Blog 2018

WHAT IS CALLED NOT POETRY: For Matthew Shepard, 20 Years Later


20 years later...and so the poem I had written after the murder of Matthew Shepard...that language not become the code for collusion with silence.  Apply to all fitting shoes...and especially in light of Jamal Khashoggi.


What Is Called Not Poetry


If I could make you an American Prayer

I’d say the times like these were through

            that a breeze pours out relief

            in the springtime rustling

            of a willow’s budding limbs

            as you   who were willow   moved

            freely in the wind before the prairie

            opened wide in Laramie

            and the human storm blew in


A tree we name is free to sway and we say Willow, Willow; Willow—


But if I could promise an American Prayer

it would be that We Its People remain  

             to speak a necessary language

that language not become

the code for collusion

with silence





for Matthew Shepard, Laramie, WY