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

The volume of the moon

I was never ready

but always willing,

unable to refuse

the volume of the moon.

Morning. Key West. 2020

A walk in the park

What looked like yesterday

out a kitchen window I saw

tomorrow and everyday

moving forward

as carefree as

a walk in the park.

Key West Florida, 2020

How often have you judged yourself by your looks rather than how you feel? For this average white guy, countless.

If I could go back, all those years, and stand next to twelve year old me, would I have the courage and strength to tell that nervous boy watching all the other children, swimming, laughing, and running—playing shirts v.s. skins—to quit worrying and join in, that it doesn’t matter how chubby you feel, or how different you look, that as long as you love and accept yourself, no words from another can harm you, or would I just sit back and watch, still the observer unable to join the party?

It’s funny how something so simple as taking your shirt off to swim can be so detrimental to a young child’s self esteem and yet as adults we often forget what that was like or rather what external forces beyond our control led us to believe ourselves unworthy of such a simple, yet harrowing task.

As in childhood, so as in adulthood, what we allow to harm us will.

Commercials show us long, slender, sleek models who seem to effortlessly fit in to their surroundings while being rewarded with warm smiles and admiration for seeming perfect.

Television shows and movies give us well manicured, quintessential versions of ourselves that often seem more like science fiction than what actually is.

Billboard ads and magazines are placed conveniently to fill all our psyche with blemish-less detail to promote this false sense of unattainable beauty that even when met, there’s ultimately an even whiter teeth formula, or wax to whisk away our imperfection.

It’s a cycle that even before the mind has time to develop, stunts it’s growth and like a cavity begins to decay all sense of self worth.

How often have you judged yourself by your looks rather than how you feel?

For this average white guy, countless.

But it’s taken all those countless times to figure out that it doesn’t matter in the slightest, especially as a child who’s developing.

So would I tell that twelve year old me to take his shirt off and go swimming with the rest of the lot?

I don’t think there is a clear answer other than that instead of telling him what he should or shouldn’t do like all the rest of the world, I’d allow him the opportunity to listen to my story and decide for himself.

But I would say this. Chances are that boy or girl over there thinks there nose is too big or there ears are too small. Chances are that kid who cringes to put on his glasses everyday feels just like you do now, wondering what others will think of what makes him human.

Perhaps I’d reassure him that everybody has stretch marks, even the biggest, strongest athletes. Even his mother, and what could be more beautiful than sacrificing your physical form to grant another life?

But we all figure it out in our own time.

I know he did.

Clearwater Beach Florida

The turtle and the dove

“You’re pretty,” said the turtle

to the dove. “Thanks,” said the dove

to the turtle, “but I’m nothing

compared to the peacock.”

“Well, I’ve known many a peacock and

I think you’re much more beautiful.”

“Still I’d rather be a peacock,” said the dove

to the turtle. And I’d rather be a dove,

thought the turtle

as he watched the dove take wing.

My deepest hearts confession

In your spirit lies perfection

Mind, body, and soul

My deepest hearts confession

What a blessing it is to hold

You close when no one’s guessing

My heart strings don’t you know

Sound only for your blessing

This flame is yours to grow

your conscience

I was this

I was that

I was—rat-a-tat-tat—

Who’s there?

Who’s knocking, oh

Welcome back Jack!

You are here

Door’s open

Let’s have a chit-chat

I am great

I am grand

I am—rat-a-tat-tat—

A friend?

Who’s there?

Who’s knocking at my nerves?

It’s me, your conscience

I am here to serve

You not what you have been

Or whatever you were

I am here as your guide

I am honest

I am pure

My twin flame in the dark

Now that I have found you

My fear of letting go

Like willows that surround you

My love blows to and fro

No longer does your sorrow

Need explanations, no

I long not to disarm you

I only wish to show

What lingers in those bright eyes

Your memories I’ll share

With cherry kissed tomorrows

My true love I am here

To brighten up your morning

You brighten up my heart

The broken wick you lit now knows

My twin flame in the dark

My thought among the leaves

The breeze it blows my thought

Away unto the tree

Like branches stretching out

I rustle with the leaves

It’s there among the many

Shadows I can see

The physics of my body

Expand and cease to be