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So this then is hell:
to live on in pain
with a heart that won't die
though no love remains.
One stanza of what started out as a longer poem, until I realized that all I really need to say could be said in a few words.
A heart of stone
melted by
a river of tears
Love is never,
    in the end,
as it first appeared.
Inspired by ephemera's "Two Scenes depicting Love."
Copyright 2011, by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
under my blanket
cuddling with me
listening to the rain
Another all-nighter
from Phoenix to L.A.,
delivering paper to the
Times. I'm suddenly
exhausted, now that
the rolls have all been
unloaded and stacked
so high. I gaze up at
an entire forest of
trees reduced to their
exploitable essence.

No messy branches
no troublesome roots
no bark to shed
just nice clean paper
carefully weighed,
labeled, rolled up
tight and wrapped
in heavy cardboard
to keep the dirt out,
looming solid, silent
in the Times' dim warehouse.

No birds here
except for one
lonesome pigeon
who's walking around
hunting for crumbs.
I don't belong here either.
I'll be riding
my steel elephant
back to the corral.
I'll bed down tonight
where the cows all
hang out,
dead, skinned, frozen
inside boxes on wheels,
but that's
another story.
A slice of life from my work as a long-haul trucker--
Copyright 2010 by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
May real love
   find you--
take you by
hug the pain
   from your heart;
kiss the tears
   from your eyes.
For all who are seeking a real and lasting love.
Kate Little's "Most used words" woven into a poem.  
The words:
love remember life heart soul day cinquain kiss beautiful night
sweet man angel dream silver tears spirit words pain does gentle
hard true hope

The poem:

My vanished love,
do you not remember
the life we planned?
A vision our hearts and souls
wove together, day by day,
letters sealed with our own
cincquain kiss.

My now distant love,
how beautiful was the night
from the circle of your arms--
sweet 'tis still,
in my "man from an angel"

The lonely moon
makes a silver necklace
of my tears,
while the night winds,
once bearers of
your love's whispers,
breathe spirit words
into my shattered heart.

This careless pain you gave,
does gentle, yes,
does gentle
in time, into
a hard, true, hope.
From Kate Little's "most used words" list.
Blame for the ensuing poem is all mine.
All rights reserved by the author.
she said her name was.
Of course I didn't believe her,
but it wasn't important.

What was important,
when she met me
with a cheery professional
at the window
in the waiting room
of Anfu Massage,
was that she was
to take me by the hand
and lead me
down the very dim corridor
into a dimly lit room
with a bed
where she and I shared
an hour of

She made me feel
like a great lover
and gave me her best
imitation of passion
so skillfully
that I believed,
because I wanted to,
for that hour
that I was
making love
to my lover.

I used to agonize
and feel guilty about it,
but in this solitary
autumnal season
of my life,
by the ghosts
of loves lost,
I am grateful
for even this
sweet counterfeit.

And, yes
I revel
in her gentle feminine
her softness,
and in the primal
we make.

Somehow, it
feels like
it is keeping my heart
Copyright 2011, by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
Most things
    called love
       are not--
            for good
Copyright 2011, by Michael S. Simpson.  All rights reserved by the author.
even though you are



pulled into






i can

only guess,

your conversation

feeds my heart.

messages pulsing

on a flickering


read again



by this





earth orbit.

i hear




and even

inhale the scent of

your voice




and when you are


i feel like

i am being



by the weight

of my own


i have no reason

to expect

your presence with me

out here

among the silent


or even

a message, but i

do.  i

cling to

the hope

that my

entire existence

is not just a

dream you

are about to

wake up

from and



For Jackie K., 2005
Copyright 2010 by Michael S. Simpson
A thousand
beautiful feelings
in the exquisite
of an innocent,
A thousand blue dreams
float together
in fluffy white
diamond sky moments
smearing rose-petaled beauty
across the sky,
where delicate cool Spring
still weeps
Winter's tears.
From the fridge
You saunter into the room, unaware
of the explosion you just detonated
within my thundering heart
from parched
trees that can't
hold their stories
On this first night of the new year
the Moon rises, full
yet veiled by extravagantly modest
silky mists,
floating serenely through
deep violet skies,
encircled by handmaiden stars.

O moon, I have the honor
of embracing your fading splendor
when you have sailed across
the spangled sea,
when, at last,
tired and pale,
your foot touches
morning's shore.

I will ever welcome you,
faint and disappearing,
into arms that could never hope
to hold your light of fullness,
and I will bear you tenderly
as a dream sleeping against my shoulder,
through each long bright day,
my weightless secret,
until we reach again the portal of twilight, where
my softest kisses, brushing your evanescent eyelids,
will bid you to stir, glow, and rise,
and fill my empty night again
with mystic light.

Ever and again, O Moon, will I follow your arcing journey,
galloping through night's uncertain lands below,
racing to meet you again
on dawn's awakening shore.
Since I cannot yet fly with you above,
I will love you thus,
your invisible breath
against my cheek,
the vision of your dreams
wrapped around my heart,
your mysterious embrace
my cloak.

Each dusk I dream: my longing
lifts me with you,
a second dark moon,
slumbering, a shadow,
through night's deepest mysteries
never parted,
never apart.
For Mirabai, 1998
Copyright 2010 by Michael S. Simpson
Oh my Lord, be my all,
be my all, be my all.

Be my lover, be my friend
be my beginning
Lord, be my end.

Be my Father, my Mother too.
Lord, be my Self
let me wake in You

Be my all, be my all,
be my all in all in all,
be my all,
be my all ,
Be my all!
Copyright 2019 by Michael S. Simpson
All rights reserved by the author
Perhaps self-acceptance
   is the keystone
for bridges
   built between hearts.
Dedicated to my son Yogesh, who was my first teacher about this.
your memory haunts me
as the
of a blossom
i can never name.
you forever remain
in that part of me
that only dreams
reveal. there we
meet we gaze
and we are
so far  
beyond love
Kind of a vision of what we forget when we come out of dreaming: there is much more beyond what we know of here as love--
Copyright 2011 by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved by the author.
May the bitter truth
set you twice as
as those sweet lies
that kept you
Love struck a spark
when first our eyes
into each others gazed--
once kindled there,
pure passion flared
into a fiery blaze.

Love fiercer burns
each time we meet.
The dead cry, "It is sin!"
these hearts alight,
twin torches bright,
blazing in the wind.
Sole survivor, she
watched the ship go
without a trace.
Alone in the endless ocean
she struggled to keep from sinking
under the weight of despair and grief
forcing herself to think only
of staying alive.
No raft,
Slowly she scanned the horizon
knowing she would find nothing
but she gasped, seeing
dorsal fins, big ones, approaching
slicing through the water
just beneath the surface
circling closer
Briefly, irrationally
she tried to think
of a reason
why she should be spared.
"I have a child at home
who needs me!"
There was only one scream
nothing but
the silent sea
blood in the water.
Copyright 2010 by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
Bloom-- where you are planted
Bloom-- wherever you may be
Bloom-- for you are Her flower
And She needs you to bring beauty
To everyone you see.

Bloom-- to brighten your corner
Bloom-- to lighten the day
Bloom-- and so become a witness
Let your gracious goodness
Show someone the way.
Another little song from long ago--but I still like it.
Copyright 2010 by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
In the murky swamp that is my heart
each frog and crocodile
feels like a prince who's just been crowned
when you blow a kiss, and smile
Recovered from a response to a Marsha Singh masterpiece.
One piece of punctuation would
end this poem as it should:
a "." would make it good--
that is, at least I think it could
When  it is over between us
I'll read our lines again
but I'll never read
The End
Fire in the sky,
bright as a million suns,
woke me from a dream this morning.
Brilliant blazing light
vaporized my night.
All of my nightmares started burning.

Burn away, burn away,
burn down the stronghold of my deepest fears!
Burn away, burn away,
burn away the prisons
of a million years,
burn away the shadows of my tears!

Deep within the flame
thunder calls my name
rumbling from the heart of life's power,
"I give this light to you
to see your vision through
I am the essence of your deepest desire
I am the spirit of your fire."

Burn away, burn away
burn down the stronghold of my deepest fears!
burn away, burn away,
burn down the prison of a million years,
burn away the shadows of my tears!
burn away the shadows of my tears!
burn away the shadows of my tears!
Copyright 2019 by Michael S. Simpson
All rights reserved by the author.
Lips busy
cannot tell lies

lips busy
can't speak
angry words

Lips busy
are a fountain
of sweetness

to your
thirsty hearts'
busy lips!
Copyright 2011, by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
Deep below the surface
of a sea storm-tossed, frenetic
lies buried an ancient sailing ship
once bold but now pathetic.

Her rigging long since torn away,
her masts and canvas rotten,
naked bones alone remain
of sailors long forgotten.

She bore these brave adventurers
toward a brand new land.
She and they alike were cursed
never to reach a strand.

But if ye look more closely
at her shattered, mouldered deck,
ye'd find the priceless treasure here
hidden in every wreck.
This poem apppears with permission of the author
I love Carina's "Ancient Relict" so much that I couldn't leave it alone.  In my effort to clarify it, have I ruined it? BTW, her notes are as beautiful as her poem.  Don't miss them!  Feel free to keelhaul me if you think I've violated some taboo.  And, my hat is off to all of you brave souls who, like Carina, succeed at writing poetry in a foreign language!
You and I
together, we
enter a heavenly shrine--
believing life
will shower
as rainbows
You were my best
one. Then why
wasn't I yours?
Perhaps the one who
broke your heart
has the saddest
heart of all:
so lost,
so cold,
and so
to answer
true love's call.
Inspired by Lily Mae's poem, "Cold-Hearted".
All rights reserved by the author.
Blue moon in heaven--
    no love to hold.
Even this warm
    summer night
        has turned cold.
Copyright 2011 by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
Close the
door. You are now
locked in my
to my
I'm delighted,
of course--  I eagerly
read your comment!
Immediately, I read the
poem again-- listening
for the sound of my temple
bell, echoing
in your
Copyright 2011, by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved by the author.
What might the Universe be saying,
Behind the endless chatter of my brain?
What would happen if I really stopped to listen?
Could I hear my seconds running down the drain?

I'll make believe my ears are giant dishes
Made just to hear the music of the spheres.
I'll try to stop my restless mind from spinning
As I listen for the whisper of the stars.

But what if the Universe is sleeping,
And all I hear are snores and gnashing teeth?
Or what if it has taken a vacation
Someplace where it simply can't be reached?

I would hate to go to all that fuss and bother
Just to find out that it may not like to talk.
It might prefer, like me, to have a quiet cup of tea,
And at sunset take a silent evening walk.

And even if the U. and I were speaking,
No proper introductions have been made.
What if it couldn't speak to me in English?
My German's rather threadbare nowadays.

I really can't converse on astrophysics
Or other things that Universes do
"Tell me, have U. ever had an ice cream,
Or visited the tigers at the zoo?"

I'm sorry now I ever even wondered
Just what the Universe might say.
I simply don't have time for idle chatter.
I've got so much I must get done today!
In memoriam, Frieda Simpson (my wonderful stepmom) who liked to listen to the universe. Written for her in 1999.
Copyright 2010 by Michael S. Simpson
Your presence
is requested
for an intimate
between our
Sweet my lady, I long to see
Inside the heart and mind of thee.
Were I to look there, what would I find?
Gracious lady, tell me your mind.

Do you fear I do not love thee,
Because my face you have not seen?
Or do you trust my love's unchang'd,
As it has ever been?

Do you care to know my heart,
Or have you tired of me?
My lady sweet, do tell, do tell,
My lady sweet, do tell me.

As lovers will, I feel bereft
In exile from thee, sweet!
My lady I confess to thee,
My fears I lay at thy feet.

Whether you love me yet or no,
I will not my love betray, though
Without you my own light grows dim,
I hardly see the way.
Today I felt my death
stalking me,
breathing its genderless
ice breath
down my neck--
giving me visions
of my semi-truck and trailer
sliding off the edge of this
icy cliff,
or that one,
with me inside,
the close-up showing me
with that concentrated look
of someone who is
trying to avoid
coming to terms
with their imminent

Needing to change the
doomed channel,
I stopped
flirting with death
long enough to
park my rig in
the big gravel lot
of Dot's Cafe,
eat lunch.

Compared to cold death,
baby tomatoes
and wilted
were good--
real good.
The gray cucumber guts
all around my
salad plate
looked better than
mine would have,
at the bottom
of that cliff,
I'm sure.
and polluted the wailing air
their color
and fragrance
destroyed my pure despair
Copyright 2020. All rights reserved by the author.
One in a million who's
at home within your heart--
Why must we be so
desperately far apart?
Winter snow falls in the mountains,

and, melting, seeps down to the spring.

The spring, in a turbulent fountain,

with a sweet song of youth to sing,

runs down to the riotous river,

and the river flows on to the sea.

Then the water again,

in the snow and the rain,

goes back where it used to be.

I wonder if reincarnation

isn't much like the rain and the snow,

returning through all of eternity

to the places that it used to know.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved by the author.
Death walked in.
He said to her,
"Be still."
And she is.
So still.
Last night I witnessed my mother's death--
Desolation all but slew me.
I feel as insubstantial
as a ghost in the dark
just outside life's window
looking in at the warmth
of a world
that will never again
be mine.  
That you see me
gives me hope--
perhaps I may yet again
know life,
love, even
Thanks, Joel.  It feels so good to be "back among the living."
I make a steady effort
to keep reducing my life.
I've unraveled it's tapestry
into a skein of loose threads.
I'm down to the last one,
it's getting thinner.

I used to have
a wife, a business,
a family, a community,
but that's all gone now:
the marriage was a lie,
the business was killing me,
the community was a cult.

So I cut it all away.
Now all I have left is
a few old friends,
a fistful of poems,
my old guitar,
this big truck I live and work in,
and a couple of kids whom I love.

Not much of a legacy
for a lifetime.
But I take satisfaction in this:
there are no lies in it.

I'm nobody's jailer,
I'm nobody's prisoner.

I make an honest living,
take comfort where I can,
love my kids with all that's in me.

I keep heading down the road,
one step ahead of the reaper.
So far, so good.
the power of
and a
Everybody's got an old, sad story
'bout a love that didn't last
Everybody's got some bittersweet memories
'bout lovers from the past
Everybody's got a dream inside them
'bout a love that's true
Some give up and let it die
Don't let it happen to you
Yeah, some folks up and let it die
Don't let it happen to you!

'Cuz if you let your good dream die
You might as well be underground
But if you keep believin'
Love will come back around, oh yeah!

Now everybody who has waited for love
Will get another chance
Just be sure to keep your heart wide open
and your feet all ready to dance
Live your life with a smile on your face
and a love song in your heart,
Love will come runnin' back to you
and you'll never ever be apart, no!
You'll never ever be apart!
I hope you can hear the music!
Copyright 2010 by Michael S. Simpson. All rights reserved.
We chose spend this lifetime
chasing dreams for two.
If they escape us when we wake
I still got to sleep with you.
Broken wings,
when made of
can still
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