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.

Calling Time When You’re Down 0-365

I remember those nights
that edged into day where
I’d sit, pencil in hand,
pondering how to overcome
that day’s opponent…
every night, every day, too.
Obsession and fear kept me
drawing up new tactics that might
steal a victory once the clock
started running. Should we press
from tip-off to buzzer, trying
to impose our weak will to turn
them aside from our goal?
No, that’s a task too difficult
to accomplish one-on-one. Inevitably,
we’d opt for a passive defense,
hoping to shield and slow them from
getting inside. But that merely
prolonged the inevitable, just like
every other time. I’d crawl off
to bed, resigned to another defeat
in this seemingly endless season
of losses. It’s record was 365-0 and
I couldn’t take the losing anymore.
It was then I admitted, pride be damned,
I’d ask for help. Even I couldn’t beat
Depression alone.

Day 20’s NaPoWriMo poem, combining prompts for a task poem and one incorporating terms from a sport or game. After thirty years of coaching basketball, I knew more than enough jargon. After more than thirty years of the fruitless task of trying to beat depression by myself, I finally took on some assistant coaches. Still don’t win all the games, but my record’s improving all the time.

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.

Reminiscing the Tomorrows We Never Had

Each dawn, when I crack open my eyes
to verify I’ve received another chance,
I envision you in the empty space
beside me and close them again,
realizing I’ve blown it already.
A once-harmless fascination became
my obsession, fluttering moth-like
’round your incandescence that
threw too much heat for my heart
to dare grow nearer.
But when I realized your heat was
my actual desire, you’d gone cold,
your own obsessions directing it
so far from me I had to warm myself
with reveries of useless might-have-beens.
Now most mornings I fail another chance
to ignore these all-day reminiscences
of a future we never could have had,
obliviously resigning myself to the fact
my miserable life’s better
we never did.

Day One of April’s Poem-a-Day Challenge: A Reminiscing Poem. And what’s more silly, dreaming Hesch-like than reminiscing about something that never happened?

Afraid of Being Afraid of the Dark

Here in the darkness, we all look alike.
Yet we fear that which we cannot see.
If we reach out to explore more than
what we hide or hide from,
we might find whatever differences
we sense are actually differences we share.

I wonder what would happen if we conquered
our fears, raised the shades, opened our eyes,
unlocked our doors and allowed a new day
into our rooms. Perhaps we’d discover
it isn’t one another we need fear,
but the darkness within which we cowered,
covers over our heads,
pillows muffling our ears and minds
we kept imprisoned, locked away
by our own intentions.

It’s fear that compels us to conceal
ourselves from the known and unknown,
fears of being hurt in which
we not only hurt ourselves,
but the shadow-shrouded world
we hope would just go away.
My fear is it already has and
now we’re really alone the dark.

The Search Continues

I’ve been searching for something
my whole life, but if you stopped
and asked what my goal, my hoped-for was,
I’d likely give you the same kind
of twitchy, unfocused look as
any other liar. I’d give you some answer,
firm as granite or flimsy as fog.
But, in truth, that answer’s proven
as elusive, as out-of-reach as
that for which I’ve searched.

It’s worn me down over all this time,
and the only truth I’ve ever found
is this: Life’s one long crawl
toward a shiny something that
turns out to be nothing more
than a mirror reflecting the fact
I’ve spent my life digging
for nothing more than a clear look
at who I am and what I’ve become.
And I haven’t captured that yet.

Searching for Comfort in The Devil’s Workshop

One dark day, you’ll discover
the forehead fits perfectly
into the palm of one’s hand,
as if the Master behind the skin
and bone designed it for just
that purpose. That Master will come
searching for solace and sanctuary
when it no longer can find any within.
But, it may find nothing there
but idle thoughts, calloused responses,
and more deep depressions.
Perhaps it will detect a tremor
or numbness in the caress of its servant
so long ignored and abused.
I suppose one really should expect,
after all the brooding over its
servant’s imperfect interpretations
of one’s heady imaginings, to find in those
final downturned and overcast days
the stony slag in a Devil’s Workshop
of your own forging?

Free write blather, inspired by my pressing of my uninspired head into my dry and arthritic hands. The perfectionist gets his perfect comeuppance.