I take a breath and hold.
I tell myself,
“Pick up the pieces…
Because nobody else will.”
You’re not coming back.
And why would you?
Why would I expect you to walk backwards through this cold, storming heart?
It’s freezing rain,
I guess you could say I trust myself about as much as you do.
Trust, what a funny word, I think,
Because everybody wants it but nobody gives it.
We walk around demanding trust from each other,
But nobody really gives the benefit of the doubt to anyone else.
The ones that do end up cold and broken,
Singing sad songs in their cars on a drive going nowhere.
The thought of driving makes me dizzy now,
Because being able to feel something for the first time in months
Has made me not want to let go of the air lying still in my compressed lungs…
To feel the burning of desire for oxygen,
This internal battle reaching for the end,
Lungs squeezing tighter, suffocation…
Everything is so dark right now that it is beginning to look bright.
Funny how the lack of something you can’t live without makes you delusional.
When you’re so caught up in something that you could fix,
You forget how to fix it.
Like that my lungs know all I need to do is inhale,
But the lack of oxygen in my brain is confusing my entire body.
It almost feels good, being able to feel the pain.
Sometimes I think I deserve this…
This pain that is rushing through my veins at this very second.
Like it is my own fault,
And I feel I need to prove the capacity of my own breathing,
The ability to stop it if I want to.
And I know that if you have been following along,
You and I both need to breathe because your lungs are about to give up…
I finally exhale.
I take a large breath in,
And feel my heart rejoicing as blood pumps through rapidly,
My body’s way of thanking me for not ending it now…
Instantly, I’m crying.
Because I feel numb already.
Numbness is an interesting feeling,
Or lack thereof,
Because even though tears are leaving my eyes,
My nerves and emotions feel unsettlingly calm.
It feels like when I swim out far enough into the ocean that
The waves stop crashing on you and begin swaying underneath,
Moving you as you float on your back.
That moment of utter peace and confusion before a wave finally carries you back.
I’ve been floating out here for some time, now, though,
Waiting for my wave or my raft or even my shark,
To either save me or end me,
Because I am so sick of this emotionless limbo I am stuck in
Due to the fact that I have forgotten how to swim.
Out here, peaceful music plays,
And I forget about everything for a moment or a lifetime.
I think of all the things I have messed up.
But if there’s one thing I wish I could change,
It’s hurting you.
I’m feeling myself being slowly pulled back to shore,
By a figure who looks just like you…
Suddenly, I am remembering how to move my arms and legs,
You just stare at me, though,
You don’t try to help me and you don’t acknowledge my presence.
It seems as if you’ve been waiting to watch me drown.
I don’t have to wonder why you aren’t extending your hand for me.
I wouldn’t help me either.
Finally, a wave falls on top of me, spinning me in circles.
You seem so close, though,
Almost ready to pull me from this high tide.
Are you ready to pull me away from the ocean?
I closed my eyes and woke a tick past seven.
Awake, I slipped into my favorite dream
where the wine dark sea called my name
in a sweet fine whisper, and where I
knew how to respond the theme.
You returned to me as I to you
after the water remembers the warmth of the shore.
Bountiful bouquets of sun blessed heavy arms
And nothing relieved my aching soul more.
In my slumber I swam through some beautiful seas.
Bathed in the nectarine skies and lilac showers,
I call your name from between the breeze-
Lay they silent my voice escaped suns closing setting lids.
Reminding me how you closed your eyes near me too,
and how my glory swimming in the arms of you
was just me dreaming dreams of blue (It was not true).
It is horrible, to have such precious moments
and then return to the nothingness
(I rather do not return to the shore of tsunami's and
people screaming and black waves consuming me,)
( I'm afraid, I'm afraid)
To feel so much happiness all at once-
leaving absolutely nothing behind
(I rather do not feel that empty, a blank mind and hollow eyes,
sharp razor drawing lines on a pale skin,)
(I'm afraid, I'm afraid)
I went from being at a terrible place,
to being in your arms
It has been the happiest and most warm I've felt in months
and for once, I can say
I found someone who makes me happy
You make me happy
and that, makes me terribly afraid.
The Island Moorea,
In the heat, the sun,
The rhythm of my footfalls
crunching loose gravel road,
The swish of pack swaying
in consort to my measured pace.
Breeze pushing branches of Palm,
Ocean waves breeching shore line long.
Island vehicles passing, occupant's laughing,
a man laboring under large pack, alone walking,
Who could have been freely riding.
Something unthinkable to Island Folk,
in hot tropical places.
Passed along the way several humble homes,
Greetings exchanged with smiling people there.
Not long afterwards, new sound approaching,
crunching gravel, rolling up behind me.
A lovely young girl, perhaps still a teen,
long brown naked legs peddling a bike.
Hair jet black, long to her waist, wearing
a sarong, split up the side,
Shoulders bare and brown.
Dark eyes of wonder, sparkling of youth.
A radiant smile adorning her splendid face.
We went for a time at my even pace,
looking and smiling each in our place.
"Hello there" I said, she giggled, beamed
even bigger. Perfect teeth displayed.
"Why you walk?" She asked in puzzlement.
"To get to where I'm going". I replied
This response producing a pleasant laugh
from the girl. In which I too joined in.
"You go One Chicken?" She asked
I stopped then and turned to her.
"Where is One Chicken?" I questioned
with a grin.
She raised her graceful arm,
one finger pointing up the road.
"One Chicken there." she informed.
It was a store/bar, sort of place,
In the very midst of nowhere.
Indeed more than merely one chicken roamed,
Many chickens were and a pig or two, as well.
All mingling free and doing their thing.
We entered from out of the bright daylight,
into the deepest of darks,
Like in a movie theater you arriving late.
Eyes adjusting slowly to what lay ahead.
A few Island Beers later,
I had acquired several new friends,
The girl my invitation to the party of
already happy people a little drunk on beer.
The Music was mostly of French persuasion,
With a bit of Bob Dylan thrown in.
The Beatles also had a tune or two.
The Liverpool beat resounding down Tahiti way.
Before the light did fail, I shouldered my pack
and walked some distance from Chickens and Pigs.
Found the beach, hung my Hammock for the night.
Built a small fire and opened a can of Spam.
She appeared again about ten,
looking beautiful in the new moon light.
She had washed her hair,
still damp and smelled fresh of Lilacs,
Or some such aromatic scent.
We did not speak, no words were needed,
Made love on the sand, 'till the retreat of the
tide and sand crabs did come out, in their
eerie numbers, to eat what was at hand.
I suppose even us if we let them.
We retired then both to my hammock,
A pretty neat trick if you can swing it.
And we did.
She was so child like and yet,
very much a woman grown.
There was no pretense shown,
no false inhibitions rendered.
These were not limitations of her culture.
A people that live by their emotional impulses.
An open and free spirited people living
passionately within each minute.
It all felt more akin to a dream than real,
All around me there was beauty,
Loving and being loved without hurry,
Free of guilt or even a single expectation.
Living in that wondrous moment,
of uncomplicated human splendor.
Like some Garden of Eden surrender.
In the morning we swam in the sea,
frolicked like kids having a day at the beach.
Made love in the sand, I dozed in the sun.
Upon my awaking she was gone.
I waited an hour or two, packed up my camp,
shouldered my load and returned to the road.
A few minutes later, again I heard the now
familiar crunch of rubber tires,
rolling road surface and there she was,
a straw basket in her Bike's basket,
A huge smile on her unforgettable beautiful face.
We sat in a grove of trees,
among birds singing, insight of the sea,
Upon a Palm log and ate fresh bread and
fruit, drank strong black coffee (French Roast
I presume,) nibbling some marvelous cheese.
We tried to talk, but she understood little of
what I tried to say, my French was nearly
nonexistent, only adding to confusions sake .
She leaned her head on my shoulder,
the way lover's do and tenderly held
my hand within her two,
As if not wanting to let go,
Those gestures said all there was to say,
And we savored each silent moment.
We parted there, she on blue, rusty bike
and me on "shanks mare",
Off in two different directions,
Each out into the depths of our own lives,
Gone just like that. . . And yet,
Indelible, never to be forgotten or replaced.
Moorea do yet visit me, in dreams as real as can be. She never
grows old, nor does the beauty we shared for that one brief moment
in time immortal.
Someplace among the Islands of Tahiti there is a woman in her late fifties,
most likely a Mother, even by now a Grandmother. I hope she recalls as
fondly the American blond man with the big Orange Backpack, that in 1972
she meet upon the road, near "One Chicken" and loved freely and completely
for two days and a night, as that man does so fondly remember her.
I'm no poet, you all are poets. I'm just an old guy with memories and
little stories to tell. Thanks for letting me share.
Two rain drops
Landed on your
After a long time
They had gathered
To break free
And take release
Under the tender
On the way down
When lying next to you
You hold up my hand
Far above the earth
Of our bodies
As if it were all the
Stretching fingers of the stars
Into my hand you draw a moon
With the smooth tip of your finger
As if to tell me that all I do
Is caught and reflected
In the silver of your smile
When our abbs
And our bodies
Tight like fault
Lines before an earthquake
And we sweat boulders
Like all the mountains
That have ever fallen into
The ocean trying
To fill the waves
Each of these acts of devotion
Return our love back as sand
Washed up on a familiar shore
These tiny gifts I will gather
Until the wind
Decides it will no longer carry us
And the moon gives up
Her guarded distance
To come lay her face
Against the deep
She thought she had slept all along the night
When on her eyes fell the moonlight
She shivered to see the door was ajar
Sea wind blew in ruffled her hair.
The vacant bed yawned she was alone
At this hour where he could be gone
The night outside wore a thin starry gleam
She inhaled the air still smelling of him.
Then she smiled as she heard the distant roar
Of waves breaking upon the unrelenting shore
She turned aside in the fullness of a deep residing peace
Certain his retracing footsteps in her sleep she wouldn’t miss.
Complex as the universe this universal ache
My thoughts, my life does it overtake.
How deep the pain caused in troubled outside mind
How lost… the love I cannot find.
What longing and desire I have for love
Yet anger - hatred like a falling dove
Passion for both good and evil
Does no good, sees no evil.
The sun does rise therefore light can flee
From its dark captivity that repeatedly traps me
In this heavy heart that tortures my soul
And never is content, never full.
Why must I feel empty when I understand
The trap of the heart hiding beneath the sand,
The sand of lies, the sand of promises,
The sand of betrayal through wrenching kisses…
I walk alone…
No one lover can ever comprehend
The love I found, lost, and could not defend.
I drown off the shore of the gleaming sand
Catching glimpses… but not feeling the warmth in my hand.
Does no good, sees no evil.
- Love - a complete upheaval
I walk alone, by choice, my own
Love is a tapestry; sown, torn, sown…
I walk alone…
Sown, torn, sown...
Silently standing in formation as your feet are hanging overboard
A burial at sea is an honor and now it is your much deserved reward.
USS. Ships slowly coming to a halt many nautical miles off the coast
Today is a beautiful day and you’re the decorated remembered host.
As for him, when his ship rolled up upon Saigon's shore
he received many campaign stars for his chest while serving his tour.
Clanging medals as he still now walks all about and right from the start
He told me he was to fast to get caught and in return,
he smiled at me because he never did receive a purple heart.
The stars and stripes are now starting to swirl into one and another
contorting colors now begin to weep while flying at half-mast
Squeezing triggers the firing party’s rifle’s now begin to blast.
As you’re lying there peacefully and in your "Aurora" stainless steel bed
A special scripture is read and prayers are then said.
Tilting the platform so you slide off and fall into the deep ocean
with twenty holes two inch in diameter
and one hundred and fifty pound bags of sand hidden at your feet
when you get to the bottom, Davy Jones, you will then meet
till then you’re heading to the floor traveling there
like always, in slow motion.
The waves slowly lap the shore
like a hand reaching for something distant
You sit wishing there was more
but the waters rhythm seems persistent
Examining cracks that the waves have worn
your mind is made up, but your heart remains torn
Darling, I am not here to write about your eyes and the stars in them. I tried to count too many times and I got too lost in the dreams imbedded in your corneas. I'm not here to talk about how the sun only rises because you give it a reason to, because it still sets every evening so it doesn't have to hear your steady breathing while you sleep. I'm here to tell you about how you have words that cut me like a saw cuts bone and how my ribs are held together with cheap twine and my spine is duct taped together. Here to say that you make my heart race at a pace that my body cannot keep up with. I didn't come to tell you that the tides are kissing the shore every time you laugh, because that's not what your laugh is like. No, if the rusting of iron made a sound, it would be your laugh. There are no flowers woven in your hair - instead, there are hornets and their nests lay settled in your throat and your intention is to sting me every time you open your mouth to say something that isn't my name. This isn't about poetry I've read about the moon and the sun and the cosmic loneliness of every star despite the presence trillions of them in the same sky. This is about how some stars find your presence so alluring that they begin to tumble from the sky and this is what we wish upon. This is about bruised lips mumbling words carved into coffee tables and bloody fingers tracing the rim of your favorite coffee cup. This isn't about love. This is about you.