To Water You Shall Return

The moment you decide to dip your toe in, everything becomes clear. The fog lifts, the haze dissipates, and suddenly the weight of your thoughts and pains is lifted and carried on the backs of millions of tiny atoms bonded together by fate, because the universe willed it so when meteors collided and out of it sprung dirt, wind, flame and sweet arms of warm velvet, holding on just tight enough to keep your head afloat, your lungs satisfied, and your heart free from the gut wrenching pangs that earth brings with its dusty, barren expectations of groundedness, clarity, the need for sense making that’s been ground into our skulls between the mortar of society and the pestilence of giving a fuck but why bury ourselves under the rubble of stone when our bodies are made mostly with the capacity to float; float far away on salty waves, ebbing and flowing between coasts, destined to one but drawn to the shininess of the other, an oxymoron of the freedom trapped on an island between two bodies, east and west, hot and cold, familiar and new, a balancing act of healing and being frozen in time with only the very tip of the reality of it visible while the bulk remains concealed below, reverberating the songs of all of the other creatures of two worlds, born of fire and water, fighting the never-ending battle of sustenance or love, creation or fulfillment, swirling in paths and patterns that the universe etched long before anyone had a say in the matter but we must go with the flow, as they say, because there is nothing better than the sway of the tide gently tugging your ankles, willing your toes to unclench the sand and trust that temptation will satisfy you just enough to not fully take you and everything you have worked so hard to build, your sandcastles overlooking a picture perfect life, endangered by the strife of never being able to feel the splash of mist or the caress of wet hair plastered over your face, and the sweet muffled lullaby rumbling in your inner ear, whispering,
“You are water and to water you shall return.” 

The Walking Dead

Another day chasing another dollar.
Fist clenched on a wad of dirty bills
as it labors to break through a rocky, rooty surface
after a 30-something year slumber
piled under tons of earth and rubble.
A deadly escape of sorts, a mecca
compared to the mindless robotics of the living,
sipping on bean water
to keep our eyes plastered open
on this joyride we call life.
But what is life?
What is it to live?
A blink away from its antithesis,
a release, a relief,
like gas escaping this vacuous sack we call our own,
as if we ever really owned it in the first place,
as if we ever really owned anything
besides the tumbling thoughts in our heads,
like dull stones being beckoned to shine,
polishing the turds that live between our ears,
like a diamond, once a dusty piece of coal that had a stressful day,
only to come out on the other end the picture of wealth,
sustenance, success,
gilded and sparkling like a top hat atop a rotting tooth,
though the bones turn to dust, the precious stone remains.
And to think they told us
that our true treasure was waiting in some fairy-tale land
promised by the king of zombies,
robed in majesty of sweaty, bloody rags,
hung on the splintering fruits of his own labor,
betrayed by trade and industry,
a tale as old as rusty nails
and as fresh as a rose gold, miniature, handheld computer,
a dark master,
training us to roam this dying planet like death itself,
hunchbacked, stiffened, writhing, rheumatic beings
seeking to feed on the decay of our own kind,
tearing at the flesh and the mind
as we swipe, swipe, swipe,
until we render each other lifeless,
walking dead,
praying for purgatory or even better,
anxiously awaiting our turn
to curl up inside this barren earth
and make our peace with mediocrity.


 

The Walking Dead
Eve Poetry Prompt
October 8, 2019

This is Your Song

“And you can tell everybody this is your song,”
Sang the moon as her eyes gently closed
And a black veil slipped over her face,
Embroidered with a certain sadness
That proceeds the naivety of breakthrough,
When veil serves as mask,
The superhero’s accessory to defeat,
Disguising the victories that lie
On the other side of the darkness.
But you need special glasses to see
When your brain is throbbing,
Clouded with so many dreams,
Seeping into the whites of your eyes
Like a poisonous ink from a spineless creature
Evolved to make his best successes blind,
Leaning only on the faith of dozens of appendages
Sucking information in,
Transforming, adapting to the depths,
Taking oxygen from decayed and forsaken particles,
Priceless treasures abandoned as trash
By a creature not as optimistic,
Not as realistic to solve the simple equation
That light must succede darkness,
Reign as monarch
With centuries upon centuries of heirs
Nourished in the pitch of a womb,
Reaching thousands of limbs
Into the muddy depths of the earth,
Cycling and cycling through phases,
Until the wheels are burning at both ends
Smoke and smog coated handrails and footprints,
Making a trail so you can find your way back home
Without the glow of the orbs that brought
You there in the first place,
Lead only by shadows of what used to be,
Faintly pointing, navigating
With blurred edges and the faintest whisper
In your heart that the work is already done.
The stones have been laid.
The fabric stitched together
And tied over your eyes,
Until you’re ready to believe that
The blindfold is just a mask,
The mask just a filter
Training your eyes
To let your blindness be your guide.
Bathe in the shadows of
The last and first day of the rest of your life.
This is your song.


 

Written August 30, 2019, New Moon.

On the Other Side of Eclipse

The end of a chapter.
The end of an era
Full of light and dark,
Fully light, fully dark,
Hidden in the shadows of crags and rocks
NASA is proud to claim
As a giant step for mankind.
Shadowless projections on the world stage
Outshone by her big brother
Skewing facts, facing them.
Facing away with half a face,
Your nose pointing in one direction,
Your mind in another,
Floating in the stars,
Bloated from the scars
From hanging upside down,
Head filling with vitality, plump and round
Ready to burst, red and tight
Washed black, white,
Gray dust inside this barren sky desert,
Crumbling under a boot,
Ridged with American innovation,
Filled with extra terrestrial matter,
Mingling like two crusty neighbors,
Stuck together, flaky, flecking off,
Leaving bits and pieces
With every step of the journey,
These 13 years spinning out of control.
Anticipating darkness, receiving light,
A disappointing juxtaposition
With a handsome payoff
Enough to cover your debt of shame,
Insufficient vulnerability,
And offer a loan that’s just enough
To chug you along
Over the highest peaks,
Through the treacherous craters
That throw your logic out of orbit
If you pause long enough to consider
That a crater-making beast
Is also made up of craters,
If you have a long enough zoom lens
To de-pixelate the details,
Subvert the colors,
Invert the contrast,
Save the mids,
Boost the highs,
Embrace the lows tightly.
Squeeze life out of the throbbing womb,
Who yearns to create
But argues with the heart,
Who is fighting the same battle.
And how can you be expected
To find the answer
If it’s only visible to the Southern Hemisphere?
But if you spin the globe fast enough,
Vertically and horizontally, at the same time,
The details may blur,
But the truth remains at the core,
Ready to boil over,
Red, hot, magma that expands and contracts.
Expands and hardens.
Hardens and withers.
Withers and weathers
Into glittering moon dust
That’s been floating around our atmosphere
This whole time,
Coating our lungs with breaths of patience,
Whispers of dreams eclipsing doubt,
Giving birth after a 13 year gestation to:
“I am.”
“I can.”


 

Written July 17, 2019, partial lunar eclipse.

Strawberry Moon

A Strawberry Moon,
reddish, pinkish,
hued with secrets,
the whispers of native soles
pounding on berry covered Earth,
green, seeded, fruit painting the soil
and hungry teeth craving a sweet bite after snow, rain, and freeze,
the first sight of green needles
prickling the skin between the toes,
alerting friends and foes
that the time is upon us
when mothers gather
with their mothers and daughters,
leave the men to the slaughter,
venture deep into the woods,
over the river,
over the ridge
patched with colors sewn from Grandmother Nature’s needle and thread,
stitching together the time of lore
when the wolf howled at the pink orb
and dozens of red droplets poured down
and glittered the Earth with the tastiest treat
on this side of the solstice
longing to stain little fingers and dresses,
faces, golden-bronze tresses
tangled in burrs from rolling down the hill
harvested by the tumble of laughter,
filled with crimson morsels
illuminated by the spotlight of the rays
of the recently sleeping brother of the lady of the night,
a guiding light pointing out the dangers and joys
of a dewy summer’s eve,
companion to Father Adam and this his day,
when we celebrate and mourn what he has given us,
a prickly, thorny, leaf of three,
flowering in deceiving yellow,
beckoning to give us life
while poisoning us with a toxicity pulsing through veins,
wrapping and reaching,
rash inducing,
swollen,
spotted,
with a reddish, pinkish hue
just like you Mother Moon,
yet nothing like You.

Stay Humble

Leaves of grass,
beads of sweat
I’d prefer it in a mug
than plastered to my chest.
I’d prefer it steeped at 173
than itching, irritating,
clinging to me.
I’d prefer it my salad,
an avocados mate,
than scraping it’s debris
from a stranger’s plate.
I’d prefer it arranged
in a crystal vase,
than shredding projectiles at my face.
I’d prefer it soft between my toes,
nature’s protection from jagged foes.
I’d prefer it dancing, wild, and free
cared for, groomed by destiny.
But Duty calls for Nature’s pause.
Humility has a higher cause.
And dripping in clippings am I today
so the sound of the motor can gently say:
“Stay humble.”

Vive La Notre Dame

We’ve prayed here.

Cried here.

Loved here.

Mourned here.

A cornerstone so ancient even the dust collected is a historical landmark of so many things unseen, stories untold, witnessed by specks of dust turned to ash extinguishing years, extinguished by tears, flooding, growing flames burning in the hearts of centuries of congregants so strong in their belief, their faith, unmovable, fixé on Un Dieu who lives in stained glass, a kaleidoscope of holy stories, breathing through pipes of an organ pumping the blood of Christ transubstantianted through dark, medieval, renaissance, industrial, plagued, revolutionary, modern, and contemporary times kept by the gong of bells preserved, pristine by a misshapen soul who found sanctuary as much as the most noble gentleman wiping their tears on the shroud where Jesus wiped his fears, tucked into a virgin’s breast, protected by generations of women veiled in white to say “I do,” or lacy black to say “Adieu,” lighting a blaze of unity for better or sending a up a prayer for worse into the vaults of stony, hallowed halls whose walls hold secrets of seductresses, gypsies, kings, priests, sinners all alike, all the same to the God of the Coeur de Paris, surrounded by holy waters not quite sacred enough to keep out destruction, the natural order of a man-made, nature inspired force that can’t even be put out by the tears of thousands of Frenchman, shed over hundreds of years, enough to fill the Seine, to fill the baptismal fonts, and bless us all in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost whose oil burns on, burns brighter, stronger, engulfing, emblazoned, ravaging the memories, the moments, the echoes snuffed out by a spark, reduced to a layer of ash.

From dust we come and to dust we shall return.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

Vive La Notre Dame.

Stagnation

I don’t have words to say but my pen yearns to write.

I don’t have notes to sing but my voice yearns to make music.

I crave shapes.

I see lines,
but my body creaks and cracks in fatigue,
a static whispering,
deafening in the silent space between my legs and the couch,
padded screams from inside,
muffled under a pillow,
smothering the life out of a voice that needs,
a body that bleeds only to be fulfilled
by something just barely on the other side of nonsense,
with a glimmer enough of truth to keep sanity at an arm’s length,
way closer than a tray of food or liquor-lined strainer,
draining every toxic drop from each finger,
heavy enough to pry these lids open for one more hour,
just one more day and I’m out of this place…
followed by another and yet another more,
stacked higher than Empire herself,
dreamily floating above the clouds,
which from below seems ideal,
but from above,
the stars and the ground both seem unattainable,
one too high to conceive,
the other so far below
that it doesn’t seem possible to reach it
without smacking into it head first,
once more numbing yourself enough
to forget how painful the bottom was
the last time
and the 10,000 times before
when the patterns of dust on the floor
were more recognizable than your own reflection staring back at you,
your lined face spelling out a road map
of where you’re supposed to be
and what you’re supposed to do
in hieroglyphs of your own creation
that only you have the key to,
if only you didn’t swallow it,
wash it down with another shot of salty tears,
eroding the jagged metal into the only kind of liquid you can stomach,
which is the cold hard truth that

You are your own jailor.

You are penning your own critique
whether you think you have the words or not.
They flow from the pen,
seeping through your sweat,
stinging freshly scratched scars etched on your face,
clawing to be freed,
begging you to put down the scissors
and let the ink fly on unclipped wings
before the muscle’s only memory is
Stagnation.

May the 4th Be With You

New moon.
New beginnings.
The beginning of the end.
The race is run.
The horse has crossed the line of flashes and rose petals, scented with mint and dust mingled, sheltered under straw hats atop the perfectly coiffed hair of millionaires, asking for a few more dollars to place on a square, a bet, as the kids say, they do say the darndest things and they are captured on camera at the perfect time to make us all laugh just enough to make yet another dollar and another dollar to fill your pockets and the pockets of the men with the white collars, starched, stiff and straight, like the olive filled martini they carry in a rocks glass minus the rocks for the sake of not looking like the lady holding the julep, or pink drink, dreaming of pink things, and bling things, glittered, studded, pinky rings, lifted and clanking a toast from pinky to glass, from guest to host, the MC, the keeper of keys, holding the ceremony for you and me even though we don’t even know the ingredients. We don’t know the make up of this complex day, a concoction, a cocktail of space, horses, and new leaves springing out of the hoof-beaten ground from dirt to galaxy, jockey to jedi, sashes to sabers, lighting up the land far, far away in the midst of this monthly darkest day. But from dark comes light, from death stars, life, galloping through supernovas and black holes across the black circular terrain, paving a path, opening a door for us to restore, renew, balance, keep steady on top of this muscular, wild, creature carrying us whether we like it or not, setting our intentions by letting go of setting and just being, breathing, star-gazing, trailblazing through the darkest night lit on fire by each of our individual powers, by manifestation strong enough to shatter thousands of flashbulbs, breaking, blinding, hoping that your nose, your least favorite feature, will in fact be the deciding factor in your victory, that your obstacle will secure your crown over beasts, men, star lords, and villains, Doubt, the evilest one.
The darkest night is only the beginning of the brightest day.
Shine on dark moon.
May the 4th be with you.