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Joel M Frye Dec 2020
don't know if I'm here
seeking some splendiferous
solace or just sleep
#insomniac #poet
Joel M Frye Apr 2015
Pawing through
the dusty box
of memories,
well-covered now
with a thinning coat
of gray hair.
setting aside years
better suited
for a Goodwill bin.
A few keepers;
but must pare down
the hoarding
and prepare
to travel
Another year creeps in on cats' paws....
Joel M Frye Apr 2015
brave soul
capitulates; here be
faces their
in good time,
just so long as they
keep on
Many like myself will
not be deterred,
opting to embark upon a
pilgrimage of pain.
Questioning what
remains in my
thickens and sets
up my
very blood
xanthan gum.
You're next, o
zealous one.
NaPoWriMo day abecedarian poem.  Haven't felt this much like a contortionist since I wrote an acrostic.  ;)
Joel M Frye Feb 2015
Was it something that I told her,
was it something that I said?
Cause it's only gotten colder;
you can skate upon the bed.

Though waves of heat rise from her,
timid hug is met with shove.
I'm only getting number
under covers than above.
Einstein theorized that there is "absolute rest" at absolute zero...I beg to differ.  LOL
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.
Joel M Frye Jan 2021
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
to rend my soul
and salt my eyes.
A tribute to Leonard and Pentatonix. This will be played at my service.
Joel M Frye Feb 2011
Dead heart beats,
floorboard creaks;
killer shrieks.
Hey kids...Lucan and I have started a group called, "History Light".  Shorts and snippets and skewered perspectives on history and historical writes.  Anyone who likes to write in miniature is invited to join and contribute.  Have fun...we intend to!!
2-19-2011  JMF
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
What brings peace must first
break down resistance, comfort;
old habits die hard.
...the answer to the age-old question, "What's the difference between a rut and a grave?".
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
I find myself adrift upon a sea of faceless names
and nameless faces flowing
in a wave of information
that erodes and overloads my poor old mind.

Drift far enough and long enough the sea all looks the same;
the hard edge of horizon flat-lined
out before my sun-strained eyes
and not a port or harbor can I find.

I hope to throw my anchor down
upon some distant shore,
but I won't know till I get there
that I will not have to travel any more.

A mile or so to starboard there's a sailor lost as you;
another heading for the sunset
with a full wind hard abeam
and that's what folks mistakenly call free.

She's called six ways from Sunday and forever passing through.
There is no freedom to be had -
just set an open course for home
or some reasonable facsimile.

I hope to throw my anchor down
upon some distant shore,
but I won't know till I get there
that I will not have to travel any more.
(c) 2002 Joel M Frye
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
Slender, sinuous
strand sending succor, support,
soothing struggling soul.
Joel M Frye Oct 2016
would you remember
if my hand traveled, nestled
down where we'd made love?
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
Joel M Frye Apr 2016
I write in concrete;
find mystery in the real
and the everyday.
Joel M Frye Feb 2015
shall i mindless words
form into function, wander
forward without thought?

lead me on, then, muse
hushing unheeded warnings
of writer's folly

i who have no/thing
to cheer on, no one being
caring close enough

yet hundreds, thousands
read, call, respond and react
to fresh-cut poems

both sweet and pungent,
taste vaguely oriental, 
smell hints of five-spice

as american
as melting *** and quatrains,
common meter, rhymes

cheeseburger and fries,
routine, familiar and
to each their own taste

flavored by flowered
blossomed imaginations
of poets living

and dead, whose poems'
lovely bones breathe still haunting
my quiet spaces

and take tangential
leaps ricocheting into
inspired lunacy

skeleton crews man
poetic voyages, launch
flights of uncertain
direction, take reason to
illogical conclusions.
...full of sound and fury, signifying nothing....
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.
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
Who've tasted freedom
will have no appetite for
less; silence be ******.
Especially apropos right about now.
Joel M Frye Apr 2016
Let those who live in every land,
Let us break bread together.
Let freedom span both east and west;
Let us wander where we will.
Let hope and sorrow now unite,
Let the whole creation cry,
Let it be a dance we do.
Let Christmas come.
Let love continue long...
Let there be light.
NaPoWriMo day 12 - an index poem.  Taken from "Singing the Living Tradition" - a Unitarian Universalist hymnal, the Index of Titles and First Lines.
Joel M Frye Jun 2014
Good poems killed by
dreck with a thousand hashtags;
murderous silence.
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.
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
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
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
After the week-old magazines
and half-read books are scattered
face-down all through the flat...

after turning the radio on and off...

after leaving the guitar
in the corner
for the fourth time...

after jerking off to the face
of the black woman flirting
on the bus ride home...

after the anger
     and the fear
          and the courage
               and the grief...

after all the useless questions
and senseless answers...

after I stop doing and start writing...
after I stop writing and start living

I crawl back into my skin
and I am

after all...


Alone is after
the wind whirls the world
away from me,
and rattles empty branches
against the side
of my soul.
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.
Joel M Frye Jan 2021
...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.
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.
Joel M Frye Apr 2016
I drank to forget,
drank deep, long and hard for years,
forgetting nothing.
NaPoWriMo day 29 - a poem of remembrance.
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
An artist does not
just throw color around;
an artist layers, mixes,
blends tint upon tint,
          shade upon shade,
aware of the need to create depth.

Life needs depth.  Without depth,
without layering soul upon soul,
your thoughts on mine,
          my feelings upon yours,
life has no color;

black upon white,
with touches of gray
for added monotony.
Joel M Frye May 2017
Funny how insomnia
and discomfort will
dredge a new room
into a safe harbor
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
My heart is filled with overwhelming peace
in spite of what the doctor's tests reveal;
a sense of love and caring will not cease.

For one whose life had been one of dis-ease,
where dreams died off, existence seemed unreal,
my heart is filled with overwhelming peace.

There's been no letting go, no caged release
of pent-up terror, prayers, nor appeals.
A sense of love and caring will not cease.

The demons fought for years have been appeased,
their hellish hounds no longer nip my heels.
My heart is filled with overwhelming peace.

Embraced by those whom I expected least;
misunderstandings cauterized and healed.
A sense of love and caring will not cease.

My chosen family, listen, if you please:
Concerned I am, but fear's not what I feel.
My heart is filled with overwhelming peace;
a sense of love and caring will not cease.
Ever since the first mention of cancer, the single returning motif has been, "It will be all right.  It already is."
P.S.  This was written during my first diagnosis.  I am still in remission.
Joel M Frye Dec 2014
Aching whispers of
family memories, wishing
feelings were attached.
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
the cunning embrace and sharp
wit of an old foe.
There's a certain grace and artistry to a 40 year old sparring match....
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.
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.
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 Mar 2016
An old salt sits alone at end of dock,
to watch the ships home safely from the sea.
Not that his weather-beaten lips would ever talk
of voyages his mind takes, odysseys
the younger sailor he once was signed on,
where friendships sailed into romantic ports
of call.  Now safely berthed, he casts a fond
remembrance back on battling violent storms,
a roller-coaster ride on cresting waves
of lust and anger.  Something near a smile
will almost crease one side of sun-scorched face;
a glimpse of paradise sails 'cross the miles.
Young sirens beckon, call him to his past;
he'll walk home safely, lashed unto the mast.
My "Yarn from an Old Hand", a quarter-century down the current.
Joel M Frye Oct 2014
Spirit, please plug her
in the Celestial Charger;
I've drained her again.
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
Understand that
you lost your husband
a couple years back
to heart surgery
and breast cancer.
His ghost has been
wandering in and out
of your life since;
must have been a 
real pain
to see him sitting
next to you on the couch
in the empty seat
you left for him.
Just curious...
if you could have him back
after all this time,
would you take him?
I'm putting my work back in one place.
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
Hello Poetry's
existential dilemma;
should I Like myself?
Joel M Frye Mar 2015
not everyone needs
a lever and a place to stand
to move their world; some
need only a listener
to reflect their words to them.
Joel M Frye Jan 2016
the next great poet
walks among us

without a halo
or unearthly glow

she might post daily
or he might write in bursts

they might be ringing
up your groceries,
or making your
non-fat double decaf
latte with splenda
(smiling to themselves
and saying "why bother"
under their breath)

mostly they stand
bodies distracted
by making a living

and watch

so their poet's eye
can record life
in a way that
makes some sense
to their souls
We've prolly walked by each other a thousand times without knowing....
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
Joel M Frye Mar 2015
America the Beautiful is broken
into variations, reassembled
at fifteen, while your friends played ball, tumbled
after grounders.  Met her, vows were spoken,
children came, a job to feed and shelter.
Insurance, managed risk made up your days
while music filled your nights and underlaid
a counterpoint of art and home.  She felt your
dualistic muse; the age-old tale
of starving artist held no taste for you.
Forty years of working every breath
until the night your muse's heart would fail.
You lived for years with your worst fear come true,
for you had starved your artist to his death.
Charles Ives (1874 - 1954), considered the first true American voice in classical music, creator of the tone cluster...and as an insurance agent, creator of the concept of estate planning.  Another musician who never believed in the myth of the starving artist, and a personal hero.

Every choice has a price to be paid.
Joel M Frye Mar 2011
Though not in pain, I
ache for the times not far past
when I ached for you.
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.
Joel M Frye Jan 2011
I must not yet be ready to love,
because in every woman's face
that tears me out of time
I feel no gift, no grace;
just loss
                  and ever lonelier.
(c)1985 Joel M Frye
Joel M Frye Mar 2015
a tender shoot once felt the sun
beneath its snowy comforter
and dared to peek a tendril out

the promise of an afternoon
and sun's love on its eager face
bespoke a need for nourishment

despite mistrust of fickle wind
with wolf of winter prowling still
the stripling brazenly rose up

and winter gratefully stopped by
to drape a coat of ice upon
the startled stalk who sought the sun

who hadn't time for warm caress
in early February dusk
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
When people learn how
not to hate in the name of
love, Spirit breathes free.
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.
Joel M Frye Feb 2016
Discovered a new
"poet", Diksha Patel, a
master plagiarist.
To any who read this:  please let your friends know.

To all my friends and followers:  Check Diksha's page on HP and see if s/he's plagiarized any of your work.  They stole my POTD from a couple months ago, and struck it from their site when I called them out on it yesterday.  Eliot has been notified.
Joel M Frye Mar 2016
I'll be back when I
have a greater dream than to
live another day.
Written a week before I found I had cancer.  Ironic.
Joel M Frye Feb 2021
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.
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