The Hand in the Current

I wrote this piece as a song in the Grunewald Guild Songwriting class.

The Boatman will take my last penny,

Or immersion will cleanse me from sin.

And if the Angel comes down in due season,

I’ll be the swiftest one in.

‘Cause I spend my life on churning waters,

hit breaking waves,

dodge boulder gardens.

And I find my rest in swirling eddies

Now the river’s all that’s left here for me.

You can say that you’re finished with rivers.

Just know damn well they’re not done with you.

It’s the hand swaying just under water

That you’ll wake up each night clinging to.

If you spend your life on churning waters,

hit breaking waves,

dodge boulder gardens.

When you find your rest in swirling eddies

Once the river’s all that’s left here for you.


A child knows family

and blowing cold and

a short huddle over peanut butter sandwiches.


and pizza for dinner.

All in winter.

Later, the slopes glow with



Every bundled body bears a sharp shadow.

Better to lie skin on snow,

warmed by paradoxical heat.

Better still to burn and not be consumed.


A veil of shadow and flaming grass
My heart, lost in splatters
of black and of red?
Mysterious sorrow.
The messenger says:
The oxen were plowing…
your children were feasting…
they are dead,
I alone have escaped
to tell you.

My skin, torn back until nothing remains
between me and the shadows?

Neurons and brain waves.

Or have I been opened to pain
not my own?
Does the messenger speak,
not of me
but to me.
All is well here, but somewhere
a messenger says:
I alone have escaped…
And the veil falls.


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