My inspiration for The Patterns of Place: Seeking Shelter; Finding Home came from the refugee crisis in the Middle East and across the Mediterranean Sea, specifically, the image of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old boy who drowned and whose body washed ashore.
The Patterns of Place: Seeking Shelter; Finding Home
A loud rumble drew Marisol Flores to the window of the second floor apartment. Her chest tightened when she peeked between drawn curtains to see a steel gray armored truck stopped directly in front of the building in which she had lived for the past two years.
If nothing else, Chingis needed hope.
it’s a white sheet
A Weary Pattern of Dissolved Shell
Where knees and kettles impress soapstone,
black and cracked and smooth, the fire’s heat
By the Roadside
It comes upon you
as you draw
I dream of the house often.
Square white with a large porch,
plain wooden floors.
City Sea Change
The minute you leave
I summon the sea,
I don’t know her name. I don’t know
what she gathers of life
when she stands
in the morning
n blue floral dress, she
sighs. Hands, plump,
rest from their labor.
Gush Etzion Settler Speaks
On this road, this blessed packed dirt under our feet,
you can walk straight into Jerusalem.
I come from a place
where flowers are celebrated
by being crushed between
I am a settler of ancient ground
washed in the earth
How to leave home
If you must leave,
then let it be on the most quiet night,
a beautiful gesture, saying both go and hello:
one knuckle, a faint bristle of a hand
Language as a Wall
I said “äiti,” which starts with a diphthong that sounds a bit
like a drunk friend’s hello and ends with a terse request for tea.
Lay of the Land
I know that you felt stunted
in the landscape of your youth,
Learning to Tell
His earliest childhood years were
in battles and refugee camps,
no rocking chairs or playgrounds.
leaving as a stranger, coming back as a son
It may take 963km & 39days of hiking
Life into Stone
I must move the stone, she says,
though it is a mountain with no footholds,
He tallies the twenty dollars
he borrowed for his uncontested divorce.
You see, a place is a home
when your heart is at peace and harmony with it.
My Splendid Catch
is not the size of a hand
but is the size of shards flung in natural patterns
All those rights I was taught about
never apply in airports.
In a small town in Russia
the snow has turned orange.
It smells of rotting feet.
Red Flecks on a Veneer of Black
Sitting in traffic: slowly moving, the cars’
brake lights run rampant. Individually, we’re
The size of this lounge
makes me feel dirty
lilies in the moon
wild behind an empty barn
safe from zealous hands
This child, born of foam.
The Settler’s Son Is Leaving
Where’s your vest, your tzitzit?
Why do you come at me in jeans and a T-shirt you got
The Tilted House
We lived in a tilted house
Where our bodies compensated for the uneven floors
We Move Forward
The floor is sticky, the lights dim
A familiar Latin beat taps out the soundtrack
Where the Waters Meet
Let the river
Then the door parts. If this is a western, he’s the lone cowboy drifting in on a gritty breeze.
Naming the Stars
When I was little, I used to think that when the sun went down it would take the clouds with it, clearing the sky for the stars.
The Theory of Everything
We sailed from our homeport at Charleston Naval Base in June of 1999 en route a three-month deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
First, thank you to the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation for supporting creative writing in the community and helping to cover the costs of Scintilla. Secondly, thank you to all the writers who have been patient and gracious as I’ve moved through this year of grief. It’s been a difficult time and I’ve felt the love and support you all have shown.