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Del Maximo Feb 2010
Electricity is out
Shut down by nature’s power
Ice’s storm break danced till dawn
Twisting branch, limb and tree trunk onto lawn
16 nights of darkness
16 days of frost
16 days without power
Yet not all is lost
Relaxation’s comfort found in front of fireplace
Sun’s light deferred, soaked up in greener days
Hearth felt spiritual warming in fire brewed cup of simplicity
Candlelight flickerings augment the serendipity
16 days without power and not a thought of TV
16 nights of quiet and stillness
Strangely appealing to me
© 2007
Del Maximo May 2010
Too Late

do not throw water
upon emberless ashes-
the fire is out

Spring Vacancy

a haven for nests
tight twigs and dense foliage
lemons trees welcome

Cold Feet**

when will Summer come
mornings can be very cool
wooden floors like ice
© May 14, 2010
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
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
Del Maximo Apr 2015
got back in bed this morning
to visualize a healthier me
running on the beach
splashing in the froth
like a chariot of fire
the song playing in my mind's ear
but my image maker wasn't working
I lacked control
out of body and out to sea
the ocean's table glistening
I came across a sole blue whale
his back's expanse above water
eyes just below surface
he approached me slowly
without threat or fear
we held eye contact for a moment
a melding of minds
a baring of souls
in silent conversation
intense black irises told me
he was lonely
I thought he wanted
to speak of his plight
his species' endangerment
ecology's pollution
his journey's migration
seeking food and warmer waters
instead, he was looking at me
discerning my life
and mankind in general
wondering if everything
will be all right
(C) 04/13/2015
Del Maximo Apr 2015
sitting in seclusion
on early morning's beach
with a friend
eating potato chips
talkin' 'bout life
he was jobless
I was playin' hooky
a gray sky hovered
cool winter breezes blew
for some reason
he thought his pain
was greater than others'
but he wouldn't talk about it
the chips were salty
seagulls screeched and cawed
the ocean crashed
life went on
but not for him
(C) 04/07/15
Del Maximo Apr 2010
to watch the stand of trees across the street
while sitting perfectly tall and still
on a summer afternoon
to notice the contraposto stance of the trunks and limbs
to breathe with breeze blowing foliage
to discern the veins, texture and color of each leaf
seeing the dark greens within
the lighter greens without
to alternately observe
within, without, within, without
to let your mind sway in the stillness of the earth
as your eyes drink in its warmth
to experience the space between the leaves
and the space between the trees
foreground to background
to know that God is there
He fills the space in between
He is the emptiness
© April 8, 2010
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
Del Maximo Aug 2010
worthiness of stars
ants and lillies of the field
little gray sparrows
the sun is a speck of dust
universe's perspective

all encompassing
He rains on the just and unjust
throughout life's puzzle
but the sun's gotta shine on
a dog's *** sometime, ya know?

it seems so unfair
trial and error parenting
consumed by harshness
lashing out with cruelty
in never ending cycles

who you have become
seeing the things you hold dear
the flight of an owl
a sapphire bluest lake
a woman to share your life

you know who you are
the person you are inside
you turned out all right
an intelligent wise ***
handling demon's whisperings

somehow you made it
some kinda way you found out
learned it on your own
inspite of evil's face, you're
worthy of every good thing

~blessed be
© August 30, 2010

written for a friend
Del Maximo Apr 2010
hey little lady
the day is not over
there's plenty of fun to be had
we'll dance on the ceiling
with prancing pink ponies
we'll swaddle a saddle
and ride to the stars
we'll say, “pretty please”
to the man on the moon
and bounce in slow motion
upon his green cheese
then slide down a moonbeam
and glide on a breeze
we'll sail on the ocean
and listen to sea shells
a blanket of stars to keep warm
whenever you're ready
just give me the high sign
I'll rock you to sleep in my arms
© April 6, 2010

I was recently challenged to write a lullaby.  I also wrote a melody for this that I play on my bamboo flute.
Del Maximo Oct 2010
on a starless, moonless evening
a fissure quakes open
as time stands still
stench gasses hiss

a fissure quakes open
the earth moans hauntingly, eerily
stench gasses hiss
an unmarked corner of the cemetery

the earth moans hauntingly, eerily
an unspeakable evil imprisoned
an unmarked corner of the cemetery
hidden from the vaults of hell

an unspeakable evil imprisoned
stone angels stand their ground
hidden from the vaults of hell
great is their power

stone angels stand their ground
an aura of authority
great is their power
without words the trembling ceases

an aura of authority
quieting the yawning earth
without words the trembling ceases
closing its lips tight

quieting the yawning earth
silent sentinels prove their worth
closing its lips tight
no evil will escape tonight

silent sentinels prove their worth
on a starless, moonless evening
no evil will escape tonight
as time stands still
© October 14, 2010
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
Del Maximo Jan 2016
sun’s light plays through disbursing clouds winding the day down; long legged spidery shadows
glinting reflections ignite phosphenes inside his closed eyes
cool finger-like breezes a sensual treat for warm body and tired mind
beyond papa’s peeling painted porch, sparse leaves on a rose bush’s bramble of dying brown branches sway and tickle with wind chimes
white wood railing diminished by dry rot
carnitas’ aroma remoras, zephyring eastward, riding in from a nearby restaurant; the faint perception of hunger
birds and traffic rush silently by; muted by hearing loss, drowned by tinnitus’ ringing and snapping
neon’s colors flash down the daytime street too far to read
miniature pedestrian people peddle in the distance, dwarfed by utility poles and power lines perspectively
from the hospital bed set up in his living room, he watches his open front door like tv
amidst a clutter within arm’s reach
© 08/04/2015
Del Maximo Jan 2016
distant fading dulled blue mountains mist
cerulean eyes peek through rolling gray smatterings
rain’s aloneness petering her drops; quiet dribbles splash
outwardly radiant circular wakes renew the fresh
an already illogical current slowly skips over treasures beneath
chaotic babble chants to movements
a river’s concertos streaming in the key of cold
evergreenest grasses sprouting in spurts and clumps
bright colored wildflowers intermittently decorate her ostentatious banks
as he wades in toward the challenge; a thrown gauntlet of smooth rock
a natural outcropping base as platform
he stacks one rock atop another, atop another, atop another
in improbable, impossible, asymmetrical design
ordered without regard to size, weight, shape or color
randomly selecting whatever rocks the river offers
discerning surfaces support point and counterpoint complements
exploiting gravity with unconscious physics and body language
a wiggle this way, a lean that way, trying to find the balance within
“becoming the balance”; feeling it in your core
strong hands breathe stillness
his creation held with steady gaze and o’ so deep concentration
relaxing fingers first; then pulling his arms away to reveal
a consummation of peace
a manmade natural temple; testament to the art of patience
a magnificent mystery
a satisfying moment frozen in time
precariously awaiting eventual collapse
© July 21, 2015
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
Del Maximo Aug 2010
moving forward from A to B
to eternity
from milliseconds to eons
from a tick of the clock
to a heartbeat
to a lifetime
each measure, a length of string
determined by Fates
or a burning wick
in a roomful of candles
where nothing can be earned

time spent
time left
with universes in between
life's images captured in a puddle
harmonic resonance ripples through the calm
radiating outward
energy rebounding and returning to stillness

reflections of a harvest moon
on white rushing waters
blue electricity crackling on crest tops
as waves unfurl on shores
and return to oceans
a vision viewed since antiquity
moments of time shared with ancients
and generations
tallied by stars and grains of sand
© August 17, 2010
Del Maximo May 2019
he saw razor wire atop perimeter walls
guards on walkways with rifles ready
“what have I gotten myself into”

early, early
driving out to the high desert
pulling over to check a map
I saw Easter sunrise in the Mojave
the rising dawn bending light’s spectrum
its pink brightness silhouetting
clumps of dark green sage brush
casting long spidery purple shadows
between streaks of golden light
as morning’******broke mountain’s peak

continuing on
I spied something moving in the distance
within a shroud of clouds
that was blanketing the ascending road
way high up ahead
tiny white angel wings came to mind
thought perhaps I was hallucinating
entertained the idea that I had crashed
and was going to heaven
as I got closer
driving through the warm mists
that strange movement proved to be
mundane yet fascinating
I’d never seen wind turbines before

I had never been to Tehachapi
got lost in the winding upper mountains
my friend told me to turn on valley road
but there was Bear Valley Road
Apple Valley Road
other valley roads
had to circle and back track through the greenery
but found my way

when I finally got to the prison
there was a long queue of cars
I passed them up to see what was happening
then drove back and got in line
a lot of visitors that day
to celebrate Easter in incarceration
but I was here for a pick up
I signed in and a guard called my name
Donnie came out
processed and ready
we shook hands and the guard let us leave
after I signed a release form

Don was always the get-away-driver
so as soon as we were away
from warden’s watchful eyes
I let him take the wheel
forgot to inquire if he had a valid license
he threw his gate money at me to hold
said, “that’s how much I trust you”
“I’d never let anyone else handle my money”

back downhill
driving through the desert
he heard a helicopter above
“they’re being VERY cool right now”
as he kept it at 70

approaching San Diego
we decided to take the scenic route
through the canyons
a treat for this city-boy
ascending once again on a lone highway
into dusky mountains

greenest hillsides were covered
with giant granite boulders
of all shapes and sizes
intelligently strewn in primordial design
an ancient herd of petrified buffaloes
frozen in time
foreshadowing the stampede of clumpy clouds
rampaging above in crisp cerulean

we happened upon a tickling town
people in period costumes
riding horse drawn coaches and carriages
selling jars of jams and jellies
too bad we didn’t stop and get out

back on the freeway
approaching the city
a cop car pulled up behind us
right up on my bumper
a uniform with a brown brim hat
probably a state trooper
intimidation tactics
hoping we would make a run for it
probably alerted to BOLO
for my friend
we froze at first
looking straight ahead
then I remembered to act natural
started talking to calm Don down
started pointing out the sights
along the freeway like a tourist
the cop gave up and backed off
I wondered if he thought
‘that must not be him’
‘these guys are good’
I’m sure he ran my license plate

I brought my friend home
met his mother and sister
bought some gas
(you don’t have to pay first)
and made the two hour drive home
just another day
in my boring life
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.
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
Del Maximo Aug 2010
just inside the door
he gasps for air
laboring, I think, not to hold on
but to let go
his heaving, quickened shortness of breath
each movement a moment in pain
his wizened face and body
but so very hard to witness
the family is stronger than me

just inside the door
his mother and daughter
holding his hands
to give him whatever peace they can
not a comforting for themselves, but for him
one he can sense and feel and know

just outside the door
we wait with other waiters
groups of other families congregating
visiting and supporting loved ones
but mostly waiting
as death seems not impatient

just outside the door
people are talking and laughing
little children are playing
life goes on
as we hold back the tears

just inside the door
there is no hope for recovery
his cancer incurable
his suffering long

just inside the door
a drug induced peace
a restlessness
as hearts are kept waiting
to bid a final farewell
© July 31, 2010

My brother died at 7:10 a.m. on August 1, 2010.
Del Maximo Nov 2011
not one flake on my outstretched hand
the snow can't decide when to fall
despite Doplar's predictions
a chill is in the air
the first feel of winter
the taste of pine trees
traveling on the breeze
downhill to my front porch
permeating my senses
invading my nose and tongue
coming out of my ears like steam
sticking evergreen needles
into my mind's eye
'tis the season to be cold
draft's crispness creeping under the door
sending a shiver up my spine
slipping sleepiness into my yawn
with two feet of snow soon to be on my lawn
time for storm windows and fatwood
and to check my chimney's flow
as Meteora lights my fire
© November 24, 2011
Del Maximo Feb 2010
pictures on the wall
reminiscent of times past
people that we knew
places that we visited
still vivid in our heart’s mind

so much happiness
fun times put out on display
so much heartache
with sad times hidden away
images of family

grandchildren’s faces
a new creation’s aura
smiling and cheeky
with Eden-like innocence
not yet aware of the world

an open casket
a solemn lifeless body
burned into psyche
a first generation death
prints I still don’t want to see

so many exes
old girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses
they were part of us
staking their claim in our lives
filling up dusty albums

framed or on pages
the old pictures are the best
peeling back the years
reminders of a good life
full of happiness and strife
© February 3, 2010
Del Maximo Aug 2016
knew a guy who robbed a bank
an old ‘friend’ of mine
the kind I don’t hang out with anymore
the crowd I walked away from
he actually got away
and made it home
don’t remember the details
even though I read about it
in the paper
I just know they caught him
and put him away

once watched him
dissolve a pill and cook it
in a bottle cap
then draw it into a syringe
a rubber hose strapped around his bicep
Lord knows where they get
the paraphernalia
slapping his veins to make them pop up
he stuck that needle in his arm
and let the blood flow
back to the syringe
to ensure a good hit
shot up and released the tourniquet
he closed his eyes as in ecstasy
and leaned back
I felt sorry for him
a slave to madness
he asked me if I wanted to try crack
I knew a true friend would never offer
who in their right mind
would want that for anyone else

I saw him recently
after 20 years or so
he must have gotten that 3rd strike
didn’t recognize him at first
then pretended not to know him
those days are gone
© 08/17/2016
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
Del Maximo Feb 2010
she had but one eye
hanging loose out of socket
the other was gone
a tasty treat for the birds
a hollow home for maggots

the putrid perfume
of her shriveled rotting flesh
rose from the knife wounds
which had long since been bled dry
open portals for the ants

she cursed her killer
her last breath whispered his name
spelled out in red
a blood curse to follow him
from life to eternity

she was everywhere
haunting his mind and his dreams
images of her
in life and rotting glory
even the ants spoke of her

she was calling him
"You promised.  Come back to me."
finally driven
sat next to her and waited
drawing her name with his blood

Del Maximo
© September 15, 2009
Del Maximo Jul 2010
melancholy muse
peering into my blue heart
softly whispering
songs of beautiful sadness
poetry written on sleeves
© July 17, 2010

Inspired by Picasso's "Old Guitarist".
Del Maximo Dec 2010
it was her eyes
bright beautiful brown eyes
the kind that draw you in
and lock you down
they called me from across the room
to my surprise my heart did swoon
I wasn't looking for anything
but her eyes found me
I can never forget the moment
though things didn't work out
her eyes captivated me
and held me prisoner
though we weren't meant to be
those eyes
kind, inviting and lonely
in a roomful of people
her eyes
passionate and compelling
a moment I will never forget
it was her eyes
© December 30, 2010
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
Del Maximo Jul 2016
clear light skin
dark hair with big curls
he resembled a kid we used to babysit
slight in stature
humble in posture
a look of shock and disbelief
deep seated in his baby face
and bubble eyes
his demeanor saying
“I don’t belong here”
a soft peach colored long sleeved shirt
clean, pressed and tucked in
with pants pulled up
no gangbangers’ stereotype
a picture of innocence
clearly a child
being tried as an adult

I kept close watch
during jury’s selection
with the miracle of real-time captioning
listening with my eyes
darting from screen
to arena’s drama
back to screen
observing potential jurors’ interaction with
defending and prosecuting mouthpieces
body language says so much
trumpeting the seriousness

with capital punishment looming
jurors absorbed spiels
the presumption of innocence
the credibility of evidence
the ability to objectively choose death

I would tell myself
the defendant didn’t just do this
to the decedent
I would tell myself
the defendant did this to himself
I would tell myself
it’s not my job to decide
if he lives or dies
I would tell myself
only to decide
if the crime defines death’s statute
all personal feelings aside
but I’d also tell myself
this is just a kid

thank God
I wasn’t selected
© 07/06/2015
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
Del Maximo Feb 2010
let me play for you
come hear my fibrillation
reverberating on breeze
in synchronizing rhythms

let me share with you
muse inspired whisperings
reaching deep places
hallowed bamboo offerings
interpretations of air

let me catch the wind
split the stream inside my flute
tonic fingerings
let it oscillate and grow
healing melodies for you

Del Maximo
© March 23, 2009
Del Maximo Sep 2016
knew a man who threw a ball
champion Reds
back in the day
he refused the anthem
for religious reasons
staying in the tunnel
till it was over
and no one ever knew

there’s a man now who throws a ball
refusing to stand for the anthem
not about religious rights
he stands on civil protest
citing police brutality
and social injustice
a simple nonviolent act
the courage to face public’s outcry
a willingness to accept
commercial monetary ramifications
placing heart above wallet

o, the uproar
the unmitigated gall
this spoiled rich athlete
should be grateful
for 19 million reasons
he should take the money and run
turning a blind eye
to the suffering of others
his allegiance has been
bought and paid for
how dare he think for himself
if he’s written any books
we should burn them
or abduct 300 of his girls

patriotism dictates
that he stand heartfeltedly
but conscience tells him otherwise
some say he should stay hidden
locked up in the locker room
as if Sister Rosa’s protest
would have been noticed
in the back of the bus

my parents came to this country
for a better life
for freedom and opportunity
I stand for the anthem
and the country it anthemises
I stand for the police
and the good works they do
but I also stand
for the right of others
to choose not to
after all
it’s not like police brutality
or social injustice
do not exist

let it all play out
see where it goes
after the outrage passes
as it always does
will his message be remembered?
was it ever even heard?
was it dismissed for patriotism’s sake?
he says he’ll sit until he sees some changes
I think he’ll have a long wait
till then, let’s go burn some books
or throw some tea in a harbor
© 09/11/2016
Del Maximo May 2010
scent of prey is nigh
an innocent young couple
alone in the woods
oblivious to danger
he's kneeling down on one knee

silent is the chase
the look of terror in eyes
trapped in fearfulness
there is no place left to run
they stand trembling, holding hands

the growling surrounds
too easily they are caught
ripping and rending
with tooth and claw and bloodlust
as the forest is sullied

awakens groggy
the smell of death upon him
his heart is heavy
he feels the weight of horror
he watched it all from within

looks up with sadness
another full moon tonight
after so many
he is doomed to change again
howling echoes pierce the air
© September 18, 2009
Del Maximo Jan 2010
a delicious treat
for such a sweet little girl
she was soooo hungry
look in her eyes said it all
voracious, insatiable

finger licking good
greazy slimy decadence
nice presentation
gray matter smattered with blood
escargot consistency

sated and happy
she rested in the corner
basement was quiet
not thinking or caring much
just pleased to eat daddy's brains

Del Maximo
© September 26, 2009
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
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
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
Del Maximo Dec 2019
have we met?
is time a circle
that we’ve travelled before?
will we get it right this time
or are we destined to repeat
the same mistakes
never learning our lessons?

is each day the same old play
but with different actors
in different places?
does life move  on
from theatre to theater
with tryouts, auditions, and fails
keeping it real?

has it always been like this?
softness, wetness, and passion
like the first time?
from strangers to friends to lovers
my body and heart remember
and I swear I’ve known you before

is life a Mobius strip?
a one sided infinity
fate twisting upon itself
a roller coaster with no beginning
or end?
I swear I’ve known you before
and I want to know you again
© 09/10/2019
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 ****
Del Maximo Feb 2010
dance of the onions
peeling layers one by one
amid sighs, whispers
enchanting melodies of
a 3000 year old song

finger cymbals chime
anklet's bells jingle their tale
incense and perfume
pastel colored veils swirling
hips gyrating and thrusting

her face is unseen
hidden in a mist of clouds
in a moonless sky
stars twinkling in her navel
as she moves to the music

longing beyond lust
she is dancing on my heart
but just out of reach
as if it were all a dream
inspired by night jasmine

Del Maximo
© August 24, 2009
Del Maximo Apr 2010
I like easy days
yesterday was so busy
pushing those deadlines
stayed till 10:00 p.m.
left from empty parking lot

I worked like a dog
but I did get a lot done
so today...easy
no one's bugging me right now
I have time to write tanka

feel the heater on
warming my resting shoulders
slouching in my chair
not feeling guilty at all
letting go of all the stress

I like lazy days
time for appreciation
time for some slowness
enjoying it 'cause I know
tomorrow will be crazy
© February 19, 2009
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
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
Del Maximo Apr 2010
For my spiritual brothers and sisters

believed in only one perfection
everything else was imperfect
came to understand that GOD is
everywhere and everything
all that is seen and unseen
every speck of dust
every air molecule
every sound
it’s all GOD
everything is part of Him
including ME
therefore, perfection includes imperfection
it’s all GOD
it’s all good
strive not to be perfect
YOU are already perfect
YOU are a magnificent piece of a magnificent GOD
YOU are worthy of every good thing in the universe
credo from which to draw strength
wield blessings
give thanks
bylaw of attraction
this magnificent piece of GOD called ME
attracts and is attracted to
that is why I've come to know YOU
© November 6, 2007
Del Maximo Jul 2010
candles are burning
in vigilence and reverence
as beads are counted
measuring remaining days
with hopes of eternal life
© July 27, 2010
Del Maximo Apr 2017
they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I see them falling with my eyes
but never heard a falling star cry

I sit and watch the life of leaves
conversing with the breeze
but when I try to eavesdrop
tinnitus’ tones peal

they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I used to miss their music
the inflection of their rise

their lyrics became mealy
melodies to mysteries
but I can still feel that baseline beat
and follow lips while watching oldies

birds fly by in silent soar
without flap sound, flutter or tweet
perhaps my heart has gone numb with my ears
I don’t miss it anymore

does loss decrease life’s value
or make it all the more precious

they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I see them falling with my eyes
but never heard a falling star cry
© 04/21/2016
Del Maximo Apr 2016
they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I see them falling with my eyes
but never heard a falling star cry

I sit and watch the life of leaves
conversing with the breeze
but when I try to eavesdrop
tinnitus’ tones peal

they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I used to miss their music
the inflection of their rise

their lyrics became mealy
melodies to mysteries
but I can still feel that baseline beat
and follow lips while watching oldies

birds fly by in silent soar
without a flap sound, flutter or tweet
perhaps my heart has gone numb with my ears
I don’t miss it anymore

does loss decrease life’s value
or make it all the more precious

they say the stars are falling
falling from the skies
I see them falling with my eyes
but never heard a falling star cry
© 04/21/16
Del Maximo Nov 2011
one crisp morning commute
driving down Rodeo Blvd.
I came across a cloud of leaves
a city block long
hovering like hummingbirds in the street
jiggling to the beat
of each passing vehicle
caught up in the car's drafts
rush hour traffic
would not allow them to fall
hundreds of small green and yellow dots
standing at attention
waving like beauty queens
twirling like dervishes
leaping and spinning in pirouettes
doing cartwheels and somersaults
each tumble tickling my delight
as playful patterns emerged
you could see their musicality
fallen foliage dancing to a silent symphony
suspended in mid air
out of sync with reality
as I, in turn, drove through in slow motion
© November 20, 2011
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.
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
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