When it comes,
the night don’t know no difference:
right and wrong
and that thin line in between.
In the dark,
you just watch for the lightning.
All the rest?
Doesn’t matter what you mean.
in the shadows become complicated:
black and white
both appear as shades of gray.
beyond sight of the border,
where you find
it don’t matter anyway.
When it comes,
the night don’t know no difference:
You and me
and the darkness closing in.
In the end,
it becomes uncomplicated:
birth and death
and the sacred space within.
04 DEC 2015
It’s not so much the time I think I’ve wasted
or even those things I have left undone
(those grand majestic dreams you hold onto,
beyond their useful life, as could have beens),
the words said I would rather had been left unsaid
and their resulting acts, not wild nor brave,
but thoughtless, more or less, and without purpose
except to further demonstrate a fool.
It’s just another year, why all the bother?
They come and come relentless end to end
without even a moment’s space between them
to catch your breath or lean a day or two.
The moon still wanes and waxes as it pleases
as we each shuffle onward to old age;
each sunset in itself is not nostalgic –
it’s only our perspective makes it so.
Another year: yet more sad days to squander,
convinced of the fatality of life,
to trade in desperation at some pawn shop
for just a fraction of what they are worth,
or worse, to hoard away in some dark cupboard,
imagining you’ll use them later on,
but on that fateful day you really need them
discovering they’re turned to dust and gone?
It’s time again to come to resolutions:
an implication we have figured out
exactly who we are and where we’re going,
the old ways neatly finished, packed in closets
like winter blankets when the weather warms,
or old acquaintances we never bother
to send a note extending our regards,
expecting them to likewise leave us be.
31 DEC 2014
What good to grieve a faded hour?
The sun has long since filled the sky
and led to moments come and gone
as filled with life as that passed dawn.
Besides, to mourn what has now ceased,
too long, is to remain in black;
and while the new day’s wedding feast
is still a revel, see its shroud.
What good to dwell on might-have-beens?
One action to another leads,
and just as likely finds the course
that from another deed was dreamed.
Besides, the marrow of the past
makes for a poor and somber dish;
it is a ghost of this day’s meat,
and does not fill up or nourish.
What good to grieve a faded hour
when minutes live but to expire,
and, in their brief and fleeting flower
of seconds, spend no time in tears?
Besides, who would deny the dawn
and cling to shadows that must fade,
while life remains today unlived,
tomorrow’s sorrows yet unmade?
20 NOV 2007
Cast my future stars as void of course;
reduce to ash these ragged charts and maps,
and let the sails take from the restless wind
what strength they will. I will not feign I care
to know what line the sextant sight-glass proves,
nor where the ruling planets may align.
Let destiny release my wearied soul,
and through my worn and cambered heart, let flow
the cooler blood that marks a passion’s end;
give to the angels of our nature’s best
their just reward: from danger a respite,
and soft Elysian breeze to fan their wings.
Plot down no points, but wander free instead,
where the whole sea awaits; its fleeting touch
rests not upon a single shoreline’s crest,
but skips carefree between each distant beach.
Give unto me naught but my decommission;
I care for no more of your revolution.
25 AUG 2005
Set my stars as void of course, recast in iambic pentameter
Set my stars as void of course;
reduce to ash these charts and maps,
and let the sails take from the wind
what strength they will. I do not care
to know what line the sextant proves,
nor where the planets may align.
Let destiny release my soul,
and through my tired heart, let flow
the cooler blood of passion’s end;
give to the angels of our nature
just reward: respite from danger,
and soft breeze to fan their wings.
Plot no points, but instead, wander
where the whole sea waits; it lingers
not upon a single shoreline,
but would visit distant beaches.
Sign my writ of decommission;
find your own damn revolution.
25 AUG 2005
My pen and paper ‘gainst your sword and shield
We both draw blood on the same battlefield
It’s a war of ideas, and some of them proud
None of them dare speak their motives out loud
My own revolution turned out to be small
And sometimes, I wonder on the sense of it all
It’s a trial and burden, this conscience of mine
It keeps me from thinking everything is just fine
Some old friends surrendered themselves to the void
Got themselves mortgaged and gainful employed
It’s a non-ending struggle, to have and to hold
And the graveyards are filled with the wild and the bold
Some fought for their country, and some fought against
the barbed wire that keeps us on this side of the fence
It’s a constant reminder that what makes us sane
Is the same thing that drives us to lash out in pain
My own revolution is smaller, it seems
It keeps me from dying, and keeps me in dreams
It’s a lifelong ambition, to strike with a chord
To the heart of the matter with ink, not a sword.
07 SEP 2003
at one a.m., when sleep won’t come
and my thoughts ramble, loose
in my head like marbles in a tin can,
the night air still oppressive and thick
under the carport where my cigarettes
call out their siren’s song,
silence and the cicadas drowned out
by the abrasive whirr of central air units
next door, down the street, one block over,
my body falling down with tired
that my too-wired mind
refuses to acknowledge:
these are the manic times, the hours
that stretch out until dawn and burn
what wax is fresh and virgin clean
from the candlestick that moves
this weary flesh from stock still meat
to animus. in a minute, these few lines
will finish — then a smoke on the front lawn,
a cup of chilled green tea,
a half-assed yoga pose to tease
my weary bone-tired joints,
then off to lay in bed awake
and count the minutes
until they blur together in a hazy
alpha state where no new dreams come —
they are afraid to disturb,
to start anew the wheels of cognition
that so obviously need
the lubrication of a soothing slumber.
29 AUG 2003