Category Archives: 2011 A Virtual Chapbook

a collection for National Poetry Month 2011

Unhinged (a seasonal poem)

The man rages
arms flailing,
he sputters and fumes.
Impotent fury.
The wind blowing fiercely
whips away his whining,
rattles and flaps
his windows and doors.
Unhinged, he rants.
His sensibility scatters
in the rubble of his composure.
The wind —
this damn wind —
wins. mjh

Listen to Unhinged (<1 min)

previously posted Fri 04/16/10 at 11:47 am

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

[another repost]

Wind Makes Crazy (a timely poem)

crow is talking

The raven
preaches from above
his dark robes spread
he tells his tale again
“I am the black rock, the Land
full of subtle, fragile life!”
Shouting out
from his piñon pulpit
the choir in the cholla
a meadowlark waiting
to sing today’s hymns
“I am the dark wind, the Breath
that spins the world!”

From my rough-hewn pew
beneath a juniper
I listen to his sermon
seeking enlightenment
from a dark guide
“I am the black cloud, the Water
that awakens life!”

Beside me, a rabbit
whispers, “you cannot turn
the devil away
just with scripture.
Give yourself to God!
Give yourself to God!”

The sky itself has become
a black wing
as I turn away
out of the desert
“Thank you, brother!,
for taking the time.
It is good to see you
In church again!” mjh


Listen to Wind Makes Crazy (1 min)

The backstory

This poem is nearly a true story. I was driving around El Malpais after a solo camping trip. Between rainstorms, I walked alone on a trail and met the raven and rabbit beneath just such a sky. mjh

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

[time to repost this old friend]



Glenn Gould plays Bach
as I step on that distant shore.
Handing my coppers to the boatman,
I look up the bank for you
among the crowd
scanning the new arrivals for
old friends
to lead across the fields
when the dog barks —
1 head, not 3 —
I’m not dead yet,
as Charon’s ferry folds
into the sofa,
where I shiver
in fevered dreams
between two worlds
not ready for either. mjh

first published 3/9/05

Listen to 101°

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)


I first knew something had changed
when I thought,
“my wing has fallen asleep” —
my wing? I sat up heavily.
The dog ran from the room
as I spread my wings out
six feet either side of my body
(no exaggeration).
I ran from the house
and all the birds for miles
were silent.
My cat eyed me coolly.
I leapt and fell.
leapt and fell.
I ran around the yard
trying to glide.
I climbed on the picnic table
and fell on my face
my wings folded elegantly behind me.
My neighbor came out at the commotion
and I wrapped my wings
around my nakedness.
“Why are you wearing a leather cape?,” she asked.
It’s sort of a gift, I answered.

Since that day, I’ve gotten used to the stares
and whispers.
I’ve learned to wax my wings
against the creaking
and the mites.
I sleep standing up —
rarely upside down.
I’ve jumped from buildings, bridges and planes
each time falling like a stone.
Some gifts are hard to take.
Some gifts aren’t all that great. mjh


[for another take on this imagery, see going home]

Listen to Icarus

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)


at night
the wolves wait
on my temples
for the elk to venture
from my sparse hairline
onto my forehead

instantly, the pack pursues the herd
some escape into the thicket of my eyebrows
as the rest charge across
the curve of my cheek
longing for the forest of my beard

I sleep through the slaughter
on my jaw
soothed by the steady snores
of slumbering bears
in the caves of my ears mjh


(Thanks to Merri for ‘slumbering.’)

Listen to Slumber

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)