This tree

This tree wraps the sky in its arms, a promise
of salvation buried beneath bark
as leaves peak at the surface, buoyed
by the world’s pledge of protection
softly cooing on the wind.

The breeze dissolves as all things must
into an atmosphere of unmoving refuse
where changing winds turn away
against the backdrop of cows laying still
under the too-slow warming sun.

And still this tree shivers looking ahead,
optimism scrubbing bark clean of dirt
and other residue otherwise clouding its defense, 
stronger in the effort while grasping
at the heavens, uncertain as they are.

Through the thorns

We search for a scarlet rosebud,
grabbing past the dreary thorns —
hidden but hopeful — pricking us
on our pursuit of that perfect bloom
sprouting defiantly for us.

The fire reveals the fruit but
illuminates scars — some we’d hoped
to hide with half-eaten candy —
not realizing that the bigger the room
the more places for serpents to hide.

I feel fortune’s poke in this, propelling us
on a treasure hunt where X
misses the mark sometimes while
our best highwater pants
keep our shins delightfully dry.

Survive the ice

Morning arrived with an icy slap
of good intentions — a cheeky
red reminder to weather another day.

Will the unwritten tourist hasten
to the conclusion, twenty-four unlived
chapters cut for time?

Or will she hold the day close and enjoy
whatever blows in with the chill, knowing
we cannot choose the story but relish the book?

The sun illuminates
what night tries to hide — a colorless tale
cannot survive long.
Survive long.

Reflections in space

Standing in the mirror
she failed to divine
the scope
of a universe just above
the horizon. Unseen
within herself,
distracted by visions
of reflected glory, her dreams
begged for sunlight.

The astronaut neglected
to recognize the gravity
of the situation,
but with luck she will
seize the opportunity
another daybreak illuminates, light
bounding among
the star-point hopes
lost among the dark.

Poem included in new #1 anthology

I have some incredibly awesome news: my poem “Another storm” is included in a brand new poetry anthology, Pain & Renewal from the wonderful Brian Geiger at Vita Brevis Press. That anthology was released yesterday and shot to #1 in Amazon’s poetry anthology list. It is such an incredible honor to be included in this work with a wide collection of talented poets.

Discolored past

The rocks mark the ground
between prospering weeds enriched
by the warmth of a sun surging overhead,
encircling those of us interred
on a planet whose
percussive heartbeat rocks me to sleep.

I sense the presence of wildflowers,
of ants scurrying together in the dirt,
of life — too bountiful to count or name —
thriving in the darkness or
at least out of sight —
I dare not note a difference in perspective.

Photos remain after we pass on
a gentle breeze that thoughtlessly turns
blacks to sepia, discoloring too many memories
otherwise cruelly lost
in darkness
even though the sun shines tomorrow.

Where has Phillip been? WRITING

I just this week completed the first draft of my first novel, tentatively called That Time the Earth Almost Melted: A land-based space comedy. If you hate that title, well there’s plenty more to hate after that. And that’s where you come in: I need volunteers to help me out by beta reading this tome before I even think about publishing it.

The year in light

The twilight of another year sparkles
with flashes — burning brilliance —
so I cannot leave them behind
as we place one foot into the future.

I pause now, lingering
on the twinkling moments,
savoring the sweet stamped imprints
while my month waters
in anticipation of more to come.

Even the sad, the hurt,
the bulbs I’d replace if I could —
I’ll take them with me. Sometimes
any light is a reminder
that life glimmers between bursts
of radiant light
whether we’re looking or not.