Poetry

Rude Impermanence

“He is a rake,” she surmised. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

And yet, as I casually studied her,

I realized she felt the pain of his neglect,

the utterances of his patronizing dictum

and the teasing he was notorious for.

She wanted him and was sure he felt the same,

but slowly she came to realize

he would never change.

He was unalterable; a stoic messenger of impertinence

had him mysteriously in its iron grasp.

She sought to cast him from her mind

but every waking moment brought with it

a galaxy of torment no woman should ever bear.

Oh, how she wanted to hate him;

Oh, how her emotions failed her so.

What Use Have I?

What use have I for loud alarms

and social charms at workplace farms?

What use have I for ticking clocks,

ill-mannered flocks and loading docks?

Of course, no boss I shall discourse

to toss across this moss of floss;

but still endeavor I do best

beneath this bridge my head to rest.

The View from Taksim Square

I am pro human, pro freedom,

pro innocence seeking the truth

with the inexorable thirst

that I am pro knowledge.

I am pro rights, pro dignity,

and I understand those who deserve

to be free and devoid of subjugating fantasy

that would bind them,

or stilt their growth.

I believe in you and me.

I am pro unity

and I won’t digress

as the truncheons beat around me

and the tear gas flows like rivers

as I protest.

I see the blood, the bonfires,

and the stench of animosity.

I am young

so I watch the shadows.

Some I will embrace

and some I can’t erase,

though some I’ve yet to face

with malice not shorn beneath.

Walls

Walls.

Four walls.

Unbroken, not tarnished.

Sneakers that need to be laced;

an energy drink waiting to be imbibed.

My solitary duty,

like the streets of this city, awaits

but I sit huddled on the floor,

in the corner,

the courageous spirit I once possessed

now a fluttering insect, struggling,

riding on a wave

of abandonment.

Muscles like a canopy

over stringent bones,

yet the delay exists.

My attempt denied

by a thoroughly sunken spirit

seeking solace

amongst four perfect walls.

Palm Jewel

Daphne

under a parasol

points me to the rain

first kiss derailment

haunts me

no jagged tides

just champagne

coursing through my mind.

Art

art is a

human propulsion

and the realm of aesthetics

a boundless pool of imagination.

a challenge

exists in it

and who knows just how high

the ceiling is

but the artist.

Content

What is content?

Is it some illusive beast

with stone cold eyes

predicating on the weak?

Or is it scenery

chewed and discarded

like mollusks in the eastern tide?

I take, for example,

the pride of the sufficient few,

twisting like barnacles in the storm

and I am left with wonder,

to wonder this:

if I circumscribed myself

to the knowledge

that I am my own content,

is my being bearably enough?

Betrayed

So, bared for all to see, is this murmuring heart,

and jagged tongue, with a breast that heaves

like the stormy waves of lost Atlantis.

Solace, be her romancer now. Soothe her

and let her angry breaths be even,

unlabored, not unlike the dews of morn.

A soul, so betrayed, so in need of infirmary,

must be healed of all the hatred and scorn,

but as she stares into her trembling hands,

she yearns for the sweet dish best served cold.

Jaded by the weak, ill-begotten of the strong,

it will be her turn to strike,

and like a flame that’s sullied the furrowed brow

she will, alone, face the sullen wall.

Out and In

All I hope is to be the man I can be,

one who requires no verdict as if his life was on trial.

At times I may stand bankrupt, unwhole,

my insides dug out and strewn like the brightest confetti

across these disparaging streets.

Then I am joined together again,

a ragdoll vulnerable, bruised and tortured,

dusted off and prepared to take those lashes again.

Against the Pole

He was cruel –

more so than I’d been led to believe.

Words like barbs, cutting through the wounds

barely tolerable or repaired.

“Ready!” “Aim!” “Wait!”

My blindfold slips and I see the faces

pitifully drawn even in this withering darkness,

this brutal jungle without a name.

Perhaps I’ve lost now

but I can take comfort in knowing

my cause is far from over.

“Fire!”

Fear not, my mysterious deliverers.

I’ve got friends and they will see it through.

Behind, Between, Believe

To our ancestors much is owed,

and to our progeny much is revealed.

Wisdom is borne on the feeblest of shoulders

and the strongest of breastplates.

No feast nor flounder of faceless nations

should give vent to our vexing fury,

but the simple act to prosper stubbornly

reveals so much of the pride we contain

and the contentment enshrined within.

After the venomous smoke has cleared

we will know that from our big hearts come the big tales

and neither of our generations shall forget.

Last Knight

Come hither, ye steel formed hero,

be the panacea from my deathbed, my last comfort.

My ebbing life, so bitter and transparent

flails as it surrenders to infinity.

Like the piercing call of the whippoorwill

my soul, in evanescence to the thin air,

will wither and fade like a red rose’s rouge.

Rapidly, painlessly I fly –

no mountains left to conquer,

no sorrows left to hide.

Yellow Leaf

I am broken, torn, rag doll innocent,

with wings that cannot fly

and hands which cannot heal.

But I aspire like a zephyr in flight

to reunite those modern instincts

supremely torn asunder and left for dead.

Forlornly, I cradle these angry streets,

a decaying ember struggling for air,

and my head is filled with shame,

and my pride wanton, lost and unforgiven;

I am the one who forgives me.

Victims

Dreams left undreamt, tales left untold,

lives left unlived, lovers left to hold.

The weepers flood the broken streets

and blossomed saints arrange to meet

amidst the carousel of doom

to cast aside the differences

that plagued us from the empty womb.

It shall not reek,

that scent of the untarnished.

It shall not burn,

the souls amongst the banished.

But a reminder that we, the living,

should cherish what we’ve conquered,

it make us bold enough to dream

and dares to make us stronger.

Limb From Limb

Nightmares?

You speak to me of nightmares?

Awaken me when the pains of your memory

become so unbearable

that nothing less than a sledgehammer

to your bulging skull

will ease your endless suffering.

That is my nightmare.

Impressionist Music

At the hands of a skilled pianist, the cascaded waterfall that is

Debussy, Ravel, Faure and Dukas empties into a gently flowing stream.

The tapping of the keys, sonorous to the ear, is unstoppable and resilient

in its forward momentum.

Flowing ghostlike over smooth and ancient rocks, I hear the rhythm

and fear no tangle as the sensitivity to enjoy it corrupts me.

I listen as the stream is interrupted ever so slightly

by an acorn falling from its lofty perch,

a trout struggling against the upstream

or a young boy skipping stones against its waves,

skipping history through its iridescent shell.

Yes, it is music, an infectious thrust bolted unto mankind

from the Grecian Muses with nothing else to bestow but what they’ve loved,

but it is finite and has a reason.

It thrills me with its gentle fairylike touch, comforts me in ways

no wooded forest or spectacular rainbow ever could.

I let the vibrantly cascading waterfall that is Le Tombeau de Couperin

wrap me in its tentacles and I will rejoice.

No resistance, no painful sorrow, only miraculously spun notes

wafting through my soul.

Box of Notes

Father knocks the stuffing from his pipe out into a bowl,

a cherry wood bowl of mesmerizing iridescent hue

that just screams, “pick me up!”

Then, laying back in his favorite chair,

he closes his eyes, soaking in the lavender scent

invisibly streaming from a condenser on the wall.

Quietly, I sit cross-legged on the carpet just a few feet away

and plug in the new guitar he’d bought me.

With the plectrum in one hand, I give the instrument

a casual strum; nothing special, just a desultory caress.

Father smiles and looks over.

Encouraged, I coax more notes from the strings,

channeling the efforts of the masters.

It isn’t long before I fall for the gentle subterfuge

of my own imagined greatness.

Images swirl in my mind of Hendrix and Blackmore.

The frenzied dashes of Zappa alight on the fret board

as I careen from score to score, juxtaposing rhythms

like Scott Joplin at a music convention.

Father stands up and walks over to me; the smile that once

laid bare on a face so kind now replaced with

an ominous twist of malevolence.

Is this box of wires too loud with its aggressive overtones?

I receive no answer, just a simple flick of the switch and all dies.

I force no argument, no ruse of the tongue, no ill-borne spirit

tugging at the flesh. After all, he bought it.

My gift is his if he wishes to accept.

She

She has a life all her own.

She can be touched, felt, tickled

or simply left alone in our abandon.

She cannot be defined  by inches or meters,

neither can her undulating form be bottled

or sold without discretion.

She is a unifying force,

a carrier of armies,

and a womb of lives unknown.

In front of her you feel tiny, miniscule,

almost superfluous.

Above her, like an endless pillow,

a cushion, she is a comforting embrace.

Beneath her, a swill of marine souls

teeming and bursting into an epiphany of sorts.

I am her watcher

and she has a life all her own.

The Painting

I’ve begged the print from off your wall,

a sturdy, craft-filled scene of fall

because I stood before it, weak

and flushed with thoughts that I should crawl.

I’ve listened to your sullen tongue,

it breaks and breathes to everyone,

and like a bird who’s lost its beak

I hunger for that work so young.

Yet you assure me I’ve devised

some way to keep me satisfied,

but if I falter, am I weak?

Or just a patron mesmerized?

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