When they climb the branches
That grow from your ashes.
i think i have written this before
i know i will think it again, again
do those classy ladies
with hepburn smiles and frowns
get close enough
to give a chance for a say
in the whole matter of
tugging a sliver of heart out
every time they walk away
and the worst part of it all
is when they do come near
and it is finally made known
that they think and dream just the same
making me love them all the more
beauty is skin deep,
any further and you scratch something
utterly unknowable to the wearer
so how could one hope
to ever know the nature
of those classy hepburn ladies
just know they wonder
how you keep so chipper
a mess can be beautiful:
dreams are a perfection
and we are moving in.
when the years pass with only a change in date
and the last thing you said to a friend
was how wonderful their christmas card seemed
after four seasons of no words to speak of
the time has come, when the sunset falls short
of waking you each morning as it used to
if your teens are gone, and your twenties rolling
have the best years been lived out too?
and the first and best love is all you have ever had
and you hide from life behind your idea of living
but you are bitter and know it, feel there is no change
other than to move, to go, to see, to feel differently.
that one blanket kind of cold
where you’re afraid to move
lest the seal be broken.
and the pores are soaking in
the lack of body heat
laying next to you tonight
The Earth frees itself from Winter;
The roots of ice slowly release.
A promise of mercy fulfilled -
Yet the land remains cold and dark.
Brown grass of Fall's chill peeking through;
Sun's warmth still blocked by the damp, cold.
Earth's Winter scars come into light:
The ice burns of the cruel cold.
The thaw guarantees no healing;
Spring must come, and with it her growth.
Gray still looms; the sun, slow to rise,
Stirs, awakens, tears still cold. Alone.
Winter, she's pulling back by now;
The wounded Earth still wincing, pained.
He will heal, he must thaw somehow,
But Winter's scars run deep. Remain.
im umzug & krawatte
strauss am herzen,
flugkarte in tasche
suit and tie on
bouquet across the chest,
plane ticket in his pocket
*note: this poem was inspired by a student suicide on my university campus two years ago. the idea of dying with so much before oneself would not get out of my mind.
I won’t smile one smile
till I see the pain die.
But when I hear death scream
I’ll laugh till I cry.
Take my red,
Take my head.
Take my eat,
Take my see.
Take my life,
But leave my be;
It’s all I’ve got left of me.
isn’t the idea of a mortal soul
the greatest contradiction of all, ever?
what could be more immortal?
need saving less? I don’t know if I’ll
live forever, but we have eternity to find out...
Love, though, she will.
the feeling in your feet
one tucked under
tight knees, stiff back.
head clear, eyes tired.
eyes open, lips curled,
Heart racing, adrenaline.
nails biting, teeth tearing.
ribs crack, muscle rips,
blood sprays, red drips.
they must die
when they jump.
knees buckle, brow
sweats, last breath.
he’ll never grow into.
Pants tight at the waist
from sleeping too much.
A long time since normal
confident, awake, happy He.
The perks and flowersmith
constant, ready. Steady.
Involuntarily replacing his young
with his new old.
Sleep comes easy
in this winter’s cold.
He kept me alive
and didn’t remember my name
mike, at the sandwich shop
sessions of bean-spilling
make me tired of crying.
Meditation, deep breathing
still tired, still here.
Who will he save,
know, teach, forget
in the next year?
Anyway, thanks to him
How can I ever learn
if I’ve never known a thing;
carry a tune
without breath to sing?
How can I re-brick
what was never lain;
know this emptiness
without a name?
What more am I than plant food
walking seeds, feet the wind
senses for suffering,
growth, love and sins.
My cotton heart
holds no heat;
brain and fingertips:
fat and meat.
What path to take
when there’s a chance
that I’ll stray to earth, buried
without a last first dance.
Make a grammar in my mind
to hold what I see fair:
love, hope, smiles, touch,
red, blond, brown hair.
Whose hair is mine?
Where did I get my eyes;
tongues, shields, gold and fire-
which banners rippled in their skies?
How long to live!
A rare, fragile find.
All I know so far...
Each birthday is a scar.
to really graduate
you have to be broken
from the heart out
once, really smashed.
I think that’s fair
but what if
the heart, say, of
was breaking right
up until the end,
only he dodged?
Was he, that friend I know,
ever really there? Was she?
How many hearts will it be?
Do I count? No?
But mine breaks a little
every time too. A little more
And I’ll break through.
Not for a while -
it’s still hard to smile.
to admit it for once
not for all,
just you there.
but it’s been around
so long I can’t say
this will be
to share with you.
but it’s coming
out with a smirk
not guilty or mean
but obvious, true
the secret is:
they weren’t new.
those songs I shared
have been mine for a while
girl after girl
smile after smile.
water was showering over me
warm steam with coffee scented molecules
quenching the dry air.
a thought was in my mind:
porcelain can’t hold coffee grounds.
something nice would be fresher air
as fresh as frenchly pressed coffee.
so, in my thoughts, i dripped on the rug
and made footprints over to cup one
(it was wasting heat, losing steam)
so i used the momentum
of its northward-traveling aroma.
an air freshener was made
(as i turned the cup in my hand)
to a catapult of filtered black sand
no grounds to spill, but coffee’s scent
poured through the air as it went.
lifted level, tipped right askew,
my nostrils flared as coffee flew.
the air freshener that was thought
occupied a braid of air,
then liquid’s caught.
gathered by carpet, furniture and clothes,
coffee no longer kissing my nose.
my eyes open,
the warm steam is still around.
thoughts no longer on coffee grounds,
but rather the soap in my hair
and on warm cup one
still waiting there.
The footprint of this place
is a freshly razored face.
Mother Earth’s been ‘beautified.’
trees, grass, roots, shrubs,
stubble shaved from the chin,
neck and face smooth.
Underneath this house.
The whiskers have been shaved
she’s dolled up
But in gruff’s stead
there’s a wart on her face
A fossilized, mortared blackhead.
I come home to the darkest it’s ever been.
Every light choked off; there’s a cinch somewhere in the hose.
It’s the stillest it’s ever been here, for ten years.
The last time it was this still the trees grew a different way:
not all twisted, sideways and flat
not planks and sheets.
They grew straight up and down,
but with branches going left to right,
but with leaves swallowing sunlight.
They were spindly, fat, twiggy and thick.
not stapled, smashed, ground or shaped
not nailed, glued, pressed into place.
I come home to the quietest it’s ever been.
Every sound gagged; the fan’s gummed up.
It’s the most silence this place has heard for ten years.
The last time it was this quiet Forest ruled the place.
The ground below will never grow
green or brown extensions of carbon earth
-not since the concrete took up hearth
-not since ten years ago.
does anyone know why I don’t believe?
because in all the stories good
always has to work too hard
to stand a chance against bad,
no matter what.
because the numbers are always
stacked against light,
even if darkness dies in the end.
why is it so hard? why can’t love always
have the advantage, from the very beginning?
isn’t that how we all think
the world is: basically good?
that’s why I don’t believe:
because there are some people who,
no matter what is done or said to them,
will never appreciate what they are born with.
whether they deserve it or not
it’s lots of luck, the way I see things.
love, happiness, life: hard work,
but lots of luck.
and the first piece of that luck
is being born into a place with free
air, sunshine, birdsong, friends and family.
most have that, some not, but all have
breath in their lungs.
I will never believe in a god
because there are those
who can’t see their luck,
who can’t count to seventy-seven years
and realize how little time they have
to live the life that luck gave them.
if it was god, they would appreciate
what they have. they would be born with it.
like air, sunshine, birdsong, friends and family.
His wrinkles went somehow deeper
than those of a national will do.
And his eyes were somehow darker -
not without a brightness in them -
intelligence behind a film, foreign repose.
I saw from the hood on his red coat
that he was passing through the land
not that the coat was novel or strange
his hood was tighter, more practically donned.
His whiskers were somehow thicker
scratching the surface of the Great Land
a beard from three days’ unshaven growth
the stubble, wisdom of an Englishman.
Far different than I, not better, but old
emotions just a hair deeper hidden
than mine were: shivering in the cold.
I knew from his voice, his language:
mine was his, mine the younger.
A shaman with a home on the Eire
though not from that verdant spot
souls are all equal, nation matters not.
An infusion of Alastair’s yarrow root
diluted in cold, sprayed sea water
coaxed home to the waves the sunlight
our trust and a handshake.
I will not attribute honor
to the bloodiest of games
to cold, condoned killings
faceless murders without blame.
War is to the green-clad
a state-sanctioned game
I will not call that thing honor
for which good men should feel shame.