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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...


Involuntary upheaval
Nowhere to run
Nowhere safe to lay my head
Demands are too much
The ransom is my life

A game—that's all it is
Control is the prize
Except I don't want to play
Trying to walk away
The captor has a heavy hand

There are no more words
The rift has ripped through me
Erased away the better parts
I don't even know who you are
Altered by a monster


Her beauty was hiding
All it needed was a bit of sunshine
And a fresh, happy setting
Then her radiance did blind
That smile—so arresting
The skip in her walk
And that sweet little laugh
Under her breath with eyes looking down
Beloved and missed are here
Together entwined in love
Sweet, darling girl.

rubbed off paint

Our unfettered selves collided today
A pop quiz lay at our feet 
And we pulled through unscathed

In the midst of the muddle 
A bit of our magic got rubbed off
The sensation—a scrape—so gentle
Yet there 

As I felt the inevitable sting
My heart sorely fell for a moment
The shine that had been ever so blinding
Now paled

But then—
I could better view our humanity
The beauty of both of us
Embracing in unsparing charity 

Flooded in and buoyed by the kindness
Within our perfectly flawed exchange
Giving with a brighter fondness

Magic's paint only lasts so long
Seen through the clear glass of acceptance
Is where this lovely vision belongs

musical enchantment

The music. That music.
It gets underneath my skin.
Makes it's way into my heart.
Nestles into my mind.
And now, it is wrapped
Around my soul.
A lyrical enchantment.
Caught within its spell.
Seized by the longing.
Captivated by its sweetness.
Drawn in by the melancholy mood.

To dance with you
Under the light of the moon.
It is all I want.
To listen and weave
Our hearts together.
To feel your hand in mine
Leading me in time.
The music. Our hearts.
Beating out the rhythm.
Underneath our skin.
Wrapped around our souls.

happy passageway

A spillway but for emotions
The dam of negativity can no longer hold
Back the tide that has changed
This joy and gladness rises high
So high that it will not be contained
It rushes fiercely across the top of the bad
Overturning immovable boulders
Washing away the poisonous sludge that
Stood as a never-ending trap
Now the nightmare is drifting toward obscurity
Down into the darkness where it belongs
And I find myself traveling toward happiness
Because of you


On the cusp of change
I discover something new
About myself and about you
We are afraid to move

The emotions have a range
That goes deeper than a canyon
And wider than any ocean
Trepidation diminishing their scope

Panic promises more than we can
At this moment we find ourselves
Amidst a whirlwind that delves
Into the past, present, and future

On the verge of giving in to its pull
With a surge terrifyingly beautiful

take my heart

We pass notes back and forth
Through the mail
Along the wires
Like school children
But in a higher stakes game

Our lives have led us to believe
That there are more impossibilities
Than anything that could ever actually be
Our dreams lie in the wake of this fallacy

I sense your beating heart
I come undone at its rhythm
Your many layers as they are shed
Break me down and I will not rest
Until we face each other in bare naked humility

Show me your fears
Shed tears as we unravel
The years of brokenheartedness
Lay your trembling hand on my heart

The light between us can push out the dark
For where there is light darkness cannot be
So trust me when I say we can find a way
With hope, faith, and charity
Love will take root and never let us down

our valuable time

The days melt into weeks
And weeks into years
Time has this funny way
Of flying faster than it seems
One day you look back
And you don't know where
It all went—the time
The only measure to be trusted
Is found within the moments
That we take to make it all count
Risking our hearts in a gamble
With our most precious commodity
Choosing when, where, and how
Matters more than we can tell
Until we are reflecting on
Where we were
And how we got there
Let's make the moments
Melt into something
Like a timestamp upon our hearts
Proof that we truly live

look it up

Looking up words in the dictionary
Can be dangerous in a way
You get to thinking about what things mean
And attaching the dictionary version
Onto what the person says
Words like adore and close
Have the most poetic definitions
Except there is a risk of loading
Too much of what the dictionary writes
Into the words of another
They might not be well-versed
In dictionary reading and so
The meaning could be only face value
A scratch on the surface of the moon

sun gets in my eyes

Drawing by C.T. Duncan
You ran so far away that I couldn't find you
The sun got in my eyes 
And I never want to stand in the dark again
There is not time enough to search
Through the rubbish and wait
Always waiting for you to figure things out
Never to know how well it feels
To stand, holding hands, in the sun
With someone who already knows
What I need, what he needs
What we need to carry on 
Is the love we give ourselves
But better because it carves away 
Sadness and pain, making way 
For something more
As we look toward the sun

Seeking to Become - April 2014

1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Luke 24:1-7 
In my journey of seeking to become more Christ-like, I can think of no better way than to remember what Christ did for me and for you. He made repentance possible through the Atonement and overcame death that we might rise again to live in peace with those loved ones we have lost. Sweet reunion has been made possible because of Him. And my heart finds joy and comfort in this hope. My prayer is that my testimony of faith in the Redeemer of the world might reach you and you might join me in this journey of becoming, of reaching our divine potential through faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

join me in the sun

Sun fell on her shoulders
Just like it always had before
Yet today it felt empty
The warmth just wasn't there
Looking around
She saw how alone she was
Feeling the ache
Of wishing for a hand
To hold
To embrace her
To run its fingers through her hair
Realizing how the sun
Feels warmer
Shines brighter
Casts out the shadows
Better when shared

overcoming wildfire

In an instant
News travels like wildfire
Like the cancer
That was lying in wait 
Stealthily overtaking your body
My precious friend
My neighbor
And all I can do is pray
Praying for a miracle
For you
For your children
For the love of your life
We will all pray 
With a perfect brightness of hope
We will all be here together
With our hearts in our hands
Doing all we can to show
How precious you are
To each of us
In all the many beautiful
Ways you have made life 
Worth smiling at
Your humor
Your music
Your mischievous 
Glint in your eye that we all love
In this instant
Gratitude overwhelms me
For the honor of being numbered
As one of your friends 
I have not one shadow of a doubt
You will be triumphant
You will overcome 
My precious friend and neighbor


My broken heart thanks you 
For being so steady next to me
You owe me nothing
We have no binding ties
Yet—you are there
In some of the little ways
That cause a transformation
Keeping me going
Revealing to my mind and soul
That my story is not over
And everything will be fine
Because it always works out
Pointing to the visible proof
Spread out over time


These words are written with a price
I can hardly scratch a letter upon the page
Without feeling some of my heart
Leaving me and finding a new home
In your eyes, in your heart
And your soul radiates it back
To me it seems like a small price
To pay for the admiration
And spiritual connection
That I feel when we share
What I give and what you give
As we lay our love out in words

ode to the early responders

Disastrous scene
No apparent survivors
Barely a shred of hope
For the early responder
Pulling aside wreckage
Piece by piece
Focusing fully
On embracing
Every single fragment
The flaws, the fears
With fascination

You know who you are

Holding onto me with love
Seeing who I am with who I was
Encouraging who I will become
Out of nowhere, in the midst of my wilderness
You entered
And did not run
To the nearest exit
You stayed for more
Weaving your presence
Into my existence
Proving that I did not die


As the warmth of you
Your simplicity of life
Your complexity
Your self
Awakens the phoenix
From the ashes
Taking flight
With the power of light
Combined with a consuming fire
Kindled by compassion

An everblooming beauty

Whence you came I cannot tell
You seemed to slip between the pages
Of this book of mine that I have written
Upon my heart and soul
Your influence is the embossed ink
Upon these pages
As you press yourself against this shell of life
Lifting me to sense more
Than I am ready for


For being a pile of shards wrapped within a bedraggled rag
On an odyssey that spans an eternal path of perpetual zigzag
The emotions run so high and angle in at unimaginable depth
Creating an insatiable taste within my mouth for what I lack
And I am forced to accept that I am still laying on the tracks
Bleeding out, untouchable, a temptation not tempting enough
For the first responders to ignore a potential double agent attack
And now love looks more like war than it ever has before—so black

Choking on possibility

The air
The sky
Your face
Your look
A word
A kiss


I search the horizon
For you every day
Watching for the moment
When the smoke clears
And we can breathe
A deeper breath than ever before

Across this insuperable canyon

You step off the ledge
To find me
Moving forward
Toward me


To the human eye
This looks more like madness
This mess of a dream
Takes no shape

Like a mist

In the early morning after rain
Cools the desert floor
So parched


My tears forever in the moments
When you respond to who I am

Anticipating what I have to give


related links:

in the middle forever

view from a train wreck

sunlight and supernovas

fear of not falling

To fall would be a dream that could
Turn into a traumatizing nightmare
Sweeping away all the glitter from our divine
And luxuriant friendship we have cultivated
The thought brings me to my knees
In a perfect soberness
With tears and fear for the future
I would do anything to know
How the several twists and turns
Turn out on this switchback path
Alas, that cannot be until the way
Is tasted and tried in all its variety
The bitter and sad pairs well
With the richly flavored delights
Of love earned and felt
Upon your lips I hope to earn
My name forever pressed and expressed
With an honesty known from the depth
Of all eternity held in the moment
Because we took a thousand leaps
Into the unknown and kept on falling

part one: fear of falling

fear of falling

I ran my fingertips across the screen
Thinking I might say something
Something, anything, soon
Reaching out when I know you
To be afraid, hesitant, and disbelieving
It breaks my heart to see
How much magic escapes you
How much happiness always
Slips away from us because of this
A situation beautifully tragic
Exquisitely delicious and bitter
All at once everything is present
A gift of reality that is pure romantic fantasy
If we would let go of fear and just fall . . .

that kiss

I can't—or shouldn't—tell you
How you made me feel
So long ago and then once again
As you brush your hand across my cheek
And run your searching breath along my neck
Sending me into an inescapable dream;
Nor shall I elaborate
How the simple fact of you
Gazing lovingly into my eyes
And gently pressing your sweet kiss
Upon my unpracticed lips
And fingers, one by one,
Remind me of what I want
I want you—and always will.

dance with me

The entire room is electrified
With beaded sweat and sparkling nerves
I need to hold your arm
To calm and for decorum's sake
The music starts
Beating out the rhythm of my heart
Extend your hand toward me
Even beckon with your gesture
And I will come to you 
I will follow where you lead
Hold my curves 
Push us past all others
Show the mocking world we can do anything
Smile with your hazel eyes
Dance with me outside of yourself 
Lead me into another world
Where the music overtakes us
And we forget that we aren't alone
As we dance with all we have

who you are

Exuberance is not the word, neither is elation or excitement
I am certain happy isn't special enough
To explain what it is I feel today
Nor can giddy grasp the moment rightly
There is a perfect something that leaps within
Speaking to my soul of what kindness
Can be and should be and is
When it stops to realize who you are

You are the kindness I cannot remember
Because it has been so long
This famine of civility and love
Has parched my heart until it crumbles to dust
Beneath the slightest disapproving touch
You are the sunshine after winter's end
That warms the earth, burns off the frost,
And lights the day until darkness must depart

Beautiful sunshine warming my soul might be just the right words
To explain how you are able to force this smile upon my face

to breathe

It catches every time I say your name
Or hear you say mine
I forget about it whenever I remember
That we've never truly met
And all the wishes in the world
Will not bring you to me
So I hold it in the hope
You will reach out to me
And close the gap a little more
Inch a little closer, dear
I've been holding on for so long
My words would rather die unsaid
Than take a breath without you
Near to take my breath away again

every day

Before the light could bear the day
It reached around the mountain
Taking a peek but then looking away
The inevitable would come soon
Yet the clouds provided some time
For it to flirt with the far distant moon
Dancing slightly along the ridge
Darting out boldly from time to time
Through that thick blanket of clouds
Now wrestling with the idea of letting go
Of all restraint and burning away
Everything standing in its way
To shine forth resplendent
At the break of dawn — never to relent

find me

When the beauty of life fades
Into the darkness
I go
To where no one can
Find me
And I weep for all that's lost
Inside and out
Overtaking my very being entirely
I fear
Solitude will be my constant companion
Taking my hand
For an icy trip through life
Walking beside me
Could take a toll no one will pay
Be brave
To ward off the black that blinds
See me 
Into my very center
Take me
Outside of the mess I'm in
I return
To where light and love resides
Find me

spelling it out

Anticipation running through her veins
At a pace that could send anyone into arrest
Before even touching the ground
Barely getting enough air to breathe
Coming to her senses
Conscious thoughts
Defeating the perfect hopefulness
Daring to keep her afloat
Even her clothes began to doubt
Every stitch that was holding them together
For no one has claim on her
Freedom is a sort of slavery when you can't see the path ahead.
Giving way to solitary notions
Hovering between excitement and dread
How can balance be achieved?
Impatience is ousted
Inner peace finds a home
Just in time, the worries of the world stop
Jarring her about
Knowledge of her worth
Kicks away self-doubt
Love and gladness enter in
Leaving no room for anything else
Moving toward him almost imperceptibly
Melts her heart upon sight
Never to know another moment
Nearer to this magic
Opened up soul
Opaque turned transparent
Quiet overwhelms her thoughts
Quickness of time passing by unnoticed
Reveals detachment from the clock
Releasing any hold upon her mind
Searching for a means to an end
Silence where words once resided
Tickles at each uttered word
Turn touches into language that fill in every gap.
Underneath his tenderness hides
Unseen fear within those eyes
Visible for a flash—one moment
Vying for security
Wishing for refuge from change
Welling up inside their hearts
Expectations fighting for a place
Expertly crowding out reason and doubts
Yet—it can not be.
Yielding in weakness would destroy.
Zeal in newfound sweetness might spoil.
Zest for life could turn to pain.

too busy for me

I see that you are busy, darling
So busy that you don't see me
Standing here, in front of you
So busy that you can't imagine
How we could ever work
So busy that I'm wondering
What I'm doing here
So busy that I question
Everything because you
Left me to fend for myself
Because you wouldn't see
What is most important
And being busy is not it.


You touched my tender heart
The time slipped away from us
Memories mingled with memories
We broke love's long silence