And life emerges

Echoes of silence,

tension bubbling atmosphere,

a cocoon is shed.


Giving way

Since he arrived in Magtown 55 years ago, Djon had worked hard to earn the respect he now received. Like many youngsters, he started in the mines. Unlike most, however, he’d had the passion to improve not only his life but also others’. Soon, he’d grown to start his own factory.

Thanks to Djon, the town had railway lines, continuous power supply, and on-demand medical services. Whenever they saw him on the street, people always gave him way.

But he gave way only to her. He’d stand back while his Labrador, wagging, strutted through the house demanding her share of respect.


It’s not about what you say
or how you say it—

words are powerful
they pierce, they shatter
yet words can seal,
try to heal—
chasms or cracks
solace in words
we often find

It’s not what you say
or how you say it

it’s the who.

Proxies promise proximity
but ravage relationships.



Life had been good to her. She had a job, she had a home, and she had enough money to pay off her debts without the weight of it crushing her down. And now a stroke of luck at work had brought her to Amsterdam. She had no complaints.

She stepped onto the street, expecting warmth and welcome. Instead, a chilly morning breeze stung at her skin causing her teeth to shiver and her ribs shudder. Smiling to herself an the unexpected weather, she pulled out her jacket and reached for her phone. She’d better book a cab.

Her ride arrived in minutes. Settling in the back seat, she leaned back observing the traffic of working-class Amsterdam. The car fell into a race with the rest of the vehicles, and even as she looked on, cars, mini hoopers, SUVs, and XUVs zoomed past without slowing down for a second. Her driver followed suit while she grabbed the door to steady herself. Despite the seatbelt, she moved around a lot.

Through the window she saw drivers of all ages. Middle-aged women clutched coffee cups on one hand and the wheel with the other. High school kids sang along as they cruised by, and a tensed semi-bald man mumbled while he gripped his steering wheel hard enough for his knuckles to show. On another side was a tall man stroking the hair of the retriever on the seat next to him.

Karen watched, amused how none of the cacophony of the outside world reached her. The only noise she ever heard was a mild hum from her head. Life had been good to her deaf self.

Weight of the world

Olympian pole vaulter

who leapt to heights

with passion as impetus

flopped back sprawling

mewling and crawling

as expectations bore down