Category: About Life

Who I Am – Take Three

I am a wisewoman,

dishing out spiritual medicine to my flock.

I feed them the ashes of my failures,

ignorantly choking the weak of mind

with this inevitable dissolution

of their idea of a perfect and sane world.


I am a shamaness,

and I spend my days in a temporary state of death.

My rebirth comes at night:

invoking the stars, eyes wide and all-seeing,

my feet stamp out a song in the dirt

dragging the moon down with dreams, curiosity, and a war cry.


I am a child left behind,

nothing to my name but the shadowy haunts

of a distant, far-too-surreal past.

I tempt those stronger than me with hooks and bait–

not out of malice, no,

but out of the crushing loneliness

inspired by this graveyard of hopes and prayers

that I’ve dwelled within since the beginning of my time.


I am a mother without a child of my own.

Guide, protector, beloved and despised,

I give away my strength until there’s nothing left

but brittle bones and dried-up ink

in the sandpaper veins webbing beneath an ashen husk.

I give everything but Myself:

a gift for no other, a wish unmade.

For I may live without mind, body, or soul

but who am I if I give up my heart?


Croibhín, sweet ionúin,
my heart is yours.
I seek you in moonlight,
burning bright as a star.
Your innocence is blinding
and your wild soul secure;
come from your nest,
my little croibhín,
and knock on my door.
I’ll save you from hunger;
in my keep you’ll be warm.
I’ll clothe you, I’ll feed you
with wisdom and mirth.
Civilization won’t mar you,
safe in my hold;
nor will violence take you
as you struggle through dark –
a darkness in your eyes,
instinct of the plagued
that empowers, drains,
leeches and breaks.
I beseech you young ionúin:
set free these beasts
that so savagely tempt you;
they’re blooded, but weak.
Trust me, dear lioness,
and let rest your head.
In dreams, forget your burden.
I’ll fight in your stead.

Slip! Swish! Slither! Zap! Zip!
Across the room and down the wall
we run, all smiles and sunshine,
soap at our heels
and monsters in the bed.
Nobody cares in a topsy-turvy world
where the lesson of the day
is staring at the sun with wide eyes
before we skedaddle to have tea
with Mr. Ladybug in the backyard.

Swish! Slither! Zap! Zip!
Nights spent under cover of sugar plums
and nutcracker skirmishes.
There’s not a limb I would donate
to your dreamtime cause,
but that doesn’t translate into dislike.
Why, when the hummingbird buzz
mingles with the sizzling scent of charred rubber,
I’ll dare to say, “I love you!”
and you’ll know it to be so.

Slither! Zap! Zip!
Holly–holy–happy days
full of spare time and empty space
where we might dilly-dally
for a moment or two,
or ten, or twenty! Certainly not so few
as to give us time to catch our breath
when–truly!–it’s our little lungs we’ve lost.

Zap! Zip!
To cause a storm, all firecracker
and lightning bugs, is a childish memory
that is better off checkered and uncharted.
Our playtime courses are coming to an end
and the insects crawl out from beneath the glass.
Where, then, is the darkening of the days
when you knew him and he knew me and I knew you–[not]?

Crag-eyed bells and silver shells
scattered as they shattered in the shadow of the shallow
behind the foyer where the river
carried farther the names of our fathers
to a land of bubbles and disasters
that never caught us; running faster
than the wind that pushes onward
across the earth, from grass to sand,
tree to cactus, needle to thumb–
away we speed, tender hearts
and butterfly kisses
into adulthood’s Great Unknown.

…so I told it you’d be there soon,
but instead,
you linger at the cliff’s edge,
wrapped up
in the mottled feathers
of your insecurities.
you always felt
like the ugly starling,
shrieking your song
with the hope of being found.
your parents are gone, dear,
and no damsel can save you
from the dragons you roost with.
it’s past time to leap,
and here i am
pushing you out of my
nest of lost words
and unwanted things.

you never understood my intentions.
it’s not that i didn’t care;
it’s that i loved you too much,
my friend,
to mend those cracks
spidering through your bones.

“go ahead,
say it:
you’re leaving.
you’ll just come back running,
holding your
scarred heart
in hand…”


if i could i’d
take back these words and
be the first to apologize when
it’s not your fault.

desolate grounds
call to a mob of flowers
to bask in blood
shed by dogs of war.
the gates of hell have
been thrown wide open for
the passing of the whore,
and she enters these
fiery halls with
such grace; such beauty;
but the passion is gone from
new eyes carved from ice.
wings, once feathered and pure,
droop as naught but bones;
and how might they find her heart
but in tidy shreds,
the remnants of her own
barbed words?
her suitors are oblivious,
driven on by the scent of
a wounded angel;
but they cannot see
what she takes as truth.
but just the same,
she knows herself as blind
for whose eyes are these
but a pair borrowed
from a tender-hearted basilisk?
there’s an envy driven on
in the marrow of her bones.
if she could, she’d suck out
the soul of her kinsman
if only to know
what it is
to breathe freely
and love deeply
and never want again.

there's beauty in the cracks in the pavement,
webbing out from under my feet
like some spider's nest,
but i have nothing to fear.
a predatory glance, wide eyes and vacant smile;
a woman on the hunt,
innocent monster chasing the scent
of her deaf and eyeless prey.

the city lived through me.
i was both vessel and master,
carrying its overcooked, acrid words
and, in turn,
whipping this ancient child into submission
so it might whisper my own.
i owned the land that these strangers walked upon.
in my left hand was a book of their beliefs,
writings and scrawled prophecies
that'll never come true in reality
but breathe on in me.

in my right hand i clutched a needle and thread,
the tools of the seamstress.
i brought both healing and pain to my patients:
humans, animals, plantlife, this city.
a precarious balance between many lives:
priestess, student, nurse, gladiator, thief, child.
my few oaths were spoken to the streets
that raised me, the sidewalks and pathways
that shrieked with every ragged step across their faces.

this city taught me what it was to be human.
take what you can get, girl;
you won't get another chance.
punctuality was key, but i hardly minded
the nights i was locked out of civilized homes
and churches that sought to shelter me.
it was a moment where i could sneak away
to the chapel of my own one-woman religion.

in alleyways secluded from the roar of sirens
and desperate addicts seeking a release,
i'd find my communion with the city.
it was there in a kingdom of trash
where i was surrounded by brick,
poverty, disease and hostility...
it was there i found the acceptance i sought,
there i heard the voice of the city.
my voice.
sometimes, i'd scream out my praises
to a sky clad in smog and streetlight,
wild and carefree
despite the trouble such noise brought me.
and sometimes i'd collapse
in a reverent heap at the feet of the urban wilderness,
offering my heart on a silver platter.
and sometimes,
i'd just go blank
'til the drive to simply continue returned,
and i'd walk on.
this city and i are one.

whisper your secrets to me.
i promise i won’t tell of your hidden wishes,
worst secrets and greatest exultations.
i am not that kind of girl,
dressing up lies in frills and ribbons.
i do not hide myself
behind layers of crusting make-up
and a painted smile.
my face is the one God made me–
just like the other seven masks.
all mine, gifts unwillingly sent down
from He who gives and takes away.

i am the girl who swallowed the sky.
planes scratch against the walls of my throat
as they come crashing down,
the screaming of wayward travelers reminiscent
to my own journey.
as though he were a hero who sought
to rescue the corpse of his damsel in distress,
the sun burns me from within with his wrath,
but i sap his strength and steal his flame
in the darkness where he is kept.

but the moon is wise enough
in her cold and ever-changing ways
not to bother; she holds herself aloof
as i spit out her dead and dying children
to rain down upon the earth.
she makes only a single request:
to tell the world what sin it has committed
to have such havoc brought down upon them.
humans need something to blame,
she whispers from her resting place,
else they will never understand.

so this i say to you, children,
and this i ask you keep in mind
when i come knocking upon your door
asking for a tender meal
and your heart:
we are all but fallen stars
dancing on the grave of humanity.

Count Your Blessings

i left you drowning in the sky.
i possessed the potential to make you happy,
but i tore the contract apart and ran.
now i'm crawling back.
i'm not quite free of my pride
just yet, but i plan to break free
if i can survive these brainless years.

people tell me i'm young,
and say i shouldn't be searching
for that bright, shining glimpse
of my own heaven just yet.
i can't agree with them.
once, i was aged beyond my years,
a show of inspired wisdom.
now i know that it was just that:
my head was playing games with me
and i've yet to understand anything at all.
so hey, i'm sorry for how i've acted
and i'll change myself- not for you,
but for the sake of who i could be.

still, i've been trying to sleep
and you keep banging these clouds together,
screaming down into my gem-encrusted ditch,
"can you hear me?
i miss you."

yes, dear,
i hear you.
i can't really find it in me to be concerned
with all this ringing in my ears,
but i catch notes of your words
even through this raucous thunder.

just let me sleep in a little while longer, please.
i'm counting my blessings
and willing the sun to break through the smog.

some time, someday,
it will.