best magic

two of my friends I knew
would be in my life forever

as the small group I will die

that’s how the future
becomes the past

what went is longer
than what is to be

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some parts are trained to not feel pain
like a dog’s paw or a person’s skull bone

and some parts feel an ache
the tip of hurt

like a little truth avoided
before it leads to something big

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No one knows what poetry wants,
why it talks about the smudged
window where the pigeon smacked,

and not the blinds on the inside,
slicing the view into rows until
we call it open.

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State Machine

Jumpy lumps allow and contain,
eating our long confusion.
Like beads pulled through the brain,

computing one event after another,
with a pause on the clap–
think clogging not ballet.

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Quantum Chemistry in Ladyland

Communication is all talk.
Other signals carry more

of the good stuff– where
she is in her dream at night

by how she breathes.
To kill myself I would first

the beast that wants to live.

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Tubing the Guadalupe

While drowning I wanted air to be water
and fish to fly.

We love nothing as it is.
I went under three or four times,

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Photos from Villa Aldora, Cozumel. Sunrise, facing east from Villa Aldora, Cozumel. Sunrise in the east creates antisolar rays in the west. Antisolar rays are opposite the sun, converging to the antisolar point. Read the full article →

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Bargad’s Shade

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The poem “Bargad’s Shade,” by Gnyaneshwer Nigudkar, is about the gift of the shade of the Bargad tree on a very hot day. Not just a hot day–so hot it is “raining fire.”

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story for here

strike the word courage from your language

walking out of a falling building
is not courage

walking into a falling building is not courage
it is a risk acquired

a bet placed against odds
a different kind of hand reaching forward

yes a bet

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secret message

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Check out the latest Weave Magazine. They selected my “decomposed” for the poetry section. Purchase a copy here.

“Char Front” is a fine read with a lot to ponder, recommended. – Midwest Book Review

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domesticated soul

think we misbehave?

puppies pee and I fart massively
twice a day

soul boots a life into meat-brained wildness
and you expect good manners

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Char Front Readers

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I LOVE your book! -Ellen

The poems in Char Front lend themselves to repeated readings and what at first comes across as a clean use of language becomes poignant and profound. One realizes: Ah, a lot of thought lurks behind the poetry in Char Front …

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when we are in the canoe wait for us

Thom Moon recorded Ric Williams reading the poem “End” from Char Front.

A video of Leslie reading “End.”

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Char Front Book Release

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I came home yesterday and found in my mailbox YOUR BOOK!
I know what everybody is getting for Christmas. -Deb

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gates of the celebration

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silence of all the horns blown at once
silence of silence pulled from all around
filling the full cup to the edge

clear and carried carefully
by tonight
thirsty again

I was a generous person undone
by remorseless caution

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rain water glass

how can you not believe in magic
when you hold her wrapped in her own skin

to the gears of a stubborn mind
the smell of coffee means relief is near

she clicks into place a distant eureka
a bird song after a bad fall

dreaming alone we find our way home
my heart tightens against being here

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embarcadero sermon

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thank God for this rain

but go slow when you talk to him
he’s reading all the parts at once

we sit picking at our wrapped-up wings
brown leaves swirl up the trees

forgive this shell this husk of being
crab splayed to stay inside

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wet suit

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I heard a vicious rumor that someday we die
the proof is white buildings and sheet covered bodies
hustled out the back door planted in the ground

a terrible rumor that at some point we lose our temper
melt into anger and say things hugely wrong

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bus stop

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(for JoeB)
the string of time knots at your feet

dead pets look up with bright eyes
parents cured hold you tight
friends return

I heard every word you ever said

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recipe for success

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shock us up daily
tell our big world about devilish hands
caught spelunkered in naughty pockets

what do they matter at six I stuffed a firecracker into a lizard’s mouth
gateway to a career in engineering and nights of reading poetry
in flung corners of LA

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Char Front

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Char Front is a travelogue of the passage of our own beings through a frazzling world, stories that will engage souls moved by deeper currents.

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