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Jul 2018 · 1.2k
Hell is a Place Above Ground
AJ Jul 2018
Came and left
gone and dead
give me life
upon this hearth
I cry

Give me chance
give me death
I’m just a poor man
looking for my life
to save

All my days
I’ve tried
to validate
my own existence
so the pain would
steer away
into the ocean
so blue and everclear
don’t tell me I’m saved
save myself in the meantime

Free my head
free my heart
free my hand from this
bloodstream rolling and collating
down my sideburns so
hot hot hot
burn burn

Stop

Knocking behind my eyelids
like magma underground
but hell is a place above ground
Jul 2018 · 293
Nocturnal Cretins
AJ Jul 2018
We were indefinite
moments

We were habits
built and snapped
promises made and snuffed

We were village idiots
nocturnal cretins running
stop signs and red lights
and bounding a hundred miles an hour
down empty highways
at three o’clock in the morning

chattering and chortling
and secretly feeling
at each other’s hearts

trying to hoodwink the universe
into believing
even for a moment

that we were more
than just a flock of sleepless kids
searching for unattainable
meaning
Aug 2017 · 290
Something
AJ Aug 2017
I am not
what I foresaw

Among rainbow-colored
lands askew with fruit ripe and seeping
springs wallowing on ancient forest loam
I used to dream of the sky

Now I lay upon nail beds
destined by shadows demanding
legacies foretold by soothsayers
with eyes clouding against the present

I am nothing
change is something

Was I ever
something
Abstract thoughts on a steady change I've noticed since my youth. At some point, I dreamt of spending my life within the confines of the unimaginable. Now, it's difficult to even imagine the unimaginable.
Jul 2017 · 560
Promised Land
AJ Jul 2017
Take your ship out to sea
and bring laurels blessed with holly
on this journey to unearth treasure troves 
hidden in the gossamer waves

Let your flag sail high in wind
and crane your neck high
among floods that rage
in endless sickness and fledgling health

Chests of gems and gilded bands
await at the edge
miles numbering thousands
unfettered to all but time

Rally your spirits and hang them by the sails 
so passing shipmen may see
the bones upon this watery hull
and chant for boundless Someday

Storms await and creep like snakes
through flumes of silver clouds
the tears they wring rocks the fleet
and dyes dry skin vermilion

Famine prays to fish for food 
while brine coats the shattered deck
parched crewmen beg to die in sandy oases 
surrounded by undrinkable water 

Promises and tears the only drinks
now pain tattooed to flesh
gold glows neither in caves
nor does it shimmer in light

However many years pass as eternities
brighter dreams mark crystal soils
and platinum trees plump with diamond fruit
float atop the promised land

Though the ship has weathered shattered frame
and dried blood lines your chest
the anchor dives through watery shore 
and cries through salt land ** 

Sands crunch loud underfoot
like God's soft muse skies hum 
no treasure lies here but an ashen tree
and the whispering wind begins to cry

my fortunate babe, you've arrived
I'd like to think this poem is about the struggles of aspirations. The floundering steps toward unreachable goals gilded by our flawed expectations. We are like shipmen, floating perpetually toward a distance that may never come, losing much along the way in pursuit of an ideal future. But often, reality is something else entirely. It is up to you to decide what this reality means, and whether or not it is worth the price.
Jul 2017 · 327
Beautiful Mistakes
AJ Jul 2017
I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive
Jun 2017 · 366
Finnish Glades
AJ Jun 2017
You've forgotten why you lost contact with your closest friend but you haven’t forgotten the days you invited him over to play video games and instead conducted two-man airsoft skirmishes in the forest behind your house

nor have you forgotten the short films you created, in which you portrayed a murderous Bosnian chef who cooked toxic meals, and he played the fourth-wall-breaking cameraman who hurled plastic bananas at your head as you ran through your unscripted spiel.

You still can't forget the weekends you’d bike to his house to point and cackle at comedy television, nor the nighttime drives during which you two would talk about where you wished to be in ten years: he in a log cabin nestled in a Finnish forest, you somewhere in France.

The younger you believed you’d grow alongside him and build those dreams.

Now you hope you’ll one day find him sweeping through the Finnish glades and he’ll ask you to walk with him.
Mar 2017 · 408
Wherever
AJ Mar 2017
In meadows of supple leaves
and sands of crystal grass,
long-lived fears
of a life lived long have passed.

Still, cradled in the veins
of another person’s heart,
you cannot help but bleed.

On days of untold
ire, your eyes wet and red,
you rue the day you took a breath
from the old ocean sun.

Yet salty waves of green
could never hold back
your swelling song.

I have watched you grow
and have watched you drink
water from the riverside mound
upon which lay
the dreams you have held
since you were a child.

I know not where you belong,
where years will place you then,
but sirens wail upon your hearth,

Wherever you end up
you will be beautiful.
Feb 2017 · 500
Waning
AJ Feb 2017
Opulence is a whisper
In a forest full
Of clouds
Subtlety is a shout
In this city
Of waning light
Feb 2017 · 627
I Shrug
AJ Feb 2017
How can people
Love who I've become
When I don't yet know
Myself
Feb 2017 · 892
Groceries
AJ Feb 2017
The house was big,
Too big for a divorced family of four.
It had sickly, pale yellow siding
With cracking paint and a long archway
That led to a round, asphalt-covered
Backyard.

Most days the trees
That rolled out into the little valley
Alongside it were barren and spiny,
And you could see through them, all
The way to the quiet road that cut
Through the growing houses
Below.

If you were lucky, you would have seen
A few kids shooting airsoft guns,
Running through the fallen leaves,
Leaping atop all the muddy mounds of dirt
Next to the creek, but they
Have lost contact
Recently.

If you were to climb up the little green hill
That rose just next to the mouth
Of the house’s driveway,
Cresting along the edge of the cul-de-sac,
You would see a greenhouse,
Brown, with splotches of dirt
On the windows.

If you opened its flimsy door,
Which was usually locked,
You would see all the uncut tomato plants,
All the sage and spices,
And you would probably wonder
Why they were not harvested
Yet.

But the people who owned it
Usually bought their groceries
Rather than grew them.
Feb 2017 · 643
Wake
AJ Feb 2017
I have tasted
the nectar of love
that spills out of wildflower stems
and creeps out of caves into
light

It sleeps in every vein
I can track on my arm

It is sweet
like aging wine

Warm
like summer sunrise

Loose
like my father's chuckle
like the crescent
always dangling
on my mother's lips

But for the life of me
I can never hold it
long enough
to remember what it feels like
Jan 2017 · 307
Most Days
AJ Jan 2017
In my eyes
You see brilliant
Suns
But I feel
Like pale
Moons
Most days
Jan 2017 · 478
Down
AJ Jan 2017
The sunshine beats down
******* your
Rough skin
You told yourself
To give up
Blood and sin

Down you said
You'd try to ****
The pain
After all the times you said
You'd find
Your way

Times like these
They never seem
To stick
Wash off all the tears
You tried so hard
To flick

You never thought
You'd ever be
This sick
What'll you say now
When the strings are cut
Too quick

After all there's
Nothing else left
To be said
Let the water rush
Over your sunken
Chest
Jan 2017 · 596
Come away
AJ Jan 2017
Toes are sheets of
ice
the cold
creeps under

Hands have rolled
the dice
the night creeps onward

No dirt along this path
no rising
ramparts

no skin in red light
bath
over this
frozen hearth

Every way to pick apart
the skin atop
my head

I've bled within the dark
to sleep
on feather beds

come away with me

come closer

come away with me

come closer
Jan 2017 · 1.4k
Miracles
AJ Jan 2017
I always felt guilty when my grandfather told me
That he believed in God
Because I never did.
I always believed miracles so improbable
Were never written in the dictionary of the plausible
Or the thesaurus of the believable.
In my case, I find that miracles lie in the rolling of dice or spinning of tops.

I still feel guilty when he tells me that the Lord is watching him,
Unseen but always here, because if he didn’t believe,
He’d be like me, Godless, trapped in a cage
For the unworthy, of his own design,
Molded by thick bars of doubt and facts.

Sometimes I envy the miracles he holds dear
Because he never seems to let them slip through
The cracks in his fingers
Like heavy grains of sand.
Every day is a miracle, he declares, even the day you die,
Because nature is a miracle, too, and so is the soul.
In response, I think of the nothingness
I will experience when I have my final breath,
And the lack of anything that could be considered a miracle.
But he expects one anyway.
And even if that miracle is not there, he can count
The ones he has had for himself,
And that would be a miracle in itself.

My grandmother’s recovery from cancer was a miracle, he said,
And those tears wrote him a book of memories that recounted more miracles
Than he had seen in all the years he had witnessed the days turn,
The sun rise and set, the leaves fall and swell.  
But I saw her recovery as effective chemotherapy for corrupted tissue
And the skill of surgeons unable to tell a miracle from a prognosis.
But those people were miracles, too, he said,
Because they let him keep the miracle he could not love without.

He says his age is a miracle, that he should have already died,
But he has seen me grow, and that has been the only miracle
He could have ever asked for.
Maybe he will see a miracle in a decade, he says, when my college degree
Hangs from an office wall, or kids scamper through the hallways of my house,
When I fashion miracles of my very own.
Maybe with advances in medicine it will happen, I tell him.
Maybe all of that will happen by chance.
He says it would be a miracle if it did.

I find miracles to be sparse like the wind,
But to him, they’re as bountiful as trees in a forest.
Every moment alive is a miracle,
And everything he has done is a miracle,
From air force service to raising his children,
To bringing up his grandchildren, to eating hardboiled eggs he could not afford as a kid.

I wonder if it is purely by chance
That he fashions miracles with his calloused, liver-spotted hands.
He even finds these miracles buried beneath his feet,
Often in piles of discarded dreams, and he repaints them
And hands them back to whom they belong, and tells them
That these miracles are still alive, and always will be,
Because miracles cannot die like people can.

Whenever he leaves, whenever that may be,
I imagine he will compliment
The bouquets of flowers on his bed of leaves,
And say it is a miracle that they bloomed just for him.
And maybe, by then, I will be able to say it was a miracle
That he was here for long enough to tell me these things,
Even if it were by the chance that the sun rose and set
A certain way, on a single day, however many years ago,
Beyond the clouds, far away from all of this.
Oct 2016 · 452
Welcome to the Club
AJ Oct 2016
Is there a God? Will I have a happy life? How old
is old? How is paper made? Will I die if I drink
ink? How will I die? What will I think
about when I am sixty? Why am I nervous
to speak in public? Why doesn’t everyone
love each other? What is the solution
and how can we monetize it? Why do apples
grow on trees? Why do I need to pay
for water? Why doesn’t the sun
set the world on fire? Why doesn’t God
do it for the sun? Why does God keep coming
up? Why do I need to calm down? Is everyone
around me calm? Why does grass turn
brown? Why do leaves tumble from trees
when it gets cold? Why does it get cold?
What is light? What is dark? What is
love? What are lists? Why do I feel the need
to write questions down when I can’t
answer them myself? Why am I here,
and why do you care?
Oct 2016 · 370
Electric Trees
AJ Oct 2016
Her hair reminded me of electric trees
Vibrating in waves of soundless lightning

Her teeth were suns that blinded the moon

Each word she twiddled on her tongue
Reminded me of the day she whispered to the forest

That she would trudge along alone

I find myself a fool for wasting light
Living in the shadow

Of her purple flame

When the dust of her old hums finally fade
And the music she brought spins scratches into stone

I’ll ask to where she twirled her head

To find herself in those smoldering orange eyes
She spun away on a silent gray morning

To lug her fire back home
Sep 2016 · 328
Shadow
AJ Sep 2016
A shadow crept on your black stained lips
Hoping to cut out your lies

Skies bore flames down on you
And wiped away your sight

You tore his dancing box to pieces
When he claimed his heart was pure

Only to find that you misplaced what he sold
By hand
Pocked with blisters and sores
Sep 2016 · 309
Snow
AJ Sep 2016
Take me away
My body astray
In diamonds I see
Nothing for me
Where shall I go
When the skies fill with snow
I don't know
I don't know

Why can't I stay
Even when I pray
That one day I'll be free
From whatever it is I'll be
I see home in the world
Too far from this hold
In dreams I'd know the sun
But all I see is what I run from

I'm just a spindle of silk
Cradled too close by distant ilk
The seas glimmer bright
Farther than eye's dwindling sight
While grass waits to grow
I wait for wind to blow
In places I'll never see
That's where time would be

Wishes grew with me
Under the mid morning tree
Hundreds of years it wept
Until it broke its roots and left
Tell me why distant memories
Split apart all too clearly
I wish I knew
I wish I knew
Sep 2016 · 550
Soot
AJ Sep 2016
God peers down from towering heights
at the lawless land covered in the soot
of an anarchy so fine

Where dirt and dust
replace oceans of skin

Where smoke and ash
scoff at crystal skies

Where corpses in sheets
line asphalt roads

And musical men strike weary chords
in alleys wet with voiceless bards

Will death be proud to call broken names
while hungry vandals raze bleeding hills

Fear not this time
for there’s proof enough
that you will stand agape at the smoky forests
of concrete trees
in this flustering night
Aug 2016 · 324
Another Moment's Breath
AJ Aug 2016
I can feel my heart beat
In my eyes, pacing quick.
My chest, oh how it stings,
And how bitter it seems to me
To stare at the stars above
Knowing I haven’t spoken to them
In far too long a time.

City lights flare in the distance
As I lie in this swaying chair.
Its reflection burns gold
In the windows to my petrified
Spirit, somewhere deep
In the shaking of my hands.

Music sounds too sweet;
Too sweet not to be loved
Like a blood moon floating
In the corner of night’s space.
Only I can hear it,
As I’ve been told time and time again.

If only I could see the sun once more,
Or touch it from afar,
I’d greet it with a frown,
Not one of pain but one filled
With reminiscence of time gone,
Of years that haven’t yet come to pass.

A broken man I lay,
A dying man I become.
The mountains call me away
As does the blowing wind,
Pleading for another moment’s breath.
Jul 2016 · 570
The World's Belt
AJ Jul 2016
Ran the world's belt to step outside
And breathe crisp air so fine,
To mount the seas of emerald green
And kiss soils poured with wine.

Stepped upon a thousand grains of sand
Buried deep within the crystal snow,
To find some clarity in a looking glass
But where it lies I'll never know.

Treaded on rocks to touch the sun
And stroke the moon's white face,
To pray for time and not for sin
And bask in silence's grace.

Past the icy peaks and tumbling rocks
Where avalanches bring news today,
It's hard to keep spinning with the world
When there's no path to walk the way.

Too much has come and passed before,
Yet too little has been seen
On riverbeds and meadows of green
And mountaintops with lustrous sheen.

In canyon creeks I'll lay my head
To rest through this quiet night.
Though the wild is dark to open eyes,
The songs it sings will bathe me in light;

It whispers,
Carry me up these stairs
Hold me against your arms
Let me down on the ground made of clouds
In the way marked up above.
Jul 2016 · 381
Rag Man
AJ Jul 2016
Sake bowls and forks and knives,
And tables strewn with overgrown hives
Of mahogany stools and empty plates
And rosy cheeks that scream wealth is fate.

From the window a rag man peeks his head,
His only child starved cold and dead.
He glares at broken bread inside of bowls
Then at his ragged pants, pocked with holes.

An earthquake deep within a cage
Rocks his hands with carnal rage
He begs the stars for mercy and prays for light
But his shouts echo dully into the night.

Tears sting hot on a kettle bell
And on asphalt grass far down in hell
The winds whip through and tear to shreds
His eternal cushion on concrete bed.

He kneels like a pauper to his King
And cups his hands and starts to sing
A melody that floats like air
To free himself from glowing despair.

His voice trails off as time grows dim
And golden watches tick on a whim
Before he lies on the ground to die
He asks God why, oh why, oh why?

Morning light shines down today
And lights the rag man's figure away
No eulogies given for splitting holes
In clothes, in hearts, or even in bones.
Jul 2016 · 1.0k
I Know Why God Is There
AJ Jul 2016
I know why God is there
When nights blow cool wind
Onto the stringy hair of paupers
And on streetlights along purple roads.

When eyes are dimly lit
By the moonlight’s grace
Under a sky full of magnetic tears,
There is God, and he’s there
To deal out soap bars
And washcloths
To ***** cheeks
So that, for once, dust can go
Back to dust
Without leaving behind bodies
For wolves to feed on.

I know why God is there
When the hungry lie down to die,
When the restless beg for sleep,
When murderers beg for forgiveness,
When beggars dip their hands
Into pools of holy water
On sidewalks of sleepless cities.

I know why God is there,
And the reason is at the end of a long rope
Hidden somewhere deep underground,
Dangling above the fountains of prayers.
Jul 2016 · 329
All The Days We'd Never Be
AJ Jul 2016
Oh I wish she could see
All the days we'd never be
Falling forward in one place
I could always see her face.

When I was younger and tame
My heart always felt the same
But I grew older and so did she
A simple thought I'd never let be.

When the leaves all bloomed for spring
I caught the wind beneath my wings
The river flowed and the seas turned
The daylight crashed and the moonlight burned.

Cigarettes don't always burn
Even in the flame they're spurned
All these days in greying light
Can't keep the ashes out of my mind.

Abandoned mansions where we lived
Parks and meadows where we'd been.
I can't wake up without a care
At least in dreams she was always there.

But I can't help but wonder
If we're going under
Is this all we have to give?
Sell our souls with hidden sin?
Jul 2016 · 412
Beauty
AJ Jul 2016
Some days she looks at me
And bears a smile that shines like light
Other days she looks away
Forgets I loved her at first sight.

I promised her I'd never leave
Unless she told me twice
And now she's told me three times
With that distant look in her eyes.

Beauty hurts and beauty maims
And memories never fade
I look out the window, watch the sky
Fill up and pour with rain
But I can't leave
She's stuck in mind
Some days she stays
And life passes by
And nothing stings worse
Than crawling back.

She told me that she'd never love
Someone as good as me
'Cause good men tore her heart apart
In these cold, dark city streets.

But pain can't last forever
And neither can father time
So take a chance or two or more
And life won't pass us by.

Beauty hurts and beauty maims
And memories never fade
I look out the window, watch the sky
Fill up and pour with rain
But I can't leave
She's stuck in mind
Some days she stays
And life passes by
And nothing stings worse
Than crawling back.
Jul 2016 · 632
Gardens
AJ Jul 2016
Granite washed in gray day's light
From fresh yellow hills to shrouded night
The wings of an angel stretch far and high
Atop each, a bird has time to bide.

Greens of white and black and blue
Keep still in the winds which sing so true
Plump summer leaves fall out of air
And tumble onto a fox's silky hair.

A lute strikes hidden melodies
Like hummingbirds sing, mellow and free
In a castle made of washed gray stone
A king yearns for his long-lost home.

Fountains of youth spout looking glasses
Into which priests shout to the masses
Words of love and hypocrisy
That cage sick cherubs who've never once dreamed.

Pillars of stone and lush green patches
And cigarettes lit by inch-long matches
Time bends far and tastes so sweet
For those who plant enough trees to sleep.

A tall green tower climbs over mountains
A prince's curse it gladly renounces
Around it, houses broken and bent
By war-torn rebels who won't repent.

Gardens never seemed so small
When charlatans crowd their purple halls
And somewhere far, an ancient says,
This would never pass unnoticed were I not dead.

Cities of tombs and streets without light
Fall slowly into an unsavory night
Moss grows swiftly on age-old tombs
While sirens sing immortal tunes.
Jun 2016 · 772
Wardens of Time
AJ Jun 2016
It’s too late to go back,
My love,
To when you said time
Would stand still,
When the sun sat behind
The trees at dawn,
When the leaves fell
For the autumn
And drank the dew
Off the sappy grass meadows
That rolled out beyond your toes.

It’s too late to go back
To when you said
Always,
Always is, always will,
And now it once was,
Red moons and black petals
In distant sight.

It’s nighttime now.
Although your face sits in the sky
Like the moon, twinkling gray
Somewhere beyond the stars,
The day is much too young
To wash away the dust
Or guard your eyes against
The lips of a dying love
Like a raw cut waiting
To scab, to mold over the memories
Lining the blood you tried to stanch.

But it’s too late now,
Too late to lie in the trees
Red with sweet clay
Sometime in the mourning light,
Too late to count minutes
As they’ve wrinkled past years,
Too late to tell yourself
That you can still stitch together
The broken seams below the patches
Of the skin you’ve shed.

Time bought you long ago,
My love,
And sold you
To the wardens
Of burgeoning eternity.
Their horns wail loud
And only you can hear their sound.
Jun 2016 · 748
Roses
AJ Jun 2016
He's blind but he sees the roses
She has sight but she's blind to them

He gets calls from the sullen forest
She gets calls from the paper streets

He misses the beautiful people
She misses the dutiful sleep

Sweet words are all he's come to know
Rocky bridges plague her dreams

They live next to one another
But they can't speak in any way

While he lies in a cot made of broken branches
She sips tears out of metal glasses.

Oh woe
Why can't you see
That time will only dance for the trees?

Sunsets will only fade once the day
Has long since passed unnoticed
Jun 2016 · 454
Right Now
AJ Jun 2016
I can't write a poem
Right now
It's killing me inside
I can't write you a song
Once more
Forgive me, it'll be alright

I can't sing a tune
Again
My voice is all but gone
I can't paint a picture
Today
My fingers are stiff and wrong

If I could see your face
Once more
I swear I'd strum a chord
I'd dance around and click my shoes
And slide across the floor

But now you're gone
And I'm still here
I guess they call it fate
I eat alone in this empty house
Surrounded by ghosts and crates

But if the stars align
And I keep shining
Maybe the world will give
Another glance, another dance
And a chance for me to live.
Jun 2016 · 1.8k
I Wish You Well
AJ Jun 2016
I wish you well
My dear old friend
My green-backed flame
Set along the clouds.

You lie beyond the night
When the people have all
Fallen asleep in their cots
Doomed to awaken
To a gilded sky that brews
With unseen grace
Not invisible because eyes
Cannot track it
But invisible because gazes
Are melded with the grass.
Jun 2016 · 447
My Love
AJ Jun 2016
Couple them together
Like a star and its space
Take them away
But there's no tuneful grace
In this race
My love

It stings not for its shine
But strikes nerves for its truth
For the time cannot turn
Back toward what could have been
Moved together
My love

The time has passed long
Much too far for any taste
Toward sweetness and purity
Unbound by hidden chaste
That you could have shown
To me
My love

The blood flows now
Too thick to pass like water
Which flows over ocean seas
But it is now a bother
To me
And to you
My love

I am unable to believe
Although I see it
High above the shore
But the days will only sit
Stagnant
For me
My love

Rest a bit
Now
My love
Rest a bit
Now
For me.
Jun 2016 · 893
Purple Midnight
AJ Jun 2016
Radiant
She kissed the star
Off my shore
And hid tidal waves
Under her arm, laid
Promises in store.

She grasped
The lips of the sun
And suckled the night
Until sleep crept over
The horizon, along the coast
Bathed in red day’s light.

She searched
Deep in my eyes,
Reaching for a star to mold
Only to find a waning light,
A candle-spun flame
Glowing fluorescent gold.

She saw
Her face in the flame,
Shrouded in purple midnight.
It spoke of love and wishes
Of dreams and hopes
That have long since faded out of sight.
May 2016 · 529
Lives That Time Forgot
AJ May 2016
Reality on plump
Green summer leaves
Sits still while time
Rolls on
And the old blue sky
Breathes sudden trills
When enchantment
Is all but gone.

Remember the nights
As if the moon were a friend
Yet age forces
Its craters to part
Remember the skies
With a tear falling dry
Off the hanging cheeks
That were sterling
Works of art.

Hours are but seconds
And days are but moments
And years are all but slots
Of smiles in sunshine
And rain in a long line
Of lives that time forgot.
May 2016 · 476
Young
AJ May 2016
Momma says you can't be old
When your days are much too young
And old is far too often
Too much to be enough.

I keep replaying songs
Etched into the bible of chords
That older days recalled
When time fell ill in sickly wards.

Keep your hands in mine, we'll run
To the sky way up above
And we'll sing along forever more
While time just rolls along.

Hold them back, the sun creeps out
And the days pass right along
You close your eyes just once or twice
And the light is too far gone.
May 2016 · 434
Years at a Time
AJ May 2016
She is a felon
Of time in check.
She punctures
The seconds, minutes, hours
With thoughts, fantasies
That elude her own eyes.

She bleeds passing moments
And drinks them like wine.
She bleeds me, too,
For I am but a collection
Of years at a time.
May 2016 · 334
Left For Dead
AJ May 2016
Keep on sulking, stalling, flying, driving,
waiting for time to roll.
Keep on bickering, crying, screaming, searching,
waiting for words to grow.
Turn your lips around, my dear,
there's no more sense in trying
to keep yourself away from tears
and the jealousy you're hiding.

Fill the broken pieces
with bottles of reclaimed wine.
Kiss the man who preaches
about those who've gone and died.
Will you find your way home
in the streetlights up ahead?
Or will you carry on all alone
until you're gone and left for dead?
May 2016 · 942
Someday
AJ May 2016
We were forests
Evergreen
Rising above meadows
The air scrubbed clean
I remember the fire
Like it was yesterday
Because for you
We were only
Meant for someday
May 2016 · 1.1k
Away
AJ May 2016
I dreamt about us the other day
In days of green down at the bay
I saw you
And I missed you

I dreamt of night looking at the stars
While hummingbirds wept away their scars
You smiled at me
And I whisked you
Away

I dreamt about us the other day
In days of red above our heads
And the sky poured with silky rays
While you laughed along
To the silent songs
I whispered

I saw you
And I missed you
You smiled at me
And I whisked you
Away.
Apr 2016 · 996
Upon the Hilltop
AJ Apr 2016
Upon the hilltop
Far over the golden horizon
Where the sun peeks out
From behind the blue crystals
Lining the cloudless sky,
There sit gray
Obelisks, towers of fractured stone
And gleaming silver flowers
That chant the distant melodies
Of those who lay below the grass.

The obelisks line in circles
And weep silently for what age
Has brought upon their faces;
Moss and cracks, dirt upon bouquets,
Names weathered down to pebbles
Vast plains of unturned soil.

At nightfall, winds break
Upon the hilltop's gates
And send forth siren calls
That plead for silent harmonies
Somewhere deep underground,
Below the grasses, below the tombstones
That rise and fall like waves
That sit silent, immobile,
As time strikes its silver chisel
Upon the forgotten markers of those
Who have been locked
Inside its ticking crypt.
Mar 2016 · 640
Bright Lights
AJ Mar 2016
Bright lights and
Red suns
Sitting still
Cold night outside

Impossible to sleep
Unable to see
Think about nothing
That's something nonetheless
Laugh violently
Cry shamelessly
Miss and see again
Promise to escape this cage

Let me go
The windows say
Let the wind
Screech through the cracks
Fill your soul
Then leave
You alone

Hard to hear sound
When all that reigns
Is silence flowing in voices
That can’t fix
What's left
Of a broken soul.
Mar 2016 · 527
Silence
AJ Mar 2016
We are
Alone
Behind the clouds
Somewhere along
The invisible stars
In a pool of void
Searching
For a siren
To call our dearest.

The darkness
That swallows all
That stretches ahead
Is silent
Taciturn like
Falling trees
Somewhere out
In the boundless
Edges
Of unreachable space.
Mar 2016 · 744
Singularity
AJ Mar 2016
You tell me that love
Is for the hopeless,
That pounding hearts
Are for the loveless.
You tell me that pressing
Your cheek against mine
Would bring forth
A singularity
That would **** us both in,
Only to disassemble
With age what we felt
Lay under an everlasting day.
You say the moon
Is too frightening for your eyes
To see. But darling,
If only you would
Cherish night, you would
See that roses are just as beautiful
In darkness as in light.
Feb 2016 · 2.3k
A Meadow
AJ Feb 2016
Stepping through a green-lit desert,
A flowery meadow, that stretches beyond
My sight. I can no longer view the oasis
Behind me, which harbored clear water
And treats for life. The gleaming sunshine
Of this endless day is only lost by the green stalks
And vines that carry on, that fall slowly into the night
Beyond which there is something I know not of.

This meadow holds crimson rosebushes with prickly thorns
Whose roots creep along the soil like nascent trees
In bloom. The washed peonies sway like figures
Entranced by the sweet harmonies of distant sirens.
These songs lie beyond the horizon,  
Over the moon and stars where this meadow
Curls into darkness.

I’ve spent years wandering this moving wasteland,
Using the sparse rains as drink and plants as food.
I sometimes sat to smell the scent of the flowers
And grass, but the meadow’s call always beckoned me forth,
And I always had to listen, for I have known of little else
Than to walk.

I have sometimes cried, wondering why the meadow
Is so cruel, asking why it hasn’t revealed to me
Why I must traverse its soil to a dusk so far ahead.
I have often shouted, screamed when it remained silent
As I begged for an answer or sign which I hoped
Lay in the way the sun rose into the air
And cast its red glow upon the world, or in the way
The stars came out and twirled when the days burned
Out like matches. But the meadow has always
Been this way.

I’ve stepped through my thoughts for longer than memory
Can reel, before the meadow taught me how to crawl.
But sometimes the meadow has let me live in picturesque moments,
In ephemeral timeslots that can only be seen in dreams;
The sun and moon and stars fly high at once and shine
With an iridescent glow that draws out music from
The swaying roses. It’s in these moments that the journey
Has been lost to evanescence and has become married to hope,
To a love of visceral offerings that the meadow has afforded me.

The meadow has showed me in dreams where this journey ends,
Where the flowers and soil fall off and leave behind
Only their transient scents and silky touches, where everything
Becomes impossible to see. The meadow
Has not yet told me what lies beyond that point,
But it has promised me that nobody can know,
Because the dusk, the quiet that lies in front of it
Cannot be heard, and never will.

I’m somewhere stuck in a memory not yet made,
Tumbling along in old age. My skin has started to sag,
My hair has taken on a platinum hue, And my back
Hunches over in an arc, curved and bent like a flimsy twig.
The meadow has tried to comfort me by sprouting
Thicker grasses upon which I can close my eyes
And drift away, but sleep has become only a short respite
From a long life of trudging toward this promised finish.
I know not how many more steps I will take before
I arrive, but in the meantime, the flowers
Will keep me company while the march toward
The night that lies ahead continues on.
Feb 2016 · 295
A Wish
AJ Feb 2016
I want you
To see my heart
Sing for you
And watch it pound
Faster
When I ride
The green seas
Floating in your eyes.
Because every time
I go to sleep
I dream endlessly
Of you and I.
Jan 2016 · 228
A Scream
AJ Jan 2016
I love you,
My eyes scream,
But you only hear
When I am glaring
At the gashes and cracks
Deep in my chest.
AJ Nov 2015
Along the cracks lining
The spaces in between
The bark of this tree
Sits two carved halves
That break along their seams
And curl into the shape of a
Heart.

I wonder when
The knife was plunged
Into the tree-trunk’s chest,
When the blade carved
Out words unspoken but
Seen in an image from
God.
Has time aged it so
Quickly, or has death
Taken over the supple, clenched
Hands of the
Lovers
It stitched together?

Have these moments been
Forgotten
Along the years that
Wear into the gray bark
Like ebbing tides
Along sand-dotted shores?
Have these remembrances been
Lost
With the swaying serenades
Of the plump green leaves
That hang like a canopy over
The shadows cast across
The dust-kicked soil?

Where has the time gone?
I can almost hear
The black heart wail,
Where, oh where,
Has the time gone?
Has it been washed
Away
Like the rain glistening
In the the sky that
Has cradled the branches
As if they were sleeping
Children?
Has it wept like the
Glossy roots
That have upheld the trunk as
The days have worn away
The etched heart entrenched
Deep within its core?

Where, oh where,
I can hear the leaves whisper,
Where have the moments gone?
This poem is based on a photo of a tree with a heart and initials etched onto its bark. This is my take on it.
Nov 2015 · 1.1k
Hallway
AJ Nov 2015
He sits at the end
Of this long hallway
Strumming the strings
On his sun-kissed guitar,
Gliding his fingertips over
The neck and humming
Tunes only heard in
Dreams dreamt by angels.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Absorbing the words
He wails, letting the pangs
Of his impossible love
Fade away with each
Stroke of the chords
That reverberate off
The walls and crash
Like waves onto a shore
Of crimson-red sand.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Eyes shut over his thoughts,
Waiting for her to sit
Across from him and sing
Along, show him how to soar
With the clouds that line
The night sky spilling
In from the transparent walls
That surround his heart.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Cheeks glistening with
Unholy water that
Burns the cuts above his lips
And rappels from his chin
Onto his sliding fingers.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Becoming the vibrations
That lie within the sound,
That sleep within the hymns
He cries so that she
May hear, understand that
Music can't be made without
Something to bleed onto.

He sits at the end
Of this long hallway,
Head shaking over his
Guitar, hoping that the sound
Will spin her into his tired arms.

But the songs won't ring
Loud enough to tell him
Why dreams are forgotten
When the music fades away.
Oct 2015 · 528
Home
AJ Oct 2015
The hum of a wistful soul reverberates
Like a voice full of fading
Memories and forbidden times,
Set upon the backdrop of this
Familiar building that’s been
Reclaimed, stolen and scuffed
By the rage of change like a solemn
Plea from God that begs not to be
Forgotten.

Leaves of orange atop its roof,
Spindles of spider’s silk scaling
Its dents and cracks that have
Been painted, glossed over to
Hide from the sky what I took
From it, to shield from
The world what it gave
To me, to block from view how
It's aged with me, to
Cast away how it stood by me
And my swollen red eyes, beside
My ****** shins and stinging wet
Tears, next to my little arms
And glistening pupils that now have
Broken the once-kept promise
That I’d stay with it forever.

I remember the sunny spring days,
Lying upon the bright green grass
Littered with transparent droplets
Of rain, the pitch-black nights lined with
Glistening stars above the roof littered
With mahogany-brown shingles, the
Peace-laden ecstasy of nothing
Happening, the sky weeping, the
Sweet scent of flowers and fresh
Leaves fluttering across the clear
Blue sky reflected in the white-washed
Windows, and the crimson rose buds
That, for some reason, wanted
To keep wilting.

The sun now reflects brightly off
The blood-red doorframe and illuminates
The lively yellow walls painted corpse
Gray, brightens the unwashed greenhouse
Filled with brown, forgotten plants I used
To water, makes incandescent the
Rusty bicycles that sit within the
Musty white garage that was once
Where I stored my water guns
And leather baseball mitts
And aspirations I swore I wouldn’t
Relinquish.

Now the booming of metal hammers
Echoes toward the thick forest behind its
Ivy-green fence, and the bark soaks up
The sound like a love-deprived
Black hole yearning for purpose,
Begging to be filled by something
Other than the ever-present stains of
Pollen and neglect adorning the face
Of the ink-stained shutters.

I often wonder if time can be turned
Back, if grandfather clocks can swing
Their gleaming silver pendulums
Toward what’s gone, wonder if I can
See once again my mitten-clad hands
Gliding across the snow-kissed
Backyard, beside the pockmarked trees
That have since collapsed and
Crawled toward the ground and broken
Into the soil, and I often wonder if,
Just once more, I can see my tiny
Footprints atop the sun-drenched patio,
And that I’ll be able to say,

This home was, is, will be my resting place,
Shielded by the trees so high above . . .
Oct 2015 · 714
She Flew Away Today
AJ Oct 2015
She flew away today, blew across
The sun and darted through the
Sky, breathed life into the voluminous
Void of space, gave meaning to the unsaved,
Brought upon the Earth clouds and rains
And tears and unsaid words that
Never seem to make it out of swollen lips.

She flew away today, glided against
The winds, drew from them the memories
She cast away, ran adjacent to her
Fading worries, her unobtainable desires,
Spun herself a silk-laced dress that
Makes the world pray for death’s salvation,
Makes God stare at her with an eye on
The trail she’s left behind in smoke.

She flew away today, brought down
The light from the waning moon and
Kissed the sun’s head goodnight,
Shook away the pain of all that’s befallen
Her blood-locked, star-born children,
And brought with her the promise that
Once she arose into the kingdom of
Heaven, the Earth would shine once more.
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