When the Facebook bell starts ringing

To tell of more lives taken

By men with names that are not like ours

You always say the same thing.

You say it every time,


That they are monsters and

Inhuman and cannot

Be comprehended

For they are not like us

No brother, not at all.


But I say, brother, you’re a liar

And maybe sister, you forgot

The things we used to say in high school

The songs we sang when we were young.

A little too in love with easeful death.


And I say how fortunate were we

And the heretics we hated

And the infidels we feared

And I say thank Christ He made it clear

Which end of the gun we are to stand on.

Palliative Care

Dying is a cold white room

Where we sit and wait,

Undisturbed by life,

While every voice falls silent

And every movement becomes still.


I leave the room because I can,

And the person lying there.

To walk down the fluorescent hall,

Open the door I am allowed

And find that it is June outside.


The evening there is soft and warm

The air pregnant with thunderstorms,

Alive with the voices of spring,

The peepers and red-winged blackbirds,

And the scent of the lilac trees.


I return to the cold white room

And find the room is empty now.

But if there’s one thing that I know

It’s that wherever you have gone

It’s on the June-side of the door.


Weapons Test

Good morning little Fury

Won’t you show me what you made?

Last night in the labs and test beds

Of your steel-and-flannel heart.


Let me be your barren desert

And your blasted half-moon atoll

Where you loose your tiny ragings

And unleash your infant hells.


This is the place to test them all

So empty out your silos here

There’s nothing here that can be lost

No one who can help but love you.


And when the light and roar and heat have faded

And all your weapons have been spent

You’ll have seen what they can do

And reach, perhaps, for different tools.

The Book Is Here!


“Cormorant Lord and Other Poems” is now available! Fifteen poems about babies and burnout and debt and disability and getting broken and getting built and the Jesus in all these things (and some other things too). Made of trees and smelling of ink and available to buy right here. Also available as an e-book.

Good Friday 2017


Who can bear to read

The story of the humans?

Written as it is

In the bodies of their children.


Ball-bearing broken

Wrapped in dust and laid

In the broken heart of the earth.


He made it his own,

The story of the humans

And let them write an ending

Upon his body there,

With fist and foot and implement

Son-and-daughter slain and rising

Up to bear their children out

Of the broken heart of the earth.

Medication Administration


Every morning, every night

He folds his hands and holds them up

I spill out the blister packs

Scarlet pills in a scarred white cup.


I have seen that shape before

And now I find it troubles me.

Those hands held in just that way.

But I can’t place the memory.


Capsules gather in his hands

Each decoction in its turn

With names like Latin liturgies

That neither of us care to learn.


They’re meant to still his demons

Quiet the trembling in his limbs

Meant to make his visions cease

And meant to win some rest for him.


Only later on that night

When all is quiet on the floor

I remember where I’ve seen

Those hands make that shape before.


On Sunday at the altar

Patrick kneels with his hands held up

To eat, drink in that same way

Body and blood from that same cup,


He takes one like the other

Would that we all were so devout

Swallowing a mystery

For to cast a mystery out.

Poems In A Book

17506125_1250785678290121_1139197580_n.pngInsomnia-inducingly, bowel-looseningly excited to announce that Cormorant Lord and Other Poems From Under The Hebrew Sea is now available here. All the best poems from this site (and even some that aren’t) now available to carry about with you in case you see a carefree person and wish to unsettle them.

Designed by the inimitable Jeff Baker of and presented in finest .pdf and tree-paper.