A poem revisited: TO MY MUSE

mp for me
All art by Michael Parkes

Here you are.

Be close and distant.

My art will change and remain.

Do as you will.

Sail far beyond the Isle of Reason and Emotion.

Shape shift as you will,

To the point of delusion and elusion.

Sleep with one thousand newly fertile or virile virgins

All at the same time.

Make tryst history

With innumerable carnal reciprocities.

Meditate for years

In the cloistered Genie bottle.

Do as you will.

Don’t leave.

cr_MichaelParkes-023-TheRiver (menage e toi)
All art by Michael Parkes



I never think of you.


February 26, 1993familiar                                                           

I do not think of you

When the pines breathe in the wind

Just before glimpsing the lake from afar

After the moon crowns the lush horizon

As the crow announces her presence in the mornings



When I consider







. . . .

If someone plays especially plaintive guitar

When I am awake

When I am asleep – floating in my sea of stars

When I breathe in or out


These are the times

I never think of you










My journal, October 18, 1992, a favorite recording of a Christ encounter.

(I believe spirituality and sexuality, mysticism and eroticism, are kin — from the same Source.)


What do you seek within, O Soul, my Brother?

What do you seek within?

I seek a Life that shall never die,

Some haven to win

From mortality.


What do you find within, O Soul, my Brother?

What do you find within?

I find great quiet where no noises come.

Without, the world’s din:

Silence is my home.


What do you find within, O Soul, my Brother?

            Whom do you find within?

I find a friend that in secret came:

His scarred hands within

He shields a faint flame.


What would you do within, O Soul, my Brother?

            What would you do within?

Bar door and window that none my see:

            That alone we may be

(Alone! Face to face,

In that flame-lit place!)

When first we begin

To speak one with another.

~Evelyn Underhill, Immanence, 1916









m parkes want (my)
by Michael Parkes


August 23, 1992

“You don’t always get what you want.” ~ The Rolling Stones


A hole in the heart.

Sages tell me it is a longing

For God.

Whatever that could possibly mean.

Sustainer did return fleetingly today.

It had something to do with

Canoeing with my sons,

Riding my bike until exhausted –

Stopping, half naked, sweaty,

Sinking into the grass under a pine,

Watching time pass through the sky.

New shades . . . .



What I do not know as I write this:


A hole in your heart is a longing

For who you cannot have.

Most often you go through years

Finding ways to mask that symptom.

You grow, you eat/pray/love, you learn, you party, you serve, you divorce, you travel, you go on, you feed your addictions, you deny your addictions, you rely on your Higher Power, you don’t need, you remarry, you buy, you do yoga, you sell, you detach, you achieve, you meditate, you fail, you move, you give, you sing, you cry, you write, you surrender, you live and live and live . . . . You accept that your loved ones will die. You accept that you will die.


There is one cure for me.

Getting what I want.





April 24, 1992                    

The day you cut your hair and shave your beard

Is the day I will take off my make-up.

Then we may put on the death mask of the clown


And come out of hiding.


Lazarus, come out!


Then we may speak

Without words.

Then we may touch.


I came to you wanting a freed man

(My father had just died).

I found an emotionally paralyzed

Pale male.


I wanted to wash under your cloud.

It was without water.

I wanted community.

I found a cloistered prisoner.


Lazarus, come out!


I bared my soul to you.

My nakedness was disdained,

Its beauty not reveled in.


Loose him. Set him free!


Come, give the time and take the risk

To be the clown and the fool

With me.


What I do not know as I write this —

My penchant for loving apparitions.


closed forever 2
Photograph by Patti L. G’meiner



I do not forget April 12, 1992. It was the day the marriage ended.

It was two weeks after my father‘s death. I was in the tenderness a person experiences at the loss of a beloved one. The funeral was over. The visits and cards had ceased. Life had resumed as normal. I plodded as in a dream.

On this particular evening, my husband and our two teenage sons had gone for a ride to check out new cars at various dealers in town. I had settled to watch a television program — the first indulgence since my father’s death. It was a movie targeting female demographic — four young African American women sharing their challenges.

Much sooner than expected, the three men in my life arrived home, bursting through the front door.  My sons were indifferent as teens can be. My husband glanced at the television screen.

“What in the hell are you doing watching a movie about fucking niggers?” It was all he said.

I instantly wept.  My teens were standing, one on each side of their father. He draped an arm over each son’s shoulder and laughed.

“Look at that, guys. Your mother is crazy.  See what I have to put up with?”  The three of them looked down on me and shook their heads. There were things they said, but I don’t recall them.

That was the moment.  Five years later, I had the strength to leave; however, that day in early April, the marriage ended. I locked the gate and went underground.  Closed forever.

The Fall

meadow at dawn
Thank you to unknown photographer.


Journal, December 6, 1991

Things I want to share with you —


The meadow at dawn

The music of silence together

Can you hear me

What I do not know as I write this —

Love must devastate

Before it can console

by Michael Parkes