lying awake

she lies awake and wonders where it went
the glow that once surrounded who she was
for all the hidden talents she’s misspent
for random choices, lacking a “because”

in stillness now, she thinks of one mistake
her mother’s eyes with tears were dabbed and flecked
for all that woman’s faults, for goodness sake
she didn’t merit wanton disrespect

but now, her mother gone beyond her reach
the tears beset her eyes, and she feels shame
the lessons only loneliness can teach
when there is no one else that’s left to blame

but she’s no worse than most: it’s how she’s built
to lie awake awash in waves of guilt

Expectations, Daily

It’s what we take for granted
That will do us in the end;
For expectations daily
Choke the life of women, men

That thing that we unthinkingly
Assume we’ll have fore’er
That one day leaves us suddenly
Exposed, unarmed and bare

We recognize bad fortune,
Others’ luck we dwell upon:
But take good luck as given
Up until the day
It’s gone

Old Poem, Written Age 26

When I was just a little boy
A certain prayer I said;
To shield me from the scary things
Before I went to bed

I hear the words, but cannot find
What I felt with that prayer:
If I should die before I wake
I really
Just don’t
Care
 


 

(“Old Poem, Written Age 26” – 10-20-1988)

Beautiful, Sad

the world is beautiful and sad,

i see it as i wander by;

the good things that we want – so bad –

our reason – just an alibi –

 

the aching heart will know no peace;

the tired soul will find no rest —

the world is beautiful, but sad:

our worst is so mixed up in

all our best

The Lonely Night

The lonely night is never done;
It stretches on, in endless wake –
And closes in with memories
And dreams, beneath a constant ache

To walk upon the haunted earth,
To lie upon a sleepless bed,
To hope for nothing but the dark,
And pray that┬áslumber’s┬ájust ahead –

But restless, rising up to go,
To walk out towards the waxing light –
These barren trees, they know the dark,
They’ve wrestled with the lonely night

The day will come – it always has –
But eyes will not be there to see:
The night will claim its prize at last,
The pride in you
The hope in me

Desolate My People Go

The world is dreariness today
The whole dang town seems haunted:
It’s very cold and gray outside
And that’s just how I want it

I like the feeling that I have
That nature doesn’t care;
Beneath the dull immensity
That I’m just barely there

The world is large and heartless,
And is deaf to our demands:
This cold indifference spreads across
All peoples in all lands

And desolate my people go
Behind their walls of stone:
There is no earthly paradise
We’re all
The hell
Alone


 
(“Desolate My People Go” – 12/31/2014)

So Familiar

So Familiar

A life led by blind desire,
Lurching toward the funeral pyre

Happenstance spun into meaning,
Private times spent posing, preening

Strings of words on worthless air,
Tableaus struck with no one there

Emptiness and vanity,
Sheltered by insanity

Carved from cells once formed by bliss:

So familiar

All of this


 

(“So Familiar” – 10-23-2014)

I’m So Uncertain

I’m so uncertain, friends, I just don’t know.
My life has spun, perhaps, out of control:
I do not know if I should stay or go,
I seem to have no function, place or role

But every day, I read among these words
Such certainties as I have never had:
From those who see sharp lines where I see blurreds;
Who know what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s good or bad

I think in iambs now, in groups of four;
My organized confusion here in verse,
I write to try to think, then write some more:
The bad gets analyzed, and comes out worse.

In sonnets of uncertainty, I dwell;
My mind so wracked, I neither ask
Nor tell


 

(“I’m So Uncertain” – 6-11-2015)