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16.6k · Apr 2010
Cell Phone Clone
Del Maximo Apr 2010
Yo Terry, you gone loco?
talking to yourself all the time now
oh, yeah?
is that a blue tooth or a blue ear?
is it surgically attached?
do you wear it to bed?
take it with you into the shower?
Man, you would never be so crazy
it can’t be you
it’s got to be your cell phone clone

hey lady, can you see that green arrow
it won’t last forever
what’s up…honk, honk
you’re on the phone?
we’re gonna to miss the left …turn
honey, you must be blind
how’d you get your license?
is that Lynne?
**** girl
it can’t be you
got to be your cell phone clone

A. K., another call?
and we’re supposed to be having a conversation
kickin’ it
now you’re text messaging under the table
and you think I don’t notice?
Dude, I’m not that stupid
and you, my brother, would never be that rude to me
it can’t be you
got to be your cell phone clone

yo Brenda, who you talking to out there?
oh…(whispered) cell phone clone

Leon, dude!
How many cell phones you need?
You’re talking on the one you got pressed onto your ear
There’s another on the table in front of you
Do you have one more?
You could be a juggler
Join the circus

Girlfriend, don’t you realize the light has changed
and you’re standing in the crosswalk in the middle of the street?
hang up the phone and step—yeah, you

Jeez...I…I see cell phone clones
They’re everywhere
© June 28, 2008
6.6k · Feb 2010
In Harmony
Del Maximo Feb 2010
to sit on the lawn
outside on a bright Spring day
trade winds softly breeze
endless cerulean skies
the vibes of a live brass band

dark skinned Hawaiians
white marching band uniforms
a curious sight
ah...but the sounds are soothing
wafting warmly through the air

relax and enjoy
look around, drink it all in
think of nothing else
feel the music through your bones
close your eyes and flow with it

Del Maximo
(c) February 5, 2009
5.2k · Nov 2012
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).
4.7k · Jun 2010
For my Niece
Del Maximo Jun 2010
the look on her face
with all she's been through lately
holding her breath in
hospitals and waiting rooms
clutching to uncertainty

the look on her face
as she smiles at simple things
her father is home
fighting hard for normalcy
he has someone to live for
© June 13, 2010
3.4k · Jan 2010
Del Maximo Jan 2010
lustrous drops of dawn
strung on a spider's silk strings
early morning gems
from an open air oyster
as priceless as a new day

Del Maximo
© November 3, 2009
3.1k · Mar 2010
Projects Pizza
Del Maximo Mar 2010
before rising crusts
before pizza houses
and Italian restaurants
before delivery
there was frozen pizza
from the supermarket
without designer labels
just clear-wrapped pizza pies
in your frozen food section
at family friendly prices
with thick cardboard crust
dried out cheese
salty pepperoni
and all but flavorless tomato sauce
it was a delicacy
to youth's uneducated palette
now awailable at your local
convenience store
cooked fresh in 90 seconds
same ol' horrible stuff
delicious as ever
© March 5, 2010
2.9k · Feb 2010
Flute Mime
Del Maximo Feb 2010
he stood before them
lifted his flute to his lips
soulfully inhaled
they waited for the magic
he played not a single note

he stood there as if
******* passionately
with body english
the crowd paused for a minute
suspended in the quand'ry

the light bulb came on
and they busted up laughing
as he continued
in his silent happiness
he loved the "gotcha" moment

Del Maximo
© June 13, 2009
2.7k · Jun 2010
On Writing Poetry...
Del Maximo Jun 2010
poetry is heart speaking
her deepest wisdom
or lightest whimsy
traditional form or free verse
let souls sing
sprinkle metaphor and simile
if you are a poet, write like one
words are music
let them breeze like a melody
color with mix-matched sensory
don’t stay inside the lines
see sounds with eyes closed
hear flickering of fireflies’ light
smell beauty in distant mountains
taste majesty of flowers’ bloom
touch forgiveness
bring personification to life
“she” is much sweeter than “it”
and a seat cushion may have a roundness to her
throw in some high speech
make someone grab a lexicon
delete those extra words
‘I’s and ‘the’s especially
alliteration can create cacophonic chorus
while similar sounds of assonance
tie hoards and scores of words together
although there are no rules
try your best to use poetry’s tools
with this above all else:
let your truth ring
let your insights and revelations
be a healing to self and reader
let experiences resonate in hearts
and harmonize voices
© June 7, 2010
2.4k · Oct 2010
Del Maximo Oct 2010
she exists now in a dream state
unaware of the horror and the passage of time
wind rushes through broken panes
moaning mournfully
floors creak and door hinges speak
announcing her presence
this was her house
once a place of light and love
full of family and friends
cotillions resonating with music and dance
and lively conversation
a grand kitchen to prepare the feasts
of pheasant under glass
a gazebo for laughing in the rain
arbors for moonlit meetings with owls
a pond for lilies and croaking frogs
gardens for picking her favorite peonies
a nursery for her children
all this now nothing but ruins
from happiness to a home for bugs and bats
crawling with silverfish, centipedes and black widows
shrouded in cobwebs
drowning in dust
suffocating in stench of rotting wood and desolation
decorated with 100 year old bloodstains
she never saw her killer
never saw the spurting of her arteries
never heard her children’s screams and death rales
she sees her house as it was
and every night she roams the rooms
calling her children’s names in long, haunting whispers
© October 23, 2010
2.0k · Mar 2010
The Candle
Del Maximo Mar 2010
a flickering flame
dancing in my window sill
burned long and low
replaced many times
a bright beacon
of warmth and memories,
sharing, support and healing
a halo's glow of inspiration
encircling hearts and minds
linking kindred spirits
in 5,7,5
a community of poets
candid and open
generous in their truths
an internet family not easily forgotten
a candle has been left for you
dancing in my window sill
a bright beacon
a pinpoint of light
calling you home
© March 7, 2010

for my old friends at haiku
2.0k · Jan 2010
Del Maximo Jan 2010
a holiday feast
turkey and mashed potatoes
dressing and gravy
creamed corn, cranberries, cornbread
greens and sweet potato pie

she watched her children
all bright eyed and excited
enjoying their meal
as they left the lot she thought
“Some day...we’ll have it at home.”

Del Maximo
© December 8, 2009
1.8k · Sep 2010
Katya's Eyes
Del Maximo Sep 2010
he steps forward to bless us with song
benediction’s serenade
binder clips and clothespins weaken wind
as sheet music tries to take flight
with each strum he was fighting it
emoting with sad lips and blue eyebrows
taking deep breaths let out with heavy sighs
but holding steady
singing and crying come from the same place
as he sang the sun sneaked out
shadows surrendered their stronghold
a moment of warmth shown upon our gathering
near the pine tree at our father’s grave
Terence’s ashes to be interred with dad
a musician, an artist, a writer of songs and poems
a technician, an electrician, a wood worker
his many gifts now only spoken of in past tense
a son to two, a brother to eight
an uncle to many
a father to one daughter
his passion relived in his writings and works
his essence reflected in her eyes
© September 6, 2010
1.8k · Dec 2011
If Ears Had Lips
Del Maximo Dec 2011
if ears had lips
mine would gladly tell you all the things
they can and cannot comprehend
they would explain the difference
between hearing and understanding;
just because they hear a sound
doesn’t mean they know what it is
or where it’s coming from
just because they hear a voice
doesn’t mean they discern words
they would ask you to please speak louder
and tell you that even though volume is their friend
if you take a jumble and turn up the juice
sometimes it becomes clearer
other times it’s just a loud jumble
they might tell you that writing things down saves time
or that texting works better than voicemail
they would tell you how much they miss
the rain’s incessant song
the wind’s sweeping whistle
a dropped pin’s pinging ping
earthy crashing blue green wave sounds
a lover’s soft whisper
eavesdropping’s noseyness
distance’s subtle sounds
footsteps’ proximity
a fire’s warm red orange crackle
freeway traffic’s rushing background noise
a phone call’s lively conversation
a tv show’s clever, non-closed-captioned script
a radio’s soulful catchy lyrics
live performance’s vibrant voice
the timbre of each note in a chord
as I strummed my guitar
they would tell you
how the ringing tones inside my head
compete with your words
they would speak of their frustration and indignation
when you ignorantly accuse them of selective hearing
they would apologize for asking you to repeat
and laugh with you at my disability
they would thank you for dealing with me anyway
they would smile in appreciation
for your exaggerated syll•a•bi•ca•tion
if ears could see
mine would overlook your rolling eyes
and exasperated sighs and expressions
they know it’s not your fault that they don’t work good
and hope you know it’s not their fault either
© December 4, 2011
1.7k · Oct 2011
6 West 10/05/11
Del Maximo Oct 2011
precipitation's anticipation of change
diffused morning light
the mustiness of first rain
a misty visibility hiding distant hills
a graying of the cityscape
skyscrapers in clouds
construction's crane quieted
in the mix of old and new
a slow rush hour
washing the street's grime
a coolness to my eyes
a slight chill in my bones
Autumn colored leaves swaying with breeze
on half empty trees
slanted raindrops incessantly blustering
a beautiful day
where only seagulls dare to fly

eight peeping eyes with healing hands
too good to help her to the restroom
"I'll call a nurse"
they just poked in to take a peek
feel her leg's edema
and inform me of possibility's progress
a colonoscopy?
a transfusion?
time keeps asking for more time
morning meds
an IV
a blood draw
a blood test strip
another trip to the restroom
a kind older gentleman's help
he thought I was her father

it's raining hard again
gutters like rivers
storm drains splashing white water
more skyline has gone missing
umbrellas wrestling wind
raindrops rilling down a picture window
as afternoon sheds it's light

as I watch sleep's breaths
her hunger awakens and feistiness returns
"Don't they feed their patients here?"
they never told us to call food services
another blood pressure reading
another blood draw
another trip to the restroom
and it's all good
a colonoscopy evaluation
maybe Thursday or Friday...
looks like time got her wish
© 10/04/11
1.7k · Mar 2013
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.
1.6k · May 2010
Grandma's Cabin
Del Maximo May 2010
sneaks in stealthily
to palpable emptiness
takes a look around
ah, all the familiar sights
it's nice to see the old place

the stains on the walls
clean spaces once protected
shielded by portraits
decor of dust and cobwebs
the smell of yesteryear

peeling wallpaper
ageless soot on masonry
hearth tools left behind
creaking floors whispering names
echoes of her heritage

broken windows breathe
as she groans for visitors
she still has her charm
this old house out in the woods
this home built by rustic hands
© May 24, 2010

Inspired by a friend's description of her Grandma's first house.
1.6k · Sep 2014
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
1.5k · Sep 2011
Del Maximo Sep 2011
she smiles for me
she was born beautiful
with golden hair and green irises
but when did she get so pretty?
a pleasant upside down triangle smile
a collaboration of lips, teeth, cheeks and eyes
shining in affection for me
for happy childhood memories
singing Disney songs
painting unicorns and waterfalls
stringing beaded bracelets
and learning how to draw good
because she "keeps on trying"
at times she was the devil's child
other times she was the sweetest
little chatterbox
at the corner drugstore
I couldn't get her to stop talking
"Why are we following that man?"
she said within his earshot
"Because he knows the way out", I replied
at four years old
she could beat me at video games
truly a kid from outer space
now a young woman
at life's threshold
with doubts and questions
and confidence
and more strength than she knows she has
working and going to school
I have no fears for her future
I know she'll keep on trying
till she gets what she wants
that was my advice
spoken so many years ago
to my little niece
my Godchild
© September 20, 2011
1.5k · May 2010
The Hospital
Del Maximo May 2010
mortality's taste is bittersweet
as death's brush paints life's new lease
impressionistic could haves, should haves, would haves
minimalist suprematism shapes dreams
surrealistic hopes
time's urgency hammered home by temporal clarity
top 10 lists glazed to topography
as future blends to present amid trees
a familiar CICU
a family gathering
beds with tubes and wires
monitors flashing and beeping
refreshing past's distance
with updated parking prices
will the ending be the same?
© May 31, 2010
1.5k · Oct 2011
Her Hospital Window
Del Maximo Oct 2011
from here you can see the ocean
a distant dulled blue mesa
standing still, yet running
an offshore marine layer clouds the horizon
dark gray cumulus with fluffy white tops
mimic snow capped mountains
clean bright sunshine illuminates the earth
a cheerful contrast to yesterday's rain and gloom
the city is alive with light
as morning fills the room
awakening my mind
with expanding consiousness
a feeling that I AM
gratitude and thankfulness abound
rising emotions remind me
thoughts become spoken words
"I love life"
"I love myself"
"God, I love myself"
© 10/06/11
1.4k · May 2010
The Old Lady
Del Maximo May 2010
an old lady lived in the neighborhood
spewing spite from her window calling out
I'm sure she would tell you her life was good
atop the world she would tell you no doubt
her meanness revealed the hatred within
her blatant name calling would never end
pointing her finger at everyone's sin
secretly wishing that she had a friend
even her family wasn't too keen
her two young nieces would visit with care
she chased them away creating a scene
they considered her home a witches lair

she lived by herself, was buried alone
in an grave unmarked, without a tombstone
© August 10, 2009
1.4k · Apr 2014
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
1.4k · Nov 2013
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
1.4k · Feb 2010
Del Maximo Feb 2010
the light surrounds us
individual pin points
spirits we have known
guiding, illuminating
whispering inspiration

Del Maximo
© September 18, 2009
1.3k · Apr 2010
Del Maximo Apr 2010
icecaps come undone
crushing into the ocean
as she sheds her frozen tears
penguins and p0lar bears shudder
as their habitats recede
like the snows of Kilimanjaro

volcanoes explode
spewing smoke and ash like billowing pillows
into the stratosphere
diffusing sunshine's heat
like a cold compress
floes of lava melt glaciers
rivers of mud cause flooded folks to flee

fissures crack and snap from her pressure
towns and countrysides split
floors rumble and roll like the ocean
walls tumble, crumble and roar
bells toll an all too familiar melody
families cry out, wailing and ranting
chanting dirges of great loss
an inconsolable cacophony
rubbled lives lying in ruin

but she is not to blame
the earth is a no fault state
this is our doing
ecology's consequence
greenhouse gasses and other pollutants
have given her a fever
her pores are opening to vent the warming
she is not angry or vindictive
punishment is not her goal
and evil has not played its hand
the planet is just cooling herself
it's how Gaia gets her groove back
© April 16, 2010
1.3k · Apr 2010
A Devil's Welcome
Del Maximo Apr 2010
a beacon of misery
shining his light on the neighborhood
selling his wares on dark curbsides
or servicing customers in broad daylight
a 24 hour drive thru
the projects never sleep
good at his trade but hit houses and hos
dip into merchandise and revenue
he had to keep his day job

they roamed the streets in search of landscapers
scoping unattended pickup trucks
and snatching whatever they could
power mowers, blowers, spades and rakes
they called themselves garden snakes
fencing their ***** on Slauson Avenue
their profession requires reliable transportation
so every now and then would find him
rolling in a new stolen car

caught in a police chase once
“Finally got him”, they thought
the projects campus is a two way street
only one lane in and one lane out
his criminal genius spied a window of opportunity
a silver haired angel was stopped in the exit lane
he entered the two way and screeched on the brakes
drifting up next to her car at an angle
put it in park, jumped out and ran
effectively blocking the entrance
the poor old lady didn’t know what hit her
intimidated by flashing lights and sirens
she froze like a mannequin
not having the presence of mind to get out of the way
my friend disappeared, blending into the ghettoscape

we were going to the movies one warm summer night
he showed up at my door with eyes like fire flies
a gray sport coat draped his forearm
to cover up the fresh track marks
didn’t seem to realize
his long sleeves were already doing that
I enjoyed a movie that he couldn’t remember
shown at a theater he couldn’t recall

tired of the trappings of addiction
the violence of every-day-dealing
the disloyalty of his gangsta boys
the threat of being caught
the bad hits and three day highs
the smell of living in stolen vehicles
or finding some strawberry to shack up with
he tried to clean up
enrolled in a residency program
way out in the mountains
they called it Warm Springs
afterward he started attending meetings
going to church holding his palms up
in praise and supplication
praying in tongues
he gave it a good honest effort
but he lacked the skills and temperament for real life
I watched him slowly, steadily decline
rolling back downhill like a Sisyphus rock
with ***** hair and smelly shoes
didn’t see or hear from him for a while
then one day he drove up in my driveway
music blaring in an older, blue Cadillac
flashed some bills at me
fanning through them like a deck of cards
“Congratulations”, I said
“You made it all the way back.”
© April 4, 2010
1.3k · Jan 2010
Del Maximo Jan 2010
where sea sings to sand
in crashing surf melodies
crisp scent of salt air
seagulls screech, sand ***** burrow
sky falls off the horizon

blue on blue oceans
conjoin cerulean skies
far as eyes can see
squinting slightly in hot sun
warm smell of tanning lotions

buoys bob in and out
mesmerizing slow dances
rocking with the wind
gliding boat sails billowing
golden crests reflect sunsets

Del Maximo
©July 16, 2009
1.3k · Feb 2010
The Emperor Whale
Del Maximo Feb 2010
15 tons
26 miles out to sea
10 boats brought his blessings
of luck and safety to shore
gracing a people with his presence
even in death 

with a reverence that translates
the smoky scent of incense burns
at the site if his future temple
as mourners bid 10,000 farewells
thank you Your Excellency
good bye Ngai
(c) February 26, 2010
1.3k · Dec 2010
Heart Candles
Del Maximo Dec 2010
tears to remember
with candles lit to honor
heart's memorials
a ramdom act of kindness
from a very special friend

my candle's aflame
a warmth that spans the distance
from my house to yours
with roses and baby's breath
for a very special friend
© December 24, 2010

For Stephanie
1.2k · Dec 2012
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
1.2k · Mar 2014
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
1.2k · May 2010
An Old Man's Tears
Del Maximo May 2010
Why do old men cry?
it's such an unmanly act
so we've all been told

"Boys don't cry", they say
"You're acting like a female"
"**** up", "Be a man"

boys do become men
they till good and evil soil
coping in the world

through all walks of life
anxiety sprouts like wheat
must prove their manhood

learn to make their way
to take care of their own selves
and share with others

they raise families
quality time, joy, heartache
see their children grow

just like all people
all men experience loss
life's equalizer

they face rejection
lose their jobs and livelihood
they go off to war

they watch loved ones die
parents, wives, children and friends
no one is immune

but real men don't cry
providers and protectors
with stiff upper lip

why do old men cry?
it took a lifetime to learn
they're only human
© January 25, 2009
1.2k · May 2010
I Saw Her Today
Del Maximo May 2010
I think I saw her
strolling with her parasol
quiet contentment
expressed in a pleasant grin
she just seemed to love her job

I know I saw her
all made up in her doll face
dressed like yesteryear
bringing back the memories
lions, tigers, clowns, trapeze

she looked right at me
batting those long black lashes
I saw her today
just as pretty as ever
the circus fat lady smiled
© May 1, 2010
1.2k · Jan 2010
Key Man
Del Maximo Jan 2010
they call me key man
I have keys to everything
need a door unlocked
be it the highest tower
or the deepest of dungeons
a secret garden
or a ballpark stadium
I can get you in
I have keys to everything
except a place in your heart

Del Maximo
(c) July 29, 2009
1.2k · Dec 2013
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
1.2k · Dec 2011
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
1.1k · Jan 2010
Del Maximo Jan 2010
a rodent's demise
didn't see him 'till the end
only his droppings
nasty little black feces
hiding out in my office

the glue traps were set
and baited with green pellets
a matter of time
a nocturnal S.O.B.
no one heard his night time screams

I have no regrets
and PETA would not be proud
but it's not my fault
oh the germs...the germs, germs, germs
just can't deal with mouse ****
1.1k · Aug 2012
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
1.1k · Feb 2010
The Puddle
Del Maximo Feb 2010
a peaceful puddle
reflections rippled by wind
a calmness of soul
mirroring the earth's stillness
illuminated by life

a child's biggest grin
running, stomping and splashing
exuberance flies
peacefulness replaced by joy
returns to wait for next child
© April 16, 2009
1.1k · May 2010
The Heatwave
Del Maximo May 2010
how is it Southerners can stand the heat
it hasn't been this hot all season long
this mugginess is robbing me of sleep
dog days are early for summer's swan song
my shirt is wet in the middle of night
knew enough to get up, drink some water
my brow is sweating even as I write
sit by the fan as I think I oughter
the fan is on "breeze" lulling me to sleep
seems to work as my body is cooling
back to bed now, resort to counting sheep
closing my eyes, enough with this fooling

the TV's volume is down to a drone
my body's easing into a dream zone
© August 28, 2009
1.1k · Feb 2011
Terence's Song
Del Maximo Feb 2011
awoke from a dream last Wednesday
strangely refreshing and uplifting
resounding in music
the notes still reverberating on my heartstrings
it was the first dream of my brother
since his passing
it may be my first dream of him ever
he was laying in bed
contemplating his demise
don’t know if he was speaking before or after the fact
guess it really doesn’t matter
with one simple sentence
and just a hint of anger
“Life is stupid”, he said.
implying remorse and resentment
for still having so much to do
I backed away to give him his privacy

as I readied myself for work
he got up out of bed and found me
happy and smiling, a sparkle in his eyes and teeth
corroborated his contentment
he was walking around the house playing his guitar
it was acoustic and unplugged
but the sound was electric
he was playing a Mexican folksong
his ex-wife appeared, singing the refrain:

“Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores
por qué cantando se alegran
Cielito Lindo, los corazones” 1

his song struck a chord whose message was immediate:

“sing and don’t cry
for singing gladdens the heart”

his daughter’s seventeenth birthday is today
with a party this weekend
timing is often coincidental
but it seems to me
this message was for her
and everyone at the gathering

for those who would listen
Terence would tell us:

“Life is sing and don’t cry”
© February 18, 2011

1 Cielito Lindo, a Mexican folksong
1.1k · Jun 2015
Del Maximo Jun 2015
(tales of my mamasita)

after breakfast
father would tend his tuba
father and mother
would then forage the farm for
cassava, sweet potatoes, green bananas
tarot roots and fruits
sometimes harvesting enough
for two days
while mother prepared lunch
father would fish for viand with
his fishing net
going to the far side
of our part of the island
or staying not far from the house
sometimes big brother and little brother
would go with him
to carry large baskets for catch
father was an artist with
his fishing net
circular and hand knotted
lead pieces sewn to the rim
his fishing net
was carried folded over his shoulder
the tip held in front of him
the heavy weighted part hanging behind
eyes shaded with hands
he searched for schools near the shore
in the clear turquoise
putting it down on powdery dry sand
his fishing net
was supported on his forearm
grabbing another part with his free hand
he would turn and fling
his fishing net
over the blueness
seemingly effortlessly
arms stretched skyward
his fishing net
would expand in mid-air
arcing like a geodesic dome
hovering like a frisbee
floating down to the water
in slow motion
finally sinking into sea
father would wade waist deep
stir the fish with his hand
then haul
his fishing net
full of  mullets and other small fish
we would feast for lunch and dinner
with a plentiful catch both
father and mother
would scale and clean
sun dried, smoked or salted
preserved for tomorrows
everything was cleaned up
and put away after lunch
siesta time
afterwards, mother would
do her pottery
fix the tree bark for father’s tuba
or repair
his fishing net
using a tatting device
father and mother
always kept themselves busy
never whiling away the time
till dark
© 06/04/2015
1.1k · Feb 2013
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
1.1k · Mar 2012
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
1.1k · Mar 2010
Pop's Poem
Del Maximo Mar 2010
Heart ****** to death
“Do you need the paramedics?”
Life and Death is three quick breaths
And 15 pumps
Or was it 11, or 22?
Where are they?
One deep rale
Where are they?
"Anung nung yari qui daddy?"
Eyes rolled up to GodDid you see a light?
Fatal heart won’t live through night,
Weekend, two weeks, re-evaluate
“Dey dun’t know daddy.  He’s a fighter.”
Alone in CCU committed act of faith
with laid hands on experience.
Comatose body wholly heaving with Holy contact
Then silence, stillness
Transfers, therapy, rehabilitation
Sent home by HMO
Came home first night to check on you:
Blotted brow and utterance
“Just try to go to sleep”
Came home one day to check on us
Then entered Jacob’s sleep
Headstone scarred by lawnmowers
Grass envelopes me
Gives me hug…you never did
Yet tears are all I see
Heart knows utterance by heart
“Fin, take care of mama.”
Heart de-virged through pain and loss
Salamat po Pops
© 2005
1.1k · Feb 2010
Del Maximo Feb 2010
Crawls out of tree trimming truck
Open windows, vacancy
Passer by calls out, “Home, Sweet Home”
Smile replies “Good morning projects”
Stretch, yawn, alive another day

Stacks in hand, bravado declares
“Hey, it just takes twenty to roll.”
Cars roll up, dealing time
“Mother ****, get off my line”
If his head wasn’t cracked like a fish on a hook
He could have made serious book

Screens left in car pockets, empty balloons on asphalt
****, this player’s playin’
Strawberries crawl out of woodwork
Rocks off for rocks transactions—no cash pay
Maybe this one will let you stay
Yo Becky, how are your kids?

**** ups from the past recite their script,
“You going to cop?”
Sprung like a Safeway chicken
You know the drill, just walk it off
Strung out with eyes afire
Well acquainted with your veins
Taking care to bleach needles
What about bloodied syringes, *** brains?

Got in trouble with your boys again
This time there’s no runnin’ anywhere
Pulled you off the top of the fence
Almost left your finger up there
Took a ride in an ambulance
Was it fun?

Your little sister and I flew
Picked you up from County UCLA Harbor
She cried the second she saw you
Don’t know if you even saw her
Since your eye was out of socket

Went up north to heal but started to deal
Big sister’s growing skunk
Little brother’s in Chino with Ming Tai
Big brother’s on America’s Most Wanted
Is this typical projects funk?

Brothers, sisters, homeboys, sensei all had voices
You had talent, promise but made other choices
Maybe now, brother, you can rest in peace
Here lies Shawn
All his heroes were dealers
© 2005
1.0k · Jan 2010
Dark Clad Ninja
Del Maximo Jan 2010
“Dad got robbed again”
he got paid every Friday
and got robbed each week
too drunk to run or resist
dark clad ninja lookin’ dude

“Dad got robbed again”
he never did pay the bills
drank his salary
were it not for my income
don’t know how we would survive

we managed somehow
“Dad got robbed again”, she said
do you think she knew
food was on the table ‘cause
the dark clad ninja was me

Del Maximo
(c) 2009
1.0k · Oct 2014
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)
1.0k · Oct 2010
The Eyes Have It
Del Maximo Oct 2010
mud from the cemetery
everyday on his boots and clothing
and everyday he'd wash the shovels
muddy water like a river
muddy red waters
the graves are dug deep like a cliché
six feet under
too small for a back ***
so down he jumps
digging deeper
from cemetery to cemetery
in rain or by moonlight
he works hard every night
till his calluses bleed
a muddy white truck
and muddy wooden handled tools
the perfect cover
you'd think he worked there
he scopes the obits
looking for fresh funerals
he prefers meat on the bones
there's no profit in grave robbing
no one is buried wearing valuables
and there's no market for dead body parts
he just likes the smell of formaldehyde
the vacated looks on their faces
and the occasional surprise
when he finds one with open eyes
© October 12, 2010

Happy Halloween!
Del Maximo Nov 2010
expectant eyes turn skyward
to a faint familiar sound
the falling snow hypnotizes
as I breathe in it’s cleanness

the calmness in me begins to grow
on my cheeks a cold blushing glow
as delicate feather soft flakes smile
and sweetly kiss my lashes and face

lace upon lace builds a quilt of ice
weaving a blanket of fresh fallen white
standing still, I listen so intently
to the quiet hush of snow falling gently
Paula and I worked on this as a poetry exercise one or two years ago.  It's mostly hers.  I just incorporated my input.
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