Category Archive: Poems

Mar 18

Scars and Shadows

Everyone has scars
Everyone carries rocks in their knapsack
Little injuries that they’ve picked up along the way
Or terrible wounds from battles they waged alone

 

Photographer: Karsten Kneese

Brother, I know you

We started as innocents
Pure, unblemished, trusting
But none of us make it far
It is our fate as mankind
To struggle and bleed
Even if we win every fight
(Which almost never happens)
We bear the fears and learned defenses
The mental anguish and regrets
Our hearts never go unbroken
And some will have to endure multiple fractures

Sister, I feel you

We act as though there’s nothing wrong
That we’re “well-adjusted”
That we’re strong enough, we’re okay
When inwardly we’re shaking, screaming
Slowly bleeding to death internally
From all the cuts and tears
From where we’ve rent our flesh asunder
Trying to claw out the painful parts
Hiding it in the darkness
So no one will see you weep
Because it looks like everyone else is fine…
“What’s wrong with me?” we ask

Mother, I see you

It is a terrible lie we perpetuate
Telling ourselves we’re sick
That something is bad and wrong about us
When it is what we have survived
That makes us who and what we are
And we do each other disservice
To tell ourselves this untruth
Because we persuade ourselves so completely
That we convince everyone else it’s true
Which makes them believe that THEY are unwell
And perpetuates the madness

Father, I hear you

We build up walls to protect ourselves
From ourselves, and each other
We tell ourselves lies and convince the world
So that they tell themselves the same lies
Spreading like a plague
And soon we trust no one
Hiding our secrets, buried deep
Where they fester and breed vermin
Until they burst loose and flood the room
With fury and fear and addiction

LOOK AT ME

Look me in the eyes
And know me
Tear down your walls, as I have mine
And behold the naked, scarred truth
In all its hideous beauty
The keloids of lessons learned
Embrace these faults
Drag them into the light
Uncover this mockery of ourselves

Look at me

And know that I have flaws, just like you
That I have fears, just like you
That I seethe and froth in bitterness
And hate and seek vengeance, like you
And, like you, I hope and love and laugh
I am vulnerable, I have weaknesses
I am nothing more than what I am
And nothing less
Look at me
I have embraced my Shadow
Reconciled my humanity
And you, too, can be free

Look at me

Accept me or reject me
It will not change me
Tear down your wall
And let yourself out
For I will let you in.

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Mar 04

The Dragons

With each deft movement

They glide effortlessly through time

Old as the trees they wander past

Each scale glimmering, glittering

Unblinking eyes ever watchful

Photographer: Roger Sanderson

Black and white and gold and orange

Sometimes a mixture of all

With hints of unearthly splendor

Behind each iridescent scale

Each sleepy movement of a tail

Whisks them forward lazily

Until at once, from some unseen disturbance

They fly from sight with great speed

 

Each pattern in sunlight glows

And in clouds they shine alone

Fluid, graceful, flexible, effortless

Unhurried yet purposeful

Each gossamer fin in quiet repose

Until a flick of the wrist drives them

To some new direction

 

A gaping maw breaks the surface

The greatest one has come to visit me

An old friend and trusting gaze

With patient eyes, watches

I stroke the slippery nose carefully,

My fingers slip and my nail pokes the sensitive snout

I apologize, but the trust is damaged

And my visitor glides away

 

I wait, as patient as I can be,

But they are old, and trust heals slowly

At last, returning, cautiously this time

My fingers are still and extended

The soft heart bumps them with a velvet nose

And nibbles my fingertips with toothless affection

 

Peaceful here in the place between

Lush Springtime and the lingering Winter

I sit in quiet awe of them

Beneath a soft grey sky

And in the bitter winds

I envy them their peaceful home

 

It is no wonder the Eastern World

Believed in Dragons, for here they are

In a myriad of colors, patterns, sizes

Serene and wise

Impetuous and bold, the younger ones,

But always graceful and liquid in motion

I, bent and crooked, accident-prone,

Watch them with approving respect

Wanting to be like them

The Dragons of the Water

 

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Feb 19

Fall – A Yearly Death

 

I watched as my father lay on the couch, sagging.

His face ashen like the November sky.

I listened to the wheeze in his chest,

wondering what was wrong, knowing it wasn’t right.

The trees bare of leaves, feigning death, unlike my father.

His eyes rolled in his head, searching for focus, failing.

He was falling like the last leaves of autumn towards six feet of earth.

Covered, buried, in love.

 

Photographer: Scott Robinson

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Feb 19

The Last Sweet Embrace

Your oldest friend,

Walks with you to the end.

An Agenda unknown,

Living in a world unseen,

When you lay with him,

“‘Til the end!” You cry,

“There is so much more,” you say.

A drop rolls away,

He pulls you in close,

You look him in the eyes.

“What does it mean?

To feel so serene?”

And you prepare to face

The last sweet embrace.

Photographer: Brad Fults

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Feb 18

For The Great Ones

Photographer: Kristian Bodker

Pacing to and fro
Back and forth
On and on
Wearing a track in the earth beneath your feet
Your eyes are still wild
The embers still burn
Within you a map of the jungle
Smolders in your brain
Your spirit knows the way
Were it not for these damned cages
And two-legs with tranquillizers
And sly narcotics
You know the truth is the Jungle Law
And that they violate its every tenet
With their screaming cubs that clamor and climb
Like monkeys
And they call YOU a beast?
Your heart is free
If your legs are chained
Your spirit is wild
If your body caged
And though they may take you and keep you
They can never take the jungle out of you
And the deep primal rumbles
Mourning your loss
Do not always fall on deaf ears

 

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Dec 12

Fury

Eyes set ablaze with the fury of a rolling storm.

Heart that sheds a tear of sorrow.

Gone now is the humanity of the past.

While it looks like there shall be no tomorrow.

 

 

Photographer: Tim Herrick

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Sep 15

A secret

“I’ll tell you my secret…

Photographer: Giorgia Pallaro

 

I am not so strong.

I live a lie, saying it doesn’t hurt everyday.
The truth is hidden, when you ask if I’m okay.
I say what you want, and look away.

Outside I’ll smile, it won’t have to last long.
Dust off your shoulders son, stand up if you fall.
I get back on my feet, because I will not crawl.
I’m surrounded by people, in this empty hall.

I’ll look you in the eyes and say that I’m fine.
Watch you walk away, and break inside.
The tears are for me, in myself I confide.
It’s easier this way, if it’s all left inside.

An old wound opens, you’re no longer mine.
Standing there, hand in hand.
Gold on your finger, your lovely band.
I’m long gone from your heart, footprints in the sand.

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Sep 07

Drowning Dreams

A long crawl to my bed
With a hundred proofed head
Forgetting all the words I’ve said
I regret the stumbles ahead.

Courtesy of: Aimanness Photography

It’s becoming my water
An ecstacy bottle
The result of my daughter
Who gives me nothing
But emotional slaughter.

Who could blame the hate in her face
I too had a dad of disgrace

He taught me to cheat
To beat women up
And make them give up
Standing on their feet.

Control is a moral
Abuse it with loud oral
Drown them above the beautiful coral.

Seeing colors as their last breath stops
Not realizing she managed to call the cops
Put away for multiple lives.

Thank God I woke up
And knew I was all right.

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Sep 03

Because

Photographer: Michi 003

Because the Wind will always blow,
Because the Leaves will change,
Because the Clouds hide shapes,
Because the Artist has to create,
I love you.

Because the Sun rises,
Because the Moon smiles,
Because the Stars are alive,
Because your smile ends in a canyon,
I love you.

Because the Fall brings us colors,
Because the Winter is too long,
Because the Summer is too short,
Because the walks will never end,
I love you.

Because the Dancer has to move,
Because the Birds fly farther together,
Because the flowers have to blossom,
Because my Heart beats.
I love you.

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Aug 16

To: Mom

 

Photographer: Sean Dreilinger

 

Who I am,
Because of you.
I spread my wings,
It was all so new.
I looked to the skies,
An ocean of blue.
You showed me how,
You let me go.
Who I am,
Because of you.

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