in balance

consider this: a life of balance
can be hard to find

you under-stretch your muscles, and
you overtax your mind

you pile emotions up, until
the whole world’s out of kilter

you stream your consciousness at pace,
and find yourself bewildered

but such is equilibrium:
you know it when it’s there

although the days in balance be
occasional and rare

the times of our acceptance, when
our minds go past our speaking

i wish for you, my friend, that you
may find all that you’re seeking

the place where what is truly there
is all you need for feeding,

and you can slowly breathe the air
that your lungs have

been needing

Mixed Signals

We should not care so much about appearance.
I read this everyday, and everywhere —
But yet we will; and brook no interference
In judging others. Nor curtail our care

For our own looks; for our own way of seeming.
We seem to want to have this thing both ways —
The moral view, that all are valid, equal;
The underlying view that always stays —

That some are better looking than most others.
We twist and squirm, for this seems wrong; but still –
We strive to be spectacular, and realize
We’ve known it when we’ve seen it, and still will.

  The same society that says to curb it
  Will broadcast who wears what on some red carpet;
  And tell us all are beautiful alike
  Within a sequined dress, behind a mic.


When I was young, I hated physical education,
Because I was not an athlete, and couldn’t be, no matter what I did.

I asked my parents why I should try, when I would never be good at it,
And they said, “Because you need to be the best you can be;
Don’t compare yourself to others.”

But everything feels like a competition, and, of course,
Sports literally is a competition.

I think that’s how we are about looks.

Many of us know what it is to try to get attention in a room
Where the really attractive people are getting all of it.

It feels like losing.
So why even try, when we know that’s not our destiny?

“Because you need to be the best you can be;
Don’t compare yourself to others.”

I also believe in the subjectivity of looks;
Different people have different tastes.

Which works out well for most of us.

There’s more to attraction than looks;
There’s more to a person than their image.

However, looks do matter:
To each of us and for each of us.

It often seems like society sends
Mixed signals –
And it does —

Sometimes laughably,
As in the vanity-based movie business
Lecturing us on how all types of appearances
Are equally valid
When you know they don’t mean it.

But the truth lives
In the in-betweens
As it often does.

It matters, but it’s not everything;
We should do the best we can, even if
We will win no competitions in doing so.

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

a hundred-weight of dreams

a hundred-weight of dreams inside
a thousand-weight of fears;
some scattered days of hope within
and dozen months of tears —

a dread that’s born of emptiness,
a questioning of worth:
a plague of such anxiety
as rends the very earth.

the colors of accomplishment,
ineptitude, or both;
the tearing sound that signifies
both injury and growth —

the hotel with its silence, or
the spotlight with its cheers —
a hundred-weight of dreams inside
a thousand-weight
of fears


© Andriy Bezuglov | Dreamstime.com – Redhead girl with wet hair sits in the bath full of water with m

Token

what is your truth? what have you seen
when no one else was there to see?
is there a lonely spot of road
that's made from you or maybe me?

you knew one in the wintertime
when walls were painted with despair
and no place that you went preferred
to anywhere
or everywhere

what is your plot? your character? 
  your theme?
why do you linger over post, 
  or meme,
or stare at empty screens and wait 
  for words?
or dream of flight, while sealing out 
  the birds?

the lonesome road of wintertime
the isolated way;
the habits that are character,
the token we must pay
to see while we have eyes to see,
and not to look away:
for humankind is horrible
past what mere words can say.

our eyes look down,
the raptors coil above:
it's only love that is our hope,
and all our hope must be
in only
love

{ … lines … }

when the lines are angled in,
don’t pretend you’re lonely;
when the pattern’s closing in,
don’t put on you’re sad —-

light does as it always does,
friendship is, where effort was,
though the lines be sharpened in,
much is to be had

if we see that image is
little more than lies;
when we see the way is ours,
then, to our surprise,

we can read between the lines
past our fear, and doubt —-
for the lines that angle in
also angle
out

Elegy Written in an Empty Field

The day is draped in gray;
Around me moves the swirling mist
Of everything that has been, or will be.
I stand here, looking up,
Not fully knowing why my chest
Seems so filled up with sadness. I’m resigned
To what my part, my role is, now, I guess:
For even clouds have shadows,
Moving ceaselessly, as they do.

Across the gray-green stubbled field,
A rusty fire hydrant sits.
It’s seen its better days, but still,
It on the lookout stands and waits,
It’s almost gray, and
At one with the day.

A lifetime’s work, a moment’s use:
What is this but labor, love, and honor.
These things we strive to build,
Then use so briefly.

New clouds form, and old ones go,
While the water this field needs
Lies trapped beneath a hydrant.
What we need may be at hand,
But that doesn’t mean we
Will ever have it.

And human breath, like other clouds,
May cause great storms, or
Make cool shade,
But in the end, it passes like a mist
Across the skies of other mists
Much closer to the ground.