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

A holy moment.

Taking a moment

to examine your palm

is a holy moment.

And those lines, well

they’re the most honest

you’ll ever read.

From the Kindness Rock Project. Topanga, California

Miraculous People

What I saw that day, my mind insisted were people,

running back and forth—silhouettes—they were equal.

What I saw that day, I just couldn’t conceal

their shape was mine, it almost didn’t seem real.

See original thought comes before the prequel,

because the love we’re born with exists before evil.

What I saw that day, sure I know they were people,

while my beginner’s mind worked, I couldn’t help but feel

—their heart’s skip beats—my heart was healed,

by what I saw that day on a beach filled to equal:

coexistence at birth, we’re miraculous people.

Dream

When your dream

doesn’t come true,

dare to dream another,

and another, till

sleep no longer soothes

the life you’ve woke into.

Dreamscape

Where valleys lay and peaks do rise

Beams of light which dance on my wall

Aligned with the sun I know they’ll fall

Deep within my own hearts embrace

Like shadows cast I’ll leave not a trace

Where beauty fills the untrained mind

My love, my dear, sweet dew resigns

Each blade of grass from which we crawl

Is timeless, still, the moon does fall

Where valleys lay and peaks do rise

Is where my sight and yours align

And to the depths, the deepest sea

Like an anchor rests, my heart to thee

I play my part as she sings me to sleep

Taylor calls for me from those stairs in Italy

I’m walking by a pay phone on the beach

Reminders from the East and a girl named Cicily

Talk me into circles out of reach

Send letters won’t you son to remind us what you’ve done

Don’t be a stranger call us once a week?

I buried what was left of my heartache in a trench

On that lonesome stretch of sand I was released

Now Bret he reads the lines in the background of my mind

There’s no one in this room to hear me sing

When journaling in thought feels like a raven’s claw

It’s Taylor who sits calmly next to me

The grass rests underneath her cheekbone by the sea

While chemicals channel flowing dreams

It’s 8am in August while I pour the gin and tonic

Listening to the ocean’s cresting wave

The cobblestone in Rome for which once walked me home

Now Cicily I hear her gently speak

There’s no such thing as time, if you believe that then that’s fine

But darling I’ve got no tears left to weep

I did my best to please the priest listening to me

Still Lucas rest assured me of my grief

I didn’t have to sail to France to find a girl to dance

I just went out every night for one last drink

So now as Taylor calls to me from those stairs in Italy

I pick her up once more from memory

I play my part as she sings me to sleep

I pick her up once more from memory

I play my part as she sings me to sleep

In the Delaware of my mind.

I stand here blind

With tears in my eyes

Surrounded by the life

I’ve always dreamed

Thinking of you there

Alone and in fear

Knowing no one’s called in weeks

Except myself and another

Who I hope like I

Told you you’re loved

And have done no wrong

Like I’ve too

So often thought

Living year to year like a vagabond

Drifting through the mud of life

It’s hard but man it’ll be alright

Look West I’m here in the dead of night

Standing by this olive tree

In California I no longer dream

Living mine the best I can

Drinking with you

Hand in hand, walking I can see

The two of us, then cracking crabs

Pig Beaches on parade

Just two lost souls, now growing old

What’s left is yours to keep

For nothing lost is truly gone

Now Lady Garth I see her too

In the Delaware of my mind.

Everyday is Halloween

All this life it seems I’ve been running away

Thought I could turn it off

Pour me a cheap escape

Fine tune this sort of self therapy

It never goes away for long

An undying mother’s love

Nursed me warm when I was not

At 13 I learned a lot

To have and to have not

Yet still I’m dreaming of

His wake —

I tried to look into the psychic’s eye

Try to figure out what’s going on inside

He sold me fame and fortune, it’ll be alright

Still I wound up bound and down

Screaming never made a sound

I feel freedom in the clouds

A kiss really meant help me out

Some fell in love and some fell down

But I’m not looking for that now

Another needle in the crowd

Another burden, a life

released —

I had a girl you see, she was better than not

She gave me all she could in a parking lot

I forced myself to try but it was never enough

Yellow light flickered around

We were kids no one talked about

An endless stream of aimless doubt

Like a weight dragging me down

When all I wanted was an out

She burned quickly then burnt out

But she was pretty

I was lucky, she was free —

Daylight savings time in another month

I’ve been killing time since I was young

Never quite so sure who I was or what

he meant by get away from me

Or rather feeling the relief

His coarse beard upon my cheek

In the mirror what I see

Sometimes it isn’t me

I try my hardest to believe

A half hearted destiny

There’s a reason or a message

To be —

I turn myself around, spin it upside down

Try to feel awake the best I know how

Still that echo rings in one ear then out

This haunting jealousy

For everyone who isn’t me

For everyone I long to see

I keep them safe within a dream

Scrubbing never kept them clean

My hands is what I mean

Everyday is Halloween

Except I can’t wear my mask

and see —

So I’mma take a walk, drown myself in thought

kick rocks until I figure out the plot

I’ve held this silver plate as long as I can take

It never helped me in the end

I’d have to die to make amends

Till then I’ll cheers to friends

A forced smile helps you fit in

Sometimes it’s better to pretend

We don’t break until we bend

His choice is my defense

For choosing, to live

The end.

Rapid Eye Movement

You are an embarrassment

he said while picking my pockets

vacant I stared idle

in an undisclosed location

Danielle sat next to me

tenderly stroking the inside flesh

of my arm although

we’d only spoken a handful of times

back in grade school, he said again

Nobody likes you, you know

So I just agreed with him because

her fingers felt like grasshopper wings

fluttering through my mind, he

looked a deep sorrow longer

and that’s where he began to cry

I am sorry my friend, I said while he

cradled me like a new born lamb

only I was much bigger than him

so by the end of it it was I who was

more so doing the cradling, then

as he disappeared effortlessly

Danielle and I sat a long while

next to one another, her hair

long dark and full of whispers

while the room filled with necessary strangers

Holding hands for a while she said,

you aren’t that bad you know

he just really loves you is the point

and then too disappeared into a sea of snakes

which I could not swim

while the couch turned to an island

I sat sipping from my cup

the bitter dark liquid I had earlier poured.

Angels

Don’t you dare close your eyes

like there’s nothing to see

or tell me there’s no reason to be

foolish and fragile and fearful of love

for love is the Ark which braved the flood

Hell I don’t know uh single Saint

but I see Angels every day

they’re all around us can’t you see

in him in her in you and me.