The Carver

A carver took his thoughts
And all of his experiences
And laid them carefully on his table
He picked one, one he liked,
And he began to go to work
Chip, chip, chip
He took away the excess
Shaping it into what it was meant to be
Letting his thoughts
And all of his experiences
Guide the movement of his hands
When it was finished, he looked it over,
The finest work he’d ever done
It came out in two pieces
In his heart belonged the one
The other moved at his demand
And he knew they were his only masterpieces
The dagger in his heart
The other in his hand.

Shapeshifter Rehab

“It’ll take time,” they tell me,
“To be yourself again.
Spending lifetimes shifting skins
Can take lifetimes to undo again.”
“You’ll be fine,” they tell me,
“You just don’t know it yet.”
But I’m still waiting for the day
They understand the pain
Of being who I’m asked to be:
A person who is no one yet.


My breath has been replaced with lead
And I’ve a soul that now is nearly dead
And a heart that for too long has bled
On the field of raging war inside.

No one sees the battles every day
Where each side claws to keep their foe at bay
But I can feel the casualties, in that same way
You know that someone dear to you has died.

But I am forced to hope it’s not so sad
That maybe there’s freedom to be had
And it won’t just leave two sides half mad
Wondering who can be right when both sides lied.

Mr. Knives

If I ever find the wielder
Then there’ll be hell to pay,
For I can feel again the dagger
That with my heart just loves to play.

All I know about him
Is he has those steely eyes;
And there is no doubt about him
When he’s playing with his knives.

He comes to call when I am angry;
When I’m tired, and confused.
He sells his blades for free
And leaves my heart all steel-infused.

I wish I knew just why he did it;
But he’s always leaving knives,
And yet his worst leaving to wit
Is the need to stab him in those steely eyes.

Rose Colored Glasses

Did you lose them on a walk?
Did you drop them down a well?
Come, my dear fool, talk!
We’ll find out where they fell.

Did you lend them to a friend?
Did they crunch beneath your boot?
It must’ve been an ignoble end
For you’ve turned into a mute!

What, did you lose them to a vat of rum?
Were they stolen by a ghost named Fred?
You needn’t look so vexed for them —
They’re there upon your head!


He will be here on the morrow,
Just as he has been today;
His middle name is Sorrow,
And he hangs on every word I say.
A better suitor I can’t ask for;
He’s a wonder to behold!
He sees me to my core
And still, will be here when I’m frail and old.
My every flaw and trouble
At his feet they lay the blame;
Which only makes me like him double,
For it’s such a favor I cannot repay.
He calls me on my bluffs, you see;
Yet he’s the liar, they will say.
While whatever else I might be,
They define me by his stay.


We are a line of black and white,
Numbers on our faces;
I never learned the rules quite right
I just know we’re in our places:
A blow of wind, we all fall down,
Holding to each other;
Dragging each his neighbor down,
Neither finding cover.

Just Like Family

I can call it, now, my family;
For poetry and I,
We’ve ceased communication —
Fallen back on “yep” and “fine,”
And all those little empty things
That govern familiarity
When it forgets to make an effort
Beyond signing on the dotted line.