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toleomato Jul 2019
Of all the things I e’er done,
The talks I miss the most,
Of which to night would not succumb,
Or morning force repose.

Of all the things I’ll e’er do,
I hope once more to say
The words which I had come to find
Were absent yesterday.

For all the things I wished I did,
I wish that I said less
As silence is much better heard
Than nonsense, I confess.
toleomato May 2019
The moonlight splinters through the blinds
To show in darkness one can find
The place where one might ought to be,
Yet absent, unbelievably.
Regardless of whom she spends her nights,
The same moon which reveals he
Is the same one which had shadowed me,
Painting us in equal light;
Strangers of the lingering night.
Whether from the covers of a stuffy bed,
Or in winter cold instead,
It matters not, as you can see,
It is for him, not me or he.
And softly into the night we sink,
We three, with all the time to think
With who it is we want to be
Wasting time thus carelessly,
As he and I dream up the same,
And she thinks of a different name,
The night deepens, the moon shines forth
A missing person, a missing fourth.

And thus it ends,
We always look for someone else,
Across the street, behind a door,
Around the corner, on the next floor,
It matters not, I must admit,
No effort which one may submit
Can change the fact of where we are,
He and I, him and her
Separated by a comma in a poem,
Separated by a thought in someone’s head,
Clumped together in a warm cafe,
Lonely in each one’s own way.
I am certain, I am sure
He and I are equals in nothing
Except worthlessness.
toleomato May 2019
Better jealous, better hated, better
Dismissed than be allotted false praise and joy.
A man is his own pride, his own defeat
He ought to know his place and worth; his price.
Besmirched with equal fault, with equal blame
Not one may stand pristine nor pure, alike
The worst we deem in those disdained at heart.
I flinch when I recall the days before
I saw in each a flicker of contempt
As if it could no longer be concealed.
An honest life is all I want to lead;
No pittance due, no pity earned, no worth;
To hate myself and be hated by them.
toleomato Feb 2019
I am justly inadequate
no one knows my name
the strangers I pass by
all treat me just the same.
They never ask about my day
or if I feel okay,
we all look on in silence
repeating yesterday.

I am justly inadequate
I work hard to be not enough
my conscience is never heavy
but my heart isn't up to *****.
My hands are warm and loving,
callused, hard and rough,
a willing heart without a reason
just never has been enough.

I am justly inadequate
I stare out windows thinking that
if I could just be someone else
then I would get a chance
to be the man I could have been
but as I am, I know I can't.

I am justly inadequate
no one knows my name.
And every time I try to laugh
I can only muster shame.
I try to smile,
once in a while,
to trick the gloom away,
but I still know that I am
inadequate any day.
toleomato Feb 2019
Whenever I am around others, I often think of how I should treat a stranger.
Do I treat them with equal disdain and caution?
Treat them with a consistent coating of hatred?
A hatred that transcends bigotry and racism
To achieve misanthropy in its purest form?
Or rather compassion, a struggle to understand despite regrettable conduct?
More lately, as I have grown older, I have opted more for compassion.
As a child, I often had sympathy for others,
I always found something in my mind for someone to be sad about,
And in my heart, I ached for them.
When I had become older, I thought this as a means to look down on others,
And it must be stopped,
Thus sympathy was replaced with complacency
Which flared, sometimes, into anger.
This anger developed into distrust, which blossomed into disbelief,
And this disbelief gave birth to disdain.
And for a while, I could hate someone just by looking at them,
Or by witnessing them in the midst of an unsavory act.

But as an old man now,
I opt for compassion.
As a child, I believed that people should be mourned for,
As a young adult, I believed that people should be hated,
And as a dying man, I believe that people should be forgiven.
For years, I have wondered what it meant to be compassionate.
Was offering a seat to an old lady on the bus compassion?
Was tightly clasping hands with your partner during ******* compassion?
Were the two inclusive or exclusive?
Did you have to tightly clasp the hand of the old lady on the bus during ******* to show compassion?
Was compassion tough love?
Was compassion for the greater good?
Was compassion being fair?
Or was compassion allowing someone to cheat?
Was compassion the courage to tell a lie?
Was compassion the courage to tell the truth?
Was compassion knowing when to make a compromise?
Was compassion all this and more?

I think of her occasionally, on this long train ride,
On this journey to the end of the night.
What I remember of her
Is the calm sun with the thunder following it,
I remember what I wanted to do
And I remember what I did not do.
I remember her fondly,
Free of hatred, free of lust,
Free of any interpretation other than someone that I had loved.
And although there are many ways to express compassion,
This is mine for her.
toleomato Feb 2019
It was never my fear that, upon first seeing me,
She would deem me inadequate and reject me entirely right there and then.
It was the coming thunder,
When formalities are finished and our feelings are confirmed,
Where she thinks herself content with my company,
That shook me to my foundation with anxiety.
I cannot help but think,
That even in contentment,
A seed of doubt may find fertile soil in her heart,
And sprout a sudden longing,
A quiet panging,
Which reverberates through the days that grow longer and longer in length,
With each echo leaving a more and more profound impression.
And when this panging starts to get louder,
Until it is akin to church bells in her heart,
It will rouse her from her sleep-like state of contentment,
And have her find that something feels a bit off.
At first, she will not be able to put her finger on it,
But slowly she figures it out;
My images of her set in marble turn into plastic,
Lines of poetry begin to smudge as if written in cheap ink,
Letters begin to fox with its yellowing paper feeling dated to the touch.
And she suddenly realizes in the midst of others,
That this is not enough for happiness.
And then, by chance,
She misplaces a single glance,
Only to find something new
Something beyond contentment and I.
The skies begin to darken and grey storm clouds roll in,
And the thunder strikes,


This, I fear above all else.
toleomato Feb 2019
She looms large;
Takes charge;
Lives fast;
Thinks last.

She feels sick;
Acts worse
Dies first.
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