Monday, January 18, 2016

Gaunt Shadows



There is a ghost in my house.

He pads around around quietly in rooms I walk,

Silently forcing the hairs on my arm to scream

In sadness.

I see his reflection staring mute out

To the world and in to me by windows.

His pale skin drained of the color of life,

Of love.

His slumping form slides across glancing mirrors

And neither notices the other.

His words are hollow and fall on to the floor

To melt in to the ground.

I find him staring at me and I at him.

The whispers and discussions come soundless.

The shared knowledge merging.

There is a ghost in my house, but...

Who frightens whom more?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

God's Hands



(A Sestina based on an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans)

God’s hands make me sway

Perhaps you could call it the wind,

But I’m sure it’s your savior above.

His presence keeps me from truly being alone

When no child or man comes here.

When all I hear is silence.



Silence.



Silence.



It’s the suffering you get in silence

That sustains the body’s sway

When no one else can come here.

My home is locked courtesy of the Devil’s wind,

Which leaves all of us children of mirth alone

With nothing but the sun and God above.



Above.



Above our poor souls.



I reach my arms out to the sky above

And the chain ever so slightly breaks the silence

Which has me believing we will always be alone.

I remember how the children would sit and sway

Anticipating the soon-to-be rushing wind

And they would scream, “I love being here!”



Here.



Here with me.



But that idea of wanting to be here

Is gone like so many of the clouds above

That were moved that day thanks to His wind.

I am left with their gazes and their silence.

I am left watching their hips move and sway

Toward their destroyed homes that also left them alone.



Alone.



Alone with or without him.



I once heard a man say he knew the horror of being alone.

He told another man that was the reason he came here

And watched those flags and boards in the wind sway.

Because he knew when he was with others up above…

When he was with them on the roller coaster just before losing silence,

He knew he and the others were not alone in the wind.



Wind.



Wind rushing through us.



But he doesn’t come here anymore to talk about the wind.

None of them come to help us not be alone.

No, they leave us to our silence.

They think, “Who would come here?”

And they think about when the water was above

And the winds made their solid houses sway.



Sway.



Sway with the Devil’s scream.



So my chairs sway in the wind

As those people who are above being alone
Leave me here in my silence.



Silence.



Silence.



And wind.



And Him.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Best

It's in her smile.

It's in the way she looks at me.

It's in the quiet tone of her voice as she responds.

It's in the disapproving shake of her head as she thinks about my plans.

It's in the curve of her palm she gently places on my back.

It's in the laugh that causes her to lose her breath.

It's in the way she explains why I'm right or wrong (though usually wrong).

It's in the way we stroll through quiet forests holding hands.

It's in the way she rolls over and whispers moments buried in past ideas.

It's in the secret language we share with no one else.

It's what we need.

It's what we want as we stand in the warm sun.

It's love above all others,

And it's ours.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

J.D.

And there I am...

With this bottle in my hand, and I keep thinking,

"It's only a small sip. Why fight?"

So the bottle tips slowly,

And the liquid fire that has for so long been tantamount to my death

Roars down my throat.

With that burn comes the self-hatred and pity from 15 years ago

Leaving me to wonder what I do with....

all the loving in my heart as Heaven's door is shut in my face.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

451°


A stuffed animal.

A photo.

A letter of some forgotten love one summer when her hair smelled of fresh strawberries

And you were still young and vibrant.

Why do we turn our memories into solid forms

Thereby plucking them from our hearts or our minds 

And removing them from the matter where they lay?

Turn to look at the memory 

Of the pain turned from feeling into solid form.

His perfect smile.

Her eyes that sparkle like stars at the edge of Jupiter's moons.

That moment when the wind was at your command and the universe clicked

How often have you returned to look? To feel? 

A small voice deep in the walled recesses of your heart tells you, "No more."

So that smile and those eyes are placed down and warmed by the orange glow

Until the 451st degree takes over and the man

Or the woman, 

Or the moment

Slowly ceases to exist thanks to Prometheus's gift. 

One by one,

Little by little, 

The pieces break.

The man falls away.

The woman returns to the stars.

The wind breaks the shackles you placed and returns to its glory,

But not before doing you one last favor and taking the small pieces of your 

Faded moments and scattering them for you. 

And the degrees that freed you await you to feed it more in a misguided attempt to survive.           

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Split

What does the body do when the heart is taken?

Does it collapse and cease to feel the sunshine

Hanging well above it?

Does it fold and drop into the cracks of remorse

That litter the house where it sits?

Or does it keep moving without purpose?

A husk that masquerades as a human being

Moving at the beat of its former heart.

The hole where the hand reached in is still fresh

Like the memories of the hand who held it.

Yet she too is now an empty vessel as she holds my heart,

And I now stare at my hand and find a heart not my own.

I have hers; she has mine,

But neither one of us can reach each other.

What does the body do when the heart is taken?

It yearns for its loss to be returned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gleaned

The sun dips down on the violent water

And creates a serene darkness that plunges

Its fingers into my soul

Yet a single blue light on the edge of the horizon

Glints and warms my heart against

The understanding of my mind.

That blue glint takes the warmth of my hand

And walks with me in deep wooded conversations.

It is warmth that slides up my arm and settles itself

As though a moon has found its planet.

While gravity can be turbulent, the rotation continues

to allow the seas to sway the boats and create that blue glint.

No moon, no stars, and no lighthouse can remove that glint

From its affixed position on the edge of the horizon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Decimation

The hammer clicks slowly as the words roll from your mind into the chamber.

No doubt the bullet has my name on it as your tongue sets into firing position.

You've picked your target. You've made sure it will bury deep in my heart.

So you suck in the necessary fuel deep into your nostrils, and, with nothing left to lose

You fire....

As the gun goes off, the sound is not deafening or painful, but soft and almost melodious.

The target, hypnotized, cannot move as the bullet travels quickly toward it.

It is unsuspecting, like a child unaware of what a pin does to a balloon.

Each word lands and the target crumbles into a lifeless heap.

With your job done, you slowly pack away your weapon of choice

And begin surveying the damage.

A cold smile licks on your face as you realize you have finished

So it is time to move on to the next one.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hanging

The boy stands still in the swirling wind

Looking for the voices he has become accustomed to hearing

Only to find himself strangely alone.

Countless times he has plunged his hands into the fire, the water, the wind

And pulled out each person before the pink moon rose in the east.

Only now the rose-hued Selene rises for him and no one is to be found.

A look in his eyes finds not tears of rage, but solemn understanding

Because the movement of light around him occurs

From his placement of the stars.

Every moment from here to the approaching entropy of his breath

Happens due to his ignorance, his choices, and his heart.

The wind begins to push him harder and harder

Toward a definitive but he resists the scythe and asks for one last word.

One last missive to those he misses and needs.

With his strength ebbing from him and light overcoming the wind,

He conjures their faces and merely says, "Sorry," then fades out

To become part of petals floating on a pond.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

8,765.8

It slowly rolls by like a still river.

(It flashes by in a second.)

It brings with it souls not before seen or felt.

(It takes with it people who stood the line and are no more.)

It creates memories that will stand the test of time.

(It destroys moments that felt like stone but were built of sand.)

It is constantly welcome.

(It is always dreaded.)

We lift our heads high to feel the warmth and joy it brings.

(We hang our heads under the weight it drops on us.)

We constantly count it to build toward the inevitable joy we expect.

(We always watch it build toward the end we may not want.)

It saves the day and crushes the soul... or is it saves the soul and crushes the day?

And that timer starts again at zero and climbs once more

Until we can no longer remember why we truly cared in the first place.