Sometimes the Poetry’s Found in the Shadows

 
 
Low morning sunlight skips along 
 the yard’s snow-covered moonscape 
 where the nocturnals’ footprints 
 trip the sun’s rays into shadow traps
 until they’re released around midday.
 Two silhouettes glide past my window,
 one polishes the snowy mirror like
 a black rag, while, just above, 
 it’s cawing author reminds me 
 poetry’s lost and found in the blink 
 of the sometimes sun-blind beholder.
 

 

 

 

The Weight of It All



 I'm asked if I've ever felt 
 the weight of a loss so great 
 it calls life into question?
 Yes, I’ve seen its great heaviness 
 in how it crushes a dip 
 down into that cold pillow 
 on which no one sleeps anymore.
 
Asked to write a short poem today, which I haven't done in a while. 
But then, I haven't written much of ANYTHING in a while.

Trying to Not Let Go



You know the anger’s in there
 but I dare not let it show.
 Certain objects will get broken
 should I ever let it go.
 It’s like a big ol’ gray wolf
 that I’m holding by the ears.
 If I loose his fuzzy handles
 your gentle man here disappears.
 The world becomes my China shop,
 I become its snorting bull.
 And I fall to my inner demon,
 the one with gravitational pull.
 
 You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,
 though you’ve seen me in that state.
 I just swallowed it like candy,
 the damned damage to abate.
 After that I keep quiet
 lest that sweetened demon dash.
 And out come words that hurt you
 or worse, silence, like a crash.
 Like thunder after lightning strikes,
 from eyes that flash a warning,
 it’d be best if you let me
 walk it off 'til morning.
 
 I left some walls behind me
 with holes the size of my fist.
 Filled them with regret later,
 the painful price of getting pissed.
 Wish I could so easily fix
 one more thing I broke apart
 when I spit out the blind demon
 and unknowingly broke your heart.
 That’s why I fight so hard inside
 that damned gray wolf to subdue.
 I’ll gladly hold it ten more years
 than let it go again and hurt you.

I'll hold him, if you'd like to pet him.
 

Making Sense of You



I wish I could see what I used to see,
my sight of that sight now fading.
But that’s just my eyes peering into
the void where once some body stood.
I’ll admit that I probably saw better
from the corners of these windows
to my soul, but that’s because I hardly
ever look at you straight-on, for, 
to do so, would allow you to see me.
I wish I could hear what I used to hear,
the soundness of my hearing now smothered so.
But that’s just my ears, useful only for
holding up my glasses for these shy eyes 
that can’t see some body anyway.
 
Isn’t it odd that I saw best when my ears 
faced you and I heard best when we were 
face to face, the better to focus on  
not much more than your lips? 
But what does it matter? I always 
see you best when I close my eyes 
and hear you well enough when
I pull the wires from my ears. Then, 
some body's youth never fades like 
my senses, as I fumble around the corners 
of recollection in this haunted house 
between my shoulders, searching for 
one more sniff, taste, or touch. 
 

Through Such Twilight As This, Perhaps

 
 
 I used to see it wherever I went
 and now dream to see it if only once more.
 Even in pitch dark it’d shine in its own way, 
 on the ceiling as I lay alone on the floor.
 
 I could see it in shadowy memory, as well as 
 in the memory of shadows we’d cast.
 I’d see it even with my eyes closed, as if 
 it were the sun-bright thing I’d seen last.
 
 Yes, now it’s gone, like an imaginary friend,
 that a child learns one day to ignore.
 But I can’t ignore what my imagination describes
 some days, which I think is what my imagination’s for.
 
 And so this, another dream in winter daylight,
 whose vision grows longer as each week goes by.
 Even as the number of my days grows shorter,
 so too my vision fades no matter how hard I try.
 
 I guess then we’ll not see its like again,
 unless your sore heart and my mind's eye reconcile.
 But what I wouldn’t give once more to see, 
 through the twilight of my words, your true smile.

Figured I try to see if lightning would strike twice in the same week.  
 

Making It After All

I heard the voice say, “I think you’ll make it,” but I always hear voices. Some I don’t know. Some I long to hear attached to a warm breath again. This one straddled both.

And so what if I did hear that I was going to live some more when so many others weren’t? What if you go on living and there’s no one left you can live with? Or would want to live with you?

These are the questions you ask yourself when you get old and you can’t stand to look at the news, sports or especially the obituaries because inevitably there are names there you’ll recognize from when you were young. Or worse, when you weren’t young anymore.

It began happening in my late teens, but most were accidental checkouts – firearm mishaps, car accidents, lightning strikes, mountains falling on you, oh, and war. I was going to say “Could happen to anybody,” until I remembered those last few.

Then parents started dying all around me, which I recognize is just the natural course of things. No one gets out here still upright as far as I know, despite your magic act iconography.

I think it was observing the minds or bodies of some of those people going sour, like they’d exceeded their sell-by dates, that caused me to stare at the jam at the bottom of my own jar and find it separating.

Then you start losing your peers, your friends, or worse, your loved ones, and the loss, the doubts, the guilt, the pain work you over more than time has. That’s when your mirror becomes like the faultless window through which you watched all those “old” folks fail. Time just puts a matte coat on you.

Lately, even young ones are falling from unbearably low heights, too. 

“You do understand I said I think you’ll make it?” 

I know. But the bread’s gone all moldy and the shelves are bare. No one…I mean nothing to make it with anymore. What’s the sense of holding this small amount of sweet if I can’t reach it anymore, let alone share it?

“That’s what we have spoons for.”

I see. Just wait until I hear that cosmic cutlery drawer scrape open and the jingle of flatware dances in my head instead of your and their voices?

“Yes.”

How long do I wait?

“Can’t say.”

Make it how? Surviving or serving?

“Does it matter?”

Not anymore, no. 

“It’s been nice talking to you again.”

Nice hearing from you. And the other voices…?

“I’ve told them the same thing. They hear you, too.”

Oh. Stay cool everybody. We’re gonna make it after all … one way or another.

I’m not sure what to call this. I guess a brain and heart dump. But at least it’s there.

The Reality of the Illusion of Reality

 

 I’d love to show you a new picture of me, 
 all happy, sharp-eyed and pleasantly trim. 
 But time and trials and too many carbs
 make me look in the mirror and say, “Who him?”
 
 And so I hide behind once-pretty words,
 which these days look as bad as me or worse.
 The old ones made me seem six-foot and fine.
 The truth’s somewhere between haiku and hearse.
 
 Seems all that passion and woes I once used
 to fashion those prose and poems of mine,
 also carved their way ‘cross my smooth face,
 one kind of close to that aforementioned “fine.”
 
 I shouldn’t complain. I’ve written a lot.
 Just got old and s’pose I forgot how to.
 But if I could remember, I'll tell you what,
 a young poet would still write about you.