Shame no shame (poem)

 

 

(Photo: Tim Marshall)

I’m not sorry
for the way my body reacts to his touch
the way the fire ignites in my groin
and licks its way up to my smile

Wicked boy, nasty boy, reveling in man flesh.
Can’t help myself it feels so good
as my eyes roll back and I shake swearing allegiance to all that is needy and lovely.
Things that should be left unspoken if only I could stop calling out his name.

I’m not sorry to the ladies
for taking this one off the market
throwing a wrench in the Adam and Eve argument
For being woman enough to take him on and man enough to hold him here.
I throw deuces to what should be and embrace the yin and yang

I am, I really am not sorry
but I ashamed for a split second that I couldn’t last longer.
That when I can’t be stronger.
To tame that hunger
when he gives me that come get me smile

I am not sorry
even if there is to be hell to pay
one sad day when this is over
when the man in the red car
takes me away
I’ll always imagine my lover’s
twelve gauge shotgun
powerful enough to blow away my fear
my loathing, my …..mind

It is memories not a paycheck, I seek (Poem)

 

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(Photo by: Dương Trần Quốc)

 

I’ve never been a reality man
A concrete man
A man of business
Practical things, though important I’m sure
Have never interested me more than a day
And when on the rare occasions I thought such things
I found myself tired easily
And bored rather quickly
My eyes finding the nearest cloud to gaze upon

I’m a dreamer man
Some rude persons would call me a flake
Our worlds too far apart to be understood
For as they count their hours by dollar signs
And dates for meetings, shaking hands in greeting
I’ve always counted moments as waypoints
This one down now onto the next

I live for the soft sighing of trees and the feel of Autumns first chill
For pleasure in the crescendo of a tenor voice of a well-loved song
The emotion of it all
The pleasure of passions first thrill

I’m irresponsible with money, I don’t like social gatherings although social graces come naturally to me
You may be rich, well endowed, with a fine home and linens Egyptian with thousands thread count
But if emotion isn’t there, if passion doesn’t burn you, what good are you, really, to me?

If you can taste what I taste and see what I see
My darling, if you could be so cavalier
Then perhaps your business would be simply a place you go to and not a person you think you ought to be

Yet perhaps I’m all wrong, and not being able to be more wrong, you hold the real meaning of life in your clockwork world
Yet as the world goes by I’ll count the moments not time
For its  memories not a paycheck, I seek

Summer ( The Second Sister) Poem

 

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(Photo by: Diana Simumpande)

 

 

Summer sister
Brown skinned beauty
With a dress as green as the emerald isles
Steadily walks in grasses waist high and flowering
Her bosom as full as the clouds

Summer sister, African wise
Woman of the earth and mother to all
Eases the world in mid-afternoon slumbers
And thundershowers late at night

Mother of the longest Solstice
She tells Mary Mary quite contrary
How that garden’s supposed to grow
And prepares her fields for her red haired sister
When June fields begin to grow

But it’s with her the children laugh and play through
As the swim in rivers warmed by her touch
It’s her they watch coming over the hill from schoolhouse windows
The time of the year they love so much

Summer sister, Ebony darling
A laugh as deep as the tree roots grow
The most generous of the four sisters seasons
Dancing under the late summers moon glow

Jesus Serves Jamison (Poem)

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(Photo by Tanja Heffner)

 

 

 

I have found salvation in Rock and Roll
My gospel in the rhythm and blues
when that drumline hits thump thump thump
I become the Angel Gabriel

When the trumpet sounds for me
it will be Janis singing Me and Bobby Mcgee
and as I lift up off the ground
the angels vocal arrangement will be by Barry Gordy
with the smooth sounds of Motown

Heaven will be an out of the way juke joint
where Jesus serves whiskey until two
who’ll light my cigarette and leave his bar
to slow dance with me, and sing harmony with me
when the juke plays “Chasing Cars”

See, what you didn’t know,
is that Jesus really loves Pat Benatar
and listened when she sang that hell was for children
and opened the bar, cause it’ll take a long time before
we can bear the golden streets of Religion’s hypocrisy.

So don’t you worry you hell cats and hip kitties
live your truth as best you can
because JEsus serves Jamison at the bar till two
and it’s ALWAYS midnight at The Lost and Found

Hallelujah!

The truth is…(Poem)

 

 

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(Photo: Matthew Henry )

We try to divine what we know
or what we think we know
in terms of people and places
and things
We tell ourselves these narratives
that only reinforce our prejudice
against others as well as ourselves

But the mile less trodden on
uncut in fields rarely visited
when the sun’s direct light
bakes they clay hard and fills
the surrounding sky with scent of sweet grass
and pungent dried earth
truth awaits us

In this field
where the blue dragonfly alights the Black Eyed Susan
it’s gossamer wings only a moment’s hesitation
before its dash back into the summer air
and in this field where the grasses make warm beds
for nursing deer
Truth awaits us

In this field
where the only sound breaking through the whisper
of wind running it’s fingers through the grasses
or the buzz of a worker bee diligent about
his duties
is the truth ready to be spoken to an ear willing to hear it

And that truth is sometimes the healing hurts as bad as the hurting did when the hurting first happened to us
So we fill our heads with static
whispers about neighbors, about ourselves
never thinking that pain doesn’t have to be
the destination
it can just be the journey

So you want to be a writer? Prepare for crippling doubt.

motivation

 

Do you have that novel in your mind that you’ve always wanted to write?

Do you have that great storyline you think should be made into a screenplay?

Do you have that autobiography you’ve been thinking about sitting down and hammering out now that you’ve reached a place in your life where you have the time?

Good.

That’s step one.

Now comes step two.

Fear of failure.

I have a quarter written manuscript that I have poured my heart and soul into for the past several months sitting open on this very computer right now. I’ve had people read over it. I’ve had my publisher read over it. I’ve read over it a number of times.

And, not to toot my own horn, but I love it.

And so did everyone else.

But today as I was reading back over it once more to capture the feeling of the story I am trying to tell I found – before I knew it – in the midst of a black hole of despair.

Nothing triggered it.

I was happy all day today.

I got up, kissed my husband goodbye, walked the dog, had breakfast, worked out, caught up on social media, sat down to read and get to work –

and BANG!

There it was.

Doubt. Self doubt.

I have been published multiple times. I get some pretty good reviews. While I am not the biggest seller out there – I know that at the end of the day – I can tell a story. And a good one at that.

And most days that’s more than enough to keep me going.

But today, I felt like a fraud. A poser. A no good craptastic punk who couldn’t string two coherent sentences together.

When my husband came in, and we had dinner, he noticed I was upset and inquired about it like a good spouse does.

“You go through this every time you write,” he said shaking his head and looking upon me with a gentle gaze of patience.

He’s right. I do go through this and so will you. Over and over and over again.

It is the loneliest feeling in the world to try and create something you’re not 100 percent sure the world wants or will treat well once you’ve handed it over.

I am not going to give you a pep talk, espouse one of those OBNOXIOUS one liners on those OBNOXIOUS motivational posters in offices the nation over. You know which one’s I’m talking about. Those posters that, when you’re having a bad day makes you want to punch someone….yup, them.

I am not going to tell you that what you’re working on is important, that it will be well received, that you will make a million dollars, and your work will one day be taught in universities.

Because all of that may not be true. Hell, it most likely won’t be.

But I will tell you , that feeling you get when you’re up late at night hovering over your laptop, sitting at your desktop, or scrawling through a notebook curled up on the couch – when that moment of terrifying self doubt washing over you – is completely normal.

I’ll also advise you not to finish it for the enjoyment of the world. Finish it for the satisfaction of saying, “I did that.”

That’ll mean more than anything.

I did that.

And if you still don’t feel better go burn one of those fucking posters in effigy.

 

Old Friend (Poem)

 

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(Photo by: Ben White)

April is National Poetry Month and this one I’d written several months, maybe over a year or so ago. And I wrote it when I got to missing someone in my life who’s – a friend, brother, drinking buddy, just….

I suffer from what Cordelia suffered from in King Lear when she tried to describe her love for her father when she said, “I cannot heave my heart into my mouth.”

I empathize because even though I am a writer – nothing in the English language encompasses that familial blood/not blood connection we find with certain people. But anyway – enough about that. Here’s my poem:

Old Friend 

I miss you
Old friend
Heart of my heart
Fondest memories when
Mornings lasted until sundown
The air a Sweet summertime song
Our wisdom was shared between glasses of Amber coloured discontent
Bitter enough on the tongue
To coax a sweet melody
Well into an evening

I miss the old when
Ghosts sailing on the breeze
Thick with heavy songs and worry and humidity
When the mood struck our fancy
We’d sing down stars from the heavens
Or leaves from the trees
We were brilliant then, not so much now
Now, were grown up

But the faint notes I hear
Tinkling beyond the sunset
The ghost still ramble and the whisky’s still warm
Although time and distance and days and doings rob us
And give us grey in our hair, in our beards, in our eyes
They can’t steal the youthful sound of our voices

Old friend
Closer than my shadow
Thicker blood hasn’t run between two souls
Or maybe that was the liquor, or our Irish dispositions?
Or sappy drunkenness? Ha!
Who cares
We were young,
Old friend
And right there in those moments
We always will be.

 

(Love ya, pal. It’ll be alright, I promise)

The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Poem)

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(Photo by: Jeroen Andel)

 

Today I would like to share with you my favorite poem, The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

To me, this is one of the most beautiful poems ever written, and if recited correctly, can bring me to tears.

There’s something about it that calls to the weariness in me and the hopefulness of rest.

I hope you enjoy it.

The day is done, and the darkness
      Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
      From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village
      Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
      That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing,
      That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
      As the mist resembles the rain.
Come, read to me some poem,
      Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
      And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
      Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
      Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music,
      Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
      And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
      Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
      Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who, through long days of labor,
      And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
      Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet
      The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
      That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
      The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
      The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,
      And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
      And as silently steal away.

 

Confessions and regrets (Poem)

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(Photo by Soren Astrup Jorgenson)

I used to love you
God, I used to love you
when I was starving myself
and craving affection
I can’t even list the names of
the men i took to bed
wishing it had been you

Or maybe I remember more
than I’m letting on, maybe I
should give the world your number
so’s they can ask you what in the world
were you thinking being so cavalier
with a hungry heart lying prostrate at your feet

I used to pretend that once
the veil was lifted from your eyes and
for the first time see me as I was
and you’d say
“Oh, there you are, I’ve loved you forever.”
and time would lay down and be still
as you loved the feeling of other men’s
hands off my thighs

There was that time once in a restaurant
when the man you were talking to
what you thought was behind my back
came and sat caddie corner from our table
and that place where I used to pretend you loved me
died tragically between Hors Devours and
our main course
and I swallowed all of it down

I used to love you
God, I don’t think you can understand
how thirsty my soul was for the taste
of what contentment would feel like
you used to think you were so slick
but you weren’t – it was me, afterall,
sleeping with your best friend.