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14.3k · Feb 2018
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.
10.0k · Jan 2011
Split personality
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
Tonight I'll sing with
the band.  My heart will be with
this group of poets.
I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band...see you all tomorrow.
9.9k · Feb 2011
Aged methane
Joel M Frye Feb 2011
Conjunctions creak, the adverbs ache,
nouns bear more than they can take.
Verbs are screaming for Ben-Gay
while pronouns atrophy away.

Adjectives have lost their bite,
possessives just give up the fight.
The subject's upset, naught agrees,
which weakens metaphoric knees.

Contractions all together moan;
the objects better left alone.
Ah, life is at a frightful stage
when poets and their poems age.
"The Minister of Silly Poems will see you now." :P
2-9-2011 JMF
8.9k · Sep 2016
tie it to my hand
Joel M Frye Sep 2016
The power of music
and friendship
heals dead connections;
a well-meaning member
of a jam session
offers me a guitar.
I politely decline,
embarrassed by my disability,
and they shrug.  Your choice.
The familiar curves
beneath my arm
like a woman
from my past,
my amnesiac left hand
reaches for the
muscle memory
of fifty years' practice.
After an agonizing minute,
the G chord miraculously plays,
as I played it at five,
the three big fingers alone
strong enough to hold it.
The switch to C impossible;
so I play a variation.
Doesn't sound bad with the group.
My God, I might play a D7
by the next time it comes around
in the song.
The gang is playing old standards,
Ohio State music;
three chords and a cloud of dust,
which suits my present skill(?) well.
I almost cried when a few tunes later,
we sang A Horse With No Name
to my accompaniment.

Beethoven was deaf, yet heard the Ode To Joy.
Hawking is paralyzed, and travels the universe.
I have three good fingers,
and no good excuses.
8.7k · Mar 2015
why a poet?
Joel M Frye Mar 2015
why a poet?
because a poet
hears the words
which sing the
purest harmonies
because a poet
paints their portraits
in pastels
of phrases
because a poet
dances their agonies
into leaps of faith
and pirouettes
of passion
because a poet
sees
the beauty
in the commonplace
and captures
the moment
in a snapshot
of ink and white
because a bloodless world
cuts itself
a thousand times

and the poet bleeds
For my friends here and around the world on World Poetry Day.
8.3k · Mar 2011
Golden Waterfall
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
We've heard the tales of eyes and smiles a hundred times before,
but for this one I write about, I'll have to add one more.
Though songs of faces say so much, they cannot tell the all,
so I shall sing of one who wears the golden waterfall.

The signals of her hatred for this world of little lies
is registered within the tell-tale candor of her eyes.
On this plane of human falsehood, such honesty stands tall,
and so I sing of one who wears the golden waterfall.

The poetry of words alone has not the grace to give
her passion to discover all the love she wants to live.
A warmth too great to be contained in her body, largely small
flows through the hair of she who wears the golden waterfall.

So from aside I watch, a half-read book upon her shelf
as she throws light upon the unkind mirror of her self
and wonders if the things she seeks will listen to her call -
look!  See them run to one who wears the golden waterfall.
The beautiful soul from "She Never Knew" strikes again...only, this one she got to hear way back when.
1978 JMF
7.9k · Mar 2017
weeds
Joel M Frye Mar 2017
To my friends
who can write
fresh-smelling
bouquets of words
with splendid color,
I offer my envy.
Mine are the blunt, stunted words,
rooted in the cracks
in pavement,
or forcing their way
to light around
overbearing rocks.
Some useful
in their own way,
edible or flavorful,
some with a
pedestrian beauty,
but few that one
would bring home in a bunch
with a box of candy.
More appropriate
in a grimy, young fist
crumpled in love,
destined to be vased
in a water glass
by a doting mother,
or shredded petal by petal
for the sake of soothsaying...
he loves me, he loves me not.
The beauty of your words takes my breath away some days.  Thank you.
6.5k · Mar 2016
Knock knock
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
The angels that you can and cannot see
float in and out of life so gracefully;
enfold in winged embraces one by one,
celestial comforters when day is done.
Some angels take the shapes of passers-by
so you might see the Spirit in their eyes.
A smile that lifts the day from the mundane;
a kind hand up, a loving act conveyed.
The unseen angels hover in the realm
where power manifested overwhelms
our common senses. There behind the scenes
they battle fears and reinforce our dreams.
Take counsel from a humbled man, once proud;
they only enter lives when they're allowed.
6.3k · Mar 2011
Swing dance
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
I take her frame in both hands,
she lets me go for a spin.
Chassis built for performance,
responsive to every move,
I steer her around the circuit.
Following every change of direction
with timing and precision,
she lets me hug the curves
just long enough to feel her power;
not long enough
to lose all control.
To a dear friend Kathy, with whom I have not had the pleasure for much too long.
Joel M Frye Jul 2012
Strolling, wistful, through a thousand lives,
across the chasmed centuries gone past,
he calls her name; it never quite arrives
to fall upon her ear.  Just at the last,
she leaves the hall, or shutters windows closed.
The fading echoes rebound, fall, despair
upon the careless earth, alone who knows
how many times he's haunted up her stairs
and stood before her door, unwilling hand
hung limply at his side. The heavy years
passed by them both again; he hadn't planned
that they would not meet. This chance disappears  
to speak the truth he knows she knows as well;
two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell.

Two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell,
a karmic double-helix twists through time.
They spiral 'round, attracted and repelled
by cosmic force, the space between defined
as two arms' lengths apart. Their fingertips
will brush by chance; the spark that generates
ignites the kindling lust, the heated lips
which speak the wildfire words of love. The fates
dictate the places, times where their paths cross;
circumstances, consequences feed
the choices made.  They've chosen fire, the loss
of reason, stoking starving naked need,
dance with abandon, passion, without pride;
they trip light-years fantastic side by side.

They trip light-years fantastic side by side.
The pas de deux began in ancient court
of some small city-state.  He is a knight
sent by his Queen, a diplomatic sort
of mission.  At a dinner hosted by
the local King, the knight, while taking in
who might be helpful or a hindrance spies
a shaken mane of gold, blue eyes within
her stunning face, struck slack with ennui
until she meets his eyes.  An eyebrow lifts,
a corner of her mouth curls up, unseen
by all save the old man beside.  He shifts,
and stands to pound his staff. The hall is still;
bound by an angered mage's curs'ed spell

Bound by an angered mage's curs'ed spell:
"Your burning gaze, Sir Knight...your smile, milass;
returned. You want each other?  Very well!
So mote it be; I'll have it come to pass.
She will be linked to you, eternally
yours, to have, to hold and never love;
to consummate and quench your lust will be
your death. And you shall lust, by Jove above!
I hereby mate your everlasting souls;
condemn you with a love like Hades' fires,
passion's heat incinerates you whole.
You'll take him, child, and **** him with desire.
You'll die for her; she'll bring you to her knees
across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas."

Across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas
uncounted years of wandering, he seeks
asylum from the memory of her eyes.
The softest skin, most gently blushing cheeks,
wildest fingers raking skin from back,
ever-changing hips which ****** and thrash;
the tavern *****, the courtesan, all lack
whatever power it would take to smash
his crushing need.  An aching pilgrimage,
life spent in shameless chase to slake the lust
imposed by jealous wizard in his rage.
Now weak and old, he walks alone through dust
and sandstorm, seeking solace, final rest
in desert's scalding carborundum breath

In desert's scalding carborundum breath
she oversees construction of her tomb.
Her father started it; upon his death,
she left the mage to build the solemn room
of memory. The waves of slaves pour sweat
in rivers onto stones, their muscles scream
and ripple in the undulating heat.
Mirage becomes a staggering man, unseen
by all but her. She mounts and rides to bring
some water, some relief.  When their eyes meet,
their souls enmesh, their spirits start to sing,
his failing body falls about her feet.
They're found again, and still there's no release;
not even end of life can bring surcease.

Not even end of life can bring surcease;
she lived another twenty years beyond.
His final glance of longing gave no peace,
but chained her in the everlasting bond
of arcane condemnation. Her ****** heart
is pierced by passing seconds, every one
a blunted needle, mildly poisoned dart
not strong enough to stop her pulse's run.
The mage's gift to her: the agony
of life remembering her lover's kiss,
then a death too short to set her free.
It sends her toward another fatal tryst,
spun round again the universe's width;
their love a measured minuet with death.

Their love a measured minuet with death,
a dance with destiny.  They wake again
to unfamiliar bodies, unknown paths
meandering across the haunted plain
of time.  A muddy pasture, half a million
blissful stoners join in raucous song:
"...and you make it hard". Among the hills run
****** lovers who can do no wrong,
all sharing bodies, needles 'til the smack
runs out. Her shaking arms strapped 'cross his chest;
he huddles close, awaiting the next stack
of Methadone. He shivers; breathes his last.
She cries and rocks his body, they will spoon
throughout the summer's thundered afternoon.

Throughout the summer's thundered afternoon
as heavy clouds erupt on thirsty soil,
cooler air meets skin on fire, a boon
to Magdalene and lover.  The sweet oil
washes off, the rain obscures the sound
of marching feet.  Centurions approach
and ****** him from her side. "So now you're found
beside this one, whose last ride gave us such
an evil time.  We strung him up, but now
his body's gone, and you were seen beside
the tomb. You'll die just as he did, and how."
She watched another man be crucified.
Supported by her love, he passed in peace
suspended in expectant spring's embrace.

Suspended in expectant spring's embrace,
the royal courtyard at Versailles in bloom
is laid out for the party.  Every face
is rouged, each powdered wig precisely groomed.
The hundred soldiers stand down, raise a toast,
Vive le roi!  One teasing courtier
seduces a queen's guard to leave his post.
Behind a hedge, they make love unaware
of peasants, women milling through the gate
in search of bread and royal blood, not cake.
He runs to save the Queen, and seals his fate;
the mob will **** for revolution's sake.
The oaks a silent witness to his doom
in autumn colors, reds and golds festooned.

In autumn colors, reds and golds festooned,
the twin moons rise and set, reflecting sun
upon the biodomes.  Earth shines down, ruined
by man's neglect, what could not be undone.
The population by law zero sum;
resource conservation held above
the joy of new life.  Parents here must come
to know the anguish of requited love.
She bears his child; they knew too well the chance
they took.  The court will force a choice be made:
the father or the child. A tear, a glance
as he's locked out. She watches as he fades
in cryogenic punishment, life lashed
to winter's icy shackles holding fast.

To winter's icy shackles holding fast
her soul, she proffers prayer, slogs through the sleet
toward her cloistered cell.  One chilling blast
wraps habit 'round her, knocks her off her feet.
The heavy, sodden cloth, the wind prevents
her gaining purchase on the frozen ground.
From monastery cot, the monk could sense
distress.  In thin burnoose he dashed and found
her, cold as stone, yet breathing; swept her up
and rushed her to the hearth.  His warm embrace
brings on familiar heat.  Their pasts stirred up,
relived, decision made within a trace:
"'Tis best this time we live, and never start."
Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart.

Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart;
the aching need grows stronger day by day.
He tends her failing health without regard
to duty, vows.  Her weak voice strains to say,
"I will be gone before you this time. Hear
me out; this may be what we need to break
our curse.  Stay with me as my time grows near;
and love me as the Reaper comes to take
my soul, and finish with me after I
have left.  God will forgive sins we'll commit
for man alone has ****** us.  We must try
or curse ourselves, continue to submit
to endless pain, remain just as we are:
connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart."

Connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart,
they cling to every moment here and now;
the priceless beating of her failing heart,
his passions roil out in unending flow.
He gazes deep in her eternal eyes
as they glaze over, looking past his face
into the hollow stare of death.  She lies
suspended between life and time and space,
to hear an old, familiar voice sound in
her ears.  "To dance with death before him
as you rut...how clever!  Most astounding
that you'd carry out this futile whim.
He dies; you'll live, just as the curse defines;
strolling, wistful, through a thousand lives."

Strolling, wistful, through a thousand lives
Two ancient souls in broken bodies dwell.
They trip light-years fantastic side by side
Bound by an angered mage's curs'ed spell.
Across uncharted lands, bedragoned seas,
In desert's scalding carborundum breath
Not even end of life can bring surcease;
Their love a measured minuet with death.
Throughout the summer's thundered afternoon,
Suspended in expectant spring's embrace,
In autumn colors, reds and golds festooned,
To winter's icy shackles holding fast;
Their minds attuned, yet cleft by broken heart:
Connected, blessed, and doomed to be apart.
For those of you who knew about this...thanks for your patience.  For those who didn't...this is where much of my creative energy has gone for the past 10 months.  This is the first draft;  revisions and refinements will inevitably follow.  I can usually write a sonnet in about an hour; silly me...I thought this would take me a day or two at worst.
3.6k · Mar 2016
Accounting
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
When Spirit scrolls down to my line
on Life's finite spreadsheet,
may I've done much to bring a smile
before keystroke Delete.
3.3k · Jan 2011
Villanelle (Walking wounded)
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
I have a wound that only trust will heal,
a scab encrusted on my bleeding soul.
Your eyes will tell me how much to reveal.

At first, the pain was much too great to feel;
the void within a black and gaping hole.
I have a wound that only trust will heal.

I learned the need to cover and conceal -
to curse the hurt and go on with my role.
Your eyes will tell me how much to reveal.

Love's embrace a temporary seal,
the depths too raw for topical control;
I have a wound that only trust will heal.

Another saw it, said it was not real
and did not want to see I was not whole;
your eyes will tell me how much to reveal.

Debride the edges gently, I appeal;
a healing touch will help the stitches hold.
I have a wound that only trust will heal;
your eyes will tell me how much to reveal.
"Do Not Go Gentle" has always held a special meaning for me.  It took a while for me to attempt a villanelle.  So...thank you, Dylan.
3.2k · Jun 2018
Present
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
          friends
          family
          caregivers
          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.
2.8k · Jan 2011
Pay it forward
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
I was stupid and starved when I started;
my feral fangs snarling and bared,
only fit to be fed from a distance
by a few brave souls showing they cared.

So slowly by slow I grew human,
so slowly by slow I grew strong.
When I tried to repay all their kindness,
"Pay it forward," they said, "move along."

I can give only what I am given,
small wisdom enough for the day;
if you find something worthwhile for taking,
that would mean more than poems can say.
A lifetime of thanks for the few brave souls.

1-25-2011 JMF
2.6k · Mar 2011
Freeze frame
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
A moment of life too perfect
to live eternally
with words of liquid nitrogen
I will freeze it
stone-cold and statue-still
and walk around
absorbing every sculpted
curve of miraculous you
just as your eyes rolled
lips in mid-gasp
awaiting mine.
Inspired by Anna's "Chiseled Twilight".
3-8-2011  JMF
Joel M Frye Jan 2016
sacred silence hangs on angel wings
blessing, watching over wakened night
fluttering on the screen, drawn to the light of
consciousness, the truth of darkened mornings.
strong, alone, remotely flipping through the
channels of the restless bar-room soul
charles bukowski, angry, drunk and droll;
pavement wisdom yanked inside, renewed and
resurrected.  rolling stone lays open,
having sprung the latent-night messiahs
preaching to insomniacal choir.
cryptic muse's recipe for coping:
be consumed, entombed, re-wombed by
worshiping and feeding written fire.
2.3k · Feb 2011
pantera
Joel M Frye Feb 2011
slinking down the canyoned street
stalking, nylon-smooth to prey
on predatory eyes who meet
her own. some smile, some turn away.
some know she'd eat them to the bone;
they know that they would die to let her.
some'd use her, drop her like a stone
and say that she deserves no better.
the first she calls her daily bread,
grazing as she culls the herd.
the second brings a smile instead;
male ego, cocky, brash, absurd
to think that any man could claim
to beat her at her chosen game.
Just a black shadow on the prowl around the dark, poorly-lit neighborhood of my mind.
2-19-2011  JMF
2.3k · Apr 2011
Sinfully sibilant
Joel M Frye Apr 2011
aimless caresses possess
a puissance, carelessly
purposeful, impossibly
sensual, seducing with
mercilessly sharpened
incessant desires,
releasing passionate
hisses of suspended
breaths, sweetness
of whispers, softness
of kisses slipping their
passage past *******,
solar plexus,
slowly, slowly
submerging
to sunder her
senseless with
soul-shaking
consummating
surcease.
2.1k · Mar 2011
Confirmation
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
I gave a child my name one day;
abandoned her in three short years.
Divorce and dreams pulled me away,
but not without regrets or tears.
A lousy father, that I knew; still
wondered as time wound along
if she remembered as she grew
the man who'd sing her favorite song.
One Saturday, a Facebook friend
request reopened memories past.
Acceptance and a message sent;
a chat precise as cutting glass
more than enough to be convinced
of standing. Not heard one word since.
2.0k · Apr 2011
Attitude adjustment
Joel M Frye Apr 2011
the world is out to
get me so long as I take
it personally;
no one does anything to
me; it happens around me.
2.0k · Sep 2014
unworthy
Joel M Frye Sep 2014
she treads unholy ground where you have faltered
shoulders broken soul to see you rise
she would kiss the sacred salted waters
seeking only sweetness from your eyes
her knees are buckling, carrying a burden
soft as love and heavier than stone
lips release a sigh that's only heard when
she feels safest, thinks that she's alone
tenderness to touch and heal the wounded
child within you hiding from the world
forgiving feet walk 'round the evil you did
bids you sleep, her arm around you curled
she's the reason flailing poets try to
grasp her gracious great unreasoned why.
Another blast from the past.
2.0k · Oct 2016
Birds of a feather
Joel M Frye Oct 2016
Having been a stray myself

I seem to attract them.
2.0k · Mar 2016
Edgy
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
Poetry has been
and is marginalia
of a life well-lived.
"Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it." - Gandhi
2.0k · Mar 2016
mostly senseless
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
From the foot of the bed
I stalk you
watch you test the silk
and taste the edgy fear
praying for release
Ignoring your whisper
while pressure steams
inside my skull
my breath whistling
through my teeth

your low moan
explodes through me
and I pounce
bitter-sweet and salt
on my tongue

I love to smell
you wanting me
*I love every sound
1.9k · Jul 2016
share
Joel M Frye Jul 2016
Come to me with tears, my eyes have cried.
Laugh until you hurt, I've been that manic.
Deceive me if you can, I know the lies
we tell ourselves in fear. I will not panic.
Pound my chest in anger, feel my strength;
know I know your pain, yet do not feel it.
Tell me of your breaking heart at length;
words absorbed and heard the salve to heal it.
We together know we can survive;
after all, we'd chosen different roads and
gone our separate ways just to arrive
in time to hold up one another's loads.
You think you weigh me down, yet do not see
my burden's lighter when you lean on me.
Do you hear me now...my friend?
1.9k · May 2017
If I Were There
Joel M Frye May 2017
The question is not when we meet our end,
but how, and how does not mean what you think.
Should it be fought, or welcomed as a friend?
To that I say, live to the very brink
however you have lived to now.  Each one
who walks though shadowed days finds their own pace;
some stride, some cringe, some stumble, others run.
What each can handle is what each will face.
If talking seems to help, then speak.  Or you
might soldier on, clad in your armored will.
No one can tell another what to do,
just what they've done, for better or for ill.
The path, if smooth or bumpy, is your own
and should you choose, you need not walk alone.
Some days all I can do for another is pray...and at the time, it never seems like enough.  Kol tuv.
1.9k · Apr 2011
shouting LOVE silently
Joel M Frye Apr 2011
shouting
                  LOVE
silently
in most indirect
unmanner
across gaping
expansively
unechoing
carpeted floor
of semi-living room
        (soundlessly
she smiles)
1.9k · Dec 2016
need
Joel M Frye Dec 2016
The silence of solitude
sings to me at night;
soul-satisfying
words whispered
for my ears only
while the house sleeps.
I draw from the well
of my self, and savor
each drop thirstily.
The starving beast within
gnaws at every fresh
crust of aloneness,
melted butter soothing
scalded hands,
until my rumbling gut
is sated, and is at peace
with itself and the world.
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
Jonesing words, no time...
boss coming back, thank Spirit
for senryu mainline.
1/11/11 -  good day for goofy thoughts.  JMF
1.8k · Oct 2017
"More Weight."
Joel M Frye Oct 2017
In the face
of radical Christianity,
a devout pagan stands.

Where religion
aspires to govern,
spirituality
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
Jesus
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
1.8k · Jan 2011
Perspective comes with age
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
Graying, overweight,
powerful bearish
body a-crumble from
years of bullwork.

Didn't matter what
the day job was
when the stage was mine
four nights a week.
Now the voice cracks,
and crowds giggle or
avert their eyes
when it blows up.


There was a time when
whatever I put my mind
or body to, got done.


I got a standing O from an orchestra
and carried a waterbed up 3 flights of stairs.

This morning, I put word to byte
because it's one of the few things
I do better now than then.
We all have our reasons which reason knows not.
1/31/2011 JMF
1.7k · Mar 2017
A wee dram
Joel M Frye Mar 2017
A drunken ould sot named O'Reilly
Drank a bottle he thought of most highly.
On his way to the well,
He stumbled and fell,
And was hoist upon his own shilleilly.
Truly a man with a stick up his....
Happy St. Paddy's Day to ye!
1.7k · Apr 2015
On Writing Villanelles
Joel M Frye Apr 2015
The couplet's first in writing villanelles;
if you desire your work to be its best,
a singleness in purpose always tells.

Of course, the open has the hook that sells,
your reader is seduced to read the rest.
The couplet's first in writing villanelles.

Your second line resides in writer's hell,
the rhyme-rich ending word must meet the test
and singleness in purpose always tells.

Pentameter iambic works just swell,
but matters not, as many will attest.
The couplet's first in writing villanelles.

Last stanza rolls around, the poet's well
is nearly dry, their muse under duress;
a singleness in purpose always tells.

The final lines! Relax, and sit a spell,
enjoy the glow of formal poem's success.
The couplet's first in writing villanelles.
a singleness in purpose always tells.
NaPoWriMo day 15...a poem about itself.
The original title was, "How My Villanelles Write Themselves", which lasted until the fourth verse.  ;)
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.
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
God granted me a gentle friend
to grieve my growing with me.
Of all the gifts in all the world,
He chose the best to give me.

God granted me a gentle friend
to cheer the changes coming;
to add the music to the words,
the chording with the strumming.

God granted me a gentle friend,
and when the doubts came creeping,
he sent me friends and friends again.
My heart was filled to weeping.

God granted me some gentle friends
who love me in my anger.
They hear the faith within the fire -
the care within the clangor.

God granted me some gentle friends
who show me they respect me.
They share the man they see in me;
I learn how to accept me.

God granted me some gentle friends,
each visit a thanks-giving.
Each friend a vision of Himself
to guide me in my living.
(c) 1985 Joel M Frye

I don't necessarily see my Higher Power as male any more...but I will honor the place I was in at this point in my life and not revise the poem.
1.7k · Mar 2011
Stealing hours
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
Stealing hours from jealous time,
surreptitiously I write.
If that theft's criminal, then I'm
as good as busted every night.
Life rolls on; work, marriage, sleep.
Each busy day renews the fight
to find a quiet time to keep
unto myself; not out of spite
or hiding out from jaded eyes,
but understand my place aright;
at peace with all that might arise,
to see life through my Spirit's sight.
I gift myself the time I stole
to mend the patchwork of my soul.
3-4-2011  JMF
1.6k · Apr 2011
Ripples in the pond
Joel M Frye Apr 2011
The universe loves
being loved and love's echoes
ripple through being.
1.6k · Jan 2011
Sawgrass Lake
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
Something prehistoric does arise
approaching Mother Gator's birthing mound.
Reptilian brain, primordial pair of eyes
see naught but food or danger looking 'round
at local parents, tourists, kids, and I
as we stare back in awe.  We hear the sound
of striped-back alligator babies' cries,
seeking out the warmth of higher ground.

We move to see them better. Her cold stare
and shift in murky water lets us know
that not by grace of boardwalk are we there,
but her ancestral patience.  As I go,
I turn once more to see her lying where
she has been since a million years ago.
I have dinosaurs living a quarter-mile from my house...how cool is that?
1/24/2011 JMF
1.6k · Apr 2015
One Monday morning
Joel M Frye Apr 2015
One Monday morning let my lover lie
in warmth and comfort of the tousled bed;
the busy bustling world shall pass her by.

Sunny and insistent morning sky
is keeping covers pulled about her head.
One Monday morning let my lover lie.

A sleepy snuggle, smooch upon closed eye,
absolutely nothing need be said.
The busy bustling world shall pass her by.

The toaster ready, coffee standing by
to clear her mind and wash down breakfast bread.
One Monday morning let my lover lie.

There'll come a day when she won't have to try
and keep up with the worker-drones. Instead,
the busy bustling world shall pass her by.

Today, the radio's insistent cry
called her to rise and shower; off she sped.
One Monday morning, let my lover lie;
the busy bustling world shall pass her by.
NaPoWriMo day 6...a Monday aubade.  Nobody said I couldn't write a villanelle.  ;)
1.6k · Jan 2011
Danger!!! Danger!!!
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
Sticks and stones may break
my bones, but the names I call
myself will **** me.
1/11/11 JMF
1.6k · Nov 2017
Lie Detector
Joel M Frye Nov 2017
insidious lies:
the ones with a hint of truth
we tell ourselves
1.6k · Feb 2011
A small token of my esteem
Joel M Frye Feb 2011
I have a gift for you; okay, it's no
big deal. It's just a little something you
might want to have around when feeling low,
when life's just thirty different shades of blue.
Afraid the present banged around a bit
while I was on the way to meet you here.
Two corners rounded off; they look like ****,
the huge dent in between came very near
to breaking what I wanted most to give.
Be careful of the other pointed end;
it's sharp, and I'd be devastated if
my battered treasure hurt a trusted friend.
Reciprocation's needless, I don't mind;
you haven't got the heart to give in kind.
Lily Mae got me thinking along these lines, so to speak...
2-2-2011  JMF
1.6k · Mar 2011
o splendid child
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
o splendid child most whOlly pure and sweet (
angelic, come to claim your worldly place)
de
    scend
              ing, born to mother of the street
Leda to some (on the                  
                                   down-low) Zeus
effervescent incandescent  eYe  s
illuminating darkened cornered souls
of passers-                                                  
      ­            >snappingsnarlingstomping< 
                                                            ­        by                 
with savior's grace found now(here)
                                                       ­      perfect whole
unearthly beauty neon ((halo)) glows
               mirrored
                               on her palest golden hair
from reddest lights and bar signs
                                                         Her steps float
above the concrete-footed walks and stairs
to which we're tied.
                                 Just child's play (yet it seems
that in her wake a cityblock's
                                                  )re­deemed
Thanks for the inspiration, Lucan. :)
1.5k · Apr 2016
Bowling Red Okra
Joel M Frye Apr 2016
Tops out at six foot six,
long and thin,
perfect frame.
His ladies' fingers
create exceptional lift.
Has a mallow disposition.
His real name
is Abel Moschus,
but you can call him Red.
Best in a team situation;
he's the glue that holds
everyone together,
thick as thieves.
In individual competition,
though,
he wilts under high heat,
and his guts
turn to jelly.
My alter ego on the lanes.  ;)

NaPoWriMo day 5 - poem inspired by an heirloom fruit/veg.
1.5k · Jan 2011
Poet's pub
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
He staggers in, bellies up to the website...
"What'll ya have, bub?"  "Whatever's fresh...";
takes a good long pull from the draft on top.
Pounds down shots of shorts, savors
a good 12-year old sonnet with legs.
His wife knows he's here; doesn't approve.
She just doesn't understand...
but you do, dontcha?
"hi, group, I'm Joel, and I'm a recovering poet" "Keep coming back!"
1/21/2011 JMF
1.5k · Aug 2016
The Geometry of Dying
Joel M Frye Aug 2016
Comes a time
when the mathematics
of the years
becomes more about
- than +,
÷ rather than x.

When wisdom gained
< vitality lost,
and dis-ease > health.

A good night's sleep
and some energy ≈
happiness.

Living is
tangential
to survival,
and not
necessarily
congruent.
I realize I've lost most casual readers with this one.  Today, I don't care.
1.5k · May 2017
Moment of Insomnia
Joel M Frye May 2017
rain and wind lashing
worn down to weary wonder
yet strangely at peace
Joel M Frye Sep 2016
a crooked ugly man walked up
and said "all hope is spent
i'll build a wall and save you all
and be your president

believe me, i can cure all ills
and make all merkins proud
if you'll just take this oil of snake
i sell to every crowd

for any lie becomes the truth
if you but scream it thrice
so plant the seed then others bleed
and you don't pay the price

come spend your vote to buy my line
of prejudice and hate
ignore the churl of all the world
we'll make our nation great"

a machinating woman comes
the way her husband went
"i've done no crime i'm next in line
to be your president

you see how he goes off the rails
and nothing said is true
i can't shoot straight, i fabricate
but never lie to you

lost last time when set to win
this time did what i can
and worked my scut to undercut
an inconvenient man

we're dealing from the bottom, folks
the country's gone to ***
i may not be the best there is
but i'm the best you've got"

so laugh about it, shout about it,
when you've got to choose
your **** is hoist on Hobson's choice
the poison or the noose
...going to the candidate's debate....

Will we ever have the ****** to vote for a third-party candidate?
1.5k · Jan 2011
Motivation
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
The boils grew like cherries;
small, shiny, clustered,
fiery-red and hard as rage.
Stuffed to screaming
with their own venom,
they vomited torrents
of poisoned blood and
three green-white cores of pus,
little jellied lumps of disgust.
Exorcised, the boils shut their mouths
and healed, leaving prim lips of scar.
Those boils hurt worst
just before they drained,
I recall
as I write the last line of a poem.
1.5k · Mar 2011
She's aliiiiiive!!!
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
Her beauty leaves the gods to weep and beat
their chests from unfulfilled desire.  Her legs,
slender, strong, with graceful dancing feet.
Full of life, she understands the dregs,
the darker being lurking just below
my skin, the lust-filled poet-mystic. She
chats of cummings, karma and tarot
while cooking bolognese sauce with me.
Post-dinner, melting on my arm beside
me on the couch with baseball on the tube.
From there, off to the bedroom. Once inside...
well, kiss and tell is just extremely rude.
Ah, to be Young Frankenstein again;
creating love from Abbie Normal brain.
Started with the fantasy of combining the best of the wives/girlfriends I've known...and created a monster. Mwaahaahaahaahaaaaaaaa...
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