Tiny Terror

Writer's block

Writer’s block (Photo credit: Incessant Flux)

The skittering chill up my spine
doesn’t come from hoodoos, bogeymen,
bugbears or the night bumpers anymore.
I enjoy the company of darkness
in my bed at night, and I walk
these cracked sidewalks,
head held high, as daily I pass by
their cracked denizens.
Expressing myself to others,
tens or thousands, no longer shakes me.
I’ve stared down disease, criminal intent,
the uncertainty of parenthood
and the whoosh-by of swift death.
But not much scares me so these days
as sitting with a frozen mind
in front of a snowy-white page.

 

The Eve, the Day, the Joy

By Joseph Hesch

On the Eve and Day of Joy,
the presents were covered
in their smooth and sparkling raiment,
as were the trees and roads
in their fresh-snow greeting card grandeur.
Come the gathering, all those wrappings,
of packages and countryside,
were torn by child and adult,
each in their own way—
hand, scissor, sled, SUV. 
The magic was so quickly broken,
And what was smooth wonder
and sparkling mystery
the night before and at dawn,
had been torn, crumpled, stained
and rendered debris and nuisance
to everyone’s continued joy.
Moms and Dads near-curse the mess
of late-day. Kids ignore or revel in its chaos.
On Boxing Day the broken ugliness
of cold fact will be exposed.
Yet all will be forgotten with the advent
of a new year, a new hope,
a new anticipation
for the sleek magic of the Eve and
the Day we came together
and were joyously unbroken.

This Silent Night

Standing on the back porch,
11:39 PM on the 24th.
I’m cold and the chill air frosts
my nose and glasses.
This is nothing new 

for a late December night,
but something’s different.
The wind chimes dingle-ding
just as they do in August.
The trees sway and creak

as they did last month
and the months before that.
Perception stretching beyond

fading frame of consciousness,
maybe to snare hoped-for revelation,
I realize it isn’t what I’m sensing
that’s off. It’s what I’m not.


Over behind the big trees,
and the red-brick suburban bedsteads
lightly snoring smoke into the sky,
the normal hum and howl of
late-night on the Interstate
is absent.
I realize it’s because this is
That Night and travelers are safe

with their own, I hope.
And I want to stay here,
not travel another step,
to breathe in all this cold and quiet,
and breathe out crystaline clouds,
silent hymns of joy.
To be one with
this Silent Night.


Here’s a little Christmas Eve poem that was inspired by standing on the same back step as my summer poem, “Illuminati.” It’s a true response I had to standing there waiting for my golden-haired semi-muse Mollie to do her thing (What else is new?) the late evening of December 24, 2009. Consider it my Christmas card to you, in thanks for the support you’ve given me in this first year of blogging poetry. I’ve linked “This Silent Night” up to dVerse Poets Pub for the crew’s Open Link Night.

A Twelvemonth’s Tears

December Sky

December Sky (Photo credit: catladycam)

The December weather has edges
and sharp points, like a star
atop the Christmas tree.
When I inhale, the air feels
of peppermint but the flavor
favors woodsmoke from
my neighbor’s fireplace.
It’s during these nights,
under a stardust canopy
and a searchlight moon,
my eyes sting and water a bit.
Not sure if it’s from the the cold,
the smoke, or the need to
sweep the cinders
of another year from them.
Or perhaps this year
it’s to wipe the spillings
of an old year away to prepare
for a brighter new one.
Perhaps.

Hiding in Plain Sight II

By Joseph Hesch

I have reached a point at the final crest
of this autobiographic thrill ride,
before the long slow descent to its end,
where I can look back and see
how much of it I’ve missed
by being the close-eyed loner in this seat,
the dust-shrouded outsider,
the look-no-hands clown,
the genderless confidant. 
I realize my pioneering work in camouflaged,
hide-in-plain-sight isolationism
is today’s normal.
And all the other seats appear empty.

These new virtual hermits  
live in their in their cars and cubicles,
behind desks and counters,
and under the covers in thrall of TVs,
computers and smartphones. 
They hide behind avatars, masks and
sullen defenses so the real them
is kept undiscovered –-
a secret for their eyes only. 
If they even open them.

Now on my downhill glide, I’ve started to knock
some of those defenses down – my own and others.
Even if I never make that ultimate connection,
warm form to warm form,
I think the ride will be pretty splendid
in its own right, the bandwidth wind in my hair.
Of course, my greatest fear in this quest
is that I really am alone in this world
of click-to-connect friendships. 
Or worse, I’m just naïve enough
to think I’m not.