Snapshot: Her Evening

Her landlord’s kids have strewn the walk with toys;
She smiles as she steps around a trike.
She hears within a laughing, running noise,
The joy of children to the childlike:
And after some brief play, she’s off to hike
The longish stairs that lead her to her room.
She flips a switch to chase away the gloom

That never really leaves nor really stays
(Except when tears unbidden come at night)
But she is cheerful on the worst of days.
She pauses by the mirror at her sight
(The wind has blown today – her hair’s a fright)
But soon downstairs she goes to talk and eat,
Before she makes her evening’s long retreat.

Up in her room, she thinks of what she’ll write.
Ideas she has, like waves or grains of sand —
She’ll work on three or four of them tonight,
Then stop to listen to a favorite band
Remembering, at once, his darkened hand
And that he is no longer by her side:
The man who played the groom to her young bride.

The house is quiet, all the kids in bed;
The night is still and peaceful in the main:
And love has never died within her head,
Nor been defeated by the throbbing pain
Of heart so full, it cannot all retain —
But still, the graceful night enfolds its own,
And love surrounds her, even when alone

Black and Wide

Without, within — from whence comes all the noise?
The inner world is sketchy, black and wide:
To draw it right, you must have equipoise.
The lines need only be as you decide:
No other voice can question, or deride —
So build the landscapes where you’d love to dwell,
And make a temple of your citadel.

Within, without — these words are much the same.
The pale and thin becomes the black and wide;
The waters murmur softly, “none to blame –”
But other whispers follow, amplified.
A loving heart is still the truest guide
To where you’d love to — want to — need to be,
The seeing soul’s lost sanctum by the sea.

Things Beautiful

Why do we make things beautiful, or try?
For many, there’s an order they would make,
A moment’s kindness for the heart and eye,
Those ‘ultimates’ we do for their own sake;
The giving with no thought to have, or take.
But where the profit lies, some never see,
For disconnected men feel artlessly.

On The Heights

Oh, no. There’s no depression anymore.
All that despair, it’s really so jejune —
I have a lot to do, and I’m content.
There’s work enough for even a buffoon
To rise before the sun, and tame the moon.
Don’t look into my eyes, there’s nothing there;
There’s no depression anymore — I swear.

Oh, yes. I still hear voices, that’s just me.
But what I never talk about’s not real —
I am contented with my lot in life,
What isn’t mine to ever have, or feel,
Is just, you know, a thing, a minor deal.
A mortal starts whatever, then it ends;
I still hear voices, but — they say they’re friends.

I dreamed I saw a ribbon by the sea;
A highway full of peaceful, distant lights —
It’s rare I dream these days, or even sleep.
I’ve lost, I think, my battle with the nights;
But for that moment, I was on the heights.
I know that dreams are trivial. I do.
But somehow, what’s not real can still be true.

I wake to darkness, check my phone for time,
And lumber up, where no one sees or knows —
I cast a fishing line out on the ‘net,
But all is silent, as the river flows.
And day by day, a nameless something grows
Outside this room, in people’s thoughtless taunt:
That I have everything a soul could want.

But all of that is silliness. I move
Into the gears that grind throughout my day,
And show up at the place they pay me to,
And serve my minor truths up on a tray.
I stop to throw some words down, just for play:
They echo in my head, these little posts —
And all of it is silliness,
And ghosts

And, After All…

And, After All...

My head is sore with all the day has done
Around me and inside my teeming brain;
You walk in and you still my senses stun,
And, after all this time, it’s just insane:
To feel far past what I can quite explain.
I guess its love it’s love I feel – it’s nothing more –
And, after all, what else are we here for?

Never Loved

He never loved her; she can see that now.
This living space become a catacomb,
As things she swore she never would allow
Have entered into her, and made a home.
A world of color, now turned monochrome —
She wrestles with regret, and thoughts unbid:
He does not love her, and he never did

Spelling Bee Pointless

At nine years old, I won the spelling bee,
And it has all been downhill ever since.
You’d never know it now from reading me,
So error-filled, the editors all wince
At those few language skills that I evince.
So if I could, I might go back in time
And stay a spell, instead of work in rhyme.

But no: I now recall I was abjured
For winning weeks on end without a pause.
The first time I misspelled some stupid word
My fourth grade class burst into wild applause
For I was widely hated – with some cause.
I learned my lesson, though, and learned it well:
And ne’er again in school did I excel.

For athletes and musicians, it’s all fine
To be, or strive to be, the very best:
To push your way up to the front of line
And stand out from the mass, the crowd, the rest –
Just do not do it on an IQ test.
For as they say in Tokyo, I’ve found
The nail that lifts its head gets hammered down

Love Selflessly

Love selflessly and you will pay the price
  of what it is to give and not receive –
  the heart of flame, returned with touch of ice;
  a soul encumbered, longing to believe;
  the joy that is, at once, a call to grieve
  within the emptiness of letting go —
    but love is worth it, worth it, even so.

Love selflessly, and time will halt its course
  and lay upon your mind the universe;
  at every turn to press with so much force
  that feels a maledictive sort of curse –
  a swirling mist the heart cannot disperse
  that magnifies what we’d least like to show —
    but love is worth it, worth it, even so.

There’ll be an ebb, of course, with every flow:
  but love is worth it, worth it, even so.

a windward flock

she goes into the wind, the way she lived.
the flock of all who struggle, day by day;
and yet, that bracing feeling was a gift —
the purposeful: windblown, who never stray,
majestic and heroic in the way
they move on, through the hardest what, or why,
and still take others with them as they fly.