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Feb 6 · 268
self-exam
Joel M Frye Feb 6
there would be no sleep
this night
wracked with reckoning
futile cup of decaf cooling
minutes become
memories murmuring
recriminations reverberate
bowed head nodding
over quiescent keyboard
as vivid visions vanish
one
        into
                another
hesitant hours hovering
errors echoing
in void of forgiveness
aching agony of awareness
becomes brutal
he receives respite
as night became day
he understood what truth
could be known
he has only himself
and the day before him

and so he lay down
and so his eyes close
in the light of morning
So many of these.
"...but then, if you're so smart / tell me, why are you still so afraid?" - Billy Joel, "Vienna".
Joel M Frye Feb 5
He was a simple man of simple words,
or high-school girl with broken heart who thought
they had a message, or a call, or not.
Arriving with a sense of the absurd,
a bittersweet purview on life and love,
together with a gift for nuanced phrase,
appreciating how the language plays
upon the mind and tongue, they rise above
the well-worn similes, the tired cliches
for days, perhaps for weeks.  Then comes the time
when human ugliness shows up to flay
the budding poet.  The evidence of crimes
committed: smoky circles, nameless gray
reminders of whose gifts they took away.
A tribute to those who have left disheartened or disgusted.
Re-post from another account...remembered to me by Lori Jones McCaffery's "Playmates".
Feb 2 · 1.1k
Autopsy
Joel M Frye Feb 2
there was a time
we broke the bones
of each other's poems
and savored marrow
explored what made them breathe
sought out
warm arterial pulses
examined the hearts
to find the essence of their lives

it was vital to us
in the truest sense of the word

life today is too cheap
to waste that much time
Few of you have been around that long. It's okay.
Feb 1 · 158
Ne m'oublie pas
Joel M Frye Feb 1
While I still breathe, I write to save my life
in compact form; mistakes, the lessons learned,
triumphant days and nights of needless strife
brought on by willful dreams and bridges burned.
One day too soon, a final page will turn,
the book will close. My fine and fragile chain
to life will break.  A loneliness unearned
will mark your passing days in ink of pain.  
Then if you wish to hear my voice again
one silent morning when you wake alone,
I leave you songs and poems.  Each refrain
will resurrect the soul you've always known.
So when my fated moment shall arrive,
my words are here; come read me back alive.
Ne m'oublie pas = Do not forget me
Re-post from another account.
Feb 1 · 231
Paid in full
Joel M Frye Feb 1
Hiring me to repair
and prepare the old rental
for you to occupy
after you sold our house,
I found the collection
of carefully selected snowglobes
bought for you over years
and the original copy
of my gift poem
left with the tenant's trash.
Glad it's loooong past.
Joel M Frye Jan 30
from one who knows
the hours spent
honing a voice
to cut through a room
the days lived
seeing the unseeable
until the lyrics
bleed onto paper
and the sacred moment
when the masteries
and the mysteries
combine
to rend my soul
and salt my eyes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxOsIoejw4E
A tribute to Leonard and Pentatonix. This will be played at my service.
Jan 24 · 67
Prepare ye
Joel M Frye Jan 24
Every day is once again too precious;
a journey, step by step of thirteen years
evaporates to salt like drying tears.
The salt not wasted, rubbed in wounds so specious,
wrapped in bandaged memory, bound tight
and bloodless by layers of adhesive time.
A wish, a prayer, a moment from my prime
when all could be accomplished, all was light.
Each morning wakens heavy, trudges on
Promethius's odyssey to night
still hoping rolling stones may be diverted.
Reality re-dawns; all hope is gone.
The uphill climb remains to make aright
what gifts that born in grace became perverted.
It's the largest truth I have right now.  It will not get better...but I will.
Jan 9 · 122
America, 1860 - 2021
Joel M Frye Jan 9
...and so it begins,
rural against urban,
rich against poor,
change against established,
white against black,
privilege against opportunity,
proud boys against military,
prostitution against dictatorship,
both sides digging in
turning trenches to graves...

and so it never ended
Been watching CNN and Fox News, believing the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  There is no middle right now.
Jan 9 · 104
No middle ground
Joel M Frye Jan 9
If you'd care for a
severe case of whiplash, watch
CNN and Fox.
I'm heading for BBC meself....
Jan 9 · 281
ice-olation
Joel M Frye Jan 9
as time tumbles by
eroding its rocky bed
of eternity
in the shallows
we create
pools of stillness
capturing handfuls
to refresh us

on cold January mornings
the pools ice-olate
into frozen moments
we sculpt into memories
until the reality
of springtime
puddles them
drip by drop
back into the current
Feeling my oats or my age this morning...not sure which.
Dec 2020 · 125
Saving draft...
Joel M Frye Dec 2020
what do I save
when I press save?
a few words
unforgotten
shards of ideas
slivered into soles
painful enough
to extract

perhaps pieces
of what once was
my soul
Dec 2020 · 81
pointless
Joel M Frye Dec 2020
A line begins,
is drawn,
ends.
An endless,
infinite number
of waypoints
between.
Lines leave no legacy;
a small black streak
to be erased.

The last of my line,
I leave no legacy;
my poems are my children
Up waaaaay too late this morning.
Dec 2020 · 292
3 a.m. Sunday
Joel M Frye Dec 2020
don't know if I'm here
seeking some splendiferous
solace or just sleep
#insomniac #poet
Dec 2020 · 124
muse-ing
Joel M Frye Dec 2020
so little
of life
matters,
yet

all of it
lovely
smh....
Aug 2020 · 310
changes
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
to look inside
even the most
even-handed among us
and bring light
to the darkest spaces
where the brothers
fear and anger
still reside
Aug 2020 · 396
pinfish
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
Casting my craft out
upon creation's shallows;
pray to pull in art.
Aug 2020 · 1.1k
eye of a poet
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
vision so vital
to all a poet is;
silent beauty whispers
its miracles only
to those listening.

the poet cursed
with eyes and ears
the clamor of
a living, dying world
inundates
their soul

finding refuge
from the deluge
in a quiet stream of stanzas

never realizing the blessing
of the eye of the poet

until all the words have dried
Aug 2020 · 169
senryu 8.28.20
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
Gathering self for
the morning's journey into
today's mystery.
Suit up and show up....
Aug 2020 · 118
Mme. LaFarge
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
A love for music and words
so deeply stained
in your soul
that all could see
your life's blood
coloring the brick wall
you had painted
so that any artist
who made you stop
the tatting and applaud
could leave their autograph.
Not that you'd exclude
the hangers-on and wanna-be's
from the stage.
That would not be kind.
But you'd get that distant look
as your hands would keep
stitching, knotting, tying off
until the talent showed up.
The hands needled and weaved
without pause;
Only a shift in focus
let the musician or poet know
that they indeed were heard.

Your words at once
lovely and incisive,
inobtrusively lethal
when you chose to create;
pointed as the tatting needles
and strung together
as thoughtfully, carefully
and beautifully as
table runners and doilies.

Too few remember
your dedication to
your coffeehouse,
how you bled
paycheck after paycheck
to keep a stage lit
to keep the magic
of a new discovery
who would soon become a new friend.

It was a hole in the wall,
a converted brick storefront
on a nondescript main street
of a small Florida city.
It lit the lives
of many who needed
a place to bare their souls.
It...
and you...
were great.
R.I.P. Billie Noakes, founder of C.A.M.S coffeehouse and a friend of 30 years.  Sorry it took me so long, Billie.
Aug 2020 · 94
sifting
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
each quiet night
a sieve
sorting what's kept
and discarded
Aug 2020 · 118
what she was...
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
shiny straight hair
sky-blue eyes
lips made to cradle mine
shoulders strong yet delicate
******* supple and ripe
tapered waist, flared hips
legs finely turned
by a master carver
feet to be worshiped

all perfect pieces
never fleshed out
into Woman
a response to Clementine Valerie Black's "what i was wearing".  A clearer statement of my old poem, "Object Lesson".
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/88988/object-lesson/
Aug 2020 · 221
Jovial
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
when a young Ghost
is more substantial
than an old man,
the living must accede
to the un-dead child
Response to reading Ghost of Jupiter's work.  If you haven't read her...do so.
Aug 2020 · 88
senryu 8.3.20
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
Still trying to write;
anything worth doing is
worth doing badly.
Aug 2020 · 180
nine years of poems
Joel M Frye Aug 2020
five moments
in nine years
i felt like a poet
craftsman, yes...artist, rarely.
Jul 2020 · 201
Blessing of the Brds
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
You are light itself;
you are blessed, you are blessing.
Peace always with you.
Reprint from an old account.  Just consolidating my poetry.
Jul 2020 · 118
simple song
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
in whispered words
you sing along with
the song of my heart

unconcerned with tune
or harmony
a simple chorus
in unison

the reverb swells
as the presence
multiplies
you and i and love;
with Spirit
adding contrabass
more felt than heard
Jul 2020 · 51
Autumn
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
Some people change their
colors and fall away; a
few are evergreen.
Moving over poems from an alt account.
Jul 2020 · 382
Une nuit enchantée
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
Naked, moaning softly, bathed in sweat,
jaw agape and panting. Such a sight;
a perfect beauty I'll not soon forget.

Charming evening's prelude to a night
where passion grinds your voice to feral growl,
jaw agape and panting.  Such a sight.

The gentle purring now belies the howl
from shattering release that takes you whole
where passion grinds your voice to feral growl.

Your strong yet silken legs enfold my soul,
as you recover life from petite mort,
from shattering release that takes you whole.

No need to contemplate what's still in store,
I'll hold this waking dream until we sleep
as you recover life from petite mort.

Tomorrow's work and worries all will keep,
I'll hold this waking dream until I sleep.
Naked, moaning softly, bathed in sweat,
a perfect beauty I'll not soon forget.
a terzanelle pour votre plaisir.
Jul 2020 · 111
For Miss Raugh
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
You came back in 1968
from teaching Kenyans
to speak English
to teach Americans
how to see the world.

A nine-year-old boy
was in your fifth-grade class,
precocious, gifted
and quite full of himself
and ignorance.

It was magical, that connection;
the world-wise teacher
and the barely contained
bolt of potential.
It was his only year of school
where he never missed a day
or dropped a class.

Amazing how subtle,
blunt and gentle you were with him,
tapping walls of arrogance
with a wrecking ball,
allowing him to maintain
his structure
while rocking and rebuilding
his foundation.

You saw the boy
who danced on the the tightrope
between genius and insanity...
and quietly fed the jukebox.

He wanted to write;
you gave him Frost and cummings.
He yearned to draw;
you showed him Van Gogh.
He thirsted to learn;
you taught him how
to slake his parched mind.

He left your classroom,
but you continued to teach him.
You still do,
nearly fifty years later.

The last time he saw you,
he hurt you,
in that casual,
caustic way
of the high-school senior.
Still, when his nieces and nephews
with his last name
passed through,
you'd ask them
how he was doing,
and asked them to tell him
to stop in, or call.

He never did,
so he's now reduced
to offering words
you would have loved to read
in their full futility
telling you
that you
are
immortal.
I hope you all have had that one special teacher.
Jul 2020 · 1.2k
Amazed
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
all of you
no more than
zeroes and ones
electronic bits
sharing flesh and bones.
Still blows me away how many friends I've made whom I've never met.
Jul 2020 · 102
Prehistoric
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
when living in Jurassic Park
one learns why we become extinct
our heads are turned by well-turned words
instead of legs   when out for drinks
we'd rather chase a line of thought
than cherches le femmes   our passions shade
toward learning life and less to love
our broken hearts healed and remade
so aching, tired, we lick our wounds
inflicted by the patient years
and seek a resting place for bones
to bathe in tar the end-game's near
and offer meat to those young furry
new creatures as they hunt and scurry
I feel ya, Nat
Jul 2020 · 124
Revolutionary
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
Brutal truth is the
last resort of a best friend
or a patriot.
#face #truth
Jul 2020 · 187
R.I.P. Golic and Wingo
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
Have spent three years
of mornings
listening to
voices of reason,
observation,
quiet humor,
a spot of civility
amid a scorching desert
of screaming,
argumentative
bloviators.

A concept
created in reason
was great
while it lasted.
Just found out one of my favorite shows was cancelled.  Why is a broader statement.
Jul 2020 · 67
A needful message
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
I am an old man now whose time has passed,
the youthful heart of fire has long burnt out.
Pray that a needful message shared will last.

My generation grew on love and held on fast
to their ideals of change to come about.
I am an old man now whose time has passed.

The lessons born on voices from the past
ignored as if we never had been taught.
Pray that a needful message shared will last.

Where anger blooms in fire, stones are cast,
the looting steals all probity, no doubt.
I am an old man now whose time has passed.

My heart grows glad when people join en masse
to turn around what had once come to naught.
Pray that a needful message shared will last.

To those whose lifetimes have been heard at last:
a quiet word will win where fails a shout.
I am an old man now whose time has passed.
Pray that a needful message shared will last.
Jul 2020 · 353
Question
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
Is there therapy
enough for a whole nation
to heal its schism?
Jul 2020 · 91
the Russians knew
Joel M Frye Jul 2020
Tchaikovsky heard
the bipolar duality
of his nation
Rimsky-Korsakov
the mediator
between two
implacable forces
Stravinsky captured perfectly
the strident cacophony
of revolution
Shostakovich
screamed his love
for all his people
in the face of a dictator

can you not hear their music?
I hear it  on the nightly news.
Jun 2020 · 49
requiem
Joel M Frye Jun 2020
those rarest times
you leave me
to my silences
i shut the TV off
and i am sure
whenever i go
no music plays

i savor the quiet
as much as
you welcome
the white noise of game shows
which fills the chasm
where your children were

i know as stone fact
that if you go before me
the first thing i will do
after placing
the urn upon the shelf
is turn on the television

promise me
you'll play me a song
Amazing what a few night's sleep will do
Joel M Frye Jun 2020
Once upon a rhyme I had belief
my life contained some wisdom to be shared
with those around me.  So my soul was bared
to spare my readers pain, perhaps some grief,
or offer up examples good and bad.
Foot by foot the path was measured out
upon a trail of no uncertain doubt
until the sacred truth would be forbade.
On walking down this road none cared to take
the woods throw shadows, light and dark alike
upon new mornings, nights of memories.
This too, this too shall pass.  On this I'll stake
what life remains, in hope in time to strike
a trail through all the vague uncertainties.
Only half as smart as I think I am, and half as dumb as I act.
Jun 2020 · 156
juice
Joel M Frye Jun 2020
it's been said
that testosterone
is the driving force
behind male creativity

so as one is less able
to get a bone
one is less able
to write a poem?
Jun 2019 · 343
June 1, 1984
Joel M Frye Jun 2019
A special day; have
a drink on me, if you can.
I've had enough, thanks.
#grateful
Apr 2019 · 302
alien
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
the shape changes
depending upon
perspective;
from the bottom,
an oak leaf,
from one side a butterfly,
from the other a fist.
they have pictures
in color and in sepia
which speak to them
with different interpretations.
one sees a scar,
one sees growth.
they all agree
     it's a part of me
     it doesn't belong to me
     it came from they don't know where.
it's been cut
it's been shot
it's been exposed to radiation
it's been poisoned
it will not die

aha!
rasputin lives in my right lung!
Day 13, NaPoWriMo.  Something mysterious and/or spooky.
Apr 2019 · 285
Med Evil
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
Ewer ice blew as disguise of springs,
***** mined reams at knight.
Ache hiss Swede as ta sum worse do
Tacit mined hay a rite.
Day 14, NaPoWriMo.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to conceive.  A poem.  In English.
Apr 2019 · 177
all the time in the world
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
leave me your moments spent
without thinking, staring into space
while on hold or waiting in line
for your slush of cold coffee

all that time pulsing away
from an opened artery
of your life

drop your minutes wasted
listening sort of
to the drivel of an almost friend
into the jar held below my sign
"starving for attention - please help"

leave me your moments spent
without thinking
of me:

i'll have all the time in the world
Day 15, NaPoWriMo.  A poem suitable for dramatic interpretation.  Also a recycled oldie.
Apr 2019 · 246
The Poet In the Dell
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
you can feel
the uncertainty in the touch
most days

long pauses,
trembling fingers...
perhaps a slight shake in the hands

a fair five minutes
looking me in the face
after each foray

hand drops from chin,
eyes grow wide
and the clicking away
becomes non-stop
and aggressive

head tilts
lip-reading a line or two
head shakes either yes or no

chair leans back
scanning the whole from afar;
a few terminal clicks

public, save,

then power, sleep...
and I see no more
Okay, so I own an Acer...it's called poetic licence, kids.

Day 18, NaPoWriMo...an event from a participant, not the first person.
Apr 2019 · 325
Friend (lyrics)
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
I had a friend;
we journeyed life together.
Down a dark and winding road
we made our merry way.
The trail was long,
with many holes and pitfalls.
We took our bumps and bruises
and we swallowed our dismay.

I had a friend;
we spent our evening hours
playing our guitars and singing
songs both old and new.
And at night's end
we'd shake our hands and promise
our friendship would endure
and we would always see it through

     But time has a mystic power,
     it turns saplings into trees;
     and its river made a canyon -
     separates my friend and me.

I had a friend;
helped me through tribulations,
and I would be there when
he needed company.
But life goes on,
and our two trails soon parted;
left nothing for each other
but songs and a memory.

    For time has a mystic power,
    it turns saplings into trees;
    and its river made a canyon -
    separates my friend and me.

That friend I had,
out of touch for more than twenty years...
I saw him yesterday
in a little place downtown.
His looks had changed,
perhaps a little paler
in his softly padded bed
with his friends all hangin' round.

     For time has a mystic power,
     it turns saplings into trees;
     and its river made a canyon -
     separates my friend and me.

     For time has a mystic power,
     it turns saplings into trees;
     and its river made a canyon -
     separates my friend and me.
Day 18, NaPoWriMo - an elegy in concrete terms.  Every couple years, the NaPo peeps want an elegy or eulogy.  I'm re-posting, for the same reason as last time.  I've written too **** many of the ****** things.

Written in 1974 as a song for my friend and partner in crime for many years, Jay Edmund Burrow (1956-2010).  I didn't find out until 2011...know you're at peace, and I love you.
Apr 2019 · 207
Taking time
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
Time takes from us.
What do we take
from time?

We take
nine months
of the life of our mothers.

We take
every sunny hour
from everlasting days
of childhood.

We take
sleep-time from our parents,
waiting up for us.

We take
each
agonizing
second
of last day
of school.

We take
the suspended moment
as eyes lock from afar.

We take
all the precious minutes
when falling in love.

We take
our time
to lift the vail
and kiss.

We take
nine months
of two lives
creating another taker.

We take
the rapidly
evaporating time
of raising our children.

We take
sleep-time from our nights,
waiting for our teenagers.

We take
time slowly,
watching our daughter
walk the aisle.

We take
echoes of times past,
ringing through
empty bedrooms.

We take
time lightly,
years skipping past
incomprehensibly fast
until...

Time takes us.
What, indeed,
do we take from time?
Day 3 prompt, NaPoWriMo.  A poem in which time passes.
Apr 2019 · 181
a more beautiful question
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
a word
              whispers
                                another
a steady obbligato
pinging
on the window of my mind

a CRACK
of lightning
as charged particles of concept
are drawn up into ideas

and a trickle
becomes white water

every writer
finds a voice
that whispers
to them the clearest

Who is your word?
cummings has always whispered so clearly to me, it's like shouting.

Day2, NaPoWriMo.
Apr 2019 · 87
Assembly
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
First of all,
do not say there is
no instruction manual.
There is no single,
definitive one;
but there are
a myriad of choices.
It may take years
to find the one that
makes any sense at all.
Next, understand
that the parts you begin with
will not resemble
the finished product in the least.
As you proceed,
tab A will rarely
if ever
fit neatly into slot B.
Adjustments and approximations
are your best friends.
Remember that there are
always resources available;
friends will be willing
to lend a hand,
and customer service lines
for expanded knowledge
depend upon the manual chosen.
Finally...
work with the full knowledge
beforehand that
you will be the last to know
when you are done.
Day 1, NaPoWriMo.  Yeah, I'm starting late. An instructional poem.
Apr 2019 · 85
Reverb
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
Do we not carry
the echoes of the only
in every new love?
a response to S Olson's "End begun".
Apr 2019 · 91
Dichotomy
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
I'm performing
exploratory surgery;
plunging a scalpel
in the interstice
between my discontent
and my gratitude.
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