Cowardly Run


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 “Contemplation” by Unknown Artist

Footsteps echo across silent floors
Lightly I stumble against bolted doors
I can no longer see for the daylight blinds
Thoughts become jumbled; confused is the mind
Beneath my eyelids, a white pain sears
Unleashing regrets, a torrent of fears
So many years wasted and so few to live
I lie down exhausted, no strength to forgive
My bed sheets are covered in sweat and regret
My slumber eludes me, a payment for debts
I toss and I turn and shiver with cold
The reckoning comes for we who grow old
I wait for an ending, too slow to come
My life has been naught but a cowardly run
My reason is slipping; my hope is diminished
The sun is now setting, my long days are finished
Chandelier stars slowly appear
Darkness descends, as time disappears
Moment by moment, and breath by breath
Slowly appears the sweet face of Death

Self Reflection


“Such worthlessness has been the only truth spoken in his ear.”

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I am the ripe green apple,
plucked from Eden’s garden
Contemptuously bitten,
no hope for God’s pardon.

I am Achilles heel
that hobbles my stride;
Odysseus’ curse,
my insufferable pride..

That lock of hair
claiming Sampson’s life,
And the brother of Able,
I’m Cain with a knife!

I am the snakes coiled
in Medusa’s dark mane –
Like a lance to the boil,
my mercy is strained.

I’m the brew in the cauldron
of deep-forested witches –
The ugliness that comes
from Frankenstein’s stitches
.
I am alone and afraid,
but too stubborn to change;
Hopeless and lost
and most certain deranged!

I’m broken, defeated,
and reeking of sin,
The lowest of cowards,
the most evil of men.

A life, ever wasted
on cheap wine and women,
My descent into Death
is just now beginning.

This ghost will remain
as my specter of shame –
I’d rather be dead
than live more of the same ~

 

Irises


Irises by Vincent van Gogh
Irises by Vincent van Gogh

I watch from my folding chair,
the low autumn sun measuring out
the remains of the day.
She, genuflecting in the garden,
places four purple seedlings
into the dark damp earth,
pushing each with a jab of her fingers
and a prayer to bloom their beginning –
(those same fingers that used to softly
trace the curvature of the small of my back
when we made love)
purple irises close to the ground
She says they are insanely beautiful
and I say, “Did you know van Gogh painted
Irises from an insane asylum in Saint-Remy,
locked in the grip of unimaginable pain and suffering?”
She looks at me…looks through me,
as a small tear appears in the corner of her eye.
She knows.
She knows her garden better than she knows me,
but she knows that once these flowers root,
I am leaving her.
Turning back above these flowers,
my sweet-faced wife tilts a rusted watering can,
wanting more leaves, more flowers,
more life!  as water pours from the spout.
Five tongue-shaped petals fall ever so slowly
onto the black earth before she bends
and picks up each severed petal
and puts them oh so carefully in her pocket.

i never had a plan for you


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you push and pull, like wolves at the door,
and all i hear is this discordant humming.
you play only the black keys, the sharp keys,
and your music screams of pain.
but isn’t that the choice?

we’ve come a long and lonely way
to owe ourselves to wolves
each howl a dying little light of the soul
i don’t remember, did we take this road together?
did you see our wings fold together?

you have a wanderlust growing in your soul
and live where ashes take the form of houses
all around the grounds we see a flashlight metronome,
that skips to sleep in leaps, lock and key, or latchkey…
a house you tricked empty because
you knew they would take it back, piece by piece.

who do we let it in? do we have a choice?
you said you don’t even like to be seen
in the parking lot, beneath the moon
and the drinking of the glass…
whatever the hell that means

i’m sorry again for everything i’ve been
and all the things i wasn’t
i’d sink to your city streets if i wasn’t buried in your hands
there is nothing out there; i do not hear what you hear
regardless of everything, i came to know you as a relic
you are ashes falling between my burnt fingers

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Half-Measures


razor cuts

I watch in morbid fascination
the quickening pulse of the vein
on the soft underside of my forearm;
each throbbing beat a silent protest
for the living of life, the loss of love,
the failure of faith in the future.

Warm blood trickles
slowly down my naked wrist
and into my loosely cupped open palm;
rivulets of life’s sweet essence
spreading out like the night-seeking
roots of a moon-flower plant.

I am amused that the heart beats unaware
of its complicity in this life-ending act,
this betrayal of self-contempt
and abject surrender.
Blood meanders across the slightly raised
scars from last year’s failed attempt,
and in that moment, I finally realize
what my father meant about the
importance of half-measures,
of keeping commitments.

So, I cut a little deeper.

Love Is A Many Splintered Thing


platter

Love…

Whole platters of
Expectation
Handled timidly by
Waiters
and
Waitresses
of desire.

Carelessly slipping
Through now
Trembling fingers,
Once bold and sure.

Tragically
Tumbling beyond
Last moment grasps,
End over end,
Sadly spewing its
Delicious contents
in a hopeless
Death spiral.

Nothing remains
but a shattering
Introduction
to the the cold, hard
Floorboards of reality.

Love is a many
Splintered thing.

 

The Drowning



I have written
and written ‘till the tides roll in –
wave after wave
with each word flailing helpless
in the crashing surf. Similes pounded into
fine sand, while my metaphors are drug out
to unfathomable waters to sink.
I have cut my feet on the whitest coral
as slender crimson threads on paper shells spill into verse.
Beneath the surface a desperate kicking propels each
line upward for air. Clownfish nibble at my intent,
while ropes of seaweed strangle my meaning.
My muse sings like a distant siren and I am dashed
upon jagged rocks.
I am no poet or writer to contend, but my voice seeks purchase.
This poem is drowning and there is little hope of rescue.

Writing for Hogs


Writing can oftentimes seem like
an exercise in slopping the pigs:
You throw your words into the mud
and hope they whet the appetite, but
even the most discerning hog will turn
up his snout if it stinks too much. Your
only hope is that a truffle or two will
sprout beneath all that filth; a sparkling, tasty jewel
in a sea of slop that sparks a feeding frenzy.

Perserverence


Awoke today to nothingness, and no sense of direction
I looked upon the looking glass which offered no reflection
Without much aim, I stumbled forth, devoid of my complexion
And set my way in this darkened day, begun in such rejection.

Aimlessly, I persevered, despite my lack of vision
Offered up my hopelessness as an object for derision
Stepped forth into my wandering, so filled with indecision
But felt somehow, that even now, this was the best decision.

Sightless and in full confusion, one foot before another
I wandered forth upon my course, each turn unlike the other
I cried out for a helping hand, I cried out for a brother
With breathless yelp, I screamed, “please help” but my words were quickly smothered.

I turned about and struggled home, afraid and full defeated
And not one time upon the path, ever was I greeted
Yet even so in time I’d come to find myself full seated
In my home, all alone, blind but undefeated.