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Apr 2015 · 615
matt bates Apr 2015
I used to think lying down was therapeutic.
Well, I still do,
It's just that I recognize how comforting
Standing on my own can be
Looking above the ***** of dust
That litter the ***** tile underneath the bookcase
Allows an entirely new point of view
And ability to notice the picture frames
With pictures that hold so much action
In squares that don't move.
Before, those pictures were only to be seen
When a strong breeze came through the window
And knocked them onto the ground
But now, from this perspective
There's really no way to know
Whether the picture is hard to see because of the cracks after it fell
Or from you fading from my memories so much that even pictures are unfamiliar.
It's almost as if instead of a photo collection,
My newfound view has allowed me to stumble into a library,
One I created myself, but filled with stories of somebody else,
And just like the layer of dust that has made itself at home atop the glass screen of the frames
I have to blow on each separate page as I turn through
This vaguely familiar story
With characters I kind of recognize
And places I feel like I've been
And as I go deeper and deeper into the library
I begin to realize how many short stories are buried deep in the back corners
In comparison to the couple of epic poems that still lie wide open in the front
As if I had just finished reading them
Whether I meant to or not.
And with each row of books I find myself immersed in
I become more and more interested
and even though they're cloudy, the pictures my mind creates from the stories
Become more and more vivid inside my head
Almost jumping off the page
With characters so real I could imagine myself there
Which made a desire start to form rapidly and intensely inside of me
To write another book
Because when I look at the author of each of these books
Even their name sounds like a sound I've heard before
Something I've heard my whole life
And it makes me want to be like them
And create books like these myself
So while my conscious mind gently lets my body wipe the dust off these old photos
And finally put them away for good
My subconscious being lets me close down this library for good
And the two finally meet together at the coffee shop down the street from my house
And at the park across town
And at the local restaurant with friends who look like they might have been the ones in the pictures long ago
Who've already written dozens of trilogies since
And who invite me to become a character in theirs
And finally, I feel like there's a fresh new bookcase, and a empty camera roll that need to be filled
So the next chapter is finally here
And I'm excited to turn these pages for once.
Aug 2014 · 377
matt bates Aug 2014
i love the idea of footprints
in the sense of people floating into your life
and whether or not
their presence is fleeting
or something much more permanent
whatever sidewalk that they step over
to reach you
will forever be stained
or intricately designed
depending on how you look at it
i love the idea of footprints
because each day
is a new blank sheet,
much like a fresh layer of snow,
it's flakes falling away constantly
like each minute that goes by
slowly but steadily getting closer and closer
to recreating the spotless canvas it once was,
and while these seconds turn to hours
and these snowflakes turn to avalanches,
each indent and blemish
in our personal blizzards
gets covered up by the opportunity
for new footsteps to be taken
and new memories to be hidden and protected
underneath the frozen tundra
of each of our minds
i love the idea of footprints
because they track
each foot that we travel
as we discover new sections
of the map
inside of our own minds
and as our fingers
are busying themselves
drawing out and discovering more areas
our feet are left alone to leave their mark
in the cracks beneath the sidewalk
while our fingers tighten their grip
in the gaps between each others'
i love the idea of footprints
because even if
i don't know where to go anymore
i'll just turn around and follow
my own path back to yours
Jun 2014 · 739
matt bates Jun 2014
a slight, yet deep hiss
that permeates the intangible
silence of night,
a kindling not roaring, but whispering
stories and memories
exaggerated to seem
bigger than they actually are
in comparison to the world
and the ocean of discovery around them.
it provides a sort of comfort,
a security blanket
within the vast darkness
of not just the sky,
but of the future as well
serving as a sort of buffer
between the excitement of not knowing
and the fear of the same
for at that moment,
that fire, burning with anticipation
is identical to the fire
in the eyes of the young hopes and minds
watching it spark
and reveal in their hearts
things they never thought they'd see
the possibilities that they never imagined
shown to them in a white hot blaze
as clear as if they could read a crystal ball,
delicate and porcelain in their hands
they watch as the night goes on
and while the fire remains steady,
their thoughts do not,
and they begin to worry,
not just for the fire itself
but for the ones it is affecting
and providing warmth to,
for they don't want to imagine
an existence without that fire there
because a life without warmth
is one of very cold hearts
and very cold hands
wishing that they had that fire
to make them feel safe again;
but tired thoughts
filled with chilled air to fuel them
are not thoughts to be taken seriously
for they are merely the world
attempting to put out your happiness
and chill the heart
of all hopes that it has
when in reality
that fire,
that glorious, triumphant fire
will rage on
for the rest of your days
and some time after,
because other people
will have seen and come to this very fire
for what they needed to remain as they are
to see that with the right care,
a fire so perfectly synergized will never burn out
not as long as everyone being warmed by it
shall live, at least
and that's because we put our hearts into this fire, so when we die
we will burn out together, leaving the world as you and i
Apr 2014 · 670
matt bates Apr 2014
spirits are very well
known for being
but not the type of spirits
that have alcohol,
the type of spirits
that haunt the minds
of so many,
keeping them awake at night,
searching through the darkness
of their pitch black bedroom,
while simultaneously
searching through the darkness
of their pitch black mind;
they try to convince themselves
that the voices
are all in their head
that they're nothing more
than the darkness parts
of the imagination
but eventually,
even the most hushed voices
are heard by some
and these ghosts are released
quick, effortlessly flowing
into the land of the living
through a ball-point pen
or through anxious fingers
typing away at a screen,
creating a colorless
type of canvas;
however, having it in black and white,
and plainly stating facts
gets dull and listless
even for a life as repetitive
as the spirits
who are enjoying their escape
into the world of the free spirits,
the unshackled thoughts
let out to roam wild with one another
intermingling with others
as they gradually coagulate themselves
to form beautiful words
and stunning phrases,
washing over their individual mediums
with an ocean-like grace,
slowly but steadily
moving down the page
like the most synchronized tide,
gradually creating something bigger
and more spectacular
than any of them could do alone;
and once their prison guard
releases every last drop
of ink onto the page,
and every last keystroke into the document
on the dimly lit screen,
they can finally rest easily,
with the ghosts doing the same,
both holding a lot more love
in their hearts
and in their spirits
for, that constant tide
created a body with more depth
than any sea of blue
we have created the beauty
that's only described by you
Dec 2013 · 643
matt bates Dec 2013
feel the
warm, drowsy
lackadaisically running trails
down your every corner
as their eyes
attempt to catch up
to the tired,
deceivingly excited hands
exploring every inch of you
trying to discover
what's hidden inside you,
the magic of the being
you pack away behind
predictable masks
and colorful spectacles
in an attempt
to distract
or take away from
what you worry
may not be enough,
may not be what
they wanted;
so you shove
forced color schemes
to safeguard yourself
from anyone considering,
let alone caring
to unravel
the contents
of the windowless box
you call a body;
so you sit still,
as the people around you
allow themselves
to be found,
though none of them felt lost,
and as you resign yourself,
resting in
the bittersweet feeling
of knowing that
nobody had the opportunity
to run their fingers
down your outside,
and slowly,
realize what hides
under all of those
eye-catching aesthetics,
yet secretly wishing
that somebody would pick you up,
out from behind the crowd,
to try and see
what lies within you;
and dear,
something that may
bring upon
a smile,
is that I do
want to have you
open up
just for me;
because, even if
I have nothing else
under the tree
just know
that your presence
is the only gift
that I need
Dec 2013 · 2.1k
matt bates Dec 2013

your fingers;
so delicate
and fragile;
cool to the touch
as i allow
my fingertips
to trail down
the surface
of your smooth skin;
almost like porcelain
to the touch,
you calmed me,
just being in the same vicinity as you
made me suddenly feel
overcome with a sense
of serenity,
of peace
and because of this,
i couldn't get enough of you;
i had never in my life
seen anything i regarded
as remotely close to
as beautiful as you were,
causing me to place you
on the highest of pedestals,
an insurmountable target
with which i used
to compare
every other person;
and none of them did;
the way
you complemented a room
made me have to compliment you
for i have not once
come across something
so pure,
an untainted piece of art
that i fear
will leave my life
sooner than i'd like,
by a stroke
of awful luck,
you'd been dropped
many a time
by undeserving people
that didn't recognize
the priceless masterpiece
they once had
to call their own,
leaving you
to pick up the shattered pieces of yourself
and put them all back together
and while there are scars,
permanent indents and grooves
endlessly reminiscing previous pain,
i am not deterred in my quest
to show the whole world
what a magnificent specimen you are.
and because of this,
i vow to cradle you,
to protect you,
and to love you;
and i'll hope, every week,
that you like the flowers
i got for you to hold
(they glimmer well
with the hint of your eyes)
when the light
from the early morning sun
illuminates every corner
of those daisies,
and more importantly,
the beautiful vaselike angel
caressing them
as if she's the only thing
keeping them from
the rest of the world;
the parts of reality
that don't notice,
that don't realize
the significance
and the simple beauty
inside of both of them;
which is why, darling
i understand
with your broken past
you fear falling apart
but i promise
to keep you safe
after all,
you're my work of heart.
Nov 2013 · 787
matt bates Nov 2013
What an interesting path;
Miles have been traveled,
Endless, perpetual miles
That start to blend together
As I run out of fingers
To count them on
And a mixture
Of fatigue and apathy sets in;
But mostly the latter,
Causing me to drift
Along society,
All the while,
Just barely keeping my head
Above the surface
Floating right above the current events
Waves of ideas
And storms of thought
As they race by,
Just rolling off my back
Like a duck
All because I'm much too self-absorbed
With what I contain
Which is, in my opinion, at least
Ideas much transcendent
Of the flighty, darting fish below me
That never stick around long enough
To see the light of day
Yet somehow,
Those infinitesimal entities
Have so much more
Than I do.
Even though they may not
Rise to the surface
They certainly
Have more depth,
And in this ocean
Of our minds,
Their fish get to explore,
To discover
The great expanse of imagination
That we ourselves
Hold inside us
While I float along the top
Just barely skimming the surface
Of what there actually
Is to find
So if you ever feel like you're drowning
When your mind stays deep under the sea
Know that it's better than keeping your message bottled
For nobody to see
Nov 2013 · 567
matt bates Nov 2013
Can you feel it?

The fire,

The white hot, radiating flame

Set ablaze by an intangible being
Something nobody knows

Like an unsolvable mystery

A question left unanswered

Left there to decay

Like an unopened letter,

Corners tearing and wasting away
Edges beginning to burn into nothingness

So the contents may never be seen,
Never be felt

Never be heard again

The ink melting and splaying

Across the page, tiny remnants of it
Forming a microcosm of the unrelenting haze

That is suffocating the night sky
Forcing itself upon the tops of the trees

The smoldering branches and withering leaves

Making a revival of the forest almost impossible

For all the trails and paths are unnavigable

Clouded by a smokescreen of pain and misfortune

The once endless, lush, 

Serenity of branches 

Attempt to reach for the sky

Like a baby reaching for its mother
The only thing it knows that can give it life

That can keep it safe

But are constantly smothered by the endless grey

The seemingly perpetual mess of burning air

But somehow,

There’s a pinnacle of light

One last glimmer of hope
That hope is you

You’ve started a spark in my soul

And even though my face has started to burn up

I finally feel whole.
Oct 2013 · 699
matt bates Oct 2013
Dust settles
And air,
Once a warm,
Welcoming presence,
Had turned cold,
A seemingly lifeless,
Bitter cold,
Determined to strand
All life
Shackled inside its grasp
Until nothing is left
But the freezing,
Blistering wind
Blowing it's apathetic
Stream of air
Harshly in my direction
And all that
I can remember
Is how, at one time,
The air around me wasn't like this,
And the path I was walking,
Was certainly not
A road less traveled,
For it had been
Many a year
Of me wandering down
This road,
Exploring the same
Cobblestone road,
As smooth as fingers
Gliding along another's hand
And sending trails of electricity
As well as
Shivers down their spine
As if they were
Being caressed by
The same
Chilling breeze
That I am,
As if somehow,
This feeling
Could be duplicated,
That these emotions
Could become replicated,
And the sensation
That runs through
My hands
As I imagine
My life
Before my heart lost it's warmth
Is just enough
To remind me
That this isn't the road
That we'd traveled together
This is something completely different,
Something I can't handle,
Like losing you
Just proved that my life path,
This trail ran cold, too.
Oct 2013 · 2.6k
matt bates Oct 2013
Is it just me?
Or do people not notice
Going to a crowded place
Different aromas wafting,
Emanating around you
They just ignore the sights
Painting their own pictures,
Telling their own stories
Colors invading your personal space
Encompassing you
With a foreign feeling
That creates its own thoughts
In your mind, sprouting
Like trees at the park
Pine needles softly tumbling onto your arms
Tickling each one as it flies away
From its home in the trees
Like a baby bird
Just old enough
For mommy to think he's independent
And there he goes, coasting downward
Until he haphazardly brings himself up
Not a foot from your face
And for a second
Those flapping wings
Sweep up pollen into your nose
Before it jets away
Where? The sky's the limit
But he'll go somewhere populated
Maybe someplace he can fly
Fly like a plane in an airport
Disgruntled passengers hustling
To their respective flights
To go on vacation,
Make it to a meeting, among a plethora of things
Their eyes on the screen of their iphone more than the world around them
All of them, ignorant to their environment
Almost as if they've never seen it before
Like the baby bird that was in front of your face
But how did you see those wings
But those thousands of people didnt
It's because they were too busy tagging
That tweet that wasn't finished
So don't ever feel like just walking
And watching birds
Means you're not doing what you should do
Because those people sitting in the airport
Are missing so much more than you
Oct 2013 · 618
matt bates Oct 2013
The sky,
The voluminous, otherworldly
Floating above you,
Motionless but for the clouds
Barely fidgeting across the skyline
Shuffling down the horizon
In no particular fashion,
No structured order,
Just like the ground below it
This path, worn, beaten,
But not defeated,
Lay in a dreary mess,
Dreary in a way that one would know
At a single glance
What a relic it was.
What a gorgeous, unbelievably lush
Wonderland it once was
Teeming with life,
Overflowing with love
And now,
The flowers have wilted
Hanging their heads in sorrow,
Knowing the next day will be just the same as the current
Rain falling on them constantly
Weighing them down
With the burden of themselves
Cobblestones covered in moss
And coming up from the ground
Uprooting themselves just like
The tree, the massive
Wondrous oak,
Once standing tall, a pillar of hope
In this land of misery, now sleeps
Endlessly on the beds of dandelions
Long since decayed,
But the path is walked on still,
By one, one casual visitor
A blind man,
Seemingly oblivious to the surroundings
Ignoring the rain,
And sat atop that oak tree
Blissful in his haze of fog
Just as I am,
Willingly blind of the world around me
The only thing in my thoughts,
Beauty that only nature can provide
Through blooming roses,
Red as your cheeks are right now
The same face that sends me straight down the rabbit hole into a wonderland of my own
Because like the blind man,
I block everything around me out
Like I too, was reading a good book
Because I see the beauty in everything
And with you, I don't have to look.
Oct 2013 · 1.6k
matt bates Oct 2013
A slippery, charcoal, behemoth of a rock

Lying dormant, as if sleeping, 

Under the comfort of a seabed. 
Waves are crashing onto

The shoreline,

Rippling across the weightless,

Unblemished sand

As though it were hair

Gently being pushed across your face

The almost unnoticeable,
Yet constant breeze

Of the in and outs of your breath

Are the only constant left.

Small indents,

The size of dimples

Are the only remains visible

A last and final reminiscent memory

Of the grace that was once there.

An almost tranquil sendoff

As the water gets pulled back into the expanse

An expanse as deep and as beautiful

As the locks of your hair.
Unconscious thoughts dart through my mind

As quickly as the most nervous fish

Conjuring pictures and images

As vivid as Van Gogh’s

Streaked with lost and quickly forgotten words

Like a smoothed out seashell

Pulled under and out into the sea

To a place more wondrous than the eye will ever see 

The shells float away,

Making one last attempt to stay above the water’s surface

To stay conscious.

But the smell of the air,

Mixed with the comfort of the water

Coaxes it back

Like a siren’s song.

Under those waves,

Beautiful waves,

The same everlasting and flowing haven I have fallen into
The endless,
unexplored, untouched,

Flawless shelter of your locks.

The ones that gently touch against my sand-colored skin

Lulling me and inviting me to drift away,

Away, back into the expanse of a dreamland

One almost as endless

As the ocean of us.
Oct 2013 · 2.6k
matt bates Oct 2013
Expand your mind frame
Enhance your paradigm
Let thoughts flow through
Like a coursing stream
New aspects and ideas
Pouring over you every second
Washing you in innovation
Occasionally pebbles get smoothed over in your mind
And become coherent
Round, unmoving thoughts
Ideas that have been polished,
Until they are nothing, if not monumental
Don't ever, ever let these ideas go
Away from your body, your body of water
No matter how hard the wind blows them
Keep those close.
Because one day, they'll be flawless
Stones, completely and utterly
Something that children marvel at
And adults search for
Adults that ignored their own gems,
The diamonds in the rough that their mind created
So they scavenge,
They sift through the lost rubble and soul of others like them
Hoping to one day find
Something that ignites that spark again
That sets ablaze that fire,
Blows that wind,
Wets that river,
The one they neglected and let dry up
So all those priceless stones they created
Were left to bake in the sun
To become warped
By the same horizons they ignored expanding
The sunsets leaving those gems for the moon to watch over
With wind moving then farther,
And farther,
Until they're completely disappeared
Out of sight
And out of mind
Tossed aside for another lonely,
Stagnant settler to come across
While trying to regain
The paradise they took for granted,
The utopia they threw away,
And the diamonds they tossed aside
They'd give anything to be where you are
To have the opportunities you have
Don't let yourself go,
Never ignore your own soul and being
And tend to that river, let it keep going
So that your mind isn't afflicted with a permanent drought
And you're stuck,
Wading through filth that's not even your own
Just to find the beauty you already have inside
Just let those thoughts rain down on you
And I can guarantee
You'll create something worth looking at
Just you wade and sea
Oct 2013 · 616
matt bates Oct 2013
How stunning
Can a single,
Lone human being be
With skin so smooth,
Like a stone
Washed over and perfected
From what seems like
Blossoming in all sorts
Of colors
Like the vibrant reds
The same shade
As the most adorable blush
One I'm unable to decipher
Whether it is
A natural beauty
Or a masqued era
Shadowing eyes
Behind the truth,
What lies just below the surface,
Of what you think you see.
Your lips stick to what you're saying
Concealing what you're so afraid of
What you're trying to hide
The very foundation
Of who you are.
The smile you show,
Gleaming at the world around you,
To them,
May be completely normal,
Absolutely genuine.
But I know you,
And that air of confidence
Comes with it,
Much more consequence
What you never learned for yourself
While you were
Too busy
Primping your hair
And checking your nails
Was to focus
On what was truly beautiful.
So you spent endless money
Crafting a perfect face
For imperfect people
To impress those
Same people you seem to hate
For no good reason
And what killed me
Is that what you forgot
I noticed while you were with those who didn't relate much
Was that your mind was the most beautiful part you
And it never had on makeup.
Oct 2013 · 874
matt bates Oct 2013
A picturesque
Picture perfect
The edges are covered with a
Thin layer of dust,
All from being passed
From person to person
From eye to eye,
Heart to heart
But the picture itself
Was left untouched, untainted,
If only by sheer luck,
Or maybe through its own will,
It's maintained it's own vibrancy,
It's own beauty
For all the luckiest people in the world
To get to see,
For, inside the white frame
Of the frame
Is the paragon of life
With blossoming colors
That would cause real life butterflies
To appear out of thin air
Almost like magic,
Magic similar to the mystery
The unanswered question posed by what's in their hand
That keeps them up at night,
Unable to sleep,
And when they do reach a restful state,
Their thoughts are clouded
In almost the same way the frame is
By the beauty they witnessed
The epitome of a masterpiece,
The shocking, unbelievable proof
Of a land Mother Nature created
That was absolutely perfect
Now, most may find a place like this
Simply not true
But that's only because
They haven't seen a picture of you.
Oct 2013 · 649
matt bates Oct 2013
For some,
The gateway to their
Every fear,
The portal
To what truly
Terrifies them
And for others,
A time for thinking,
Just how things work,
Trying to understand
How the sunset could've
Been so beautiful
The big yellow star
Stealing one last kiss
Across the scarlet streaked sky,
While on the other side,
We stare in wonder
As something as beautiful
As the full moon
Seemingly out of nowhere
As if it stole
The breath out of the sun
Just to take its place
Lighting up the sky,
Giving us direction
When we're lost in the storm
Of our own thoughts,
Too oblivious to notice anything
Outside of our own cloud
Of dark thoughts,
Until at least,
We see that half-smile
Of a crescent moon,
Making sure we're okay,
Gleaming so beautifully,
We can't believe that it's real
Even as the feeling
Of a euphoria eclipsing
Our very being,
Shining its lunar
Majesty straight into
Our hearts,
Even as our faith wanes
You stay,
Never leaving our side
The problem is,
I'm asleep at night,
Encompassed in a dreamland far away
From the universe
You're perfecting.
The galaxy
You're enhancing
And now I regret
Not waking up until the day
Because by the time I realize your true meaning
You're already away.

— The End —