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Jai Rho Nov 2015
I miss the morning paper
personally delivered
to my front door

or sometimes in
the willows
or hedges wet
with dew
2+2
Jai Rho Jun 2013
2+2
Two plus two is four
There's someone knocking
On my front door

When I go to see
Who is it and ask
Who came to visit

I hear "Two plus two is five,
In my opinion"

So I say "Your'e welcome inside,
But four ain't five
And that is no opinion"
Jai Rho Dec 2015
it doesn't take much
to warm a planet
or raise the seas

just a few degrees

it doesn't take much
to whip the winds
across the plains

or end a drought
with thirsty rain

just a few degrees

it doesn't take much
to burn with passion
to laugh from joy
or cry from pain

just a few degrees

it doesn't take much
a hateful word
or a loving touch

to see the world
as round with hope
or flat with despair

it doesn't take much
just a few degrees
Jai Rho Mar 2014
It was a day like this,
in March; smiling blue sky,
cheering wind, chill and brisk

A day like this, on the Charles

It was a good day
for sailing, hiking out
side by side, racing upwind
‘til feathers by the bridge
rocked us like babes,
laughing verses of Rimbaud
lamenting Milton
and the Arch-Fiend

We sailed circles round the eights
sculling their way to Henley;
we called them slaves
and gestured like Merry Pranksters

We tacked and jibed, glided downwind,
and on a broad reach, we saw Prufrock
standing on shore, downcast,
as mermaids slipped on board
and sang with us:

A verse for Nausicaa
A chorus for Eidolon
Jai Rho Feb 2016
There is a twinkle in the eye
of a head held high

No matter the surroundings
the embraces or the poundings

Inner dignity shines bright
and finds its way to light

The twinkle in the eye
of a head held high
Jai Rho Jul 2013
His weapon is raised
pointing forward
still relaxed though
ready to attack even
while in retreat

His legs are coiled
bent at the knees
and keep him en garde
while his free hand
dangles freely
to maintain some
fleeting balance

Yet when he hears
"Allez!"
he sees no foe
and feels no threat
this time there is
only his own path

So he removes his mask
and looks ahead
then drops his weapon
uncoils and
begins
Jai Rho Jan 2013
I don’t know when
I’m going to change my ways

I don’t know when
There will be better days

But I’m all right now
The winds have blown away

I’m all right now
I said goodbye to yesterday

And I don’t need
What never came

Anymore

And I don’t need
Words never said

Anymore


I don’t know when
The tide will turn my way

I don’t know when
I’ll be standing where I lay

But I do know now
That you are here with me

And I do know now
That you are all I need

So if you stay
By my side

Forevermore

I won’t feel
Where I have bled

Anymore

I’m all right now
I’m all right now
Jai Rho Feb 2017
Fixed fortifications
are monuments

to the stupidity of man.
Jai Rho Feb 2015
There are angels
where are angels
are there angels
where you are
angels there are
angels where are
angels there you
are an angel
everywhere there
are angels where
you are my
angel everywhere
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
Jai Rho Jun 2015
We stood
on shadows cast
from the glow
of a sunlit moon

that took flight
above waves breaking fast
upon melting sand
beneath our gripping toes

We rode them like wings
along the path we carved
into the fabric of night's
luminescent beams

and basked in the warm
and turning flow emerging
from yesterday's horizon
as the morning rose
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 Mar 2014
If he loves himself
more than you,

Then he is only one,
not two
Jai Rho Mar 2013
Though it takes more lifetimes
than have ever been
for starlight to cross the universe
and be embraced by your gazing eyes

It only takes an instant
at the pace of its own rhythm
for the heart of its heart
to find its way into your own
Jai Rho Oct 2013
For America
it's Hawaii

For Canada
it's the Yukon

Still good to be
American
Jai Rho Aug 2014
Good moon rising
from the fiery molten marle
that once we saw as sun
absorbing

the radiant night
like the blackened sea
drinks in the falling sky

A candle in the darkness
searching

for the gentle
chorus of the stars
Jai Rho Oct 2013
In New England
the brisk chill winds
of Autumn stir
the trees to set their
leaves ablaze
in tapestries of crimson
gold and hues of indigo
orange and magenta
that capture
the gaze of the sun
as they soak in
its remaining rays
before the long dark
cloak of winter
settles in

In LA the scorching
turbulent Santa Ana winds
come sweeping across
the deserts
gusting through
mountain passes to
chase the lingering
unwelcome air
to the Pacific
where the sun
melts the gathering
clouds into radiant
embers of amber
fiery red quicksilver
and cobalt blue
to celebrate
the glory of the day
before the calm dark
canopy of night
settles in
Jai Rho Oct 2012
In a garden where young roses bloom
and wildflowers find their way,

she walks along a path
where thorns and thistles lay.

Her silhouette adorns the sky,
her shadow floats above the ground,

she weaves silk and velvet
from petals fallen down.

She charms the swirling wind
with calm and gentle sway,

and gazes past horizon’s end
as night turns into day.
Jai Rho Jun 2013
I will be gone
before the morning comes

I'm going down
where I belong

I've got to fill the night
with the rest of my life

So don't hang around
or you'll be going too


You better stay away
get away from me

Or you'll wind up
in misery


I'm going down
I'm going down

Where I belong

I will be gone
before the morning comes

I'm going down
I'm going down

Before the morning comes

I'm going down
I'm going down


But if you find a way
to get another day

Then I will follow you

I'm going down
I'm going down

But if you find a way
to get another day

Then I will follow you


Before the morning comes
you better find a way

Before the morning comes
to get another day

Or I'll be gone
Jai Rho Mar 2015
Three is a lonely number
it's the odd man out
the third wheel
the unreserved ticket
the strikeout

It's what happens
after two

But three is also a prime number
it's the pinnacle
the apex
the try in
the attempt

It's what happens
before
Jai Rho Mar 2014
I hear the falcon
but not the falconer;
its prescient screech
claws at my ears

The shadow of its wings
is delivered by the sun
but those who gather
in its path cry out in vain

The worst conflate
their ways with
passionate intensity,
belied by lack of
true sincerity

And yet the best
decline to rise or cease
virtue as vulnerability;
they watch unwittingly

as the falcon turns above,
finding no footsteps
into Bethlehem
Jai Rho Dec 2014
the air is crisp
and the sky takes a breath
as our footsteps crunch
their way through white
strips rising from a
crystalline field, bearing
the markings of tigers
on their way to heaven,
crowned by dancing dabs
of jade fluttering
in the rustling breeze
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
Jai Rho Feb 2014
Black holes are only temporary
says Stephen Hawking in reverse
and the deathly grip of gravity
is released before finality
extinguishes identity
from the Universe

He must have found that memory
can survive a voodoo curse
and bring back sanity to
a world of unreality
before some tragedy
takes you away
from us
Jai Rho Jan 2014
It's a lazy day in LA
where the sun
siestas in the trees

and the only ice
to be found
is in the margaritas
that we raise
to toast the clouds
that drift away
as the sky blushes

pacific blue
Jai Rho Nov 2015
Contrary to popular belief,
we have found WMDs in Iraq,
whose Tigris and Euphrates rivers
once flowed into the Garden of Eden.

But true to popular belief,
these WMDs were not weapons
of mass destruction, in the usual
meaning of that phrase,

They turned out to be wars
of mutual destruction, fueled
by fear and anger against
the most vulnerable within our reach

It matters not that good
intentions guided bombs
and tanks to destroy the
land and lives of innocents

To a man who buried his
family in the smoking ashes
of his ancestral home, or that
vengeful reprisals have no

Other cause, to a mother who
sheds tears upon her favorite
photo of her dead son, whose
body has come home

But whose blood was spilled
into the Tigris and Euphrates

And it matters not
that treasures spent
in futile efforts to fix
what through unfounded

Belief was broken,
by laying siege to
vanquished tribes
to form a nation

Foreign to their own.
And though livelihoods
and communities have
been drained of hope

And promise at home,
there is no end in sight
for wars still fueled by
fear and anger against

The most vulnerable
within our reach.
Jai Rho Oct 2014
We were pirates then
dueling swords of picket wood
on summer days when backyard pools
were Caribbean seas

We swung from frayed and creaking rope
tethered to the stolid limbs of shadegiving trees
plundering the ships we made from cardboard
and splintered pinewood crates

We laid siege to sandbox fortresses
with cannon fire from garden hoses
muzzled by the ends of our thumbs

Our shipmates were the tabby cats
and german shepherds we dressed
in tattered sheets pillaged from
lines strewn across the lawn
and patches held by rubber bands
covering bewildered eyes

We were pirates then
dueling swords of picket wood
on summer days we buried
in coves hidden along straits
we marked on weathered maps

Surviving still and sometimes found
in the darkest corners of the night
and the cloudless wonder of the day
Jai Rho Aug 2013
They stand for centuries
these bricks of clay
in walls and streets
in wind and rain
they never stray

From their formations
destinations cast
by fate

Molded
into shapes
designed to
keep them in
their place
encased in mortar
adding permanence
to finality

Yet from the same
patch of earth
there are grains of clay
in clumps or on their own
that refuse to fill a mold
or be confined in ways
that rob them of their nature

They are empowered
by the blazing sun
and use its heat
to set their fire
as they become
the smoke and flames
that scorch the earth
and ride the wind
Jai Rho Jul 2013
Everyone lies
except me
Jai Rho Dec 2013
She was named "Camelia"
when she was born
but we called her "Rose"
because of her thorns

not on her skin
but those within

And still we cherished
her petals even
as they fell

deep soft velvet
in our arms
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
Jai Rho Nov 2015
It is better to light a candle
than curse the darkness
Jai Rho Feb 2014
She thought she felt
the world
crumpling all around her
falling in pieces
darkening her skies
suffocating all the joy
within her

And when she felt
the heavy
blanket of despair
draped wearily
upon her
tears began
flowing into pools
beneath her
and she began
floating on
dissolving grief
within her

And then she felt
nothing
of the pain inside her
nothing
of the time that stalked her
nothing
of the ragged skin that enveloped her
nothing
of the memories that haunted her

Until she felt
a new shape
forming in the darkness
tenderness
spreading from her fingertips
embracing her shoulders
caressing her cheeks
as her lashes fluttered
at dimly sparkling rays

And then she felt
her limbs
stretching from confinement
her lips
drinking in sweet breath
her eyes
seeing past imagination

A new beginning
emerging
in a familiar
world slowly

Like the dusted wings
of a painted lady
unfolding to the skies
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
Jai Rho Jul 2013
There is no Central
in South Central anymore
just South LA incinerated
            at its core

What justice can there be
in violence defended
just because it's chained
to violence unrepented

No matter the degree
or source of blind-eyed
blame a match once-lit
will still result in flames

And shouts with rage
upon deaf ears cause
heels to dig with deeper
fear unlike the sound
of ebbing waves

That wash away
the tortured sand
and make new ground
where we can stand
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 Sep 2014
The worst
that money
can buy
Jai Rho Mar 2014
It's dust, mostly
the kind that burrows
deep into the creases
of his forehead
and hides inside
the crinkles
around his eyes

It's forever stuck
to the soles of his boots
and never rinses out
of his denims
in the river,
not entirely

And it finds a way
to roll with beads
of sweat in dripping
lines exposing
parchment skin

but somehow never
penetrates the ring
around his head,
preserved forever
by his stetson's brim

And it's also ashes
from chaparral
and tumbleweeds,
lit up in circles
where he camped

leaving a trail
of where he's been,
like breadcrumbs
swept away in a
restless breeze

It's the creaking sound
of leather in his saddle
and the rhythmic
thud of horseshoes
pounding sunbaked ground

It's the wind in his face
that grits his teeth
and squints his
glassy eyes

It's standing in the stirrups
to fly above the racing plain,
keeping balance
with the whipping mane

It's the endless sky,
and the horizon
that never fades

But mostly,
it's the dust
that he holds
in upraised palms

slipping through
his fingers, disappearing
from his touch

in the wild and still
untamed range
Jai Rho Jul 2013
Crayons almost always
draw outside the lines
and rub their colors
the right way

to make rainbows
from random strokes
of curves and
scattered lines

that somehow find
each other and
come to life
beyond the page
Jai Rho Mar 2014
You were Ukraine
Now you are my land
But you didn't know all the ways I owned you, no
So you took a chance
And made other plans
But I bet you didn't think that they would come crashing down, no

You don't have to say, what you did,
I already know, I found out from Yanukovych
Now there's just no chance, for you without me, there'll never be
And don't it make you sad about it

You told me you obeyed me
Why did you leave me, all alone
Now you tell me you don't need me
When you call me, on the phone
Sovereignty I refuse, you must have me confused
With some other ruler
Your bridges are burned, and now it's your turn
To cry, Crimea river
Crimea river-er
Crimea river
Crimea river-er, yea yea
Jai Rho Sep 2014
A tiny oasis
on the road to somewhere else
weary travelers passing

pause

for a moment
for respite
for fuel
for refreshment

before moving on

to places dreamed of
and dreamed about
sometimes in posters
on the walls

new york london paris
saint louis too
and new orleans

a lithe slip of a girl
floats

out of nowhere

with ponytail bobbing
and smiling eyes
shining

announcing specials
from yesterday's fare

requests and selections
noted

she
looks around and
briefly

recalls her own

as she pirouettes
before disappearing

behind curtain doors
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
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
Jai Rho Jul 2014
Self-evident, but unrecognized
inalienable, but usurped
equal, but oppressed

The rights of every individual
to live in freedom and equality,
unchained by tyranny, to be
master of his or her own destiny

And when our forefathers yielded,
in the name of loyalty and governance,
blind at first to common interest,
they found their rights, their beliefs,
their liberty, eroding from the
land where they stood, from
the cherished ground they
made their home

Though separated by community,
culture, trade, religion and
political views, they became united,
to reclaim their rights, and to
secure and protect their future,
for themselves and for
generations to come

They became one people,
who set aside their differences
to march together toward freedom,
and with one voice they
proclaimed their independence

Announced not with the thunderous
echo of gunfire, but with a declaration,
an appeal to justice, and most
importantly, a pledge

A pledge to each other, to
dedicate their lives, their fortunes
and their sacred honor to their
common purpose, to a nation
where all men and women
are created equal, and life,
liberty and the pursuit of
happiness may flourish

It is this declaration
that we celebrate today,
not our victory in war
or the battles we fought,
but the pledge of our
forefathers, to each
other, to the nation that
we inherit, and to the
march to freedom that
we now must honor
Jai Rho Jul 2013
We talk in code
with words
that like chameleons
hide
where they appear

and send signals
with our fars
and nears
and gones
and heres

that in their way
are sometimes mixed
without knowing
when or why

And then we act
hesitant at times
and at times decisive
yet uncertain

in choreographed
but unrehearsed
steps
that turn
into each other
and phrase the
rhythm
of
our dance
Jai Rho Sep 2014
spin states you and i
like waves across the sky
forever held in time

entangled
Jai Rho Jan 2014
seven billion
each different
yet having something
to share

try different
if one is an err
Jai Rho Mar 2010
It happened in a memory,
not so long ago,
one that had escaped me,
a glimpse of
what I used to know
Jai Rho Jun 2014
Every day
is Father's Day
when his child
makes him more
than just a man
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