Onion layers


Part of the reason that the best poetry only hints at a message can be attributed to the wisdom of the onion. A long time ago, this root wonder began to reveal itself as it shed its papery skin. One thin, delicate piece that leads to chunky, tear provoking, overwhelming odors. In first approaching the onion, would you be ready for what lies within?

Some say that we find ourselves as we slowly strip back layers of the onion. Therapies are built on this theory. The poet taps into some of that unconscious material and writes about the roots or the leaves that give the onion life. To write about the onion itself is a bit like disclosing the bio of the writer. Interesting, but hardly the point of the exercise.

The revelation could be a bubbling to the surface of something previously repressed or a creative thought in loose form. The moment of expression brings that unnamed, sometimes reviled thing to light. We get our wits about us and write with a layer of protection. This urge to share may be our soul’s effort to raise the collective consciousness. Maybe we need to pass on survival tips for life. This exchange happens without the poet or the audience sensing that the onion was only partially peeled.

Illustration courtesy of Pixabay.


The peace left behind

The last time I felt
Peace was standing
Under a grey November sky
We walked to see the beavers
Who were building a dam

At 15, and old enough to
Appreciate naked trees
And rocks with seed pods
The beavers built by
Transporting mud slowly

My father pointed out
The progress of the dam
Some things can be measured
The grey sky muted the light
And the New England breeze chilled

I was comfortable in this skin once

Today my thoughts spin so fast
That a lassooing wrangler
Must tackle them at night
As they run, like cattle
At breakneck speed

Each day, bright lights
Dripping sweat, blinding sun
Slammed down by blunt force
No pooled waters of
The life I left behind




In morning fog
Dream fragments still wake
Through solid doors
A crack finds its place

Young love burned hot
Ice buckets with age
Snuff the embers
With dreams the last stage

Lakes were colder
Steep cliffs ragged shear
Pine needles sharp
And the waters clear

Few thoughts retained
With East rising sun
What I can’t touch
Is proof it is done

Lost friends


Like a longleaf pine
My needles stretch far
My vantage point lengthens
Through the seasons

Friends standing close
Know to give me light
Without the verdant green
Floor to see
I would die

My friend, the fires
Have raged
And you have transformed
I have as well, but
Am consoled by the

If I could
say that you
Blessed my life
I would
Today, the words
Are choked by this
Dark cloak I wear

Fondly thinking of the longleaf pine. Thanks to Pixabay for the photo and endless website postings about this majestic and crucial southeastern pine.

Marching On

My tribe scatters far
But what came before
Marches on

Arlington tribute
Restless children walk
Caisson procession
Small girl falls

Rifles and bagpipes
A crisp folded flag
He fought the good fight
We stand tall

A power unknown
Memories deeper
United through miles
Tribal bond

Meeting just today
We walked the same grounds
Lilac in springtime
Yellow corn

Passed to another
Ideals and passion
Righteous with valor
Marching on

This life

Light gray fog wraps
Car in cocoon
Driver hits brakes
And then sits still

Where could he run
Or where to drive
Neither forward
Or back again

Suspended time
How or why spared
Gripping the wheel
Braced for impact