Madison 19h
He stands next to me in the grocery aisle

A migrant from who-knows-where.

He's just like me, I suppose

An unknown guest

A visitor, with a scarcely-filled cart.

Perhaps I'd pay him no mind at all

If he didn't stand close enough to me

To at least be an acquaintance.

He lingers at my side

Too comfortable to be considered a newcomer.

I shuffle away, bag of flour in hand

Ensure that he is but a sojourner.

Later, though

He finds me in the checkout line

Eyes mysterious

Lips telling.

"Need any help with those bags?"

Brain frozen in discomfort, I shrug.

"Sure."

So we walk to the car

His hands on my bags

Mine on my keys

As we venture across the parking lot.

I pop the trunk

Wondering how I'd feel

If I had been helped by a female instead.

Still, I help this man

Try not to misjudge

As we silently put away my finds.

In my mind, however

I continue to evaluate and second guess

Not for the first time, I wonder:

"Is this kindly stranger friend or foe?"
Madison 19h
There's something about the poets

That leaves them wakeful

At midnight... and thereafter.


Perhaps it's because the blackness

Speaks like artful despair

Pitch dark

With just enough silvery input

From the stars

To perhaps stir up some inspiration.


Perhaps it's the romantics' glimmer of hope

As they hold their drooping eyes open

Wishing for the constellations

To write their stories for them.


Perhaps it's that those who feel alone

Fall in love with the moon

And her solitary beauty

So they search for ways to sing her praises

Before going off to cast their own light.


Perhaps these are some of the reasons why

Poets retire late

And rise later

Drawing funny looks

From the disciplined.


Perhaps it's not quite crazy --

In fact, it's quite normal

When you zoom in on a world full of wordsmiths

Churning out art beneath a blanket of dark.

Because sleep is not our muse --

Night herself is.
Madison 1d
Sometimes, it looks like lenience.

Small passes for big faux pas.


Many believe that it's absolution

Locking themselves in boxes periodically

To cry out, bleeding painful catharsis.


Some sneak it in with charity

Use compassion as a puppet in their mercy show

Throw underhanded in the name of grace.


Some offer it when they're bruised and broken

Spit out blood, then turn the other cheek.

Others give it away with full bellies and warm hands

Either out of purity

Or some nefarious need, pushed down deep.


And I wonder and wander all the while

For I am the fool

Who begs to receive

But can not give.
A prompt from my 'Write This Poem' book. Any guesses what 'it' is?
*      *      *      and you are      *      *            
   *           *  just­ like the moon *      *          
*        *   *      -----so, alone-----      *      *    
   *      *    but you shine bright  *      *    
*     *            at the darkest  *      *     *
   *      *      *     of times  *      *      *      *    
*           *           *           *         *          
Madison 3d
You say I'm golden

I say, "that's a lie."

I'm sun-dappled at most

Yet you still smile

In the shadows of my light.

My bad moods loom, solstice

Too often, I ache for heat.

Still, you speak of my radiance

When I feel like a garish Vegas effigy.

In the end, though

I'll let your illusions be.

But, love

Even if you think I'm light's zenith

Being your star

Is enough for me.
Madison 3d
You shine, just a crescent

And it pulls at my tide.

You wax and you wane

Every move leaves me hypnotized.

Smile and eyes glow quicksilver

Yank at the strings

Set my heart to overflow.

Gods in stars shine down

Smirking at the thought

Of things they already know.

You descend into shadow

Oh, love, don't be so shy!

I adore you so deeply

I swear

My heart breaks

When dusk says goodbye.
Madison 3d
Not too tall --

Don't want him towering over me

Looking down on me

Humiliating me

In more ways than one.


Eyes should be dark --

Not pale.

Don't want them

Cold, empty, icy

Don't need

A shark-like gaze

To chill me to the bone.


Not too large --

Don't need him to tell me

Just how big and strong and intimidating he is

Can't have him saying

Outright or otherwise

That he could hold me

Or anyone else down.

What else are arms for?


Not too crude --

In fact, I just might want him to talk

Like a woman.

Don't get me wrong --

My vocabulary is colorful enough.

It would be hypocritical to rule out profanity.

But, as soon as you call me or her or him or this or that

'*****'

The bile will surely be climbing my throat.


Not too proud --

Yes, confidence is attractive

But conceit is certainly no match.

I don't care if he thinks he looks good --

I will most likely agree that he does --

But one who can not admit to his mistakes

Let alone answer for them

Is a frightening caricature of humanity.

I am so flawed, love

But my flaws are not the cause of yours.


Not too dense --

Anyone who reads this

Male, female, or other

And calls me a 'man hater'

Or asks what I would think of a man

If he wrote something like this about a woman

Should run along

For that is not what I'm saying

Not at all.


I know what I deserve

And it's just what everyone else should get.

I just believe

That 'do unto others'

Should not die

Once the ring is on the finger

Or the name is on the dotted line.

I just believe

That 'love' should not be bastardized

To mean an unconditional, everlasting loop of

'Whatever you want

Honey.'

Only give what you'd want to get

Only take what you know you need

No matter the giver.

Bestow and accept nothing less

And as much more

As you can manage.


Believe me

I'll keep doing the same

No matter what you say.
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