A boy sat on a grassy bluff outside a village.
Long ago. Far away.
He sat. Staring down a winding trail.
That boy would watch the trail in misty morning dew.
Often he would and for years it was a rituai.
The women of the village
Walked that trail down to the river. Down to the rocks.
With baskets peched atop their heads and arms hung by
Down the trail to river rock. And churning emerald
Pool.the river was the cleanser and the rock a pounding tool.
A long procession of balance and grace. a practice old as time.
Then back the trip of swaying hips and poise. In young or old.
The rock. The grace. The. Quiet noise. A pageant.
That boy was me
That river rock still calls the women
Slow procession. Natural and endless charm.
The rock. The trail the emerald tide.
The womens hips. The undulate .
The basket never falls.
The river calls.
Faded, I thought, into the nuisance of life
flowing down a river like brown algae,
overlooked by clouded skies that seemed to care less.
You were metaphorically,embossed with beauty,
bejewelled and golden with the glitter of stars
and the proposals of love never faded away
but struck into the background
of every single day, for your whole life,
and I hurt, because I am your friend,
but I fear to ask, why do men not love me
as much as they love you?
I am in love with him, and he lays with me.
He kisses me among crowds
but not even he truly loves me the way any man loves you
when he casually passes you on the street.
Though my lover only loves you as his own sister
I fear your own person, to be more personable than me.
I am covered with fat I believe, my nose not as perfect,
always tormented and bombarded.
My mind shudders at all the love
that is always given to you.
You are like a sister,
I love you but I want to hate you,
but I peek deeper inside myself, it flushes with desire
to disspiate from the weeds and the algae
that surround my skin, surround my air.
I long to blossom as a rose that is scented with oils,
that riles the desires of all men.
I feel I may be revolted at myself
because of the vanity of a young girl,
insecure because her lover was her pillar,
insecure because of the past
that has apparently not yet set her free.
Freedom will soon be here
I hope when my lover beckons,
but if he does not, and he surely may not
I only wish to be sent away from my vanity.
This forest---a river runs through it. It goes on for miles and miles but you can never fully see it. I run the hiking trail beside it, letting it guide me for I know a river always leads to somewhere. This river ends in a lake. A big lake that I've never visited. My legs can’t carry me that far in a day, but I've seen it on a map. I know its there.
What would it be like to be the water? Would I be cold and lively? Would I tussle the rocks? Would I carry seeds from one plain to the next?
I imagine it would be like my childhood. Days spent in the public pool submerged in the deep end, looking from down below the depths of the water at the sun. Watching it catch light to every single wave of moving water; the world on the outer surface looking like a blurred dream. I’d be giddy and light headed from holding my breath for too long. I could feel weightless because the water is pushing me to the surface--but I’d resist its force with my own.
When I run alongside the river I imagine these things. I feel my body burn, my heartbeat drum hard in my ears; my breathing being the only thing loud enough to drown out the sound.
I’m sweating. Maybe my body is reacting to the water it sees. It wants to become one with the river.
If only I could...
I run on, looking towards the sky.
See the mountains shrouded in mist,
These low lying clouds wanting to be kissed
By the unsettling beauties
Performing their duties
Trying not to be missed.
On those peaks rest blankets of snow
Covering more than clouds know
The roads must abide
On this mountainside
Like the rivers long ago.
And like a river, it splits down the way
Do I aim for the top so far away?
Or stay on the ground
With hardly a sound
Beside the trees and sway?
But of course, I’ll aim for the sky
Silky blue sheet where the heavens lie
I won’t stop and fail
Behind a hazy veil
And say I couldn’t even try.
On that winding path I follow
Finding people filled with sorrow
They had enough
When the going got tough
Wishing for a better tomorrow.
The troubled souls shed sadness to me
Despite the fact that I am free
Of dramatic woes,
And thoughts of things to be.
Trudging forward despite the pain
The mourning clouds reply with rain
But I mustn’t veer
From my goal, now so clear
For there is much to be gained.
Unable to see too far ahead
My mind fills with awe, not with dread
For life’s an adventure
And I’m in the center
Of a story yet to be read.
You are my lover,like a father--
But I will never be your wife
And I will never be your daughter.
I am the skeleton locked in the closet
While you sit together, Sunday brunch
With sweet smiles and shared laughs
Over sentiments I will never be part of.
Family man with a happy home,
Why are you unfulfilled?
Lay with her at night, but your
Thoughts are with me, and night-time
Dreams will bring our lust to your quiet bed.
You love her, I know, but
Where once floods of passion brought you
To embrace has trickled to a slow and
Steady river, and visions flash in your mind
Of wandering between between soft, young
Thighs, where pleasure is welcomed
Readily between smooth legs.
One last moment of freedom, rebellion and
Youth before all has fleeted and
Feeble mind and feeble body receive
No coy flattery or passing glance.
You are just a man, it's true;
and all men fall to the right woman.
In an endless blue, I hold up a red balloon;
waiting for things to happen.
We lost something familiar in the connection,
as the nervous river of thought feeds our bodies,
in cloaks of invisibility we wish to hide.
Hands that used to wipe away our tears,
when there were monsters under our beds,
have grown away from us.
So we learnt to be unmoved and untouched.
We hide our vulnerability under our cloaks.
How can we ignite a life into a new heart
and call it an accident?
Then we are tragedies,
crashing one over another.
We are not a definition of life.
We collect pieces and dots of eternal summer rays
and flickering shadows of raindrops.
How those insignificant stains make a much more meaningful picture.
A single drop can colour a glass full of water,
before it melts away – that’s what happens when we are ourselves.
-also painted a picture for this one.
Can't you see,
my friends, brethren,
that we are in a time of trial,
Our will, it will be tested,
and our spirit,
pushed to the brink of breaking.
Our knees will give way,
hands tremble and shake,
but we will beat the desert.
Forsaken by our fathers,
for taking the path of the righteous man,
we will trek under the desert sun.
And when we reach,
the river of the Nile,
we will not longer be forsaken.
i used to go to my grandmother's house during the summer
and in her backyard, behind all the trees
was a river
some days it'd be weak
sitting still without interruption
some days it'd be violent
crashing against the bank
and one day
i was laying by the river
watching it flow by to somewhere i couldn't see
and i stuck my hand in the water
and it rushed between my finger tips
i heard my grandmother shout,
"try to hold the river back"
and i laughed "i can't do that grandma"
and i pulled my hand out
a year after i went to my grandmother's house for the summer
and in her back yard some of the trees
had snapped and fallen over
but there was still the river
and it was gentle
i kneeled down by the river
and stuck my hand in the water
it danced around my finger tips
and i shouted
i can hold the river back grandma
and she smiled softly, "that's lovely"
and she walked out
today i went to my grandma's house
and in her back yard the trees
were rotting away and everything was silent
but there was still the river
as if it absorbed every bit of life that had once existed around it
and it was trashing viciously
like a dog wanting to be let from its cage
and i stood staring at the water
and thought of summer
i heard myself saying
"try to hold your river back"
and i couldn't
I sit in the sun room, I am shaded for the sun
is only newly risen, low slung, just above the horizon,
behind me, over my shoulder, early morn warm
Slivers of sun rays yellow highlight the wild green lawn,
freshly nourished by torrential rains of the prior eve
The wind gusts are residuals, memoirs of the hurricane
that came for a peripheral visit, your unwanted cousin Earl,
in town for the day, too bad your schedule
is fully booked, but he keeps raining on you,
staying on the phone for so long, that the goodbye,
go away, hang up relief is palpable
The oak trees are top heavy with leaves frothy like a new cappuccino,
the leaves resist the sun slivers, guarding the grass
from browning out, by knocking the rookie rays to and fro,
just for now, just for a few minutes more,
it is advantage trees, for they stand taller in the sky
than the youthful teenage yellow ball
I sit in the sun room buffered from nature's battles external,
by white lace curtains which are the hallmark
of all that is fine in Western Civilization,
and my thoughts drift to suicide.
I have sat in the sun room of my mind, unprotected.
with front row seats, first hand witness to a battle unceasing
Such that my investigations, my travails along the boundary line
between internal madness and infernal relief from mental pain
so crippling, is such that you recall begging for cancer or Aids
Such that my investigations, my travails along the sanity boundary
are substantive, modestly put, not inconsiderable
Point your finger at me, demanding like every
needy neurotic moderne, reassurance total,
proof negative in this instance, of relevant expertise!
Tell us you bona fides, what is your knowing in these matters?
Show us the wrist scars, evidential,
prove to us your "hands on" experiential!
True, true, I am without demonstrable proofs
of the first hand, my resume is absent of
razors and pills, poisons and daredevil spills,
guns, knives, utensils purposed for taking lives
Here are my truths, here are my sums
If the numerator is the minutes spent resisting the promised relief
of the East River currents from the crushing loneliness that
consumed my every waking second of every night of my years of despair
a denominator that is my unitary, solitary name,
then my fraction, my remainder, is greater than one,
the one step away from supposed salvation...
Yet, here I am sitting in the sun room buffered from
nature's battles by white lace curtains which are the hallmark
of all that is fine in Western Civilization
I am a survivor of mine own World War III,
carnaged battlefields, where white lace curtains,
were not buffers but dividers tween mis en scenes,
variegated veins of colored nightmares, reenactments of
death heroics worthy of Shakespeare
Did I lack for courage?
Was my fear/despair ratio insufficient?
These are questions for which the answers matter only to me,
tho the questions are fair ones, my unsolicited voyeur,
they are not the ones for which I herein write,
for they no longer have relevance, meaning or validity,
for yours truly
I write poetry by command, by request, good or bad,
this one is a bequest to myself, and also a sidecar for an old friend,
who asked in passing to write what I know of suicide,
unaware that the damage of hurricanes is not always
visible to the naked heart
These hands, that type these words are the resume of a life
life line remains scarred, but after an inter-mission, after an inter-diction, an inter-re-invention
in a play where I was an actor who could not speak
but knew every line, I am now the approving audience too...
But I speak now and I say this:
There are natural toxins in us all,
if you wish to understand the whys, the reasons,
of the nearness of taking/giving away what belongs to you,
do your own sums, admit your own truths
query not the lives of others, approach the mirror...
If you want to understand suicide,
no need to phone a friend, ask the expert,
ask yourself, parse the curtains of the
sun room and admit, that you do understand,
that you once swung one leg over the roof,
gauged the currents speed and direction,
went deep sea fishing without rod or reel
and you recall it all too well, for you did the math
and here I am, tho the tug ne'er fully disappears,
here I am, here I am writing to you,
as I sit in the sun room.
Memorial Day, 2011
It's in the journey not just the exit
It's out the window through the rush
I'll take care of you always
You don't need to ask.
Through all of the distractions
The wind blowing through our hair
All it takes is our eyes
To see you everywhere
How magnificent is your city
The beauty of creation
This is what you wanted
For us all along
An overflow of creativity
For no one to be a like
But through love that comes from you
Together we're unified
As for human intentions
We may not be so sound
Still the glory goes to you
I can see it all around
Like a river you spirit flows
With peace, love and hope.
Through you all fear goes
And all it's chains have been broke