My Hack Poetry

Today, I begin teaching my favorite unit of my Composition II course…incidentally, this is also the unit that a  large number of my seniors irrationally fear: poetry.  I have a deep affection and appreciation for the poetic form and its ability to frame up thoughts and feelings I often lack the ability to convey through prose.  Thus, in honor of our venture out into the unpredictable and sometimes messy world of poetry, I’m sharing a few poems I wrote a few years back. Most were posted on my old blog, so apologies if you’ve already read these. Cheers!


Gray Morning Musings

Morning cold painted on an easel of clouds,

soundtracked by applauding raindrops.

A warm sweatshirt,

A cup of cheap coffee,

Elliot Smith on repeat;

Today I reject fluorescent lighting

and a million other falsehoods.

I’ve heard others accuse gray of being uncertain,

a lack of commitment to day or night…

and I disagree.

Some days the sun sells lies

as cheaply as does darkness.

On a frigid, colorless, rain-soaked day,

the mind is laundered, washed, cleaned;

synapses slowed, it once again takes notice

of simple blessings…

A warm sweatshirt,

A cup of cheap coffee,

Elliot Smith on repeat.


Dusk Driving

The road stretches out ahead,

diving down an Ozark hill

only to jut upward in the distance,

rising as a border between heaven and earth,

textured by a landscape of trees

still clinging to the last of fragile, dying adornments

against certainty of winter departure.

A fiery mix of gold and orange and pink

hovers just above in the frigid November sky,

compressed, smothered, extinguished

by the purple descent of night.

And as I navigate the landscape,

I thank the trees and the night sky

for reminding me that ends are necessary

if we desire to know new beginnings.


All Things Breathed Into Being

All things breathed into being,

God crowned creation with approval

yet was not satisfied

to charge the man,

“take dominion alone.”

So from dusty flesh

He formed her,

she who would be

more a part of man removed

than when she was his rib.

He knew her.

She knew him.

Both were known.

I’ve known you.

You’ve known me.

We’ve both been known.

But prone to wander alone,

we go apple-picking where

Serpents lie,

and in our fig-leaved solitude,

one flesh begins to feel as two.

Oh, to shed concealments

born in shame and lack of faith,

souls, thereby, freed to mingle.

Oh, flesh of my flesh,

bone of my bone,

to be naked and unashamed!



When just sixteen, I knew it all;

by twenty-one, I’d learned the rest.

At thirty-two, I have the grace

to forgive youthful foolishness.

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