To Magdalena Andersson,

My name is Candice and I have been living in Sweden for about thirteen years. It is a privilege to live here but my home will always be earth. I believe that we are all connected and it is only through the formation of these vital, human connections that we can hope to save Ukraine and the planet as a whole. Right now Europe is wracked with war and it is devastating and it is terrifying and I, like so many others, feel confused and helpless. On the one hand, it feels like humans have regressed. War is savage. We should know better than to abuse our neighbors, our wild, precious planet, our humanity, our resources, our culture wherein there exists so much creativity, passion and diversity. We can do better and yet here it is, a war in Europe. On the other hand, you have the courage of the Ukrainian people and all those who are willing to fight beside them, whether it is with weapons or words or resources or ideals. I have been impressed with Sweden’s willingness to help other countries in need, particularly in times of crisis and I am proud to live in a country that fights for the welfare of humanity as a whole. I am both an American and a Swedish citizen but first and foremost I am a human being and I know that we cannot live in a world where human beings are divided. In times like this we have to work together, we have to believe that the goodness in humanity is greater than the fear which precipitates hunger and misery.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke. Can it really be for peace that we allow the hunger and the fear of one man (or a group of such individuals) to dominate and dictate our actions? Is it not also fear that silences us and ties our hands together? I am not a proponent of war and I believe that revenge only serves to perpetuate cruelty. We have a right to defend ourselves of course but the goal should always be for the betterment of humankind. I don’t have any solutions unfortunately but I will say that at the end of the day when we are lying in bed, unable to escape ourselves, it is a comfort to know that we have stood for something, that we have believed in something, that we have focused our efforts on love, hope, freedom, creative expression, and peace. Love might not conquer everything but I would rather invest in love, than terror and fear. So keep standing up. Keep raising your voice. In the midst of war be the one that shelters. I can’t speak for every citizen but personally I would rather live in a country governed by compassion. So provide whatever support you can and know that in saving one nation, you save us all.


A collapsed crescent,

Your grin. insinuates fire

Bereaves the lungs

Thaws the mitigating glaciers

Of my lustful heart.

Within your overtures

I am decidedly weak

Accidentally corporeal

I rush to rectify your fragments.

Wordle #49 – Cabbages

Wordle 49 Feb. 23

Ever since the cabbages died

Her smile is a partition.

Beside it I rest a Paper Tiger

An altruist tearing

His pockets in shame

But no man has the right

To claim a woman’s pain.


She called them cabbages

But they were always children

Our sons and daughters.

Anabiosis cannot be

Breathed through war,

Whether meteor or bomb

Heat curdles just the same.


Ever since the cabbages died

I sit on the porch in silence

Draught after draught

A beggar’s bowl

Between my knees

I asked God first

But some prayers

Only the Devil will seize.

No woman has the right

To censure a man’s retreat.


A visage twinged

Sings the saddest songs

But who will listen?

The days are sparse

The days are wearisome.

Default or defunct

Each man crawls along

A broken heart cutting

The palms and knees

Of whoever greets him.


She called them cabbages

But they were always children

Our sons and daughters

Taken by the Country

To fight in wars that the rich

Should have sufficient fodder

To seed their seedy schemes.


I took one look at this Wordle and knew immediately that it was going to be a challenge. I mean really what was I thinking?! Thanks to Jen for introducing me to Tim Buckley because it gave me inspiration for this piece.

This entry is for

Tale Weaver’s Prompt #26

Noite Sinistra

Noite Sinistra

I have never encountered

A depth from which

I could not descend

For every secret confided

Another skeleton assembles

Behind a denser wall

Of prejudice.


Orchestral or incidental

We find in each other

Some token of  our own

Personal horror.

Charon claims more

Copper than can be

Retrieved posthumous

And I stand before you now

An impoverished man

Who for want of dignity

Has given into the unspeakable


I have promoted injustice

For the approximation

Of a freedom that I was

Never invited to possess

And blood has proven

Stronger than mortar

And blood has proven

That hell has no cause

To wait for death


For every step governed

There exists an irretrievable

Moment of silence

And all this time I have been

Screwing your ghost

Hoping to scavenge some

Semblance of decency

Amongst the ruins

That have become me


I remember my life

As more than it was

Even though I have

Never known a present

That was not diminished

By my own departure.

I must never know the extent

Of what I have done

And I must never know

In whose name I served

Because the admission

Alone would kill me


Dreamers Meeting

Duy Huynh

I could have forgiven transparency

A dagger thrust into the anterior

Without the conceit of friendship

But that we should pass as strangers

And that you should behave so strangely

In my presence as if to refute it

Strips my bones all curative measure

Of what use this heart if only to bleed?

Of what use these hands when tethered?


The decadence of my prevaricating youth

Jars me into submission

The acquisition of anxious soldiers

Defecting into subterranean sunsets

At the first sign of commencement

Pray another man’s face

Does not disguise a jaundiced interior

Pray that I do not cancel one war

Only to embellish the next


My soul aches as a theremin

Consciously unconscious

Your fingers steeped in my aura

Attach themselves as parapets

To sleep now is to dream vicariously

Your withering contraband


What a day! I had kids over all day and while Isadora was at school I baked double chocolate chip cookies for the occasion. I am so tired! The above poem has absolutely nothing to do with this except to say that I wrote it in some sort of stupor lol


warRevised poem


I fell from the heights of ill-repute

To the obscurity of dusk

Where poverty found

Even my infamy lacking

For she stripped me cleanly of everything

My money, my inspiration, my pride

All found themselves upon her alter

Sacrificed unwittingly

For a few scraps of comfort

I found myself inconsolable

In my crimes

Drinking away the hours

In idleness


I spoke

Of the days of my greatness

As all men do

With an air of narcissism

That savors the memory

Of only key aspirations

Though I felt plainly my faults

I bore them poorly

Because nothing hurts worse

Than being called a god

And finding yourself to be no more

Than a pitiful excuse for a man

Who cannot inspire love

Or create anything of novelty


Once I had a voice

That stung with cynicism

A voice that threw open the doors

Of all that was dark and…

View original post 315 more words



My heart, a collapsed halo,

Upon which your bony fingers

Still impatiently drum

An abacus plucking out

Invisible adversaries

For us each to overcome


This poem is fictional and also short. Lately my poems have all been woefully short. I am even more scattered-brained than usual which scarcely seems possible.



Face down in a row

Rigid bodies crowd


Skeletal frames identical

A child’s hand reaches down


Grips an unsung memory

A king to pair the queen


A father and mother lost

If not for an abiding heart


Yeeps this was a tough one!

Submission for

Poet’s United

On Wolves And Vengence


“I already told you…I won’t kill the girl…” Aurelian said extracting himself coldly from a grip that was meant to contain him. “Did you love my daughter so little that you will not even seek justice for her murder…” The woman spat the words into his face. “It is because I loved her so much that I cannot spill innocent blood under the banner of her name…” The wolf prince answered calmly, wiping the spit from his face with the back of a bare hand. “How can you call that girl innocent? She is the daughter of a spineless murderer….by her very blood she is evil….” The woman said grabbing hold of Aurelian’s wrist once more as if to plead with him. “That man stole the life of my only daughter I would spill the blood of his in return…that he may know my anguish….” The woman said dropping to her knees, tears springing to her already bloodshot eyes. “That is not justice Emilia…would you make me a villain…condemn me even in death? When what I truly want, even above fulfilling my duties for the pack, is to be reunited with Ellesime…” He said but his words did not console only caused the distraught woman to tighten her grip. “I see it now…you are a coward….you mean to replace my daughter with an inferior human girl….” The woman said her fingernails breaking through his flesh in her desperation. “That is not love…you are a traitor…” She growled digging harder this time in order to hurt him. “I wish only to be the man that Ellesime loved…the man that she married….she is not here….do you not understand that! She is not here and I cannot bring her back again!” He ripped his arm free, the sudden jolt sending the woman to the floor where she lie dragging herself toward his retreating figure.


“What is that you would do Aurelian? What is this justice you speak of? If not for Ellesime what of the others who have fallen? Your comrades?” Emilia snarled, a pool of white against a marble backdrop, like a fallen Grecian deity, this woman of surreal and tragic beauty. “I intend to make the girl my bride…that man owes me a wife…” Aurelian said his voice edged with bitterness. “Make no mistake Emilia I mean her no harm…I will treat her well…I would not have her heart harden…as yours has…as mine has…” He said looking down though not at the ruined woman directly. “As for her father…he is the killer of this I suffer no doubt but I would know if he is a murderer…” The young wolf said eyes narrowing dangerously as if to frighten the woman into silence. “Any human who I deem to have murdered unjustly…remorselessly a member of my pack I shall kill….and that includes the Princess’s father…” He said dropping down into a squat in front of the broken down heiress.”Any wolf who would murder a human…will answer to me as well…though exile seems a far crueler punishment for you than death given that you still have a husband and son…or has vengeance blinded you to them?”


“How can you be so cold…what does it matter the reason? Reasons will not bring back our dead…the humans will continue killing until we are extinct…do you really think your pathetic farce of a marriage will ease their prejudice against us?” The woman said drawing herself up to sitting, knees at her side, head haughtily tipped into the air. “You would have me start a war….a war that we cannot possibly win…our numbers are too diminished…we are too compromised to repopulate…you mean to destroy the pack…to use them for your personal vendetta and I will not condone it Emilia…” Aurelian said rising to standing looking down at the woman with unconcealed disgust. How could this witch be the mother of his beloved?  “How long will we remain cowering in these mountains? Pathetic…paranoid…there is only one way to resolve this without slaughter and that is to form an alliance with the humans…they only fear what they do not know…and do not speak to me of their murders…what of our murders…I tire of this argument…there is nothing black and white about it…I hate that man as much as you Emilia…with every fiber of my being…I do not recognize myself for all this unjust hatred but having met his daughter…can he truly be the monster I need him to be…” Aurelian’s face was tormented, that face that before Willa was so sublimely impervious, now fragmented and fragile. He blamed himself for Ellesime’s death she was fiercely independent and he hadn’t stopped her from going out, if only he had, if only, she might still be alive. “Go I will speak of this matter no more…I have to prepare for my trip….”


(500 posts! Alright tomorrow will be a poetry day promise! I am nervous to post this one!)

The Cost of Freedom


Two hours and twenty-nine minutes of freedom and counting. That’s how long it had been since Reznik’s release. The world had changed in the intervening years and any life he’d meagerly scrapped together of his few remaining memories was fragmented. He could shape nothing of substance from these disquieting glimpses but he recognized the danger of inquisition.

He had neither home nor the means necessary to acquire one. Faceless shadows were both friends and victims. As for the town, it was familiar but it was not his place of origin. The world around him seemed false though he could not name the aberration that rendered it so. By all appearances the people were content. At some point he’d known a secret so shocking it would’ve thrown their little white picket fence worlds into chaos. Now that he couldn’t remember the secret he was happier for it. He would’ve been happier still if he hadn’t known of its existence at all, for now it was like a forgotten trauma needling away at the back of his brain. Perhaps it was just insanity he’d been locked up in the madhouse for a long time after all.

He’d been given a bottle of pills. The pills were meant to assuage his paranoia. He’d already thrown them away, after having taken a half-a-dozen, so he could sleep without the tragedy of dreams. Sleep he did on the park bench for about an hour. Scraggly beginnings of a beard, unwashed hair, tattered clothes, he would’ve looked like a bum if his body hadn’t been so solidly built.

He hadn’t been much more than a boy when he’d been locked up at twenty-two. Now at thirty-two the years had been kind to him, kind enough to make his actual age difficult to discern. His smile was just the same roguish lopsided grin it had been all those years ago when he’d become a soldier of good intent.

He had no money and his ID card no longer bore the name he was born with, he could no longer be his given name Reeve Kushnir (not that he’d went by Reeve since childhood) instead it bore a more innocuous name, one that would allow him to live as a stranger. This name had nothing attached to it, nothing or no one belonged to it, he did not know who “Gabriel Raisian” was nor who this man would become but it didn’t matter because Gabriel was free, Gabriel was an innocent man that bore no memories that might distort or corrupt him. Gabriel may not have borne the weight of his former name “Reznik” but he still bore the instincts and appetites of his former self even if his former self was just as elusive and untouchable as “Gabriel”.

In any case Gabriel or Reznik had wanted for the touch of another human being for ten years. Had he lived an ordinary life he probably would’ve been married by now with a few brats, maybe a dog and some sort of job, probably manual labor because his body was made for manual labor. Fate was a cruel mistress, she’d woven a harrowing tale for him, an interesting but virtually unlivable life. He’d survived somehow but without accomplishing even the prerequisites for living in society, a diploma, a job, a spouse, offspring. Without these prerequisites he was not only alone but alienated and suspect.

Reznik knew that there were adults that couldn’t be trusted, knew what horrors they were capable of, felt it in his bones, in the back of his skull, but children were different. Children he’d never had a reason to suspect of underlying malice. He was just naive enough to believe that the world hadn’t yet run its dirty fingers all over their souls. So when the youth bounded up to him he regarded the child with only a smile and a raised brow. The boy was young, only five or so, cute with an agreeable face. Trailing behind the child was a young woman in a wheel chair. Sister or mother he wasn’t sure until she’d caught up and he saw the subtle lines around her eyes. When he stood to greet the woman, the boy gripped his wrist pointing at the colored balloons a several feet away.

“Do you mind taking him up? I’ll pay your fare…” The woman offered, no more cautious than the boy but such was the nature of small town people. “Why not…he seems like a good kid…” Reznik answered, Gabriel he imagined was a respectable man who helped other people, atonement for “Reznik” perhaps. No sooner did the words leave his mouth did the boy start to tug on his arm impatiently.

“Come on Mister…hurry…” The child said unable to budge the man with the force of his feeble arms. Smiling apologetically at the woman he took the offered money but only because he had none of his own. Being rather old-fashioned he imagined himself working around the woman’s house doing odd jobs as compensation. He wasn’t sure if he was the handy sort, he just assumed his big hands must’ve held some more noble purpose than murder. He didn’t remember the blood but he could still feel it on his hands, those memories could never be washed away completely.

Once inside the wicker basket, several feet above the ground the fearlessness in his companion dissolved and the boy buried his face into his clothing. The exhilaration had become fear and he thought any moment the boy might cry, which he couldn’t bare.

“Come on kid…your safe…you think I’m gonna let you fall?” He asked placing a hand on top of the boy’s dropped head in what he surmised was a gesture of reassurance.

“I-I’m scared…” The boy said voice small, stuttered, fingers curling into the rough material of his green jacket.

“There’s a cloud that looks like a mouse and that one it kind of looks like an elephant with giant ears and a stubby trunk…” Gabriel started nonplussed describing each cloud in turn one after another. After a few minutes the boy looked up.

“What about that one…its looks like a dog with a hat…” The boy said pointing up at the sky. This boy could’ve been his son, this could’ve been his life, his lovely wife down on the ground straining up to see them shrinking into the atmosphere. Not Reznik’s life but Gabriels’. The exhilaration of the precariously swaying basket was lost on him. Nightmares had subjugated much of his life, there was not much left that he feared, that he could fear but what wasn’t lost on him was his newly acquired freedom (even if it felt leashed). Now he could live, innocuously, like these simple town’s people, amongst them, one of them in time. So long as he did not remember or succumb to delusion, whichever was the true state of things. Up here awash in blue sky and disheveled breezes he really did think he could forget, lose himself entirely and like the ever shifting clouds form a new identity.