Books of Poetry

  • Bed of Light, Finishing Line Press, 2014, on Amazon
  • War Stories, Pudding House Publications, 2006, out of print

Sample Poems, Print Journals


You’re here one month early,
the scalpel visible
from where I sit
with my notebook of fears,
palimpsests of ghosts
on fingers of air.

The nurse blurs by
in a moment of white,
cuts through the air
of cool anesthesia.

I watch the first spank
with no response,
then another, and another,
please breathe, please breathe . . .

Outside the window
a precarious branch
that holds the world.

Tomorrow’s bird comes.
Small mouths open
to swallow the sky.

First published in Potpourri, reprinted in War Stories and Oklahoma Humanities Magazine


Dead leaves burn in yesterday’s trees.
I light candles there to find the way.

Tattoos tremble beneath dark sleeves
their night’s designs on a body’s desire.

I see mother’s turquoise jewels jangle
on a pale wrist lost in translation.

Moments snap fingers, take a bow,
then disappear like the magician’s magic.

My thoughts swim close to her body,
develop an ear for its shore of codes.

Originally published in Bitter Oleander, reprinted in Bed of Light


We ate cotton candy,
the koi fish rising
toward fragrant shadows.

Their colors blend,
scales of tesserae
at the end of sight.

I hold out me hands,
ask our father
for the plain white bread.

Our aging dog
at the end of his leash,
a car coming near.

We close our eyes.

Originally published in Borderlands, reprinted in Bed of Light

After Fifty Years

the flowers seem gifts
from a tourist’s world,
the meadows so perfect
our minds risk marriage
to the world outside.

Grandpa asks for a map.
He tells us he’s looking
for a place he remembers.
“Mauthausen,” he says
when he finds it.

We arrive too late
for the last English tour,
so our guide speaks German
as she shows us the showers.

He watches her lips
like one who needs
to lose himself
in another’s arms,

in a word here and there
he can’t quite grasp
from a story he knows
he should never tell.

First published in RE:AL, reprinted in War Stories

Near the Coast

Older now, few appointments.
Time beyond time, the sky.

The moon’s many colors,
Diana’s animals.
Seventeen hungry cats.

A four way stop,
fruit ripening, plucked.
DNA in your eyes, your hair.

On a street corner
centuries away,
a jade cicada
on a mannequin’s lips.

How inside each body
protected by glass
a fire alarm waits to be pulled.

How glass often breaks,
how someone might want
what anyone has.

Published in the Café Review

Bed of Light

I read a book while you sleep.
It describes the self of others.

A worker’s eyes swim in molten steel.
A woman walks by with a hoe.

I climb the height of my own awareness.
No one knows where the ladder ends.

A wall of candles forms between us.
Another life burns at the sound of a match.

A blossom pauses to bear the weight
of a single life downstream

in the mind of Abelard, Aquinas,
the intellect singing its ABC’s

in another time, another place,
where I reach for your arms . . .

The moonlight tugs at my hands,
touches your ribs in a bed of light.

First Published in the Monongahela Review, reprinted in Bed of Light

Online Samples of Poems, Links

Original Drawing by Leonardo Luque
Original Drawing by Leonardo Luque