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.

Dust on the Gold

Cursed be the one who plucked this rock

of captured sun and moon

from the river’s silt, and called it

gold,

good and worthy of pursuit.

Cursed be the demon jester

that blinded me and spun me round

until I believed it.

Given over to my desire,

abandoned by all who cared for me,

I dove deep, and dug deeper still,

until I gained all I desired,

then stole from other men.

In this hell-hallowed hovel,

now covered in ice and snow,

surrounded by dulled senses

and barren woods,

my status symbols decayed and decrepit,

daily mocking my misspent youth,

the wind howls outside and

echoes the cries of my soul’s solitude.

The hearth is lit, but the logs are thin.

And all around, the hissing of white snowfall

heralds the cold blackness of the grave.

Before I die,

I sit before the meager fire,

and take the dregs of my life,

and the ashes of future dreams,

and polish away

the dust on the gold.

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.

Drain

The words grow strained and rusty now.

They’re murky and unclear.

Is there no need for writing now?

I’ll read them, if you’d hear.

So much to read, so little time.

The shelves of shelves are full.

We need to know our better selves,

the tug becomes a pull.

The words are circling the drain,

no washing them away.

Our better selves do not exist.

Let’s finish out the day.

Pushing Off

And so I set myself adrift

on a capricious sea,

prone to unpatterned winds and

uncharted currents.

The danger of being caught between

two symbiotic, warring gods

is less dangerous and painful

than what I leave behind.

Whether my new home will be a bright new shore,

or the briny ocean’s silted bed, is for them to say.

As I push off, there is no one there on shore to share a kiss,

and mourn and say farewell, no one to witness the wake I leave save for the

dull grey gulls, and the cirrus clouds suffused with color by the rising sun.

And yet I travel on with hope in my heart,

to fill the lonely days by a loving hearth,

as the cold of Time draws close, and

all I am and was called to be,

is complete.

I Want to Call You Beautiful

I want to call you beautiful.

I see the question in your eyes, like slow moving water

under thick ice,

just beneath the surface.

I cautiously tap the word with my mind, and it tumbles down

onto my tongue, waiting for me to say.

No idea as to how you’d react, what you think,

or what you will say

when I give the word to you.

I swallow it, leaving it unsaid, and stash it

with the thousand other times I wish I didn’t.

And whatever tears you might cry,

and whatever else may flutter your heart

if I did,

are trapped again in the the ice that returns

to your gaze.

Are we mad at my silence, or relieved?

I do know the question in your eyes will resurface,

and I might even be ready, at last.

I want to call you beautiful before

the moment

and me and you

have past.

Unblended 2

‘You’re pretty for—‘

a novelty, a one-night stand, a fling.

‘You’re pretty for—‘

a light skinned girl.

A ‘lovely little thing.’

So I’ll put feelings in your heart

I think that you will like,

and when you give your heart to me

I’ll take the match

and strike.

A Rising Wish

Don’t wish upon a falling star.

It comes back to the ground.

Your wish will go unrealized,

and never will be found.

Rise high upon your tippy-toes

and stick it in the sky,

where like the stars, it ever shines its light into your eye.

Yes, wish upon a rising wish

just as a kite flies high,

within skilled hands, sharp minds,

strong hearts.

And wish it til you die.

The Imperfect Art of Life

My life, this life…

a scattering of

impressionist-ic drips and smears

that never make the canvas.

My life, this life…

A vandalized mosaic

of broken tiles,

discolored and on display

in a ruined museum

where only unadmiring vermin amble,

sightless in the dark.

My life, this life…

An ugly black and white photo,

where the only things in the light and shadow

are predators and prey.

My life, this life…

Misfired pottery that leaks,

or perhaps a clumpy lump of clay

molded by broken fingers,

a child’s misshapen sculpture

used as an ‘ashtray’ in a house where

no one smokes.

My life, this life…

A rainbow’s broken, dissipating arc,

a defiant banner of hope and beauty

across a barren sky and a dying land.

This life, my life….

An imperfect work of art,

bright with colors, rife with rust

laced with cynical hope,

veiled in gossamer trust,

and glued with love as fragile as unpainted seashells

waiting to grow stronger

despite the odd feeling of

emptiness inside.