Reaching For The Sky

It’s something unforgiving,

reaching for the sky.

You know you’ll never reach it

but still each day you’ll try.

You bargain with the devil

in mornings softest light,

then hear the serpent hissing, from

the inside of your night.

It feels like not knowing

whether father will be mad,

it feels like how nothing

could stop your mothers tears.

And how when you were young

the only control you had

was the controller in your hand

as if games could numb the fear.

How no matter which star you chose

nothing ever changed,

star light, star bright meant everything

just wishing to be saved.

It’s something that we choose, you see

reaching for the sky

to a place that seems forgiving

on nights we’d rather die.

It’s a place where mothers weeping

could cure the land of pain,

it’s a place that’s unforgiving

which no one can explain.

I see, the dear departed

whose choice goes unannounced,

to try to understand it’s like

magnifying doubt.

It’s something worth forgiving, though

please don’t ask me why,

the ground’s not good enough for us

still reaching for the sky.

Perhaps an understanding then

for those which tempest-tossed—

and lay them down, each childhood friend

whose memory isn’t lost.

Love That Book

You recommend a book to me.

I read it till my eyes grow tired.

It’s not a long book by any means,

but a book this good doesn’t have to be—

To make my eyes feel warm like fire.

Let Me Help You Stand

When there’s no one left to listen,

just the silence of your heart

It’s there you’ll learn the lesson,

for later to impart

Within all life’s little blessings,

a simple walk around the park

I offer you this dear confession,

I’ve always loved you from afar—

I know I haven’t made this easy

I’ve been a bitter, jilted man

But I admit the damage to me

has solely been from my own hands.

I know I haven’t made this easy

Somehow you always understand

And every time that I have fallen

you’re always there to help me stand—

When there’s no one left to listen,

darling let me be your man

I don’t want to be your burden,

this time let me help you stand—

This time let me help you stand.

This Shallow Darkness

It’s 8am when I mix NyQuil and coffee, knowing

getting out of bed can be just the same as staying in.

It’s sort of like how kind words sound profane

when they’ve just bout lost there meaning.

Washing my face, have I reused this puppy dog look

one too many times that all that’s left is ugly?

I’ve made mistakes before, though this, it feels different, or

is it exactly the same one I make every time I lock the door?

It’s like hearing the front gate slam shut

then looking out the window, only to see yourself walking away.

The brain sends signals to the mouth—consider screaming—

but what’s a voice without an ear of reason?

What’s the point of footnotes, when you’re drawing them in chalk?

And even though it doesn’t rain that often, on good days it does.

So brushing yellow teeth, I spit blood into the sink

then cough a couple times before padding down the hall.

Now slouching towards the sunlight, it’s effortless this pain.

These calluses remind me that I’m doing the right thing.

Milling about I feel nothing, so it’s now I know to leave.

That rainbow in the sky, oh how it bends before it bleeds.

By the time I catch myself at the corner

and reattach this shallow darkness to my feet,

it’s a cool, crisp sort of day, where the smog smells sweet.

It’s a cool, crisp sort of silence, watching traffic in the street.

It’s a cool, crisp morning.

And I’ve no reason to complain.

Keep trying but, I don’t scare that easy.

The lights are on,

but the drive’s not there.

I wonder if this happens to everyone?

I’m sure it does, except

I’m not everyone.

And you, you’re part of them but lately

only half as strong.

Does that sound correct?

Or am I just scratching an itch

not meant to be scratched?

Am I bucketing a well

when all that’s left is rain?

I hear you when you say you’re tired.

I’m tired too.

And when you say you’re trying, love

I’m trying too.

I feel you when you’re breaking,

partly because I’m breaking too.

I feel it when your heart is aching,

since mine’s been split in two.

What’s left than but a couple lines?

Enough to prove our sorrow?

For all the many times I’ve died

I’ve always seen tomorrow.

It’s hardest when you say

the words that help you sleep,

so sleep as many days

as it took for me to wake.

Besides, I feel much better since

I know this fight’s a gas,

it’s a wonky handle left we clutch

of a longing meant to last.

The Perks of You

As daylight wanes, and night begins

there’s rapture in the air.

With static thought, and moonlit eyes

I see it all too clear.

What’s written in the stars, is written in the sand.

What’s written on the heart, is written now by hand.

My love for you is twilight.

My love for you is snow.

My love for you is many things, my love for you is old.

I’ve kept it in the shadows, of poetry and light.

I’ve kept it in the darkness, to brighten up my night.

Just know my heart is dancing, like fire unto stone.

Just know my heart is breaking, each night I am alone.

As daylight comes, I feel you near—

the darkness goes away.

The perks of you are endless still, your love’s a weathervane.

Four Walls And Myself.

Head in palm I sit defeated.

It’s not out of necessity

but choice, I think how come?

In a world of opportunity, what’s left of me but this?

Tangled in my heartache, what’s left for me but this?

Fist to chin I sit and wait,

for thought to turn to word, to pen.

Has writing any of this down, ever made me any sense?

Has stewing in this endless grief, ever made me any cents?

It’s times like this I dare not move.

I dare not speak but listen,

to the winds which wrap my innocence

in a shroud of Turin—distant.

What’s left of me but gall?

The daylight helps me see,

somewhere within this shell of me

is darkness and that’s all.

I wish I had the answer, the one you claim to see.

I wish I had your courage, your courage to believe.

This wooden desk is cold.

My heart is growing old.

I’d rhyme a couple lines or two, if younger were my skin.

Settling I feel, my insides wearing thin.

What’s left of me but this?

What’s left for me is everything I fear to touch with reason.

What’s left of me’s so tangled in the ever changing seasons.

With arms crossed round my chest, I sit in awful doubt.

It’s here I know the meaning, of four walls and myself.

It’s here I risk repeating, a fate which is not mine.

It’s here I hope I’m worthy still, of love which I’ve denied.

Explanation Unexplained

Excuse me while I hide myself away a while.

I’ve had a long day, and I’m sure you have too.

It wasn’t a bad day, but a day like many others.

I even won 15 dollars on a scratcher.

I spent 12 on a pack of smokes, and I don’t even smoke anymore.

So please, if you’ll excuse me

I seem to be a bit confused.

I seem to need more time with the stars.

I know myself well enough to know

when I’d be bad company, and, well

I’m trying not to make the same mistakes I always do.

Excuse me for the dramatics, in fact, I’m really quite o.k.

Let’s just say old habits don’t leave until they’re done.

Let’s just say the moon is kind of jealous of the sun.

Let’s just say these ways of old aren’t helping anymore.

I was so lost and alone that, I grew comfortable there.

I grew selfish and liked to see myself disappear.

I’m trying though it’s hard,

then talking to a friend makes it easier.

It makes me somewhat likable again.

Because I know I’ll wake up

wishing I was there with you instead of here.

I’m just tired is all and

looking out my window now,

the sun’s begun to rise.

It’s beautiful isn’t it?

I want it to make me sick, but it doesn’t.

I want it to make me sad, and it does.

I want to stop thinking a thousand thoughts, but I can’t.

I best close my eyes now, before I fall asleep.

(we owe ourselves) The Real Thing

We don’t often get the real thing.

Or allow ourselves to be vulnerable while at peace.

Often we’re told to keep our chin up.

To stand up straight, and don’t ask questions.

Often we’re told lies.

Boy don’t speak out of turn.

Missy know your place.

It’s when we answer fearful calls.

It’s when we ask the harder questions.

It’s when we choose to be defiant,

to be honest with ourselves,

it’s when we find our truth sincere

that we start to become most vulnerable.

Then, and only then

will we allow ourselves that peace,

the piece that we’ve been missing,

that feels so familiar, so simple, so pure.

So much so that pure feels like a dirty word.

It’s this peace we can deny our whole lives over,

or accept that we’re a match

ready and willing to burn ourselves alive—

just to get the real thing.

That Day

I was walking a hopeful road that day.

It felt almost like a dream beside her

looking at the ocean, high above the city below.

Tall blades of grass swayed golden in the sun.

From that high up the ocean appeared silent,

and the black dots riding waves were people

gliding against the tranquil bed of water.

Like a stenographer I listened while she spoke

nodding in agreement, wanting her to like me.

We talked all about everything that day

and she sang Life Is A Highway while I blushed.

It’s hard to read you, she said. But I didn’t mind.

Because the world seemed new and exciting,

like nothing else mattered but our feet and the ground.

Everyone else was COVID crazy but

we had that, before the first kiss feeling

that no one can deny, that nothing could dismantle—

you know, that private little world between ignorance and bliss.

Nobody quite wore a baseball cap like her.

Or looked at me with such uncertain eyes,

like she knew then I couldn’t be trusted.

Or perhaps she thought I was it?

The future took a different course

when the surf died down and the people disappeared.

No wave can last forever, but

it’s remembering those tiny moments,

the inside jokes, and playful voices.

It’s remembering the good stuff,

while the bad we just let rest.

It’s remembering we’re human,

human enough to forgive,

and human enough to be civil.

It’s the poems written in bed

and the songs sung in our infancy—

The Essence Of Her Core (unpublished).

It’s knowing I’ll see her again, as friends

and I’ll be glad to hear her voice,

to see her smile, and know she’s well.

The road may not be ours together anymore

but that doesn’t mean the road’s less hopeful.

That doesn’t mean that I’ll stop walking.