Pillow

In the hallway I heard him tell her
he didn’t like the pillows on their hotel bed.
“They’re all too hard. You know I like
one softer I can smush they way I want.”
I can understand how someone could be
so picky about their most intimate companion
with whom they share their bed.

Your pillow, will cradle your sleepy head,
catch your sobs and dry your tears
like a mother’s lap does for its child.
You can hug it as you would someone
you wish was there with you,
accepting and returning your warmth.

It can be the launchpad of dreams,
whether you’re asleep or awake,
soaring above you, maybe just out of reach,
or just floating there all night keeping
you awake like a dripping faucet.
It’s probably no coincidence I sleep
with two pillows. One for my head,
while I hold the other in my arms.
They console, accept and embrace me.

We’ve come to fit each other, though not
because I smushed them. Gently, like muses,
they’ve helped shape lofty thoughts,
often of you, that I might write tomorrow.
Or they support me while I push and lift
those thoughts almost all night long,
so you and I can wake next to them come morning.

For Day 21 of NaPoWriMo, A poem inspired by an overheard conversation and also with a one-word title about its subject.

Heart Like the Phoenix

What’s it like to be the lightning?
To have the power to set someone afire?
Tell me what it feels like to burn
somebody down, their emotions a pyre?

What’s it like to look into the eyes
of another and watch them smolder?
When they inevitably burst into flame
do you feel all the bolder?

Do you want to know what it’s like
to be the tinder to your spark?
How it feels when someone can ignite
your heart with a look on a lark?

It’s painful, scarring me with sorrow
and I’d let you torch all over again tomorrow.

An extra poem for NaPoWriMo — or for any other day, I guess. Just because it came along I could catch it. Or it caught me.

The Answer in a Flash of Morning Sun

I think I’ve passed right over the acme
of my life’s arc, through its payoff middle
and missed it. No Ansel Adams grand vista,
no temporal sweet spot in a man’s life
where he can stand and say to himself,
“Good job, you made it.” I no doubt was head-down
in a reverie about a what, a when, or worse,
a who.

I just looked up and out my window I see
jet contrails crisscrossing the dawn sky,
snaring the sun in a web of crystal near-nothing.
A robin’s sitting in the budding red maple
out front singing his love song. And between them
lies a vast expanse of nothing but . . .middle.
A vermillion-breasted sign of new life and
a silver nib etching across the sky the stories
of hundreds of souls, joined in this moment by
whatever I choose to link them.

More than some arbitrary marker signifying
the end of the Beginning or the beginning of the End,
I forgot the Now I’m in and how I choose to fill it.
Like that moment two disparate birds wrote
the story of my life in a flash of morning sun.

On Day 15 of NaPoWriMo, the middle of the month, I present this rather long discovery of where I am in my life. And, at this moment, the view is pretty good. Photo from out my window, by yours truly.

My Guilty Displeasure

Where was I when you needed me?
Needed whatever it is one seeks
from another when life deals them
a blow batting them to the lowest
point a person can hit, only
to find you can fall even further
when a friend failed to be a friend?
I was falling too. Falling in
my failure to sail to your aid,
beating myself for listening to
the other voices instead of choosing
my own choices and negating
my nature to nurture those I love.

The cost of becoming lost from
my life’s path was greater than
suffering the wrath of someone
I would never wish to hurt.
But that’s what I do, time after time,
no reason, no rhyme, ever reaping
the bitter fruit sown by a soul
who left the road we walked,
when my shoulders were wide.
I can’t hide from the accusing eyes
reflecting and rejecting the Me
I see not in a mirror, but on these pages
I can’t stop filling with mea culpas
and confessions. But now I know how
to stop the guilt before it can start.
Don’t blindly accede to the advice of others.
Instead, use my head and heed the
Creed of my heart.

Day 12 of NaPoWriMo, where I combined the prompts of penning a poem about Guilt and one that used Alliteration and/or Assonance as feature factors. Hope I’ve accomplished that, as well as the job I try to make most of these reflections do.

Traveling Light

Perhaps you remember that guy you once knew,
the one who’d just be there when you were angry or blue.
He had that black hair, eyes of dark brown
and, whenever he’d drop by, he’d flip over your frown.
He went away, traveling dark paths. So did you.
You went your way, he wandered without a clue.
You mightn’t recognize him now, the roads took their tolls,
his hair gone all silver, his eyes sunken holes,
and while the soles of his soul have worn shiny and thin,
there still comes a time when he can pull out a grin.
No, you may not remember him since your paths split apart,
but he sometimes smiles, even after all the hard miles,
at a picture of young you he thought to pack in his heart.

For Day 10 of NaPoWriMo, I combined prompts calling for a travel poem and a portrait poem. And what’s with this sudden rhyming thing? I shouldn’t go to sleep listening to Dylan, I guess.

So Why’d I Ask?

So what if I could one day rein
thoughts I have crowding ’round my brain,
these images I see of You-Know-Who
to as few as let’s say one or two?
Do I really think my life’d be that much better
if I never wrote another cryptic letter
to a universal someone who’ll never end
being the adult version of my imaginary friend?
Question’s moot, dear Know-Who, since never was just one You.

On Day 9 of my NaPoWriMo poem-a-day quest, I combined prompts again. Robert Lee Brewer asked for a poem titled “So (something),” while NaPoWriMo.net suggested a nine-line poem. Nailed the former, but really folded, spindled and mutilated the rules of the latter. Meter and rhyme have never been my friends, imaginary or otherwise.

But NaPoWriMo’s supposed to be all in fun.
Even if all those muse You’s might really be one.

Mine Over Matters

I know it’s a secret no more,
but I kept the one I thought
might have mattered most.
I’m sure you’d care no more,
but I’ve always been the one
to try doing The Thing, keeping
the personal nuclear code,
for what mattered most.
But what if I broke a vow
I made to myself, broke
the code to my mind and heart
over what mattered most?
I panicked over how I’d
make you sad or angry or,
worst of all, just shrug your
shoulders.
To me, you see, your feelings
(even about me)
carried what mattered most.
I wonder what’d happen if,
one day, you gave up my secret,
now that my supposed stand-up life
no longer mattered most.
Would I, who dreamed that dream,
sweat blood if anyone learned
this covert pining and furtive
twining of metaphors for you,
my little secret, ultimately
was what mattered most.

For Day 8 of NaPoWriMo’s Poem-a-Day challenge, I combined prompts for a Panic poem and one that repeated a word or phrase. Closed my eyes and started typing. Other than I and you, “what mattered most” is the repetitive hook upon which this piece hung.