Thief in the Night

dad's artInspiration comes to the thief in the night,

sneaking slow, dripping down the stairs.

When he no longer sleeps but stares

to the blank spaces where no moon feeds light

the mind receives,

domed and amplified,

canopies now quiet.

No bird enlivened bowers

in these lonely hours

when everything is still,

awaiting the next interval of heavy showers.

A tiny light hangs over the desk of the writer,

restless on elbows

words parched and thoughts that require

a personal drought

to become another bout

with its ticking clock counting down

in pendulous distraction,

hiding substance within a capricious attraction.

Lucidity, before the birthright resents me

for a wavering fascination,

a minute turns to an eternity,

searching out the mundane for that elusive quality.

An El Dorado somewhere in this jungle

tempting explorers to go half mad and in circles

through territory oppressed by heavy shadow.

Here, even an enlightened thought can be sentenced

to the darkest hole without a candle to offer repentance.

Through the shades and the cracks,

where the imagination receives the information it lacks

to keep the mind gathering the early hour patter

in trees that form a clearing,

renewing the ideas that scatter

like leaves in the breeze,

scraping the sheath

so that the gleam can emerge slowly,

deciphering the real from the concrete

where nothing is absorbed

of the rain’s rhythmic drumbeat.

It blows towards me suddenly,

with the orphaned scent of forest moss

something that is shared by all those who are lost.

The mountains, garbed and veiled

crisscross the valley

to ensnare, momentarily,

all the stolen bounty the sea receives

and in that liminal time I am lulled to sleep,

albeit briefly, nodding off, a welcome reprieve,

for the words sometimes come through in dreams,

transcribed from some other hand,

that means to become my own,

grasping at inner sources,

I’m tossed another bone.


(Image by Dominick Takis Sr. Acrylic, Oil, Cutout Media, Organic Matter on and behind MRI Film)



Night Came to Reamore Part 2


When night came to Reamore the crickets were out.

The scared and trembling trees

crowded in on a pitch black lane

and if there was a moon

it would break through the gloom

and throw reflections

on the surface of a brook rambling through.

How many steps mingled with the tapping of a staff

on that particular night?

In the weeks leading up to his death,

Moss Moore felt as if he was being watched,

over pints and cards he was known to say to friends;

“He’ll be up there waiting for me”

assuming he meant Foley,

“One of these nights at the crossroads there will be a reckoning”

So, when he would stagger home well after dark,

it was always with a protective stick and a flash lamp

whose searching light would cast a furtive glance

at every meandering shadow,

for every twitch and drop of rain became trailing footsteps.

The last night he was seen alive

leaving Mrs Collins’

with the scent of the hearth stamped into his cloak,

he could be heard tapping his staff like a blind man

and with a lantern that bore into the night thick with fog

and into eternity beyond the bog

that receives our darkest runoff,

Moss would soon decay into his own destiny,

a light growing dim and further away.

Foley was presumed guilty of the deed

but no law could punish him.

The rain came, agent of mystery,

destroying any shred of evidence left.

Still, the town’s eyes rested on him alone,

whether fairly or not, he would bear the blame

and become outcast in his own home.

A final four years that would be met with silence and boycott,

amplified in that tiny village, he tried to remain with dignity

but the strain of being a pariah

would leave his body to desire release,

to ultimately give in to the strain

before he also was laid to rest,

death came by way of heart failure

No more today has been explained

about what happened in Reamore 60 years prior.

Conspiracies abound and Foley’s descendants

maintain his innocence, claiming a convenient scapegoat

for those who wanted Moss Moore out of the way.

Not much of it is said these days,

all that remains

is the scent at night on those darkened lanes.

The evil that had settled into that isolated corner

has grown dormant

and of Moss Moore and Dan Foley

there’s only brick and mortar in ruin

marking their former dwelling,

the source of rumor over one man’s felling,

for those old enough to remember

and re-assemble in their minds

the sinking sun

and the shadow on the lines of this tale,

there’s the shell of an infinite sadness,

a gable and a windowless desolation

that knows only a cold wind.

Rain still falls on these fields

and rushes through the ravines,

time passes and closure grows further away

as the last of those living at the time

recede into memory

like the last gasp of enmity a land can possess.

It seems to proclaim, that if anyone knows anything

they are taking it to their graves.

Night Came to Reamore Part 1

b284be07-725e-4304-a6fa-55bd674b57a0moss moore

Night came to Reamore in November of 58

followed by Gardai, reporters and uniformed officers in galoshes.

They were searching the bogs for a missing man.

A cap was found at a stream bottom, a broken staff,

a flashlamp buried in a turnip field.

All through the mud of those relentless days

of winter weather they combed the countryside

leaving no stone unturned

When it finally dried out,

Moss Moore’s body was found strewn in a ravine,

face down in sodden clothing,

it was a tragic scene

for a gallery of onlookers

who had gathered along the edges

as investigators flashed their cameras,

you could see on their faces

a look of wonder mixed with horror

as one of their own was plucked like turf from the land.

By nightfall the rumor mill was running through Reamore,

a rural and isolated corner of County Kerry

that will be forever associated with this murder

and steeped in its infamy.

Every ravine is carved by its own history.

In every field there’s the story behind the story.

In the quiet bogs where neighbors cut peat for each other,

sometimes blood trickles amid the brooks that separate land.

Among those elements, both natural and man made, that divide people,

there is something primitive in upholding these boundaries of land.

In these layered hills of stove smoke and misty light,

sweat and pride is enclosed by stone walls

and tied like wire to the divider lines,

something men claim as their own

driven like a stake,

their own bones

running deep into the muddy ground.

It may seem nondescript,

this particularly narrow strip of preserve

but contained in it was a powerful urge,

the capacity to take another man’s life.

They say Dan Foley killed Moss Moore

that winter’s night in Reamore.

He had always maintained his innocence,

despite the obvious signs of struggle

scratched into his face,

one thing’s for sure, whoever killed Moss Moore

did so with his bare hands.

Judgement passed the lips of the locals,

demanding Foley to stand guilty,

despite the fact that they were neighbors and friends.

The men couldn’t have been more different,

Moss was small and wiry with sharp and pointed features,

a solitary man who lived alone with his two dogs.

Foley was a family man, large in stature,

square jawed with serious eyes under a flat cap.

Their dispute over land was well known in that farming community.

Their homes were divided by a ditch,

the first tragic stitch

that was lain in the absence of a divider wall

that was meant to be built but never was.

Instead, Moore constructed a makeshift fence

to keep Foley’s cows from drifting in and out,

the intention of any temporary boundary

but this one only welcomed in distrust and doubt.

Disagreement over a half-acre strip of land created a rift

and a tension arose between the men like a mist

swirling in rumor, whatever happened that night

would leave no witness.

Murder sometimes leaves a mark in the isolated dark

but few can see it,

one man’s final breath

can be squeezed from him forcefully

but not everyone can pick up the echoes

of his death throes in the rural quiet.

To be continued…

With the Deep, an Alchemy


There’s an alchemy

between what you relieve

and the unknown that receives.

Seek to see (sea) what would symbolize,

pools from wet feet

mythologize the deep

with careless streams seeking re-entry.

Gazing out

the Moks were still as sentries (centuries)

sphinx-like and stark against the sky,

crouching tigers

protecting what they would harbor,

all the dark secrets

weaved into a carpet of moon


the light that levitates

imbues the surface with significance.

The night,

through drunken illumination,

reveals its spirit through creation.

Patient waves of inhalation

break eternity against rock walls

briefly revealing

the watchful pause (paws)

submerged entirely.

Let it slip to the coral bottom

like loose fitting rings,

the fleeting moments

sucked into a shadow,

released through blow hole mist.

Recover a Grecian urn

of all that is often missed

in the passage of time.

Through inspiration

construct this edifice to the sea,

something impermanent

something enshrined

while currents in a turbulent boil

sweep all that storms relieve

into the alchemy of the deep.

Waving Idly From Afar

blogger-image--906932752 hanauma bay

Like the wind

I work my way through the tall grass of the crater.

A place of rare emergence, it is named for ‘ihi ihilauakea’

who between drought and flood

sleeps under the hardened mud

and in the languid shade

dreams are draped like a clover lei

in this dry and wordless place.

The thorny brush scrapes the canvass,

its rhythmic sway

is the sea that lifts a finger

to paint and texture the horizon far away.

Like the path

I am worn by generations of footsteps.

Boots dusty from the factory

contrasting starkly

with the starched white wedding tunic

fitting like a luminous shell

dropped fromĀ  greater heights

to speak of sacrifice

and the miracle of being alive,

within the crevices of myriad choice,

a clinging crustacean

against the immensity of waves

drowning out the tiny voice.

Words were meant to be an offering

but the sky makes short work of my ambition

as spray begets beads on lava rock,

more sweat is necessary.

I lift my eyes to read

the careless cursive in a pattern of birds.

Cryptic signs from those lost at sea

come to me at dawn.

My makeshift empathy

is tattered by the wind

but still waving a thin, forgotten banner

faded with time.

Best to replace messages with rhyme

flagpoles with fishing line,

to see what can be drawn from the deep

instead of waving idly from afar.

I couldn’t claim any of this as my own,

elusive silhouette against the sky,

paper cutout to the hillside,

raised shade in the veil of clouds

just passing by.

I did not obstruct the wind

but lent an animated note

to its continuous hymn.

I did not construct the unknown

but bent my craft to its every whim

before letting go.

A Rain of Free Throws


In the morning you read the wind.

Determine its direction

from a jealousy window

unrolling mountains,

suspecting the world in your hands

may have lost its bounce

but the supple leather feels good in fingers

that set the spinning motion,

one shot

unbalanced and off course

is replaced by poise for the next launch

from a line you cannot cross,

the past and the future,

the flow and what’s forced,

divisions are remedied

under rafters of protective monkey pod trees.

You heave a ball at a metal rim

and forget everything.

The lingering dog bite sore,

the residual burn from yesterday’s war,

the rhythm proceeds

when you are no longer keeping score,

from the mysterious streaks you store

sunlit on an asphalt pyre,

while Pu’owaina,

the hill of sacrifice,

rises above neighbor and cemetery

like the arc of memory

in last night’s moon

as it completes its swoon through the sky,

a swish at the end of an enlightened try,

in nets that arrested you

like a rain of free throws,

one moment of serenity,

the valley dried out after wet weeks

to offer light

a welcome leap

on a court you alone are sovereign to,

this perfect morning meditating

on the trajectory of a lush sweep inward.

The imaginary crowd sounds its applause

before it falls silent.

Truth, From out of Darkness

ULUPO4 night

Truth, an abandoned office

whose walls peel away the layers of the last occupant,

as if everything was left in haste,

cabinets were flung open

in searching the darkness

spreading between files

that should have remained closed.

Be careful what you search for.

A forbidden glance lays the groundwork,

accomplished beyond human labor,

chains that hold the vision together,

so Mana could gather on platforms

illuminated by lightning storms

reflected in the mirror of marshland underneath.

Truth, we receive brief flashes.

From out of the darkness, Ulupo stands

monument to the mystery,

paths lead through the enigma

of how it was built in one evening.

Stone by stone, this ancient lineage

fills in the blanks

as fleeting shadows break

from torch-lit Lauhala.

The Ko’olaus are infused along the rim

by the light of the moon

so you can drink it in

from the Punchbowl to the palace ground

there was no sound, no words could do it justice.

Truth, like a liquid,

slips from out of the cracks

you cover with silence.

On the far side of the Pali

the white seminary would glow outerworldly

from the base of the mountain

where you take that bend sharply,

all the way to the old drive-in theater

to where they found her car,

abandoned on the far end of Kapaa.

Answers were elusive, like hitchhikers,

pick them up at your own risk,

lighting cigarettes with only their fingertips.

a glance in the rear view mirror and they’re gone,

the last thing you’ll see

before the trunk of a tree meets your windshield.

Truth, like a false grill light,

is a masquerade of questions,

What happened that night on the way back from town?

Would a moderate light guide through the fog that surrounds us?

The search for order

along the yellowing border of stories with no closure,

it gives a sense of place to the present void.

Taking pictures in the dark,

spiderwebs positioned for our breath,

the wet forest glistened

in the breadth of our flash.

Finding the path,

muddy steps murdered our pant legs

while cat eyes acclimate

to the darkened shapes

dangling in a tattered landscape,

the sky behind clouds,

suspended there like truth,

dependent on what can be seen, felt or heard,

or so they say.

The scraping branches on Moiliili rooftops break the reverie.

You had fallen asleep in the empty lot

behind the now derelict office

of the late Dr. Grant.

His name still visible in a dangling placard

that hangs and sways over the doors

that led you to all these dark corners.

Truth is never condemned

but rather transformed

for each subsequent generation,

it depends on the receptivity.

Distracted by carefully constructed facades,

know that some places remain,

through the tunneled mountain

at the very heart

of what cannot be divulged so plain,

the day will be drained of light

and night in its scented bloom

will resume at Ulupo

where it always has been

for those who seek it out.