Horses of the Gods


Clouds tumble and twist in a grayish-white sky

before there was an Iceland, there was only

the land of ice, where Vikings roamed the

tundra and sailed the seas, battling the

elements and each other for honor

and glory and a place in Valhalla,

the hall of heroes, Odin’s chosen

ones, who pledged their allegiance

to the king of the gods by fighting

with pure hearts in the wintry landscape,

when the thunder roared, the warriors

saw steeds beat down the air with

their heavy hooves causing the sky

to shake and sending sparks down

to the ground, no one could ignore

the might of these steeds who

served Odin and his kin as they

flew through the tumult and alighted

like butterflies in the snow fields to

stake their claim as deities of

the North.

















History of Quincy Street


I remember being in mama’s arms

staring at a living room that had seen

better days, broken furniture piled up

in a mound against the wall, glass

strewn about the floor, rats scurrying

under the ruin seeking refuge from

the young family that was moving in

I was too young to remember if where

we had been in the South End was as

awful as what I saw but it had to be if

we were moving into this apartment

that sat on the ground floor of a

yellow and white triple decker in

the center of Quincy Street.


Over the years the apartment, under the cleaning

efforts of mama, would appear less like

the aftermath of a bomb attack from Iraq and more like a

home filled with warm hugs and loud laughter as

two young children played games in the

long hallway, monster on Halloween

and annoyed the stray cats in the backyard

It was a house that withstood the storm

of 1978 where the snow drifts were taller

than my brother and me and the street

was a river of white, its where our little legs

trudged through the winter wasteland avoiding

plow trucks and sledding in vacant lots.


In spring, the rose bush would bloom and

in summer and the sidewalk would cook our

feet, the fall brought cool winds blowing

leaves down the street and pushing us

towards school, winter would come again

and we’d huddle around the kitchen stove

when the oil heat ran low, the mice would

hibernate in the walls and the roaches would

disappear until the warm air returned.


Mama always told us to do well in school,

to do better than society expected,

another poor black family destined

to continue the cycle of welfare and struggle

to go further than she did and not let government

cheese, shady landlords and icky insects be our



We had every desire to do better

we had to make mama proud,

no blind eyes to her efforts

single motherhood was her cross to bear

but her words were heard

we would not become statistics

of the streets and learn from the streets

that gave us so many lessons like

a second mother showing us how to survive

bullies, gangs, thieves and thugs.


We had scars from our encounters but

they only made us damaged warriors

still willing to fight, still willing to live

for block parties, games in the school

yard, walks to the store, Saturday

cartoons and afternoons with creature

double features.


It was all we had, it was all we knew

but Quincy Street taught us one

last lesson before we left – there

were many more streets to






Teleporter needs repairs

stinks in the labyrinth


Eye the dungeon

in the kitchen lab


Blind to the vanished

smell the orifice


Adjustments to the cable

such flashy controls


Something is weird in the bathroom

don’t hog the strange


Sounds from the restroom

make me smile


Like receiving junk food

after falling into a mess


Radio plays the music

that’s already in my head


It moves my feet

and sways my hands


Fetch me the googles

before I activate the machine


There’s a fire

in the boat of plans


So much for good technology

It needs a new formula




When I found my wrist bleeding, I didn’t scream.

I watched the blood caress my skin as it eased from my veins.

A pool had already formed on the pillow where my hand laid.

the blood was the shape of a flower, petals spread greeting

the morning sun in my window. I felt no pain. It hadn’t

reached my inner self.  My brain was somewhere else.

with my other hand, I touched my wrist feeling the

blood latch on to my fingers spreading down to

my hand. Both covered in blood. A marvel. A mystery.

Why did this happen? My dreams were dormant.

But I had fought death in my slumber. The battle

was a blank but the blood was real. So real.

Perhaps the answer can be found by my bedside.

The knife on the floor. The note scrawled in haste.

The wish for death. As the sun shines life into

my eyes.


Roses in the Wasteland


Ma cried in the kitchen.  Her head was bent. Her body was stooped.

A roach crawled across her hand. She didn’t bother to swat it away.

Daddy had beaten her again. But the marks went beyond her skin.

The bruises went past her bones.  Her hurt was beyond physical.

Ma took the beating to protect us.  Protect us from the beast.

A brute who hated the beauty of her love. Her love for us.

Small and defenseless. My brother and I.

We had escaped to the backyard.

From there we heard the yelling, the swearing and the crying

We could do nothing.  My brother and I.  We wanted to fight.

But could not.  We didn’t know how.  You can’t hope when you.

feel helpless.  Then there was silence.  Daddy was gone.

Ma was alone, but she wasn’t.

We were in the yard sitting by the rose bush marveling at its

beauty.  Seeing the power in its thorns.

Wishing we had thorns of our own.



The writing must be done

Until the moon kisses the sun




Heart versus heart, a

Tug of war, my eyes are brown

Not green, love is gone