I see so much wrongWith us Does this make me A bad person? Why do I think We are supposed to be Good? What is good? What are we but Crazy Beautiful Infallible Endearing Predictable Operating to uphold Nonsensical beliefs Dismissing signs as Happy happenstances Forgetting the Light-filled person We were born to be Calcified by layers Of lies While the cure Lives within The tender truth Contained in the Seat of the soul Would we rather be Uncomfortable or Unhappy? Are we living Or are we Dying?
I don't pretendTo know Why my body Just broke out In chills
I don't pretend To hate myself Or love myself Or know myself And what I want
I don't pretend To be anything Less than perfect For I was born This way
I don't pretend The deluge of This human experience Does not break My heart daily
I don't pretend Mistakes don't happen Or light doesn't die Or envy doesn't Warp my thoughts
I don't pretend My thoughts Don't matter My addictions Don't count
I don't pretend I'm naturally Thin and I don't need Recognition for These years of work
I don't pretend My heart doesn't Hurt And I don't pretend To know why.
I want you to do what inspires youWhether it's "bad" like taking off your clothes Committing to wanderlust and only wanderlust Looking beautiful above feeling beautiful Numbing and filling and failing Or it's "good" like fighting for social justice Making babies and raising them closely Teaching yoga or meditation or The Truth Reading and writing and ruining and creating.
I want you to be who you are Wild hair pale skin smooth hair dark skin Sex lover sex avoider sex hater Careerist artist feminist philanthropist Competitive anxious selfish judgmental Gifted deep spiritual devoted Depressed happy introverted extroverted High low stubborn stuck Changeable mutable unpredictable
I want you to cast away shame I want you to love yourself I want you to have unshakable faith I want you to do what you want I want you to stop listening to them I want you to know your purpose I want you to enjoy yourself I want you to be more you As you are now, you are perfect.
Her smile in a wordWas hopeful Baby fat Still clinging To apple cheeks Eyes bright and curled open Her face a daily masterpiece Only to be washed down the sink Come black skies. It wasn't beauty She sought But transformation A boundless identity Someone not herself. But she made a good living Because she wasn't alone In her need to erase the shadows And the lines Etched by fractured glass Filled with pools of red.
We are always differentOur hair clothing thoughts goals Victims of seasons trends preferences Shaped by experiences and new information and fresh perspectives Mutable bendable breakable fixable Every day we learn a little more But our habits tend to remain unchanged Stuck on a continuous loop Our hearts stuck wanting to love and be loved Days stuck on repeat The commute The coffee The croissant The computer We find our purpose We lose hold of it We chuck identity to the wind We wrap our selves in a new set of problems We search We have regrets We doubt our choices But we are choiceless And nothing we do is wrong not wasted Forgotten relics Are but marinating masterpieces Waiting for their turn to trap fragments of light And become real.
I have two good legsI hardly notice them I love my husband I always want more from him I adore my kids Sometimes I don't like them They are the only reason I know for sure I matter Sometimes I get sick But I am strong And smart and beautiful And insecure I am wasted space A tangled mess of power Pushing without organization Working without focus Deficient of attention Pulling knots tighter Not looser I am angry And I am grateful Blessings Can be curses Hope can do nothing If we don't lean upon it We are trapped Between narrow perspectives Like a tiny ant Searching for sustenance In the middle of a football field Where all directions look the same And he runs Away from the food Away from the others Because he doesn't know. He doesn't know. I don't know either.
Why don't you go fall fly away Leave me on this island
While I drown beneath today
Information like storm clouds
Churning and burning cold
A ceiling between me and source
A cage thick as an eggshell
But strong as gold
Yearning for tomorrow and youth
A paradox of impossibilities
They comes in flashes, the truth
We chip away at suffering
But all of this feels old--
Could we leave it behind
This yearning for our words to be sold?
Without condemning human kind
To a history that does not bear
The privilege of repeating
That a greater power does, in fact, care.
I am source / streaks of sunlight
Whatever makes our hearts beat / I am it
I exist not within boundaries / but around them
I am not the limits of the body / I am Holy Spirit
I quiver beneath the power that I am / but I do not crumble
I focus I fight I flounder / and I rise.
Opening feels like a cobweb of cracks around my soul.
As if I am a piece of glass and I have dropped myself onto concrete.
Not out of carelessness but because I am living and the risk inherent in living is breaking.
Light leaks through
Widening the gaps but also filling them in with the possibility of morning.
Who will I be today?
The ground feels solid
When I'm spilled all over it
In bruised petals
Until I get it under my fingernails
And the land upon which we depend
Crumbles into piles of lost possibility
Beneath the surface a seed gestates
Cradled by the heat of the earth
A womb made of dirt.
Should I discard the compulsion to do?
Break out from the shell of expectation
Shed this comfort of protection, this belief I'm doing fine as long as I'm moving
Could it be about finding stillness instead?
Like the tree whose great heights come from standing still.
Stop and start and stopfickle compulsions of the head making night-time final decisions based on a lucid dream. You think the work has feelings for you like a lover who leaves not love notes for remembrance but withered hopes and layered cuts. Flowers blossom faithfully in spring but never when we're looking change only perceptible after it's changed everything. It's a miasma of missing things even while doing everything it's never enough of anything stuffing holes with beautiful distraction. Pressure chips away at the beauty no one ever saw the potential we forgot to use the hours we'll never get back.
Why do we wake upTo days just like the last How do we slice them Into shapes that fit together To make something pretty Something worth the minutes Pieces to satisfy the cravings Fingers to play with my hair Winds to manipulate the senses Because I want to exist in a way That matters, I watch to catch On fire, not the kind that combusts With the force of a freight train But an inferno that triggers passion Like the sun after a bitter winter The rain after an oppressive summer A single moment no one ever forgets Even after we have faded Into the great nothing.
Written for Trifecta. The prompt is to write a 33 word piece that has a color in it. There goes life. Hurtling onward with the cavalier velocity of fire-engine red. That metallic taste on your tongue you never notice until its gone, like the shooting star that borrowed your dreams.
I am youngThough I look old More silver than brown Imprinted with non-linear Focus, non-stop worries Tattooed by UV rays And the stretching Of time, volumes of Blank books loaded With my affairs Collections of change I never saw coming Obligatory trauma Because easy costs Something I never Could find, now I am Quarantined like a Leper or a hermit Though it's not Contagions I seek To contain but risks I call blasphemy Selfish and ravenous For the youth I once Possessed in spades Bleached out by too Many super moons Emptied by too many Chances shriveled Like dead orchids No matter how much Water I drink in dreams Of a resurrection.
Perhaps we have reached the endForsaken by everything trustworthy Starved by our own prerogative Festering into odious spunk Never mind the shelf life lasts Forever. Our toes point behind us Our fingers point somewhere in The distance, an arabesque into The future, two uneven halves Divided with nothing left for the Now. We mow our grass though It never stops growing, we pay For superfluous insurance just To be safe. We spurn safety For money, we declare war on Life by spraying verdure with Poison, we hedge the present With gold and still moments captured By the lens, immortalized by the Screen, because we matter and Those smiles will someday climax And though we prepare for it, we Will never be ready for it, so what I pray is the point in trying?
It tugs on your lapels like aNeedy child needing you and only You, traveling through brain mass Finding new spaces to fill, breaking Your life into two neat pieces. One for the addiction, another for Everything else, everything that matters. You hold the pieces together with your knees, Careful not to move your hips, gambling on The outcome, the hit, the blow, the shot. You reel, you breathe differently, you feel The new space where the cracks have widened And the vapor rushes in like epoxy or Super glue, which always does a better job sewing Your fingers together than the fractures.
I see the bullies. Two boys. Their victim is a little girl whose chromosomes are all mixed up. “What are you doing?” I bark in the exact tone my father uses with me when he’s disappointed, the voice that taught me how to fear. I recoil at the coldness in my heart, and everyone, including the pig-tailed girl, freezes as if paralyzed by an icy wind blowing across the tropics.
Without a glance in my direction, the perpetrators drop the girl's ratted blankie and disperse. I shake my head until my world becomes a blurry mess, mourning the death of innocence and the birth of evil.
Back in the classroom, the boys behave well for the rest of the day, returning to their usual disruptive selves by the next. If they had seen my stare, the sorrow they spawned, the good behavior may have lasted a week, but you cannot force someone to look you in the eye.
Written for Trifecta.
Adapted from the manuscript of my first novel.
(Some thoughts on the events that inspired the poem: Beyond the end of the world.) Although I marvel at the Blue Angels air shows, they leave me with some unsettling questions. How much money do these shows cost? How much pollution do they leave in the air? What is the true intention of the US Navy? Hint: the answer is just one word.
Recruitment. They do it to recruit more bodies because more bodies mean more power. More power means more separateness. More separateness means more war. And it's all because we still look for power on earth instead of setting our sights inward.
There will never be enough power to go around, but there will always be enough power to fight over, tempting man to allocate his resources to killing and controlling rather than growth and exploration.
Like I said, I love watching the jets fly over. After a particularly close call with an F/A-18 Hornet, I updated my Facebook status: Every time a Blue Angel flies right over my head, I squeal and my heart beats faster and for a moment, I am, all at once, high and humbled and awestruck. Now I remember how a toddler feels about EVERYTHING.
But what if we were watching space ships take off into the galaxy instead?
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
The end of the world happens every day
Babies forget to breathe, bombs dive.
I kissed a tree
And sat down to write one thousand words.
Armored mechanical angels swooped by in formation
Creating traffic in the air
A celebration of freedom, a spectacle of man's wit.
Here, we laugh at the angels.
There, we cry.
World peace remains hidden beneath ego's shroud
Because we look for power on earth
Instead of setting our sights on the moon.