I Believe In You Because You Believe In Me

I tried to believe there is no such thing
as a muse to incite some kind of art.
But now I’m empty and the birds don’t sing,
the leaves have all fallen and so’s my heart.

I have no words with which a net I’d knit
that I might capture your dear heart and soul.
And now for two hours I’ve done naught but sit,
with a net not made of words, just all hole.

But how do I catch what I cannot hold,
my hands stuck in these holed pockets so deep?
My fingers empty of all but the cold,
with no words I can sew, so none shall I reap.

Please touch me with a whisper, my muse, old friend.
remind my imagination how I’ve been wrong.
Together we’ll fill autumn’s trees again,
lift my heart, and the birds’ voices in song.

Call It

I don’t think the trees 
care if the leaves they flip 
come up heads or tails.
They just let them fall, 
like coins into an old 
toll booth basket, something
you must do to get from here 
to there, from Summer to Winter.
Sometimes I feel like
one of those leaves, 
flipped from the branch 
closest to the sky,
where I could sometimes
feel as if I was flying, 
only I’m actually tripping my way 
down the oaken stairway, 
ultimately jumping into
the void between Up and Down.
I know the ground's coming,
cold and sad as another broken heart,
but for a moment or two, 
I’m defiant, ignoring gravity 
upon an October breeze, 
enjoying a freedom I’ve only felt
for so short a time before.
It’s not the sky in which I fly, 
but, soon enough, the bare trees 
won’t block my view of that blue.



The Nights Are Such Lonely Walks

Perhaps if I dreamed 
I’d not find all my nights 
such lonely walks from
light to light, like 
street lamps pouring down
without warmth on this corner
through the dark to the next
pool of yellow glow ahead.
Or like Tuesday to Wednesday.
I’ve strolled or rolled
my way through each, always
wishing I could reach out 
to touch that warmth 
light and dark and I denied me, 
wrapped as I might be 
in blankets or shadows.
But if I dreamed, perhaps
I’d dream of you joining me here
at the intersection of
Yesterday and Tomorrow.
Someday some warm Tonight.

Fallen Again

From their highest branch perch 
upon us they’ll spy,
in this sylvan church
on whose floor they’ll all lie.

But some have yet to fall,
though look at them sway,
like bold paintings on the wall
of a windy gallery display.

They must know come their ends,
colors bright as beacons,
as cold North Wind portends
and their grip weakens.

There goes another I see
I’d hoped might be staying.
Nature’s iconography
at which I’d been praying.

But all we can do is sigh
as they wave ‘bye and fly, remember,
when most leaves fall and die
come dark mid-November.

And that’s how it goes,
as years and we grow old.
Winter’s silver snows
will plate even autumn’s gold.

My prayers cannot stop
the passage of time.
Like leaves we’ll drop when we drop,
with or without silly rhyme.

It’s October and  I’ve fallen, dear,
and I don’t care if you’re an oak or birch.
Labels don’t matter to me here,
leaf’s a leaf, love’s love in my church.

Photo ©2015, Joseph Hesch 


I thought that if I were broken enough
I would see the light
— Robert Creeley, “The Revelation”

Today I went blind when the light of revelation 
poured through the weak places I’d thought 
I’d made stronger with wishes and forgetfulness. 
It felt safe here in the dark, not knowing 
whoever came scratching or pounding on 
these walls we’ve stretched between me and you.

But my best-laid plans most often fail when
it comes to affairs of this hollow old space.
So the light came through, over there 
where I’d punched the wall, up there where
the prayers stop and stick into the ceiling,
down here where my tears eroded the shaky floor
upon which I’ve stood alone for way too long.

I hobbled over to this one crack and scraped away 
the wish I’d forgotten I’d made so many times 
it sounds like an echo in this empty heart of mine. 
That’s when I closed my eyes for good, because 
I saw the one trying to bring love’s light to me 
wasn’t you, but me. I understand, but I’d rather be 
broken and blind than whole and not see you.

Leaving the Straight Lines Because

Memories fade in the growing dark, 
which has increased its pace and 
one day soon will grasp his shadow,
the long cutout of light in the shape 
of a man as featureless as his life.
The sun sits lower on the horizon
than he’s ever seen and blinds him 
to what lies ahead as much as the dark
conceals the nothing he’s seen and been.
He stops to wonder if it’s even worth 
taking another step toward a future 
as featureless as his shadow, one 
he knows will be more nothing and 
nothing more than a monotonous shuffle 
of heartbeat steps.

“Let the darkness have me,” he sighs, 
consigned with becoming part of the forgotten.
That’s when the voice comes out of 
the dark past, growing louder and warmer 
as its memory approaches him.
“Why are you in such a hurry toward a light 
that only blinds you to all around you? 
And if life only needs you staying one step ahead 
of the darkness, why must you always walk 
the straight line, my friend?” the voice says.
“Because…” but he could find no answer.
He realized while the shortest distance 
between two points is a straight line,
it can be fully colorful off the lines
they give you.