Closeup of Mosaic Dragonfly by Susanne Sorogan; full photo from mosaicartsupply.com

Hold my heart
hold it gently and with great care
Hold the pieces
with open grasp
Careful lest the fragments

cut you
with their brokenness
Watch the light glint
off the edges
Glimpses of beauty

in the shards
the strength in
the shattering
the hope found in

the wisdom in
the cracks
the magnificence of

our remnants
the brilliant mosaic of
our coming together

-KJ Roe




Where do we go from here?

Mother returns to an empty house,
the spaces inside crying to be filled
and the quiet scares her

Father closes doors on sleeping angels,
dreading the loneliness of next week
and planning excess to fill the void

Friends debate calls and texts
footing unsure as balance is lost
each tries to find solid ground again

Lovers wait and watch and hold
their hearts within walls,
seeing love slip through their fingers

Anxious, hurting, frightened
we wave false flags of victory
over the ashes of our hope and trust

Families crumble under the weight
of broken promises and kept lies
and injuries never asked to be forgiven

Pain of emotions and thinking
steal color from the sky
and burn the liquid from the eyes

Stereotypes and scapegoats fill the feed
arbitrary lines of Side A or Side B smother the brave and the free

Blocking the exits for thought
no view of a bigger picture
as the blinders are pulled tight

Boundaries multiply exponentially
highlighting divisiveness and
burying brotherly love

Value our diversity becomes scalding
don’t you dare think differently
and our strength becomes frailty

Crushed by disjointedness and
suspicion and drama-fed fears
tourniquet squeezing every breath

Blinded, we thrash about wildly
reaching for any safehold
grasping the tails of sharks

Mistaking the hunter for
beloved rescuer as he
smiles and chews our limbs

And nodding sagely, smugly,
we watch our brethren sink
under the load of our

hemorrhaging condemnation

-KJ Roe






You were put here for a purpose
to touch somebody’s life
and leave them smiling

you were given a calling
a dream of what you could do
that thing that fulfills your soul
it pulls

at your heartstrings
speaks in your ear
when you’re quiet – still –

you have a hidden wish
that longs to see the light
a seed that yearns
for warmth
the water of life
the food of faith

and risks taken
you keep it close
buried in the dust of

of denial and practicalities
and “musts” and “shoulds” and
worst of all

but you can and you should
unearth the treasure
deep inside you
reveal the gems of
your hopes and talents and desires
uncover the beauty of

your dreams
rise up to the challenge of
being the gift
You are

to be

-KJ Roe



You pass by,
liquid grace
power incarnate
Clothed in shades of
blues and greens and grays
Singing songs of distance
and place
Of time inexorable
Speaking in tongues
language of the depths
and the depths of the soul
Whispering secrets and
dreams and
origins of legends
Carrying life in
the womb of your current
in your aqueous marrow
And holding peace
in the mesmerizing torrent
of your ferocious serenity

-KJ Roe

Riding the Rails


You look thinner
hair unkempt
clothes unwashed
I ask how you’re doing
where are you staying
do you have food
You smile vaguely
doesn’t reach your eyes
eyes that avoid mine
You say you’re good
got an okay place
got big plans
I ask if you’re eating
offer a lunch date
maybe some groceries
Ask about extracurriculars
simple code for
are you using
Tell you I’m worried
offer help as I
[secretly] scan for signs
You wear long sleeves
pants that once fit
taped-up shoes
Are you covering tracks?
red eyes lacking sleep?
are these gifts yours to give?
I watch, and I fear, and I
tell you.

Tell you I love you too.

We both know
I’m stupid.
Both know I question
your stories
Both know I want you
this train you’ve boarded
Helpless as I try
to show you
To show you
To try to bring you back
from the broken track.

But I am not the engineer,

And I fear
are no longer

Driving this train.

-KJ Roe


After Hours


Toes spread
like starfish in the sand
Music of millennia
in the sighs of the waves
Gentle curve of the leg
traced by trembling hand
Anticipation’s desire
drowns thirsty lover’s mind

Shifts as subtleties and explosions
of escaped breaths and
Murmured invitations
dressed in emperor’s clothes
Mouths meet in cocktail-flavored
little-lost-child decisions
Longing for touch of meaning
to depths of heart and soul

Knowing this is yet another

-KJ Roe





Find the beauty

in curls of smoke

and heathered sky over

sugar-snow frosted trees


In cold so deep

it shimmers in ice crystals

suspended in the air


Find the beauty

in sharings of laughter

and stilted conversation

between estranged family


In aching longing

and hopes near hopeless

and joyful renewal


Find the beauty

in doe-soft brown eyes

carried on spindly legs

through drifts and trees


In open heart and innocence

stubbornly strong and wishful

fighting life’s jaded edge


Find the beauty

in me.

-KJ Roe