Til the end of my days (National Poetry Month)

james-bold-597598-unsplash

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

Grief (National Poetry Month)

 

allef-vinicius-533398-unsplash

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)

kevin-grieve-553423-unsplash

 

 

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

 

Enough Gold To Hoard

jakob-owens-459750-unsplash

 

How did that happen?
Where was the tipping point?
I must have missed the exit sign
on the freeway of my feelings
and kept driving

Did I have the radio on too loud
was I caught up in the music?
Did I allow my mind to wander?
I have awareness but did I use it?

Or did I want to keep going?
Did I choose to pass the off ramp
and see what another stretch of freeway looked like?
It’s still blacktop, white stripes, my hands are on the wheel
but now I don’t know what to do.

Caught in the once familiar
I stood and looked at myself in the mirror
and heard the words spoken in my ear
I smiled and felt sexy
with new clothes and my prowess
now I am dressed to the nines
waiting for the phone to ring

I’m annoyed
that’s always a dangerous feeling
needle pricks inside my brain
that has me wondering and feeling foolish
I can taste copper inside my mouth
as I bite down on angry words
now the dragon’s been bothered

I hate when people do this
speak the truth and call the shadow what it is
make clear roads in, identify the moment
and the vanish as a sort of punishment
with whiplash-like ferocity
leaving me asking, “What the fuck did *I* do?”

Nothing. I didn’t do anything.
You made you feel those things.
Fantasize those things.
Dream those things.
Just like I did.
My guilt is mine.
Keep yours.
I have enough gold to hoard.

Poem for a Funeral

malcolm-green-33097-unsplash

 

 

unsplash-logoMalcolm Green

There is no light without the dark
no life without death
the sun can’t rise in the morning without
the setting of the moon
and the fading of the stars 
Why this merry go round, then?
What lessons are etched upon my heart?
Had I reached my limit of knowledge to carry?

There is no ecstatic joy without deep sorrow
each waterway must end where the land begins
No Spring Flowers without Winter’s frozen snow
no lasting love affair without the first chaste kiss
There I stood in the midst of many
one light in a sea of a billion stars
participating in life’s grand display – shining brightly
furiously burning ever so wonderous
surrounded by space as black as pitch

Yet, there is no truth without a lie
No relief without the pain
There is no mercy without the crime
and there is no night without the day
I’ve done all I can in this body made of clay
I’ve said all the words I came here to speak
and though I am gone from your joyful presence
there can be no fond memories, without the pinprick of grief

So watch for me in those times, my dear
when the sun fades just to the west
when the skies are orange, purple, and red
and the moon begins to crest
Find me on the last day of summer,
and talk to me right before you fall asleep
I’ll be listening to you, my darling
in the spaces, in those transition places
Right there, in the in-between

 

Sweet autumn morning (poem)

matthew-pla-29577 (1)

Matthew Pla

sweet autumn morning
strumming guitars
sad songs and dappled sunlight
mint in my tea, a stray gray hair
conversations hushed over 
a gentle current of spiced air

wistfulness, theme
the taste of cinnamon and apple
in my breakfast bowl
dust motes dance in shafts of light
my barefeet on the carpet
fingers tapping out the heartbeats
in my study

one more laugh line
two doses of fish oil as I stretch
fingers twisting upward
swoop down, namaste
gentle on myself
as the indian summer breeze
caressing the curtains
of my windows

cardboard box, napping cat
at my feet, a napping dog
beef stew in a dutch oven
served over rice
a glass of wine
a kiss from my husband
before night descends
and we descend with it

 

Amber Colored (poem)

 

amber color

(Some Random picture I saw)

In looking for my rest
I found a bottle of amber colored joy
as I sipped – I let it burn my throat
as the fire cascaded down into my heart
upon a gut made of stone
There are a million miles
in the tattoos that I wear
and ten thousand memories with each
passing of the needle over my skin
as I proudly display each step I’ve taken in life
I hum dixie melodies
when I go looking for my soul
gospel songs and blues
when I’m lonesome and flesh upon flesh
doesn’t do what I desperately need it to
My church is a rusty and dusty bar
when I’m in the faith having way
Otis Redding the reverend
playing on a Wurlitzer Bubbler made in 1950
just one amber glass at a time

Hurricane outside, Maelstrom within (poem)

nasa-71747

 

 

Flickering lights and uncertainty rolled out in front of us
myself, my family
the wind crashed whistling through the eaves of the house
like an errant train in the dead of night
lightning danced 
Death had come ashore and ghosts were marching to martial music
thundering heels against the coal black night

the telephone rang
in foolish compassion I answered
and a voice from the grave spoke to me
suddenly I felt thirsty, ravenously hungry
and though the conversation was pleasant
my veins began to ache
and my body began to ache
to be possessed by old habits of a foolish youth
spent locked in torment

after we said goodbye
to fight against the desire of anonymity
I flung the doors open to the storm
wind, leaves, and rain rolled inward
when the threat between my ears
became greater than the one that ran screaming through the night

I pulled up shades
threw open windows and breathed in chance
in giant cleansing gulps
hoping against hope that I could exorcise my dutiful mistake
between The Father, and The Son, and three glasses of red wine – the blood
This I did in remembrance
I all of a sudden felt needy
to be possessed by creatures of the veil not far beyond my touch

I watched the storm blow the rest of the night
between flashes of lightning and gusts of wind
the fourth horseman I knew galloped close by
I waited for upon my cross of bones and childrens toys
for the sound of his thundering hooves
my gaze locked in on the shadows beyond the trees

At some point I fell asleep
only to awaken at dawns first light with my mouth
tasting like yesterdays news
and my clothes just barely damp
I rose from my leaf littered bed
my solace sleeping soundly next to me
my protection asleep soundly on the floor

I rose and peered into the stillness with a heavy head
a tongue that cleaved to the roof of my mouth
I noticed the lightening of the sky with the rising of the sun
now that the storm had blown itself away
and though there be no track marks, no bottles laying strewn on the floor
even though I knew the name of the man next to me in my bed
I still felt the shame of a misspent night
and the lingering feeling of poison in my veins

I’m an addict without a habit
no that isn’t true – no, there’s a habit there
and it isn’t in recklessness or immoral lack of judgement
it was in a simple act of compassion
that now, today burns a hole in the center of me
that wracks my body with a guilt even though I never did anything wrong

In the stillness of that morning
I slowly rose up from my sleep as a hangover
thudded mercifully between my ears
and before the rest of the house woke
I stripped down and walked naked into a cold shower
humming, “Precious Lord, take my hand.”
as shakily, shivering from the cold, I washed away my shame
and I climbed back on the wagon

I am your Voodoo Lady (poem)

 

 

 

joshua-fuller-204247Hand me a Ouija board
throw out some candles and
give me your tarot
the demons are talking tonight
all at once
even with Emile Sande
begging for something to believe in
through my headphones

It’s a map, all laid out
not a single memory
it’s all of the memory, all of it
my room is crowded with them
I am you’re voodoo lady

Pay me in trade, boy
sit in front of me and wait
while I cast bones
while I spin tables
with the taste of cold coffee
on my tongue
I hear stories I don’t want to

forbidden fruit
sweet to the taste but bitter
in the gut
as voices speak through me
each line I write
I’ve paid for in chains
and a pound of flesh

Last night
I prayed my first rosary
Holy Mary mother of God
I’m so tired
I counted the beads
and said the ‘Our Father’
but tonight I’m reminded
what a jealous creature
I am

Tonight, I thought
I was emptied out completely
that nothing would stir
but it does, precious
it stirs in me
as I am now ghost writing
what they want me to say

I’m untalented
all this is a conduit
the praise, the adulation
your five star darling hooker
and I can never tell when
the door is going to swing open
but I have a fear
deep in my soul should
it one day swing open
and the crowd steps through
this time it wont be to deliver the goods

It’ll be to take me with them
There is no Sibley Road for me anymore

Yin and Yang of us (Poem)

picseli-6723

 

 

I am not me, alone
Not anymore
There is no self identifier
I, has become we
me has become thee
It’s all combined, now

You are not you, alone
When you walk through that door
the other half of you greets the other half of me
Us, transformed
morphed, molded,
immersed into another being, now

When your gone away
to wherever your labor takes you
I count the minutes and seconds
till the rest of me walks through the door

When I’m here alone
You labor along side of me
your thoughts become my words
I ponder what you’ve taught me
and give it away to the world

Not codependent, symbiotic
my breath, my body,
your heartbeat, your laughter
Yin and Yang
we are – individually- part of the whole, now