Poetry

What is poetry, but

a language of the dead.

It’s an informal dance,

a shared cigarette.

Poetry is

but a one night stand.

It’s a wine ring left,

sheets, stained

between strangers.

Ryan and Jessica, 2011

Breathe

To breathe is a gift we often overlook

though each day we are granted this ability.

Today, breathe deeply, fully

and accept that you are worthy,

to breathe.

Breathe

A Breathing Room – something we can all benefit from

How many times a day do you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, angry or confused?

After counting all of mine, would you mind if I borrow your fingers and toes?

In Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests a breathing room. He writes, “we have a room for everything—eating, sleeping, watching TV—but we have no room for mindfulness. I recommend that we set up a small room in our homes and call it a “breathing room,” where we can be alone and practice just breathing and smiling, at least in difficult moments.”

If by chance you’re thinking, why didn’t I think of that, then join the club.

He goes on to describe this common space, the “breathing room,” as sort of a fortress of solitude where with respect to the inhabitant, no one else may enter or disturb their chosen silence.

It’s basically for that moment when a conversation turns into a discussion, which turns to a debate—with seemingly no agreeable outcome—which in turn forms into an argument, with no resolve.

So it’s reserved only for that peak moment of, “I need some space,” or “give me a moment to think.”

With so much information cycling in and out of your subconscious, be it social apps, advertisements, marketing, news, or work, where it can feel like our minds get lost in the shuffle, or rather programmed with ideas that aren’t solely our own, this often causes our discussions or thoughts to turn to anger and confusion, which in turn manifests itself in words of anger and confusion.

So instead of falling into a pit of verbal debate which at the start was never our intention to begin with, there in lies the breathing room.

It seems a bit strange at first but if you factor in the amount of screens we allow to jumble our thoughts on a daily basis, it really makes a lot more sense as to why it’s more than necessary in today’s day and age to have a space for mindfulness and calm reflection.

It’s a practice I continue to engage, like a well oiled machine, with proper maintenance and care, we can all find peace and understanding, and better ways to dealing with hard situations.

And I think that by allowing ourselves this space and time, we can find a better means of listening, speaking, and treating one another with the proper respect of another that we also deserve.

Breathe in. Breathe out. And by getting to the center of ourselves, we can then find better understanding of another.

Peace In Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh

The world spins for you

When the world

seems, to be

spinning without you—

just listen

breathe and remember

the world spins for you,

as it does that perfect stranger

who too is listening.

Arms spread, eyes open, looking out upon Los Angeles shoreline.

Be the air of peace we’re all capable of breathing.

I recently came across a post stating, “this is a bad year.”

Though I don’t disagree that bad things have happened this year, I can’t fully commit to such a bold statement as the entire year being bad.

Or perhaps, I’m just looking at it from a more critical standpoint?

A protest for example, is a collaborative effort between cultures standing together for justice.

The police force has made efforts, though not always headline news, to reinforce their code of conduct: to protect and serve.

Most citizens are respecting the rights of others, choosing to wear masks, in the fight against COVID-19.

The government is making attempts to sustain our American way of life through relief programs and continued unemployment benefits—even though at times it may feel like not enough—granting enough security to survive.

I’ve seen a number of portable facilities spring up in mainly homeless areas of Los Angeles, which does not solve the issue, but certainly shows hope.

What I am getting at is even in our darkest times, there are signs of hope.

Hope which we can and should not disregard as a complete and utter bad year.

If anything, I’d say, there is an awakening taking place.

What I see from an observers eye is an awakening of people who, regardless of the hardships, struggle, and inability to make concrete sense of all the senseless acts that have been occurring, realize a need for change and progression forward as a human race.

We are all struggling, regardless of another’s grass, I repeat,

we are all struggling.

But with struggle comes realizations. And with realization comes understanding. And with understanding comes progress.

Through common ground and communication I know there is hope, for you, and I, and the suffering on all sides.

It struck me odd today when a friend told me they envy my ability to travel where in turn I assured them, not everything is as it may seem, and that I too am struggling, only I choose a different point in which to view my current state of awareness.

You don’t have to travel far to climb a mountain or swim in a lake, or wake to see the most beautiful sunrise, or even lend a hand to someone less fortunate, because these are natural and always there waiting for you to take action.

Rather than saying, “this year is a bad year,” I suggest taking a deeper look and the time to realize that progress is happening.

And though progress may seem difficult, remain hopeful, my friends.

Be honest with yourself and your loved ones.

Greet a stranger as he were your family, with arms stretched wide in abundance.

Be the light at the end of the tunnel, the light which shines even in our darkest of times.

Be the air of peace in which we’re all capable of breathing.

Be courageous. Be kind. And be hopeful.

Boat at

In the early evening calm

She breathes in deep

and exhales his dreams.

In the early evening calm

he falls back asleep.

And just as she wakes

in the mid-morning sun,

he brings to her coffee

just after his run.

a new days morn

Golden white light

of a new days morn

pours through glass

another day reborn

In the ashes of night

there lies but a thorn

plucked from the side

no flesh had been torn

White sheets toss n tangle

cold toes on the floor

unfathomable visions

eyes closed I see more

Her inflow of breath

his outflow explores

the depths of her hair

do please stay the course

There’s reason in knowing

what comes from the source

in the golden white light

of a new days morn.

the shores of freedom’s water

Let breath become the ocean

each inhalation I do see

the shores of freedom’s water

are washing over me,

and with each exhalation

the ocean starts to breathe

I open my eyes gently

to gaze upon the sea.

Artistic illusions

Make my bed

Spread the sheets

They are white

They are clean

There’s a nestle of bird

Who sing softly and sweet

There are bills

To be paid

Overdrafts

To be made

But I’m conscious today

Knowing that rot can wait

I have given enough love, I’ve wrestled with the thought

Spared quarters like rain to a cynical saint

I’ve got no time to spare

All this death in the air

Has me feeling quite good, transcendentally great

Forgive me but truth is

Artistic illusions

I’ve no cross to bear climbing trees and it’s clear

That I

start to see past

The sun and moon

The sky opens up

There’s nothing left to do

This closure’s my mantra to you.

Wash my face

Clean my teeth

Knock on wood

Once a week

There’s a pub inn Philly

Where I dug my own grave

Comb the depths

Of your hair

Try and act

Like you care

I’ve been watching your play

Mixing tonic with pain

You have given enough love, so much work to be done

Put your suitcases down, for a while and remain

Like a park bench in autumn

Or leaves that have fallen

I’ve got proof there’s a cure, you just gotta find yours

Forgive me but truth is

Artistic illusions

It’s a tale to be told, when you’re young and your bold

And now I’ve

Got to go back

To the way I was before

And now you’ve

Got to go back

To the way you were before

This closure’s my mantra to you.

3:08

3:08

and I’m happy.

Not the smiling sort of

tell-all happy but

the breathing in the moonlight

kind of easiness,

just being, barely conscious

and willing to be free.

And

it’s 3:12 now

and shit,

you know how it goes.