Friday, November 19, 2010

Better Than You.

A flimsy justification, I guess.

Better Than You.

Napkins on our laps,
A knife to your neck,
We're the kings, we're the aces,
You're the two's in each deck.
Were you wild, were we jacks,
You'd be wild enough to fight back.
Pair and compare your lives,
With a grain of our salt,
We're better than you,
But it's not our fault.

We're the top of the pyramid,
Holding the burden of god's love,
Are the peak and the base
Just as sacred above?
We don't want to be cruel, don't want to be rude,
But it's uncomfortable to sympathize with our food.
It's our necessity,
It would be your assault,
We're better than you,
But it's not our fault.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What We Stand To Lose.

When too many words are used to describe too many things, things get real cluttered.

What We Stand To Lose

Hunters and gatherers will hunt now to gather,
Come home to rooms too small and decide what to have there.
Wading through bottles, backpacks, blankets and knick-knacks
With tires on their arms and kitchen sinks weighing on their backs.
And they push out two piles just to push in three through the door,
On the walls in red paint battle the words "enough" and "more".
Laden, so heavy, they break through their shoes,
But we're measured by what we stand to lose.

The moon is full, but not like we are,
We want to orbit the sun like a uhaul with the speed of a sportscar,
Bright yellow or dusty gray, there's no vestige of clutter.
No cabinets or dressers that are too filled up to shut there.
We float in space longing for space, and the courage to escape,
But we dare not abandon our accumulations, bulging under strips of tape,
And we long to live with only what we can use,
And to be measure by what we've stood to lose.

Caught between then and now and now and soon,
How will we celebrate beneath and unobstructed moon?
And time will dictate what tools we'll use,
To measure what we stand to lose.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just As Well.

Let's talk about examples,
That epitomize uncertain times,
That sketch out the feeling
Of similar words that just won't rhyme.
Perhaps something uncommon,
Like when a bolt of lightning strikes,
And the target's gripped in the hands of instant change,
That would go something like:

Forsaking boundaries of great distance,
Lightning flies down to hit the ground,
And the aftermath's uneasy serenity
Is a world strictly stuck in "Now",
Reverbs ricochet through you swiftly,
Uncomfortable ripples of the soul,
And in shocked, stunned-stupid silence,
You've lost any semblance of control.

We don't hear the full story,
It's a painting lacking shade,
It's an effect with no seeming cause,
It's a float with no parade,
When everything passed is erased,
What dictates where to go?
And context bails without a note,
And no solution in tow.

Pounding dirt for direction,
Pounding floors just the same,
Tasting the same sensation,
With two slightly different names,
One connected to the earth,
One connected to the walls,
And creeping deeper digging,
Under which one do you fall?

There's an answer and a reason,
And in past the tips of tongues,
You can't catch it if you chase it,
Can't escape it if you run.

But I guess it's just as well.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Second Skyline.

Over low-lying hill is a mountain tall,
Where the raindrops sit right before they fall,
And there they'll be,
Waiting to join the sea,
And cloud cover waits for another squall.

Over those hills looms a mountain gray,
It shifts and tumbles across the day,
And a cloud's skyline,
Moving with time,
Skirts the horizon like a mountain range.

Below peaking clouds swirl fog-dripping lakes,
High above us, their depths will break,
And over hills,
Raindrops will spill,
Back down to the earthen pools they make.

Light gray piles up on a blue background,
And  mellow peaks soften as the sun goes down,
And it's beyond reach, like
Watching ships from the beach,
Misty, distant, unreal, but close somehow.

Like a masterpiece painted right on the sky,
Where birds and landscapes are free to fly,
It's a cloud's skyline,
Moving with time,
And playing subtle games with my eyes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Both Kinds.

I saw birth in your eyes,
And your childhood, too,
As you grew out of the girl,
From that town on the hill,
And you set free the beetles,
Pinned to that corkboard,
You watched and you waited,
As they lay perfectly still.
Young eyes lit with a passion,
As your hands clasped together,
Praying they'd all rise,
But you know they never will.

I saw life in your eyes,
Every crack in the road,
As the cracks in the ground,
Caused the city to fall.
And the terror among them,
Sent more smoke through the air,
And hope was unseen,
And unheard was its call.
Your eyes lit with a passion,
As your hands clasped together,
Praying they'd all rise,
And they will, after all.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Three.

One path reaching up,
One lies hidden from the eye
A third a mirage.
-

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Waiting on a Reason.

Let’s talk it out,
Try to remove all doubt,
From the lines between us and within.
It’s less than clear,
What’s inching near,
But I can feel an end begin.
There’s fate that we can make on our own
And fate that we cannot.
You’re waiting for a sign to show you home,
But your fate doesn’t want to be on the spot.

(Chorus)
We’re in too deep,
To back out now,
But you’re stuck waiting for a sign.
It’s about what you want,
And what you need,
But you’re afraid to leave that line
While I’m waiting on a warmer season,
You’re waiting on a reason.
(/chorus)
 
There are times,
You’ll be less than fine,
And times you’ll be uncertain
But in the end,
You’ll be happy then,
That you allowed the rising of the curtain.
We’re alive, it’s time to act that way,
By pursuing our mind’s desires
Throw caution to the wind for just one day,
Or throw caution into the fire.

(Chorus)

It’s a risky move but it’s something you’ve
Got to try, even if you get a little bruised
You’re never more alive than when you
Try and reach for something you could lose.

Just look at you,
What you want to do
And give your heart what it wants.
To take a risky stance,
On an uncertain chance
Is anything but nonchalance.
A leading hand and a blindfold
May be less reliable than you know.
A glowing road to take until you’re old
Shouldn’t tell you where to go.
 
(Chorus)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Delusions of Complexity.

This one's a song. I wrote a few lines of it a while back, then slowly pieced it together.

Delusions of Complexity.

Spun out and aching, tired, and strung out on the couch,
Far past over-stimulated, starting to slouch,
You get fixated on facets and shards of what once was,
If you don’t know you nobody does.

Have an identity crisis in discovery’s name,
But there’s no identity discovered because you’re never the same,
You’re made of tectonic plates, over heat and under tide,
Fancy that, you’ll never have to make up your mind.

Maps on the ground
Far reaching but still behind us,
And your hand clenches, down
Mind buzzing, eyes screaming for blindness
Overloaded and over-thought,
And complexities reign.

Let’s play the game of life, let’s play connect the dots,
Let’s spread a thousand pieces in the parking lot.
Let’s play connect the delusions with each mismatching piece
Hunched over in the shadows of simpler beasts.

Maps on the ground
Far reaching but still behind us,
And your hand clenches, down
Mind buzzing, eyes screaming for blindness
Overloaded and over-thought,
And complexities reign.

Let’s try and fit all that we can,
In the over burdened brain of man.

Maps on the ground
Far reaching but still behind us,
And your hand clenches, down
Mind buzzing, eyes screaming for blindness
Overloaded and over-thought,
And complexities reign.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Any Home.

Beyond the lights on the interstate,
Red and white on either side,
Are the windows in buildings, like tv sets,
With their light shining from inside.
Much like home,
Much like stars,
Much like the comfort of bed,
The lives being played within them
Speed at eighty through my head.

Long-drive dreams in a leather seat,
And wishing one window was mine,
Impatience grips the steering wheel,
Impatience shifts between lines.
Hotel windows
Are drive-in movies,
And I imagine the parts being played,
Of families, business men, and rooms that lay empty,
Waiting on an overnight stay.

Louisa in linens and Simon in silks,
In adjecent rooms on the fifth floor,
And Molly and Allen in a condo by the lake,
And Christopher answering his door,
Whether they go,
Whether they stay,
And what circumstance landed them there,
To see where they are, from the window of my car
Makes it seem a bit unfair.

They have a bed, and a light to turn off,
And I'd be pulled over for turning off mine,
A silly thought, I know. Almost stupid, in fact,
I know that I'll be home in time.
But after I leave,
Before I arrive,
Is an uncomfortable limbo, indeed.
Hours pass and it seems I'll be stuck here forever,
Monitoring lanes, my gas tank, my speed.

The distance between where you are and where you're bound,
Can feel too long to bear,
And home seems so far, when you look at the bright windows,
Of people who are already there,
But in time,
And over miles,
You'll find a change of scenery for your feet,
And when you arrive, you'll be glad to claim
A bed instead of a seat.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Parnassus Dwarfed.

This one is about love. Not so much from a person to person perspective, more from a person to "love itself" perspective. It sounds very religious, and not only because of it's reference to Greek mythology, but it's more about the worship of "love itself", not any sort of deity.

Parnassus Dwarfed.

Miles past shape and beyond colors,
A plateau of proportions mighty stands.
Beyond heads in clouds and earthen lovers,
And youthful declarations on brick and in sand.
Love, a glowing light, a living ghost,
An avalanche sweeping down for man,
Tugging hearts to its miraculous post,
And lifting them gently from the land.

For true heaven's boundaries our hearts to breach,
Parnassus dwarfed, and beyond its reach.

Miles past clouds and beyond form,
Love, it's warmth glides down to earth,
Stopped not by hatred, held not by storm.
Calls heard by humanity since it's birth.
The only thing that unifies,
And the only thing that's pure,
A call for all, straight from the skies,
And the only thing that's sure.

For her to call him, for him to call her,
Parnassus dwarfed, and there's no mountain taller.

With care, with might, to satisfy,
The needs we all possess,
To lift a people still petrified,
That still writhe under duress.
Through toil, through war, through appetite,
And on ground where we've been tied.
The highest peak of loving light,
Will live, constant by our side.

No muse's inspiration could compare,
Parnassus dwarfed by a force most fair.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Calling Again II.

My original idea for this poem was very different from the end result, but instead of leaving it be, I tweaked it until it became closer to what I wanted. So now, instead of it being (somewhat ambiguously) about a child dying, it's about someone's spouse dying. Happy stuff, haha.

Calling Again.

Through night's dream catcher I see planets fly,
Through the slivers of huddled trees.
And monlight shines in the corner of my mind,
On whispered silver nights like these.

I see something slender curve and wave,
And something missing speak,
Not the wave of a branch, but the wave of a hand,
Though the vision's very weak.

And in the yard,
Where the trees stand guard,
I'll think I'll see you then,
But as seasons change,
You go out of range,
But I'll hear you call again.

The road I took to work every day,
Was paved over last September.
And the restaurant where we ate a thousand times,
Will be torn down in November.

There are scaffolds high around the church,
And they're redoing the inside.
But everything here is just the same,
A rock worn by time, yes, but not the tide.

And this road of mine,
Now cobweb fine,
As I think of roads that end.
I'll live and pray,
That at the end of my day,
I'll hear you call again.

Forty raindrops on the sill,
For forty years in all,
And forty redwoods on the hill,
Still wait for forty-one, come fall.
And forty one is the number still,
Though forty-five it's been.
And four feels like ten,
Or the number when,
I'll hear you call again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dirty River.

In a place where water wends,
Flung out like twisting fingers on a thrust arm.
Past virgin skin and bone extend unlikely nails,
Brittle, filthy, and unsightly.
Embedded in ground oft-traveled by man.
Bent at each side,
Water flows through the fingernails like sewage.
Murky at the bottom, lined with indistinguishable debris.
Five streams without beauty,
Water no lips would allow passage,
Water to scorch the throat.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bite.

"I am dinner, I am dinner"
My stance or demeanor must have said.
On borrowed ground of rock and root.
I became dinner as I read.

The Accident of Birth.

This one already sounds dated. Hah.

The Accident of Birth.


Where are my seasons?
The ones I was promised,
The summers so warm and winters so cold.
Where are my trees?
The one that stood tall,
And only grew mightier as they grew old.

Where are the condors?
The black bears and the bobcats?
Defiant, majestic, and fearless they'd stand.
And where are their children?
What became of their bloodline?
And where are the ones that robbed all their land?

Where is my river?
So cool and so cleansing.
That comes from the ocean and runs through my town.
And where is my homeland?
With its warmth and it's comfort,
No robbers, rapists, or murderers around.

What am I?
Am I white? Am I black?
Will I die by some rope, or do just fine?
What world will I see?
When I open my eyes?
1491 or 2009?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One With One Of Two Halves.

Only moments after I took my seat,
Chosen well, and quiet too,
That I found myself surrounded.
Not only by insects and birds, the company of my choosing,
But by men. Loud. Industrious.
Working not with tranquility, like the ants,
But against it.
Just as I had chosen the rhythm given to me by the midday,
They had formed a conflicting rhythm,
Conflicting with myself and conflicting with all things.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Call Down Stratosphere.


 A... heavenly love song? Hmmm.

Call Down Stratosphere.

There are roads of dirt and stone
And walls of polished rock,
But starlight shines, whatever time
And adorns the numbers on the clock
Though walls and gates may deviate,
The paths I’ll choose to go,
With the wave of my hand, no wall could withstand
When meteor showers swing down low.

I’ll call, call, call,
And whip the wind around,
Send leaves skyward in the fall,
And bring the heavens to the ground.
And with a single sound,
I’ll call the stratosphere down.

One wish out of two, for you, has come true,
But the other is so far
To touch the sky at night as it shines so bright,
A million miles from where you are.
But when you’re with me, just look, you’ll see,
From the tree tops to the ground,
Those starry fireflies will descend from the skies,
When I call the stratosphere down.

I’ll call, call, call,
And whip the wind around,
Send leaves skyward in the fall,
And bring the heavens to the ground.
And with a single sound,
I’ll call the stratosphere down.

There are layers that divide us,
And handles just out of reach,
But the distance blurs and the lines obscure
As waves take the beach.
We’ll stop time on just one line,
And all creatures will share a single sound,
Ceiling to floor will merge with the core,
As I bring the universe down.

The seas will divide as the moon moves the tide
In ways unknown ‘til now.
When the moon flies right by your room,
And I call the stratosphere down.

I’ll call, call, call,
And whip the wind around,
Send leaves skyward in the fall,
And bring the heavens to the ground.
And with a single sound,
I’ll call the stratosphere down.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Near-Miss.

Slowing on the shoulder,
After a near-miss jump-start.
Blood pumping and eyes wide
Like jumper cables to the heart.

Eight wheels drawn together,
In a moment, and then it's done.
Of the millions of moments packed into life,
A thousand possibilities, crammed into one.

Ghosts on a see saw,
Two spectres on a ride.
Up and down, over and over,
Into the forefront of my mind.

Two stories on a page,
With a very different end.
One ghost to fade away,
A second ghost to rise again.

Every day's spent moving forward,
And tiptoe-ing on the line.
The scene slows and the car stops,
And everybody's fine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Conductor Blues.

I wasn't originally going to post this one, since it doesn't read well on the page... or at least not as well as I would like it to. I wrote this with a melody in mind, and it only really resonates well when spoken (which I don't really do much). I was planning on being done with a bunch of pieces I've been working on, but they're taking longer than expected, so I'm posting this in the meantime.

Conductor Blues.

You're born at a station,
Then put on a curved track.
And I guess the real test is
If you can find your way back.
Every step is a corner,
And every step back's a corner, too.
So every time you come around,
The same thing seems like something new.

You know it only gets murky,
Trying to find some grand scheme.
But you've got to keep moving,
There isn't time enough to dream.
We all know the same amount of nothing,
Nothing to get down, nothing to tell.
And there's nothing to draw from,
No matter how deep the well.

There's dust in the shower head,
Dust in your trail and dust in your teeth.
You lurch toward the horizon,
Hoping somewhere, somehow, there's some relief.
Your watch is busted,
But the hands still point somewhere..
But they don't tell you how far to go
Or how to stop when you get there.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Had You Known.

I could lead you through my memory
To stumble on the scene.
But it wouldn't help you very much
To show you what I mean.

It wouldn't have to be this way,
You wouldn't have to take me to task.
And we wouldn't have to be alone,
And you wouldn't even have to ask.
And it wouldn't have been the same
Had you known.

The infraction was intangible,
In fact, it never even occurred.
I'm as likely to take another mate,
As you're to take me for my word.

You can seethe and sigh and tap your feet
Like I'm not telling the truth.
And dissect phrasing, body language and tone
Trying to find some damning proof
And you'd have bit your tongue to save some face,
Had you known.

The numbers on the clock set in your mind,
Were dwindling all the same.
And the betrayal that you've conjured up
Just met your fuse like a hotter flame.

It seems to signify when I deny
That each passing word is a bigger lie.
That all fits into one big goodbye...

And I've never seen someone so thrown.
But your countdown would have only been delayed,
Had you known.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Out Of Season.

I wrote this one in December, so it doesn't quite reflect the current season. I have four other pieces that I've been wanting to post (some pretty different things), but none of them are ready yet, so here goes...

Walking Into Winter.

Walking into winter,
Holding the last breath of warmth,
For the flowers to bloom
In an artificial June.

It's Frosty the Snowman,
I'm a spraycan springtime.
The strongest of sprays
For the shortest of days.

Walking out of Autumn
With a coat that's too light,
But I'll be warm
Through those cold cottonstorms.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Addict.

Today's piece isn't exactly the most subtle of pieces. It comes off a bit stronger than I actually feel, but oh well, it is what it is. Hah.

Addict.

You sinner, you addict, what becomes of your prayers?
Is there someone who listens? Or do they die in the air?
The angels in heaven, please tell me my worth!
Will I be rewarded when I depart from this Earth?

You addict, you blacken when you poison your veins.
You're the son of sin, a modern day cain.
Oh blessed are we, when we drink the blood
And shower in the love of our saviour, wash off the devil's mud.

You pray on an altar of porcelein and tile,
All to escape the world for a while.
We pray at an altar of wood and flowers
To be saved from the world's most lecherous powers.

You addict, the devil's got a hold of your ear
When you run from the world in your cowardly fear.
Oh blessed are we, the lord fills us with cheer.
When we run from the world in our cowardly fear.

You poor one, you're bound in a self made cage,
That only grows smaller as you grow weary with age.
Oh lord, we're bound in a self made cage
That only grows smaller as we grow weary with age.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daytime Lullaby.

Greetings, greetings again. I'm in the midst of a very busy June, so forgive my recent lack of posts. To start things off again, here's something I wrote last November, it's about consoling a child who comes to love night and starts to shy away from daytime. This particular one ended up being cut up and developed into a number of other poems (some of which I've posted on here, and if you read back you'll probably be able to tell), but I like the original, so here it is:

Daytime Lullaby.

Morning's on the phone, it calls you to rise
And depart from your bed full of dreams.
Depart from your room, and your hall, and your door
And watch the Earth, full of life, how it teems.
No matter what the moon may say,
The light of day doesn't take the stars away.

Oh daughter, oh son, oh the owls and the wolves
Who fly to and howl at the moon
Fear not morning, alarming, charming bright banner of sunlight
Or the call of the robin or loon.
No matter what the moon may say,
The light of day doesn't take the stars away.

Eyes wide under space and pushed by the tide.
Restless dreamer, the new one, the child of stars
Swinging higher than clouds, swimming further than heaven
To spin in orbit with Mars.
No matter what the moon may say,
The light of day doesn't take the stars away.

The children of day, will you join them in play?
As they bounce between town and the school
And pass town hall, apartments, the carpenter's place
To buzz and hum with his woodworking tools
No matter what the moon may say,
The light of day doesn't take the stars away.

The warm dry grass so comforting under foot
Had its dew baked away by the sun
Fond memories in the pond so warm come midday
Hasn't it brought you hours of fun?
No matter what the moon may say,
The light of day doesn't take the stars away.

As the waves cool and the moon comes back
And night's window puts stars on display
Enjoy night when it's here and day when it comes
And you will always know it's okay.
No matter what the moon may say,
The light of day doesn't take the stars away.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sound Cages.

Serenade sung through a chain link fence.
Timid and tamed, hung and framed,
Locked and guarded, cruelly regarded.
Serenade sung so forced and tense.

Symphony played in a theater on fire.
Frenzied and worried, hastened and hurried,
Relentlessly razed in an overbearing blaze.
Symphony played in its funeral pyre.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Axis Travellers.

Snow globe turning like a storm in a hand
Over contoured fingers like a boulder on land.
Interior cyclical waves slide like tides on wet sand,
And we're carried in a vessel cradled at sea.
Each creeping wave that crawls up the walls
Changes rythm and speed as it rises and falls,
And we're caught in a snow globe of perpetual squalls
But cradled and safe and sleeping we'll be.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mighty.

And a second one, just because I like it:

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Familiar Call.

I heard the sound of my name
Drawn from the body of a scouring-rush.
Blooming from its frayed mouth
Was the head of a sunflower
With petals curling,
Slices of shade and dusty yellow.
A call played for my ears
A call that curved from the tip of each waving petal
Sung in a language without words.
Warm promises
Made by the trust of familiarity.
The neck of my mind's creation,
Feigning lifelessness,
All the while blowing notes and tender characters.
Rustling within rows in a field of dance partners.
A symphony for one,
All played by the wind;
A hundred flutes and a sunflower trumpet.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

East Irving Street.

On East Irving Street
He lived in an attic.
A beige chair by the window
A brown bed by the door.
On East Irving Street
He paced on the hardwood
With his hands in his pockets,
And his feet on the floor.

In the chair by the window
His elbow on the sill
He watched the commotion,
From atop his perch.
In the chair by the window
Hands still and eyes scanning
He watched the old bus stop
Between the cafe and church.

A couple dressed like stoplights
Moved like his imagination
Through a red and green world,
Wearing that same red and green.
A couple dressed like stoplights
They sparkled like Christmas
In a hardware store dore
In childhood's loveliest dream.

A bright young man
Wore a pinstripe sportscoat,
As sharp as anyone could be
With his shirt buttoned down.
A bright young man
He saw his ride coming.
He caught the bus with a leash,
And followed it down town.

That dull beige man
Watched the bus as it left
Watched the taxis and towncars
As the sun stopped the show.
That dull beige man
Left the chair by the window
When the night emptied the sidewalks
And the spectacle below.

On East Irving Street
He lived in an attic.
A beige chair by the window
A brown bed by the door.
On East Irving Street
He paced on the hardwood
With his hands in his pockets
And his feet on the floor.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Onion.

Chop one, chop two
No red, black or blue.
Peel off translucent skin
And examine all the flesh within.

Chop, chop, the victim dies
As tears drip from your eyes.
Though you'll never be scorned for it,
The onion forces you to mourn for it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Poem For Shifting Skies.

Today's poem is the "title poem" for this blog, so to speak.

One Thousand New Mornings.

Skyscrapers reaching to stop the light
Only make a single strip of night.
And with the steady journey of the sun,
The strip moves on,
And the thousandth new morning has begun.

A getaway car driven by the dark before dawn
While the dew is cooked right off the lawn.
You can hear the sun's lullabies and battle cries,
Songs for the battle of morning,
And the glorious songs for shifting skies.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Knuckles in the Sand.

     There's a patch of sand like a waning moon around one side of the pond. The pond's just within earshot of the manor, and about half a mile of open field away from the tree line. It's an oasis of cool on the hottest Georgia days, with a roof of maple and dogwood, providing all-day shade. The white boys have a small wooden boat that they'd play with for hours, but I never had the nerve to touch it. I'm not even allowed to be there, but sometimes at night I sneak over to listen to the almost-silent water.
     The first time I ever went there was when I was just learning to talk. I was plenty old enough to understand that I was absolutely not allowed to be there, but the cries of joy from the boys drew me there, and I was powerless against my imagination. It was daytime, and I wandered over while the boys were playing some kind of boat war game. There was a sign nailed up on one of the maples, it probably said something like "Niggers Keep Out", but I don't know how they expected any of us to know how to read it.
     I stood and stared for about five minutes before the boys noticed me. They jumped up in the boat like animals frightened into shock. After a moment they dove into the water, scrambled to shore, and ran back to the manor. I didn't think to run, so I just kept staring. The daylight sparkled in patches on the water. The disturbed boat rocked back and forth, sending ripples from one end of the pond to the other. I had never seen something so inviting. I knew then that something so welcoming couldn't posssibly be available to me, so I stood still, simply appreciating it from a distance. The birds sounded more joyous, the trees were taller, and the grass was proud and soft.
     There was a corner of my "home" where I slept that was MY place. It was where I kept MY clothes and MY old shoes (and that was it). I had a corner, but I was amazed that those boys were able to say things like MY pond, MY trees, MY soft grass. I had a corner, but they had a manor. They were beautiful trees, but they would never be mine. The water wasn't mine; I couldn't touch it, I couldn't even look at it. Brown hands aren't meant for owning, they're meant for working. That seems now like a very difficult thing for a boy that young to have to realize. The corner and the clothes weren't really mine... I just used them.
     I woke from my thoughts at the sound of a gun firing into the air. It was the clean father of the clean boys, and I was just a dirty little kid intruding on their clean pond. I ran.
     Now it's nighttime, and I'm looking out on that same water, now mostly still. On the opposite side of the pond there's a frog, and I can hear his jumps and his calls. I have to be quieter than that frog, and move even less. If the father comes out now, it won't be the air he'll shoot. I'm too old now to be cut any slack. There's nothing I enjoy more than soaking in the lazy peace in this oasis. Enjoyment is a privilege not given to me, so I take it in the dark. I take the moment to slip away, to sit like a hiding, exiled king in that patch by the water. There are chains over my head, and I sit by the pond with my knuckles in the sand.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Orange Thread.

Thick orange thread
Like garland on a garment.
A canary-yellow cardigan
Brought down from the basement.

Thick orange thread
Tied on a weathered nail.
Ragged, but full of life,
Like a wild bobcat tail.

Thick orange thread
Around a spool on the shelf.
It's got more character than the others
And looks better by itself.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Frozen Fountain.

A summer freeze.
Instant liquid trees.
Surrounded by pollen and bees
And white mice on skis.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Claws.

A drive-in movie;
The image of a bear without claws,
Action without danger,
A land without laws.
All the good,
But stripped of the bad,
A restaurant with no register
And delicious meals to be had.

The ground is firm and the weather's fair
Go check for lightning, but nothing's there.

A brand new novel;
It's end as good as the beginning.
On every page
The good guys are winning.
But there are no bad guys,
Nobody's being unfair,
And no one is injured,
When you're a clawless bear.

Reach out with arms that have never been twisted,
You could look out for evil, but it never existed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tiny Suns.

Tiny suns
Stick like burrs to your clothes.
Being woven into bird nests.
On the shoulders of parrots.
Stored up by chipmunks.
Tiny suns
In a bag of marbles.
Stirred into hot chocolate.
Strung up with pearls.
On the tip of your antenna.

Tiny suns that orbit the day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Charging Bull.

Here's one about thinking!

The Charging Bull.

On the plains:
A charging bull moves quickly over the land,
Then pauses to decipher its speed.
The behemoth's brain speaks not until suspended in time,
When not charging to kill or rushing to feed.

In the city:
Worn thin are the faculties of the madman's brain,
And worn thin are his fingernails sheathed.
He claws at the walls and sighs as he falls,
But given time to think, his mind is relieved.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Misstep on Grandview.

     Nathan was never known for his sincerity. He was a well-dressed and well-spoken lout of a man, if such a thing could ever truly exist. His finely tuned swagger was carried out with such finesse that one could easily overlook the viscous, contemptible grease that ran through his veins. Given his disingenuous tendencies, as one might expect, he was frequently maligned by the countless past victims of his acidic charm. On the other hand, those who never had the misfortune would tend to admire his style and his well-structured fa├žade of gentility. Perhaps inevitably, Nathan garnered a considerable amount of female attention. His sexual exploits were countywide and the reputation of such conquests spread even further.

     It was the seventeenth of April, a week and four days after his thirty-second birthday, and Nathan was walking down Grandview Avenue, displaying his manly, yet elegant gait as a male peacock would its feathers. He was basking in the adulation that was thrust at him on any given day. His eyes shifted and focus like a card player, with his face so genuine he could convince the lord that the sky was green.

     Two streets over on Harper Avenue he had a brand new ’51 Victoria, polished and painted, waiting to be driven. Nathan preferred to walk. The day he bought that car, he said to himself, “There’s nowhere worth getting to that a man can’t simply walk to, and there’s nowhere a man can’t simply walk from, either”. With that, he closed the door of his garage and never thought about the car again. Nathan felt no need to spend his time minding traffic laws or speed limits, and surrendering himself to limits and laws was a concept that he would never concern himself with.

     On this day, Amie, a woman with whom he was briefly involved, had requested Nathans presence. Always a fiery and capricious woman, Nathan came to the conclusion that this particular engagement was worth his time. Amie was a slender, brown haired beauty with all the zest of a redhead. She was vivacious, saucy, and most importantly, unpredictable. Nathan never thought that so much spirit could possibly be held in such a svelte frame. The two had a passionate affair weeks prior, and just as his passionate affairs usually go, he had considered this one utterly burnt out. Given Amie’s mercurial bent, the evening could go one of two ways, though there was one possibility that Nathan naturally preferred.

     Nathan slid up the steps to the veranda of her home on the corner of Grandview and Ash. The potted flowers that lined the yellow painted railings were just about the bloom, and there was a cheery brightness to the place that even Nathan was forced to appreciate. The buzzer by the door was a dusty orange, and Nathan felt pretty good pressing it, although it may have been the potential of the evening that truly excited him. The dark behind the glass door was soon replaced by the radiant vision of Amie. She wore a black gown that one might normally see at a cocktail party. She allowed him to absorb the sight for a brief moment before opening the door. He walked in smooth and seemingly un-phased by her appearance, an appearance that would put the women in the newspaper advertisements to shame. There was no goddess of Greek or Roman origin that could rival the way she looked, and she knew it. In stark contrast to the warm beauty of the porch, the inside of her home was sparse. The decorating touch might have even prompted a poor person to call it “bare” or “unlivable”. The living space had a couch that could fit no more than three, a 12 inch black and white television, a lamp, and nothing else. The dining room was decorated in a similar fashion, with a small cabinet for glassware, a table, and four chairs.

     Nathan and Amie sat down at the empty table. After a few seconds of silence, Amie said coldly, “We need to talk”. Nathan’s mood dropped to a new low as he abandoned his eager posture. Clearly this night was not going to pan out as he had so joyously anticipated. Amie saw this shift in his posture and sighed, knowing all too well what he was expecting. She composed herself and continued, “I have never met a man so passionate, daring, and fascinating”.

     Nathan perked up.

     “Then again…”

     Nathan slouched once more.

     “… I have also never met someone so unfeeling and despicable. You made me promises you never intended to keep, all for your own disgusting selfish gains. I will never forgive you, Nathan, but most importantly I can never forgive myself for letting this happen”.

     Almost immediately a thousand methods of escape surged through Nathan’s mind. He was not one to console a hysterical woman, especially one with her eyes filled with such lunacy. He jerked himself out of his escape plans to respond, “Darling, the fires lit with gasoline always burn out the quickest”.

     Amie’s face grew stern and cold. She was slack-jawed by his audacity. Speechless, she shot up, went to the kitchen, and returned with two glasses and a bottle of sherry. “Oh. You prefer bourbon, don’t you?” Nathan nodded. “Well, I suppose I shouldn’t keep you”, she said dryly, “We’ll have a farewell drink, then you can go on your merry way”. She left Nathan in the dining room to fetch the bourbon. She filled his glass with a look of thinly veiled fury. He sniffed the bourbon, took a sip, and when the drink passed his lips, he knew immediately that he had messed with the wrong woman. Unfortunately for her, however, she was also messing with the wrong man. The ex-lovers raised their empty glasses, and just as Amie expected, Nathan fell face first into his plate. What Amie was not expecting though, was that moments later, she followed suit.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Air.



Four walls of linked fence,
With the air free to fly through,
Small postcards from hope.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Cage of Willows.

It doesn't say so in the poem, but this is about a woman in the 1870's whose husband never returned from fighting in the American Civil War. What side they were on is up to you.

A Cage of Willows

Long with time in an evening gown,
She wears a silken blindfold,
It shields her eyes
From her lovers gaze,
So his image time may erode.

A lover in her own vault,
Praying at an ancient altar,
Paying fealty to her feelings.
Still chained to the slavery of love
And the caring names he called her.

Queitly she'll rest there
In a cage of willows white.
A darling of yesterday,
Clutching flowering bars
That hold her wrists and ankles tight.

"Love, oh love, that wretched thing
That holds me to this day."
But the fading beauty
It haunts her still,
And she can never look away.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Crows, etc.

This piece is about two years old. I wrote a synopsis for it on Facebook that I was planning to copy and paste, but I don't have access to Facebook right now, so I'll describe it briefly... I got the inspiration for this as I was driving back and forth from work. Over and over, I kept seeing crows by the side of the road... just sort of standing there. One day, when I saw a crow, I blurted out the first stanza...

By The Crowside.

Crow by the roadside,
Road by the crowside.
He’s up and down,
Across the road,
He doesn't even know why.

Black feathers, black car,
Passing in the morning.
Going nowhere, going somewhere,
Passing in the evening.

Going somewhere, go where some go,
Going nowhere, or go where none go.
If you go nowhere,
You'll find a crow there.

_

This next one is about ignorance and blind fury, and it's only about twenty minutes old. It's about a news story I saw on television last night, where those tea party protesters were converging on Harry Reid's hometown as a political statement. I italicized the 2nd stanza to emphasize a change in meter and a shift in tone.

The March.


No room for small hands,
Much less space for doubt,
And the tired metal tapestry
Will force dissension out.

And I shudder to realize
In the light of each morning
Watching from my place a mile away
Those gleaming red marchers
That funnel through canyons
Might get what they march for someday.


Not a sliver of light
Or an inch there to breathe
Between marching figures
Strong-willed & naive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Factory Floor.

I sometimes like to take my rhyming to extremes, and this is a great example of me going overboard.

Factory Floor.

Stone parts in rooms dark,
Metal hits and makes sparks.
Shock-marks and supply carts
Dart when the work starts.

The men know, when the fuel's low,
The gears here won't go.
The years go and the iron flows,
Debris "snow" on workers head to toe.

Their kids cry in their wives arms,
They'll hear alarms and fear he's harmed.
They'll fuss and sigh as hours go by,
Fearing he's died in those metal farms.

Rusty tools and grease pools,
Machines roll as the product cools.
Taking their toll are the boss's rules,
Coal, parts, and diesel fuel.

Those stone parts in rooms dark,
And metal warm from the day's sparks.
Shock-marks and supply carts
Are parked before the work starts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Little Watchers.

This blog needs more pictures, so here's one.

Also, a crocus. (Only one crocus was harmed in the taking of this photograph)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Calling Again.

I have a long list of material that I want to use for this blog, but as I was thumbing through my notebook yesterday, I felt like I should post something brand new instead. That being said, I finished this poem about seven minutes ago. It's one of my simpler pieces, so it probably doesn't need any explanation.

Calling Again.

Through your dreamcatcher I see planets fly,
It's hung in the room I dare not touch.
And the redwood needles all fall, by and by
In the dream I loathe so much.
Out in the yard,
Where the trees stand guard,
I'll think I see you then,
But as seasons change,
You go out of range
And I'll hear you call again.

Seven raindrops on the sill,
For seven years in all,
And seven redwoods on the hill,
Still wait for eight in the fall.
And this road of mine
Now cobweb fine,
As I think of roads that end.
I'll live and pray,
That at the end of my day,
I'll hear you call again.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Autumn Dirt.

I wrote this last October, and it's always been a bit of a mystery to me. It's about a split, an inadequacy, and a miscommunication, but since it's not about me personally, I can't be much more specific than that. It's one of those things that end up "writing themselves", if that makes any sense. Every once in a while I end up writing something, then when I reread it I can't help but think, "I wrote that? That really doesn't sound like me". Well, this is one of those poems.

Autumn Dirt

There's a part of your life that's chewed up in your mouth,
And it tastes just like Autumn dirt.
It's made of old tree bark and the bones of a bird,
And the hem on a discarded skirt.
It's just like the dirt that I walk over now
That's caught up in the treads of my shoes,
And the car wheels at night,
All stopped at a green light,
Thinking of the broken things I could still use.

The decision was made and the blows were dealt,
Though I was never quite sure which one I felt.
I didn't understand then, and I still don't now,
But all these things end up justified somehow.

Two roads over there's an abandoned old house;
There's a busted up stove inside it.
"You're just like that stove", you said one night,
And you know I never denied it.
Because after all, there's a lesson to learn,
And after all, there's a beauty in there,
In the cracked glass and the rust
The torn-off knobs and the dust,
And the grates that have no meals to bear.

There's a sight, but there's no sound,
From the brittle leaves as they fall on the ground;
Like tides on the asphalt, from car to car,
And your promise ring is a fallen star.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Roses & Seasons.

I wrote these two pieces in 2008, so you may have already read them. If not... "they're new to you!"

There's something about this poem that I like, though I'm not exactly sure what it is. In an odd way, it's about an identity struggle. Other than that, I'll let it speak for itself, because every time I read it I get a different feeling from it.

China Roses.

All you can ask for is time.
All you can have,
A cellar full of your mystery,
Or a candle,
To light for your romance.
Fear what you must,
Embrace what you will,
A broken mirror,
Or petals of scarlet & crimson,
Dried with time.
The numbers pile up & overflow,
The experiences repeat,
Grasping at your chance,
Feeling out possibilities.
Your weathered wooden table,
An empty porcelain cup,
A bowl of fruit,
Pears, apples, peaches, and oranges.
Forced into a corner,
Still you dream
Diamond dreams,
But a tin reality.
Shine on what you can,
Hold your roses through your days,
Present them to your nights.

_

This next thing is about the fall giving way to winter. Just like the first piece, when I read it again yesterday, I got a very different feel from it. Now that we're going from winter to spring, it's like the battle is over (for now, at least).

Recede & Advance

Crystal shavings, gleaming white and shining blue, flock through a colander of leaves, speaking brown but glowing green. Dark hidden corners surrender to a room awash in colour, succumbing to the light. Revealed is the space where there once crept a shadowy crouching devil.

Outside the tall standers and low sitters dot the ground, spreading gold and orange into the sky and letting it drift down to earth. These messengers find their resting place among the green-clad soldiers of the ground, delivering their freezing cold letters. Wisps of whistling chills curl through the trees and the rocks, moving the golden messengers from their rightful home to their new one upon the earth’s floor.

Shambling sidewalk movers bound in furs and cottons turn from the whispering spirits of the oncoming cold. Faces covered by scarves and shawls close their eyes to Winter. Their thoughts speak of frigid bitterness equal to that of the nearing frost.

“Keep your tyrannical treacherous torturous tendrils from tearing at me! My limbs need not feel your grasp, my mind need not feel your chill, and my whimsy certainly needs no dampening from you!”

The looming season will not respond.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gypsy-Red.

Here's my second post in as many days. I probably won't be updating this frequently in the future, I just figured that if I'm going to get this thing going right, I should hit the ground running.

This poem is based on a short story I wrote last year. It was about a man who becomes so fascinated with the intricate romantic trickery his lover is using on him, that he starts to play along with it in secret. He becomes obsessed, watching her "spin her web", just to see how well her lies hold up and how far she'll take them. The story didn't come out as well as I had hoped, but I did write a poem about it.

Gypsy-Red.

The magic lies deep in lies half-told,
And in the trinkets, the vague promises you sold
Came true in a way I would never expect,
In hindsight, your deceit deserves a certain respect.

You're an island-blue vial by a tarnished old flask,
And a royal-purple band on a gypsy-red mask.
You've got a treacherous demeanor, but a dignity that's seen,
Under pirate-gold treasures and all that poison-green.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Welcome!

Hello, hello and welcome. The name's Brendan, and this is my foray into the world of blogging. I hope you'll enjoy the content I post here. Should you make return trips to this page, you should expect to find a menagerie of poetry, photography, and prose, new and old, by yours truly. Please feel free to share any thoughts you may have, I'd love some feedback.

I'll kick things off with my most recent poem. It's about aspirations, and how they comfort a person while they're making the long trek to their "promised land", whatever and wherever that may be.

The Way There

To trod through unforgiving ages,
Winding, treacherous,
Not a robin or a rainbow.
Nothing to soothe us with images of where we started;
Nothing to appease the thirst with images of where it seeks to take us.
To venture down a crooked path,
Where nothing, good-natured or ill, could stand to call home;
Under a night sky without the comfort of stars.
Led only by the scent, the promise,
And the majesty of the kingdoms we seek to build.

To seek greatness,
For it is not when we are strong to spite weakness,
But when we are strong to defend it.
To raise walls with open gates,
And doors without bolt-locks.
For beyond any horizon,
Where the road stretches from the tips of our boots
And above the dust kicked up by the toil of years,
Is a cradle of dreams,
To make a home out of any corner,
To hang stars where there are none.

-

This next piece is a rewrite of a poem I wrote years ago, and it's somewhat similar in theme to The Way There, but it's coming from a different direction. This one's about a man (an astronaut), dissatisfied with the road he chose to take.

Return Flight From The Moon.

People study for years to be what I am,
To see the earth surrounded by black.
It hurts, but I just don't give a damn
If I ever go back.
I'd streth out in the grass, feel the comfort of land,
And forsake shuttle jets and tarmac.

I watched the world, lonely in space,
I watched it silent, darkness all around.
Not a thing could be heard from the whole human race,
So many lives, but not a single sound.

As we enter the day below night,
And as gravity and direction take hold,
I'd thank the lord if this were my last flight,
Last take-off, last station, last node.

In the orbit I can sense the wind,
Earth again, as the shuttle sets in.
A natural breath as the fresh air gets in,
And on the landing site waits my next of kin.

They're beaming and cheering
Waiting for me to come down,
And I'm tired and fearing
That I'll always feel this run down.
They see me nearing,
Cheering like I'll bring the sun down...

To hover before humanity,
To tell it's universal truth,
And it seems like insanity
That ever since my youth...

That's all i've wanted to do.

-

Thanks for reading! Come back within the net few days and there's bound to be something new up.