A Prayer Before Sleep

Jack searched the neighborhood as if he’d lost something.

Looking up and down the street, crossing sidewalks, he meandered auspiciously as if he’d forgotten where he was going.

Jack found himself in a state of neither here nor there.

The chill of February hung round his shoulders like a thin shawl.

It was his morning walk but to what ends—to what means?

Tires squealed in the distance.

Birds began their daily routine.

Automatic lights turned themselves off.

And what emerged from the tree line? Sure enough, as it had so many times before, the sun.

Jack knew that it would be long before the sun warmed his chapped fingers but at least it shed some light on his path.

Nothing was right or wrong, indeed, it was too early for such nonsense.

But still Jack did all he could to remember what he was looking for and why he’d been so eager to rise this morning before his alarm clock could shout obscenities to his ear.

It was the reflection of the sun off an old car window which caused him to touch his brow, where when removed, his hand revealed a thin layer of blood.

He couldn’t remember how or when he’d received such a gash, which the window now showed, laughingly.

Realizing where he was, he’d found what he’d been looking for, though it was as fragmented, cracked, and littered as the sidewalk that led him home.

Before entering the thought of knocking crossed his mind, but why? He lived here. This was his home.

The house was silent except for Jack.

He laid in bed as if it were the evening and since he wasn’t a praying man, he sang softly to himself.

It was more or less what praying had done for any other man before him, and would do for anyone else who’d find him thereafter.

It was then he turned off his alarm clock and shut his eyes.

THE END.

The time between collision and capsizing

There is something very scary

about imagining a life without flaw,

as if insecurities were a sin

you could merely pray away?

There’s something cynical in that,

something dangerous.

Something I haven’t the heart to feel,

it’s something impervious.

Because with great peril comes

an even greater awakening, an awakening

which floods the veins with frozen certainty

as the waters eating the Titanic.

It’s the time between collision

and capsizing, which we find ourselves

relieved of our blind faith, knowing

with grave admiration, the life

we’re living, is all we have.

July Reflection, 2020

Regardless of the election.

There’s a sewer pipe

in the dark, by the L.A. river

like a grave in the ground

where people sleep

by the highway, by the neighborhood

where pumpkins soon

will be replaced by

feasts of Turkey, stuffing, corn

and carefully locked doors,

then to be replaced by balsams and fern

white lights and tender eyes

of Christmas morning,

regardless of the hole by the L.A. river

where people sleep

live, and love—and pray, regardless

of the election, regardless

of the president

I still weep.

Do you?

LA River. Nov 7, 2020

A message from that time I cut myself off from the world. (circa 2009)

What I lost in my depression

What developed over time

Who grew within my absence

Who called but couldn’t find

The person who they once knew

Who only wished to die

Where deep within my fortress

Of solitude did I

Salute them in their merit

Who tried from time to time

To free me from my burden

Which words could not describe

Though even in my heartache

I never told a lie

But took pride in them knowing

Their strength I too could find

That’s why I keep them with me

Past lovers, friends, and my

Gratitude for suffering

This awfully fragile mind

Grown with understanding

Like fruit picked from a vine

I’m grounded by their blessings

And grateful for this life