The Bone Cycle

I have a thing for bones...which perhaps goes back to my childhood...a poem from my 
favorite book of nonsense verse...

"Hannah Bantry, in the pantry,
gnawing on a mutton bone,
how she gnawed it, how she clawed it,
when she found herself alone."

I'm still gnawing...

Bone Dance

You were the one who lived through your body
          while eye lived in mind.

When you opened your mouth,
	your bones spoke to me.

They told me 
how they wanted to dance,
how they longed to be free
the skin and the flesh
the creature they framed.
wanted to dance in the sky,
dangle in the trees.
wanted to rattle in the breeze
punctuate the silence
their hollow music
all I wanted 
                    was to feel them

under my fingers.

Bone Soup

I am a bird with 
bones made out of air

I will be a bull 
with bones of stone

and the day after that
I will buy my bones 
in the market

and make soup

Moon Bones


There is a fall in
to dark, felt in the bone, a 
loss of heat, a slow 

tilting away and 
cyclical spin into space,
a shy, unnoticed 

turning of blue and 
green to grey.  They say that the 
light goes out of it 

as if the light leaves 
of its own accord, a wan 
A-chord in the wood.

There is a word in the dark
where no moon is heard...


There I read of the spoon-fed dead, how their 
zen amounted to zed, surmounted by 
spires built to go higher until their fires 

flew in the sky and spied and tried twisting 
their wrists in the bonds they had become so 
fond of, that they loved even though reviled 

and shoved away and held sway over the 
fray and stayed none the less where their sun-born 
lies could not see through the tresses but blessed 

the butcher and the barber none the more let 
them near with their knives and their shears while tears 
came and the rending of garments began

the beating of chests and the mustering 
bluster and pounding of hearts into dust


...and you looked at me 
with your moon-bone eyes and I 
saw to the hearts of 

the stars felt solar 
wind in the spars and lines of 
age on my primal 

face knew the breeze with 
the skein of seven seas knees 
climbing millennia 

to the crow’s nest and
finally resting raced to 
the crest of the day

and rubbed galaxies 
from the corners of my eyes.

In The Bone Night

When night falls for the bones,
Nothing comes from the dark,
Nothing goes into the light
and the marrow burns on its own.

The tunnel bends 
to its own demise 
and turns in its cold sack
as the sun dies 
and the skies close down
their colors.

They drown us in the hues of
someone else's nightmares while
our own forgotten dreams
lie down in the grass and

all we can do is lie down
with them and smell it coming 
like we smell our own sweat 
and wait for the rain to wash it all away.

From the darkness, from 
the depths, a crystalline air 
vibrates our structured souls 
until they shatter into light

while the bones beat and rattle 
within us, playing 
us like a single drum.

Bone Rune

bones poke through 
thinning flesh

flesh wants to let go 
of bones

it is hard to find comfort 
in a bag of bones

hard to find anything to give 
but hardness

it is hard to find anything
but bones

there is only hardness 
and the bag


12 thoughts on “The Bone Cycle

  1. I too have a thing for bones, love to use them in my poems and also to make soup.
    “moon-bone eyes” wish I had thought of that one…brilliant.
    In the Bone Night is my favorite…but really I like them all.

    • Thanks Ron–Really appreciated.
      I was on much more of a roll when I wrote most of these. Very little free time lately and navel-gazing is key to my poetic process…
      Just realized I forgot to hit the follow button when I was over at your place. Going to remedy that now.

  2. Loved these! I have a thing for bones too. so finely sculpted, bare and simple, yet elegant, essential. So many beautiful images in your poems. My favorites: eye lived in mind, bones dancing in the sky and dangling in trees, rattling in breeze; bones of air and bones of stone;; stanza III in Mon Bones, all of it, but especially the last, rubbing galaxies from the corners of your eyes; our souls shattering into light, and bones playing us like a drum. Poems to savor. Thank you.

    • More bloggy kismet funniness: I have two “bone poems” in the works right now, and it hadn’t occurred to me that of course they would go into the Bone Cycle until your comment! Duh.

    • Just looking some things over and realized I never said, “Thank You!” for these wonderful words. I most especially appreciate your close read and thoughtful attention.
      I have been terribly busy and not always thinking very clearly of late.
      Thank you, deborah–

    • Thanks so much, John. I appreciate your words and especially your re-reading.
      These poems actually came about over a longish stretch of time and the idea of collecting them came later, when I realized that there were certain themes running through many of my poems. “Bones” in this case.
      You may click on the titles here to link to the original posts.

      Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s