Evangelical Survivor (National Poetry Month)

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The creeping sad and delightful darkness
sweeps through the gate of my mind
twisting swirling bits of memory
and pushes back the iron gates with a bang

through many dangerous toils and snares
I delighted in the part of me that made me human
as I lay a pagan sacrifice to baal
with the dagger of salvation protruding from my chest

on a marble altar with a weeping angel above me
her face shrouded in cement hands
I stared heavenward with amazing grace on my lips
when my hands falling off the altar,
brushed the licking touch of hell with my finger tips

I am a child of the night
born in equal measure light and dark
the profane and the most holy
possessed by demons and angels clashing
drawing perfect harmonies from my throat
that sound like a roll of thunder raging
with rain and wind and lightning crashing

Heaven has a special place for us
a grace given by God to those whose servants betrayed him
whose salvation was purchased along Dante’s journey
for how can a benevolent God cast someone down
who’d been nailed to the cross without a thought of mercy?

I am the reason for the thousand years of weeping, with milestones about your neck
me and children like me as revelation tumbles from our lips
when the prophet Daniel and John the Revelator speaks with our voices,telling our stories
of shadrack, meshack, and abendigo cast into the fiery furnace
but saved when the image of the fourth man appeared to walk us home.

All the way home leading the parade of his Rock n Roll children
singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
Our cold and broken Hallelujah

Growing older (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoDylan McLeod

It’s 12:20 in the morning
I trace my tongue over a broken tooth
my back hurts from too much work
and my eyes are grainy and tired
I’ve turned another year older
a few more laugh lines around my eyes
a few more frown lines upon my brow

and yet, I am not the only one
I can see the age in my husband’s face
the sharper look of a man in his thirties
the youthful fat now melted away
leaving a refined brow
and sharper eyes

New questions parade in my mind
things I used to never think of
am I aging gracefully?
What does that mean?
Am I living a good life?
What does THAT mean?

I shall close my eyes soon
and sleep the rest of the night away
and know that in younger days I could stay up til dawn
caffeine and nicotine and a pretty face

Yet, I think those days are gone
and my beauty, and my mind, and my body
need their rest
for I am one year older than last year
but I really feel this year
deep in my bones

 

If only I…(National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoDemetrius Washington

 

If only I had leaned into that touch
that September morning before you left
the sheets pooling at your hips
my body sore from the night prior

I had lain awake all night
your head on my chest wishing
for the morning to refuse to break across the sky
leaving us naked and bathed in darkness

I saw the hurt in your eyes
at the sudden sullenness in my gaze
as I bit down on a thousand words
of panic at the back of my throat

I loved you
with your careless hair and your soft grey eyes
and your warm body and your powerful back
the shape of your lips that kissed me
and the submissiveness

If only I’d taken care
to dress with you and walk you down
the flight of stairs to my door
and kissed you once more before sending you away
into the morning sun

You had another life
was it a job? A home? A wife?
you wouldn’t say and I didn’t ask
when we met at the airport bar

I didn’t care then
but I do care now
if only I’d listened to the voice that warned me
somewhere underneath my second
bourbon and seven
when I saw the tie you were wearing and smiled

You were here on business for a month
and you were my lover as well
and we worked til daybreak often
laughing and drinking and lovemaking

Do you want me to come back?
No, I didn’t want you to leave
If only I’d said that
I wouldn’t be left here with only the smell
of your body on my bedclothes

Til the end of my days (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoJames Bold

 

IT was more than just where I lay
staring up at the ceiling of stars above my head
In your love, I had found a rose garden
white blooms as far as I could see
and there I thought I had come to the river
to drink and dance and sing

but the more I loved you
the less steady I was on my feet
until the citrus scent threw me over
and I fell backward into the briars of emersion

In exquisite pain, I lay here
my clothes were torn and my hands wounded
tangled in a miserable mess
as the vines wrapped right around me

It was then I realized the danger I was in
and it was then I realized water didn’t feed them
and to my horror, I didn’t care
as I watch a crimson drop of my own blood
fall to the ground and disappear

It was then I realized how much Pain I was in
and it was then I realized how little I cared
for I would lay here dying til the end of my days
in your garden under the stars above

Til the end of my days

Because I fell in love with you again (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoLubov’ Birina

 

Because you came to me
in the night
knocking on my door
gentle raps, barely taps
but enough to send me to the door,
wrapping myself in a robe as I went

There you stood
windswept hair, leather jacket, and doe eyes
smelling of Burberry cologne and nervousness
while the thunder rolled in the pitch dark
and lightning flashed
because the mother nature was conspiring

I’d missed you for weeks, it seemed
Maybe it was a lifetime or two
the warmth of your voice
the way my name tumbled from your lips

I thought you’d never come back
and because of the wind I shivered
and retreated back through my doorway
before you stepped inside

before I could speak
you wrapped your arms around me
I wanted to cry, I wanted to laugh
because I missed you – I wanted to freeze time

My hands reached up the million miles
to your sweet face and held it
and felt you tremble under my touch
because of your bashfulness I kissed your temples

I could smell the sweetness of your sweat
the hunger in your touch
and when our mouths collided for the first time
I tasted the whisky you’d drank embolden you

It was two a.m but I didn’t care
I took you by the hand and led you upstairs
our hearts pounding away with each step
because of anticipation, I shivered again

But this time you covered me
somewhere in the middle of the night
you made me call out your name
and I did so, willingly
because somewhere in the middle of the night
I fell in love with you, again

Healing Childhood Hurt (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoKat J

Childhood hurts

How does one get over a childhood hurt
that is the poem that you gave to me
and I would love to tell you it’s in prayers, in psalms
in the melody of your favorite song,

I would like to say it’s in the whisper of your lover
in the softness of his touch,
in the morning walks with your thoughts
or on your ride to work

I would like to say you can find it in creativeness
wrap it up in art and sell it to the highest bidder
or write it down in words to be sold
on Amazon- well, before it’s pirated, anyway

I would like to say it’s in therapy
‘over it’ comes in a drug called Fukitol
take two (with food)
and call me in the morning

Yet here’s the thing
I’ve learned in 37 years
of asking myself the same thing
that you asked me

How do you get over a childhood hurt?
The answer is simple
You don’t.
That hurt you will take to your grave

Now, before we get despondent
before we throw in the towel
and cry ourselves to sleep
let me offer you some solace

I’ve traced my pen
across my scars and bled out on the page
I’ve wept, and winced
and cried and lamented over how bad it still hurt

I’ve purged the infection, over and over in my art
and while the scar remains
I lift it up for the world to see
and find that others have wounds like mine

We connect.

And it’s there in that moment
this bizarre realization
that the thing I once despised
I am grateful for

You never get over it, no
but you can get through it
and you can use it
instead of letting it use you

 

Sounds of Spring (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoStudio Dekorasyon

 

I wake up in the morning
drifting sunlight through my window
grackles chatting up the neighbors
somewhere on another lawn

Fan above me whirling
nestled deep in cover warmly
lawnmowers buzzing pleasantly,
underneath the morning sun

I sit up, bones a’crackin’
reach for the ceiling I feel my back poppin’
I toss the covers aside and stand
and slip on the clothes from the night before

Dog leash in one hand,
sneaker-clad feet slap the pavement
puppy dog rushes to do his business
pulling his sleep addled master along

Noseeums float lazy
in the shadows where sunlight isn’t reaching
neighbors walk to their cars quickly
coffee cups and car keys clenched in their hands

The smells of the dewdrops rise
along with Star of Jasmine on the air
I put earbuds in my ears
and stretch my legs for a good long walk

Journey in my ears blaring
Steve Perry singing clearly
about the wheel in the sky always turning
that’s the sound of my springtime morning

 

 

When she broke free from the clouds (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoA. L.

 

I can see it so clearly, now
in the silver current of the river
I remember a woman so vibrant
a living prism
that shattered light into a multitude of colors
when the sun broke free of the clouds

She was an artist, you see
her world was of red, and blue, and sea foam green
and bring them together in harmony
like Monet, Michelangelo, Divinci
when she could break free of the clouds

She understood the collective unconscious
it spoke to her, as it speaks to all
who sing the words, write the script, dance the dance
with the flick of her wrist should conjure images
when her mind was free of the clouds

Yet, the sky was often overcast
a mesocyclone dulled her afternoon
and faded the pallet so richly hers
and brought storms with wind, and rain, and hail
the clouds cast shadows she could not break away from

There is a certain weakness artists share
a flaw of sorts in our matrix
an unquenchable desire to connect
and the ability to hear all of humanity
so when a strong guiding light shines it can distract us
but all that glitters is not gold
and though the clouds may gather, it does not mean rain

We are artists because God is an artist
no longer do you fragment the light
that comes from the firmament
and though your brushes may lay still
you are the light that burns forever
they day you broke free of the clouds

Grief (National Poetry Month)

 

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unsplash-logoAllef Vinicius

Hi!

So, April is National Poetry month and so every day I am going to prompt people for topics. My friend Liam chose:

Grief

I swallowed my tongue
somewhere between goodbyes
I drifted for weeks
transitioning from winter to spring
arguing with your ghost
inside my head

Every little detail of our last conversation
the laugh lines around your eyes
the tone of your voice
I’ve memorized with Catholic-like clarity

I haven’t cried, no
grown men bottle it up
and it makes us restless and fevered
swallowing back the urge
to beg and plead and borrow
time from some ancient god

Shades of Shale
is my mood
dark gray moments
in my room
pretending that everything is going
so well
I wander through the empty hallways
of the life we once knew

Now, if I see you again
it would thrill me and dash me
against the rocks of reality
that I was the one you didn’t want to see
and I was the one that spent these few weeks
in mourning, in grief,
somewhere in the memory of the friend
you’d once been

 

Real Love (National Poetry Month)

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unsplash-logoKevin Grieve

Real Love

Water left on the bathroom floor
toothpaste in the sink
morning breath kisses
and aching backs
grey hair at the temples
and date nights on the couch

Bill folds
walk the dog
separate the clothes
and walk them to the laundromat
fevers, nightmares,
three a.m. dash to the bathroom
Are you alright?
Yeah, I’m fine
wait half awake for him to return

Throw this ratty old shirt out
or make it into a dusting rag
pay the bills, chase the cat
Christmas Trees
and flowers in vases
can you pass the gravy?

I’m getting older
you’re getting older
where the rubber meets the road
dishes in the sink
off to work you go
it’s another day in the life
of real love