Sunday, February 24, 2013

Poem : Petals Falling

Anne Sexton knew its secret
Kurt Cobain understood its allure
Sylvia Plath
Well Sylvia
She couldn’t make up her mind
Toying with the undertone
Hands outstretched, her head barely above water
Wanting the sea to take her away to its dark depths
Yet struggling to stay afloat
But isn’t everyday a struggle for the depressant
Yet, attempting suicide
Is almost as rewarding as succeeding
In some strange way it calms them
For it’s the only time they’re in complete control
But the toll it takes
On their family and friends
Is more than most can bear
All are there in the beginning
But they drop away
One by one
As the days drift into years
Like petals from a flower
The longer it lives, the more petals fall from its outside
And the ones left to pick up the pieces
Have to bear it alone
Lying to themselves if need be
That it will work out
Something will magically change
In the thinking of the suicidal
And death won’t be so becoming of an answer
Yes, alone is a terrible feeling
When your petals have fallen away
But the flower is still alive
At least for the moment
Breathing through a tube in some cold hospital room
While their family is cleaning blood out of a sink
Or sitting remembering the last conversation they had
With the ones now in a coma
When pills have jumbled their speech
Into a mixture of language no one can understand
But they still reach out, you know?
Their eyes somehow recognize you
Even clouded with death’s looming reflection
Yes, they reach out
For that last hug goodbye

Poem : Angels

It seems
We never look for our guardian angels
Until our world comes crashing down
No need
For the winged beings of goodness
The protectors of invisibility
Watching over us constantly
Not needed till it all begins again
When the cold hospital hallways become home once more
When the hypnotic chime of heart monitors
Put you to sleep
As you sit in a windowsill
Staring at the same view of the city
You’ve seen a thousand times before
When the fluorescent lighting hums softly
And you hear it
Because there’s nothing to say
So, we look with believing eyes
With the sincerest of stares
For the angel we’re told that is always there
Because we want believe
We need to see
When all is not right in our world
For most there is not even a thought
Till the days of darkness falls upon them
But in my world
It seems there’s no break in the needing of angels
For death’s been in the front seat with me
For far too long
So you see
They must be around me
For I am still here with nowhere to go

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Poem : The Overseer

I’m sorry Mr. Boss Man
I have a good idea
You have
No good idea what’s going on
It’s just an observation
I may be wrong
But I don’t think that I am
You see
Not much has changed over the years in the south
Just the names of the foremen
The workplace is still the same
The ones that are on unemployment
Stay right where there’re at
For they know the overseer is waiting
With the promise of a raise in one hand and a pink slip in the other
Selling you a future with one breath
While reminding you
You’re not really needed if things get too tight
So, I do what I’ve done for years
I write and put all of my feelings
In this pen pushing across my paper
Dripping with ink filled dreams of hope
Hope that the right one will read my work some day
But until then
I’ll drink coffee to stay awake
With a warm shot of whiskey
So I can stand to be awake
Because working and walking on torn leg muscles
For ten hours a day
Feels like ten years
When your bones feel like they’re pulling out of their sockets
Or simply wake you from your sleep in the night
With an ache of dull hot pain
Like the marrow is boiling inside them
Whiskey becomes your best friend
But it will all work out
As long as I keep pushing my pen on through the night
And believing
It will all work out

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Poem : Skating

The grinds I find today in the here and now
On the lip of a ramp or edge of a pool
Energize me as much as they did in my youth
Looking back
I now realize it’s all part of history
Ramps skated
Airs pulled
Jams going down
Some, captured these moments
With a click of their still photo lens
Holding the ones that were flying free in place for decades
On paper card photos tucked away neatly
To look back upon
To learn from and to teach the next generation
But the real lesson is taught by falling down and getting back up
By pushing your body to the point of breaking
It’s the only real way to learn
Yet, skating is also a place of balance
Where everything slows around you
In an extremely fast environment
Where one wrong move means pain or broken bones
But one right move brings you the feeling of being alive
When I don’t ride, I feel like I have ADD
People’s voices seem distant
My mind is moving so fast in this ever so demanding world
It’s almost impossible to concentrate on the simplest of task
But when I ride, it all slows to the perfect speed of understanding
Just wheels spinning
The wind on my face
Nothing consuming my thoughts
No worries saturating my brain
No bills
No phone calls
All there is to think about
Is the next transition
The next trick
This is my best explanation of why we skate
Why we fly, if only for a moment
For that moment takes us away from the mundane
The everyday
And makes us feel free once again

Monday, February 18, 2013

Poem : Blackbird

Oh blackbird
With your feathers strewn about
On your highway of travels
Your skyway of flight
It’s not just your windowpane reflection who sees
How exhausted you’ve become
Pushing yourself higher and higher into the clouds
Into the unknown
Yet, where you think you should be
Oh blackbird
With your dust covered wings
Now falling to the ground
If you don’t awake soon
Shake off the stress
The worry of what hasn’t even happened
Yes, awake
Spread your wings once more
Point your dull dark bill back in the direction of dreaming
It’s a far better place
Than having no dreams at all
Oh blackbird
Sometimes dreams are all we have to hold on to
In this world where most have no dreams at all
So Swoop
Plunge without fear
Whatever it takes
Grab hold of better tomorrows
Come alive and fly with your dreams in your grasp
To a place you’ve always deserved

Poem : Blood Clots

Hobbled on a full moon
My calf’s inside became black with pain
It felt like
It had turned to stone under my skin
Stretching it tight
Like a canvas  
So I sat in the ER
Waiting my turn to be seen
While the bright orange glow of moonlight
Peeked through the glass sliding doors of the entrance
I sat with the beating heart of the city
From the forgotten ones left behind by society
To the children of the privileged
With their mascara smeared tears running down their face
Turning their cheeks into a bluish gray watercolor painting
As I wait
A man coughs in the corner
While his wife meditates in a chair beside him
Dressed in bright red clothing accented with stitched swirls of gold
Her opaque eyes seem to look right through me
She had a gaze of a thousand gazes
Yes her eyes told the stories of many travels
Far beyond a laptop in some internet café
She had been there
She had been to the mountain
And now she sits looking
Waiting like me
For the next to be called
But aren’t we all the next to be called
When sitting in a hospital and there’s nowhere to go
A melting pot one could say
Filled to the top
With the sick and injured of the city  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Poem : The Scarecrow

The scarecrow that once stood in the farmlands of my childhood
Now, only stands in the faded memories of my mind
I think of all the time that has gone by
Since the scarecrow towered above me
His croaker sack face stretched tight with hay stuffing
Dressed with ink, were his round scribbled-in eyes  
Expressionless, even when the black clouds rolled in from the skyline
And the wind blew wildly whipping his pie pans about
Strung together and tied to his gloves  
His arms were outstretched and nailed to a wooden cross
Much like the man who hung on the wall of our small southern church
In many churches so small, I saw as a child
For my father was a traveling preacher
In the back woods of Crosscreek, and Ellzey Florida
But he gave all that up for a life helping the common-man
Showing compassion to the ones on the bottom
Living his life through examples of kindness
Showing forgiveness to ones no one forgave
His words were much like a poets
A master of metaphors was he
They taught me to look back on the simple life of the scarecrow
To remember him standing season after season
When the tractor would come and plow the fields under
When the cold mornings of winter
Set frost on his old tattered cloths  
When the blazing days of summer rolled heat waves across
A sea of green tasseled-top corn all around him
When the windmill stood in the distance
Spinning its rust covered blades in the sky
When the plow points sat waiting to work in between seasons
In the shadows of the pole barn
While a spider weaved its web between its earth ripping claws
A time when I watched the green hummingbirds
Get drunk from red flowering nectar
And blue jays rob strings from my mother’s mop
Drying upright in the sun
For nest building had fallen upon them
Now as I scratch these words out on paper
I gaze out a window from a towering building
On the city that now covers those fields of the scarecrow
With concrete, and roadways, and steel cars of moving
I remember the wise words of my father
And apply them to the thoughts I write today
People will come and go in your life
Much like the seasons to the scarecrow
Jobs you work in your twenties
Probably won’t be in business in your forties
What’s meant to be, will be
You’re not going to stop that freight train of fate from falling upon you
No matter how much resistance you put up
People ,places, and times gone by are just that
Gone by
Like the memory of the scarecrow watching over his crop
But like him
We all should stand looking and awaiting the future
For it might be the best crop to come