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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