Filos (Poem)

filios

the clouds drift
in blue skies above my head
pirate ships in silent sailing masts filled
golden sunlight
kisses my body 
in midst of wildflowers and tall grasses
buzzing sounds
as sweet as a lullaby

lay next to me
interpret with me
the holy writ in the stars we can’t see
and let us disagree
and laugh
romance isn’t just for sex
nor for lovers
be my friend first
and be willing to stay here

Water, air
let me breathe
inhale who you are, feed me
and I’ll roar when you need inspiration
protection
I’ll burn away perceived imperfections
be the mother, brother, spouse
to my soul
friend and I’ll return to you

Let us ponder the spider’s silk
inches away from our faces
suspended between blades of grass
and wonder at it
let us write poetry dedicated
to Gaia – mother – the dust
from where we’ll return
there’s no war here
to contest
let us keep each other close
without complications

passion can be pure
no sin
no hurt feelings in golden shafts
of God’s presence
am I selfish?
not when the crickets sing, friend
not when clouds have angels wings
can we map this out?
and laugh at the babbling brook
laying head to head
watching the world pass us by?

the clouds pass by
sunsets come and burn the sky
lightning bugs rise from the ground
and spirits walk
love me – filos
and like the stone, or the tree planted
by the water
I shall not be moved

Street Preacher (poem)

 

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Alex Hockett

 

I am the street preacher
saint and sinner
dancing along that fine line
and eternal circle
of life and repentance 
When I dare speak in exclamation points

Loving the in between
like grass that grows in busted concrete
pushing upward to heaven
flat broke, I feel like a million bucks
when it rains upon my brow

There are no pamphlets
no special prayer to yank you out of the world
but there is a dirty hand
that points you to where the food is
where the hope is
where eternity is

Touched in the head
touched on the heart
I stumble around just as blind
as the rest of the self appointed saints
and maybe I am a fool for thinking so
but radical equality is the song i sing

Amazing Grace
has a history as sordid as those it saves
and church can be a canopy of stars
as I open my shirt to show you my scars
that make me bitter and afraid and hopeful
knowing you can’t be found unless you’re willing
to get real good and lost

Damnation is only reserved for empire
and cruelty, and hate
and for those who need to be punished
for crimes, for failings,
for the inability to forgive and be forgiven
those flames also familiar to me

But I wander and wonder
and stare at the magnolia tree
and the big fat bees that bumble along
flower to flower with impossibly large bodies
and no sense of urgency

With a shot of whiskey in my system
and a grin upon my face
a hurt in my heart
and a little room where I lay my head at night
with a penchant for storytelling
I wander
a preacher of the streets
professing a gospel of life

 

The Lighthouse (poem)

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In the midst of tempest raging
When the wind and waves crash constant
And the night is filled with flashing lights and rolls of thunder
When the rain lashes a thousand needles agaisnt the skin
A proud lighthouse stands in the midst of it all
Even when the world trembles
From the celestial cannon fire sounding
And the periods between electric light are as dark and deep as the ocean
And the sailor has lost his way
A proud lighthouse stands in the midst of it all
With yellow lights beaming, round and round it’s promise goes
Warning sailors of imminent danger while at the same time guiding them home
Though the waves may hide jagged rocks jutting upward
Ready to take apart ship and limb and life
The steady knowledge of someone watching, always vigilant , always ready
Encouraged the sailor to keep on fighting till the wind gives up the ghost
That’s how I felt the day I found you and i knew to come and speak to you
When life’s cruel waves did force me from a life id always known
And as that cannon fire through the night did rumble
Blinded by the lightnings angry forked limitations
Though hot as the sun’s surface, was too brief to guide me home
But those days tempest tossed are far behind me
And even though the wind and waves grow higher
The fear of going under or dashing against the unyielding rocky shore
Isnt Much of a worry for me these days
For I’ve given up my ship, now Harbored just inside the bay
And now I bathe in the glow of the lighthouse which has now become my home

My husband (Poem)

johanneke-kroesbergen-kamps-190783

Johanneke Kroesbergen-Kamps

I am but one soul
in flesh and bone
with eyes that see
and lips that kiss
sweet brown hair
over a pale brow
after my arms
lifted you up
off the couch
where you slumbered
and carried you
gently to our
bed

I am but one soul
existing in two bodies
one left vigilant and
one that slumbers safe
with our dog sleeping
at your feet

I love you

My husband

goodnight

Check your words three times (Poem)

 

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(Photo by Imani Clovis)

 

check one
check two
check three
sit and ponder – is this me?
pick it apart, tear it asunder
flip it over and look at it under
a microscope, throw it up in the air
a telescope, wondering where
the words they say stop and where I begin
Is it normal to be living in sin
and what is sin? What is this thing
is it still constant even with my wedding ring
and is it still real if I don’t believe everything
that comes rolling out of the mouths of they
who’s sin is wrapped up in the modesty of Sears Clothing?

But there’s no softer side here
no pastel feelings no warmth do they bring
Sat up before us like kings and like queens
of banana pudding and too much hair spray
hair jacked to Jesus – as drag queens often say
who are they? Who are they?
who use rhetorical flourish – who use a book to beat people
when it was origionally created to nourish and bring life
now its a weapon used against a wife
who wants to leave because her man is abusive
the comfort of The Holy Spirit who was supposed to be constant
has now become elusive, obtuse and
M.I.A.
What Can I say?

Tear down that statue, iis what I say, rip down that flag
But they reply , “Don’t say nothin’ boy, you’s nothin but a fag”
those black men, they don’t like you
it’s all gang-bangers and do-rags, its inbred in their race

But those same people who try to sew division
on Sunday they’re the loudest when they sing
Amazing Grace – hands stretched to God
tears rolling down their face
My God, don’t they know?
That John Newton was The Captain of a Slave Ship
Who – back when those men’s backs learned the anger
of the master’s bull whip
said “STOP!” Wait. What have I done?
How can I claim The Father and the Son
How do I try to plea the blood
when I’m the one who failed to read the book of Exodus
So, here, let me fix this – let me become the worlds first Abolitionist and pen a song now that I’m blind
and feeble in my bereavement let me work to do God’s work
and live to free men to see them
so mine eyes can see the glory of the coming of the Lord

Check one
Check two
Check three
sit and ponder – is this me?
Or is this them who be talkin’
talkin’ talkin’ yet they don’t do no walkin’
Their faith has become static – like that statue in N’awlins
lost in time they don’t realize
the differences in mankind aint about them
but this poem is, my flow is, the words often spoken
in hate, and fear, and malice -they’ve used that that I toss back at them
us ‘others’ we ain’t in it
talk about sin
their sin – they sit in it – and are proud of it
and repeat it, and believe it, and wonder why they’re all alone
sittin’ on a throne of bones, tombs, and headstones
When you say you’re saved – ain’t nobody believes it
The God you speak of – yeah he probably still loves
but it’s in spite of and not because of
those words that should make any man hesitate
and say, “Wait a minute, is this me?”
Let me stop, drop, let me see
and before I speak – are these words anointed
in the love I so needed , from God up above
or has my philosophy been informed solely by my geography
and grandaddy’s broke down theology
so’s I’m out creating disciples twice as fit for hell as I was?

Check one
Check two
Check three
Check your words three times before you speak.

Love me loving myself (Poem)

 

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(Photo Yoanne Boyer)

Of course I want you to love me
For who i am! Not for what you think I should be
This isn’t Ralph Lauren you don’t get to choose
I’d rather sing rock and roll, than sing the blues
I want you to love me because quite frankly
I’m just like you

I’m as needy as you are needy
I’m as boring and frightfully dull
I can laugh till my side aches
And cry when my heart breaks
And I love moments when I’m the king of it all.

I’m as delightful as you are delightful
And I grow sad and so morose about the passing of time
I count gray hairs and crows feet lines
I groan when I see that’s a quarter til five
And I haven’t been to sleep, not a wink, not at all

But of course, I want you to love me
For who I am, I’ll let you know who that is when I know
Cause right now I’m as lost as you are lost
Stumbling forward, crashing, smashing onward ever forward
As Queen once sang, ‘…on with the show.’

I’m as wretched as you are wretched
And I grow more discontent by the day
As i grow older my patience grows thinner
My eyes grow dimmer, Everything grows slimmer
Yet someone forgot to tell my waist

I’m as sweet as you are precious
But my sweetness is reserved for those who deserve it
Not for those who I simply pass by
Nor for those who’ve made a habit of making me cry
I’m getting too old for other people’s bullshit

So, yes, Yes! Please, by all means love me!
But understand if I won’t wear a mask for you
I won’t trade myself, place who I am on a shelf
If that means you have to leave
Well, you have to do what’s best for you

For I am as worthy as you are worthy
And there is history behind my voice
But my voice is my own, my opinions full grown
Loving one’s self is a toast to your health
And loving myself is my choice

That place on the edge of forever (poem)

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SONY DSC

God if I could live next to the ocean, and the woods, if I could hear the roar of the waves and the howl of the wind, if I could stand on a rock that jutted out into the sea, and feel the spray on my face, then I would be happy.

If I could stretch my body like a sail and take the buffeting and bruising of the wind. If I could have the years that have been made to hang on my face blasted away with fine grains of sand, where my checks tightened in the salty air, and my blue eyes reflected the sea. And once again I was made young. I would be happy.

A part of my soul craves the wild abandon at the edge of the world. The place where thunderstorms bring ragged raging waves higher and higher and slap them down  like a gambler’s empty shot glass is slammed against some forgotten bar in the old west.

And at night I would be so worn out from the day, that I would fall fast asleep in a bed so soft in dreams so deep I could reach Atlantis and walk among the ruins and carry the lost souls trapped in ruins of sunken ships to heaven.

God, I would be so happy at that place at the edge of forever.

Tell me such a place exists and take me my hand and lead me there.

The Rain Remains the Same (Poem)

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(Photo: Eutah Mizushima)

 

 

There is cool wind and sweet smells on the air tonight
As a storm rolls in from the south
Like a gentle push, the humidity flees and the sweet fragrance that was held down
Is flung heavenward as the thunder begins to roll
The raindrops fall in earnest, and the ground sighs with pure delight
And releases tendrils of white mist like ghosts rising from the tomb
The drops are cool almost cold
On my flush skin
And memory leaps forward in my mind
and drags me back in time to remind me
Of every rainstorm I have ever heard
All at once, I am but a child, watching from my window
And then a young soldier taking shelter in a tank
Soon, a young lover listening to the patter on a breath fogged window after we were spent
And now a married man, with money in the bank
each storm reminds me of
How long the journeys been
So many roads, lines upon my face
And history behind my name
But there’s a comfort in knowing that no matter who, and what, and where I’ve been
The rain remains the same.

…because my lover’s lying there (poem)

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I believe in God when I see the sun crests over the horizon,
when the rain taps upon my window pane and the scent of sweet olive wafts sweet perfumes from it’s chalice
the sweet intoxication of it’s scent lingers invisibly upon the humid June morning air.
 
But it’s at night, and for far more mundane things have been done
when the carpet’s been vacuumed, and dinner put away
after the dog’s been walked, a show on Netflix watched and lovin’ had
I believe in God, not for some miraculous start of a day, because I see my lover lying there

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)