Dark Sails

your dead dark sails billow
in the storm you tried to escape;
the one you aimed away from,
only you aimed the wrong way.

the way was rigged before
you chartered your doomed trip —
the patched vessel’s hull…rusted,
even as it moored in its safe slip.

you followed a fool star’s direction,
your fantasy in sky she wrote,
above glass water she beckoned,
twinkling false signs of hope.

onward into vast unknown,
i watched from wandering shore,
waving my warning arms,
all the harbingers you ignore.

the storm you failed to escape
shred your canvas heart,
trailing dark sails, straight
into toxic seas,

you sailed yourself apart.

~ Em C. 6.21.18

*For Anthony Bourdain, and anyone else who’s ever been taken for a ride by a manipulative narcissistic sociopath.



I found my belief in the forest
amongst green shaded wood,

eyes climbing bark to canopy;
below — the tender growth of hope.

trudging muddy mire,
steps out of sync,

breathing in staccato,
thunder didn’t blink.

there discovered my spirit
hidden in twisted vines,

choking on bitter yesterdays,
coughing up discarded time.

mutilated mutterings,
incomprehensible speech,

contorted in design;
my own hands out of reach.

I found my soul dangling —
hung by its own rope,

swaying to a fickle wind
which blew the familiar corpse.

’Twas mine once before…
I recognize the scars;

So I came to free me,
I came to cut the rope,

to gather sunken spirit, 
to merge with wayward hope;

to capture my fleeting belief,
to walk in footsteps whole;

ones I laid down a million miles 
on a path I’ve travelled alone,

on wandering red ground I know
that has cradled these bloody tears.

I found my belief in the forest
I followed the sound of loss

the calling of the heart,
the echo of my soul.


~ Em C.


Peach Suns

when all is left are peach suns

setting on water’s bed

when stars unsettled

sparkle, messages unread

when words fail and thoughts

rail, beating drum inside

your head,

when names fade, and smiles

die, dispatched along time’s map

when efforts fall short

stuck type writer keys

letters never stamped

when clock stops

the phone won’t ring, and

i love yous hang

in vacant space

when lips mouth heart’s oath

muttered under stale breath

when reconciliation hurts

more than distance kept

when silence heals

the broken space deep

within cracked chest

when knowledge of self comes

when everyone is gone

when only you can fix what ails

no one else can take that on

when all is left are peach suns

giving way to dark’s ascent

when stars kindle in morse code

look for your map within

~ Em C.



fading into forever
nothing left behind
all the worries wither
reaching far to feel fine
all your calls unanswered
the letters in the box
forgotten whispers flitter
figments fractured by our dark
days that turned to nights
nights that never end
until i found my road
beyond the road’s last bend
where no signs point to me
where maps fail to lead
to places i find solace
in solace’s gentle bed
fading into forever
for now is far too raw
safe in my own embrace
the only arms i trust
away from words too sweet
the lies of mouths that gush
the truest sign of fraud
the ones who glitter gold
give me souls dirty,
ripped, torn, and dull
the ones that hide away
the ones i stumble upon
humble in their countenance
unafraid to show deep scars
i’ll trust the gritty any day
over polished fake facades
find me gone forever
from the world i thought i knew
from what once lured me
i’ll slip into the unreachable

~ Em C.


Staked Thoughts on Sand Dunes

you stake your thoughts on sand dunes
proudly at the top
march along the ridgeline
exclaiming certainty of fact

but you stand upon a mountain
composed of unique grains
together compiling totality
in billions of strains

the view is mighty and unexplored
one you would never see
if not for all those underfoot
elevating your stature unnaturally

billowing on the horizon
your darkest nemesis
storm of immeasurable dimensions
builds in swirling fits

soon the tornado of truths
churns at your sunburned feet
knocking your staked thoughts
down as winds of voices speak

brought to knees you pray
battered convictions evaporate
reminded that all we know
is that no one really knows

~ Em C.



To Moor

She would not be a willing witness

To his inevitable shipwreck fate

Despite the warnings, he sailed away

Straight into that electric storm

She threw him buoys and rings and ropes

He followed the siren’s song

Throngs of others hollered

From the edges of the dock

“Watch out for hidden dangers

For weeds and toxic spots

Eating at your hull

Rotting your heart and guts”

She opted not to jump in after

When the effort to save him failed

She would not watch him sink

Not flounder, nor succumb

The messages were clear

The traps ahead laid bare

The storm drew him in

Its magnetic lure

But if he manages to survive

She’d meet him back on shore

She’d dry his tears and provide for him

Her shoulder upon which to moor

~ Em C.


Man With a Million Voices

man with a million inner voices
staring at an imaginary flower
held in his raised hand
pondering its power

the bench on which he sits
is warped by years of time
when people sat and stared
forgetting their own names

wheeling his cart carrying
all of his worldly goods
no house to call home
the park his neighborhood

we’ve circled the same path
we’ve passed each other daily
countless revolutions round
pounding feet on gravel

i wonder what you hear…
who tells you what to do?
do you talk to birds?
to spirits in the wood?

burdened in his curse
to forever haunt the lake
him or me, i’m not sure
how different we are in state

i only hear one voice, mine
in all its rambling glory,
running through the gamut, 
but still only one alone

the cart i push, invisible
full of life’s baggage
i shed a bit each visit
i leave it on windy days

you carry yours endlessly
you left nothing behind
you are imprisoned in your own way

and i, in mine


~ Emily C.



Almost every day I pass a mentally ill homeless man pushing a cart full of stuff around the lake. I’ve come to appreciate him as a part of my walk. We are all only one incident or gene away from being in a different position in life. A reminder we are not all that far away, despite our differences. I’ve been wanting to write a poem about him and today it finally came out.