Every Dawn Another Bite

Darkness for Breakfast Photo by Joseph Hesch

Darkness for Breakfast
Photo by Joseph Hesch

The darkness never lasts,
even if clouds still cover you
like bedclothes come dawn.
Earth still spins, sun still crawls
eastish to westward.
You’ll have to trust me on this.
I’ve lived in shadow
all my life, attempting
to ignore how light,
dim or bright, eats darkness
like a final meal.
Though it never turns out
to be that last repast,
though. Like I said,
darkness never lasts.
Light nips it from my
shaking hands each time.
Light’s insatiable, but never
goes hungry. That’s because
darkness is eternal, inexorable,
the chocolate life dips day in
to lay upon your pillow.


Heading West

The Final Bow, II © Joseph Hesch, 2015

The Final Bow, II
© Joseph Hesch, 2015

He stares at the autumn trees
as they sway in October’s breeze,
because, like he, they’ve changed
from gin to bourbon, going to brown
and ready to drop.
The trees have forgotten how to color,
to glow in their Northeast neon glory,
the natural Broadway show of SRO
they always did until this year.
No premiere, no revival, no road show
left for the busted impresario
of his own life.

He’s put down his pen since Act Three’s
well upon him and he knows
the climax is out of his hands.
So he stands in the back of the theatre
of his days and sways to the tune
he almost remembers, a whispered whoosh
maybe like the strings bowed
in the overture of his days,
back when the curtains we’re red,
the lights were gold and he rode
the orange sun onstage from the east.

Now he opens his arms to the audience,
dropping vitality like leaves,
in a final sunset bow,
heading west.

I’m feeling the autumn of my years upon me today.  Losing abilities and memories with each dropping leaf from calendars and trees. Maybe  that’s why this piece feels so difficult to express and communicate to you.



At dinner, as Allie chattered about her kindergarten class, Ben would mumble, “Um-hmm,” or “Really?” between glances at his phone or the second hour of the same local TV news as the first.

“C’mon, Ben. Let’s take a walk,” Allie said.

“Aww, Al,“ he said, but checked his phone and saw he had a free hour. “Okay, let’s go.”

Tonight, Allie didn’t lead them past the park. Instead, they silently ambled through their old neighborhood.

Allie stopped and stared at their first rental. Ben kept walking.

“It’s still empty,” Allie said.

“What?” Ben said, looking up and not finding Allie at his side.

“This place. Since we left, it always was for sale and still looks vacant, practically abandoned.”

“Hmmph, guess so. C’mpn, let’s get back before dark.”

All the way, Allie conducted a dinner-style conversation with Ben, only in her mind.

You walked past our house like you do the homeless guys in the park, just part of the scenery, colorless, ignorable.

What’d happen if you looked into its face, its vacant window eyes veiled with webs and secrets. Afraid it’d feel haunted looking back at you?

If you stopped to consider this shell full of lonely, would you see its lively times of youth, of family, stolen by time and disinterest? Nah. That’d require recalling yesterday when you barely can grasp today.

Yeah, move along, Ben. After all, just another part of the scenery.

Breakfast was silent next morning. As the news repeated, Ben barely noticed.

Creating the First Creation


This weekend I finally started getting rid of some of my late Mom’s stuff. I found a few things in what my mom kept of my past. My LOOOOOONG ago past. It appears I did not write my first poem in 2008 or so. My first swing at creating what might be verse was in 2nd or 3rd Grade.

And, true to your present-day poet guy, this piece plays with rhyme the way a cat does a mouse, batting it around before knocking it off altogether. Plus has an abrupt, though so-Joe Hesch ending

Apparently I had to write about Creation:

First light was made.
Second sky and sea.
Third dry land and plant life all.
Fourth sun and moon and stars of light.
Fifth fishes and birds oh so bright.
Sixth beasts of earth and creeping things.
Seventh ….

I guess both creators rested on #7

The Burdens of Brother Ass


You ask why I’m so tired and haggard,
wondering aloud with me nearby
if perhaps I’m not well, or ill,
or worse.
You wonder and worry, because
I was who I was all those years,
all those times,
And I say, Yes, I’m tired and
look like I’ve lost the fight.
The back of my soul and
soul of my back lie bent and sore
from carrying the heavy known-to-you
and so-much-heavier unknown
all my life.

At my age this burden should
have worn me down, pushing me
to the dirt beneath the accumulated
weight of my time upon this earth.
But my secret to the precipitous angle
of my decline, this collapse to

a final

comes from carrying,
dutifully, stupidly, like a
self-whipped Brother Ass,
others’ burdens.
They were yours.
And yours.
And yours.
And I made them

Obsessive Compulsive Disturbed



Are these obsessions
that I dive into one
after another? Or are they
compulsions that continually
steal myself from me?
The know-it-all said obsessions
are intrusive, irrational,
recurrent thoughts or images
that won’t go away, like
the sleepless dreams
of all of you I dream
here in the dark.
Compulsions, it seems,
are recurring actions that
I may develop attempting to
relieve myself from my obsessions.
That’s just disturbing,
I told the keys,
especially “I”  “y” “o” and “u,”
to whom I confess daily
my fears of obsessing over
one of you again —
always in one hundred words.

The Wonder of It All


The wonder comes over the transom,
under the door, through the darkness
to this twilight that never brightens.
It tugs at the corner of your heart like
a glint of “what’s-dat” does your eye.
The wonder has no shape, no aroma,
it silently speaks a language universal,
accompanied by a music omnipresent
that knows not time nor space.
It’ll touch you, make you jump
on goose-bump springs. The wonder will
caress you where you have nothing left
upon which to stroke and will leave
you changed for its coming and going.
And that’s the wonder of it all.