Words wrenched like teeth from fractured mind
I flail to find those appropriate or right
twisting in the wind of the silent storm
I still shine love and fear
in equal portion and egalitarian balance

Words are difficult as weapons or solace
today I struggle more than usual to find
the ones that belong and those that don’t
the mind fighting to find the ones
that reflect what the heart reveals

Words are small as atoms, yet reach across
the widest chasms in some strange entanglement
words are massive as stars, yet light
only on some chosen few
or the terrifying reaches of empty space

Words cut deep as sharpened blades
almost as deep as the lack of them
words explode from my fingertips in voiceless terror
while my mind struggles for sentences and coherence
words are muscle memory writ deep

Words are pictograms of love and savagery
words are the taste of tears or triumph in measure
words are my legacy, my only remains
words etched on tablets, parchment, paper, or pixels
words written in shifting sands

It’s difficult to write in the aftermath of the stroke. I always gave thought to each word I wrote but I am currently struggling to find them. It has improved somewhat and I hope it will continue to do so. I was going to finish a painting as well but my hands won’t yet obey my brain. Typing is difficult and slow (at least by my standards). The slur is leaving my voice at least. But even with all that the urge to create is strong. Undeniable. Please forgive me where I get it wrong.


Stick figures run across my pages in jagged lines
short sharp sprints to the end of marathon weariness
they join hands and form words or phrases across pale-papered fields
they race or fall, broken and failing before the finish line, in their hundreds
and thousands. Each one imbued with some meaning to me or to you
or the chaotic melee of some mortal battle

These joined figures carry weapons, sharp and deep, cutting
wounds torn from me in bloody ragged gouges
mimicking the scars on my body where the pain became
overwhelming and too much to bear
They come frost-rimed and in intolerable heat
torn from darkness into the harsh light of exposure
they bring no catharsis or solace, reflecting more than healing
as the lacerations you left grow deeper, infected
with sorrow and grief and the asperity of these words

These figures rush like lemmings to their inevitable demise
to be as forgot as their author, in hours or days or weeks
moss over the unmarked resting place of both
growing wild midst martyred love and shattered saint