Selected Publications

I won’t be announcing all my accepted work, but on occasion, I will link or discuss something that might interest you.

2 Responses to Selected Publications

  1. Dana says:

    Trying to read the poem called “Butterfly Effext” where can I find it?

    • Thanks for your interest in Butterfly Effect. It was originally published in Tupelo Press 30/30 Project in March 2014. It remained in their archives until the summer of 2015. It has been reprinted in the 2015 Rhysling Anthology (from the Science Fiction Poetry Association) which is an anthology of speculative poetry published in the preceding year that was nominated (in this case, for the long poem category…it is the longest poem I have ever written at over 900 words). However, I will post it here. The poem is long enough to work with both my lyrical voice and the (necessary) conversational one. I hope you enjoy it:

      Butterfly Effect
             For Vidya

      If prayers are as the pleasant
      scent of flowers, then butterflies
      must drift with their nectar, lifting
      it up to Him.

      A friend asked me about prayer.
      Told me how it didn’t work for her
      and that even the null hypothesis
      worked better. She said,

      forget faith, just pray.
      But to whom, I mused, the Fates?
      I suppose, Hollywood would
      agree with that mythology.

      Horrible things happen
      to good people, while louses
      revel in injustices. I know.
      After I was robbed

      so many times, I wondered
      if my God was out
      to lunch when I called on Him
      to protect me and my home.

      I had faith, but was it waning
      as a pale moth?

      Just about the time
      I was about to give up,
      I heard a loud rap, rap, rap
      on my door. I jumped

      out of bed… another bad dream:
      punks with bats and guns.

                  #

      A preacher on the radio
      started teaching about Job.
      Yeh, yeh, yeh, I said, I know.
      That poor schmuck

      lost everything and got sick
      as hell on top of that.

      His “friends” said Job didn’t
      have faith or that maybe he pissed
      God off. He believed them,
      until God showed up—

      a voice in a whirlwind,
      but at first he might have thought
      the whoosh was from his own
      labored susurrations. You’d think

      God would’ve told him
      why. Instead, He talked

      about the awesome
      truth of nature, His creation,
      and who controls it. It wasn’t
      Job; he remained speechless.

      God didn’t tell him about
      the deal with the devil, or how
      that scoundrel challenged God
      to test his loyal servant.

      But in the end, Job was restored
      and where his sores had been
      butterflies landed.

                  #

      Once my plane iced up flying into
      unforecast icing conditions: had to
      make an emergency instrument approach.
      It was below minimums.

      Yet He cleared a path at the last second,
      at my last prayer.

      Before I knew The Christ,
      I had faith—I believed in the Father.
      And He reminded me of it. I have faith,
      but is it fading? No, it is not,

      I have metamorphosed into
      a monarch.

                  #

      Pray with the innocence
      of a child. Do not worry
      about the wicked people
      for they will be changed

      as the fat dripping into flames,
      only wisps of soot remain.
      Don’t worry

      about the healing of your body,
      it is done the moment you ask,
      whether on this side of heaven
      or the other.

      If you ask Him for something,
      how do you know that prayer
      doesn’t bump into another
      someone else had asked?

      We are all connected,

      like the wind, and our prayer
      gossamers the air. A butterfly
      on a solitary lily flutters for just
      one impatient moment.

      How could it know
      that later, in the next
      season, across the sea,
      it might have stirred

      a funnel wind?
             So too with prayers.

      Some are unanswered now, perhaps
      to avoid a conflict of interest,
      or chaos others might have to endure.
      How would we ever know?

      Perhaps the answer to our prayer
      should best be delayed.

                  #

      The purple Twilight hoped
      the night wouldn’t come,
      prayed the Daylight to stay. But
      Darkness drifted in anyway.

      The stars glistened as tears
      which it couldn’t even wipe.
      Why? Why didn’t you stay,
      it asked. And the Day said,

      I must bring the light to your
      brother, for he is in darkness.
      Yet I will return, I promise.

      Enjoy the luna-moth moon
      in the meantime.

      Then Twilight’s sister, Dawn,
      brought the hope of Day.
      And, as if it had forgotten,
      Twilight would soon pray
      again.

      But one day, there will be
      Light all around, and Dark
      will have to flee forever.

                  #

      Almost 3000 years ago,
      because of their faith,
      three young Jews were thrown
      into a fiery furnace

      with a fire seven times hotter
      than hell. And they prayed while
      rejoicing in their resignation,
      but the Lord saved them.

      Almost 30 days ago,
      a prisoner on Death Row
      found Jesus, even in the privacy of his
      own hell. Before the execution,

      he prayed as Daniel did the night
      before. He had painted placid lions
      on the wall. When asked what if
      he wouldn’t be saved from death,

      he pointed to another wall
      he painted: Elijah in his fiery chariot
      meeting the Lord in the clouds,
      he said, “just in case my ride

      is with the needle.”
      Yes, they pushed it into his vein.
      You could tell that he was not alone
      by the shimmer the doctor later saw

      in his eyes—a glitter of gold light
      like a myriad of miniature butterflies
      fluttering their metal wings in the sun,
      a light that must have been at the end

      of the tunnel where He was waiting:
      the One who’s already prayed
      for us all, the One who suffered
      the turbulence of our sins.

      Does this help me understand
      why that child in the news
      —kidnapped/murdered—
      must have suffered that evil

      and why his mother must
      anguish the loss of her child?

      Does it comfort me to know
      my Lord had suffered a greater
      grief? I do not understand
      so many things.

      What good can come of tragedy?

      A small rabbit scampers
      carelessly under rolling tires.
      Yet even scavengers seem to give
      thanks as they fold their wings

      over the still warm flesh. The trees
      continue to wave their branches
      in the wind and the earth doesn’t sing
      a eulogy. But no sparrow falls unnoticed.

                  #

      My eyes lift up
             the crimson light peels
                    the clouds. Silhouettes
      of herons recede, scissoring

      horizon’s edge ragged
             with a million butterflies, prayers
                    nested in their wings.

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