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Monday, December 23, 2013

If I Can Only Stand

I want to walk with you
over soft places
where belief is conceived,

Through times when peace
closes its eyes
and dives for reincarnation...

to try again.
to do it better.

and if I can only stand,
but still feel the warmth
of a friendly hand--
I hope my arms are brave enough
to be the branches
that present the red leaves...

each fallen fault
(still beautiful)
Spell them across the Earth;
read them to the listening blue--

I want them to tell
all the ways I happily fell
while bending to comfort you.

Waving ,and twirling colors.

Only wanting
 to reach the untouched sky
with my grateful reply
to the message you carved into my life.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Three Five-Sentence Stories-GBE2#127

Submitted for GBE2 Week#127

He Guards The Echoes of His Memory

Forty years and a day ago, he had it all--laughter, love,youth, and a family of warmth joined safely together in his living room . Nobody ever sees a tornado coming from their blind side. He didn't watch the weather channel that morning before he rolled out of the driveway. Something the sky was brewing was on its way, and it appeared as dark as the end of time...as eerie as a ghostly fist repeatedly pounding the same dreadful chord.

 Forty years and a day later, the neighborhood children take turns daring each other to startle the long-bearded man with dusty eyes, who stares all day and night at the broken-down shack  that so wearily leans over the edge of a dead-end street; but he hears and sees no distractions...he'll never leave or lose sight of home again.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Runner

Every evening she takes long runs that lead to anywhere but there. If she runs fast enough, she could almost be the invincible wind...nothing could ever snatch the wind when it flies through the dark. A hope beats beneath her chest that this is the final run that will put the screaming daylight to rest. She knows if she turns to look back at the long stretch of road behind her, she'll see bruises everywhere, and that solid white line will become a scar that connects the past to now.

Suddenly, a pale little girl--with the woman's same scared sound, though much younger voice --
hurries and catches up to the runner just as she collapses near the bridge; kneeling beside her, she asks with good-bye eyes, to be rocked to sleep one last time.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Autumn's Paint

She climbed as far north as she could up October's tree, and waited patiently until December--but she still felt the same when the first snow finally came. She shook her hair in the brisk air hoping her thoughts would drop with fall. The tag on her clothes described what little girls were made of, and the fancy ladies they must grow to be. The mirror on the wall told her she should love a boy or not at all. Now Autumn has run out of paint, and it doesn't matter, because changing her true colors was never a possibility.





Friday, October 11, 2013

Today is Okay


Today all is okay

Death stayed
deep in the black
Of the last funeral
And did not come forward
To make geese
push through the freckles
Of my smooth skin
With its cold breath

Today the sky
 is soft
And safe

All the souls
Have placed their blankets down for a picnic
None have booked a flight

And all I see
Is an angel
Peeking through
The opening of a cloud
To check on me
And she leaves
With her smile
Because I’ve got plenty

Because I am at rest
Because some days
Loyalty shines brighter
Than a cloudless sun
Stronger than the endurance
of a summer’s blazing day

And I can bask in it
With no burning risk

 And I can sing
all the things I love about it

And pluck every blooming chance
I once walked by
 with closed eyes
through a dreamy spring


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Buried Word

There was a word
Laying on the silence
Of a body of sorrow

Unmoved by the wind
Whispering its strong concern

There was a word
Stuck in dark seclusion
Unmotivated
by the determination
Of dawn’s touch

There was a word
that couldn’t find a voice
To lift it to its heaven
To rescue it
From the layers of uncertainty
Shoveled over it like a grave

All it could do
Was remain a slave
To nothing

Friday, September 27, 2013

Far Away From The Blue Eyes of Summer

Autumn isn’t wasting any time
A chill grabs my heart
As I watch the Dogwoods
Fall apart

Soon enough these leaves
Will leave
And I’ll be forced to stay
Frozen against
The lifeless gray

I yearn for the fire
That flames no more
I cry for the colors
I knew before

But nothing
 Comes and rests
 its cold hands on me
While the sky
Sprinkles its dust
All over what I used to be

Now colder and older
 with premonitions
Of what January won’t bring

One less voice
In a home that used to sing

One less smile
To dance around our hearts

There marks the mile
Where the pleading starts


I cling to August’s leg
Like a tearful child,
And I beg.
And I beg.

I don’t want to be far away
 from the blue eyes of summer.

That was the last season
to see you alive.





Monday, September 23, 2013

The World Needs


The world needs
more people stopping to embrace
the poetry that exists--
swaying in silence
in the midst of noise & traffic.

The world needs more love letters
to console its loneliness--
written in cursive--
letters curving & stretching
to connect like a stream
of souls holding hands.

The world needs our rhythm
to join its own,
Our hearts to applaud together
and become loud enough
to pause a rushing crowd.

The world has more poetry
than it can love on its own,

and that's where we come in:

Down the aisle
To marry the art
that was meant for us...

To stand on its hills
and bathe in its sun

To dance with its meter

and proudly wear
its shawls of syllables

To run with the freedom of its verse

To love its warm breath
whispering around our minds

To swim with its bravery
when it rises like a wave

To pay attention when the sky
Wears a new dress

To thank the strong breeze
For passing through

The world needs us
to enter loyally into
its family
and take great care of it..

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Connection

Here, in a place
That is only quiet on the surface;
There is a faucet that runs
As constant as the night
at the closing of the year.

I wash my tired face
I soak and scrub the few faded decades
off of this map on my hands.
I inhale the pulsating fragrance
of my freshly varnished hopes and plans.

I am unsure if I am an extension
of this giant spinning world,
or if it is a dizzy part of me.

Whatever the connection may be;
It stirs question upon question
That entertains the hopelessness
And transforms it
into something butterfly-like.

Contemplation of what I am
and what I should be doing here
Overflows and dampens
 the sympathetic air

I’m never a step closer to knowing
But all the stars my eyes have met
Are there, bright in the sky, still showing;
and something about that sight
urges this wanderer to keep going.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Beneath A Rising Amber Sphere

Such a heavy day...
I awake and immediately feel
Its weight pressing me down;
Squeezing life,
 dripping despair

Drops that now take up residence
On the threads of my pillow’s cotton case
Where my eyes once shut for comfort
To trade the square shape of now
For the complimentary colors of an abstract place

That place is closed today
And I am open only
to the sharp and real dimensions
Coming into focus
Beneath a rising amber sphere

How it manages to acquire such height
I may never know
but I want to live
 within that glow;
It must be weightless there.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Last Swim of Summer

Be with me a while;
Dip your evening shoes
In a pond of floating Forget-me-nots.

Meet me at the edge
of the very same place
Where once I met a smile
That resembled a youthful you…

Cleanse the doubt from your eyes,
but leave the beautiful blue,
round, wet surface where I go to swim--
Mermaid-like;
delicately diving into the soul of you:

For truer air.
For deeper breath.

Smother this fire
Screaming from my lungs,
Until soft, calm clouds
Are all that’s left.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'll Never Forget

Tonight it hurts
So deep

It stings

To remember
To forget
To Spill

To hold emptiness
in one hand
and with the other
try to fill

To lie beneath a quiet
indigo sky
with thoughts trembling, and chilled
Hiding out like a hermit
in a shell of a heart
that will never come out and sigh

Ripping out the grass
like the earth owes me
But it is time
that never repays its soaring debt
While I spend each age
with ghosts I'll never forget

And I know how the rain feels
When the wind won't stay

I know how the eyes feel
when distress fogs the bay

I know how this pen feels
It writes what I can't say

I know how the waking feel
when the sun burns their dreams

I know how the night feels
as it hides its streams


I know how the winter  feels
visions of vanishing breath

I know what agony feels
it kneels close by,
 and cries the name of death.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

So Many Things

I am so many things,
 like the fighting gloves of an octopus,
 bruising statements across the clean sky.
I've lifted the how and dropped the why.

 I am so many things,
 still learning to live in peace with this crowd in my heart.
Praying to God that my hands can open this cage
and free the innocence into the air of infinite art.

Kites

Why do we fly our dreams
like kites in spring--
so high
and so far ahead of us?

Is it because the gold of day break,
The sugary lumps of winter mountains,
The gaze of a day dreamer,
The myths that hear our silence,
Forgiveness,
Acceptance,
Trust,
Heaven...
All reside in that far off acre of space
playing together with Peter Pan smiles?

We give beauty
a free, permanent vacation in the distance;
then stick our brick homes
a thousand prayers shy of a touch.
We work for money instead of attention
and wonder why we aren't paid very much.

I believe we all have enough light
and tears in our eyes
to plant our dreams
in our living rooms...
even grow up alongside of them
like sapling siblings.

I think we can move closer
to the shine of our treasures;
and only throw them up in the air
for the sky to catch and hold
at night while we rest.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Cut In

Without you,
A new year feels as sharp
 and wounding as the blade
of a new knife.

 If I could,
 I would let you cut in,
 So you can finish
 this dance with life.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Humble Requests





















Edvard Munch "The Girl in the Window" (detail) 1893





She tip-toes toward
the parted curtains,
where this celestial lamp
has come to meet
and unfold her hands,
to carry her humble requests
to a magical place
of mercy and rest.

She does not plead for more
or weep over less;
Only asks to protect
the dreaming souls
who've loved her long
and loved her best;

To wrap the present of this perfect night
in cotton sheets tucked in tight--
with unraveled hair ribbons,
 and slow stretching streams
of a sleepy midnight
 yawning moonbeams.

She hears nothing but
the nodding branches
of each tree's proud approval.

Her lips utter not a single
sung or whispered word;
but a protective breeze
traveling along the glow of her skin
lets her steady pulse know:

That her heart has been answered;
That she has been heard .


Submitted for:
http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2013/08/artistic-interpretations-stillness.html

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Girl On The Moon

I am the girl on the moon--
a girl who only knows
the curious, peeking,
quiet light of the stars;
The one who occasionally
has long distance chats with mars.

I am the girl on the moon,
fully embracing the harvest--
as gravity moves further,
and further
from my floating thoughts.

I am the girl in the sky
watching the web
of dark, immortal space
catch earthly questions,
as they blink by
like the traffic of evening  fireflies.

I am the one
wondering if there
is an answer for every
pair of empty hands.

I am the echo
in the cave of a hollow heart,
when endings and beginnings
rehearse their passion
for a movie kiss.

I am just a girl
on the moon.
And love is just a boy
on a drifting cloud
that once passed through me.

I am the girl traveling in circles
with a glow so far behind her--
sadly accepting
no bright new time will ever find her.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Cousin of A Prayer

Sometimes I have to put her words down
because they feel like something
 I've been holding all my life

Not as easy as the summer beach
Not as tired as an overcast day
but she offers flight over pain
Sand and slow rain


the kind that will always show up later
in pockets, and shoes

frozen,
in the forgotten crevices of winter blues

the kind that will walk in without wiping its feet
and never apologize for leaving traces
of where it has been or what it knows

The kind that only a garden grows

Not gospel
But a cousin of a prayer
somewhere between
 heavy breath and light air

She destroys all indoor sources of time
forces me to rely on the sky
to tell me where my shadow should be

I forget lessons I've read,
the time I wake,
or went to bed.
Too often a dying memory
 makes a widow out of me

But I never forget a feeling
Emotions tend to pile themselves on top of me

And she's the only thing
that could ever set me free

If you see her around,
Pay attention.

Her name is Poetry.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

To The Depths of Whatever I Am

I can't remember
the first time I was called a poet
or by whom;
Though I do recall
something within me sank
to the depths of whatever I am

That's an intense responsibility,
you know...
Do I even have a choice in this matter?
Or is this like a given name,
stamped on my birth certificate?
Did I check the box on my driver's license:
"Will donate organs, blood,
observations of life and the human spirit"

If this was given: Why me?!
If this was chosen: Was I drunk?!

We won't even discuss
whether or not I must
or must not be great--
Or if I can just keep it simple
on the surface,
and rhyme about the food I ate;


All that, and my pride aside--
It doesn't even matter.
Someone pushed
a roller coaster ride
Straight through my chest
and my heart is alone,
screaming in the front seat--
strapped down
by a lifetime of words

First words
Last Words
Words soaked in late evening summer sheets
Words stuck in traffic
Words naming babies
Words Coming Home
Kind words, apologizing
for the wrong that other words have done.
Words needing someone.

Some frogs complain about being green
So I shoved some black and blue pens
in a bindle,
and headed out to trade them,
with hopes that I can leap over this crazy scene

Do you know how many poems
a poet can give birth to?
And some don't even grow up to fit their name.
I never got my body back
after that first stanza.
My head feels like a thesaurus's bloated twin.
And I'm poet-tired
from all these early lyric cries
and midnight feedings.

Sleep doesn't call me anymore--
won't even spend the night on a weekend,
or admit that we had something once.

This is rarely a day at the beach
But I'm forever shaking off the sand,
And even if I don't leave my pages
out in the sun--
aging lines appear,
and rhymes form
like freckles everywhere.

Staring at this mirror,
through young, but weary eyes--
I can only surmise,
that one day,
my hands will cramp
and not recover,
finger tips still stained,
prints leaving evidence of passion,
 and the tumult of a mind gone mad;



And there is very little doubt,
that on their way out
those final words
will read:
Oh, God! Why me?

But there is fire in fear;
A bright secret
slips through parting clouds,
and a voice
cowering beneath a soft sheet of breath,
whispers...
"Thank You!"




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Friday, August 9, 2013

Winter Boots

Closed Eyes
Stole the dawn's colors
from my skies.
And if that's the end,
I see what you see--
Darkness, and trouble.
Fearing a sober mind.
Intoxication only made it double.


So much loss
Yet there is so much within me


My pen glides along,
tracing over hills of grief.
On my head,
rests one autumn leaf--
a snowflake falls beside it
to threaten its veins.
The leaf hardens.
A crisp truth.
No life remains...


Hollow boots,
fading
in this bastard of a blizzard;
No feet to fill them.
 No burning sun to will them--
Only stale, heavy air
to forever still them.


So I watch promises
break through the hourglass,
and stare at all the goodbyes
 my bare feet long to pass...


While whirling shadows cry
your empty winter boots
 kill the summer grass.



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Monday, August 5, 2013

Shaking Hands With Poets

She sings songs with her eyes closed
her voice let's you know
whether their blue or gold
Her words change color all the time

She's spent the better part of her life
shaking hands with poets
with a long hope
that maybe there's a line on a palm,
 that'll remind her of who she is
She doesn't know for sure,
Not anymore.

There's no calendar
with days
marked with okays
to take out the crazy;
So it stays.

Did I mention she'll take a rhyme
like a dime
on a floor?
even when her heart isn't poor;

But sometimes she's the one to leave one
under cushions,
or rolled beneath a coin machine
Spinning on the dirt,
and places where bending may hurt;
Where schedules pull her away
and time is too busy
 to bother to flirt

In her room
there's a closet full
of disorganized letters--
On cold days
she pulls them out
and wears them all at once
like layers of sweaters

Most of her thoughts
are waiting behind
a railroad sign
near an old abandoned train
she wonders
if she leaves to meet them
will she go completely insane?



Sunday, August 4, 2013

Soul Mates

Pardon me
for noticing,
but the loneliness in your words
closely resembles mine

I couldn't help but wonder
 if we are soul mates.

And if we put our words
in the same room
and stirred them together
would they make love?

Sign Language

What if you put down your worries for a while
there's a blank canvas so lonely in the corner
let's join our hands together in sign language
to explain the beauty we see in it
and ride the wave of its rising smile

We can fill it with a few tall things
that refuse to conform to borders
and stretch all of our blue
into calm skies and still waters

You spoke with your head down
of all the lovely things you had once
your words drew them so well...
Lift your head now
and see the wonderful present
that past can slip through your fingers and spell

There now,
do you see?
What should be
is really what could be
and somewhere it already is
waiting in a place made for you

So when you feel
your impatience boiling
remember
that you are not waiting for happiness
happiness is waiting for you--
just hoping you'll be flying in
any minute now





Saturday, August 3, 2013

Here Comes The Month

Here comes the month
down a narrow aisle
my eyes only half-look
because if they allowed the entirety of the vision
they may never watch anything else

I never thought I'd see a ghost march,
until now--
if you haven't, I'll explain how--
the movement is something like a missed beat
it walks in places we skip
the eerie hum of the piano deepens with each slow blink
the notes press themselves into me
almost like the player is sitting on my chest

The music compels the stillness into a moving confession:
I don't remember you everyday
because my mind is not the place you left
when you went away
and one can only recall something once forgotten
But if remembering could trace you back to life
I would force myself to forget every night
in each of the rooms you never entered
in all of the dreams you never visited

And I ask for no moment of silence
because your laughter is like fairy dust
you sprinkled it into my life
and it stays with me
even after all of the fearful shaking
even after relenting to sad exhaustion
 under clouds breaking...
Your happiness is still glitter on my mind
I hear it, and I know you're okay
So I know it's okay, for me to be okay, too.




Thursday, August 1, 2013

Untitled

I can’t remember
The colors that surrounded the day
When “us” first discovered its life
When it entered this realm
Without the background noise
of all the “to-dos”
over the pretty dresses and sparkly shoes
posing on a red carpet moment;

I just know it was quiet
And it was everything.

I won’t call us love;
That word hasn’t meant a thing
Since a million machine-washing cycles ago--
So faded and half the lettering has peeled off
Now it’s barely wearable, or worth enough
 to throw in a charity box

I won’t call this a blessing
Because I know a higher power
Must have so many more important things to do
Than push together two ordinary, imperfect souls
 such as me and you

In fact, I won’t call it, at all.

This is too eternal
And it travels without direction
through so many avenues

At times, it is so fragile,,
So human that it fears its own death

So sweet
as it recognizes comfortable moments
And rests with them
 no matter the time of day


If  I could whisper a hint
I would say,
 It is the only place
Where I’d go forever

It is what we need
In a time of humanity
 Testing the strength of the surface
Poking the layer that exists
To keep the lows from rising
And the highs from falling
So they don’t collide and become lava

This is a million places
And a billion feelings
That all blend into one truth

No, I won’t call this anything, at all.
I will let it be a gorgeous secret
For others to learn on their own
A glorious surprise that happily 
darts toward them
 and jumps on them
After a long day of trying to get home

I won't call this
or cut and paste a word
from the dictionary

We both know
This isn't something that needs a name
This only needs to be

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

All of Us

Eyes closing, closing
body horizontal
breathing, breathing

Lift your voice
and lay it down
softly over my ears
like a red sheet escaping the laundry line
to play costume dress-up with the wind

Send me someplace--
express it in the mail;
 or better yet,
 take me anywhere

Let's run like our legs won't meet never
Let's skip like our hearts are pretend
Our hands a round-trip ticket
We'll see if we could bend
the time between now and the end
until it becomes a hula hoop
that we will throw over the moon
and laugh, and laugh
and smile so loud
that the lost will find our lips
and be kissed back in tune


All of us
the sad, the lonely, 
the weary, 
the lower,
the higher,
December's cold
August's fire
the full,
the hollow,
the giant's lead
and the young to follow
 the all rights and okays
the sapphire blues
and sea of grays

All of us
 all at once,
link our keys
all on the same ring
then toss them up high
and hear the jingle cry
until prison lets us out
and home lets us in




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dark Lies

Each sleep falls flat on a nightmare
my mind feels deceived
over lies
the darkness forced me to believe

It's been ages
since I've gone to my bed
to lift the comforter of hope
over my aching head...
It's just not like that anymore

I suppose the shooting pain
came quick like a fallen light
once secure with unreachable height.
I was counting on those stars
 to stay where they were
but I lost count
and it all became a blur.

Each morning is a routine,
digesting time between sips of coffee
and the usual waking from a coma
to a list of personal questions
followed by groggy answers
 to assure the world
(or perhaps myself)
that I made it safely back

just in time for some philosophy:

who am I?
where am I?
Why am I here?

The answers never change
but the calendar flips
like one of those flick books,
turning pages to life;
though, my days are far less animated.

I think it hurts worse
not being far enough away
from how it used to be
so close
 the past doesn't even have to chase me.

The night and the memory
 must be co-conspirators;
they can both be
such slick intruders--
creeping in and waiting beneath my pillow,
all without a sound.

I used to be a fan of sleep
until dark lies
replaced lullabies.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Tumbling

Today has been a day
of continuous tumbling
down a never-ending hill
while my poor body collects
every rich thing the grass offers

I am no artist
and yet I have the colors of the world
dripping off of my hands

I am not mud
and yet all that touches me
leaves its curious shape on my flesh

I am no crowd.
I stand alone
waiting for a single shadow
that will move
 in sync with my rhythm

I am no angel
and yet eternity
dances a slow waltz with me--
stepping on my toes
each time a soul is promised forever

I am no cloud
still sometimes
on a good day,
I feel close to heaven

I am not anyone.
I am somebody.
And sometimes
just a passing thought--
nobody worth mentioning out loud.
However, there is that solemn silence
of which I am most proud.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ugly Art

You've got a fancy way
of saying I'm not good enough;
you paint the picture
like ugly art
that would sell for millions.
But all I have is a half chipped cent
and an ounce of pride
that I'll soon be selling
for a taxi ride

Fired

You said you'd be my savior
but all of these years later
these eyes never witnessed you
walking on water;
though, you sure did
walk all over me

And now when I open the door
I don't drag your footprints
out with me anymore

You said you felt so lucky to find me
but you threw the pennies back,
and now they're just tails on the floor


So tell me...
Do you feel poor?

Perhaps I'll admit,
 I'm a little broke,
but I'm far from broken.
When I said you were my everything
I was just joking
When I said I think I love you
I was heavily drinking
and really wasn't thinking.

I may be unemployed and tired
but my arms still have the strength
to dump my tears
over this heart you fired

So when the smoke
leaves my lungs,
and my good intentions fall
while I'm dusting the sky,
my burned heart
will give love another try.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why Do I Write?

Why do I write?

I answer with this absolute truth:

My mind has received an open invitation
to a place where it can explode
and become more than just itself;

where it can burst through everything
with the heated impatience of fire--
in a perplexed panic rising
 from the earth to the sky
finding the whole
by spreading the pieces
of a highly combustive heart
that kissed summer like a forbidden lover

I have an autumn home
that was grown instead of built
blessed by the scent of change and chance
fresh out of heaven's shower

Where reason is defied
by a little girl on a trampoline
insisting she can reach the moon ...
even offers to gift me a star,
and when a firefly leaves her hands
faith greets my life

Where a cradled dream
open its eyes for the first time
and discovers mine,
 asks me for its name...
to whisper it
and softly breathe it true

I write
Because a word by itself
cannot define a thousand emotions,
but a chain of them
 can lace around my neck
and rest
a shiny, love-shaped charm
 on my restless chest


I write
 because my soul
has made a promise
to visit a place not of this life.
Because this pen is the only vehicle
capable of taking me there,
and this ink is the only camera
that can capture  images to take back
and show you where I've been.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hope

Hope is a beautiful thing
more real than any words define;
It offers our desperate eyes
a vision to kiss,
and some stars
to connect some character
to the straight lines.


Hope gives our minds a boost
While we attempt to climb
the invisible air
to see the other side--
what we think might be there.


And since no lovely thing
has ever been created
before Hope's birth--
I sometimes catch myself
calling it God;
I sprinkle it in my soul
before I taste my worth.




Friday, July 19, 2013

Matchbook Years

Some gifts aren't meant to be played with;
still, I fooled around with all of mine
like every morning was Christmas time.
I struck the chords of untuned years
like a match to a palm full of prayers
then extinguished the flames
with my regretful tears

Every day was a wildfire
looking back at a past
of useless ash

If spring can be reborn
Why can't I?

If God says no,
take a broom and dustpan to me,
and toss me like pepper on the fallen snow.

If I'm to be long gone and forgotten
I choose to freeze where the crystals glow.
I don't want to be beneath the earth
if I can't ever grow.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

In Sneaks the Dream

In slips the memories
In between the open and close
Of windows
Fogged by the last sighs
Of a heart
Bound tightly
with held goodbyes

A gang of anger
Barging into our world
stomping on the pavement
like hurricane rain
Sorrow swimming slow laps
From me to you
Taking its time
And our time, too
In sneaks the dream
Through a shattered now
Risking the slicing
Of its thin, pale skin
hoping it has the chance
 to win tomorrow's race

 I put down my pen and paper worries
 to clap my hands and cheer it on
as if my life depended on it.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Once Upon A Past

A few decades and some years ago:
I spoke my first words.
I took my first steps.

My knowledge and experience were limited.
 I remained undaunted
by the ever expanding boundaries of the universe.
My shoes were the only thing I could feel stretching--
And all that meant, was that a fresh, new, comfy pair
would find my feet soon

Time was yet to clock me with fear.
“The end” was still a closed fairy tale
of smooched lips and soft hands
tucking in my dreams,
and could be read again another night--
just as happily as bed times before


“Love” and “need”
weren’t spoken words
transferred to print and handed out 
to every passerby;
They were nourishments.
I nursed when the hunger came,
And spit out when I was full.

A smile,
a thank you,
a hug
wasn't a reflex--
rules set on the dinner table alongside china plates.
I never had to ask someone to
“Please pass the kindness”
each of our share was already there


I didn't know the meaning of “guarded”
Why fences were around some houses,
Why some adults were paid to walk with guns and vests.
I didn't notice cops and robbers jumping out of the television
And into real life...
bullets and knives flying
 tearing off the chains on playground swings.

Pain was something I wasn't supposed to have.
And if I got a hold of it
Mom quickly and gently took it away
while explaining that I was too young;
Then put it somewhere too high for me to reach.

Dreams were edible,
candy flavored, cotton clouds.
If I drifted,
I landed covered in dessert.            
Life was too sweet to hurt!            
                                                           
There were no big deals,
only big people.
I looked up to them
 And wondered what all that blue was behind them;
 They said it was just the sky,
 But why did it sometimes make them cry?

 I would find out someday
when through my sunny hair,
snuck in some grey.
When funerals replaced birthdays...

When I became the one with the sky behind me,
 taking the hurt out of a child's hands.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Catching Your Smile

I learned and danced every dance--
each one created by some other;
Every single step I mimicked to a T.
Yet, sadly, you wouldn't even notice me.

I traced New York City;
I colored so neatly in the skyline--
all that God grew and man built--
none of it from hands of mine...

You were not impressed.

So with one last attempt,
I went to you and introduced myself:
I grinned hello, I told you my name.
Suddenly there was your light--
my way, it brightly came.

I caught your smile
without stealing some garden's flowers,
without reciting any ancient poetry;
I caught your smile
with no other bait but me.

I heard it in a song once


There's a ballroom;

You have to walk through
so many rooms to find
the place where you can dance

the sad room
the angry room
the crazy, hell no room
the okay! why not?! room
the bedroom...

Weather is a stranger
but somehow
everything moves
as if all 12 months
came together in one night
and said,
"Let's get this right!"

art is my partner
with his outstretched hand
he is the question mark
I am the dance
a symphony begins
and so much ends

An invitation,
An RSVP--
two in one room
bewildered by destiny

I searched for a new sky
but couldn't seem to find one
and then there you were
painting in the morning sun

I heard it in a song once
and I tried to loudly sing along
I think I had the dance right
but the lyrics were all wrong

Something Beautiful

If you want to see something beautiful
close the book of poetry
and read the letters to the poet
there you'll see the dreamy eyes
open with surprise
there you'll find the match
at the moment of its strike

somewhere in line two
on page three,
you'll understand
why the pen came out to play
and why inspiration
will always have its way

I guess what these words are trying to say
is...if you want to read something beautiful
just open up your eyes and look at you


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Waiting

Why am I here waiting
with love misplaced in a place
where you no longer reside,
where you will never return 
knowing if you did
it would only be
 to urge me to move on.

Why won't I move?
Perhaps because stillness
seems to attract the wind
and I've been begging
for it to send you back.

You left,
 so swiftly,
so quietly;
if only I could catch the breeze
 that stole your breath

The seasons and I
all miss the sound of the harmony
life had with you;

Now, nothing sounds the same
this world may as well be mute...
in fact, I believe it is;
My thoughts no longer drown
in rising notes

The words
are too definite,
too clear,
and they are taunting me in the air:
You are gone
You are not here

Why won't you come back?
intoxicate my future with silly laughter
give my overprotective heart
a place to hover over...

without you,
it drops to the dirt.
without you,
time is just infertile land.

and yet,
I still wait.



Friday, July 5, 2013

On The Edge

There you are
curled on the edge of solitude
with unwashed distress
draped over your gated home,
guarding only your pain,
clutching it with your life
as if you were holding it
 for another who'd return
 to claim it one day

And from what?
For what?

Shielding something so dark
that no shadow could request a dance,
something so cold
 that no stars could accept,
hurt so frequent
it leaves you numb,
immune to the shock
of another unannounced  visit

I am alone, too,
just a few paces
 away from you
not needing all the answers
but desperately hoping
for just a few

If you can't run,
crawl closer to the east
Please try.
Together, you and I
let's fight this ruthless beast

I think I remember how
I'll show you if you don't


Loneliness is Not Emptiness

Loneliness is not emptiness
it is a glass of never-ending drink
with no thirsty mouth nearby
to quench
no sober tongue
to intoxicate
no pale lips
to stain with love


A glass so full
it yearns to find
something empty
to pour half of itself into,
until there is space to breathe

There is no breathing
inside of loneliness
breath must always be held there
or one could drown;
but life and breath can only be held for so long...
that's how the lonely die

No,
 loneliness is not emptiness;

It is a glass
 brimming with emotion
searching for a place
to spill its thoughts,
spill its heart,
spill its time.




Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stretched Your Love Like Early Morning

You stretched your love
like early morning
inside the twilight of my soul

while silently, I watched
 the slow blinking
of late evening's sleepy eyes

and I wondered
how did peace know
to find me here?

did I cry out
for rescue
in a forgotten dream?

Well, I guess it doesn't matter
now that I know
this waking rest exists






Sunday, June 30, 2013

Read Aloud

Go where you go
when you leave

open the book
turn to your favorite page
and read aloud
what is already known by heart

Exhale

introduce your soul
to the landscapes;
let them become friends
holding hands in a smile's painting

the rocks will no longer
stun your feet with pain;
they will still be rough,
but more like sand,
exfoliating each step

There should be
 no choosing between worlds
think of them as oscillating fans
stand in the center
and breathe in the harmony


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Helpless

I looked into his eyes
So brown and sad
Like two fallen tree branches
Disconnected from their home
Floating downstream

All that my blue eyes could do
Was follow them
as they headed toward a waterfall

Eyes so engaging
So transparent
So helpless

My arms wanted to reach out
And bring him back to land
They considered this for a moment
Paused at half the distance
But the weight of my worry
Might have made him sink
Perhaps it would sink us both

So I just hoped
For a current to change its course
and someday lead him home again
All I could do was hope



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gone Reading

Don't bother with a search for me tonight
for I'll be nowhere within time's keen sight
I am visiting a lonely poet
and there is music in this lair
We are tangled up in heaven's web
dodging each earthly prayer
Perseus is promising to free me
if I kiss away space's outer despair
so I jump 14 times, from line to line
over iambic pentameters
 all the way there
and 154 ardent stars
 all applaud and burst into joyous tears.
But this certainly, is not a sonnet,
and I am obviously no Shakespeare.

 I wrote this simple, silly note
just to let you know
I'm with another friend tonight
 So please forgive me,
when you don't find me here

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Message For November


I wrote my poems on late summer leaves
With white crayon,
And through tall, wild grass,
I walked away
So careful not to step on wishes;
There seemed to be a lot of them
 Surrounding my bare feet that day

A message for November;
We would have waited for one another
If either of us could stay
But there is so much living
And changing to do,
And only the trees have time
To stand around and sway

Any lover of life and nature
Would know what I wrote
And why I left my words
so clustered there

When it’s time for those words
 to be read
They’ll have one last dance
With the breezy air

But I know,
when the wind freezes,
You, who never
Exits a party too soon,
 will hold out
Two open hands
To catch their mortal fall
And spin them around some more,
Like youth in golden dreams
Beneath a winter moon

When the dizziness subsides
those words will spread out
inside a heart shaped wish
and life will make more sense
as it ends
just as it begins

signed
Love Always




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In The Shape of You

The sky cracked
When thunder raged.
Life screamed
Inside its cage,
And a thousand years
Then found my age
.
A diary of fire,
Each day’s page
Lit my mind.
The air possessed
by burning sage.

Wavy golden flames
Danced the length
around and down my head.
Felt like time yanked my dreams,
and left me on a sheetless bed.


Then I thought I heard a whisper
From a voice I'm sure I once knew
I turned to find a shadow
shaped much like
the core of you

What I heard exactly,
 I wish I could say.
Love spoke through me
In a wordless way.

Many have greeted me
With a strong hug and such;
though, until you
I never quite felt a touch.

No longer a hamster
 Trapped inside a spinning movie reel.
This heart found the strength to leap
and a warm, bright place to heal

And you know, my love,
If eternity was an ocean,
If Heaven's Gold were free,
I would ship you straight home
to live and rest with me.

If only all things were
what they cannot be

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Half My Life Ago

Half my life ago
I wanted that
 to be my whole life
I wanted to be finished
without being complete

Half my life ago
was where the journey
I hoped for from the beginning
of my life
 was close to a start

Half my life ago
I had a moment of weakness
and looked away
instead of ahead

Half  my life ago
I was in desperate need
 of a glimpse
of what I should be
and all I could do
but I was tired
and didn't have the strength to


Half my life ago
I couldn't see
all of the hearts
and souls running toward me
Some of them old
some of them new
But I held on, anyway
and I see them now
even though the pain
sometimes still punches through

The next half
promises
it gets better
and so far that's been true
I'm here now,
and no matter how difficult it gets
 I plan to be here tomorrow, too.

Paint

The new pail of paint
unopened
in the old shed

A familiar city
still standing
a little shattered
quite worn
and embarrassed
 of its blemished
unwashed face,
 littered sidewalks
where loitering weeds
seep into the soil
and petrify the bloom
until the shaken petals fall
and become another statistic

the mouth of the town
muted,
stuffed with degrading profanity
and tobacco smoke
cancer grabbing the throat
and claiming centuries of stories
new souls will never learn


Marathon runners
chasing after Euphoria
they can hear her
laughing in the distance
so they run further
run harder
with hearts beating up
neglected  streets...

hit and run
hit and run
don't look back to
see the dying cry over the dead
their dread will slow the paces
keep your gaze ahead

But when the runners reach the cliff
they won't know which way to turn
the laughter they heard
is an echo
thrown from glove to glove
in a field of Gods
that won't let them play

and somewhere miles behind
is the new paint
still in the old shed
wishing someone would
throw it on the city
and dress it fresh
so it can see its own reflection in the river
stand proudly
and once again feel pretty



Monday, June 3, 2013

There Will Be Poetry Here

There will be poetry here
if that scares you
or turns you off
I imagine your life
must be an empty box
and I'm scared for you, too

but I know you just haven't
realized what your mind finds
when it escapes
where your body goes
when it comes back.

You love poetry
You do!

No?

You turn on the radio
and nothing happens
only a stiff silence
no changing tune

You open your door
to a comatose world
the river, the birds,
the grass,
all motionless

The occasional swoosh
of late evening trips
escape your ear
there is no traffic here
Nobody is going anywhere

You reach out your hand
and feel only the unreliable void
of a pitch-black starless night
drowning without a pool
an eternity of being dropped
and there is nothing to fall back on

Your helpless hands
only want something to hold on to
Your hands want to save you...

Well mine do, too

Poetry is a familiar sound
you don't realize
you need
to fall asleep

It is where you put your feet
after a long day of living
and it IS the living
the dying
it is the cool water
flying
off the palms
to console a heated face
after an afternoon of crying

We all need to be saved
a thousand different ways
for thousands of repeated days
So your hands try to help you

Well mine do, too

There will be poetry here
You can take that as a warning
or an invitation

I hope you'll stop by

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I Am Not Here

Tonight I will not call upon the elements
to shake or bake
or sink
my thoughts
in poetic ink

Tonight
I will not fly
to rest a note
on a cloud passing by
for a messenger to deliver
to something so much more than I

I will be quiet,
grounded
neither nearsighted
nor far
and will simply
 let all things be
 nothing more
or less than what they are

I will stay inside
my skyless room
with no burning candles
 to coax a kind light
to shun the gloom

The metaphors will be left
beside my house keys
and they definitely will not rhyme
perhaps I'll take them out
some other time

I will not rouse a sleeping poet
I'll leave those dreams undisturbed
and stay awake on my own
my breath will breathe alone

So if anyone asks
if anyone should care
tell them you haven't seen me
I am not here



Friday, May 31, 2013

17

The numbers stand in front of me
more steady
more confident than I
They stare me down.


7 days in a week
and 1 took you away
sum that up to fate
I never found the answer
and now it's too late

1 + 7=8


The numbers stare
and I look away
knowing they have a quicker draw
they could shoot me to death
before I could even hold my breath


summer warm and strong
 held your hand
and together
you strolled far too long
your heart reached the place
 where the mind goes to pray
close to where the sun meets the fall
and you found the secret
you realized you could fly above it all



Please come and visit me sometime
I've kept the runway clear
in case you ever miss the land.
it would make my life
just to see you here.
Time without your smile
has been so damn hard to stand.







How Many


How many words
for pain
can a heart's thesaurus contain?
How many leaps,
How many desperate
 gasps of breath
 are left
before eternity
 will offer mercy
to the bereft?

How long can
silent shoes
walk through a desert so cursed
before the salt of sorrow
only worsens the thirst

How many mazes
full of tall phases
of grief
must befuddle the mind
until one can find
a golden leaf
and float away?

How many lost souls
have asked the night
if it has seen the day?
and how do they find
the strength to stay?









Thursday, May 30, 2013

Who is She

Who is this girl
they see,
with happy eyes
they view
who is this person
they love
and why can't I love her, too?

Who is the one
that throws her emotion
into a pot
and walks away
while others watch the steam
rise to greet the blue
who is she
and why can't I meet her, too?

Who is this girl
they claim they know
that even on the dreariest nights
with hands so hot
carries around a glow
who is she
and why can't I know her, too?

With a closet full of talent
and complains of nothing to wear
who is she?
and why don't I believe she's here?

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Seashell's Story

There are things I could have done better
things I possibly shouldn't have done at all
but I don't regret them all together
because somewhere
through a hand woven basket of wrongs
sits you
beside my life now
and this fallen branch
helped me write my story
in the sand
and when I was done writing
an ocean of love
came rushing forward to kiss me
and while it did
it turned my story into a seashell
and the wind said:
carry it
place it close to your ear
when you need a reminder
but follow me
because you will have more
there will be more
seashells to gather
you're not done
but when you are
we'll sink them back into the ocean
deep and far
and some diver will find them
and know that you have lived.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Playground Bullies


They lay the bricks,
a stack of tough,
unbreakable things
cemented together;
the color of bloated cheeks
fighting anger's force

They cut my trees
and did not care
because they thought
them old and bare

They shook off
their remaining leaves
like playground bullies
and now I have nothing
to whisper truth to me

They chopped the branches
that used to point toward
the direction of the breeze
when I would ask which way it went.
They chopped them down
because they were loose and lowly bent

And now when it rains
I stay inside.

The strong roof
and brick so tough
ward off a wailing cloud,
but I miss the tears;
it hurts more not to cry.
it hurts so loud.

Those trees would always
ask me to say when
when I've had enough
and listen when I did

And now my broken voice
speaks to nothing

The listening
has been removed
and replaced
with rows of deafness

Sure the tall, mighty
structures will intimidate
outer danger,
but they do not live
and they do not care.

And so I am left
shelterless
unprotected
without even
a stump of hope
to spare.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Somewhere

It starts off with love
the kind
 that a turtle's shell is made of
and then we come to a fork
you take this one
and I take that
but between your road and mine
our arms stretch
just to be sure the other's fine

it ends with you leaving
for the sky?
 the clouds?
 heaven?
For something new.
And me staying,
Standing frozen
on a summer sidewalk
wondering:

Why?
How?
Is this real?

Dishonesty
Denial
they leap
a short distance between my lips and ears

No.
No.
No!
It never happened.

But the story in the middle
is the one that fills the pie

fighting, yelling
all with love behind it
crazy love
never losing love
we'd slip it into our back pockets
to free our spirit's hands
 for a fiery battle
of the hearts
and then we'd put it
right back where it belonged
right back where it always was
and always will be

All those times I spoke of
things being unfair
Stupid me.
I never knew what that meant
until the moment you were no longer here.
In nearly three months
it will be a year,

365 miles of unfair.

I miss you.
I miss you being you.
I miss your weekend call
to ask me if I'm coming over.
I miss you cooking dinner a little earlier
so I could have some before I leave.
I miss the compassion in your eyes.
I miss the things we didn't have in common
and how sometimes they'd make my temper fly.

I miss it all
So much.

I'd settle for a minute back
and I think of how many words
I could fit into that minute...
How many jokes to hear you laugh?
Should I take some time to prepare?

Where do I send that request?
To the sky?
to the clouds?
to heaven?

Where do I focus my sight
so you could see
the calling in my eyes?
so I could find
the reply in yours?
Where?

You aren't here
but I know you're somewhere

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Heavy

These heavy eyes
These weighty nights
feeling pulled down
but still crawling away
from sobriety

I gave up wanting
but need still clings to my chest
fade away
I need to slip out quietly
and fade away

to be that moon so pale
and so far
behind the rising sun
to be that morning moon
sneaking out of mind

I wonder if that moon
ever feels the urge to give the sun
all the blazing glory
with no plans to come back around
and reclaim its half

I wonder if that moon
hesitates before it opens the door
to sit at home with the evening.
If every night it considers
tossing the keys to Venus
and asking her
to take its seat in the sky

That moon must know
why I can't say goodbye

The weight of the world
would only feel heavier
if it were to cry
and some things
are too precious to put down