Poems About Paintings

These poems are an outgrowth of the painting process. In showing the paintings to friends and others I am often asked to provide explanations for some of the works.  Not being satisfied with my explanations, I have written poems which I hope will supply all the elucidation and obfuscation necessary to provide full comprehension of my artistic intentions.  If you feel comfortable with your own interpretations of the paintings, then please feel free to ignore the poems.

(You may click on an image to see an enlargement.)



The Albion Collection

(A booklet of the poems in this section, "The Albion Collection", is available from the artist.)




the dark

the light

occur recur


horizon repeats

color returns

to earth

to sky


a day

a night

a day


the azures and blues

the crimsons and vermilions

the ochres and golds



occur recur

the light

the dark




Hard to Say


It's like, that is,

I mean it's just,

you know what I'm



I think,

really, that's what

it is.




Shedding the Skin


A feeling of tightness,


My old ways of being

hold me in,

caught in my own skin,

this skin I'm living in.

Time to

leave it behind,

hanging on a tree,

leaving me





Night Sea Journey


Deep in the seas

of sleep

shapes move,



escaping the drag

nets of consciousness.

Starved for light

they create their own glow,

then fade

into the dark depths

of memory.






Reaching out to touch his chest,

she turned her bare back

away from him

as he leaned toward her

slight figure.

When they embraced,

it was their torsos


that mattered.

Their faces had disappeared somehow,


their frames of reference.




Back 2 Back


Crouching down,

rising up,

turning around,

and back down again.

Skin knows skin,

front to front,

back to front,

or back to back.






Time is in flux.

Now becomes then.

There becomes here.

Matter attracts matter.

Energy becomes light.

All is one for a moment,

then all becomes different.




The Capture of Proteus


Wanting to know

the future, you seize

the old man of the sea.

I elude your grip,

shifting shape

at will, frustrating

your expectations

of what I am

and what I should be.

But you shall know

neither the truth of my being

nor the being of my truth.

The secret of your future

is the secret of your past,

for the tighter you grasp this mystery,

the more it changes its form.




The Embrace


The alchemy of attraction

has its own set of equations.

It brings distinct elements together

with the catalyst of desire

into a crucible of flesh.

What burns in this fire is

not destroyed,

but transformed

into a new, living,

breathing creation.




Spirit Dance


Riding winds

from the myriad corners

of the world

the spirits gather.

Each dressed in the colors

of their songs

they dance

in pools of light,

whirl and shimmer,

stop and start,

from dusk to dawn.

Then fly away.




Human, All Too Human


There is no superman,

no ubermensch.

There is only this flesh,

this bone, this muscle.

I stand here alone,

flexing my strength,

sensing my weakness;

trapped in my silence,

wanting to scream.




The Myth of Sisyphus


Naked, he climbs,

over and over,

the hill of his suffering,

rolling his burden of tasks

before him.

Each day a new journey.

He can never stop, never rest,

only pause, in silent contemplation,

as night falls on the

slowly turning ball.




The Judas Cradle


Do you see what awaits you, heretic?

The iron girdle, the ropes and pulley?

Do you see the cost of denying

our ever so merciful God?

The price you pay

for unbelief?




Day Dream


The light of summer

is a living thing,

breathing life into

trees, shrubs, soil.

Rising and falling

on the wind,

revealing and concealing

the texture of the day

in a blade of grass.






A wall of bone,

rock and nerves,

lies splayed before your eyes.

Go ahead,

find a foothold,

and start to climb.

First your left eye,

then your right,

slowly ascend.






A leaf is a shell,

is a seed, is an eye

looking at the world

from within a forest,

a body, a sea.


As above, so below;

as within, so without.

A mouth is a branch, is

a fish, is a bee, is a fossil.

As within, so without.




Bye-Bye, Baja


The rush westward

backed us up against the end

of the continent.

Tongues tied, we attempted

the calligraphy of a new language

that no one knows.

Three flames were lit against the silence,

illuminating what no one said.




Sutter's Mill


tick tack toe


mud and nugget

gold and bucket




The Secret of the Golden Flower


Breathe in,

breathe out.

Energy rises,

energy falls.

The body's heat

follows the breath,

lighting the fires

glowing within.







The land recedes,

sloping down, rising up.

Light descending

on waves of hills.


A bank of clouds,

reflected in

the ocean below,

rests on the horizon.


The large made small,

the small, large.

Relative to scale,

perspectives shift.






Shimmers and waves of light

rise and sink

through the haze of heat.

Each day another instant:

a new emptiness returning

along the endless





Abyss Eden


A flaming dawn breaks

on the stunted tree

of forbidden knowledge.

Hanging from withered branches,

the mutant serpents

guard the birth

of a new wisdom:

An understanding

beyond good and evil,

outside the constraints of language,

becoming pure color,

painting a new world.






Floating or flying,

this womb of loving grace

sets its offspring loose,

to float or fly away,

on the tides, or winds

of chance.




Prime Cuts


On special today:

Filleted minions.

Porterhouse stake.

Stripped bass.

Breast of toad.

Leg of scapegoat.

Nice, fresh, sacred cow,

cut to order

at your request.






Outcroppings, ageless erosions,

stand in the sun and wind.

Tenacious shoots struggle upward\

through the layered soil.

Distant smoke

rises in the atomic sky,

fueled by oil

from deep under ground.




Time and Tide


rise and fall

the liquid sky

the airy sea

as years recede

from sands and

waves will rise

and fall in

time and tide

tide and time

and fall in

waves will rise

from sands and

as years recede

the airy sea

the liquid sky

rise and fall

in time and tide

tide and time