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2d · 22
Orphans
1.

The motherless-fatherless God
orphans the world in His own image,
His experience, His own elevated thoughts.

Yet He is unsatisfied, unhappy for
His creation is not perfect enough.

Even the little man with His breath-spark
is an unfulfilling design, in tun dissatisfied.
  
Everything has weight but
nothing has fullness.

Only the birds achieve effortless flight
and the planets spin easily in space.

2.

Creation shatters in the layers of night
and reforms in the weak rays of dawn.

The moon shows the scars of His longing
and the sun the flame of His abandonment.

In punishment He permanently
orphans the land from the sea
and the earth from the sky.

In scorn He lets His man creation
people the earth and die too soon,

the posthumous orphan left-behinds
of His own abandoned dreams.

His child cries out “Father!”
on his forsaken cross.  

Only the Romans sate
his thirst with vinegar.

He can not listen, only turn away
and resume creating and
spinning far better worlds.

3.

The orphans of God feel the fatal loss,
the doom of the abandoned earth,
and refuse to cringe or weep,

hoping the manner of their death
shall redeem their birth in His hope
even as they lurch toward the grave
2d · 251
Moths
Luna moths flutter in the captive night light
of early December, strong, determined
to mate their way to the electric crackle
(invisible as a secret trapped in the soul)
emitting from the machine in the eaves.

Their disintegration illuminates the dark
with ultraviolet pulses and heavy musk
drifting to mouthless, abandoned mates,
antennae feeling their starvation, extinction,
the end of all their brief cycle of lust.

The creatures in rockers spend the night
brushing the remnants of their death
off their cheeks, cuffs and hair—
absorbed in their dark loneliness,
avoiding conversation with each other,

The widows miles away feel the tug
of a mouth and mandible forming,
a dream of a shout and tear evolving,
the rock, rock, rocking waves telling them that
they soon will feast on these creatures clothes.

Note;
    
Luna Moths have no mouths and thus cannot eat.  They exist for only a week, being born to mainly mate or die of starvation.
4d · 89
Paper
There is a certain satisfaction that comes
with shrinking language and imagination
to a rectangle, fitting black-and-white
words into a prescribed length and width
given human depth through inscription.

The filled sheet of paper almost
transcends its smoothness and thinness,
its very blank expression and dullness.
It reveals exactly what it is meant to say
and the colors one wants to see in it.

Move the imprinted strokes up and
it becomes the verisimilitude of art;  
move the line down and there exists  
scientific equations in plain view;
give it power- and it becomes money,
an official stamp- and it’s the recorder of
birth/death and everything in between.

All of it can drift away if unbounded and
catch fire with the right or wrong spark.
6d · 23
River Ode
The lavender skin river
whispered with a maiden’s call.

Bonnet curls kissed her banks
in a flush of forgiving tears
for the trawlers bruising
her mercy and calm,
each departing an oily scar
that dispersed in the flow,

for the water is never mean
this cold season
to those that whip her  
yet never scuttle in her embrace,
for she is an orphan
seeking the lost ocean’s reunion.

She wonders on rivery things,
the searching and sloshing swirl,
the geraniums, irises, lobelias
breaking off in purple sacrifice
to soothe her aching waters.

knowing that endless
Sunday baptisms have made her
sacred to those who
know only the dawn and twilight
of the sun above her
and the watery blessings
below that feed them.

The river flowers tickled her and
the laughter spread on her stream
and she knew what she meant
and what she meant to them.
She moved closely away
to the tiny hands in the grass
waving her goodbye
and the longer, bigger ones
welcoming the trawlers home.
7d · 142
Casting
1.

If there is wild moving water
there is a trout in it
waiting for the cast,

the whip of line in air
splashing a weigthless fly
on the mirror surface

luring the rainbow fish
to break the heavy air
for the angler’s fantasia.

                    2.

The Rogue is flowing
with trophy size cutthroats,
chars and steelheads,

yet the angler only feels
the stillness, the endless  casting,
the motionless standing in place

until time is forgotten,
his scheduled life forgotten,
what needs to be done next forgotten

only the emotion is left,
the heart of spirit ferrules,
the casting, the rod

with its wheel seats
made of rosewood,
inscribe calligraphy

in golden ink, shiny agate
guides in bamboo,
its garnet threads and

extra fine brass wire
in a five weight
ideal for trout fishing,

the anglers long boots
planted firmly in the stream,
getting lost in the ineffable moment

until the closing
orange hues of autumn
are reeled in and stowed away.
Sep 19 · 38
The Yellow Bus Stop
Jonathan Moya Sep 19
The earth is black
on both sides.
The yellow bus
taking the living away
passes pile after pile
of rubble, of signs that
were once there:
the Harley Davidson store,
The Rogue Action Center-
a nonprofit climate change group,
the community bank -
it’s vault the only thing standing.
Indistinguishable from the ash
is the mobile home park,
which once housed the migrants
that harvested the town’s fabled pears.
Only their metal survived the wildfires:
aluminum lawn chairs, a barbecue pit,
hubcaps of cars long since evacuated.
Among the stranded survivors
is the aged widower searching
impossibly for his wife’s ashes.
He had escaped and settled
here after the Paradise fires took
his previous home two years back.
Crows on charred oaks branches
watched and mock his effort.
He looked all around him
and wondered to God
if he had paid
enough grief dues.
When the bus stopped for him
he did not get on.
Jonathan Moya Sep 18
White and red roses
defend the mother’s coffin:
cherry stained,
her interlocked hands in prayer
draped in veil gauze,
her gold dress
the same she married in,
as the procession of her children
grieves in a black and white flow.

In a black and white flow,
each child lights a votive candle
that reflects the sanctuary lamp,
their tears and prayers—
hating themselves
for the gasping erasure inside,
the love not returned in time.

The love not returned in time
before the tears
of the blue ******
praying over her,
black hair
matching black hair,
alabaster hands
blessing burnt  
brown ones, anticipating
heaven’s restoration.

Anticipating heaven’s restoration
the congregation
steeple their hands and
chant for her dreams
to true,
her now
motherless children
to rise and stay united.

Rising and staying united
all her children
awkwardly cradle
their old gifted rosaries,
skipping Glory Be’s,
misremembering Our Fathers,
finally hiding in their tears
and the pale oval beads,

the pale ovals of their hands
buried in the vanilla scent
of candy florecitas
half mauled
in sugary communion,
their faith in confection
as strong as
believing their mother
would never die,

believing their dead mother  
would always protect them
even while the cancer within
ate her silence and resolve,
finally leaving them living
in a world of dollhouse sermons
and scented flowers with thorns,

scented flowers and thorns
and death marrying death,
matroning childhood,
life in its very pinkness,
child to mother to father

father to mother to child,
until night falls into blackness,
to black rot dusting
even lion and lamb,

lamb and lion
consecrated
to the last letter,

the last letter
of God’s tears,
the tears of now,

until now the tears
are nothing
but the chants of cries,

the song and chants of cries
born sober in the now
and the chant of tears

the tears of chants
and the children kneeling,
others kneeling,

kneeling others,
until there is
only the fall,

only the fall
of kneeling
in the now,

now in the fall
of kneeling
for love of each other

each other now in love,
or thinking they are in love
now with each other,

each other now in love,
knowing they are now in love
or soon will be.
Sep 16 · 24
Memory Monster
Jonathan Moya Sep 16
The memory monster haunted Mavette on the 
platform, the gym, pass the graveyard,
scolding her for leaving the tiniest 
remains of food on her plate, scourged 
her for reading that ***** Jew, Levi.

The swastikas chased her in her dreams.
In her hole in the earth the dogs and 
stamping black boots would pass over her.

She lived with that history everyday,
escorting curious, mournful tourists
through the remnants of Auschwitz.

She knew all the ways of death, could 
recite the roll of who died and lived
over, over until the loop was her life.

Her sister in Detroit would receive 
a postcard from her every week 
with the name of a Jew gassed 
and a list of their left overs 
that were burnt or sold during 
that particular time of the war.

Her sister never wrote back
and sick of receiving this 
unsolicited ******* and 
emotional ***** would 
unceremoniously match 
every neatly written note.

Today a bunch of high school girls
were pleading with Mavette
to put them into the chamber 
and turn on the gas for they 
all wanted a great TikTok moment.

Mavette was tempted but
that was never allowed and 
the echoes of their laughter
followed her and ruptured 
into a migraine by shift’s end.

The next day, a squad of Israeli soldiers,
in a moment of exposed reflection 
after crying and singing the Hatikvah
whispered to each other
“That’s what we should do to the Arabs.”

She was only a little ashamed 
to share their thoughts,
these children and young men,
enraptured by the practical thinking
of those exposed to the simple, 
recreatable reality of the 
**** killing mechanism. 

The next day she did not rebuke
the teenage boy in the brown shirt
who said: “In order to survive 
we must become a little **** too.”

For once she wanted to escape
her hole in the ground and 
be the one with the dogs and guns,
be the one with all the power. 

if she could not escape death in her dreams
she could live by becoming death in them.
Mavette, the Angel of Death—  the idea 
comforted her nightmares and dreams.

And she took her gun and 
locked herself inside the chamber and 
asked those outside to turn on the gas.
Sep 15 · 27
Pareiodolia
Jonathan Moya Sep 15
The sand holds our faces.
Every thousand grains
forms a man, a woman, a child.

Every millionth there is your mother-
young, stunning, beauty mark
perfectly spotted on right cheek.

Every billionth adds a little weight,
gray, tears and beaches of separation.

Every trillionth might be the dirt
blown away at her funeral.  

It’s not hard to find a thousand
coffins nesting in the shoreline.
You just need to adjust your eyes
to focus on the tiny-ness below,
to see every relative particle.  

Sand is but the erosion
of the once impenetrable.

You may find your father
coasts away from your mother,
his bald-headed frown
etched into a tableaux
of a thousand grains.

The semblance of
your sister’s smile
and your brother’s jeer
not embracing each other
are also there,
shifting closer
or farther away,
based on the whims
of tide and wind.

Your history has been
etched into the grains
centuries before your birth,
yet your fate remains beyond
their sway and maybe even time.

No  one can explain
why vast deserts exist.
Why their very ash
is forever tendered
and remembered.

All we know is that
the shifting sands
will be there to always
greet and bury us.
Sep 14 · 47
Plum Juice Runs Happy
Jonathan Moya Sep 14
You worked hard for the plum,
to bite into the Mariposa
before the heat comes
and it rots.  

Its purple plumpness
pulsates with juice,
so dark and clear
through and through.

The comfort is not startling.
It’s the taste you know
from a thousand memories,

What takes you back
is the shock of seeing
your heart in your palm,
the taste of your blood rich
in this other thing.

Yes, it’s not what you hoped,
maybe more for such
a late summer surprise.

Yet, in the shrinking light you
don’t begrudge yourself
this small purple reward for
a lifetime of regrets and doubts,
unborn hopes and still-born pleasures.

This plum blossomed
despite you,
apart from you.

It reached you
skin sweating
ripe to be your miracle.

It’s not just sweet,
it’s sweetness,
full of the seasons
of its short life,
your everything- nothing joy.

Bite into it, and
you must bite into it,
taste its smallness
in your fullness.

Feel it run
down your cheek
overflowing your palm.

Feel it mesh with all
your runny happiness.
Sep 12 · 27
The Blue Fish
Jonathan Moya Sep 12
I watched in the swirl, the blue fish paddle
steadily away from the boat,
knowing that it had been hooked before,
the wound protruding wormlike from his jaw.

Today would not be his last fight.
He would not be a photo prize.
He wanted not the weight of air,
just the restless, endless flow all around,
the homely tide.

Algae speckled his skin
refracting rainbow fingers
like prayers in the morning
and brown moldy spots on his lateral line
like vespers recited in a dark nave.

Swirls of lilies flowed beneath his belly
revealing his antiquity and mortality.

He danced defiantly along the reef,
shedding embedded sand,
corrupted water weighing him down
the worms wriggling on barbed Js above,
the anemones gesticulating alluringly beneath.

He once was suspended between ocean/heaven
everything green slipping off,
his blue mocked by the lighter sky,
his lungs rejecting its oxygen,
his blood rejecting its gravity
that cut his very being.

He was born with scales,
flexible bones Ill-suited for this rigid world,
born to glisten never knowing.  
more beautiful peony’s,
things more lovely than him
rooted in lands beyond his sight and ken.

His eyes seemed larger than mine
and in a certain graceful way
they had the heavy density of a stain glass panel
trying to contain all beauty in an icon.
They shifted only towards the light.

He stared mouth agape and every scar,
every hook wound fell off, revealed itself,
proof that he will never be any one’s prize.

Like everyone else, he had learned
the wisdom of the wound,
that life was not in victory,
but in surviving, the possibility,
the hope of catch and release.

I started my rusty boat
and in the dart of his rainbow
swimming away, swimming away,
I felt the thanks of his fin and tail,
as I moored in the direction home.c
Sep 11 · 34
Take a Stand
Jonathan Moya Sep 11
With the start of NFL football yesterday, I must salute those brave and patriotic players and teams who take a stand against police brutality of black people. I must share this poem and video that my Miami Dolphins shared.  I stand in complete solidarity with the Dolphins on this issue.  

https://twitter.com/i/status/1304186433054420992

It is authentic? That’s the mystery.

Or is it just another symbolic victory?

Now there’s two anthems. Do we kneel do we stand.

If we could just right our wrongs we wouldn’t need two songs.

We don’t need another publicity parade.

So we’ll just stay inside until it’s time to play the game.

Whatever happened to the funds that were promised. All of a sudden we got a collapsed pocket?

The bottom line should not be the net profit. You can’t open your heart when it’s controlled by your wallet.

Decals and patches. Fireworks and trumpets. We’re not puppets. Don’t publicize false budgets.

Ask the pundits and we shouldn’t have a say. If you speak up for change, then I’ll shut up and play.

If we remain silent, that would just be selfish. Since they don’t have a voice, we’re speaking up for the helpless.

It’s not enough to act like you care for the troops. Millions for pregame patriotism. You get paid to salute.

Lift every voice and sing? It’s just a way to save face. Lose the mask and stop hiding the real game face.

So if my dad was a soldier, but the cops killed my brother, do I stand for one anthem, and then kneel for the other?

This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we’ll skip the song and dance. And as a team we’ll stay inside.

We need changed hearts. Not just a response to pressure. Enough. No more fluff and empty gestures.

We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours. To call up officials and flex political power.

When education is not determined by where we reside. And we have the means to purchase what the doctor prescribed.

And you fight for prison reform and innocent lives.

And you repair the communities that were tossed to the side.

And you admit you gain from it, and swallow your pride. And when greed is not the compass, but love is the guide.

And when the courts don’t punish skin color, but punish the crime.

Until then, we’ll just skip the long production and stay inside.

For centuries, we’ve been trying to make you aware.

Either you’re in denial, or just simply don’t really care.

It’s not a black/white thing. Or a left/right thing. Let’s clean the whole bird, and stop arguing about which wing.

Then, Flores faced the camera, and concluded:

Before the media starts wondering and guessing, they just answered all your questions. We’ll just stay inside.
Sep 8 · 41
Smashing Glass
Smash the glass if you must, yet
do it gently using soft hammers.
Catch the fury in your breath and
release its image on the pane.

The goal is not destruction but creation,
to leave behind something cracked
yet still whole, hanging precariously together,
a reminder that we are all shards about to fall.

Tap and if it forms a line tap again,
until a lip forms a mouth, maybe yours,
a tear- an eye like your mother’s,
again, your father’s shattered brow.

Leave enough of you behind
for them to complete.
Gentrify the other glasses with
the genealogy of all your pain.

Make everything a museum of
all the world’s shattered glass
that none dare destroy  lest
even they fall apart
Sep 6 · 37
Abandoned Boat
The Little Bessy  molts its white chipped,
dull letters out to waves it cannot use.

Capsized on the rocky Maine beach, where  
it once fished for lobster in richer anchors,
the peapod displays its tattered nets on its hull
while the Man O War, filled with a haul of tourists,
bruises the gentle waves of Penobscot Bay.

Its oars are mounted on the lobster shack wall,
its sails framed in the nautical museum.
Abandoned are the days it was pulled
from its moorings on the wharf and sailed
through Penobscot air or spilled weighted circles,

days that were longer than any of its old parts,
times when old hands  hoped for better ways
never knowing they’ve come and gone.

Its broken, rusty anchor once met the spent waves,
the hands holding and releasing it down
to mate firmly with the mount, the moment
when the old lobsterer father firmly grounds
The Little Bessy’s wanton desire to push out to sea.  

Betrayed and exposed every day, run by no one,
Bessy drifts into beauty she never desired:
the pretty postcard in the wharf gift shop,
photos  taken by others rushing by in other boats.
when she was always meant to be the secret  
memory of the lobsterer hauling up his lonely pots.
Abandoned in the middle of the blasted field,
its arms shredded, legs battered,
the chair exists in broken splendor
catching the best of the speckled light
dancing in the quivering shadows.
Lines of the seated father stain the backrest,
motherly molds are left behind in the seat foam,
the relentless kicks, tattoos of children’s feet
bruise the red velvet of the front rail.

At dawn, pulses of light run along its rails
dispersing all shadows to the wet ground.
At the speed of forgetfulness
two robins alight on this storm orphan,
widow, widower, this sole survivor,
with twigs to build a new stick home.
The clean church Christ
hangs on rusty nails,
dozen-fold years
denied a resurrection,
tied to everlasting
pain and death,
heaven denied,
mortal redemption denied
because the flesh,
existing between hope and despair,
refuses the soul’s release.

The congregation
is dead to peace,
only knowing the scrapping
of their knuckles on the smooth stone-
dead to the light,
seeing only the night,
dead to divine comprehension,
dead to the angels hiding
in their coarse crosses
of common wood.

Outside the lamb
bleats in the snow
wandering unheard
in the wilderness,
fearing slaughter
more than charity,
wandering far from
their muffled mouths,
wandering far from
their questioning,
wandering far from
their sense of things.
Sep 3 · 17
The Driver
The bus driver sees people as they really are:
survivors & corpses going for regular treatment,
shadows & lights moving in a tunnel,
loved & loveless reflections in a rear view mirror,
like him, the sufferers of whole-body vibrations
of the potholes & uneven pavements of the road,
the sedentary motion breaking their backs
until everything is saturated in grief, anger & pain.

In the swing room among the crack of eight *****
and the other drivers sullenly chewing their lunch
he writes a history of the young father struggling
with a stroller who slips on without paying,
the obituary of the white ghost with the
5 o’clock shadow who boards at the hospital,
all notes for the melodic line for his sax solo
at Johnny’s that night.

His fingers touch the imaginary valves
& before the movement is over
the road chants for his return.
He puts on his blue cap,
tucks in his shirt & straighten his pants.
The abuse is almost immediate,
starting before he can sit and close the door.
The engine revs with the  melodies of the city
& in the harsh notes, he hears the smooth variations
that will drive him through the long night ahead & home.
Sep 3 · 19
Window Swap
Let me swap your window view with mine.
Better yet, let me open a new window
anywhere in the world:

Swap my clouds with the widow Lotta
that delights in the sight of six boys skipping
on the edge of an Amsterdam canal

who then furtively disappear into
the dark wide open doors of the
*** Palace Peep show across the street.

Swap my lonely rainy sky with Bess the
matronly Cotswold poet courting Badgers
to fight over tossed scraps of Savory Pie.

Swap my lulling dark with Akhenaten
gazing at the sacred African ibis as they
chant and soar over the Pyramids of Giza.

Exchange my blue with Jean Paul
watching yellow turn red to gray night
in time-lapse from his Cassis maison.

Barter my coffee for Rakesh’s tea
and his Hindi copy of the Yajur Veda like
a still life posed on a blue  window ledge.

Ransom unbargained Chiara’s Roman tableau
in red clay tiles surrounding a blood bell tower
beautiful enough for a young Da Vinci’s pastels.

Exchange breaths with Kiko as she panics
when a Tokyo bullet train convulses through,
a reminder of both our unstable lives,

Until memories of Mary dancing in the  
downpour of a Manhattan summer shower
fall through the hospitals, the last goodbyes—

until there I am, a scared little boy
starring out my bedroom window
awaiting dawn for another chance

to splash in the blue blue kiddie pool,
walk in the un-paned grass, shouting
to the white sky that follows me always.
Sep 1 · 54
Growing the Forest
When your mother dies
you grieve,
vow to change,
say a prayer,
plant a memory tree.

When your father dies
you swallow hard,
set yourself square,
curse all his mistakes,
and seed an oak.

When your brother/sister dies
you cry
for the good times,
regret their bad ones,
carve their dreams in evergreens.


When your wife, husband, lover dies
you sunder and wail,
fumble for reunion,
finally settle enough
to sow a weeping willow.

When you die
the world will bury you
or spread your ashes
in the peace forest
you have mournfully grown.
Aug 29 · 48
Touch
Jonathan Moya Aug 29
Lovers dream of cuddling,
laying flat under the sky,
hand to chin, chin to wrist,
eyes never opening to harsh light,
feet caressing toes
among the daisies sway.

In the past they loved *****,
pulling close in multicolor hugs,
their hands around waist
in almost interlocking circles
hoping for the full union
of own fingers completing the loop.

Now they can only exist back to back,
swooning blind in the sensation of their spines,
daring not the turnaround to face to face,
the desire to complete the geometry of touch,
less they evaporate in the heat killing the world,
the thirsty tall trees reporting their desire.

They slump in their green-white lawn chairs
spaced exactly exactly six feet apart, masks on,
only their silhouettes connecting in shadow play,
speaking ***** and sweet desires to the umbra,
the blackness marrying, impregnating,
rearing their shadowy children in its full shade.

They wonder if you make the other unreal
are they still alive?  Is it the shadow they love?
Is it the corpse, the gravity of flesh gone cold,
that tugs them insanely towards each other?
Wonder what is the perfect distance between
object person and person object?

They know they can always close their eyes and
create  a world better than what they have.
Thus they make an unspoken marriage
that fits the blank spaces between the other
so that when the isolation ends, they can
dance close, kiss, maybe make themselves
real enough for the other to find.
Aug 26 · 23
The Cursing Stones
Jonathan Moya Aug 26
Ariana, adopted the old Greek ways,
when Nikos died diving for sponges.
She encased her curses into two lead stones:
smuggling one into his coffin,
dropping the other into Naxos deepest well.
She made sure Nikos soul would  
carry her curse to the underworld
before it ascended to heaven,
or activated fully on the river of forgetfulness
for Death to see, read, feel her grief.
She had hired the local poet who still 
remembered all the magical phrases
and could reverse the flow of words.
She wanted Death
to throw himself to the crows, 
split like she was divided inside,
perish the same way Nikos drowned,
****** Death’s eyes to drunkenness
till he became a burden to the earth,
a useless sack of spoiled wine.
As she turned back and 
started to look away
she heard Nikos voice echo to her.
She turned around  and  In
the mist that crawled away to the Aegean
was revealed three Cretan hounds snarling 
behind the gate of the rich shipbuilder’s house.
The sea, the earth the sky collapsed in her.
The sound of tides, the swirling dust, the rain were
mocking this girl who knew only ordinary curses,
this widow doomed to live a long, grieving life
listening for Nikos sounds until her very end.
Aug 24 · 20
Pieta
Jonathan Moya Aug 24
Perfection can only be seen in the descent,
the glow of spotlights colliding to true whiteness,
the realization that grief touches the ground.

Mary, they say, you never experienced birth pains,
but the linen folded eternally beneath your son
shows that his final blessing transferred all  to you.  

Your tears wash his feet, and I imagine,
you wiping them dry with your hair,
a doting act of love he passed to his disciples.

Your grief remains in your soul.
Only the pain is collected in
the last descent of angels.

I feel the slow bump when
the descent must hit the earth,
the slight stumble to awkward reality.

I wash my feet everyday to honor
the perfect glory I’ve been blessed to see.

Note:
This is a memory of the 1964 World’s Fair where I saw the Pieta in the descent of an escalator. I was seven and  the experience lasted all of fifteen seconds, roughly the time it takes to read the poem.
Aug 21 · 43
The Red Bicycle
Jonathan Moya Aug 21
(In homage to William Carlos William)

Outside was my red bicycle
leaning against the wall
next to a red wheelbarrow
on which nothing depended on.

I was the kind of child who
was always daydreaming  
himself to victory and today
I would win the Tour de France.

So the plan was to practice
beyond my own wobbling peddling,
like the unbalanced red wheelbarrow
my father pushed among the chickens.

I felt the heat, the flame of potential speed
where so much could happen
and depended on my straight control
in a world zooming by in flame

until the wind was red wings,
only my own red thoughts ablaze
in the warp and the things I hated
of the world were no longer in myself.

until I flew over the handlebars
hitting my forehead on a
sky blue Cadillac door handle,
the scar following me to the future.

Now I nick the tiny flames of memory,
as I push the red wheelbarrow
up the hill as if my life depended on it,
even as it always wobbles down to the chickens.
Jonathan Moya Aug 18
It was the light that told Vincent,
the one which always told him the truth
reflected his soul’s desire,
the glistenings of his mind,
that this mass of  gnarled roots
would be his last vision.

He could feel the gun smoke
creeping into his soul,
corrupting his thoughts,
the very rays of his world,
even his beloved
hog hair brushes and pigments

as he walked the Rue Daubigny
pass the Church at Auvers
he needed to canvas in June
when the flint of its history,
death, faith, passion and beauty
impelled him to create,

pass the wheat field absent of crows
which made the world seem more
beautiful with its darkness
hovering over the light of July,
diminished now to ordinary light,
smoke, haze and fog.

He felt his world constricted to
a blue room with a blue bed,
a blue chair wedged in a corner
draped in blue shadows
which could not be mixed
to the perfect colors.

When he saw the gnarled roots
exposed in late afternoon July beams
he knew that he would not live
to see the first dawn of August,
that this would be his last
perfect beautiful, silent spot.

He painted smelling the gun smoke coming,
the smoke turning into a bullet
as he passionately tried to  capture
life itself frantically and fervently rooting itself,
as it were, in the earth and yet being
half torn up by the storm.
Aug 15 · 29
Washing the Corpses
Jonathan Moya Aug 15
--After Rainier Maria Rilke


The washers have lived with death
as they have with the lamp,
the flame and the  dark,
the nameless rinsing of limbs,
the even more unnameable nameless.
without histories relative to them.
Their sponges dipped the water
then the silent throat,
trickled rivulets on their faces,
waiting for it to absorb,
to convince themselves more than anything
that the body no longer thirsted.
They only stopped their toil
to turn their head to cough.
The older ones unclenched
the hands of the dead
that refused their final repose.
Only their shadows
****** the quiet walls,
the net of silent life
extinguishing to last existence
that ignored their shrugs
as the last now antiseptic corpse
was finished and the window shut.
Jonathan Moya Aug 14
We exist in
unkeepable bodies

and in the bending over
we decompose

for we are
are but the
memory of grief

that soft bodies
leave when they die.
Aug 14 · 25
After the Sun Has Gone
Jonathan Moya Aug 14
Oh, when the sun yields child
to the soft caress of the night

After the sun has gone.
After the sun has gone.

That lifts the wind
after the sun has gone.

The last  of wonder and awe
That turns life
from a beach shell echo

to  a cornucopia
after the sun has gone.

Life without a shell must
shake out the shadows

live full to overflowing
less it dry after the sun has gone

leaving the child still, beautiful silent
in the beach tide after the sun has gone.  

After the sun has gone.
Jonathan Moya Jul 28
Shout into the eyes
of sunlight
of the boy who dances in the light.

Every dragon’s death
foretells this child
onto even the smallest realm.

The Phoenix is an ally
to the boy
who forges worlds.

The stars proclaim his shine
this boy who dances in the light.

He is the boy
who flies
into the sun
and does not dissolve.

His chariot with flashing wheels
races with the rainbow.

He is the boy who
sells the golden trinkets
with 1001 truths in the bazaar.

Even the baubles know not all his stories
of pirates, pashas, tigers and kings.

After all has been vended
this boy with the wondrous tongue
will wipe the sweat of his brow
into the most damask bottle
and proclaim it genie’s breath.
Jul 28 · 100
Rainy Weather Laughter
Jonathan Moya Jul 28
The rain chuckles on the rooftop
and the sound carry’s down the house.

The oaks in their amber raincoats
hiss in the water’s tickle.

Their sinuses suckle the drops to veins
then shiver off the excess.

The wild summer streams are
beginning their running joke.

The drought retreats with a frown
to the applause of the scorch grass.

The old man and his grandson watch
the slapstick of nature from the doorway.

They wave to their bemused neighbors
in their rockers watching the show.

The old man hands the child an umbrella
and watches him join the laughter all around.

The child delights in the rain drumming
smiles on the harlequin cloth.
Jul 27 · 42
The Whale
Jonathan Moya Jul 27
We turned around and she was there
stranded between shore and sea,
beach filled with the oily smell of  whale,
her dark tonnage serenading the waves
for the comforting echoes of others,
her great fins offering sand flowers
to the Great Ocean God for her salvation.

We mistook her motion for the final dance,
the soprano voice for a lamentation,
the agitation of her great tail for death gasps
for in our experience we are slippery skin
creatures destined to loneliness,
defined to be Ahabs to her kind.

The incoming tide heard her prayer and
navigated the sand to slowly release her to
re-float with the high tide, the deeper water
where she be well with herself.

And we sat on the beach and watched
her swim out knowing that
the sea can easily swallow a whale.
Jul 27 · 36
A Very Hot Afternoon
Jonathan Moya Jul 27
The heat is a pendejo querida
a street full of melda de vaca, mi amor
steaming, stinking, like a hungry puta
who takes mi dinero and gives me *****.
Sleep with me chica. Cool me down
in el rio d su chocha.  Por favor.  Por favor.
Mariposa de su womb. Pajaro en mi boca.
Do not steal my crumbs and fly away.
Tu coolo is una ballena.  Lo adoro.
It’s as hot as the clouds that stampede
like los cascos de los caballos salvaje.
Your centavo feminino blends with
the eibas y el calor making me want to
comer naranjas amargas contigo en la cama
or a picnic with you a orillas del rio del Paraiso
watching the lotus bloom.

Translation of Spanish:

pendejo querida- male ***** hair, my love
melda de vaca,  mi amor- cow ****, my love
puta- *****
mi dinero- my money
chica- girl/woman
el rio de su chocha.  Por favor- the river of
your *****. Please.
Mariposa de- butterfly of
pajaro en mi boca- bird in my mouth
Tu coolo- your ***
una ballena- a whale
Lo adoro- I love it
los cascos de los caballos salvaje- the hooves of
wild horses
centavo feminino- womanly scent
ceibas- kapok tree found in Puerto Rico
el calor- the heat
comer naranjas amargas contigo en la cama- eat bitter oranges with you in bed
a  orillas del rio del Paraiso- by the shores of the river of Paradise.
Jul 26 · 21
The Art of Dying
Jonathan Moya Jul 26
The Pandemic has closed
the theaters and cinemas.

On stage a lone actor commits
suicide in the loneliness.

On screen the two lovers run to each
other against the march of soldiers.

The actor’s death is an extravagant fake,
a nod to the art of dying a good stage death.

The lovers perform ****** asphyxiation
until the man seems to fall deeply asleep.  

The actor pulls the dagger from his neck,
red silk flowing freely from his throat.

In the light motes coming from the projector
Sada realizes that Kichizo has died.

The red silk now entombs Sensei Omiya
like a gown as he reaches out to Sada’s cry.

Sada kisses Kichizo for the final time
as she removes Kichizo‘s blade.

Sensei Omiya drowns in a swell of red silk.
“Sada, my child, what shame have you brung?”

Sada cuts Kichizo’s ***** off cleanly carrying
it inside her as she madly wanders Tokyo.

The projector clicks off, the house lights fade.
The transformation is done.  
The performance is over

Notes:
The lovers story is based on the plot of the Japanese film In the Realm of the Senses by Nagisha Oshima.  The theater story is intended to be a subplot of the lovers plot. The theater plot is also intended to invoke images of Japanese Kabuki theater.
Jonathan Moya Jul 24
The poem rumbles in my brain
and wakes me at three in the morning
as if my devil branded me with his pitchfork
reminding me of our inspired bargain

My nemesis love calls me to the fiery sheet
his impish pride burning praise in me
that swears fealty with ****** words

Oh poetry
how your satanic verses
chum and shudder in me
sharking nightmares to dreams
and my words to the exquisite limbo
doomed to fall short of true divinity

The poem squatters in my mind firmly
fixed in the ninth circle of treachery
offending my soul
crushing my heart

It takes and takes and takes
and never gives not even
granting the guilt of ***** lucre

Words are my blood
Poems **** my veins
My quick-fire brimstone lines
are my epitaph

I am both cursed and blessed
to this addiction
yet I hope this passion never cools
only  flames and reflames

Oh Poetry immolate me
burn me to the purest ash
leaving a diamond legacy

The poem is not a song
but the fire inside the song
the sulphur mistaken for honey

Oh dulcet sounds why and thank you for
making me an exile from life and tomorrow
a lonely sad witness to the world

Why and thank you for
fating me to this fiery covenant
Jul 23 · 230
Beyond the Dying Cloud
Jonathan Moya Jul 23
When a cloud dies
doves and eagles
dip their wings
in mournful ‘memberance.

When the sky dies
it rots black
in despairing soot
of ash and pain.

When the moon dies
it’s mourned
by the elliptical kisses
of the planets beyond.

When a planet dies
the universe gently cradles it
and lullaby’s it to the sun
until it falls to sleep.

When the universe dies
the lonely sad earth knows
that all the trees will go dark
when the world dies.
Jul 22 · 26
Painfully Clear
Jonathan Moya Jul 22
I tried to bargain away all
the sickness and death
in my life  with the
skies and mountains.
They refused to disperse my
pain in the sunlight and clouds.
The void rejected my life,
eternity denied my love.
The moon stayed its silent course
watching my fate fade away in the night.
Time denied my burden.
The wind swirled to heaven
seeing me coming near.
The waters cascaded away
fearing my touch.
God was on vacation
and not due back until
two days after my passing.
My heart opened wide
and I emptied my pain
on its breakers and shore
until all that was left was words,
these words in the color of clarity.
Jonathan Moya Jul 21
On this acre of unspoiled comfort
the hard winds blow once again now.
Through this acre of unspoiled comfort
the house falls once again now.
This acre of unspoiled comfort
so unlike a broken cry.
This acre of unspoiled comfort
once so sun caressed with smiles.
This acre of unspoiled comfort
once standing on unburied dreams.
This acre of unspoiled comfort
lingering near death.
This acre of unspoiled comfort
praying for its life now.
This acre of unspoiled comfort,
now I pledge my love again.
On this acre of unspoiled comfort.
Jul 20 · 32
The Weight of Words
Jonathan Moya Jul 20
A woman’s beauty is light on the eyes,
best pinned in thoughts, not weighed down
by beautiful lines that cannot halt wrinkles.

The dying frost of dawn does not
feel sorry for the gravity of the nest
knowing the wrens inside can fly.
The ode is limited to its chilling beauty.

The sublime pleasure of discovering
on a stroll the transitory pleasures
of another’s pedestrian secret life
is only weighed  down by
future speculations of their destiny.

The gentle grace of a grazing fawn
killed by the hunter’s bullet
is elevated by the photo
caught before the moment.

The moon rises only on a setting sun
yet  the calf of a homeless man
is wondrous reflected in the night’s light.
Even the suicide jumping off the bridge
is beautiful in the dark fall.

The butterfly takes flight
in the shout of the
lepidopterist’s child
hoping to catch it in his net.
He goes home sad not
knowing what he has
lost with his heavy words.
Jonathan Moya Jul 18
Keep the things
you don’t understand
always near you-
in your pocket
or wallet-
so in idle moments
at the bus stop
or in line at the post office
at the bookstore
or coffeehouse
you’re thinking
until the inkling
of realization comes,
even if it’s
just a mark or two-
even if you have to
look it up in the dictionary
or on Wikipedia
or ask a smarter friend
or maybe even God
until you are certain
that you have
properly applied yourself.
Jonathan Moya Jul 18
Before audaciously
flying
in the strangled gleaming
of the last glory
of extinct clouds
rising
I asked my soul
what is the purpose
of having
the last thought
of mankind
or any
dreams
Oh Jinn
give back
the last of me
stolen and not yours

The Jinn replied
they blessed you
don’t you remember
or dreamed that you remember
it was that memory
of some things
and everything
that started your world
and ended this
and theirs
It started
and finished
just the way
you wished
Jul 16 · 28
Shutting Down
Jonathan Moya Jul 16
If I shut the border,
no one will shut their window,
hide in their closet,
lock their door.

They would shake the blinds of moths,
bring the dog in from the doghouse,
let the cat feast after the mouse hole
has been plugged with a door wedge.

In the distance
the train whistle blows
dispersing mist and rain.
No one steps off nor boards.

The bird nest is not abandoned.
The hollow of the tree stays hollow.
Nothing has shut down at all.

My pen scribbles a poem
only to watch the black words
return to the reservoir.

I open the dictionary to the word “hope”,
but the page refuses to settle
until I put all the words in them
face down on the writing table.

My stoma grumbles louder than my stomach.
I shut my cancer in the mother-of-pearl.
My wife’s cancer is placed in the
small valise of all our memories.

I can’t shut down the museum.
It already is.
I can’t shut down the cinemas.
They already are.
Only the pharmacies are open.

I shut down my mouth
on my broken jaw
with five missing teeth
only to feel the maw of death.

I shut down the ash of my childhood
into a golden urn of my own design.

I shut down America, I shut down God,
putting them both between the now
empty covers of the dictionary missing hope.

I shut down my passions, my emotions
in the moldy basement of my despair.
My shut down love is chained in the dungeon.

Shut up, shut down,  I repeat  to myself,
until those words lose all definition,
until my lips are sealed in pain and
the only thing left is my total shutdown.
Jonathan Moya Jul 15
Don’t take away my words
by not repeating my poems inside.
My poetry is revolutionary
as a floating feather.
Close your eyes and catch it
knowing the vision is in its flight
and not where it falls.  
Pick it up from the floor
and it becomes a Cobra
spitting, aiming to poison you.
Jul 15 · 23
A Very Shaggy Wake
Jonathan Moya Jul 15
Outside of town a man died
naked beneath a nice tree.

Some said  he was old
and that the tree was an elm.
Some said he was young
and that it was an oak.
Others, that he was a child
and that it was a magnolia.

The only thing they agreed on:
that he was naked, dead, under a tree
and they felt sorry for him.

So, the Widow Smith secretly
dressed him in her husband’s best shirt
because she was still mourning
the loss of Tom’s chest.

Mr. Aglet, who owned the shoe store,
privately donated the old Nike’s
Timmy abandoned when he went to Harvard
because Aglet missed Timmy putting them on.

Haberdasher Scye donated his swankiest cufflinks-
the one’s left behind when a newlywed customer
learned that his wife was in labor—
because Scye hated the look of an unadorned shirt.

He then gave his favorite top hat
for no man should be buried with bad hair,
his finest knee-high dress socks
because that’s what funeral’s demand.

He than gifted his finest silk tie,
a nice leather belt of the man’s waist size,
and just to finish the look

a properly somber black jacket and pants.

Optometrist Eyear noticing the man
was squinting rather oddly
crafted a fine pair of designer spectacles
that fitted perfectly on the dead man’s nose.

Everyone in town felt good about their gifts
and the funeral was well-attended.
It wasn’t until he was deep under
did they notice that they forgot the underwear.

They found them, the next day,
the one thing that knew him best,
hanging high in the branches of the tree.
Jonathan Moya Jul 14
Winter  
The rain sheds  precious jewels this winter night,
the oaks untangle their branches in clarity,
musky solidarity, and affirmation of their place,
an unlearned wisdom  of existence  that
allows them to bear the staggered light of
unhurried clouds spreading their endless
laughter to all those fixed below.

Fall
The cold, crisp wind of change kisses
and abandons all the oaks of the field.
They shiver off their acorns knowing
they must be naked for the dark days ahead.
The clouds dark smiles are just beginning
to bear their light for winter’s derision.

Summer
The sunshine dances with the wind
and the oaks of the forest sway
in the merriment of unfiltered days.
They embrace a child’s shadow,
generously mixing it with their own,
bearing a tempered light for those
who breathe beneath their branches.

Spring
Diamonds of rain embellish the thirsty oaks
and they drink it in in tangled unity,
not scornful of the others judgement.
Fickle clouds grudgingly bear the light
until the sun forces them to share
its unending generosity with everything below.
Jonathan Moya Jul 11
You were unburied
10 years before I was born,
pulled from the Arie riverbed  
the day Nagasaki burned.
You died like a samurai
in your daughter’s arms,
bowels flowing,
head severed cleanly,
falling to the water
amidst the silence
of dead human trees
with their bark skin turned inside out,
among the screams of the living
realizing that not even water
can stop their burning away.

You were unburied
65 years before I was born,
killed by the big guns
with Conestoga wheels in the
ravine near Wounded Knee Creek.
You died running with your nursing infant
in your arms trying to touch the flag of truce,
your child still suckling long after
the Great Spirits call—  still suckling
as you were piled in the mounds
of mothers with no ghost shirts.
Others children’s children still
Ghost Dance and tell your lore.

You were buried
32 years before I was born,
shot in the back after
you had dug your own grave.
Shot in the back after
you had watched your house
burn in a kerosene blaze.
Shot in the back after
you knew the children
were safe in the swamp.
Shot in the back after
all of Rosewood burned
from the fury of white rage.
Shot in the back
until you were erased
from existence
except in the memory of tears.

What am I meant to do?
It’s summer and the
magnolias are blooming,
the cherry blossoms are ripe,
the black hills spruce
admits its forever mildew stink,
reminding harvesters not to
ever make it a Christmas tree.

I call out not knowing your names,
giving you invisible ones
that will reflect your death and life.

What am I meant to do?
Your unburied ash, spirit,
your buried charred bones
exists in wretched longing,
your names bleed into
the riverbed, the ravine, the clay.
I mourn as I freely travel the spaces
that others had trampled over you.

What am I meant to do?
Jul 10 · 47
Everything
Jonathan Moya Jul 10
Everything’s broken, diseased, sold and resold.
The pandemic’s breath blows on us.
Everything’s is devoured in a hunger never filled.
So why do I see a glistening in the distance?

In the day dream, a forest appears on the border.
The scent of lavender and lilies exhales out.
In the nightmare,  the zodiac is ****** into
the black hole of a distant dissolving galaxy.

You wonder the miracle, if it comes,
will arise from darkness or dawn.
Will it arise from the first
natal nightmare or dream?
Jul 9 · 21
Seeing Jaws Again
Her name you may
or may not recall.
It was Chrissie,
the body in the sand dune.

You do remember the shark,
the blood on the water,
death spreading like
a virus in the town of Amity.

You do remember that
the beaches should have been closed
but Amity was a summer town
that lived on summer dollars.

You do remember the shark
doing what it was built to do—
killing Mrs. Kintner’s little boy
on that beautiful July 4th day.

You do remember Mrs. Kintner’s
cold blooded slap
on police chief Brody’s
warm blooded face.

“You knew there was a shark out there.
You knew it was dangerous
but you let people go swimming anyway.
You knew all those things

-BUT STILL MY BOY IS DEAD NOW!”

“She’s wrong,”
the mayor says.
“No, she’s not,”
Chief Brody acknowledges.

Suddenly you remember
reading a news piece
that Mrs. Kintner (Lee Fiero)
was a victim of the pandemic.

You realize there is no
police chief, scientist, grizzled old salt
banding together to do the right thing,
uniting to triumph over disease, death,

Only the orange hair President
standing deep in the drowning tide
smiling and waving and
telling everyone the water is fine.

“We are all Mrs. Kintner  now.”


Note:

The final line is a quote by Mary McNamara,
the obituary writer for the Los Angeles Times.
What is the land
but dust
but mountains
but forrest
but mud
but lost sorrow

What is sorrow
but torn soul
but wounded skin
but a trail of tears.

This day
the Chickasaw
Choctaw
Creek
Seminole
Cherokee

wipe the
white mans dirt
off their right foot
with their left foot

wipe the buffalo’s blood
off their right hand
with their left hand

walk ******
bare right foot
to wounded left foot  
on the dust
of their ancestors
their sacred hills

walk away from
The Great Spirit
to the not greater
white man’s God
slow sad right foot
to slower left foot.

Walk dragging their
dead still right foot
to still left foot
far away from the sun
of their monumental land

to this country
of bullets and blood
marching, running
blue right foot
towards gray left foot
in a frenzy to *****
bronze monuments
to all their dead

And when they cry it’s
the prayer of the white man
buried in Indian pain

May the wind
that is blowing
now and always
the dust of our memory
blow beyond your
fear of us
and all different
colored spirits

May the wind
turn from you
and only return
until you love not
the scars you
put on our backs

May you open your
eyes to unbuilt land
and see finally
The Great Spirit
calling every one
to share the
sacred hills
even the dust
with all that
have always walked
right foot to left foot
Jul 6 · 44
Cancer
It’s a fizgig, a gadding
of damp powder
hinting to explode,
assuming your surname
without any legal ceremony.

It flip flops you with trust
burrowing into the one
perfect position,
sleeping ahead of you,
waking you when you fall behind.

Not at all heavy, yet the
heaviest thing you’ll ever have.
Every breath heavy with airy death
that stunts your budding
wings from taking flight.

You measure the weight of
every thought until it always
pulls you down and your soul
takes flight jut to live…

…and you don’t t bother to chase it.

Notes:
a fizgig is both a flirting woman and a
firework of damp powder that fizzes or hisses when it explodes.

gadding is to go around from one place to another, in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment.
Up

A seed is a forest-to be.
A rock is a mountain-to-be.
A drop is a river-to-be.
A river is an ocean-to-be.
A cloud is a sky-to-be.
Clouds are an aspiring heaven.


An apple is a pie-to-be.
A brick is a house-to-be
A house is a city-to-be.
A city is a state-to-be.
A state is a country-to-be.

Down

A country is a war-to-be.
War is a bullet-to-be.
A bullet is a death-to-be.
Deaths are a city destroyed.
Death is a house fallen.
A house fallen is just bricks,
apples not grown, pies never eaten.

Death

Death is
the hell of  war,
the hell of the bullet,
Death is
a city, country fallen to hell,
hell is the fallen house,
bricks tumbled to dust,
rotten apples,
poison pies.

Death is the hell
of a heaven never found,
clouds never made,
rain never falling,
oceans never formed,
rivers never to be,
rivers dry from a dam of bricks,
forests never grown,
seeds never planted.
Jul 4 · 104
Defining Moon Glow
The moon was neither
voiced into creation
nor was it defined.

It was just parted
from the dark ink
of God’s voice.

Alphabets don’t
exist on dark vellum
just illuminated papyrus.

God doesn’t have the power
to banish those things
that have always existed.

He can’t create the perfect night
just pull crows out of it,
really, the simplest of magic tricks.

The small orifice below the cheekbones
exists to project the whiteboard
scribblings of the human mind.

Man is sad because he knows
that his words and thoughts
fall short of God’s magnificent language.

The moon witnesses what
is below and above its light
and keeps both their secrets.
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