I imagine the sun, on my face the wind in my hair as a child squeals near; The sounds of a bickering fight turns to tag “just don’t go out of sight!” A commanding voice, a voice that knows its mind, confidently heard Assured inside but with eyes that seek after me, eyes that desire mine.
What would it be like to know the thoughts conveyed in a look, familiar to the questions they bring and the humor in the squint? I imagine my silent reply through laughing eyes and a brow hooked In a shrug “Now what did you expect from our mini-reprints?”
They’re so precious and cute with so much of you, Thank you for this potential spark, I dreamed it could be true.
I dedicate this humble verse to Saint David patron of poems, whose beating heart rhymes with mine.
Perhaps I should dedicate this next line to Antony of Padua, the saint of lost things like this poem that wanders.
As a student I would be remiss to leave off Saint Ambrosia the saint of all who long to learn, but with my track record, I should probably add Saint Jude the saint of desperate situations. I’m sure those two are friends by now since they so often go together.
If I make it through this semester, Saint Dympna would be a more fitting saint to accept my mad ravings, but if I don’t make it, my family will have to dedicate a few lines in stone to Saint Joseph of Arimathea and Saint Antony the Abbot.
“Here lies a lost ‘poet.’ His heart died for want of rhyme, And though these lines don’t show it, The addiction he swore off… except for this last time.”
My dad transforms for children. His rational, practical thoughts cede control to a primal bear. Perhaps I still remember his iron grasp, and roars, reeling about the living room:
Bruza, Buzz, Burr “Ima get-yah!”
Grandpop couldn’t stop laughing at toddler me, He would chuckle at who knows what, I was being serious! His eyes would gleam beneath that broad-brimmed-farmers hat, and I still remember them the day he let me “drive” his old Sears tractor:
Brum, Brumm, Bra-rar “Don’t go too fast!”
My brother’s boys are his spitting image. They mirror his long limber limbs and haystack head, and his sly sardonic smile, at their sister’s expense. Incapable of sitting still more than moments, they follow daddy’s every step, looking forward to the day they’re big enough to handle- power tools:
Burra, Burt, Buzziinng! “Be careful with that!”
Maybe one day I’ll get to be the goof, all I need is a good excuse.
What if we all lived a life of criminal mystery, not ignoring crime?
Examining greasy stains, marking shadows with a chalk outline, Finding meaning in our everyday, mundane, and common things. The color of her hair, the smell of cut grass, and buzzing bees, Could speak volumes like a doctoral recital, an opus on philosophy.
Would flower garlands, falling leaves on slicing winds, glittering ice, Become scenic lattice playgrounds for our memory’s ivy to climb? Would footprints in the snow, blood stains, and broken glass, Become delicacies inspiring fear, sparking childish imagination?
How different would life be in those moments, the slices of time?
If every second spelled mankind with mystery and awe? Could we link them on a wall, entwining them all with yarn? Could we leave a trail of bread crumbs pointing others to our find? Could we create a map, a nest for those sharp-eyed little detail birds?
Shiny scraps of foil, brown bottle shards, pillaged buttons, Are treasures in this imagined world, clues connected on our wall. A bank of found forgotten things fill our evidence lockers, Proof of fearful crimes, criminals in lack of caring minds.
We never stop to wonder as we hurry by convicted, criminally blind.
Lost in anguish, returning Home to a meal of ash, My stomach a bag of burning, All is forced from my mind like a fast.
A sparrow scolded me from heights And mocked my lonely misery. “Where are you headed this dreary night You miserable clod, where do you follow those feet?”
Then further on, I heard “You pauper of people, Why do you travel alone, where is your mate?” The scolding echoed familiar with a sting like needle; “You’re filthy, with pockets empty so curse your fate!”
I let the little brown bird thrash me with its sorrow, This I did deserve, for I had spent my last copper In ending its joy, its nuptial bliss, an innocent sparrow, So in my shame, I listened to a wounded mocker.
It was my effort, a vein attempt at washing clean, But my inner guilt brought me to my knees, And I cried, “Where is my God, oh maker of mine, Who gives me this song tonight, Who chides me with the mouth of a beast, Am I not wiser than the birds of the sky?” Then on me fell a burning light, It scared my eyes and blinded me, I screamed, “Oh God, Have mercy… Please!”
Then thundered from on high:
“Listen to my voice and fear me; Brace yourself and listen, for I am about to speak.” Who provides the birds YOU sacrifice? Where do they get their food, their winter supply? I did not need your blood-money; It’s repulsive to me given in thankless fright. If only you had brought me a dowry like a joyful bride!” Then the sun like light chided me gently As if to say: “It’s your inner heart I seek.”
It was then I knew the law had made me the mocker, I had walked a broad road scoffing at the narrows. Oh foolish me, oblivious to what His grace offers. Joy had finally struck my heart with its elation arrow.
“But I have nothing left, my last cent is spent” I say. He whispered, “I will pay for all your needs, even if it’s little.” “My clothes are ragged and smelly; don’t ask me on a date!” I gasped ashamed of my state, but my resistance was feeble.
Again, he reminded me that if we follow where he leads, He knows us like no other, and cloths us like the lilies white. He waters the fields and grows the crops we eat, Even the birds live on what He provides.
“It’s too much! Aba, please make a slave of me?” I ask, “But do with me what you will, my Lord and King.” Then He picked me up and held me in his grasp. Tears of joy fell on my face, waking in me a stirring.
It was a song buried deep inside under layered scars, A song of right made wrong, a long apart made one, A bride under a canopy of shive-light stars, A song of the battle won with more still to come.
I found myself standing still blinded by a fog, My insides tugged so I could feel the direction of the voice. It’s a sound like no other, and towards it I burst into a jog! The race had begun, running towards Him the reason to rejoice.
Then almost as an afterthought, I called out to that brown little bird, “Will you come with me to be my bride? I can’t mend your heart or heal the hurt, But I follow one who can. I can’t meet your needs with ought but dirt, But He promised, and you know He always keeps His word.”
She giggled and landed on my finger where she began my harmony song; She shrilled a reminder of the voice so strong, that gentle voice for which I long; She chirped an invitation to return straight and true when I became often wrong; She kept me company, forgetting her mockery, remembering to whom we belong.
Is it possible to love another if you lack the self-love part? If true-love wants the best for loved, Would not love demand “release the dove to a truer heart?” Fly be free my love to firmer ground hereof: A shore in dignity, a home in olive tree, And may his heart have room for you and he…
If you find none, comeback to me on this crowded ark; Maybe then the gloomy weather inside of me Will depart, and when the sun shines, bows an arch, Promising that His light is all I need to cure this disease. My home is grounded in the hope and promise of The one who died selflessly, beloved from above.
I’m sorry I made an altar to you in my heart, That room’s given to Him we love most, never to depart. You are welcome to return and listen at his feet; I would not begrudge you that honored seat. He will hold you gently, and give you peace in love; We remember Him with broken bread and a cup like blood.
Let this day burn in memory film, etched in silver, Let it sink in peatmoss memory bogs layered with fog, Let it dry in Egyptian spice and sleep under a gilded mask, Let the sun set on blazing waves, rolling over time’s arbitrary line, where celestial sailors bottle the days last slivers of golden liquid. Stash | the vintage in a cellar dark, a mind sealed with cork and wax, | | then with age and passing years, when bitter tannins fade, | | when the ghosts have gone with the swampy fumes, | | and the contrast edges soften to an amber sepia, | | pour a glass of days past, and taste nostalgia. | | Let this day christen a ship of lines majestic | | Let us sip every moment like it’s matter | | Let it toast a union of days to come, | | a mortal’s passage on Titanic. | | Our days are numbered | | the hour and minutes | | and the seconds | | to, will drain | | away like | | sand | | | . | | | When | | the night | | scales weigh | | the heart within us, | | comparing the slumber | | mass of sand, don’t panic. | | Days past are drunk and gone, | | distilled to find days last here after. | | All the waters evaporate, the pathetic | | sediments are sifted. Proof is found at the | | last day, judged with fire, filtered to fit in utopia. | | Some days shrivel like raisins melt away under flame, | | Some days sink with silt and get scraped away like scraps, | Some days condense in fear before crosswinds blow away the ash. Let the sun burn away, break the seal, and end arbitrary time, Let the dry bones drink living waters blessed, this we ask, Let ghosts of evil days pass away in the sight of God, Let my dreams reflect His rays and praise day-giver
My stars are the crossed shive-lights hanging over an upside-down ageless land, where the trees are thick closed canopies, and the birds are bright like paradise. Where monkeys howl, and macaws call.
My jungle lives near the Marañón and low lakes of the Ucayali. The local “pirates” pilot peke-pekes up and down brown vanes of swollen silt, passing stealthy Indians in their dugouts.
My tale does not imagine tables covered in empty plate entrees, and steaming bowls of make-believe Bangerang pastel cake; the foods too good to waste on delusive hunger fights.
My story is filled with tree banquets, fruits so perfect, ripe and juicy jungle food. Tangy papayas, plump piñas, and mangos form memories of tasty flavor parties.
My Neverland is filled with tales of adventures, of playa camps, bullet ants, and battles in snotty ooze. There’s swimming with pirañas, midnight hunting alligators, and I could write a song about hooking a giant tiger-tuk.
My band of barefoot-boys built bamboo forts, armed with little bows, and fought some marble wars. We explored the caño paths and walked up to Machu-Pichu. Those are just a few stories from Peru, and some of them are true.
Here lies a lost poet's
heart which died for want of rhyme.
Though he fought its pull, the lines don’t show it.
Rhyme's addictions he swore off, Except for this last time.
If your heart is filled with an older spirit and bleeds lyrical laments,
with words of ancient archaic origin set to a romantic bent.
If your humor laughs with Donne in his flea-bitten puns,
and your heart wrecks with the Deutschland,
if you retch at Rossetti's fruit,
and hear Herbert’s lute,
Run! Fly for your life!
Or say goodbye
to silly rhyme,
just as I,