I Don’t Know What She Did or Said…

I don’t know what she did or said

to make me love her…

Perhaps it was the stacking of

small kindnesses

she did for me.

Or the way she managed to hold my attention

when she looked at me and told me her stories.

Or the sharp wit that made me laugh with her.

Or the day she casually touched my shoulder,

looking down at my screen to see what I would do.

But all I did was like the feel of her hand there.

Or the day I overheard her say she thought I was handsome.

Or the day she smiled at me as she passed and said it to me.

Or the day we had dinner, and I kissed her twice,

and she let me. Twice.

I don’t know what she did or said…

Baby Sees the Teddy Bear

In the crib, baby sees the teddy bear

and smiles.

Baby smells the powders and potions,

feel the soft hands,

hears the songs of the mobile,

sees the soft light,

and feels the warm hope,

laughs at the tickling fingers,

and sees love in his parents’ eyes.

On his deathbed,

grandpa sees the teddy bear.

And then he sees the tubes and machines,

smells the alcohol and disinfectant,

feels the soft tug of bandages,

hears the beeps of the monitors

and sees the indicator lights.

He feels the focused shifting of the painkillers,

and laughs at the fading memories,

seeing the good-bye in his legacy’s eyes.

He takes the bear his grandson gives,

and holds it to his wet cheek,

and smiles.

Unblended (3)

He examined her like a (w)horse…

talked of her strength and prowess,

and the power of her potential

to turn him a profit.

And in the desecrated marriage bed

of his sickroom, he treated her like a

(w)hores,

watching his ill-gotten get

pad his ill-gotten gains.

And in the quiet after midnight,

her tears and blood could not be placed

on a speared sponge, and touched to

chapped, split, sobbing lips.

And sometimes in the quiet after midnight,

the midwives did their cleaning up,

and sometimes the scavengers fed.

But in the best of cases,

the sires of their own ‘property’

took their child’s place

in the unmarked, remote, and lonely graves.

Proverbial

“Nice guys finish last.”

I’m poured out like a libation,

but not unconsumed.

On the short side of life,

now in the

emerging shadow

of my sunset years.

The bell’s final toll remains

unseen, unknown, and left to hide.

The cold aspect of

the Reaper’s featureless face

gives me a sage nod.

Captured now by my choices,

I live the life I do,

a life forged of heart and mind,

iron will and querulous wavering.

It is not the life envisioned or imagined,

and time turns its back on my recriminations,

moving ever-forward,

taking the vision with it.

And so…

the life I have.

“Nice guys finish last.”

The words sound bitter in the darkness.

And yet, for all the times of hardship and failure,

and getting back up to fight once more

because

it was the only thing left to do,

those words don’t ring quite true.

Blending

It seems an unremarkable thing,

this blending of lines,

of sky, mountain, and earth.

Today, we probe their mysteries,

dissect their compounds,

speculate on origins,

and calculate lifespans.

What lies beneath,

what lay behind,

is given over to

imagination, superstition,

and fear.

Old warrior gods, healing goddesses,

mythic creatures drawn

to vices and virgins.

Givers and takers,

enhancers, diminishers,

fire, blood, steel, and stone.

The cryptic, capricious constellations

telling different tales for different tribes, and

the arcane angles of the sun.

All for a price, all of a piece,

said to be fanciful and fake.

Yet their stories have not died.

The legacy of legends

are still in the recesses of the human mind,

given rebirth through human lips.

Slowly, they are returning

in the candles and crystals,

in the gems and crafts,

in the runes and ink,

and adding of souls.

And as behind the unremarkable blending

of sea and sky and mountain,

the angels and demons make war,

hear the magic call to you

in all its lost, forgotten glory,

and rekindle your wonder.

Lovers Quarrels

I see the wall you start to build,

so I build mine.

I see anger and pain in your eyes,

and so I fill my own,

but yours leaks down your face,

and mine does not,

for I am the better warrior.

And whereas your pain is fresh and new,

whenever inflicted,

my wounds have long scarred over,

and the pain within is dulled beyond sensing.

You quickly clutch your handful of quarrels,

and I slowly gather mine,

and we dip them in the poisons

of our tongues, and memories,

place them in our quivers of rage,

and loose.

They are barbed and painful

these quarrels,

meant to shatter and break,

meant to defeat the love that yet might

burn in the heart,

and smother it.

We try our best to find new flesh to pierce,

but we have only hit the old marks again,

rebuilt the chasm, and destroyed the bridge.

The peace of our home is in pieces.

The security of our love is set aflame.

The silence of our emotions is a dry wind.

And the quarrels are exhausted.

We retreat within the walls,

and pull them out, one by one, ruminating over each,

wondering why we still share the same space,

and little else.

It is a war we’ll never win,

a victory denied,

a constant obstacle of overcoming,

frenetically undermined.

So, my former darling,

we raise our white flags

into the light of a setting sun,

as you go your way,

and I go mine.

Sidewalk Sanity

The pulse of the pavement,

the beat of the street,

the big city’s rhythm,

the rhythm of feet.

The flow of the traffic,

the heat of the air,

charged with high energy,

love, hope, and care.

The current of bodies

at high tide and ebb,

caught up in the music’s

incredible web.

The calm of the evening,

the settling down,

the balm of the neon lights

painting the town.

And candlelit dinners,

and laughter in bars,

and you and me,

intimate under the stars.

Tomorrow is Saturday.

Give it my best.

We’ll break from the rhythm

and stay in, and rest.

The warmth of your body’s

my blanket to keep.

You’re loved and protected,

and so am I.

Sleep.

The Sound of Your Soul

Your words now:

harsh, dry, sere…

searing.

These words, O poet,

do not want to reach out and touch you,

they do not want to connect with anyone.

They want to

slam and slay the broken spirit,

and rip the weary soul apart.

These words, ultimately triumphant

over your largesse and ennui,

burn and swat

at you like roasting,

wind-driven

desert sand

until you crack and shatter,

and they are free to heal your mind

and bind your brokeness,

to start anew.

My Black is not a Burden

My Black is not a burden

And I am not a beast.

I’m sealed inside the cosmos

and seated at the feast.

My Black is for rejoicing

in all my history.

My Black is for enhancing

the hint of mystery

that lies around creation,

the story of mankind.

The Black man’s contributions

improvement to the mind.

My Black is not a burden,

and I am not a ‘thing.’

My ancestors are smiling.

Can you not hear them sing?

I am a force of nature,

grown rooted in the soil,

and rolled by grassland breezes,

and mountain thunder’s roil.

You brought us here for labor,

then told us we were free.

But seems free Black’s a burden,

a load you didn’t see.

My Black is not a burden,

though some would make it so.

And facing all the evil,

we fight and thrive and grow.

My Black is not a burden.

I’ll hold my Queen and smile,

and we will raise Black children,

and we’ll be here awhile.

My Black is not a burden,

no matter what you say.

We’ll keep on moving forward,

and go about our way.

My Black is not a burden.

You’ve told yourself a lie.

We’ll keep on moving upward,

and integrate the sky.

My. Black. Is. Not. A. Burden.

%d bloggers like this: