The inmates notice

as he walks past wearing more money

than they had ever made in a month.

Jay Monkee is an evil man; a greedy man.

He has an ‘open door policy’

yet speaking to him guarantees time in the hole.

He allows for an inmate garden

but only offers ten minutes a day in the yard.

He allows for cleaning oneself only if

work duties are completed.

His guards ensure there is always work.

His main guard, Edith, is always drunk

and cannot manage anyone due to anxiety,

yet the inmates still fear her

because the snipers upstairs may be watching,

waiting to pick them off in dispute.

At Jay Monkee’s Panopticon, disputes

are settled with termination; no discussion.

Yet those inside know they’re better off

than Monkee, because the greed

eating him away is like a corroding battery —

something which used to give power

now leaks acid in a mound of discarded trash

after failing to offer any spark.


As A Young Bird



I was a young bird when he died

testing wind with my splayed wings

having flown only a few times —

On one flight a bright crimson shot

from between two leaves;

my first batch of berries.

Another, a phenomenon

after a morning rain: when I wicked away

the drops caught between my feathers

there strewn along pavement

was a buffet of worms.


He cracked the shell before me

though we were of the same nest.

Our mother chewed beetles

tossed breads, and seeds from

Old Man Baucher’s farm, chewed them up

and fed us like her mother did.

Her wings were shelter during storms

as we curled inside their warmth.

She chased predators with frantic flaps,

awful squawks, and a deliberate warrior dance

opposite her common glide and gait.


When the perfect day came, she pushed us

from our nest, then the branch which held it.

He went first, jumping and flapping like a clown,

landing on a limb midway down.

I followed my brother

mimicking him moves with admiration.

When his wing caught the twig,

ripping through his maturing feathers

he spiraled like a ballerina,

twisting from the sensitive bark

to the unfamiliar ground.

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