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Apr 2015 · 311
Del Maximo Apr 2015
still down but uplifted
fortified by friends, family
and friends of family
touching my heart with their prayers
with hands clasped
or palms up in supplication
or fingers tapping keyboards
spoken or unspoken
your words to God's ears
my frustrations alleviated
through your kind thoughtfulness
my spirit roused by your intentions
as I lay in bed this morning
moved by your kindness
I lifted my hands in praise and thanks
they tingled with grace and vibes
a manifestation of your love
good feelings overcame my moodiness
my mind reset on healing's path
(C) 01/27/15
Apr 2015 · 321
Del Maximo Apr 2015
friends come and go
loved ones pass
fruit is seasonal
jobs not vocation
my hands have steered
four steering wheels
clothes and shoes wear
houses have termites
I can't find my hammer
estates are contested
health is for the healthy
art is opinion
gain and loss
equate peak and valley
with flatline meridian
happiness and challenges
are temporal
like grains of sand
sifting between toes
life is sweat
sweat is good
through everything
I keep the faith
hold onto hope
and work on my dreams

(C) 03/31/15
Mar 2015 · 339
Del Maximo Mar 2015
the waters gathered
as oceans parted ways
revealing the dry ground
tectonic confrontations pushed
mountains awakened
with a stretch and a yawn
their opened mouths
echoing the call
of hidden treasures
(C) 03/29/15
Mar 2015 · 478
Del Maximo Mar 2015
(for Barbara M.)

crisp crystal skies
bring out the smiles in your eyes
the warmth of your embrace
holds my heart
somewhere between dreams
deep within love’s wounds
my joy came back
my happiness

in midnight’s lust
you’re the one I trust
to love me so tenderly
filling my emptiness
keeping me safe
and unafraid
somewhere between dreams
deep within love’s wounds
you came into my life

cuddling with a kind, strong man
on a wintry secluded beach
wrapped in love’s blanket
there’s only you and me
gazing into deep blue sea
somewhere between dreams
through the wounds of my heart
my happiness dared to ask
a cry in my wilderness
calling out to be heard
and the answer that came back
was you
(c) 07/28/2014
Feb 2015 · 381
Del Maximo Feb 2015
so hard to see the heavens
beneath the city lights
their brightness and the city air
restrict the pupils' sight

still, sky gazing intrigues me
the moon, the stars, the planets
the texture of their distances
the colors of their fire

once, after a windy day
strong gusts blustering constantly
I looked up into midnight's velvet
unveiled from pollution's filter

so many stars up in my eyes
sheer numbers I'd never witnessed
as I watched in wonderment
drinking in the multitude

a streak of light cut through the film
the slightest, sharpest nick
a streak of light swept through my mind
so fine, so white, so quick

first shooting star I'd ever seen
I reveled in delight
standing agape I made a wish
upon this glorious sight
(c) 02/06/15
Dec 2014 · 597
Del Maximo Dec 2014
she holds her candle high
this tabletop winged statue
this angel of light
lit only at Christmastime
her votive casts two flames
in a tapered, thick walled, coke-bottle-like holder
bright symbiotic beings dancing in tandem
to delightful ying and yang choreography
two flames moving as one
only close inspection reveals
one as actual
the other an image reflected on glass
still, her candle is a two-fer
two flames for the price of one
two tongues of light
speaking in reverence and reflection
in remembrance and honor
like two spirits inseparable
connected beyond time and space
© 11/08/14
Nov 2014 · 480
Del Maximo Nov 2014
(for Barbara M.)

how do you say goodbye
to someone already gone
looking back with tired eyes
holding on to past lies
let hurt fade like roses
set heartache to wind

wishes made on shooting stars
dreams never meant to be
sad songs played on old guitars
still sing in my closed eyes
memories of you and me
we never said our goodbyes

wrapped up tight like a cocoon
a stone within my heart
reach deep inside and let it go
a butterfly's new wings
hold it high and make a wish
like dandelions to wind
© 10/18/14
Oct 2014 · 239
Del Maximo Oct 2014
night presents herself
stars are lighting up the sky
the ocean is black
still darkness speaks quietly
whispering across the bay
Oct 2014 · 473
Del Maximo Oct 2014
seasons cycle forth
leaves are changing their color
big yellow fruit fall
guavas are early this year
they probably miss her too
Oct 2014 · 344
Del Maximo Oct 2014
an easterly wind
blows down into the basin
heat of compression
warming up the desert floor
stirring up the night's passion
Oct 2014 · 723
Del Maximo Oct 2014
her eyes taped closed
to keep them from drying out
IV’s and NG’s going in
tubes draining
ventilators and blood pressure machines
so many tubes keeping her stable
so many tubes
can a person become a shell?
I can still see her

end of life support procedures
morphine drip to make her “comfortable”
gradient decrease in blood pressure maintenance
drifting off to eternal sleep

an impromptu improvised ritual
a heartfelt prayer
a hands on circle of family
touching her
a rosary’s recital

said my goodbyes earlier
I understand it was best to let her go
but couldn't stay to watch her last breath
after Dad and Tops
thought I’d be more prepared
thought I was all cried out
Oct 2014 · 1.0k
Del Maximo Oct 2014
white roses and Jacob's Coat
purple bearded irises and ferns
dark red wax begonias
scents of night jasmine
French lavender
antique tea roses
loquat, plum, guava and lemon trees
all swaying with an ocean breeze
casting shadows in the setting sun

memories of childhood
bamboo and nipa houses
coconut groves and fragrant banana
witches, faeries and wok-woks
a favorite white haired grandfather
living off land and sea
harvesting root crops and fruit
fishing for viand
barefoot and ******* sarongs
in a private paradise miles from town
bonfire festivities
tuba wine and drunken salamats
an open adoption
a house tiled with affluence
and visits back home
a war's interruption
people lost or found
married off to life in America
lumpia, pancit, beefsteak and beeco
spaghetti, burgers, *** roast and pizza
dinner's table set for eleven
the house on Wagner street
the loss of husband and son
advancing age and declining health
ER's and ICU's
a final farewell

a garden of children
grand children and great grand children
branches in Lala's family tree
her progeny sprouting roots
looking to the future
© 09/28/14
the first stanza is the garden she tended with the setting sun referring to the end of her life
the second stanza is the garden of the life she lived
the third stanza is the garden she left behind
(I was told the explanation helps)
Sep 2014 · 1.6k
Del Maximo Sep 2014
had a picture of dad on my nightstand
it fell not too long ago
but landed upright
atop his shoe shine box that I kept
its new position not precarious
I let it stay there
thought it was kinda fitting
a picture from his older years
taken in the kitchen
looking up into the camera
from the task at hand
peeling boiled potatoes
for potato salad
my potato peelin' pop
morning sun shine spot lights that picture
warm, smiling, reassuring

mom's back in ICU now
transferred to rehab with high hopes
bleeding, unresponsive
cardiac arrest en route back to ER
x-rays, CT scans
transfusions, blood draws, ventilator
quality of life questions
the more I watch her
the more I wonder

How I wish pop could tell us what to do
© 09/21/14
Sep 2014 · 703
Del Maximo Sep 2014
(tales of my mamasita cont.)

lambayong grew wild on the roadside
a vine like any other
large hand sized leaves grew singly
never in bunches
although lush and green
it was taken for granted
lambayong lay largely left alone
ignored and all but forgotten

my friends and I jumped rope
on the street by the big house
there was always a noisy gaggle
of 4 or 5 jumpers
just out having fun
a long vine stripped of leaves and branches
made a great rope
one day a young passerby asked
if she could join us
we had never seen her before
but gladly let her jump in
for some reason she got mad at me
grabbed the vine, doubled it
and lashed me hard
she was about to hit me again
I reached out and caught the vine
wound it around my hand
and lashed back at her
she ran away sobbing and wailing
we never saw her again
and never found out who she was

during the Japanese occupation
not everyone evacuated like we did
a lovely family from Cebu stayed in town
one daughter was my fourth grade classmate
a beautiful mestiza with fair skin
and loose wavy hair
but we were never friends
just classmates
her family’s affluence was well known
father was a doctor and land owner
jealous lips whispered lies
“the family is supporting guerrillas”
denials fell on closed ears
perhaps willfully lost in translation
lack of evidence didn’t matter
there was an example to be made
brutality’s lesson to be taught
the entire family was beheaded
down to the four year old

Isabel was my best friend
we found each other before the war
I had many neighborhood friends
but Sabel was the only one welcome
to play in the big house
she had both parents
a big sister and brother
a younger brother
they lived in their own
nipa and bamboo house
stilted high from the ground
a beautiful girl with a dark complexion
long black ***** hair fell
in ringlets onto her forehead
we would bathe together
singing together in the bathroom
one kind uncle had his own wing
in the big house
he built me a sturdy swing for two
hung from the ceiling
big strong ropes held a wide wooden seat
Sabel and I would swing away together
sometimes upside down
like a couple of crazy monkeys
we would go up and down the stairs
arms over shoulders
forever singing songs
sometimes her family invited me to lunch
but she never had a meal with us
in the big house
her parents managed to support their family
mother provided laundry service
for the affluent in town
including my family
father traded goods
their life seemed happy and harmonious
after the war
my family returned to Carigara
don’t know what happened to them
I never saw Sabel again
but I never forgot her
Jul 2014 · 443
Del Maximo Jul 2014
dark clouds blowing in
rolling with ocean's westerly wind
large gradient gray splotches
randomly dispersed by natures asymmetry
sunlight filtering lightly
through a background of confusion
an afternoon's surprise
soft, steady showers
hardly offsetting 40 days and 40 nights
of Winter and Spring drought
but still inspiring happy dances
walks with umbrellas
and ice cream cones
in the fresh scent of sea air
and the mustiness of Summer rain
© 07/27/14
The day I wrote this I was surprised the next day to learn there were lightning strikes at the beach with one fatality.  I should have known there might be lightning because the sky (clouds) truly looked confused.
Jul 2014 · 345
Del Maximo Jul 2014
if GOD is truly everywhere
and everything
then death is not a going home
nor a return to the DIVINE
although life leaves the body
and ashes turn to dust
essence remains
transitioning to the realization of
DIVINE omnipresence
you were never apart from GOD
and could never find a place
where HE is not
if you believe your dearly departed
is with GOD
then just look around you
GOD is everywhere

he died at home
an early morning 911
pronounced him dead
police ruled out foul play
his recent medical history
avoided autopsy

through shock, numbness and tears
she finally fell asleep that night
sitting in a kitchen chair
laying her head to rest
on the table
her daughter came next day
to clean the room
make it livable
she mentioned a certain smell
her daughter didn’t notice it

later that night she went into the room
with a freshening fragrance
to her surprise
although it hadn’t worked in years
the ceiling fan was on
the room cool and odorless
was he present?
and thinking of her?
she laid down to rest
in reassurance’s comfort
and cried herself to sleep
thinking of him
© July 13, 2014
Jul 2014 · 401
Del Maximo Jul 2014
hunger has me now
gurgling gastric grumbling
my stomach speaks loud
drowning out the yearning sounds
in my silent empty heart
Del Maximo Jul 2014
our part of Guintarcan
where family and relatives resided
was called, Li-og Li-og 1
a very large boulder at area’s end
resembled a disembodied head
lending the name, “small neck” 1

before the war
a peaceful private paradise
miles from town
beautiful birds
coconut trees
all sorts of seaside foliage

young married women
walked barefoot and *******
wearing only a sarong
wound at the waist
they carried round, flat baskets
atop their heads
full of food and other things

early morning, noon or just before dusk
men would be out fishing with nets
sometimes signaling each other
by blowing into conch shells
Father would come home with large conch
baby conch called bucawil
scallops and oysters in their season
he kept a jar of large black pearls
and small white ones

harvest time gathered us all together
Father would go fishing
to bring home a good catch
Mother, aunts and Grandmother
would prepare the treats
sweet potato, cassava and other goodies
men would bring chicken
and pigs to roast
and plenty of tuba to drink

they would build a big bonfire
by the shore
to light up the festivities
women would roast newly harvested palay 2
men would take turns pounding it
in a large mortar and pestal
starting slow then faster and faster
till they had to rest
and let someone else take over
onlookers cheered them
hooting and clapping
it would get so noisy
as the children watched in awe

after the pounding the women took over
shaking and shaking palay in flat oval baskets
tossing husks to wind with movements like artwork
what remained was placed in earthenware bowls
for all to enjoy this delicious 'pilipig'

singing and dancing into night
revelers went home drunk and happy
supporting each other as they staggered
waving goodbye to host and hostess
with a heartfelt and hardy

2 - rice with husks
© July 6, 2014
Jul 2014 · 776
Del Maximo Jul 2014
I was allowed to visit back home
whenever he wanted me to
adoption’s only condition
agreed to by Mama Julia

when I was about seven years old
Father and my older sister Coring
arrived unannounced
traveling in a boat he made himself
bringing gifts of large dried fish
small salted fish
green edible seaweed called, “latu”
and ceramic pots made by Mother

Father had never been to Carigara
but found the house with no trouble
everyone knew the Tranis
they directed him to the big house
called, “Tiha”
three stories
a tiled terracotta roof
coconut trees
sweet, fragrant yellow bananas
Mama Julia was away in Manila
old folks hesitated in her absence
fearing Father might keep me
they asked that he leave my older sister
to ensure my return
Father agreed

a very old friend accompanied Father
to sell her handmade pottery
very friendly
with messy white hair
and only one front tooth
her name was Reyang
they spent the night at Tiha
planning to leave early with me
but Apoy Reyang got drunk
from the tuba* Father brought
she went out into the street
walking and talking to herself
my friends told me later they liked the old lady
speaking wildly like a witch
we feared stories of bad witches
who snatched little kids
but no one ever actually saw one
so they were glad to see
a real live old witch
who wasn’t scary at all
they thought she was my grandma
actually envying me
for the nice witch in my family

Father built a mast in the middle of his banca
outriggers on both sides
were made of bamboo poles
lashed together with rope
sailing back to Guintarcan
he brought food to snack on
when wind stirred
Father raised sail
to make the boat go faster
when it was calm
he wrapped the sail on the mast
and used the paddle
I liked it when Father asked me
to hold something for him
but he spoke in a Samar dialect
when he realized I couldn’t understand him
he rephrased it the Carigara way

a perfect day
sea was calm
sky cloudless
I reached down to feel the cool, clear water
rush against my open hand
when the boat was moving faster
increased pressure on my palm was pleasing
I was happy and excited for the chance
to visit with family
but this adventure’s biggest thrill was simply:
my Father came for me

*coconut wine
© July 4, 2014
Jun 2014 · 345
Del Maximo Jun 2014
he adorns the dawn
and brightens the earth
basking us in ultraviolet
he warmly coaxes a reassurance
in the promise of a new day
he brings sunlight to the world
so eyes can see
and he never stops giving
at day’s end he colors the sunsets
relinquishing sky to moon

she casts dreams in shades of silver
her phases waxing and waning
in quarters of human understanding
freedom of the leash
gives her leeway to appear in daytime
or blackout in the night
but her path is mapped in almanacs
her cycle set in cement
even scripture says the earth will continue
as long as the moon shines

clouds can cover him
but the sky is ever present
beyond the gloom and teariness
he is a fixture of blue
and truest blue the day after the storm
cerulean by day
he holds the air we breath
the color of midnight keeps the stars
an infinity pool with no end
a depth unperceptible to naked eyes

she holds the sky’s horizon
along her ultramarine mesa
day and night
she crashes every beach party
with her rolling hula hands
thundering onto sand
her swells rising and rippling
with her music’s ebb and flow
no one has ever seen the ocean stop
even when she’s standing still

daily sun
nightly moon
endless, ever present sky
ocean’s perpetual motion
nature runs like clockwork
why are people so unreliable?
© June 15, 2014
May 2014 · 854
Del Maximo May 2014
beach’s brightness and heat
soothe weary skin and bones
so good to feel warmth upon shoulders
and sand between toes
reminiscing in familiar scents
of cool salty breezes
and warm sun tan lotions
shaded eyes swimming in clean ocean’s blueness
witnessing waves’ wonder
as a wet world walks onto a dry one
so many people seeking refuge
in rest and recreation
so many voices volleying beach *****
and tossing frisbees
so many feet leaving 1,000,000 footprints
rendered shapeless in loose grains
casting shadows in cups of sand
as day wanes and crowds disperse
curiosity ponders this micro desert of mini dunes
who has walked here through the eons?
who walks here still?
the setting sun shimmers on the sea
sparkling upon 1,000,000 crests
surface tension of the ocean’s tableau
rippled by wind and gravity
driven by earth’s rotation
forming floating cups of golden iridescence
resembling footprints in the sand
moved by their beauty, curiosity ponders
did someone walk upon these waters?
does someone walk there still?
© May 26, 2014
Apr 2014 · 340
Del Maximo Apr 2014
searching for meaning in muck’s mire
crawling on knees and elbows
in hills and valleys of gray matter
weeding through memories
turning them like mulch
refreshing the mind’s soil
nourishing a heart shrouded in fibrillation
a cool wind freezes time
and winds the clocks backward
he sees himself in past’s mirror
looking into his eyes
he finds a place of pensive calm
contemplating the stillness
he recalls uncomplicated beginnings
wafting in the smells of adolescence
waves crashing on the jetty
campfire on the beach
hot dogs cooked on wire hangers
barefoot midnight football on the sand with the girls
blowin’ a little **** in darkness’ solitude
an occasional airplane taking off overhead
drowning out discussion on a utopian society
endorphins heightening recollections
pre-adulthood times before mistakes and regrets
before the bad news grabbed the headlines
keeping discontentment’s seeds deep inside
sprouting an irregular heartbeat
he wonders how it could come to this
never had much growing up
doesn’t have much now
never thought much of himself
just living day to day
with garnishments on a part-time salary
© 04/16/2014
Apr 2014 · 1.4k
Del Maximo Apr 2014
(my great, great grandfather as told by my mamasita)

he came from Calbiga
with his Spanish nose
tropic’s warmth allowed him to wear
but a pair of shorts everyday
his shirtlessness revealed
smooth, supple, brown skin
thick shimmering white hair
the only clue to his age
without knife or razor
his fingers felt his face
and tweezered stubble
with a pair of empty clam shells
he slept on a pillow
of hard narrah wood
made smooth and shiny
by years of use
he built his nipa and bamboo house
by the shore
big, sturdy and strong
sheltered at cliff’s foot
it withstood every storm

high atop the cliff
a tree stood tall and huge
a prolific garden of crops and flowers
grew in the soft filtered light of its canopy
cane and banana relinquished skin
in strips scraped clean and sun dried
woven into harvest and fishing baskets
braided into fishing line
he cut down only what he needed
allowing the plants to thrive
long before sustainability was new

old folks said that tall and huge tree
was a faeries’ castle
tending pineapples growing beneath it
Apay Bectay heard a voice beckoning her
a sweet musical melody in the wind
she peered upward to a vision so beguiling
a beautiful naked lady sitting high on a limb
her skin a pale, pale white
her face and smile radiant
she stroked her long golden hair
with a golden comb
as it flowed alive with the breeze
she appeared as a mermaid underwater
sitting in a sea of swaying green leaves
Apay Bectay ran home for fear of enchantment

one day, my ears followed a peaceful, playful tune
until I came upon Apoy Engo
by his front door post
improvising on a small yellow flute
he had carved by hand
a thin, foot long bamboo chute
harvested from a nearby grove

when the tide was high
you could always find him fishing
by the house, close to shore
rain or shine
as long as the sea was calm
sitting in his banca
slightly stooped
patiently awaiting a bite
for his viand
a woven sun shade hat
tied under his chin
a picture of serenity
accompanied by the soft lapping sea
© 04/13/14
Mar 2014 · 1.3k
Del Maximo Mar 2014
wind was sweeping darkness
clouds cluttered the horizon
in all directions
encircling clear, midnight sky
foreshadowing the full moon
shiny, twinkly things beamed brightly
in pollution’s absence
mulberry, guava and palm
swayed in silhouette
dancing to wind chime songs
soft clacks, tinkles and bongs
fragrant breezes carried ocean
like a sweet smelling memory
gently stirring the stillness
© 03/26/14
Del Maximo Mar 2014
Sunday was hot
bright lazy sunshine sizzled skin
cooled slightly by gentle breezes
animating soft shadows
warmly wafting ripe guava scents
skies of crisp crystal cerulean
a scattering of sweeping angel hair clouds
a half moon half smiling in the high afternoon
distant layered mountains display their looming majesty
long green grass awaits Wednesday's haircut
as Summer peeks through Spring
nothing left to want
but the sweet smell of salty seas
and you
© Del Maximo
Feb 2014 · 616
Del Maximo Feb 2014
dreamed I had five fingers on my left hand
that is, five fingers and a thumb
such a curious sight
sat looking at them, thinking
"What the heck is this?!!!"
turned away, then looked again
gave it my best little-rascals-big-eyed-blink
complete with the exaggerated head forward motion
even adjusted my glasses on my nose
still, five fingers and a thumb
decided to wiggle each one individually
just to see what would happen
to see if they all worked
to my surprise the two
next to the index finger
moved in tandem
my dream state couldn't understand it
and kept wiggling them
upon waking I understood immediately:
I had a ******* to give
...I like dreaming
© 02/23/14

This poem makes me laugh.
Jan 2014 · 603
Del Maximo Jan 2014
I saw him soon after he died
on a shelf in the clouds
standing side by side
with at least four others
humanoid beings of soft white light
each emanating a moving wavy luminescence
distinct physical features indiscernible
but no introductions necessary
I knew it was him
he stepped slightly forward to address me
offering a greeting, accommodating hand gesture
although he spoke in an other tongue
the understanding was clear
seeping like osmosis from his mind to mine
he was reaching out from heaven to console us
to let us know he was all right
and at peace
was it a dream?
or a vision?
wishful thinking?
or truth?
© 01/26/14
Dec 2013 · 1.2k
Del Maximo Dec 2013
ambience and warmth
elemental, mysterious, aglow
the scent of beeswax or fragrance
mesmerizing drips and puddles
a flame’s pin point
a keyhole in the darkness
opening to another plane
where memories breathe
and flicker within the light
like an old time frame by frame movie show
playing back the details in your mind’s eye
anniversaries commemorating lost loved ones
undiminished pain sheds yesterdays tears
in the stillness of your heart
churches light candles
symbolizing God’s presence
people light candles
in memory of loss
expressing the present tense
of their love
© 12/15/13
Dec 2013 · 575
Del Maximo Dec 2013
I understand their frustration
deal with it every day
sighs and exasperation on lips and faces
as I try to read their meaning
wish eyes could look into the glass and see
frustration mirrors
I try not to show it and keep my cool
there's just no point in getting mad...
can't blame anyone else
it's me
and the world I belong to
blessed be the copers
for patience facilitates understanding
blessed be those who won't try harder
...the ones who don't want to talk louder
...or don't want to write things down for me
for they have lives of their own
I understand their frustration
I experience the like everyday
but what's the point in going on with them
willingness is such a nice coat hook
a place for friendships to hang in there
but it's neither right nor realistic
to expect the world to conform to me
instead...I walk away and keep to my place
© 12/10/13
Nov 2013 · 1.4k
Del Maximo Nov 2013
ebbing tides
muted shadows sketched in sand
a sculpted archive of footprints and wind
crashing ocean’s hypnotic slow motion
rolling onto the beach
rushing white froth washing forth and back
renewing the smoothness with salty scrubbing bubbles
the setting full moon shines bright
projecting her power’s peak
reflecting horizontal streaks of crackling blue electricity
rippling and running
riding atop the cresting waves
pounding surf as conduit
completing the circuit on shore
empowering the Ancients' resurrection
in the rising midnight mists
mirage-like vaporous images charge
clearly visible beneath her sweeping silvery veil
buckskin **** cloths, eagle claws and feathers
indigenous people stepping rhythmically in a circle
feint sounds of chanting and a drum-like heart beat
a dance for the ages
seeking favor and protection
rituals and ceremonies
keeping the wolves at bay
celebrating the crows’ return
or a bountiful harvest
as they have for millennia
when the moon falls over earth’s edge
the dancers dissipate
retreating like sand *****
awaiting the next full moon.
© 10/26/13
Sep 2013 · 642
Del Maximo Sep 2013
wish I could cry
and let the sadness pass
even just one warm teardrop
furtively rolling down my cheek
just one shudder
to release and relieve
but men don't do that

cool whistling winds softly whisper
mist and drizzle invite me
dark clouds cooperate
puddles begin to splash
as rain comes to my rescue
hiding me in plain sight

thought I knew loneliness
thought I knew the emptiness
of a heart hollowed out
scooped clean like a gourd
thought I knew the numbing pang
of solitude

her face in the sky
her whisper in the wind
mist and drizzle invite me
dark clouds cooperate
let it rain, let it rain
© 09/01/13
Jul 2013 · 375
Del Maximo Jul 2013
he's been on my mind lately
still pining for dad
like a child

so many years ago
they said life had gone from him
and even if they could revive him
he had no brain activity
they worked on him on the floor
the official place of death
and left him there for the police
no foul play found
they allowed us to lift his still warm body
onto dignity's bed
my brother had his feet and legs
I had his upper body
lifelessness' limpness surprised me
I almost dropped him as his head fell back
I sat down and a deep breath held my heartbeat
till a loud, slow heave depleted my lungs
I could hear the girls' huddled sobs from another room
a dark carriage came to carry him into dusk
I wanted to run after him
and touch him one more time
like a child

now and then he creeps into my dreams
I can feel the timbre of his voice
laugh at his idiosyncratic antics
reach a hand onto his shoulder
hold him in my memory
then wake up and say good bye
like a child

Del Maximo
© 07/30/13
Apr 2013 · 694
Del Maximo Apr 2013
Tony came out fighting hard for each breath
procedures and hospitals he endured
born an incredible child none-the-less
from him not one complaint was ever heard
taken too soon to the sweet here after
memories filling the hole left behind
a hero who faced his pain with laughter
giving his mom and sisters a hard time
the illuminating glow of his smile
riding four wheelers and fishing with dad
his pranking, teasing, giggling jokester style
cherishing the nineteen years that we had

a spirit for life some only dream of
feeling, forever, his presence and love
© March 22, 2013
A sonnet written for a gravestone.  I changed the name for privacy.
Apr 2013 · 736
Del Maximo Apr 2013
the ground shakes as she approaches
rotundly trudging forth in petite gentility
hairy arms flailing
nostrils flair with the bray of her speech
the odor of ignorance on her breath
lies spew like educated honey
expressed in sweet smelling
Snow White delusions
beady eyes the color of ignominy
assess mannerisms and etiquette
seeking softspots to expose and exploit
carrying a large plastic bag on her midnight meanders
she collects the load she lays on the road
she always keeps her **** together
she claims to be the life of the party
but her grunts, snorts and oinks betray her
who can she be but the beast?
Apr 2013 · 674
Del Maximo Apr 2013
they moved their family to a new place
a little ways out in the country
in a house by a lake
appreciating the serenity of still waters
mirroring the color of blue skies and fiery sunsets
rippling in soft, fragrant breezes

he plants a tree in their new place
the back *** digs deep
ensuring the branching of her roots
in rich, nourishing soil
close by the water
she will not wither or shy
from heat or drought
her green leaves providing shelter and shade
her heart bearing truckloads of fruit

they live happily there
in their house by a lake
built upon a foundation of rock
enjoying the peace that only God can give
flourishing in the abundance of living waters
© April 7, 2013

written for a friend
Mar 2013 · 1.7k
Del Maximo Mar 2013
they said he should submit this
make submissions and do readings
this is the way it’s been done
for many years
but he didn’t really want to
a couple of rejections left him weary
and he’s a writer not a performer

the contests say “all styles and subjects”
but surely they have criteria
not this one
not this one
this one
the all inclusiveness is a lie
the judges know what they want
he wished they’d be up front and specific
but it’s all about the entry fee
they pretend to be seeders
offering everyone a chance
to grow and bloom
but they’re actually weeders
quickly quashing poems
rubber stamped with doom
they never really stood a chance
because it’s all about the entry fee

“Don’t self publish”, they said
“You’ll regret it”
he did the design and layout anyway
“Can ‘we’ make changes to the cover?”
who the hell is “we”?
this is his book?
sure he wanted sales
that’s what publishing is about
but sink or swim
he wanted his book, his way
especially his first book
and he’s a stubborn *******

the internet is accommodating
this IT age makes it easier
the process has been long
with glitches and obstacles
doubt and procrastination
but the would be destination was worthy
available at amazon
© March 2, 2013

Please buy my book.
Feb 2013 · 1.1k
Del Maximo Feb 2013
not a morning person
she’s content to hide in leafy shadows
wildly overgrown purple and green vines
surround and ensnare her
beneath a canopy of pink antique tea roses

she stands inside a maple platform
designed and handcrafted with care
three asymmetrically positioned 2 by 4 risers raise her
about a foot off the ground
two golden plaster cherubs hover above her on either side
fine grayish wood grain, like carpenter’s fingerprints
peek out through faded cerulean backboards
a painted backdrop made translucent by exposure
fresh cut miniature roses in miniature vases
brighten the stage like foot lights
behind the platform, at the back of the cave
clumps of ferns intermittently reveal
mud swirls splashed on a mint colored wall
up front, a row of marigolds and strawberry plants
embank a retaining wall border
of cabana-like sculpted brick
glistening white quartz stream before her
like a river of rocks at her feet
completing the grotto

she comes alive as the afternoon sun
brings out the color in her cheeks
she steps out from the shadows
and stretches her arms out close by her sides
palms facing outward
fingers pointing down
as if something were emanating from her hands
while she blesses us with peaceful contemplation
© February 7, 2013
Dec 2012 · 1.3k
Del Maximo Dec 2012
sometimes I get lonely
in a world that can’t or won’t slow down
insulated by the angry walls I construct
isolated by the speed of things
voices speaking quickly
echoing the same words
in the exact same way
expecting different results
repetitions rudeness assumes, “You heard me!”

sounds and verbiage bouncing off walls
severing the links in concentration’s chain
classrooms, lecture halls and dinner parties
rendered like rumble in underground parking lots
pushing me into a hermit’s darkness
within a crowd of people
somedays the mountains call to me
and I want to go live in a cave
with no one to talk to but my echo

the buzz of memories ringing in my tinnitus
echoes from the past
a straight pin dropping
my old alarm clock’s siren
freeway traffic’s rush on the day
they yanked the tubes from my ears
first, third, fifth would have been so cool
instead, three dis-chord-ant tones reverberating in my head
constantly confuse my comprehension

echo is my frenemy
always close by
but laying in wait
like a shadow standing in the window
© December 9, 2012
Nov 2012 · 5.3k
Del Maximo Nov 2012
(3 persons in one Universe)

retinas read with rods and cones
as eyes watch
but who sees?
fingertips discern with nerve endings
but whose ears feel fear of library lips?
noses detect an old factory
but who tastes the aroma of rice
cooking in the kitchen?
membranes entreat tympanic vibrations
but who hears the mischief of schoolyards,
playgrounds and wind chimes?
who smells the movement of white water
in blue skies?
who envies a feather’s flight
and a fire fly’s light?
who listens for the whip-poor-will’s cry
and the songs of ocean waves and seashells?
who longs for the softness of your flesh
and the sweet touch of your voice?
more than muscle and tendon,
tissue, bone and blood
every cell in my body reactive
in thoughtful, mindful ways
but who interprets it all?
who am I?
who is me?
who, who, who-whooo?

in my mind I am the god
of existentialism
creator of my microcosm
winding my path my way
but the world is dichotomy
an intertwined double helix
circumstances and choices
road blocks and detours
trial and error
failure and success
life is navigation
community is whom I meet along the road
responsibility is self and selflessness
as a good Samaritan thinketh
I wish I had wisdom’s words
and action’s healing hands
but this god lacks omnipotence
although strength and peace reside in me
human limitations foment fear
paralyzed intentions defer goals
like everyone else
my calendar works out day to day
at times my frustrations mount in muted rage
echoing like distant rolling thunder
sometimes I’m a gentle rain
nourishing the earth
other times I... am...LIGHTNING

some look to the earth for their roots
searching rhizomes for past generations
finding themselves made in the image
of wise bearded irises
I look to the stars twinkling my call name
I hear them in night’s silence
and marvel at the lessons they teach
the patience of their traveling light
the wisdom in keeping their place
in the scheme of constellations
and knowing when to turn with the seasons
their acceptance of northstar as center’s attention
secure in the sparkle of their individuality
hearsay says we are made of the same mettle
we are the substance of stars
I imagine myself in their history
a child of the universe
traversing the zodiac before I was me
but now in this life reaching up to night’s sky
the heavens remind me
although I’m but a speck in its vastness
a blink in time’s eye
I have a shine and brilliance
that is mine alone
© 2012
Please understand that this was not meant to be an exercise in "other voices".  Instead, this poem is meant to be a discussion on the 3 part nature of man (in this case, me).
Oct 2012 · 609
Del Maximo Oct 2012
a rim tone’s soft cry (wah-wah)
emerging above a drum-like
basso profundo
chaotic cadence
harmony in vibrato
a singing bowl’s sustain dying
to be born again and again
the universe without and within
inhaled into the mind’s eye
traversing core’s essence
expelled through nostrils

meditation in slow motion
posture strung from rafters
a twisting waist
yin and yang separate
but equal
beautiful lady wrists
synchronized to calm, deep breaths
a diffused gaze focusing
on quiet power inside you
chi strong enough to stop time
as you move within a cylinder of silence
thinking about nothing
each movement with a memory of its own
a life time in yang long form
closing down to wu shu
the universe within and without
and in each breath
© October 8, 2012
Oct 2012 · 878
Del Maximo Oct 2012
a rim tone’s soft cry (wah-wah)
emerging above a drum-like
basso profundo
chaotic cadence
harmony in vibrato
a singing bowl’s sustain dying
to be born again and again
the universe without and within
inhaled into the mind’s eye
traversing core’s essence
expelled through nostrils

meditation in slow motion
posture strung from rafters
a twisting waist
yin and yang separate
but equal
beautiful lady wrists
synchronized to calm, deep breaths
a diffused gaze focusing
on quiet power inside you
chi strong enough to stop time
as you move within a cylinder of silence
thinking about nothing
each movement with a memory of its own
a life time in yang long form
closing down to wu shu
the universe within and without
and in each breath
© October 8, 2012
Aug 2012 · 1.1k
No Matter What
Del Maximo Aug 2012
as day closes
I lay on my right side in night’s envelope
knees bent in semi-fetal position
my right hand reaches up and across
resting upon the coolness
of my exposed left shoulder
chin touching upon forearm

I ponder sunlight’s hours
where the insecurity of others
spews green venom
and imaginary superiority
reeks yellow breath

in the darkened quiet of sleepless sleepiness
I find that little spark
the enabler that allows me to love others
in a sometimes unkind, uncaring and thankless world

it is the comfort and peace we all seek
a feeling of belonging
to the earth
to the universe
to one’s self

no matter what others may think
no matter what happened during the day
no matter how hard it was
in that last moment of conscious thought
before drifting back into the womb
of softness and dreams
I know that I love myself
in triumph and contentedness
I love myself
no matter what
© August 4, 2012
May 2012 · 767
His Own Worst Enemy
Del Maximo May 2012
morning light warms my face
through patches of bright blue cerulean
orphans’ tears drizzle and drop the
sky’s condolences upon my windshield
the musty smell of wet asphalt rises
from the streets
it’s raining on a sunny day
the devil is beating his wife

his father hurt his mother
beat her ****** with his hands
he took care of her after "dad" left
even took up studies on abused women
and championed their cause
but broken down, tired men
often fall back on ingrained memories
push came to shove came to hit
he couldn’t break violence’s cycle
his father taught him well

they vow to love and honor
these duplicitous sons of Janus
but things happen
plans don’t work out
shortfalls and failures
loose cowardice and bullying
frustrations are acted out on loved ones
promises forgotten
knots untied

secrets have a way of coming to light
frazzled nerves and shame are palpable
black eyes and contusions speak
serious injuries become a matter of record
written in hospital and police files
etched on the walls in the vaults of heaven
deeds done in darkness are no longer deniable
and the face he ended up hurting
is his own
© September 25, 2012
Apr 2012 · 548
For What It's Worth
Del Maximo Apr 2012
she came over last night
wearing a blue plaid shirt
sleeves rolled up and tails out
bustline buttons barely hanging on
squeezed into painted on pants
as usual
it had been some time
hadn’t heard from her in a while
we made a decision
then lost touch
so good to see her again
to lock eyes like we used to
brown peering into brown
then slow dancing till dawn
in my dimly lit bedroom
with curtains blowing soft in summer breezes
our legs interlaced
feeling my blood up on her hip
and  my knee between her thighs
while rocking side to side
two-stepping to the music
holding her close like this
her warm ******* full up on me
remembering everything we ever had
the moment frozen as the earth stood still
*** wasn’t imminent this time
because I knew it wasn’t real
it was just a memory
holding her close like this
and waking up knowing
this was the final goodbye
© April 6, 2012
Mar 2012 · 1.1k
Del Maximo Mar 2012
brain dead for years
with a tin man’s ticker
lost in teenaged conveniences and comfort zones
walking through day dreams in the fetal position
tinnitus’ tones drowning out the music in my head
feeling like puzzle pieces forced together when they don’t really fit
like Frankenstein’s monster
limping and grunting through High School
struggling through classes with some zombie’s ears
ditching often to go to the bowling alley
graduating unprepared in an inverted reality
with polluted brown skies and a blue world
wearing the same blue shirt and blue jeans everyday
wrapped up tight like a blue eggroll
futility’s fortune cookie foreseeing only deafness and poverty
hating life and self –EVERYDAY!
then, somehow, a song crept under the veil
seeping through my tough outer veneers
it’s lyrics melting a hardness in my chest
it’s music coursing through my body like chi
exciting my Brownian motion
a simple message of finding oneself
delivered in powerful, rich, soulful baritone
stamped with profound, moving emotional range
inflection mounting upon reflection
it’s chorus and theme reverberating
I played that record over and over again
listening with my toenails
I decided right then and there to give it a try
that “learning to love yourself”* is a good thing
and that ‘good thing’ was who and what I wanted to be
© March 19, 2012

*”The Greatest Love of All” written by Linda Creed/Michael Masser
  as recorded by George Benson
Mar 2012 · 793
Can't Know Till You Try
Del Maximo Mar 2012
bought me a woman off my bucket list
inexpensive as they go
she's so ****** pretty
she's got me giddy with excitement
a smooth, shiny, orange brown, maplewood body
with an hourglass figure
a long-necked rosewood fingerboard
a brazilwood bow with ebony frog
she wears her hair in a top knot scroll
held together by large ebony pegs
standing only on one leg
she’s tall for a stringed instrument
tune her up and rough up your rosin
hold her between your knees
hug her from behind
stroke her as she moans her mellow melodies
didn’t know if it would work out
but I love her so much I had to try
I’ve always loved her
but now I know
although I would hold her close
she sings her song for others
turning her face from me
so I can’t hear her voice
I have to let her go
let her make someone else happy
she was mine for a night
but there are no switches or dials
I can’t set my heart on temporary
maybe I’ll try again later
you can’t give up on love
perhaps an electric model with headphones
then she’ll sing her songs only for me
© March 24, 2012
Mar 2012 · 634
My Muse
Del Maximo Mar 2012
she reaches deep inside me
with her whisperings
sometimes when I feel her presence
I close my eyes to watch her phosphene light show
an electric ultramarine grid against a black field
capturing glowing molecules floating in the sea inside my eyelids
like a cast out fishnet catching tiny bright blue fire flies
perhaps blue is the color of her music
change overcomes me
calmness and clarity
free from fear and pain
I arrive at joy and creativity
moved to play flute, write poems
or work on paintings or collages
enjoying the stillness of the earth
realizing the oneness of existence
at times I’ve wondered where she was
quaking in abandonment's corner
growing older, I’ve come to understand
she never leaves me
I just need to listen for her subtle voice
and close my eyes and see
© March 1, 2012
Jan 2012 · 649
The Abyss (Revisited)
Del Maximo Jan 2012
the strangest dream I had my mind did stir
   a faint symphony beyond dark distance
   black pearly gates of enticing luster
my entire essence pulled forward in ethereal trance
   as gates slowly opened to draw me inside
   held steadfast by intrigue I offered no resistance
progressing downward in pitch darkness a great sadness I espied
   song of great sorrow its melody did sway
   familiar voices, recognizable cries
the troubles and sufferings of others whom in life I turned away
   in trembling sadness the echoes permeated
   my body, spirit and soul did fray
a cacophony of pain and regret my eyes more exacerbated
   looking into a mirror stained
   reflections of hurt my own actions created
light’s pinpoint guided me from this valley disdained
   into a lake of fiery brimstone
   vengeance consuming me till nothing remained
© January 3, 2012

I thought it would be cool to rewrite this poem in the "Terza Rima" format of The Divine Comedy.
Jan 2012 · 741
Every Christmas Eve
Del Maximo Jan 2012
for Steph and Mel

my white tea candle burns quietly at home
upon my TV tray
within an etched glass lantern
multi-faceted Moravian stars
catching an angle’s warm, yellow glow
a pinpoint of reflection of sorrows past
a window remembering a younger brother
passing before me

her mantle is ablaze in its annual tally
commemorating her first child
born too perfect for this world
on yesteryear’s Christmas day

reciprocity’s tradition
candles lit as offering for one another
a moment to bask in comfort’s connection
linking distant kindred spirits’ hearts
a sharing of sadness between friends
not alone in their grief and memories
honoring loss and life
and love
© December 31, 2011
Dec 2011 · 1.2k
His Eyes Saw Beauty
Del Maximo Dec 2011
at curiosity’s urging
he found haven in haiku
a safe place where people listened
without judging
a thread to test truth’s waters
and tell his story
a 5-7-5 sequence as larynx
giving voice to childhood horrors

beaten regularly with a rubber garden hose
that left no outward evidence
bleeding so badly
he lost a kidney
too terrified to tell the doctor
with his father standing right there
it was a secret kept in the family
her verbal belittlement inculcated
“you should have never been born”
“we can’t afford you”
when he brought home all A’s
they said, “your classes were too easy”
his older brother mercilessly joined the chorus
and the torture
with parental approval

still, his eyes saw beauty
they saw river rocks as hippos
submerged in a backyard creek
they watched in awe at the flight of owls and hawks
swooping down on their prey
they described a “sapphire lake”
“so blue it was almost black”
“a jewel in the belly of the Sierras”
they captured trees and blades of grass
and fallen giants in petrified forests
they found a wife who loved him anyway
despite alcoholic binges and blackouts
his poems told of years of loneliness she erased
they spoke of her as sole reason for sobriety
he found peace in poetry
and used the internet to vent his wise *** ways
at times he even spoke of his family
as if they were decent

but every November remembered
his birth month dredging up the past
he wrote of whispering demons haunting his heart
and scars on the soul that never heal
I can’t imagine his pain
or sense of normalcy
they killed this kid when he was little
but it took him four decades to die
last Friday my friend took his own life

he called me a gentleman and a scholar
and formally thanked me
for encouraging his writing
he defended me in the face of trolls
even though we never met in person
I hope he knows how much we all cared
and I hope there’s a heaven
where he can rest in peace
© December 16, 2011
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