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Jun 2019 · 189
July 1, 1984
Joel M Frye Jun 2019
A special day; have
a drink on me, if you can.
I've had enough, thanks.
Apr 2019 · 186
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
the shape changes
depending upon
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

rasputin lives in my right lung!
Day 13, NaPoWriMo.  Something mysterious and/or spooky.
Apr 2019 · 217
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 · 112
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 · 184
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's called poetic licence, kids.

Day 18, event from a participant, not the first person.
Apr 2019 · 220
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 · 143
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
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

Time takes us.
What, indeed,
do we take from time?
Day 3 prompt, NaPoWriMo.  A poem in which time passes.
Apr 2019 · 143
a more beautiful question
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
a word
a steady obbligato
on the window of my mind

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 · 58
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.
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 · 57
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 · 63
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
I'm performing
exploratory surgery;
plunging a scalpel
in the interstice
between my discontent
and my gratitude.
Apr 2019 · 220
Joel M Frye Apr 2019
Just another morning
unwilling bones
crack their way out of bed
begging for caffeine
to wash down
a heaping bowl
of matte-gray sameness.
Mar 2019 · 507
The song still in them
Joel M Frye Mar 2019
There was no quiet desperation
in the riotous years of youth,
the grasping search for love and truth.
No, in those days there was no patience
for the faintest scent of dull
routine or rut.  It's just with age
that comfort's found in gilded cage,
no fires to set, and belly full.

Should a technicolor sunrise
strike a quickened spark of phoenix
from the ash of youthful pyres,
hopeful drops for jaded eyes
which, once refreshed, will then be fixed
upon millennial birds of fire.
Grist for the mill, Wisdom.
Jan 2019 · 154
Joel M Frye Jan 2019
Speak these words aloud;
hear the creak of
the rusted pump
seeking fresh flow
from a depleted source.
Hoping to prime the pump.
Jan 2019 · 140
Joel M Frye Jan 2019
The spice and sauce
of ****** urge
has lost most
of it's flavor;
gnawing on bones
and gristle
of survival
more satisfying,
Nice to see the blood run hot in others, though....
Jan 2019 · 495
Joel M Frye Jan 2019
A gorgeous sunrise
makes me glad for this lifetime,
strikes me stone grateful.
Dec 2018 · 433
snow on the roof
Joel M Frye Dec 2018
I remember passion fondly,
sepia-toned snapshots
of vaguely familiar faces,
preposterous poses
grinning at memory's camera.
Such children we were,
bloated with self-importance
raring to be loosed
upon an unsuspecting world
     (they'll never know what hit'em).
Battered by time,
small success and major failures,
a one-sided smile
crawls up my face today
as I pray
for a fragment of that fire,
a torch
to light the rest of my days.
Oct 2018 · 317
Senior year
Joel M Frye Oct 2018
So cliche to say
"your whole future is before you"
when we are rooted
in the soul of your childhood.
Better we should wish you
safe journey, safe home
whenever you might
find your way back.
It simply can't be already....
Jul 2018 · 199
Joel M Frye Jul 2018
Steady, jagged line
paves a smoother path to a
possible future.
Jul 2018 · 349
Bottled up
Joel M Frye Jul 2018
A refilled flask of
creativity; open
it, it needs to breathe.
Jul 2018 · 178
Joel M Frye Jul 2018
Cane in the corner
says: You will depend on me.
I reply: For now.
Thank you all.
Jun 2018 · 3.0k
Joel M Frye Jun 2018
There are no more bad days.
There are moments
          of ingratitude
          of rage
          of self-pity
          of hatred.
Those do not last.
There are
          kind strangers.
These are evergreens.
Bad moments need not
become bad days.
The song of life
plays on between them.
The cancer has returned.  I will begin treatment later this month.  Thank you to my many friends here for your continued support.
Apr 2018 · 384
Joel M Frye Apr 2018
The road where you want
to follow me is not the
road I'm traveling.
"...though I may lose a friend,
in the end, you will know..."
Apr 2018 · 267
Baseball and Apple Pie
Joel M Frye Apr 2018
A boning knife was found behind the bed
to keep my older brother's hands at bay.
The words would not be heard, so none were said.

The little brother, trying to hide, played dead
beneath her blankets in a certain way;
a boning knife was found behind her bed.

She didn't fight me off before, instead
she let me, never spoke about my play.
The words would not be heard, so none were said.

The father, puking till his eyes were red:
"When I come to, there will be hell to pay."
A boning knife was found behind her bed.

He came out, knife in hand.  To her, I pled,
"Momma, please...".  Her look caused me to stay;
the words would not be heard, so none were said.

My daughter's plea was ringing in my head;
my father's hands still linger to this day.
A boning knife was found behind her bed,
the words would not be heard, so none were said.
The game the whole family can play.  And does.  Often.

NaPoWriMo day 2.   A poem with change of voice.  Spoken by the major players of this slice of Americana.
Mar 2018 · 248
Joel M Frye Mar 2018
sensual curves
cradled in my lap
long smooth neck
begging for caresses
ready to respond
any time my need calls
at my lightest touch
sings like an angel
and can scream
like a banshee
my constant companion
my mistress
though it's been too long
since I last held you

don't fret, m'lass...
I'll always make a case for you.
Day 1 NaPoWriMo.  A love poem to an object.
Mar 2018 · 237
when poems die
Joel M Frye Mar 2018
when poems die and all words dry on dusty
tongue    when eyes exhausted can no longer
see    when water's song is still and tired
rivers stop their run    when life's been zested
and no juice is left    when every day
is one thing after one more ******* thing
all it takes is one small drop of love
sent by a stranger, friend...perhaps a god
"Miracles are to come.  With you I leave a remembrance of miracles" - cummings.
Mar 2018 · 261
Goodbye Again
Joel M Frye Mar 2018
It always comes back
to sleepless dark mornings,
waking long before
sleep is through,
clutching at seconds
until I have to leave.

What should have been
will never be,
banished to the south wing
of the dungeon.
Such a refined cruelty
to chain my memory
one chamber over
from your playroom,
where you give and take
your pleasures...
which many years ago
too briefly
were mine alone.
Finishing a draft started months ago.  Needed to release a memory before I could finish.
Mar 2018 · 98
Joel M Frye Mar 2018
he sleeps by day
or not at all
as night expands
his life grows small
Joel M Frye Mar 2018
Trumpets scream out in
agony for a man too
terrified to speak.
For a time, Shostakovich was not Stalin's favorite composer.
Feb 2018 · 11.5k
An Invincible Summer
Joel M Frye Feb 2018
The boxes
which keep my blood clean
are stacked as tall as I,
a monument
in the spare room
to past battles.
Too many words,
too many thoughts
******* in the
hand-to-hand combat
with mortality.

No more.

What life I have
will not be defined
by an indeterminate end.

I live to write poems;
I will no longer die in them.
Camus knows.
Feb 2018 · 312
Shameless Self-promotion
Joel M Frye Feb 2018

A link to my page.  Please listen, and, if you find something you really like, please support your loco musician.  :)
Jan 2018 · 528
new year
Joel M Frye Jan 2018
how rare it is
in all our lost
to walk a forked path
and know
beyond certainty
the way chosen
will change
the rest
of the journey just know.
Nov 2017 · 1.4k
Lie Detector
Joel M Frye Nov 2017
insidious lies:
the ones with a hint of truth
we tell ourselves
Oct 2017 · 1.6k
"More Weight."
Joel M Frye Oct 2017
In the face
of radical Christianity,
a devout pagan stands.

Where religion
aspires to govern,
must voice its protest.

"One nation, under God..."
turns out to be
easily divisible.

All is not forgiven
when wrapped
in flag and cross.

This poem a futile gesture,
message lost amidst
the knee-jerks.

So long
as speech is free,
it must be said.

Jesus was a
great, holy man;
Herod was the governor.

For God's sake...
stop trying to turn
into Herod.
Our population may be a Christian majority...but the Government of America has no official religion.  America was colonized by people escaping the oppression of religions.  We were once a spiritual nation, where every person could believe as they so chose.  

I write not to be praised, but buried.

#freedom #speech #protest
Oct 2017 · 170
Digging deep
Joel M Frye Oct 2017
Have to dig up some
grave humor once in a while
to know I'm alive.
Oct 2017 · 225
Horse with no name
Joel M Frye Oct 2017
My eyes aching with
dryness; crawling soul seeks an
oasis of tears.
Sep 2017 · 960
listening in tongues
Joel M Frye Sep 2017
speaking in tongues
is no longer a miracle;
all kinds of Babel
going around.
a quiet in/re(surrection)
when one listens
to another
and uncommonly hears
the common hopes
the common fears
shared by both
a common sense
of having more
in common
than can be said
and lost
in translation
Civil rights, civil disobedience, civil discourse...civic duty.
Sep 2017 · 180
Joel M Frye Sep 2017
dust blown off the case
the left hand a wounded bird
almost a song comes
Sep 2017 · 315
*of this i cannot speak*
Joel M Frye Sep 2017
of this i cannot speak
the long days alone
at my tattered plywood desk
seeking words   seeking relief
seeking absolvement
a soul long past confession
any noticeable color
washed out by age

of this i cannot speak
dream of all
i once could dream of
when a song
and a glance
could enchant an enchantress.
over last night's leftovers
my right hand reaches down
to grasp
what my mind will not
that time and place has passed

of this i cannot speak**
most days
there is thankfulness
for what i have
and a shrug
for what i have no longer
days like these
gratitude is a formality
given an abrupt nod
and dismissed
Sep 2017 · 111
Dry Wit
Joel M Frye Sep 2017
reaching deep within
words evaporate, leaving
desiccated soul
Joel M Frye Sep 2017
Neck-deep in the business
of business,
only his head remains sleepless
in the dark of early mornings
to enlighten those
who sleep in, and spotlight
his peers who delight him.

His capital investment
is love and empathy;
he replenishes the funds spent
on an island of shelter,
the helter-skelter of Monday-Friday
a Distressway away.
North Country chair on the dock
over beckoning waves
sounding their Circe song,
drawing him to the bedrock
of peace
with himself and others.

Generous with his words
his head runneth over
and verses cascade down,
filling one from another
like a mountain of flutes
poured from a veritable jeroboam
of the muse's vintage.

Only love shows as he writes
doing the poetic hokey-pokey,
left foot in, left foot out.
He has turned my world around...
and that's what it's all about.
It's about **** time you got your own tribute poem.
Aug 2017 · 311
Note To The Great Comb-over
Joel M Frye Aug 2017
you dare to compare
those who built a nation to
those who would shred it?
All slave owners may have been wrong, but not all were created equal.
Jul 2017 · 895
Joel M Frye Jul 2017
A trickle of time
melts its way down
a mountain of perhaps.
Other trickles
from others' potentials
merge and mingle;
become a stream
which grows as it gathers.
Soon, soon,
time no longer
is guided by stone
but carves it,
carves unwilling rock
into fissures.
Earth itself is rent
by what might have been;
time gathers the debris
and carries it downstream,
deep and slow and wide.
The canyon it cut
is deep and wide as well,
and twists and turns
with branches and dead ends.
Our lives are but a shout into the void,
echoes which carry and fade
along canyon walls,
unless and until
an ear downstream
might hear them.
Perhaps they will;
perhaps not.
The river and canyon both
are fickle;
hold their secrets close.
The only potential
once here

is to shout
until no voice is left.
Thanks to an old friend, Harry Weyer, who sent pictures of the Grand Canyon.  His pictures took me with him.  

Pray I might be faithful to my own words.
Jul 2017 · 606
haiku 7.17.17
Joel M Frye Jul 2017
Sheet-metal thunder
rattles through bluest skies
and brightest sunshine
Welcome to Florida....
Jul 2017 · 859
Live While You're Alive
Joel M Frye Jul 2017
Found out recently
that I'm no longer afraid
of dying; I fear
most mere survival until
I've used up all of my days.
Picked up Frankl's "Man's Search For Meaning" lately...I wonder why....
Joel M Frye Jul 2017
self-reliance was
my savior; today, it keeps
me from salvation
I needs my peeps.
Jul 2017 · 398
Return Fare
Joel M Frye Jul 2017
Traveling back to humanity
from a place where there is hopelessness
beyond hopeless,
where one believes in God
and will not trust God.
Lost in a spiritual wilderness
for twenty-one days,
by grace alone not forty.
There is no fear quite like
the fear that your fervent prayers
are being ignored,
or put on celestial Hold:
"...your call will be answered
by the next available Higher Power;
estimated wait time is
approximately three lifetimes."
There are times
when I must founder,
battered, shattered
against the reef of my ego,
baptized by drowning in self-pity
before emerging, reborn
on a safe shore in sheltered harbor,
pulled in by willing friends
who miss me when I'm lost.
"We are punished by our sins, not for them." - Elbert Hubbard.
May 2017 · 360
Joel M Frye May 2017
My granddaughters bounce
in bikinis to the pool;
now hardly children.
I held them in one arm once....
May 2017 · 420
So Mote It Be
Joel M Frye May 2017
There's no magic to
magick; look around, observe
daily miracles.
I've been called a witch many times in my life; though my Way is not the Wiccan way, it does have a few similarities.
May 2017 · 364
Environmentally Safe
Joel M Frye May 2017
Because recycled
themes keep showing up, guess
I'm a green poet.
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