Black Veil

For dVerse we were to write a poem inspired by a piece of fiction.  I chose Nathaniel Hawthorne and his second to last paragraph in the Minister’s Black Veil

“Why do you tremble as me alone?” cried he, turning his veiled face round the circle of pale spectators.  “Tremble also at each other!  Have men avoided me, and women show no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil?  What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful?  When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best-beloved; when man does not vanity shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die!  I look around me, and, lo! On every visage a Black Veil!”

My Poem

A scar from a falling star

Unseen in vapors dark

Spit poison in my eye

Sight shrinks tight as night

On the eve when wedding bells cry unbeknownst

And eyes die behind veils black

Leave me be

Leave me fade dead

Leave me covered in my earthly bed

But veil your tongue

Veil your heart still beating

Veil your scar still bleeding

For many stars fell

And cast their spell

On souls unveiled with light


Mock me

Mock your stain

See me

See your chain

Pity your breath wasted

Wondering about my scar in vain

Beneath mossy dust

And grass-grown stone marked grave

Moldered beneath

Veil black

In silenced pain

Set free


If Only The World

Alone my soul

surrounded by brethren

moans a cold solo

amidst eighty-eight solos

from souls creating sounds

of one. 









all weave  flight of unified feathers

of varied species, sizes, and strength. 

Hearts stitched together provide life for itself,

its many parts,

and the body that applauds when transfused with the power of unified expression. 

If only the world …



Fragile rhythms

ghostly rigid taps

juke yesterday’s yarns



Itchy voices hum French untruths in Belgium homes built under heaven 


Nothingness breathes toxic visions colored red in black type written code


Electric or not

relicts collect dust with words lost once cried


Echoes of humming raps and taps

breathe French love lost over Belgium waffles with too much syrup

and not enough butter


Killing her under inches hung from idiot’s thoughtless ink



Keep those days unplugged

and packed in attics


Burn tissues of old tears spent on breakfast in Belgium


Why’s yearn unearths ghosts in ugly ice cubes melting


Back in the freezer

back in the box

burn the old relict

because you can’t leave the attic door closed


Stop the torture 

today’s words fall dead on yesterday’s waffles


It isn’t your fault


Buy an Apple and move on 

Smith Corona is dead

don’t resurrect old tools

the words are the same

powerless unless understood 

buttered or not


Waffle House opens at dawn

they have some new Russian waitresses with Droids

the butter is free




Samurai Daughter

Virgin silk sulks red

Bleeding branches weep petals

Season’s sword slice swift

Brisk sharp breeze severs blossoms

Daughter mourns white’s death silence


Life and death waltz twined

Nature’s symphonic strings sing

Grief sits tree’s canvas

At beauty’s apogee strength dies

Slain Samurai rains farewell


The Man I Am

Montana was never on my list of places to visit,

Colorado and Florida were about as American as I traveled,

excluding business tours,

a few old-world haunts on the eastern seaboard,

adjoining flights in Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, New York,

and letting Kid Denver breathe in Vegas.


Montana was nothing but a place I thought dental floss technicians were trained,

If you believed what Frank Zappa said,

I mean, I did meet Billy the Mountain once,

But that was before rehab,

So I’m not sure it counts.



Not until the long cool woman with the long barrels.

She could ride a horse up the side of a mountain,

but wouldn’t fly in a plane.

She could sing like Carrie Underwood,

but just wanted to be a range-girl in Montana,

wear jeans because they felt good,

love the smell of gunpowder,

and not care much about city boys.


I wrote her a song once.

She liked it and wrote me a poem,

at least I thought it poetic:


A man can’t be two men

Or even three

He needs to be himself

I’ve heard the heart of a man

In a song he wrote for me

He would have swept me off my feet

But he wasn’t here

He had to be there

That place that ain’t here

That place were the other man of the man had to be

Doing the thing that doesn’t sound like the man I heard sing to me

He can come back

The man with the soul

But he better remember I don’t miss when I get pissed

Now make a song out of this and I’ll sing it however you want

I’m just a woman, I am, Just a woman needing one man


I want to go back to Montana

Not just for the range-girl,

but to be one man,

not just a man,

but the one man

I am.