Funny the things we recall.
Images that flash through our brain.
Some most vivid for me were of an old man.
Skin like creased parchment paper,
Lined and yellowed with age.
The veins visible just below the surface,
of a thin near transparent covering.
Liver spotted flecks of red,
Charted paths of years of toil,
Palms callused forever from a life time of labor.
Big fingers knotted and misshapen,
The two inch tip of one gone missing,
Saw taken, at age sixteen.
Looking at those old hands, one could hardly guess
That still there remained gentleness in their caress.
For an old dog, or a little grandson in need of some
Companionable affection or parental love.
Those aged hands could also make things,
Toy sailboats, and wooden trains,
complete with caboose.
A cool flute whistle that actually worked,
He said it was like the Indian’s used out Oklahoma way.
And he would know, he'd cowboyed there.
His hands could become birds, rabbits,
butterfly's, all sorts of things.
When projected up on the wall,
Silhouetted by a naked strong light.
He knew magic too,
Could pick silver coins right out of my ear.
His tired face matched his hands, visual weathered
Creased and wrinkled road maps,
Of 89 years of rugged life traveled.
Yet, his lively pale green eyes remained forever
Fraudulently youthful prisms,
Eyes and spirit of a much younger man living.
But it is his hands most of all I shall remember,
Their imposing look and their reassuring touchs of tenderness.
I shall never forget my Grandfather’s hands.
At a young age I grasped a pen.
Held it tight in my fist to make circles on a page
As if I was enraged,
But at that age it was all in good fun.
Soon enough someone,
I can’t remember who,
taught me how to hold one.
Pencils became cool.
I could make mistakes in school,
Then erase my error forever forgetting
That I may have been a fool
when spelling my own name with a lowercase K…
A school boy error.
But that’s just what I was.
A school boy.
I remember being introduced to crayons.
I thought to myself,
ALL OF THE COLORS ?!
Every color I could not even imagine.
Colors I could not pronounce,
Colors of pride,
Colors of passion,
And when I was asked to use these colors,
at first being young,
I chose to abuse these colors.
I’d put red where it didn't belong,
And orange where you would think it was wrong.
Use pink for people and purple for pants,
Brown for the ground,
And one time,
Just this one time,
I made the grass blue,
And the clouds green.
That made me laugh,
Because this world was that page,
And that page was mine.
I crossed and I scribbled all over the lines.
And when I was finish I’d go running to tell what I’d done.
My father would look and say
“That’s beautiful son.”
And then my exhibit of art
Would hang neatly from the refrigerator door.
I grew older.
And as time passed,
the lines grew to be guidelines and laws.
Rules began to apply, I did abide.
My right to be free was strictly denied.
Each stroke of a color, each stroke of a pen!
When would my hand dance freely again?
I learned of letters from A to Z,
In love with language I won spelling bees,
Put consonants with vowels to make words,
Learned adjectives, verbs, nouns, and adverbs.
I was a proud little nerd,
And I still felt this deep discontentment.
An egg hatched and I was not yet a bird.
Where was the wind beneath my wings,
to give me a feeling fly enough to make me sing?
I began to fall.
Fall fast into the depth of misunderstanding.
If knowledge is power,
Why were my heart and soul disbanding?
In frustration I sat in contemplation,
Pondering thoughts and memories,
of when I was most happy.
Looking through old picture books I found a folded piece of paper with the only solution to my problem.
The page had my name at the bottom.
Lines danced and trapeze from one side of the page to the other.
I understood with a smile,
I hung that picture on my bedroom wall,
I opened a book and held a pen.
On lined paper I put line after line with occasional rhyme.
I used letters to laminate life.
I used words to take flight.
I used sentences to draw dreams.
I used what I knew and what I had seen.
Words are wisdom, what wisdom gains value when not shared with what we know as the world.
So when playing with ink, understand to be free,
understand your responsibility to others when they see what you have created in secrecy, and let there be no limit to what you think is outside that box.
That is how you dabble with ink.
can you hear the monotone rumble
ringing in my head?
it creeps its way through my bones
an echo of all the things that i could have said.
my shattered jaw line outlines all I’ve suffered
and what’s left to come.
the bruises layered onto my skin
are only the reflection of a long night of regret.
imprints of recurring dreams
and stones left unturned
impressions are digging at me again
they don’t know what i truly am.
build yourself a little empire
to protect your stuttering ego
i will be the flame to start the forest fire
it won't be such a shame to see you go
do you recognize the stench that fills the air?
that’s the smell of a thousand burning forests.
you can hide behind your walls in shambles,
losing everything you thought you ever had.
but me? sweetheart, i’ll be doing just fine.
roaming the earth, spreading the seeds of regrowth.
positivity and its fine little hairs
prickling at the sight of someones skin
you just so happened to fall in love with
but they’re not really there,
darling, you made it all up inside your head,
among the burning flora of a million sins
you would think you would have learned
the fifth time around
but perhaps you never really cared,
blisters where the shackles of lust had you bound.
you’re seeking definition
thinking it’s buried deep in the neck of others.
you bury your lust in the sheets,
transforming casual conversation into white noise.
you’re foaming at the mouth and your pupils dilate
waiting to strike and tear your next victim apart.
like a succubus, you linger in the shadows
twisting and turning your way through
the wide open doors of the unknown
you sink your teeth into your prey,
suck away their sympathy
and leave them breathless,
hollow and taciturn.
i watched you slip away
deep into the arms of others
slowly declining as your breathing grows heavy
your body becomes a warzone
those who have traveled it before know,
you’re not the same as you once were,
and you never will be again.
what will you do now, with your claws at the ready?
will you tear them apart, or yourself first?
be sure you get the order correct
you are not the seamless dress you slipped off
before you made your way under the sheets
you are the breath that expels from your lungs
when you finally see your reflection
and you are not what you once saw
your lips curled back into a snarl,
your fingers bloodied and cracked
your eyes void and black
not once will your prayers be heard.
i caught myself wishing you back
finding myself buried in delusions and heartbreak.
you should’ve just said “i never loved you in the first place”
but that would’ve just made things simple.
simplicity was never an option for you.
everything had to be a challenge,
because that’s how your entire life was.
abused by your father, channeling the hate of your mother
there’s nothing you would do just to form stability on this
tattered and beaten ship you call your life.
where will you go now,
that your ship has sunk?
what paradise can you seek
without the stars to guide your way?
they will not shine for you any longer,
the darkness is now your only friend.
and to you, directly to you,
where do you hide your heartbreak?
can we build a fortress strong enough
to hold our heads high
through the pasts empty threats?
our towers were built alongside the shoreline
shining light to those who passed by
in hopes that they wouldn’t just avoid us
our intentions were pure, but our actions were contradictory
we can’t accomplish anything if we don’t know how to.
did the ocean wash it away?
or is it still standing, pure and tall.
everyone can see you sparkling there,
your light runs through your veins
where your blood is supposed to be.
all along the watchtowers
we hide our emotions, like treasure
to be found by a lucky passerby.
whoever ventured into what we’ve built would find
everlasting love and emotions too strong to perceive.
we just pray that whoever finds them doesn’t sell them off to another.
crystalline passages to our hearts
shattered by a beating drum
they collapse and collide
our minds lost to the debris
I guess he loved the face
crinkling her nose,
as if she could ever look silly
I guess he loved the smile
when she caught him staring,
she always caught his eye
I guess he loved the excitement
she brought with her
everywhere they went,
always shining from her
I guess he loved the way
to hold his hand,
it always got him laughing
I guess he loved her too much,
because time was not enough,
and stole what they had
I guess he forget the tears
she easily cried
over simple things,
too fragile and weak
I guess he forget the nightmares
every night without his comfort,
always longing for his embrace
I guess he forget the mask
everyday of her life,
the only person to see her without it
I guess he forget he loved her,
because time was not the problem,
and what they had just
She interlaced her fingers with his, as
limbs of oak trees extend in his ribcage.
Remembering when she demolished love.
An oblivion to him, his princess,
was far from true perfection. Her cruelty,
nearly tore his heart apart at the seams.
It was mangled and stitched with precaution.
Somehow he remained, knowing she was the
one he desired. She struggles every day
to influence his decision to stay.
Her lips hunger for the rough touch of his
and crave the feeling of butterflies that
multiply in her torso. He plants roots
in her shoes to ensure she won't run off
again. He dreams of her being his for
eternity. She's the nightmare he fears
will become extinct. Time will mend our love.
Hold on, Momma,
Here I come.
Live near Miami
You wish to name me
After the city,
Instead you choose Amy.
I have a brother
Daddy must remind
"Anthony, love her.
And try to be kind."
We played every day
With toys and thoughts
And things we shouldn't say.
It made childhood rock.
Of middle school
No friends near
No boyfriend too.
I made new friends.
And soon after,
My first boyfriend.
All through high school,
I loved that boy.
But loving joy.
He's a Marine.
That same year,
Also that year,
Good and bad fusion.
I went to the Doctor:
I studied in school,
As husband fought.
It didn't quite help
My paranoid thoughts.
Finished a course,
To look at your tooth,
Still looking ahead.
I'd like to do.
Surfing the web,
Made a decision.
Tomorrow's the day
I'll be a vegan.
This very day
Still happy and healthy,
Still full of drive.
Living in Cali,
Isn't it nice?
Working with flowers,
Paid a price.
Goes by faster
I'm thankful for
Love and laughter
To fill the years
And fill my heart
This, my life,
Is what I've got.
My hands would find the notes hidden beneath the skin of your lower back. Pressing into your spine like piano ivory. Taking care to avoid the black keys. Breath to carry the melody past your ticking mind. Warming your belly like fire and hope.
You are so silly sometimes.
Unaware that the song was written all along in the sheet music stretched behind your eyes. I play by ear.. because I see it. And I hear it. And I've heard it before.
It's caught in you. Owned like the tide in the shell.
It is a secret song. Something sweet and strange. Nostalgic. Honest. Beautiful.
When it isn't a siren call...
It is a lullaby.
In the key of "we".