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20.3k · Jun 2013
Loyalty
Jai Rho Jun 2013
Loyalty
Is so hard to find

Because loyalty
Is so hard to do

It’s hard to be true
Every day and night
No matter what might
Have been better for you

And loyalty
Is so easy to say

But loyalty
Doesn’t always stay

When it comes time
To step up to the line
You might be surprised by
Who stays behind

Yet you still have to do
What you know is true
Even if you have been left
Out in the cold

Because loyalty
starts with you

But when it comes through
Nothing else can outdo
That feeling you get
Like you were dying
And yet you’re still alive

So you can select
The ones who will get
That feeling from you
But just don’t expect
The same in return

Because loyalty
Is so hard to find
14.5k · Aug 2013
Peacocks on my roof
Jai Rho Aug 2013
I never saw a peacock fly
before I saw one on my roof
and though I haven't seen
that many, I thought I
had seen enough

To speak with some authority
about the way that peacocks
travel, which as far as I knew,
always was on sand and gravel

Their regal nature and the beauty
of their plumes make them one of
nature's wonders, and whenever
I see one, I always stop and wonder

I guess that's why I thought
that peacocks just don't fly

They don't need to hurry,
and never seem to worry,
so they parade along
and let their admirers
marvel at all their splendor

So I was surprised to see
a peacock on my roof,
it surely didn't climb
and there was
no rope or ladder,
but then I heard wings
flapping just above my head
it was another peacock
who went to join his friend

I guess they liked the view
and I learned something new

That even though I would
surely fly, instead of walk,
stretching my legs to
strut my stuff
might be better
if I were a peacock
6.7k · Sep 2014
Her bike
Jai Rho Sep 2014
Mine was carbon fiber
with Campagnolo gears
it had ramhorn handlebars
and I rode beyond all fear

Until I hit loose gravel
just around a bend
downhill at full travel
and I went end over end

Now I ride a cruiser
with a basket and a bell
it's got a loose cupholder
and riding uphill is hell

But it gets me where I'm going
and it's healthy for my scars
it makes me feel like I am soaring
when she is on the handlebars
3.2k · Jan 2013
stronger
Jai Rho Jan 2013
when you are down
you must be stronger

than those around
who try to help

but don’t see
what’s got you down

or what you’re doing
to get up

and only see you
on the ground

you must be stronger
than those around

to help the helpers
look up at you

stronger
3.1k · Oct 2013
The Pee Party
Jai Rho Oct 2013
There are a bunch of peeple
who seem to think it's fun
to get together and have a party
so they can watch each other
*** on America

They are rude and they're crude
and they're disgusting and lewd
and they make a big mess when
they puddle where they huddle

But that's OK
because this is America
where we all have the right
to our own beliefs,
even if they are stupid,
and to fight for our causes
in our own ways

and as causes go
they are just a splash
in a teacup

Besides, they can't help it
because they have tiny brains
and tiny wee wees
and don't realize
that mostly
they are just
******* on
themselves
2.8k · Aug 2016
Tennessee waltz
Jai Rho Aug 2016
She had moonpie eyes
and a wildcat smile,
draped by slow
smooth sip of whiskey
hair, the color of corn
in the wispy July air

And she wore purple
and white Irises speckled
with yellow as her dress,
flowing in the tall grass
beneath a willow sky

Her feet embraced
the earth between her toes,
as she twirled a whirl
of moonlight, shadowing
the daytime's blazing sun

And like a cradle rocking,
held me
like I was newborn
Jai Rho Jan 2014
When I got to the hospital, the nurses told me he was still recovering from surgery for some internal injuries and this and that, but I could go see him for a bit. So I went up to his room and realized that I didn't really know what he looked like, other than blood and bruises, but I could still tell it was him by the way the bandages were wrapped around his head. "Hey Chief," I said, "howya doin'?" This time I knew he was conscious but he didn't say anything. He just gave me this look like he was saying, "Who are you?" and "How do I get rid of you?" at the same time. So I replied, "I know your name is Mitchell, but I figured the only way you'd remember me is if I called you 'Chief,' like I did before." That got his attention and he threw me this sudden, glowering stare for what seemed like a real long time, like he was trying to make up his mind about something. I thought I had ****** him off with that "Chief" crack, but then he said real soft,  "My name's not Mitchell."

     That suprised me a bit, so all I could say was, "But that's who's room this is, according to the nurses."

     "Maybe so. But that's not my real name . . . It's just a name I made up."

     "What, you on the run or something?"
    
     "Something like that."

     "And you ain't a Marine?"

     "How'd you . . . ?" Another stare, and then, "Nope. Not now. I was though."

     "I don't get it."

     "Mitchell was a name I made up when I joined the Corps . . . "

     "So, why did you make up a name? . . . You got a record?"

     "Nothin' like that . . . My real name is Irniq . . . It's an old Inuit name. When I joined up, I thought I was puttin' those days behind me."

     "Inuit . . . What's that, a kind of Indian?"

     "It means, 'People' . . . but you prob'ly think of us as 'Eskimos.' We don't like that name, so we don't use it."

     He stopped looking in my direction and kinda tilted his head back and rolled his eyes back before closing them. Then he took a few real deep breaths, and said, "I grew up in a village that was mostly hunters and fishermen. It was fun, when I was little, kind of like goin' on an adventure all the time. But as I got older, I realized how dirt poor we were and how we seemed to catch less game every season. And then I learned that our tribe owned land that the oil companies wanted to drill, and that the oil money could end our need to hunt, and get us modern, comfortable lives, but the tribe kept clingin' to their old ways. My father said it was oil that wiped out the herring habitats, and caused the seal population to crash, and was keepin' the ice away. I didn't care and thought he was a fool fightin' a losin' battle. I thought I saw the future and that he was goin' down with the past. We had terrible fights and I believed that the man who had once been this mighty hero of mine had turned into a pathetic has-been, and I didn't want to get dragged down with him. I thought that by leavin', I could somehow be part of the future. I didn't have too many places to go, so I joined the Marines."

     "Then what are you doing here?"

     He dropped his head forward, opened his eyes, locked them right on to mine, and said, "I left the Corps a couple of months ago. When I joined up, my father told me he no longer had a son. I guess I didn't really hear those words until I went back home and he shut the door in my face. My mother came out and tried to welcome me home, and get me to stay, but I knew that my father had been right all along, and that it was me who was pathetic. So I got on a bus and went as far as I could until my money ran out, and here I am."

     "What do you mean, about your father being right?"

     He closed his eyes again, brought both hands up to the sides of his face, and said, "When I was in the Corps, I got sent to Iraq. I was pretty gung ** at first, and thought I was fightin' for freedom and the way of life that I wanted, but then it just seemed to get pointless. Day after day of cat-and-mouse with an enemy hidin' in plain sight and no real purpose other than bein' there and gettin' into firefights. Then one day I was on this mission clearin' some homes of insurgents. I was leadin' a squad goin' door-to-door and not havin' much trouble 'til we went to this one house and there's this woman screamin' and tryin' to get past us. A couple of my guys had to hold her down while the rest of my squad got her family to kneel down beside her. The woman kept on screamin' and we didn't have an interpreter, so I went up to her and tried to calm her down. I told her in as soothin' a voice I could that we weren't goin' to hurt anyone, we were just lookin' for bad guys, when I saw this blur out of the corner of my eye. The woman started screamin' louder, and I turned and yelled, 'Stop!!! Stop!!!' a couple of times, but it kept movin' fast and I just reacted . . . I didn't have any time to think . . . it just kept movin' . . . and I was yellin', 'Stop!!! Stop!!!' . . . but it wouldn't stop . . . it wouldn't stop . . . it just kept movin' . . . . . . and I reacted . . . I just reacted . . . . . . and then there was my muzzle flash and this red mist . . . . . . this red mist that just erupted . . . and kind of hung there . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and then the woman wasn't screamin' . . . and I wasn't yellin' . . . . . . . . . and there was just this little boy . . . . . . . . this little boy, lyin' on the ground . . . . . . with this mush where his face used to be . . . . . . . . . . . and it was quiet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . so quiet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . until I heard this sound like nothin' I ever heard before . . . this kind of moan . . . this deep, hollow, primeval moan that kind of rumbled at first . . . . . . . . and then it grew louder . . . and louder . . . and the pitch got higher and higher . . . . . . until it turned into this ferocious gut-wrenchin' shriek that filled my head and reached way down and ripped my insides out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and every day I try to put that boy back together in my mind . . . . . . I try to see his face . . . but I can't . . . . . . . . . . . . I can't see his face . . . . . . and I can't get that sound out of my head . . . . . . . . . . . . every single day . . . . . . . . . . . . and all I can see is my muzzle flash . . . and that mist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that godawful red mist."
2.2k · Nov 2015
The Hot Air Campaign
Jai Rho Nov 2015
We bomb

hospitals
schools
police stations
sleeping children

and people
who we call
"collateral damage"

while chasing elusive
"high value targets"

while missing stationary
protected non-targets

oil fields
refineries
banks
arms dealers

and others who profit
from the insanity
they fuel
2.1k · Sep 2013
Wrinkles
Jai Rho Sep 2013
After decades
of believing that adulthood
is the end of childhood
my skin is telling me
it's time to grow
1.9k · Aug 2013
Happiest Man in the World
Jai Rho Aug 2013
The night before my father died,
he told my mother that he was
the Happiest Man in the World

He had been satisfied
that each of his children
had found his and her own way
toward happiness
in their chosen paths

It didn't matter that his own life
was fading, and that soon, too soon,
there would be nothing left for him

So when I think about my own
children, I am reminded of my father
and I understand, whatever thoughts
I may have about my own wants
and needs begin to fade away

All I see are my children's faces
and what makes them laugh
and smile as they go
their own way
while I become
the Happiest Man in the World
1.8k · Mar 2010
Chasing Geese
Jai Rho Mar 2010
I sailed a laser
in the horseshoe bay
of an island
in the San Juans

The wind was blowing
from the south
at twenty
knots or so, it felt
like fifty on my cheeks

As I headed upwind
and felt the vessel heel,
my toes dug past
their strap,
I leaned to level 'til

My face was sprinkled
with the spray,
my hair was trailing
in the wake

And geese did glide
not far away,
just above the crests,
honking as I flew along
and just behind them

Skipping now and then,
my windswept face
like a stone
1.8k · Jul 2013
Pancakes
Jai Rho Jul 2013
I'm going to make
pancakes today
and I won't be grumpy
if they're lumpy

Because I'll know
what's in 'em
and how good they'll be
in me
1.8k · Jan 2014
Stairway of trees
Jai Rho Jan 2014
When I lie down
I see
stairways in the
winding branches
of trees

When I rise up
I see
who climbs their
steps along
with me
1.6k · Dec 2013
Johannesburg
Jai Rho Dec 2013
What's the Word?
candles lit held high
"JOHANNESBURG!!"
above the marching crowds

What's the Word?
Madiba
"JOHANNESBURG!!"
Madiba
Madiba
*Madiba
1.5k · Sep 2013
Proud Mistake
Jai Rho Sep 2013
There is no better way
to do heavy lifting
than with a machine

or perform countless repetitive tasks
or manufacture microscopic objects
or handle toxic substances
or fly across an ocean

or accomplish a variety of
actions that humans
can't or won't do

And we rely on machines
to do what we tell them
when and where
and how and why
we decide
without fail
and without error

Machines outperform
humans for such purposes
and are more reliable,
consistent and
cost-effective as well

They do require maintenance
and spare parts
but nothing like health care
and benefits that humans demand

And they can be upgraded
or replaced without fear
of lawsuits or labor unions
or semiautomatic rifles and
sacks full of magazines

They are almost perfect
and better than humans
in many ways

But they can't laugh
or cry or sing
the way we do

they can't get angry
or sad or happy
or feel emotion
the way we do

they can't love
or break your heart
the way we do

and they can't
make you feel
the way you do
when you come home
from work and your
daughter comes
running to the door
shouting, "Daddy's home!!!!!!"

Not in a million years

So humans are actually
far better than machines
in the ways that matter
and the imperfections,
shortcomings, idiosyncrasies,
flaws in our character, mistakes
we make and an endless list
all prove that we are human
and capable of all these
things that machines
can't or won't do

And I am thankful
that I am not some
perfect, error free
switch-on-switch-off
low maintenance
obedient, emotionless
and highly repetitive
tool that strives
to be a machine
because I would rather
take pride in mistakes
I make and be human

especially when
I come home
1.4k · Feb 2010
The Water Carrier
Jai Rho Feb 2010
Along the river's edge
a figure bends
to dip his earthen pots
into its vital flow

they sip the precious liquid
shimmering and crystalline
like diamonds floating
above the eclipse of the sun

they become transformed
from dormant vessels
wearing the dull
pallor of mud
to vibrant cisterns
radiating the glow
of polished jade

they breathe away
exhaustion
in frothy currents
rushing
past swollen lips

to join the constant stream

till he bows low
and receives their treasure
suspended from a wooden frame
with frayed and twisted rope
solidified not yet petrified
soaking yet and squeezing still
the moisture dripping
from their fill

he lifts the wooden frame
upon his shoulders
and keeps its balance
with his arms
his back strains
his legs straighten
as they raise their heavy load

he looks up
with eyes set deep
beneath his furrowed brow
thick parchment skin
and thistled hair
are all that shield him
here and now

he sees the road
that he will take
this time around
and sets one foot
before the other

away from solid ground

he goes to bring
to those who
find him
the lading
in his care

he goes to meet them
in that place

past faith
past dreams
past hope
1.4k · Feb 2010
the Lotto
Jai Rho Feb 2010
the Lotto

I bought a Lotto ticket
on the day my child was born

After months of
hope and trepidation
research and preparation
practice and anticipation
dreams and realization

After hours of labor
intense and slow
expanding
contorting
pushing
blowing
crying

My wife gave birth

our child
our life
our future
our union

After days of rest
we went home
and down the road
that he would lead

After days I checked
the numbers
on the ticket
and they matched

the bundle in my arms
1.4k · Mar 2014
Kathy's Song
Jai Rho Mar 2014
“Good afternoon, Mr. Leitch.  Have you had a busy day?”

     Grey eyes peered over wireframe spectacles and gazed upon a vision that lifted the corners of his mouth.  “Yes, quite.  Thank you for asking.  So lovely to see you again, my dear.”

     As she entered the tailor’s shop and lithely traced her fingers across yards of brightly colored silk, and muted finely woven wool, her companion quietly assembled outside the entrance door.  He had selected a prime location adjacent to the neighboring baker’s store.  At that hour, the wafting mixed aromas of warm cookies, cakes, baguettes and shepherd’s bread would lure workers of the day from their homeward paths for just a bit of something to fill their evening meals, or add a little nuance to the setting of the sun.

     “And you as well, kind Sir.  I do adore observing the mastery in the magic of your finery.”

     “Well now, what a lovely thing to say.  And I adore listening to you as well.  But no more of that ‘Sir’ business.  You must call me ‘Arthur,’ as I have said before.”

     “Ah, then no more of that ‘dear’ business.  You must call me ‘Kathy,’ and we shall both listen to more lovely sounds that will soon fill this room.”

     At that moment, when the tailor’s eyes began to sparkle, Kathy’s companion began to strum a well-seasoned lute as he sang a refrain from an old Yorkshire ballad:

          Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
          Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
          Remember me to one who lives there
          For once she was a true love of mine

Then slowly, a crowd began to gather, one-by-one and in twos and threes, of those emerging from the bakery or simply passing by, as lamplights began to glow against the evening sky.    

          Tell her to make me a cambric shirt
          Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
          Without a seam or needlework
          Then she shall be a true love of mine

Entwined within the strumming, individual notes came alive and danced their way across the frets and fingerboard to leap and float about the crowd.  In time with the rhythm and the melody, pence and schillings soon found their way into the instrument’s open case, sounding light percussive accompaniment and applause.

     And then as though entranced, Kathy twirled about the tailor’s shop and took the tailor’s hand, to lead him out into the square and join the merry band.  She smiled a wondrous look, with eyes closed to the scene around her, as she gazed upon the vision within her, and her sweet voice shared its verse:

          Tell him to find me an acre of land
          Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
          Between the salt water and the sea sand
          Then he shall be a true love of mine

Then Kathy gave a laugh or two, and raised her arms to the incandescent night, as a blackbird perched itself atop the crescent moon, resting in the palms of her hands.
1.4k · Feb 2010
indigo
Jai Rho Feb 2010
somewhere deep
into the burn

a step mistaken
no intention
on a wicked moon

the silent cry
of an abandoned soul

treads lightly by
1.4k · Jan 2014
Goldie Rocks
Jai Rho Jan 2014
Goldie was a fish
swimming in a bowl
where everyone could see
her very tiny role

only when they chose
to look and then
she would disappear
when they would leave

her dreaming of the sea
and reaching for the sky
until the day she found
that she could fly
1.3k · Aug 2013
I don't like airports
Jai Rho Aug 2013
The airplane
is not one of God's creatures
but it might be serving
a heavenly purpose
by making the world seem
a bit smaller

And though
it is not an actual
time machine an airplane
can take you from
a place as primitive as
prehistoric times
to another place
as advanced as
modern civilization

in a matter of hours
or even minutes

But to take an airplane
almost anywhere
you usually have to go
to an airport
where you usually
spend an hour, and often
hours and hours,
going nowhere

other than the parking lot
or the rental place or the bus
station or the taxi stand
and the check in line and
the security line and the
food line and the bathroom
line and the shuttle line
and the gate line and the line
to take your seat and the line
to take off and then the airplane

usually has to land at another
airport where, unless you
took a direct flight,
you usually have to spend
an hour, and often
hours and hours,
going nowhere
1.3k · May 2014
Gettysburg
Jai Rho May 2014
Four score and seventy one years ago,
fifty thousand men, in blue and gray
divided, became one, in red united
to consecrate the ground where we
now stand.  From the Shenandoah
Valley, and the Potomac banks they
marched, and fell at Cemetery Hill,
Little Round Top, and Devil's Den.

But on this day, they rise to give
meaning to their sacrifice; they leave
behind their sabers and their musket
rifles, their cannon silent, their battle
done; they rise in peace at Gettysburg,
they rise at dawn with the morning sun.
1.3k · Feb 2010
glowing embers
Jai Rho Feb 2010
Perfect imbalance
of tumbling sky,

the fairies laugh,
the witches cry,

it matters not
what havoc comes,

the piper sleeps,
the drummer strums,

the boxer lifts his mighty arm

to crush the air
but nothing more,

his foe is gone
and is no more.

Across the hearth
a blazing fire

and chiming embers
as they fall

melting from the logs,

we reminisce
of memories lost,

a scent of dew
a touch of frost.
1.3k · Apr 2014
Jupiter Moon
Jai Rho Apr 2014
Let's fly away
to Jupiter Moon,
Come along with me,
We'll be there soon

The view is heaven
on Jupiter Moon,
We'll see the Sun shine bright,
The rings of Saturn too

We can stay all day
on Jupiter Moon,
And wander all around,
There's plenty of room

And when the night does come
on Jupiter Moon,
No need to close our eyes
For dreams to come true

Let's fly away
to Jupiter Moon,
Come along with me,
We'll be there soon
Jai Rho Jan 2014
They hauled me off to jail and got an ambulance for the guy in the alley. I was booked for assault and battery, robbery, and a few assorted charges thrown in for good measure. It wasn't the first time I had been arrested, so I knew the cops weren't going to believe anything I had to say, especially if I used the word, "innocent." So I stewed in jail for a couple days, until just before my arraignment, when I got to meet the lawyer they had assigned to me. She looked capable enough, but I didn't think she had any time to look into my case, so I asked her if the cops had logged any of the money I supposedly stole into evidence. She asked me "Why?," so I told her it would make the cops look ***** if I actually stole some money and none of it got turned in. But then she said that the guy in the alley had told the cops it wasn't me, but some other guys that beat him up, and he refused to press charges against me anyway, so she could get my case dismissed.

     After I got released, I spent a few days tending to my needs and was lying on the floor next to my fridgette when my mind fuzzed slowly into focus. I was staring at something I couldn't quite make out when I realized it was my reflection on a tequila bottle sitting right next to my face. It was empty, so I pushed it away, and the roaring sound it made as it rolled across the floor felt like a jet plane was landing on my head. That got me up and I got some ice and put it in the sink, which I filled with cold water, and then with my aching head. I didn't feel anything at first, but all of a sudden I felt like I stuck my head in a light socket and it was being soaked and set on fire at the same time. My first reaction was to pull my head up, but I needed that icy water to stop the hurt in my skull, so I grabbed the counter real hard and forced my head back in the sink. My eyes opened wide and I kinda made a blubbering sound as I shook my head from side to side and bubbles flew out my mouth. Then I tried to come up for air, but my shoulder got snagged by the faucet and I started to swallow some water. That got me panicking a bit and I started bouncing around trying to find a way to breathe, until my knees buckled and then I kinda slid out of that sink and onto the floor.

     I coughed and ****** wind for a time, and then I just lay back, spread my arms and closed my eyes. It felt real soothing somehow, like all the fight and pain were draining away, and I just lay there, as if I was floating on a pool of warm Kentucky sunshine. And then I remembered the guy in the alley and how he let me go, both my throat and the police. My lawyer had learned a little bit about him and told me he was a corporal in the Marines, served three tours in Iraq, been awarded some medals, and his name was James Mitchell. She didn't know what he was doing in town or where he was from, but that he had been hurt pretty bad and would be in the hospital for a while. I was feeling a bit curious, and kinda in his debt somehow, so I got up to go see if he was still around.
Jai Rho Dec 2013
Hi
My name is Dave

Just like all the other guys
Whose names are Dave

So ask for Dave
And someone will
Get back to you

Might not be me
But he's gonna be

Dave

Because my name is Dave
Just like all the other guys
Whose names are Dave
1.2k · Jan 2014
Mayfly
Jai Rho Jan 2014
He found her on a bridge
crying tears into a river

and reached out
as she fell to hold her
in their flight

above her tears
across the sky
1.2k · May 2010
Bittersweet
Jai Rho May 2010
Out of the craven sky
the flow of molten bittersweet

-- no purity in these
that catch your lashtips
as you wrap your arms
around the blanket fog
and breathe in dew
from distant mountaintops --

You gaze beyond my eyes,
beyond my tethered dreams
to pierce the wound that bleeds
with molten bittersweet,

And from these drops
a rhythm beats
'til nothing more,

Only you
Only you
1.2k · Dec 2013
The Experimental Nation
Jai Rho Dec 2013
They came
from the west
when the sea
was still a coastline
and the sabre tooth tiger
roamed the land alongside
the wooly mammoth

For millenia they arrived
even as the coastline
became a bridge
and then a stepping stone
and then the sea

They came to find
an unknown and distant
but beckoning and certain
patch of earth where
their lives would matter
and their destiny
would be determined
by their own hands

They found new ground
to build their homes
where they lived
within their means
and their needs
and flourished
alongside others
by understanding
that their own way of life
would be secured
by respecting others
and that war
is too high a price
for more

In time they came
from the east
and it is in this land that
those who sought a better life
traveled in opposite directions
to find their journey's end

They shared a common vision
fueled by purpose
and determination
to live in freedom guided
by their hearts and minds
unchained by tyranny
or intolerance
and it is in this land
that we will gain
what freedom brings
1.1k · Dec 2015
I got you, Shannon Johnson
Jai Rho Dec 2015
He crossed a continent for love,
not knowing where
his journey would lead.

Along the way,
he marched into wildfires
to save lives when others fled.

He kept his family close,
along with those he loved,
in ink forever in his flesh.

And in the end it was his flesh,
riddled with bullets in San Bernardino,
that saved the life of another.

"I got you," were the last words
of a heroic life gone too soon,

"I got you, Shannon Johnson," are our words
for a heroic man forever.
1.1k · Jul 2013
Sleepwalker
Jai Rho Jul 2013
She was a fiction
of his imagination
and when she
beckoned he
would step out
sleepwalking

Destined for a fall
but not before
she vanished
in the waking hours

And then appeared
after the sun
before the moon
to catch him as
they lay down
beneath a blanket

of stars
1.1k · Feb 2014
Third Set of Teeth
Jai Rho Feb 2014
He was chomping on a dog
a chili dog to be exact
when he heard a crunch
and felt a pain that seemed
unusual to his lunch

So with all the grace
that he could muster
he spit out all the dog
and the chili and the mustard
then smiled a toothless grin
when in the chili he could see
a bicuspid mixed therein

He had been waiting for this day
to the point where almost all
his nerves had frayed and
more than all his hair had grayed

But now he knew for certain
there would be no final curtain
for at least another act
because his bicuspid
had given way
to his third set of teeth
1.1k · Mar 2014
Arithmetic
Jai Rho Mar 2014
If he loves himself
more than you,

Then he is only one,
not two
1.1k · Mar 2010
Flying Jib
Jai Rho Mar 2010
Far off in the distance,
a thousand dreams or so,
a winged syren beckons
of land, of hope, of home 

An alluring vision rises,
between port bow and port beam,
above the windward gunwale,
above the Devil's seam 

The main and mizzen struggle
against the howling wind,
the staysails strain
against the sheets
hauled taut and closely in 

But the course we follow
cannot reach our destination true 

We must tack and then again,
until our bow is set dead on,
and find a steady
wind and fair  
to fly above
the pounding waves,
to free the maiden's hair 

Just beyond the bowsprit,
a thousand leagues at sea,
the flying jib will lead us where
our spirits find their peace
1.1k · Dec 2013
Timbre
Jai Rho Dec 2013
Momentum
must have assumed control
silently and unannounced
a natural spirit invoked
by sparks we cast
as we scraped past all
unyielding foes

before we found
the fading end
of sheer will
and determination

Captive to our struggles
and the numbing victories
that enabled us to reach beyond
the unseen edge of who
we would become

We came across
the settling dust
and gazed upon
the unfamiliar
serenity of endless sky
embracing a still
and unspoiled land
1.0k · Feb 2010
Mine
Jai Rho Feb 2010
Drove past a mansion the other day,
high on a hill,
grand and stately,
with manicured lawns,
and wrought iron fences,
adorned with Morning Glories.

Then I drove on,
to a cozy little house,
swingset in the yard
and a trike in the driveway.

It may not be much,
but it's mine.

Walked past a gym the other day,
sculpted forms of the human physique,
active and graceful,
growing strong and healthy,
fashionably decorated
with the latest workout attire.

Then I walked on
to a medical center,
examined and tested
a barely passing grade.

This body may not be much,
but it's mine.

I went to the park the other day,
a cheerful young woman,
pushing a giggling child in a swing,
while another built castles in the sand.

I may not be much,
but I'm theirs.
1.0k · Mar 2014
sracS
Jai Rho Mar 2014
They're not undoable
but they are reversible
if you stop and realize

that braille on your skin
meant for the blind
cannot be read
by those who cannot feel

shouting at deaf ears
will only rob you
of your voice
and drown out anyone
who cares

There is no way
to take away
inflicted pain with more
1.0k · Aug 2013
Nice Car
Jai Rho Aug 2013
"Nice Car"
said a man in a Lexus
to a man in a Ford
with just enough sneer
to show that he scored

Then he turned and
heard himself mumble
"Nice Car"
to someone who just
made him feel humble

"Well, it's transportation,
my helo's in the shop"
said a man in a
Lamborghini who
thought he was tops

But then a Gulfstream
roared overhead and
while two grown men
looked up and drooled
the man in the Ford

Drove off and left them
to be schooled
996 · Aug 2013
coming home
Jai Rho Aug 2013
there's a breeze blowing
down the moonswept plain
rippling through rows
of ripening wheat

as the sun shines slowly low
and thin across the horizon
bathing the land in silver
stark and lightning blue

its rays tug at heavy lids
and shine upon
a mirage floating hazy
far off in the distance

while night washes down
my waking eyes telling me
i'll be there before it
sees me again

and fades to whispers
from the sun
to an empty sky

i'm coming home
Jai Rho Dec 2013
Whenever someone
or scores of someones
get shot

other people scratch their heads
and wonder why

We don't have more
guns, guns, guns, guns,
guns, guns, guns, guns,
guns, guns, guns, guns,
.  .  .
946 · Oct 2013
Stardust
Jai Rho Oct 2013
Star light, star bright
doesn't only shine at night

The nearest one may
overwhelm the rest
while it rules the day
but their light is constant
nonetheless

And if you close your eyes
and feel their touch at night
you will know their presence
even as you open them
to the twinkling light
of day
927 · Apr 2014
JJ
Jai Rho Apr 2014
JJ
Finnegan, begin again
is it time to wake?
The belfry bats are singing
from the yew trees, "heigh **
heigh ** heigh hooooo . . . "
as lips lip fleshless lips of air
Bloom clinks a glass with
M'Intosh, "Three quarks
for Muster Mark!" and
Stephen drinks tea from
lotus flowers poured by
Nausicaa while sirens call
between the clashing rocks

"Come home Telemachus, come
home Penelope, come home
Mary, come
home . . . "
Jai Rho Aug 2012
Each day on the TV
I watch as the newspapers die
I say to myself
"You're about to go blind"

To have a country like this
Should be a dream come true
Out of all the nations in the world
We have democracy
 
So is it just my imagination
Running away with me
Or is the freedom of our nation
Running away from me?
 
Soon I'll be married
But I won't be employed
I'll dream about a home in the city
But there's none I can afford

I ask you
Am I losing it all?
This American dream
Is it too good to be true?
 
So is it just my imagination, once again
Running away with me
Or is the freedom of our nation
Running away from me?
 
Every night, in e-mails that I send,
"Dear Congressman please
Don't take my voice away from me
Or I will surely die"

Ooh, their speeches assure me
When they appear on TV,
I hear their concerned sympathy,
But in reality, they could care less about me
 
And is it just my imagination, once again
Running away with me,
Or is the freedom of our nation
Running away from me?

I once had it and I can't forget it,
Just my imagination
Running away from me
Just the freedom of our nation
Running away from me

I once had it and I can't forget it
Was it just my imagination?
884 · Jul 2013
Daybreak
Jai Rho Jul 2013
In the early hours
when yesterday recedes
into today
and dreams begin
to slip away

The still black
of night fades into bluesilver
as distant drums
lay rhythm
for the marching sun
869 · Feb 2010
An old song
Jai Rho Feb 2010
In a corner
a quiet corner
he passed by every day

it stood
unnoticed
solemn
proud

in silent dignity

unobtrusive
content
intact

Until by chance

the light of dusk
skipped off its latch
and caught his eye

He paused
and turned midstride
without a thought
unsure of why

and then amongst the shadows

its silhouette appeared
familiar lines and shapes
like voices in a dream
that drew him close and near

He paused again
and wondered
if he dared
to touch its shell

He paused again
and wondered
if he dared
to reach within his shell

And then he heard a melody
played so long ago

a tune
too simple for a symphony

a song
too beautiful for him alone

But there was no sound

only a memory
of a time that used to be

only a memory
of someone he used to be

He closed his eyes
and held his breath
his hand outstretched

Until by chance

he found its latch
and opened
its protective case

he peered inside
and saw a vision
he once knew

blushing in the fading sunlight
glowing from its inner hue

He reached inside
and cradled softly
its slender neck

then raised gently
its graceful body
to rest beside his neck

he found its bow
still loose and supple
without tension
held with ease

and then he stroked its hair
on strings untuned beside the bridge

as fingers rose to dance
on strings untuned beside the bridge
Jai Rho Jul 2013
He stood tall and straight
arisen from a heavy slumber
once begun as shelter
from an overwhelming deluge
of impossibilities

which had collapsed
into a prison of
his own construction

until his limbs
petrified by
abandonment



climbed his way
to vertical

leaning only to
balance his
steps

forward
859 · Jul 2013
Circle's end
Jai Rho Jul 2013
Along the far wall
beneath the outstretched
limbs of jacarandas
I see him walking
each morning at
his constant time
even when the sun still
half asleep hides behind
overburdened clouds

Sometimes he
waves and
sometimes he
smiles but
mostly he just
walks on looking
down the road to
where I wonder

And I only
watch him briefly
now and again
on days when
I am able and
on days when
I am not I know
that he is there

Until the day when
I look out and see
that he has reached
his destination traced
by constant footsteps
beneath the outstretched
limbs of jacarandas
along the far wall
853 · Jul 2013
Snarl
Jai Rho Jul 2013
I am a Beast
of immense proportions
with laser eyes and radar
ears my senses crystalline
escape distortion

And I have found
predators lying
in wait for you
I would have
eaten them but for
their bitter taste
so I fed them

To each other
836 · Feb 2010
whisper along the quay
Jai Rho Feb 2010
i lost you in a crowd,
down along the quay

you were jubilant and laughing
from the easy spill of day

your dress and hair
were playing with the wind,
your eyes and lips
were smiling with the sun

you said something
that i couldn't hear,
it sounded like a whisper
that floated by my ears


you found me all alone,
on the broken side of day

i was torn and listless,
like driftwood from the bay

my clothes and hair
were tangled with my skin,
my eyes and lips
were closed and thin

then i heard something
that you said before,
i recognized the sound
once smothered by the roar


it was the promise
that you whispered,
down along the quay

that we would sail past
the tides of time

and then another day
830 · Aug 2013
Snake Eyes
Jai Rho Aug 2013
If you roll snake eyes
for the come-out
you might be out of luck

But then again the odds
were greater in your favor
so you might just be
turned around

And though it may seem
foolish to bet long after
crapping out
snake eyes can be sneaky
and just might strike again

Because snakes can move
their eyes in whatever
way they choose
they can shift them
forward backward
up and down or just
leave them sideways

And they never blink

They are always lurking
when no one is watching
and even more when
they are cursed

So you might just turn the
odds around again and
count on snake eyes
especially after

You've been bit
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