Dark Stars


Like the collapse of galaxies, upon their shoulders,

Mantle and shroud placed around,

Binding the illumination.

So heavy, the hearts of these heavenly bodies,

Burning matters dark.

The distance only speaks traces of heat,

Signatures our eyes fail to see…

Poor human sight.

Blind, blind, bitter,

Unable, unwilling, to behold another kind of brilliance

Through such a fractured lens.

Dark stars shine on regardless,

Requiring no witness to validate their light.

–C. Green

(For a friend…)


Delight! Delight!

(a new sea shanty…)

Blame the sea and the revelry

For the rolling and ruckus of waves.

Drink, like our song, flows freely and strong.

There’s no stealing through night for we knaves.

Delight, delight! Red skies tonight!
The ladies will see us come morning.

Since we’ve been gone, the days have been drawn.

Through shower and squall, we’ve heaved and we’ve hauled.

The shores tease us sweetly as we eye its ports greedily,

Ready for home before long.

Delight, delight! Red skies tonight!
The ladies will see us come morning.

There’s wind in our sails, hearty and hail,

Steady like ship and her crew.

Take stock of the clock. Make haste for the dock.

Come ready for acquaintance renewed.

Delight, delight! Red skies tonight!
The ladies will see us come morning.

–C. Green

Potatoes and a Penny Whistle

My hands are empty,

And the land won’t grow.

I find nothing to reap

Among the acres I’ve sown.
Bushels of barren

And barrels of naught,

Is this the feast coming

From all I have wrought?
The season is turning,

The ground hardened beneath

To the cries of the wretched

And the sodden berieved.
Must we suffer the hunger,

This bitter divide,

Between fields filled with plenty

Where the sated reside?
My gut screams, revolt!

Even dirt must resist

The aweful plowing by strangers;

Do more than subsist.
Cast away mounds

Built on sorrow and sythe,

Untether the roots

That sicken and bind.
Go wayward and wander,

Cast my soul to the seas,

Toward luck or misfortune,

The penniless free.
With a tune and a whistle,

Let the fair winds resolve

The heartache of famine–

Send me where I belong.

–C. Green

(Ballad in D Dorian)

Never Just Noise…

It’s so hard, sometimes, 

To listen to the static. 

I’ll tune in and hear it–

Background noise… 

But for the voice of a lone trumpet, 

The rasp of a couple brushes 

On the head of a snare. 

It’s always jazz for me, 

When I hallucinate. 

I don’t know why… 

Part of being a musician, 

I guess, 

Late at night when I can’t sleep 

And have lost too many dreams.

The harmonies are dissonant,

The rhythms a little wild…

And, always, even when it’s just my ears 

Picking out the strain,

I wonder, and then I know.

It’s not so lonesome a thing.

Grief and fear,

Fury and exhultation,

Redemption and love…

They all have sound,

And it’s never just noise.

–C. Green


(I haven’t had to pull an all-nighter in a few years. It’s from those experiences, however, that I found out that I have auditory hallucinations when I’m sleep deprived. It always sounds like I’m hearing the radio, tuning in between two jazz stations with much static throughout.)

Water God…

A catfish I only caught with my camera at the National Aquarium.

The wind whispered, “rain…,” but the young girl could only hear the river’s words.

There, where the wild went to quench thirsts, she waded. Her mouth half-formed abandoned cadences–too ancient to truly speak–but they were powerful, still. They summoned. She summoned, and the water god answered…


Carved From Within…

From my visit to the Luray Caverns a few hours drive from my home in Virginia.

Water and time…

In quantities my life can never hold,

Beneath the ground–

Grave, cavern, stone.

–C. Green

A pool under the earth…

I felt small surrounded by all this evidence of time, the massive patience encasing each stalactite and stalagmite…

Ripples of hardened stone look like shifting sands.

And in this dark, subterranean world, I also felt awe.


This Rock Has Weathered…

While walking along the coast of Maine two summers past, I had to photograph the various cracks and layers. The exposed rocks were beautiful.


The cold disdain of ice ages,

Relentless bombardment of the sea,

Summer’s heat and human feet,

And whatever else the hardened earth considers torments of time…

This rock has weathered.

–C. Green

This bit of rock had seen many waves, and I wanted to capture the gorgeous striations still wet from the sea.


Conversations With a Beast, part 9

“I’m tempted to compliment you and say something like, ‘It’s brilliant by design.’ But knowing you, you’ll say it’s not, that it’s just the last in a series of failed attempts.”

He was at my back, just to the right of my shoulder. I could feel him there, watching me watch his waterfall–the one that fell in extreme slow motion. This would-be raging torrent provided the subdued dripping sound permeating the caverns.

While looking at this wall of water gracefully yielding itself, I added, “Yours is a practiced skill and a talent for meticulousness.”

“And yours is a talent for observation.  Let’s talk about the letter you composed last night.”

I never shied away from conversation with him, even at their most uncomfortable or ridiculous. Now wasn’t the time to begin.

“It was a pretty spectacular illumination, wasn’t it?”

… especially since I, apparently, willed it onto my leg without pen or ink.

“It was… making me certain there’s a bit of magik about you. You shouldn’t have been able to do that, especially here.”

Magical me… Brilliant. I could’ve used some back when I’d been writhing in agony on his office floor.

Turning to look fully at him, I questioned, “So what does that mean?”

“That I have a weakness when it comes to you.”

Oh… His statement was loaded.

My heart did its little pick-up skip, something that happened frequently around the man.

I asked, “And how does that make you feel?”

“Like I want to keep you here for a while.”

Slightly sinister sounding… 

Because I didn’t say anything, he continued, “Think of it as a second honeymoon. I will.”

I was very interested in his thoughts concerning this subject because we never actually did anything on our first honeymoon–despite what everyone assumed and contrary to our initial contract negotiations.

“A working honeymoon, I think. You’re going to require some instruction.”


“I have extensive knowledge, but there are books in my library here you’d find insightful… Are you alright?”

“I’m just cold. It’s cool here by the water… ”

I was being cowardly if I didn’t also admit the other discomfort. So I took a deep breath and said, “I’m overwhelmed.”

“Come to the fire with me, then, and let us just hold hands. We can talk of magiks and worlds later.”