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Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
I hate these concrete nights
when a street light
is nothing but a street light
and void of sensuous trim

when the metaphors
have all closed their doors
and profundity sleeps
in the bow of the boat

how could muses breathe
in the stiffness that plagues
the air surrounding
a poet?
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Des Moines
Filthy knees from fresh plowed earth
When Jesus spoke of the least of these
This is where he meant
Windmill shadows unassuming
Tickled by forgotten trains
This quiet soul is full of gardens
Growing everything but up
Content to work for working’s sake
Habits sweaty and faded blue
Here is a life lived by the sun
For prepossessing daughters
Here is a life in solitude
Outside the reach of urban wake
Where God has called apostle farmers
Their harvest is a silent one
Overalls and liturgy
Parables they will reap
Sowing seeds in humble penance
The earth their common creed
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Remember that jacket you bought me?
The one with the pointless straps on the shoulders
That I’ve learned looks good with brown shoes?
I don’t think of you at all when I wear it.
And even less often
When I don’t.
There are concrete jackets and ties in my mind
And there are those who will always lose them.
The two never meet for me.
And even less often
When the concrete is keeping me warm.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
A heart can die infinitely
It is the slowest death I know
A reluctancy to accept
The cold blooded ending
That it is indeed alone
A heart will not go quietly
Never has and never will
It knows that somewhere
In the midst of forgery
Someone will hear it screaming
That another heart
With scars that reflect its own
Will lean in to whisper
Those vivifying words
I need you to go on
Steven Hutchison Apr 2015
We write our visions in superscript
Headlining the ordinary with extra
Harvesting mystery from the visible
Coating assumptions with doubt
We live in the world of potentials
Loosed by the origin of shadows
From the trembling of the earth
We weave our melodies
Cracking the doors in the framework
Letting the universe breathe
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
I’m all for equal rights.
I mean, I voted for Obama.
But could you please turn down
your race conversation?
It’s making me uncomfortable.
You don’t know what it feels like
to be the only one in the room
whose skin is the color of guilt.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Tell me how your fingertips sing, Stevie
Tell me how you taught them to dance
Your world so dark behind the curtain
Tell me about the rhythm of chance

Tell me where you found your smile, Stevie
Tell me how many people you’ve blessed
Our world so dark with life uncertain
Tell me about music’s caress

Tell me why it is you’re singing, Stevie
Tell me why you are and I’m not
My world so dark with vision’s burden
Tell me what your world’s got

Tell me how to see what my eyes don’t, Stevie
Tell me how to sing in the dark
Your world so bright shines through your person
Tell me how to open my heart
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
the blood needs stirring
the legs have fallen dumb
stupor of monotony
has nestled into hips
wake these automatons
shake the dust from their harps
break beds and shred pillows
it’s possible that the very sight of feathers
might spark a memory of flight
these lifeless were not stillborn
these were once vivid
there is an epic in each of their wrinkles
each one of their tongues
once rang like bell towers
from hilltop carnal cathedrals
there are mountains they have stood on
that you have yet to reach
be careful not to judge a valley
without first considering
why it’s not called a plateau
these are atoms waiting to be split
waiting to rupture
to quake
to rip through the popular tapestry
waiting for their chance to be contagious
be contagious
these are already on death row
unaware of their slumber
ritual has rocked them gentle and slow
and habit is a cozy cradle
spark passion in dried up timbers
gathered like kindling in foxholes
these have been lovers
for a forgotten number of years
these once meant ‘I do’
there is a sedative nostalgia
glazing their smiles
these are not now, but then
break hourglasses
and storm the new beach
raise flags in the motherland
bearing family crests
speak warpaint
sing fire
compose your battle cry
from their fragmented vitality
arouse in these
a memory of their first love
awaken the giants
that have fallen asleep
pull the plug
let them die or breathe
but let us see
who is and who isn’t
a sepulcher
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
You are a dream I’ll never chase from my eyes
A respite amid patchwork realities
Closer than heaven yet bathed in its splendor
Breaking my shackles of sanity
There you are
Surely desire’s sleight of hand
Holographic dessert water
Sipped cool and slow as a southern morning
You are my breath incarnate
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Have you ever fallen in love
And noticed some time after
Your heart was left cool and empty?
Did they take another’s side
With more vigor than you had seen?
Have you loved your children still?

Have you ever told a heart to still,
Broken your own to let it drink of love?
Has your compassion been seen
In comfort only or even after?
Have you sat at pain’s relentless side
And given until you are empty?

Have you seen a world so empty,
So violent and so still,
As when you leave your mother’s side?
Her embrace more natural a home for love,
In childhood and after,
Than any I’ve ever seen.

Have you ever not been seen?
Has the sky ever looked empty
As a hurricane’s before and after?
Have you kept on shouting still
When there is no answer from love
Because you know it belongs at your side?

Have you ever looked inside
And not understood what you’ve seen?
Is there a more confusing language than love
When you’re told to give and you’re empty?
Is your mantra “peace, be still”
When you’re uncertain about the after?

This is the ever after.
There is no more outside.
I have died to love them still.
There is no one who has seen
That can say my heart isn’t empty.
The name of my reign is love.

Will you cling to the side of love
After the body is empty?
There is still a world to be seen.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Send a prayer out on the wind
Whenever you think of me
We are and then we’re not
Such a brittle time to share

Whenever you think of me
I hope your heart starts singing
Such a brittle time to share
We should fill the world with song

I hope your heart starts singing
We are and then we’re not
We should fill the world with song
Send a prayer out on the wind
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Is there a news more blessed
Than sweet salvation’s song
For mortal man so wretched

The ledger centuries long
With sacrifice erased
Forgetting prideful wrongs

Oh come and share the taste
Confection from above
The never ending grace

Of Christ’s redeeming love
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Come close and I’ll whisper
the ingredients of Spring

one part droopy-eyed daffodils
one part laughter outdoors
two parts sunshine
one part rain that smells like still-buried clover
one part luck
one part superstition
one hour looking at the tops of trees
four corners of wind that will send you spinning
three days of interspersed winter
two parts looking forward
one part looking back
countless incredible reasons to sing
two heartfuls of love
five drops of green
one part painting yourself a different color
one part relearning to wink
one part smiles
one brand new horizon
one part poetry people might actually read

Come closer and I’ll whisper
the ingredients of Spring
They are nothing but you and I
and the world beneath
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
There are moments
when the night is dressing
that you feel you have seen
more than you should
and if you have seen it truly
the night herself will tell you
it was meant for you to see

There are secrets we keep
in midnight gardens
in the bulbs of alien lilies
waiting for the moon to signal
the coming of our age

Will you see this with me
pull back the drapery
of grand expectation
and gaze upon the wonders
of the naked form of night
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Be careful little tongue
how you dance
I know the music moves you
it moves us all the same
the tide waltzes in and out
to the song of a specter orb
but you must be both moon and ocean
for the heart is far too often eclipsed
and is given to mixed meter
fiddles are superfluous these days
and find themselves in the hands
of any drunken stranger
there are melodies for every key
of sorrow and vulgarity
any bar hand will serenade
fix your ear to the tune that rises
like an eastern sun
above the muddled herds
you will hear it first
and then you will sing
then realize you were singing it all along
dance to the rhythms
of the right path resounding
ever in your hands
and in the souls of your feet

be careful little tongue
how you dance
you cannot retract a child
ideas are born with every dip and twist
every curtsy gives them name
each one will grow
each one will know its mother
do not let your words be *******
the product of fiddlers and moonshine
be sober and sure footed
kiss each of your children goodbye
their fruit will come to be your fate
you will shape their taste for dancers
I have seen armies of children
lead open faced rebellion
and sever the ties
between their mother and her friends
listen for that beating
in your palms and tired feet
dance with care little tongue
there is no ballet so dangerous
or beautiful
as speech
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Hush up your mind there lazy wanderer.
Can’t you feel the spirit in the breeze?
The streets are quiet and the stars are loud
And ain’t nothin' still burnin' but the red bud trees.
The mayflies are crawlin’ and the sugar baby bees
Are swarmin’ round the amber candied suns.
Peel back your ears to the summertime thunder.
Pillow clouds in the South have all the fun.
Sidewalk says if you ain’t lost you’ve won.
So you can hold that dusty chin up high.
Let the hills hold your breath ’til you you need to sing.
They’re good at keepin’ secrets and they never ask why.
Hush up your mind there lazy wanderer.
Can’t you feel the spirit in the breeze?
The streets are quiet and the stars are loud
And ain't nothin' still burnin' but the red bud trees.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
our deaths are usually
a collection of hours
and mundane decisions
uprooting our pushpin
from the place marked
You Are Here
We Are
until that fateful morning
or unexpected night
or plane ride
or gunshot
We Are Here
sharp as a thumbtack
holding together
the very fabric of the earth
we are writing this in stone
carving our paths
with each yes and each no
in glorious stride
inescapable end
we choose to push our pins
just a little bit deeper
each step heavy
exercising our freedoms
and with each the refrain
I Am Here
Steven Hutchison Apr 2015
she wails
my unknown mother
tears on the Kenyan graves
i feel her from my corners
a thread pulled taut
from the web
of my citizen soul
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
En los vientres de naciones
todavía huele a tradición:
denso y dulce como un higo.
Hay ecos de bailes
y susurros de dioses
tejiendo pacientemente la cosecha.

Niebla, siempre una niebla,
que desliza por la espalda
de montaña plagada por leyenda,
llevando con sí siseo de culebra,
llanto de cuervo,
y una canción bien embolsada.

Cama fértil pa imaginar,
árboles místicos han criado,
guardando mitos primitivos en sus anillos varicosos.
Hay poco que decir
de la ciencia ni el razón
cuando un trompetista conjura visiones del aguacero.

In the bellies of nations
you can still smell the lore:
dense and sweet as a ripened fig.
There are echoes of dances
and whispers of gods
patiently weaving the harvest.

There is a fog, always a fog,
that slides down the back
of the legend-born mountain
carrying the hiss of a snake,
the wail of a crow,
and a song in its pocket for safe keeping.

Fertile bed for imagination,
mystic trees have sprouted,
holding primal myth in their varicose rings.
There is little to be said
of science or reason
when a trumpeter calls visions from the rain.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
There in the hole of a witness tree
He sits with teeth jackhammering
Chewing his regurgitated worries
Back down to swallowable size
His mind juggling coordinates
Of hickory, walnut, and acorn
Wearing one too many hats
To blend in with the autumn circus
Bushy tail pendulum
Synchronizing his thoughts:
Twenty paces south of the mailbox
All along the curb on elm street
Catty-corner to the sandbox
I didn’t bury enough
My mother was right about me
Will there be nuts in heaven?
Am I fit to enter
No one understands the freeze
Or the way it syphons your dreams
No one really knows for certain
If they can trust the promise of Spring
These jitters become seizures
Of collateral faith
He is pressing his bones
To hold back the winter
Shaking like a reed in October’s gust
Fretting in the hollow of a tree
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Inspired by Caravaggio's Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness

in my dreams
in my waking
in the crunch of every locust I eat
in the sands of my resting place
in the dust on my feet

I asked
What shall I cry
in this wilderness so vast?
What shall I sing
to Jordan’s banks?
The voice answered,
and it rang in my ears,
and it rolled through my bones,
and at once I understood my father’s fear.
The voice of the LORD
is not a dessert rose,
but a knife
cutting ego from its sinew.
The voice left my father dumbfounded.
The same gave me words to speak.

in my step
in my breathing
swimming in my tired eyes
in the water I bury them in
resonating each fiber of life
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
I thought that stars were for the sky
Muted lights beyond my reach
Until your galaxy flew by

I sang to them with no reply
Hollow nights and there in each
I thought that stars were for the sky

I could not find an answer why
And so rejection I did preach
Until your galaxy flew by

A mystery that dares defy
The laws of nature wise men teach
I thought that stars were for the sky

My sense of love in short supply
I was a lonesome owl’s screech
Until your galaxy flew by

Your nebula no gold can buy
Your gravity implodes my speech
I thought that stars were for the sky
Until your galaxy flew by
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
When gunmetal streets begin to fade into jazz
My soul walks cool, unafraid into jazz

There are dissonant holes in the sky tonight
The world seems at once to cascade into jazz

The old district buzzing with ambition’s jam
Each dancer's alchemy turns suede into jazz

And the city lights stiff with rigor mortis
Revived into blues, then swayed into jazz

Windows begin flooding unassuming streets
First timid, the passersby wade into jazz

Some to their ankles, unconvinced of the rhyme
Others shun inhibition and parade into jazz

Their excitement displaced by a mellow groove
Miles Davis lilts above, casting shade into jazz
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Declare pragmatism a vulgarity,
a taste fowl to the tongue.
Embrace the long way home as
an integral part of healing
and swear by the virtue of art.

Decide that you will not be swayed
by flashing lights, airbrushed make-up,
or impressive displays of feathers.
Seek only the flower unseen
in a globe armored to the teeth.

Flea the baroque temptation,
extravagance will not suit you.
Confess to the heavens
your deepest desires
and find them in your own backyard.

Accept helplessness as a gift.
Stop wringing your hands,
for they will not wind the clock
in either direction you mistakenly feel
would be to your benefit.

Savor the precious little
any one thing can give you.
Scrape from each moment
all that is beautiful and velvet
and forget there is anything else.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
There are
two ways of finding
a diamond

is to remove the

and leave
the carcass of a tomb
left behind

The other
is to remove what isn’t
a diamond
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
You will not fit in my inbox,
If you love me, you’ll never try.
Never let a font decide the sincerity
of any good morning or goodnight.
Speak earthquakes to me slowly,
close as you can to my side.
Let me feel your lips
gently graze my earlobe
without an electrical circuit in sight.
Our love will not fit into 1s and 0s.
If you know me, I’ll never try.
Never let a hashtag envelop my sentiment
or pull the digital wool over my eyes.
I’ll lay grooves in your wax
you can play back later.
Our proximity too analog
for the technicolor sky.
Steven Hutchison Jul 2012
let us then digress into the earliest of pleasures
let us cover ourselves in dirt and grime
may we throw our tantrums well

let us then digress into the earliest of horrors
let us come to the edge of that tranquil pool
may we refrain from weeping at our reflection

it is so strange
this brilliance covering itself in mud
this gift bestowed to the broken
these blessed who break themselves at the sternum
these free and bleeding souls
those much too lost to ask for directions
those helpless meandering
beautiful minds
Steven Hutchison May 2014
Eggshells cannot be
the foundation of trusting
I’ve tried it before

eyes that mirror earth
hands that reflect the heavens
you are everywhere

You sing silently
I have been known to deafen
our song is the same

If I paint my body
colors of sincerity
would you believe me?

Look into the woods
and tell me you don’t see it
looking back at you

reaching into me
you may find gold or garbage
accept both or none

The clouds are empty
the ground is already wet
stop praying for rain

then she wants ice cream
I’ve never before tasted
a woman so sweet

There are seldom nights
when sleep will trump poetry
tonight is seldom

count the syllables
in the God-forsaken screams
of empty poets

distance makes the heart
double its normal volume
love is broken ribs

Up jump the boogie,
blood dazzler, piano farm,
what will I call it?

wind through the branches
spinning its propaganda
trees will always bow

brevity, my friend
is grossly overrated
buy low and sell high

When clouds are singing
the melody is raindrops
falling on my head

Carbon has big shoes
Standing on earth’s jugular
Cause of death well known

People always say
the news sounds funny. It’s just
rock and roll to me.

A question rises
amid the revolution
Where are the poets?

if the sunset tried
to be something beautiful
it would cease to be

They found him floating
on the screen of an i-phone
Poor young Narcissus

Sleepy hills yawning
Under a needlepoint sky
Just a stitch in time

Our hearts and our hands
Are far too often strangers
Unite with passion

Dandelion girl
Dancing, amused by the wind
Never taking root

Rain on my eyelids
Spring’s pocket always carries
A panacea

spinning in the queue
are we escaping the tea
you poured for Venus?

Parmesan crusted
cauliflower bites served with
garlic aioli

surround sound crickets
each with its electric voice
serenade the dark

I will always have
more things in common with a
mirror than with you

there is very little
a properly placed sunset
cannot remedy

cocksure and wanting
we are blind and we’re leading
this dichotomy
Steven Hutchison May 2014
I watch you in stop motion.

I probably
remember it
at all.

They’ve been trying for a while now
to anchor you down
tie you to the anvils of atoms and silk

I’ve been telling them for a while now
you’re extra-planetary
you won’t fit into their egg cartons

your first appearance
was marked by a fire
engulfing any earthly
binding or chains

You’ve been burning for a while now
with unlikely alchemy
with flames that repeat my exhaling

We’ve been missing for a while now
lost in each other
away from the world of atoms and silk
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
When you approach a green tree
you must cut it down at an angle.
If you swing your blade horizontally
the rubber trunk will bounce it back
and there’s no telling where it might end up.
I learned to wield a machete at ten;
sharpen the steel til it would split a hair when dropped.
I watched my father tame entire jungles,
transforming briar patches to gazebo valleys,
trimming limbs, splitting branches,
fashioning his throne where I hailed him as king.
I would stand poised with blade over head
imagining I was simultaneously samurai and ninja,
gripping tight the sword only I could pull from the stone.
I studied his kung fu from a place by his side.
Forward enough in his peripheral that he always had the chance
to see he had strength in numbers;
however small that number might be.
His bootprints were always much bigger than mine,
but it didn’t matter to me.
I learned to walk with lengthy stride.
I learned to spit and work
until the jungle had drank its fill of your sweat
or the sun caused you to yield.
I learned that with the strength of my arm and well crafted steel
I could trim life from the living;
tell nature how I felt it should be.

My grandfather had a relationship for some time
with a terrifying elixir.
As soon as the bottle left his lips
knives came tumbling out after.
Words, each unique, like snowflake razors,
slashing green confidence from the legs of my father
at an angle only someone close to you can achieve.
Trimming away hints of sentimentality.
Cutting off entire limbs of pride.
Chipping at his shoulders until he learned to bow
to an old disillusioned king.
You can run all you want to
but sooner or later
he would tell you how your nature should be.
These blades buried deep in my father’s bones,
hiding behind his teeth,
growing roots of their own.
Building fences where they should not be.
Guarding ****** valleys my grandfather laid bare
in the forrest of worth and loving.

My father ran before his legs could carry him.
Trying to outrun his familial ties.
Trying to find the edge of his father’s shadow,
all the while running with knives.
He ran into my mother at least two times
and soon learned he too had a shadow.
My father never fell in love with the elixir.
She still smelled like his father’s cologne.
But as I grew older,
as my soul sprouted trees,
he loosened the blades from behind his teeth.
And so with ****** tongue and visibly chipped shoulders
he taught me how to swing.
Stand closer than any stranger could ever come to be.
Stand tall so you might be mistaken for a king.
Stand strong so your knees don’t betray your shortcomings
and when you see them in your son,
glaring back with green eyes,
you lift your blade at an angle and swing.
Conjure your father’s shadow
still looming in your dreams
and extend it yet another generation.

When you approach a green tree
you must cut it down at an angle.
At a young tree’s side
is the most lethal place to be.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
at any time,
I should forget to speak
Your praises,

at any time,
I should fail to sing
Your songs,

under the light yolk
You have placed upon me,
I should somehow start to think
I’m doing this on my own,

Let the words you wrote on muscle and bone
break forth to parade hallelujahs.
Let the spirit You breathed into my lungs
stir up Your sacred amen.

at any time,
I should act in spite
of mercy,

at any time,
I should disregard
Your love,

on one of the evenings
You paint Yourself in the sky,
I should find my ego drifting
there with the stars above,

Let the glory You stitched into fiber and tissue
echo Your name through corporeal halls.
Let the oceans of blood tsunami my heart
until it speaks with Your cadence and rhyme.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
silver tongue and
silver spoon
silver night and
silver moon
silver enough
to see your ****** expression
staring back in discontent
silver enough
to blind you with the sun
but never to rope it in
silver are your lover’s eyes
silver are your clothes
silver are your very thoughts
but at night your dreams are gold
always second fiddle
your bittersweet symphony
such a prayer you never whispered
you are a byproduct of greed
proof that not all that glitters is gold
you are proving it every meal
every woman you take
every miserable letter
you scratch into grecian history
what a pity to be born Midas’ brother
what a shame to live in second place
silver rope and
mortal man
swing slow from
silver tree
silver enough
to see his ****** expression
staring back in discontent
ekphrastic poem on "Ferment" by Roxy Paine,
a sculpture of a silver tree in the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum's sculpture garden
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
If this poem had a life before I wrote it,
this poem was a penguin.
This poem waddled,
not just because it was a penguin,
also because this poem was fat.
This poem was a fat penguin.
And not just the black and white kind;
this poem was an electric blue fat penguin
who never really understood it was different
until its parents let it out to play with the other little penguins
and they started teasing it and calling it blue bird.
Until that moment,
this poem had no idea that it was a bird.
All this poem knew was that its heartbeat was like a simile
and it had metaphors for feet
and they did not dance.
This poem embraced its electric blue nature
and never saw itself as the underdog
because it was a penguin who lived in Antarctica
and it had no concept of what a dog was
or what it might be under.
Penguins just don’t think like that.
This poem smacked a seal with a couplet underwater.
None of the other penguins believed it,
but it did.
This poem waddled with a lazy swag
and leaned a little to the right
so sometimes it walked in circles.
This poem had 360 degrees of perspective
and -50 degree wind chills.
This poem had more than 50 words for snow
and no words for poetry.
It just lived
and didn't even listen to what other people wrote about it
because it's windy in Antarctica
and you can't really hear much.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2015
I eat treetops
And moss covered stones
And the mist of spring nights
I eat most alone
I consume this world around me
One eyeful at a time
And when I am full I sit and wait
For poetry poopy time
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
Stand close to me
I want to remember us
right here
right now
in that dress you’re wearing
in this light
or with a filter
ya, probably with a filter
we will immortalize this moment
in digital eternity
put ourselves in the back pockets
of all our friends
let them see us
we will become stars tonight
and though the skies are full these days
of lite-brite impersonations
I’m certain we will burn into forevers
I haven’t really noticed where we are
let the world fit itself into the top two corners
of our rectangular existence
like it matters anyway
I need to remember us
tomorrow you won’t be here
we won’t be here
wherever here happens to be
tomorrow I will hear myself again
with those lonely songs and cold hands
of an all-too-present reality
I need you to stand close to me
if I look back and see the world in between us
it will look too much like the truth I’m avoiding
tomorrow I will need to convince myself I’m living
and this will be my arm-length testament
there was a time and a place when we were smiling
pushed close together behind nostalgia inducing filters
if we can look convincing tonight
dress ourselves in starlight
block out the world behind us
maybe tomorrow I’ll believe it
shout your picture into my hollows
before the lonesome deepens
I need you in my back pocket
for those days my lonely soul gets wordy
Steven Hutchison Apr 2013


Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
I wish you wisdom
and all the pain that comes with knowing
the chasm between want and need

I wish you peace
and all the storms that surround it
exposing the silence of fear

I wish you joy
and the pain in which you will find it
lifting your eyes ever to the hills

I wish you love
and the crumbling of castle walls
set up to protect what you hold dear

There are many things I wish for you
many dreams I pray you achieve
But I will not wish you happiness
I wish you growth, not mere relief
Steven Hutchison Apr 2014
You move like bebop improvisations
tracing city silhouettes in the back of my mind.
You are the color of inspirations
blooming in the vacuum of space and time.

You are the beach to all my oceans
catching the driftwood and scattered shells.
You say that I’m in perpetual motion
But I’ll stop the world and we can watch it melt.

You speak like songs of liberation.
Can’t seem to find the ceiling when I’m feeling so free.
And there you go with that syncopation;
Smile and my heart jumps on the upbeat.

You are the door I’ve been looking to open,
I've been walking for Miles in this Kind of Blue.
You knew my next line before it was spoken,
But I’ll say it anyway, you know it’s all for you.
Prompt: Choose the next song on your Pandora playlist and use the title in a poem.

Song: All for You by RJD2 (Magnificent City Instrumentals)
Steven Hutchison Apr 2012
ambient glances
transpiring from ashes
and airborne oceans
my senses surfing
the evening glow

honeycomb lights spinning
restless with bees
and could-have-beens
and what-I-might-do-

it is April
in every sense
of the word
incense swirls around a
strange foreshadowing
Day 25
Steven Hutchison Apr 2015
Cool grass between my toes
Smiling at the sun
My shirt hose-drenched
And my mouth sticky melon
My hands hang open
Reading stories of the wind
I cannot see my eyes
But through them
I know they contain the world
Joystruck and wonderfilled
Careless with good reason
There is safety in their porch talk
And danger to be found
I am reaching for the spirit
With faith untethered
Breathing and I love it
Grabbing hold of the tactile earth
Steven Hutchison Apr 2012
I will swallow broken bits
of the apologies you won't let me give
until I make my stomach filled
and dense enough to sink.
Pulling on my heart
with fingernails of memories
and memories of fingernails
and voices mixed with mine.
Mixing wine with vinegar
in the corners of my mouth
I'll spout and spray this canvass
with the tragedy I want and have not found.
I am still louder than my heart at times.
You know this all too well.
Tooth and molar pass my tongue,
Swallowing culprits one by one.
Lift my jaw above my head
And use my heart to think.
Drink the offering inside my veins.
Use the knife I spoke to you.
I will be lying in the field of somber pauses
Where you first helped me to speak.
Day 17
Steven Hutchison Feb 2015
I look at the stars quite differently now
Dumbfounded by the heavens
I'm content here below
You're in my arms
and I've nothing else to wish for
Steven Hutchison Apr 2013
Come Atlas,
Let me help you.
Your shoulders must be awfully weary.
I can see fury coursing through swollen veins,
Your own body now quivers at your strength.
We believe you.
How long did it take you to convince your flesh
That it was capable of lifting the stars?
That your bones would lock dense
And rise up as armies,
Warring against the moon.
You are old.
The silver in your beard is pulling at your chin,
****** out in the wind,
Splitting seas of doubt.
Do you still gaze at Olympus with ire?
With the bulges of wrath now coating your limbs?
What was given to you as a burden
Has become your pride,
Your nobility in the shame of defeat.
How tightly your fingers are gripping the sky
As if to keep it from leaving you lonely.
Are you lonesome Atlas?
Do your brothers still come to see you?
Your skin is stretched taught
Over what I imagine are diamonds,
Compressed over the span of millennial pain.
They told you you would break.
They laughed when you trembled,
Both biceps and faith.
You are petrified from you ankles to your relentless brow,
Flexing even to the corners of your heart.
In what year did your knee give out,
Leaving you in the position of perpetual homage?
And did it hurt in your soul or your back?
You are defiant at your very core
And have born your battle scar alone for so long
You have become a most magnificent island.
But the water is rising Atlas.
Let me help you.
My legs are spry and my heart just as fierce,
But I am willing to suffer the curse with you.
My feet have been planted in this earth as yours
And I have often felt the weight of the sky.
Share with me your story as my sweat runs free,
One ear to your thoughts and one to heaven.
Let me see what you have seen from this valley,
And shoulder to shoulder
We will stand.
Steven Hutchison Oct 2012
The hours are seldom heard passing
But pass they do
In sleek fitting jackets and earth-toned shoes
Down the streets we never imagined
Each step shaking the air between itself and our ears
As if trying to wake the earth from its dream
Screams we will never hear above the raucous laughter
We haven fallen too far, too quickly to sleep
Each sunrise breaking dawn for empty seats
Swelling with glory of which we have forgotten the taste
There are goosebumps on my tongue well worth remembering
There are apple pies and turkey dumplings
The sound of leaves breaking beneath my feet
There is a chill in the air only the hours know
It is the air I have learned to breathe
Steven Hutchison Apr 2013
weighing options like avocados
firm in the palm of my hand
is the moment just ripe?
or does it belong under the cupboard
another day to breathe

I pull the present into my nose
and search it for signs of future
pull it over my tongue
wrap tonight in a paper bag
another day to breathe
Steven Hutchison Jul 2012
I drown without waking from your dream.
Like silk you slide down over my eyes
and it is dark as it should be.
Should we,
before the dawning of demasiado,
tip toe accross the waves
to dance in the streets,
I believe you will have convinced me
once more,
beyond the shadow of doubt
cast by the swaying trees,
to sink in your arms as you sing to me.
dulce Bahia.
Steven Hutchison Apr 2015
Bad blood
More blood
Bitten dust
Angry eyes
Lots of eyes
Story fires
History bleeds
Baltimore streets
Burn in madness
When asked how we should mourn him
Freddie didn’t speak
Steven Hutchison Apr 2015
I’m holding far too much
In these anxious hands of mine
Compass and a tiger’s tail
The mask that I’m not wearing
And when I come to worship
The King of all that’s living
I leave too much the same
For this to be the true design
Blessed are the meek
Their hands are raised and empty
Open to receive the gift
Of Love’s eternal hope
I’m holding far too much
My hands are tired and heavy
My prayer is not for strength
Or a way that I can cope
But for hands that give you praise
In their receiving
Steven Hutchison Jan 2015
I met a man who sells boxes
Big boxes, small boxes,
dark boxes, boxes with a hole in the top.
right there on the street corner.
selling boxes to whomever he meets.
The man was sharp with a Colgate smile
and eyes that searched your pockets discretely.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,
especially you boys and girls,
toothy wink
Now is your chance,
don’t miss the opportunity.
These boxes sell faster than a free lunch at noon
100% certified to the industry standard
and they come complete with a lifetime guarantee!
I see you second guessing the decision sir.
Let me just tell you, I’ve lived without a box.
It’s not a pretty place to be.
The elements of this world are cruel
and you can’t get back what they take away.
I tell you what, I’m feeling generous today!
I’m declaring that for the next 2 hours
With any purchases of a full size box
I’ll include a child sized box for no additional fee!
But wait, there’s more!
You don’t want a box without a secure lid do you?
Act now and I’ll throw in our patented dual-use lock
Lockable from both the inside and out.
Yes, you ma’am, and one for your daughter as well?”

I watched in horror as the gathering crowd
meandered through his maze of assorted boxes
crouching down and stepping gingerly
inside each one that caught their eye.
Nothing like that new box smell.
Some looked for boxes with head room,
some felt safer with walls to their noses.
A father was helping his son
pull his dreams from a big yellow backpack
filing down the odd edges,
pruning the extrusions,
so they would fit neatly inside
calling his son’s tears the fruit of naiveté
speaking with a voice he assured himself was reason.
The shiny suited man approached me cautiously,
his salesman polish dimmed,
“Have we met?”
He asked with incredulity.
“It’s been about 20 years, I’m surprised you remember”
“Oh, I never forget a face,” he said.
“But what are you doing HERE?
Was there a problem with the box I gave you?
You know there’s a lifetime guarantee.”

“I met a man who collects boxes
in a waterproof warehouse
down at the bottom of the sea.
He knocked on my box and asked the simplest of questions
‘Would you be free?’
My eyes began swimming and my heart shook to its core
as I sadly admitted I had somehow lost the key.
‘Would you be free?’
He repeated, and I answered.
and at once the lid was lifted
and I was lifted
and I was free.
And he set straight the lies that others had told me
And asked if I would give him my fear
my pride, and all the other strings that tethered me to the box
I had sealed myself in for protection.
And then, of all things,
he whispered to me a poem
and it’s that poem that I am here to speak.”
Steven Hutchison Apr 2015
I recycled a prompt from last April and chose to write a poem inspired by the first song that played on my Pandora station.
This song was 'Kiss the Sky' by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra feat. Nino Mochella. I encourage you to listen.

There is war for the taking
For those with open eyes
The weapons are in waiting
For intrepid minds to rise
Some have fought with vigor
In hopes of skirting pain
But though the curse is certain
We do not fight in vain
There is peace for the making
It does not come by chance
The hallowed blood of martyrs
Gives feet to the advance
Now cradle your mortality
That fire beneath your soul
Love can win the battle
Though evil feign control
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