Roses of Belfast
Brown-eyed Susan
Under a White Umbrella
Mexican Conquest
Expresso Dreams
Summer Rain
Christmas Eve
Morning After
Eternal Unity
Bitter Blossoms
Tender Mercies
Into the Darkness
Miss Maddy Jones
Could They?
The Temple Gate
Midnight Writer
Sioux-Blue Sky
Nine Years Old
Spring Sonnet
Same Time, Next Year



"Out of pain, and pain, and more pain, we feed this fevered

plot" ~ Mary Oliver


I remember going back and forth along the road from Paris to Dresden,

a road often traveled by my grandfather's grandfather in another lifetime.

I held the precious hand-drawn map marked with tiny crosses,

indicating family burial grounds near the old homeplace in Tennessee.

Little did I know the road had been moved a century before.


Somehow, a narrow path under a stand of cedars opened, beckoning me.

I walked through knee-high weeds between depressions in the red earth,

My cousin told me about the unmarked graves,

those of slaves whose names are long-forgotten.


I found stones with familiar names, spoken long ago,

and the grave of a baby born in 1862, after the war began.

He died two years later, never having lived a day in peace.

I felt grief, not just for him, but for my great-great grandmother

who suffered such a private loss while her world went mad.


Each grave, marked or not, holds memories, secrets,

traces of tear-stained dust,

and I feel the pain of freedom lost, or freedom never attained

until the grave became the portal to a promised land.


I feel the pain of voices silenced on the road from Paris to Dresden.

I feel the pain of lives lost and promises never kept.

I feel the pain which fed the fevered plot

where nothing grows on unmarked graves.