Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
perhaps I’m merely biding time.
My mind says I’d be better of
studying Mozart or Barishnikoff.
I must admit a mind obtuse
seems unlikely to produce
a single word fit for muse.
It’s time for me to wave the flag
and give my mind a pass.
Reminds me when I sit to poop
and only pass some gas.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
keeps a poundin’ dem keys?
I smiles wit a wink,
“One dat makes his own rules
and does as he please.”
Da blind cat in da back sees
what keep dis man’s heart thumpin’,
is crawlin’ all over dem keys
when folks starts to jumpin’.
Fingers a dancin’,
like dey got nothin’ to prove;
the floor starts to shakin’
as dey findin’ der groove.
Ole girl on da floor
shakin’ all dat she got.
Da owner steps in,
“Crack da front door
she gettin’ too hot!
Someone get ‘er a chair
‘for she takes to a stroke!
Dis music slicin’ da air
known to kill regular folk.
Boy throwin’ down dat tune
damn straight can play.
Good thang he don’t croon
I’d lose more folk this way.
I done told ya, one of dese nights
we gonna push it too far
folks swingin’ from lights
goin’ burn down dis ole bar.”
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Desperately I clung to a vivid image of my mother, as her casket passed by, cold and gray, mirroring the low hanging sky. Clouds hung, like giant lumps of charcoal, momentarily swallowing the ground in stifling shades of murkiness. The pastor’s eloquently designed words of comfort fell far short of penetrating my painstakingly erected wall. His feeble attempts to describe the life of a woman he barely knew offended me, on my mother’s behalf. How could he have encompassed her wonderful thirty-eight years? He should have praised her adhesive nature, one capable of bonding together two completely opposite slices of humanity, as were my father and I.
Cole was a hard man, by even the most lenient definition. Proper etiquette required me to address him as, ‘sir’. There’s nothing wrong with a show of respect for an adult, especially a parent, but father never believed in earning respect, he simply extracted it by use of his heavy hand. Neither I nor my mother could escape the terrible wrath of those hands. No corner of the shack, we called home, could provide sufficient shelter. It was those hands, forged from years of toil in the coal mines that produced one alcohol-fueled blow after another. With each of his debilitating blows came the erasure of any admiration I ever had for the man.
Mother, the peacemaker, I believe out of desperation made excuses for his Neanderthal-like behavior. Only on one occasion did she confront him directly, and pitifully she wore the markings of that ill-advised challenge for some weeks. I recall that horrible day with ever-present pangs of guilt. That beating should have been mine, for it was my cause that my mother suffered so greatly.
She had been squirreling away any bit of cash she could earn, placing it inside a Mason jar, hidden atop a pantry shelf. She was saving every precious penny in hopes of buying me a guitar. Only my mother was aware of the love I possessed for music and performing, something a third-generation coal miner, could not then and would not ever, wrap his mind around. She carried another meager deposit to the nearly full jar, but was astonished to find it empty. My father never admitted his culpability in such a heinous crime, claiming the empty jar and his week long binge were purely coincidental. A man can forgive another for a great many things. Perhaps the stealing of money not belonging to oneself is one such pardonable offense, but the larceny of another man’s dreams shall never be forgiven wholly.
The day after my high school graduation was different somehow. It was the first time in my young life I actually believed I would escape from these mountains. I summoned the courage to make bold move. From deep inside the bowels of my soul seethed a repressed anger that surprised both my father and I.
With my bags packed for Nashville I approached my father, who was still comatose in his easy chair from the previous night’s bender. More than a dozen of his closest friends, albeit in the form of ‘Old Style’ cans, remained steadfastly by his side. Dismissing a fleeting thought of leaving him to sober, I instead chose to let him know of my decision. In good conscience I cannot relay the ensuing blue streak that flew from my father’s lips when he heard my news. Also I cannot find words that would accurately describe the rage that painted his groggy face, as he demanded I address him as ‘sir’.
With both fists doubled and ready for action I assumed a defensive stance. As I fought hard to keep my voice calm, my mind gave way to the repressed emotions of seventeen years.
“‘Sir’, is an indicator of respect, perhaps had I know the wonderful young man my mother fell in love with, I could do that, but that was before you climbed into the bottle! The shell of a man that sits before me has not earned my respect!”
Briefly he struggled with equilibrium before finding his feet, but one well-placed punch on that protruding square jaw sent him back to the comfort of his chair. He gripped the chair arm, his knuckles white and ready to dispense justice, but before he could respond or react I spewed my final words to my father.
“You go ahead and double up, but I’m telling you now, I ain’t no boy or defenseless woman to beat on as you please! I’ve got seventeen years of hurt and disappointment you never saw fit to deal with and I’m warning you now, if you make a move towards me you’re going to carry some of my pain with you for a long time!”
In retrospect my hasty actions and vengeful words brought me little comfort, yet they did allow me to make my necessary escape from these mountains. Insincere apologies during brief moments of sobriety couldn’t heal the open wounds, nor could ten years of separation and a successful music career in Nashville. Sadly I must confess I had no intension to ever return to this place I sit tonight, until I received a letter from a nurse that was caring for my father. Without this letter my deed would be incomplete. As I read it aloud once again, this particular setting seems more appropriate than I imagined.
Dear Walker,You don’t know now me personally, but I’m a nurse caring for your father during his last days. He expressed a desire to set things straight before moving on and begged me to transfer his words from a hand-scratched note. I’m sure you’re unaware that he was involved in an accident recently. He and four other miners were trapped in a collapse. Although they were successfully rescued after several days, your father’s sustained life threatening injures and will probably pass before you read this: Walker, I now find myself a prisoner in a world of dark, much the same as I held hostage your mother and yourself. There are so many things I need to apologize for. I’m sorry I left the empty Mason jar in the pantry, so many containers filled with hopes that I raided, but I’m proud of you son. I occasionally hear you sing one of your songs on the radio. I must go now, the air is getting scarce, but I’d like to make one last request. ‘Sir’, if you can find it in your heart, please visit my grave and sing me a song. For I don’t believe my destination will be the same as you and your mother; I fear I’m only trading one dark lonely place for another.
Unwanted tears streak down my face as I carefully place the letter beneath the photos. Striking a match, I touch it to the corner of the letter until a sufficient swirling of embers emerges. I diligently stand in place long enough to witness the ever widening flames as they creep up the curtains and engulf the wall. I pick up my guitar and make my way to the door of the shack, closing the squeaky screen door one final time. I take a seat on the edge of the rotten porch and begin to strum my guitar. I dismiss one final nagging thought; honoring my father’s last request. Perhaps some day I’ll be the bigger man, but for now I suppose my father and I are much alike.
“Tonight I’m lettin’ go
of all the painful dreams.
They’ve eaten through my soul;
moved on to tender things.
I’ve laid out all the wrongs
upon this wooden floor.
Tonight I’m burnin’ dreams
Slamming shut the open door.
I’ll burn the past tonight
that holds me back today.
I feel my soul atakin’ flight
It’s time I fly away.
I’ll burn the past tonight
that holds me back no more
I feel my soul atakin’ flight
from a past that haunts no more.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
He rolled it over in hands several times before speaking. “Hmmm, appears to be in excellent shape, son.”
Of course it was. During the last twenty years the keepsake had never been subjected to the light of day, safely kept in the case inside a lockbox, awaiting the transfer to another generation.
I preferred this was a quick transaction, one that didn’t allow me to reconsider. He looked me up and down several times, as if he might somehow determine my level of desperation.
“Tell you what….I wouldn’t normally offer this much, but seeing as I’m full of the Christmas spirit—I’ll give you fifty bucks.”
Full of something I thought, but Christmas spirit wasn’t what came to mind. I wasn’t an idiot, just an average guy that had fallen on hard times. I had inquired at every other pawnshop in town and fifty was all any of them was going to offer. I knew that someone would gladly buy it from them for twice that much, but what choice did I have? Christmas day was less than twenty-four hours away and as yet I had purchased nothing for my daughter, Eliza.
“Nice doin’ business with ya, the stingy old codger yelled from behind the counter. I exited the pawnshop with fifty dollars that I had not entered with and only a slightly bruised ego. Truthfully my inner spirit had already been mauled a couple of months earlier. Our company had announced “across the board cuts”, just until the market has recovered they said. I only prayed the downsizing monster had not gorged himself sufficiently on peons like myself. I envisioned him making his way up the corporate ladder and finding a nice fat CEO for dinner!
I walked past the red kettles at the door of the toy store, averting my eyes as if I didn’t see them and was deaf to the constant ringing of the bells. I knew what the ringers were thinking of me as I slipped passed. Their thoughts were the same thoughts that crossed my mind as I stood in the cold with the best volunteer smile I could muster, wondering why folks weren’t more generous. I realized some shoppers truly could ill-afford to give, and I hoped this year the ringer somehow knew my circumstance.
Once inside I immediately made my way past the indignant last-minute shoppers, which this year purely by circumstance, I was a part of. I quickly found the aisle that contained the baby dolls. Eliza was now five years old and one doll in particular was all that her beautiful lips could speak of. In light of tenuous circumstances I had to make this a special Christmas, surely one doll was not too much to ask for.
I courteously pulled my cart to side of the isle and began my search. Suddenly I spotted her; the curly blonde locks and blue eyes matched that of my daughter when she was three. Noticing that there was only one remaining on the shelf I raced there to lay claim to it. My outstretched hand met with another, but I quickly ensured that mine had a firmer grasp and put the doll in the cart.
A large woman stood there glaring at me, as if I‘d actually just stolen something from her. I supposed in a strange way I had, and quickly attempted to make amends.
“Ma’am I’m sorry, but I just have to have this doll for my daughter. If the circumstances were different, I’d gladly let you have it. You see….”
“Oh, I see,” she retorted. “You think your daughter’s special? Well, let me tell you buddy, what goes around comes around! You’ll get yours, you miserable son of a bitch!”
I stood there stunned at the violent outburst.
“Really ma’am you don’t understand,—I.”
My apologetic words fell to silence as she maneuvered around the end of the aisle. My simple attempt to explain had met with an icy reception, so much so I almost wished I hadn’t offered. After a couple of moments of standing in the aisle slack-jawed, I decided to dismiss the whole episode. Obviously this was an example of a Christmas Eve shopper’s attempt to release some of the stress the holiday brings forth. Truthfully, I myself was finding it difficult to muster much Christmas cheer this particular year.
I patiently waited my turn in line at the cosmetic counter to purchase my wife a small gift. After my job loss she assured me she needed nothing, but I knew that out of the fifty dollars I should have enough to purchase a very small bottle of her favorite fragrance.
Upon returning to my cart I noticed it was empty. I quickly scanned the aisle and immediately recognized the large woman’s backside waddling towards the checkout line, with Eliza’s doll in her cart! I ran down the aisle like an Olympic sprinter heading for the finish line. I was certain I knew what had transpired and it made by blood boil, but I did my best to remain composed, at least at first.
“Ma’am, I believe you have my doll in your cart!”
She pretended to not hear a word that I was saying and looked past me, waving her arm is if she was signaling to someone. Just as my voice had reached a fevered pitch and I was seriously contemplating ripping the doll from the cart, I realized a security officer was standing next to me.
“Officer, thank God you’re here,” she shrieked. “This man just tried to steal that baby doll from my cart, didn’t he, sweetie?”
She appealed to what I assumed was her young daughter. Certainly I didn't expect her to participate in the ploy, but I stood in awe as she nodded her head up and down in confirmation. The security guard quickly grabbed my arm and pulled me back from the cart.
“Settle down now, sir, let this woman check-out, while you and I go back to the office to have a chat.”
I protested this horrible injustice by standing my ground. I watched helplessly as the woman left with my daughter’s doll in her cart. She turned back to me long enough to mouth the words “What comes around goes around!”
What horrible transgression had I committed that I deserved this heaped upon my plate? I had done nothing wrong, I was the victim here. I knew even if I could convince the officer my story was true, it was too late. I had let Eliza down.
After answering several questions I was relieved to heard a voice come over the loudspeaker announcing that the store was closing in ten minutes. I wasn’t certain whether the officer believed my story or if he simply wanted to get off on time, but in any case he told me I could leave.
The store was nearly empty now and I reluctantly made my way toward the door. I contemplated how difficult tomorrow morning would be, as I passed the location in the store where the guest Santa was packing up his things and preparing to leave for home. I paused for a moment; the irony was not lost on my troubled mind. How could I explain to my daughter that Santa had not brought the one simple gift her heart desired? I shook my head in disappointment and disgust and continued towards the door.
“Hey buddy, can you give old Santa a hand?”
I stopped and turned to see the old man lugging his large lumpy sack of what I presumed to be supposed toys.
“Doesn’t the store provide props for you?”
He shook his head from side to side as the cotton ball on the end of his cap dangled back and forth.
“Naw—not anymore, cut-backs you know. I have to bring the whole setup myself.”
I laughed quietly, seems not even the North Pole was immune to cut-backs these days. I grabbed the sack and tossed it over my shoulder and quietly walked alongside the old man. As we approached the door I notice the bell-ringers had left their post. Nevertheless I reached into my pocket and retrieved the fifty dollars, folded it neatly and placed it in the nearest red kettle. The old man looked at me strangely.
“My car is just a little ways. If you don’t mind carrying those gifts just a little further--my back sure will appreciate it.”
I was in no hurry to get home any longer. The old man stopped at the trunk of a Cutlass. Not exactly a sleigh, but at it least was red I thought. I placed the heavy bag down on the ground next to the car, while he searched for his keys. He turned to me and greeted me with warm smile, as if he suddenly recognized me.
“Bill, there’s no doubt you’re on the ‘good list’ this year, how about I save myself a stop.”
I looked at the old man with wide eyes, trying to recall if I’d given him my name. I scratched my head, I was certain I hadn’t.
“How did you know my name?”
The old man chuckled loudly and his belly heaved with each burst of laughter. “Come on Bill, Santa knows everyone’s name.”
I stood there in awe as he rifled through the bag and pulled out a gift and placed it carefully in my hands.
“This is for your daughter; it’s the only thing she requested.”
I looked at the gift and found myself speechless. I swallowed hard at the lump in my throat as the tears welled up my eyes. The tag simply read “Eliza Williams”.
“Santa, I suppose you know the situation with my daughter also?”
He reached over and gave my shoulder a gentle squeeze. It was obvious when I looked into his misty blue eyes that he knew Eliza was dying.
“Yes Bill, I know. You hurry home, now. But before you go, don’t forget this.”
Santa placed in my hand a crisp one-hundred dollar bill and winked at me.
“That’s so you can buy your watch back. You see Bill, it really is true; what comes around goes around!”
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
the glimmer in my mother’s eyes.
A glint that surely did foresee
Dreams of what she hoped I’d be.
Although I feel I’ve let her down
I remain a jewel atop her crown.
No deed too dim nor choice askew
could cast a shadow in her view.
Time spared the eyes, her greatest sense
but claimed her mind as recompense.
Without the thoughts provoked by sight
insightful eyes closed dark as night.
I pretend today is just the same
although she can’t recall my name.
I stroke her hand and attempt to find
a way inside her troubled mind.
One lucid moment; the end is near,
her broken thoughts now crystal clear;
“Son, these tired eyes now plainly see
you’ve become twice the man
I’d hoped you’d be.”
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
this time of year.
My heart goes out
to those without.
Searching my soul for joy to share
I find some spare.
There is no fee;
the cheer’s on me.
This year I’m blessed with great excess.
I must confess
I’m glad it’s free
to share my glee.
Barring hope from their heart
A pessimist view
Doubts success from the start
Of days here on earth
We are granted so few
Let us find joy
In all that is true
In a hand that we hold
In friendships that last
In memories of old
Regarding those passed
In the miracle of birth
Or the flight of a bird
In realizing the worth
Of sharing a kind word
For food gracing our table
And the sun rising each morn
For a body willing and able
To assist the forlorn
From hope eternally granted
I derive these blessed joys
From my heart divinely planted
Comes forth a joyful noise
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
To be your own God
Devoid of devotion
Unless to weave a facade
Perhaps a big bang
Was responsible for creation
Or from a monkey sprang
Your genetic mutation
Such supposition I do believe
Requires a faith equal to mine
How does one likely perceive
Themselves as purely divine?
Establishing rules as you falter
Stumbling blindly through life
As for me, I’ll kneel at the alter
Praying for those so blithe
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Abounds from a heavenly realm
No worry of lost opportunity
With Almighty God at the helm
Blessings bestowed while upon earth
Provided for service through trust
And wisdom to discern possession of worth
From those born of worldly lust
Eternally thankful for what I am blessed
By grace, not of my own
Usefully renting the things I possess
Until I humbly bow at the throne
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Regarding those with fiery eyes
Trampled colleagues pave the way
For those willing to compromise
Youthful thoughts do fuel
Such aspirations sought in vain
Once I too was made a fool
By an winless corporate game
Perhaps it only seems
Those with lofty goals
Have sold their tainted dreams
To those with empty souls
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Her absence prompted final choice
Thunderous clouds had filled his skies
Swallowing his lonesome voice
His soul entangled among his bride
No longer able to sort the pain
Now that she had left his side
Only the broken half remained
He had carefully planned the end
Attempting to find secluded place
A deserted bridge would lend
Finality to the fall from grace
His knees began to quiver
Beneath this burdensome load
He heard the rushing of the river
Calling from far below
With one final shout
The deed was now complete
He watched her flail about
With rope that bound her hands and feet
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Imperfections revealed; difficult to deny.
In my mind I’ve remained a vibrant picture of youth,
Only the reflection inclined to show me the truth.
I’d hoped she was willing to play the flattering game,
A gratifying image of success, and of fame.
Instead choosing to show what stands before,
A simple man of the world, nothing less, nothing more.
I suppose I’ll be content, with the shell I was given,
It’s only a covering for a soul that is driven.
How empty is beauty, that’s only skin deep?
A mask that conveniently hides, the soul that we keep.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Midnight hangs like silent death
A shallow grave now relieved
Exhales spirit through ghastly breath
Rotting patiently in hallow ground
Relished thought of settled scores
You hear the hell-sent frightful sounds
As she claws outside your door
The bullet riddled bride
Has come for better or worse
Enacting vows denied
Just as she’d rehearsed
Murdered by her hopeful groom
Blood now seeping from the floor
Crimson flow surrounds the room
Joining souls forevermore
Calculations quite amiss
She slowly pulls you down
Sealing union with a kiss
Tonight you’ll join her in the ground
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
In the not so distance past I had a serious “priority dysfunction”, and make no mistake, I still struggle with it today although to a much lesser degree. There was a time when I was completely oblivious to how I’d arrived at such a place of self-absorption.
Back then I would have described “stranger” as some odd combination of “stray” and “danger”. Don’t ask me why. I’m still surprised, and to be honest, a little embarrassed, to ‘hear’ that kind of description leaking from my brain. Stray----an outcast; someone segregated from my acquaintance for unjustifiable reasons. Danger---something representing harm. Why would I perceive a person I don’t know as inherently dangerous? Perhaps I’d been programmed by the world to fear difference, change, and intrusive things that I did not allowed into my own tiny world. Ah hah, worldly influence had corrupted my impressionable mind. Yes-------that sounds good, just another victim of circumstances beyond my control; a common diagnosis these days. What a copout; conveniently pinning my personal shortcomings on an unsuspecting world.
The Samaritan in the Bible didn’t need such an excuse. Considering the times, no one would have thought less of him for simply passing by, but he didn’t. He wasn’t too busy to stoop down and help a wounded man, who was not at all part of his culture. At least for a small moment in time, the Samaritan swept aside the differences they may have had to help a brother in need.
Why did I believe that my schedule couldn’t allow for a few extra minutes to help someone stranded by the road, stuck in a snowy ditch, or a lonely elderly neighbor that longed for a tidbit of honest conversation? I can’t answer that fully or I would have never reached that point. I can only tell you about my new perspective.
Now “stranger” represents a friend I have yet to have the opportunity to share a cup of coffee with. Perhaps a culturally distant individual that I can now view, since I’ve broken down the walls I so carefully erected. It could be a long-lost friend whom I no longer recognize because of severed ties.
Looking back on it, the seemingly odd combination of “stray” and “danger” quite accurately describe me lingering in that broken state. I was straying from a lifestyle I knew to be right and in danger of loosing my compassion for fellow human beings.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
For a gallows bird am I
Viewing justice served askew
Through one discerning eye
Once captain of a pirate ship
Seeking fortune in foreign lands
Destined for a watery grave
Delivered by scurvy hands
Instead I’ll swings in arid breeze
Only dreamin’ of Davey Jones
While forsaken land-lovin’ birds
Pluck cured flesh from me bones
Alas, me soul met with dignity
Sailing free the frothy foam
If me glassy vessel runs ashore
Return her swiftly to me home
If you choose to ignore
This captains’ final request
May the curse of skull and crossbones
Ensure your painful death
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Whispering voices speak my name
Reminding derelict owner
They still languish there in chain
Exploring hollow recess
In the creases of my mind
Quietly shuttled to the corner
Replaced by those sublime
Misshapen and distorted
Fangs and claws sharp and willing
I imagine are these beasts
Bent on senseless killing
I find no gnarled creatures
Lurking in the crease
Merely ragged thoughts’ last gasp
Bemoaning their release
Resisting perfect mold
Their only petty crime
Perhaps conforming nicely
In another place and time
As for future days
I’ll gladly advocate
For even rogue ideas
Deserve a better fate
Friday, September 28, 2007
Much of what I read today
Seems garble in fancy dress
Feces wrapped in pretty foil
Failing to impress
Peeling back pretty wrap
Unveiling layer by layer
Disappointed with the crap
Wafting through the air
Both arguments reduced
Down to chalky bones
Left me feeling amply soiled
With their condescending tones
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Miscalculation mostly mine
Amidst the foggy frigid haze
Seems I missed the fatal sign
Tiny fractures in delicate form
Belied emergent breach
Familiar calm before the storm
Safety safely out of reach
Fate would find me far from shore
When icy jaws bared jagged teeth
Opening up the frozen door
Revealing dismal depths beneath
Piercing shrieks turned to silent moans
Dribbling from my frozen lips
Replaced by creaking brittle bones
She tightened her icy grip
Traveling through my slowing mind
A single thought wound its way
Considering all I’d leave behind
Missing most the heat of summer’s day
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Masterfully works his art
Dissolve purity of the heart
The unraveling of souls
Barely makes a sound
As do hopeful dreams
Lying prostrate on the ground
Exploiting cracks in armor
His twisted expertise
No need for gaping holes
Simply weakness of a crease
Gnarled fingers grip the victim
Bewildered by his charm
Whispering sweetly in the ear
Wary conscience to disarm
Massaging of the bed
To accept deceitful seeds
Promoting sense of self
While loathing others needs
Incapable of reign
Solely on his own
Resourcefully converting organs
Into worthless chunks of stone
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Once graced her ballroom floor
Marble tile beneath their dance
Residence of opulence
To fateful circumstance
Find rest on rotten planks
Swallowed up in dusty plume
Of splendor past
Now soil the musty room
One single beauty clings
An anxious chandelier
While fretting grave below
One tattered rusty link
The gruesome show
She takes a single
Reliving younger day
Smiling one last time
As the weary link
The last precious portion
Now lay splinted on the floor
Rotten beams of torsion
Resisting fate no more
Spirit letting go
Collapsing in a heap
Loyal to end
Provides her restful sleep
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Unsure the method proper, but knew it would do.
I placed him into his seat, and fastened his belt.
The look of admiration depicted how we both felt.
I knew this lesson and others, better handled by father’s hand;
I’d willing serve substitute, until time he could understand.
I taught him to fish and to hunt, the things I knew best,
Knowing God and his mother could handle the rest.
Teaching him my trade, planting seeds in a row,
Nothing extravagant, yet magic observing them grow.
As he matured he helped me harvest the grain.
We shared pieces of life; bundles of joy and shards of pain.
I’d spoken to his mother, both feeling he was old enough to share;
The story of his father, and the reasons he couldn’t be there.
“I used to know a friend; he looked exactly like you.
He worked the fields with his father, just as you and I do.
But the boy’s heart was heavy, working soil never his dream.
He explained his true calling, was weaved with patriotic theme.
How could a loving father deny loyal dreams so grand?
He gave him his blessing, as he quietly left for foreign land.
It seemed he made a fine leader, commanding his men.
He received medals of honor, much to his chagrin.
Eventually the war bird carried his weary soul home;
He selflessly surrendered his life, shielding one of his own.
After the war, a young man came; the one shielded from harm.
He wanted to see for himself, the beauty and solitude of the farm;
Bringing with him a box and a note, from the soldier of past.
The letter composed, the night preceding his last.”
The old man’s hands trembled, as he read what he wrote.
Barely able to speak, swallowing the lump in his throat.
“If this terrible war, keeps from me from making it home,
I wish my medals to be displayed, by one of my own.”
He pinned the medals proudly, atop the boy’s chest,
Letting him know, his father had wished him the best.
“When this soldier died, you surely lost your dad,
But I also lost my son; the only one that I had.”
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
In trusting hearts that remain broken.
On lips of unspoken words.
In mouths of words harshly spoken.
On frost covered wings of butterflies.
In hands not seeking the company of another.
In potential, stifled and unrealized.
In deeds undone, relating to others.
In hesitant feet, afraid to reach the dance floor.
In unchallenged minds not seeking a cause.
In journeys not ventured, lost for evermore.
In lives perpetually stuck on pause.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
The chasm too great, to clearly hear what they say.
Orchids and tiger lilies sway in sweet mountain breeze,
Vibrantly dancing before the sky and the trees.
I was warned such gardens existed only in foolish mind.
I set out with intentions of returning proof of my find.
I’m drawn closer, wishing to observe the language they speak,
Eavesdropping on floral stories; that they secretly keep.
I came to this place, partly to escape fellow man,
But I spied in the distance a figure with shears in his hand.
He whistled a long forgotten song, pruning while he hovered;
I knew it wouldn’t be long, before I was discovered.
Instead of being scolded for trespass on finely manicured land,
He offered me a rose, from his withered yet friendly old hand.
He invited me to sit on a bench, I swore not previously there
And advised me he had a story; that he wanted to share.
It seems in years prior; he made a trip to this land,
His mind burdened with worry, nearly more than he could stand.
Making a furrow, he placed each care with deliberate purpose,
Burying them deeply, in hopes they would never resurface.
At first the garden quite small, barely a row
But evolved quickly, into a tremendous flowery show.
Each morning he rose, and knelt on one knee.
Saying a short prayer; that his mind remain free.
He asked me to kneel with him, in front of his bench.
The words flowed from his mouth like the song of a finch.
“Lord I pray, you’ll free the mind of my friend
From cumbersome thoughts, and the turmoil within.
You’ve granted me peace, for a right many years.
It is with great joy, I now turn over my shears.
My gardening tools willed into capable hands,
Allowing him opportunity, to cultivate his lands.”
My original intent, to return with proof of my find,
No longer seemed paramount, in my trouble-free mind.
I’m only grateful, to have liberated my hardening heart.
I pray that all will decide; it’s time for the planting to start.
‘Gardens of worry’, we all desperately need to sow,
In order our minds remain free, and flowers continue to grow.
Friday, August 31, 2007
How desperate it must be; a hostage in a world of all night.
Only those prisoners in the realm of darkness can explain
Their hearts weeping of dependence, isolation, and pain.
Unimaginable being deprived a rose garden so fair,
A bald eagle flying freely, wings slicing the air,
Fireworks bursting on the blanket of dark, oh what a treat,
Young children laughing, or simply a stranger we pass on the street.
They also witness visions of sorrow, death, and of tears.
We sometimes complain of horrible sights seen through the years.
Mind you, with them we see things we don’t care to recall,
But realize without them, we’d have seen nothing at all.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wandering blindly, wading a milk-chocolate stream.
I hear a small child laugh, she quickly takes my hand,
Begging for assistance in eating through marshmallow land.
Several joined us in lapping at mounds of sticky delight;
More than an hour of consuming before regaining my sight.
I watched as the children swirled down the peppermint slide;
Certain no one was looking, I snapped off a piece of the ride.
Finally appeasing my taste buds scream,
I dipped it in chocolate from the smooth flowing stream.
I followed the hard candy signs towards banana splitville.
Stepping carefully to avoid the recent hot fudge spill.
Along with two others I boarded the last banana split boat;
Briefly I considered the enchantment of a root-beer float.
I reluctantly left the land formed from a confectioners dream,
Only to hear dreadful sounds of the dentist drilling machine.
Soon he advised me I could now leave his chair;
His work finished; he'd made the necessary repair.
He warned of indulging the apparent sweet tooth I possess.
I keep my dream to myself; his diagnosis remaining only a guess
Sunday, August 26, 2007
in the line I would camp.
The genie would again be there
with his powerful lamp.
I watched as peasants became kings,
eagerly crowned with royal fame.
Instantly ruling over those,
from which they recently came.
Why did I resort to waiting in such a line?
I had been diagnosed with a disease
the doctors couldn’t completely define.
The only details provided were terribly grim,
unlikely I’d survive; the odds one in ten.
“Sir; do you believe these wishes,
are only for those physically here?”
I was afraid that the chaos of it all
had confused the poor dear.
He explained his worry was for his family;
bless the unfortunate tyke.
His eyes filled with tears,
as he told of their plight.
Mother deathly ill,
father neglecting the farm, to care for his mate.
The bank foreclosing too soon,
not accepting payments deemed late.
I consoled the young boy
the best that I could,
Reminding him how close to the genie,
he and I, now literally stood.
Suddenly the genie announced
that the lamp had unexpectedly run low.
It seems there was but one single wish,
left for him to bestow.
I knew the young boy’s, a much nobler deed,
I took a step back, and gave up the lead.
I turned from former position, there at the head of the line,
Considering my odds,
and what I might accomplish with limited time.
I heard the young boy shouting,
claiming he had wonderful news.
It seems that when wishes are for others,
genies granted them in two’s.
He invited me to his home,
leading me by my arm,
Explaining his family’s desire,
to know details regarding the farm.
When we arrived I expected to see
a castle in place of a shack.
But it appears the young boy
had only wished for what little he lacked.
His family was charming,
in a pleasant, peasant kind of a way.
Not only did I receive years, but friendships that day.
Placing the needs of others, ahead of own selfish aims,
Not only pays rich dividends in life,
but also in wishing games.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Shadows begin to swallow the light of the day.
It’s time to come home and rest your sweet head;
Soon the herd will be safe and comfortably in bed.
One wonders what possesses his wandering wooly soul,
Unless separated from the flock is his eternal goal.
O wayward lamb why must you cause worry?
You meander over the hill and return in no hurry.
The wolves lurk in the shadows, waiting for the stray;
One leaving the group, intending to forge his own way.
Without your master watching, his trusty staff in hand,
You’d have no hope navigating the perilous world of man.
O wayward lamb why must you tarry?
A burdened soul your shepherd does carry.
You’re naive to the jeopardy of grazing alone;
Your shepherd’s hands deliver you safely back home.
He rescues you from evils you can’t comprehend,
His undying love for you has no perceivable end.
O wayward lamb your absence has caused such unrest,
But as promised, he liberated you from selfish distress.
All transgressions against sheep and your master forgiven,
Wandering tendencies from your mind have been driven.
Seeing you return to the flock, more precious than gold,
O wayward and weary lamb, it’s good to have you back in the fold.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
smoothing the delivery of uninhibited voice.
Inebriated words birthed from distorted cells;
garbled communications obscuring their hells.
Overindulgence soon released in eruption;
painting thirsty walls with repulsive corruption.
Throbbing reminders of ill-advised consumption,
unlikely to prohibit further feasts of dysfunction.
Patterns repeated; routines thoroughly rehearsed
The filling of prescriptions not easily reversed.
Preferring to remain passengers on runaway trains,
embracing the steel of intensely familiar chains.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
lace them up tight.
Running each evening for exercise,
but not so on this night.
I received a call
from his lovely wife.
Seems he was distraught,
and had suddenly taken his life.
She told of me of things, awful things,
things I refused to hear,
About how I’d adversely affected
my friend so dear.
Several years ago
something had sparked our awful rage;
Something about nothing,
as I recall.
Neither of us acting our age.
Like children refusing to talk
or even acknowledging the other.
It was terrible behavior,
especially towards my younger brother.
I contemplate words
that I shouldn’t have spoken,
and more that I should.
I’d take them all back now
in a second, if only I could.
Feelings of horrible guilt
and frustration nibble at my soul.
I curse them for such small bites
preferring they’d devour me whole.
Ashamed to talk to my mother
attempting to explain not being there.
When they laid my brother in the earth,
I couldn’t make myself care.
Often I think perhaps I should join him
in the cold, damp dirt.
But I know that would put an undeserved end
to my deserving to hurt.
Pacing for hours,
perhaps I made a mistake coming here.
Always the nobler of us,
I heard his voice;
instilling in me great fear.
“My brother, why have you waited so long,
and why do you roam?”
I couldn’t answer his questions
just sat there caressing the stone.
I listened as he expressed himself
something quite extraordinary for me.
That night, my lovely brother’s words
forgave, comforted, and healed me.
After we had finished our conversation
I reluctantly turned to go home.
I looked back one last time at him
and the gift I had placed on his stone.
No bouquet of flowers
that gesture completely slipped my mind.
It was my deceitful running shoes
that I was gladly leaving behind.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
the palette of my soul.
Gently transfer of words to paper
will again make me whole.
Clearing out the dark recesses;
allowing fresh ideas opportunity to sprout.
For its better they serve a useful purpose,
than to lie stagnant in doubt.
I’ve fostered them long enough,
confident they’ll find a new home.
Giving them freedom of choice;
ability to make a course of their own.
Like small saplings exposed to the elements;
they must fight to survive.
Some will wither and die from exposure,
but others will conquer and thrive.
I hope they’ll not hold it against me
if I was premature in setting them free.
Better to let them see light and breathe on their own,
than to stay imprisoned in me.
Someday they may come back,
thankful for the sanctuary I gave.
Or possibly others may curse me
for not allowing them to remain my slave.
But surely in the end they’ll see,
it was I who gave them life at the start.
They flooded and wandered my soul
and had been given birth in my heart.
I can only hope as with a child,
they visit often when I’ve grown old.
Intently I’ll listen as they speak proudly,
of their adventures and actions so bold.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Clocks dutifully mark the passage of time,
For this vital purpose explicitly designed.
Some hang on the wall, speak nothing at all.
Others when prompted; gleefully chime.
Oddly, we’ve doled out anatomical parts;
faces and hands, but no features.
Why not a pulse from the beat of a heart,
to assist such monotonous creatures.
Repetitive work for such tedious beast,
Rhythmically tracking our lives.
Staring at night, when I turn out the light,
And steadfastly there when I rise.
Where would we be devoid dependable ticks,
to synchronize all that they do?
I shudder to think, we’d be on the brink
of the last of our orderly days.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
delicately flirting with breeze.
Energetic feats performed gracefully
Curtain slowly descends,
introductions now complete
as she trustingly finds rest on my knee.
Certain the awe of her ballet has seduced me
sufficiently and will shield her from harm.
A brief moment in time, a small slice of tranquility.
Then she continues her aerial mission,
at bid of the whispering wind.
Silently I wish her farewell,
respecting our brief interlude;
reluctant to deprive others of such worthy performance.
Perhaps a field of lilies will welcome her home,
doubtful that they will appreciate her
as much as I.
She effortlessly floats over majestic oaks;
finish line clearly within reach.
Her youthful exuberance belies bitter truth;
or perhaps naively unaware.
Flightful days of summer yield to impending fall.
Laying somewhere breathless upon cold earth,
unwilling wings having deceived her trust;
frost covering them with silent deathly blanket.
I only hope she recalls, before death closes her eyes;
the peaceful time she rested with me.
Toy soldiers, worn and tattered from the frays,
Painted expressions long since rubbed from view,
Vicious battles had whittled my troops to two.
The faceless duo still stands staunch in place,
Awaiting my command, and fierceness of my battle face.
Train cars lined the perimeter of a rickety old track,
The engine; white hot smoke pouring from her stack.
The multicolored cars swirling, merely now a blur,
My urgent need for speed, the engineer did not concur.
I backed the throttle down a bit, atop the track she’d stay;
The engineer tipped his hat, and flashed a smile my way.
I summoned outlaws and cattle thieves, oh so rough and tough.
My sheriff’s badge and lawman eyes always called their bluff.
Slick Sam had robbed the coach, left three passengers for dead;
He left a bloody trail to follow, two women full of lead.
In the street he made his fatal choice, deciding he should draw;
My .45 barked twice, reminding him you can’t outrun the law.
I quickly survey the area, making certain I’m alone;
Not a little boy on the floor, but a man who’s fully grown.
Even the blind soldiers without their painted eyes,
Have no trouble seeing through my manly-like disguise.
The engineer welcomes me with his wry and gnarly grin,
He also can see past the man I am, to the boy within.
Friday, August 17, 2007
created in his image from inception.
Simply chips of an original rock,
yet brokenly influenced by deception.
Discontent with the works we become;
although etched with tools of our choice.
Artist unaccountable for outcome,
merely lending the language a voice.
Infected, selected, worldly tools,
yielding tainted works of art.
Never considering exterior rules,
leave lasting impressions on the heart.
Blindly discovering empty baskets
containing the harvest of our hearts.
Realizing choosing of caskets,
are where meaningful journeys start.
We easily point to the speck,
in a fellow brother’s eye.
Not willingly seeking to erect,
But instead, pulling down our ally.
Slivers of the original rock,
must be cohesively weaved in the end.
Collectively….true reflections of stock.
Individually……simply chaff, scattered by wind.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Internal demons, we superficially attempt to repair.
Replacing living flesh with plastic and silicone;
Distorting bodies into something no longer our own.
Secular progression, untamed, spreading like fire;
Empty expressions displayed for the world to admire.
If anyone asks about your busy, but empty long day
“Living the American Dream”, you robotically say.
Difficult to determine what evil lurks behind the disguise;
Science provides fitting cover for deceit and the lies.
Perhaps if bodies were turned inside out from the start,
We’d see true intentions; in some cases, lack of a heart.
A grotesque display, typically visible after we’ve died,
See the venomous emotions that have festered inside.
Repressed feelings have slowly wrought their decay;
Surely all would shudder, at the enlightenment of such a day.
We must master and tame the beast under the tenuous skin;
Removing the security of cover, for the healing to begin.
No longer conforming to weak standards prescribed by mankind.
Embracing your inner-self, surprised at the beauty you’ll find.
Some insist society is responsible for the “great hiding game”.
Let us choose carefully and wisely, when delivering this blame.
We as individuals share in the debt, that will inevitably be paid,
Only the weak of mind and of character, are so easily swayed.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Painfully visible on her sleeve.
Numb to violations of trust,
By a man she had once believed.
Offering an explosion of emotion,
Only craving a spark.
Years of one-way devotion,
Left her indulging the dark.
As she considered her losses,
Mind drifted to childhood things.
Although he had broken her heart;
He couldn’t weaken her wings.
Of losers, she’d seen scores,
Coercing women they date.
Breaking and entering locked doors;
Attempting to callously dominate.
Tiring of simple young boys,
Full of hormonal mistakes.
Leaving them to simpler joys,
Like puppy-dog-tails and snakes.
Gracefully lifting from her perch
She shook hands with the sky.
Beginning her onerous search,
For a kind and sensitive guy.
Why does the dove so mournfully cry?
I’d gladly lift her weight of regret,
If she would promise me then to fly.
How is it the many petals of a rose
Nestle themselves perfectly in line?
No sweeter fragrance graced my nose,
Nor palette, privy to finer wine.
Clouds float effortlessly in vast sea of blue,
Do they ever reach the end of the sky?
Stacked up neatly, folded too, a magnificent view,
And all the more reason to fly.
A star streaks past in a fiery farewell.
Who chooses which wish shall be granted?
Perhaps we could ask the one that fell,
If not in a grave, so violently planted.
Limbs arc to the earth, a green showery show,
For whom do the willows constantly weep?
I listen at night, the tears continually flow,
Rhythmically lulling themselves to sleep.
Questions beget questions, answers to nary a one
No more secrets revealed at the end of verse,
Then when I had first begun.
Mysteries of such proportion; surely divine
Fodder for restless minds; purely design
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
That’s never reached my shore.
She’s fully open throttle,
On the sports car I adore.
She’s a needed drop of rain
That quenches all my thirst.
She’s never caused me pain,
Though meeting is our first.
She’s a single ray of hope,
My guiding source of light.
She’s fading quickly now,
Nearly out of sight.
She was a vision in my mind,
Unlikely to return.
She was such a lovely find,
Now it’s some else’s turn.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Minutes burned, in an already too short day.
Destinations, inflexibly ingrained in singular mind;
Labeling sublime scenery as wastes of valuable time.
Blinders on tight, seeking the primary route
Consumed by the mission, ignoring my shout.
Exceeding the limit, dismissing the bend
Unable to negotiate, consumed by fiery end.
Certainly not the first, nor likely the last
I’ve witnessed expiring, in pursuit of the past.
I stand here along this secondary path
Hoping to impede their impetuous wrath.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Uncertain at times which hand victory might find.
Mortal enemies, fully engaged, maneuvering for control,
Mind over matter, when it concerns matters of the soul.
Each with vested interest, unwilling to bow before the other.
Unaware I pray for certain outcome, “Be vigilant my brother.”
Friday, August 10, 2007
Participating in no expedition, seeking the fountain of youth.
I’ll gladly welcome wisdom, which comes with age.
Enjoying the freedom of nature, from outside of the cage.
No great accomplishments attached to my name.
I’ll have to take a pass on fortune and fame.
A simple man, enjoying his simplistic life,
Raising children with conscience, aside his simple wife.
I hear rumors of a ladder, where success can be found;
Yet I stand content, feet firmly planted, right here on the ground.
The crowded rungs, I’ve successfully avoided their call.
My time better spent, assisting those that inevitably fall.
While it’s true, they’re won’t be a crowd mourning my loss;
Only a few close friends, standing before a plain white cross.
I only pray the words uttered, by those that stand,
“There lies a comfortable soul, encased in a truly simple man
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The moon partially responsible, for such ill-advised game.
The water apologizes, for recreating her image as cast,
Knowing she’d be offended, without first being asked.
The crescent participant quickly ducks behind a cloud
Proclaiming his innocence in a voice unusually loud.
One fell swoop; she could rip him from his celestial rest,
Not even the moon wishes to subject her patience to test.
Men desire to get close to her, feeling the magic in her touch,
Sometimes gentle caress, erupts into something quite rough.
She possesses such beautiful attire, mesmerizing all of man.
Push the romance too quickly; meet with bitter wrath of her hand.
No man will ever own her; her heavenly heart can never be earned.
Love her if you choose to; it will be strictly on her fickle terms.
The smooth lines of her curvaceous body, like that of no other;
A shame that her assets, invoke fighting amongst one another.
Certainly you’ve figured out her identity from the description above.
The gentleness and ferocity, all wrapped neatly in her package of love.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Barely noticing the shade cast down in our way.
Stepping right through with no slowing of pace,
Shadows lie watching, not understanding the race.
Worry etched in the brow, and faces painted with frown,
If only they’d take notice of those who live on the ground.
He’d attempted before, to simply impart a word to the wise,
But found his breath wasted, explaining of untimely demise.
Running full speed, recklessly down the path of a short life;
The shadow grieves, as another victim is ripe for the knife.
The reaper toils feverishly as he sharpens his capable blade,
Fiendishly smiling, as he knows of the truth they’ve forbade.
Why should the shadow care for these dying lost souls?
Running through aimlessly in pursuit of worldly goals.
It is man, who’s responsible for besmirching their good name,
Unwilling accomplices; forcibly used as pawns in his game.
They are used to conceal a theft or other heinous bold act;
It is man that perpetrates the crime, selfishly using the black.
He forces them into hiding perversion, twisting their innocent intent;
Making them awful accessories, for such things as never were meant.
I feel the need to exonerate them, at least on some kind of level,
Believing their birth is divine, twisted by hands of the devil.
For often we commission them, as a cover for a devious plan
Not by their will, you see, but coerced by sinful nature of man.
May I introduce to you, my friends, the shattered pieces of night?
When in their company, my life-wrongs suddenly become right.
Offering me a source of protection, I revel in uninterrupted bliss.
All they ask is that we slow, and appreciate their company like this.
I believe we should utilize shadows in a myriad of positive ways;
Not simply stepping through them, as we traipse through our days.
They ask little of you in return, making only one meager request,
That you allow them to provide comfort, when it’s you that needs rest.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Often contemplating the pile of disguises that littered his bedroom floor. Living in constant fear of peeling back the last one. Revealing an empty soul, pasty, white and naked, for the world to ridicule. Desperately attempting to smooth wrinkles from the discard pile, a man in a desert, willing to sell his soul to have back the last swallow from his canteen, consumed hours earlier.
Unwilling to be seen without a mask, carefully avoiding mirrors; booby-traps set sadistically by knowing hands. Continually circling the room, an aircraft running out of fuel, anticipating the fiery crash, hoping to be charred beyond recognition, but by who? No one knows his true face, or his true personality. Disguised for such an eternity, even he no longer recalls his twisted logic, unable to solve the equation, that his warped mind had created.
Monday, August 6, 2007
The days seem to blur into night, nothing to distinguish one from the other. Time has no significance, for those incapable or unwilling to look forward or look back. Only a millstone crushing and constantly grinding an already disturbed and tortured mind.
He chugged down another shot of whiskey, in hopes he would pass out soon. In some twisted realm he enjoyed the solitude of unconsciousness and the warm drool on his chin that preceded it. It was his only defense against the incessant voices that riddled his brain.
At self-loathing’s insistence he continued to hone the blade. Taking inappropriate pleasure in the sound the cold steel made as it caressing and fondled the stone; it sounded like symphony to his ears.
He briefly glanced at his wrists, as if they weren’t his own wretched flesh; unable to determine the most recent scar. Only showers compared to the thunderstorms that raged within. Disappointed that none of them had sliced deep enough to finish the job; a fate that he knew the world had wished upon him since his vile inception.
Misery huddled in the corner, a dark plague in the room; cruelly laughing at his cowardice. It would be another grueling night spent together with friends; continuing to only listen to the symphony, as he was still too afraid to actually ask the blade to dance.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Like a drunken fool sitting too long at a poker table.
Fragile wings of a moth, drawn too close to the flame,
Are those desperately desiring to hear their own name.
The same paper people, cut from the same flawed stock;
Trying to distinguish themselves from an identical flock.
Attempting to be unique, in precisely the same way,
Convinced being discovered will liberate them some day.
Anxiously preparing a speech for their fifteen minutes of fame,
Unaware at sixteen, “forgotten” is now their new name.
Seeking acceptance from private clubs not soliciting members
A fire that once raged, now reduced to sad smoldering embers.
We’ve glorified themes; winning at all cost, teaching to brag,
Children wander circular paths, unable to find the checkered flag.
They return home, shattered pieces of the original sculpture,
Exhibiting failed symptoms of an increasingly failed culture.
They must learn lessons, that by now are long overdue;
Hard work and ethics; though society tells them untrue.
But where does one find theses illusive, vanishing ideals?
They insulate us against loss, when the world only steals.
Some parents befriend, thinking that’s what children desire.
A compassionate enforcer, precisely what they require.
Values and morals non-existent, nor enforceable in schools;
At home they must find consequences, for the breaking of rules.
Disappointment, anger, and pain; coping skills we must teach.
Molding of minds, before drifting beyond our short reach.
A product of what they observe, so by example, set a high bar
One that continues its course, no matter how near or how far.
Children may stray from instructions taught when their young
Cursing the ‘sadistic warden’ you’ve apparently become.
But in time they’ll return, like wandering sheep to the staff
Wishing to repay sacrifices you’ve made on their behalf.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Working feverishly for hours; my fingers to the bone.
My job was consuming my mind and my soul
The corporate machine was swallowing me whole.
One unexpected day, the machine spit me out the ground;
Dazed and confused I looked all around.
There were many broken souls lying there in a heap,
None realizing the cost would be quite this steep.
The inventor of such a terrible machine must be mad;
Stripping it’s victims of the youth they once had.
I suppose we live in a world where folks are for rent,
And we toss them away when we feel they are spent.
The machine is efficient and it hums all the while.
The waiting line to get in, stretches more than a mile.
I’m sure by design the exit chute is hidden from sight,
If not, those who were waiting would surely take flight.
I felt it my duty to warn those that were eager to start;
I stumbled there to forewarn and poured out my heart.
I shouted above the clamor to the restless young throng
“Once inside the machine, you won’t hold up long.”
One of them laughed and said “Look at you, Man,
You’re old and you’re weak and barely can stand!
He continued his rant and said with a hoot,
“Why should I believe such a crazy old coot?”
I answered, “Warning you of the future provides me no gain;
I’m telling you the truth to spare you great pain.”
I pulled him close and saw his eyes all a gleam
I whispered in his ear, “Only a lucky few escape the machine!”
Fluidly bridging the chasms, between foreign lands.
My vessel slices the tranquility of aquamarine glass;
Trails dissolve quickly, soon after I pass.
My seafaring brother’s accompany me only a short time,
Then circle widely, sensing this battle is mine.
Wisely choosing to have no part in my desolate task,
I thank them for escort, as I put on my mask.
Further and deeper, into foreign waters I reluctantly go.
For unknown reasons my apprehensions begin to grow.
Great fear consumes me; observing the now wicked sea,
Angry teeth gnashing and lashing, wishing to devour me.
The vengeance of sky, swirls and coils, and continues to hiss.
I woefully consider, the taste of her venomous kiss.
Briefly, surrender tempts me; the safety of my cabin inside.
The ferocious fangs of the serpent not easily denied.
“I’ll not go to the depths of the awful abyss!” I defiantly cry,
But my courage short lived, as the life of a fly.
Aware of the fetal position I’ve assumed, he wickedly smiles,
Drunken with pleasure, he revels in my secret denial.
I wake from fitful sleep; the beast has stolen what’s mine.
My treasure he’ll use, against the next victim he finds.
This time able body succumbed to fragile young mind,
The next encounter, a wiser opponent he will find.
Stowed in the hull, I discover a shield and sword to defend
My precious cargo against, such an unjustifiable end.
The demon of control and I will clash in a watery dance
It will be with purpose his head removed, not merely by chance.
I’m mystically called there, although can’t give a reason.
Many believe I’ve returned, only to hunt once again.
It’s deeper than that; I’ve come to visit a dear friend.
I sit quietly in isolation amongst the elms and oaks,
For I know it is them that speak to some of us folks.
Just the mention of this would suggest I am mad;
So hesitantly I tell of the conversations I’ve had.
I remain motionless as the black turns to gray,
Knowing a twig snap is enough to keep them away.
I stare at the twisted old bark until I make out his eyes,
He’s looking much older somehow; I notice the lack of his size.
As he speaks to me I see a splintered spot in his trunk;
His voice is barely audible, lacking its usual spunk.
He welcomes me back with a warm woody smile,
“I’m glad you’ve returned friend, it’s been a long while.”
“You see, many things have transpired, not all of them good.”
I sensed he was troubled, by the complexion of his wood.
Even his posture revealed deep sorrow; his limbs drooping now,
I desperately wanted to comfort him but I didn’t know how.
I notice at his base a pile of broken limbs and dead leaves;
Then I quickly realize it’s his mate he understandably bereaves.
He tells of a terrible dark night, when the howling winds came;
They were beaten with hail and pelted by wind-driven rain.
He felt they had endured and survived through the worst,
Storms they’d seen many, but as for tornadoes, this was the first.
I could envision the devastation as he described the terrible crack,
The vial and relentless wind had finally broken her back.
I thought it ironic; usually it was I who poured out my grief.
He had always listened intently, not twitching a leave.
Finishing my story, he would willingly offer advice for free.
What would you expect, from such a wise and discerning old tree?
Before I made my way home and our talk was completely through;
I said good-bye to my friend, for the last time, this we both knew.
I promised when he passed I would honoring him in some fitting way;
Reciprocating the caring and friendship he had show me the first day.
Now as I sit in my easy chair, summer again fading to fall,
I no longer must be in the forest to answer his call.
I gaze at the timepiece made from the precious heart of his wood;
Our friendship is eternal, much longer than the years that he stood.
If you are a hunter, as am I, and often find yourself in the wild;
Let go of restricting notions, and have the faith of a child.
Let this story serve as reminder, you can take it from me,
If the opportunity arises don’t hesitate to speak to a tree.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Have you ever shined a light, down deep in your belly;
Past the esophagus and stomach; to the innards of jelly?
Or do you justifiably fear all you might find?
Let alone suffocated thoughts, trapped in your mind.
Packages beautifully wrapped, restraining a gift so dark,
Temporary relief comes when prying open your heart.
Briefly amazed at words that flow from the blood on the pen,
Lamenting the finality of your act; open hearts never mend.
Self surgery a mistake, you urgently try to stitch up the wound.
Cleaning and wiping the stains that now soil your room.
Some days are better than others, often the gash only weeps
Sorted few know the hours that a wretched writer keeps.
Now that you’ve sacrificed; baring your soul to mother earth.
You can never deny your children; the one’s you gave birth.
Can you withstand criticism, or better yet, the silence they speak?
Surrender to the demon, a slave to the words and havoc they wreak.
The full moon illuminates a small corner of night.
The tops of trees glisten under radiant beams of light.
They gather in darkness upon the mountainous peak;
Heads lifted skyward as they hauntingly speak.
Predators, dreadfully viscous, possessing beauty so vast.
Wary prey take cover, glimpsing the eerie shadows they cast.
Tonight the group will hunt, satisfying their most basic need;
Eliminating the weak and the aged as they primordially feed.
Through dimly lit woods they methodically search for the scent;
Precisely determining the time and the direction she went.
Slowly they close the gap between themselves and the doe,
With each hurried step the unbridled frenzy continues to grow.
The graceful opponent relentlessly chased through the hills,
She will eventually succumb to supreme predatory skills.
The inevitable meeting is a fatal and predictable tale;
I’ll only describe it as nature, leaving out the grizzly detail.
Some would declare such a chase horrible and inhuman.
There are no rules, when it comes to natures balancing game.
It is by design not by ethics; life is taken and also sustained;
A lifecycle whereby many benefit from the one that is slain.
So when your ears witness the ghostly howling of the pack,
Shivers involuntarily running down the length of your back.
Be certain a gathering is about to take place and hunt to ensue,
Be thankful for the doe, lest the wolves be coming for you.