Sinking Words

Words fall flat like stones

Across the water.

A few skips, then sink

Into the silence.


It should be a good thing,

Words gaining depth

Of meaning beyond

The undertow.


At rest in the sand

Like oysters,

Words absorb, quell,

Gather the quiet.


All souls like a sea,

Hold thoughts

Below the surface,

Words settle in.


You can’t use the space bar when backspacing.

I’ve begun writing for an hour now.

Nothing to show but white space

after deleting thoughts.

Talk about white supremacy.

What if every thought

was sentenced to paper?

Every tree beaten to a pulp?

Fiction and non, single spaced,

no margins of error,

looking like an inkblot

for our subjective peruse?

Ah, words.

Libraries full of them,

bound like prisoners,

serving their sentences,

and hoping for parole.

May I have a word?



The Apostle John’s first sentence in his gospel…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Words, Wards, and Swords

I am pen deep in the deep end.

My mind is liquid conundrums

flowing over rocks in a shallow stream.

My feet are tender on Sahara sand.

I wander into a mind field

hoping to detonate thoughts.

I long to hear shattering glass

and smell quotation marks.


I am pen deep in the deep end.

Scrawling silent sound bites,

slopped syllabled platitudes,

and bumper sticker shock speak.

Always searching for the edge,

but not standing too close.

Is this implement mightier?

If I raise it, will it be erased?


I am pen deep in the deep end,

journaling in all caps and exclamation.

Doodling, leaning on the sidebar soul.

Leaving it lay open, open.

Oh pen, where art thy inklings found?

I surmise from where thoughts arise.

I accuse the muse and light a fuse,

and lay my weapon down.

Monday Morning Muse: Four Way Stops and Old Man Thoughts.

Monday morning sometimes is like a filled four way stop. There is hesitation, balking, and questions. Who was here first? You wave to the other driver. You move your mouth through the windshield and three others stare. You try to read their lips and interpret their hand motions. Ugh.

I was in my big brown truck at a four way stop a few days ago. Rolling up and then through without as much as a neck tweak, an older man slipped through. His mouth was hanging open like my best friends dad did when he read the newspaper. The driver slouched with his hands at ten and two draped over the wheel. I wondered what was going through his mind. I know what went through mine.

One day, God willing, I will most likely drive around with my mouth open. I will read with my mouth open. Words won’t come out of the gaping hole, just breaths. My tongue will dry out and I won’t care. If I make it to seventy or eighty I might not have much to say. Four way stops won’t hold my attention. I will simply be thankful for motion. My thoughts will escape through the gape but not in words. Thoughts will depart from lungs of longing and I will inhale the sensory wonder that is this world. I will stay between the lines in anticipation of crossing them. I will be pulled over them eventually into the awe of road less motion. Heaven, just over the shoulder, will most likely cause my mouth to shut and I will come to a complete stop.

You Know You Have Encountered Writers When:

They sprinkle synonyms on warm buttered toast.

They brush off antonyms from their picnic sandwiches.

Their bumper sticker says “To split infinity and beyond!”

Their doormat’s inscription is Wel,.

They are emphatic about sentences being punctual.

They don’t kiss on the ellipsis.

They know the difference between an ampersand & and.

They are always in tense.

Run-on sentences get them around the writer’s block.

They hyphen-ventilate when administering syllabication.

They realize that italics aren’t descendants from Italy.

They think that conjunctivitis untreated leads to less apostrophes.

They figured out that colloquial is not a private religious school.

They wonder if No.2 pencils are second rate.

They give much thought to a prison sentence.

When they feel verbose they join Word Watchers.

Tight Words Loosen

Two hands open,

and spider leg fingers

touched down and

touched me.

She worked on me.

She pushed on knots

with oiled syllables.

Over and over

phrases massaged

my backbone.

Knowledge loosened

into understanding.

I was etherized on a table

long enough to rise

without what ails me.

Now my hands are again open

to work something out for you.


For Luci Shaw.