Tag Archives: Poetry

Rolled Over

Unhinged again by pain, the spins
Around my ears keep me queasy,
Exhausted, broken, hyper-aware:
Loving me is never easy.
Pulsing ache and fevered throes
Cluttered breaths over shattered shards
Wracked up, wrung out, run down
I fight my own worst regards
Only one friend who writes,
Only one who values me
In the stumbling, tumbling turmoil
Of the worst that I can be-
These whispers hiss and spit
Inside my throbbing ears:
Wasted! Worthless! Naught to show
For all these tarried years.
Oh the physical weakness,
Whenever I assume
I may stand and work and run
On the thin fumes I have presumed
Were the common breaths of man.

How can I run my race
When I can barely stand?
Yet I live, and breath, and move
Inside Your pierced hand

And that’s enough for me.

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Metaphor Stew

I’ve always rather looked down on me
for the varied metaphors I stir-
the barrage of dissimilar images,
a busy collage beyond absurd.
If only I were educated, I assumed,
or possessed the natural bent,
I might have the talent to condense
the fairies of perception into cement-
Sitting in straight lines and right angles
and as monochrome as I desired
Instead of skipping, sailing, soaring
through spring petals and autumnal fires.
Drawing heavy lines, like coloring pages,
filed with simple, solid shades-
Digestible activities,
Soothing for every age.
Yet the more years I observe,
Life falls in chaotic lines,
Seeming contradictions
Live together peacefully all the time,
And the metaphor stew I serve
May have less to do with how I write,
Than the detailed complexities
Inherent in my sight.

Not that it makes it right.


The Traveller’s Song

Is the thought gone?
Did it dissolve away
like the sudden snowflake
on the tip of a hot tongue?

And the words on the tip of my tongue
Dissolve, but are never destroyed
Piggybacking on the steel legs
of reason and wonder,
exhaustion, joy,
and the foreign wanderer
I have always been.

Not an idle word is abandoned
in the wake of new songs
How they flicker in the sun
turning, keeping time, telling stories
in wordless languages
of colors colliding, instrument strings
vibrating, resonating the songs of our souls

And I was born old
Onward I crawl, by day and year,
Towards the day of my birth:
Rewoven again in trembles and starlight.
I’m going to see Him-
All these years waiting,
traveling alone,
though I never have been.

What was the thought?
The traveler’s cloak
a defense against the cold
wrapped over the bare emotion
breathing beneath
It unravels to expose
the naked beauty

of the forgiven soul’s migration.


A New Open-Door Policy

I have become a keyless creature.
I, even I, the inveterate locksmith, the Queen of Doors,
The custodian of moon-sized jangling rings,
Keys braided in my hair, hidden under floorboards-
Now all my keys
…are no more.

Twelve years ago, or so, some unknown day,
Gaping, ajar, a lock unclasped,
I pressed a key into another palm, giving it away
Before I could rebolt the trap
The cross-breeze lent a peaceful sway
…and I never looked back.


Graded Earth

For the life of me
I can’t figure the parts
Stuck between where I’m going
And the spot I started
As anything other than
Some odd bird’s migration
North for the chill
Against the invitation
To follow the crowd, or
To just freeze
Admit some kind of defeat
But I ruffle the breezes
And walk on alone
I can’t understand
What I was supposed to do,
Was there some parcel of land
I neglected to climb?
Some trail or tour
I’m confused by the feeling
I’m a failure
When there was no clear mandate
Aside from learning
To love and be loved
To mitigate the pain and yearning
Of humanity, aware.

And I’m still here.


Low Tide

These ebbs erode the shoreline,
Carrying the banks to build bars
For the oyster to ingest
Constructing pearl from the hard sands
I once stood upon.

Time erodes my story,
Washing away the grains
Of days and hours and potential roads
And the details are the same
But the game of charades lilts to a side

Our birth pitches us into projects
We cannot honestly complete
Like writing the ill-conceived
Autobiography
About the stranger.

All the roots I sank
And I’m still just a duffle bag
One goodbye away
From a homeless nomad
Too tired to roam

Watching the churning sea
For the bits of debris
That feel like home.


Writer’s Remorse

Glad to hear you’re doing well!
I can’t complain! Doing fine,
Though I’ve got this feeling lately
Maybe it’s finally time
To pull all the words I’ve written,
Pile every piece into one tall pyre,
Every jot and every tittle,
And the light the whole damn thing on fire.

But what’s the point?
I can’t escape who I am.
If I burned every thought to earth
I’d take the ash and begin again.


The Defense Rests

I stood before you
Pleading my case into the offended silence
Assuming no able mediator
Would intervene in the violence,
The waste, the butchery,
And the endless consumption
Framing my identity and
Crippling my function
But the unthinkable happened, as I unraveled
Spilling confession where I noxiously sinned
The Judge handed me the very same gavel
With which I should have been condemned-
Mine to beat upon you, and the past,
To damn, or to set down free.
On it, engravings of our trespasses:
Killing you was killing me
And how deeply I considered it
With no one left to save-
Allowing my embitterment
To seal our ashes together in the grave
But what would be left behind
If I razed our souls to damnation?
We would both produce in like kind
The offspring of condemnation.
And the Great Judge pointed to a battered face
Hanging bloodied on an unearned cross
His wheezing body dripping grace
On the gnashing teeth of the lost.
I set the gavel down.
Where is the path forward?
What kind of future can be found,
Or excavated, or forged
After all these crimes between us?
My demon is my brother is my priest
And it is treasonous
To refuse your release.

So I release you,
But not to freedom.

We, neither of us, move autonomously
Outside the constraints of our pardons
We must not live dishonestly,
Sowing what separates and hardens
But pursue good, each for the other.
I sought you once, for help getting me through
The tragedies in each collision of breath
But you instead became the catalyst that got me to
A reality higher than death
And I am grateful for your diversion,
Your oppression and extortion,
Because in your exclusion and aspersions
I found that, in Him, I am more than

A Conqueror,
And so are you.

We are blood, and able to stop shedding it
Putting down the blades of our desires and expectations,
What we’ve been revering or regretting
Before cutting into the next generation
The same slavers’ irons
That have clapped us both in chains
Don’t you likewise yearn
For freedom to change?
And you are free
From the past, from your sins
I release you;
Go and make your amends
By sinning no more
Become the man you were created to be:
Serve the least, stand for
We who cannot be heard, the weak
Lost under the grumbles.
Walk in bare feet, be true:
Stand in honesty, humbled,
And I will stand for you.

A companion piece to:
https://viewingcamelot.com/2017/04/13/the-defendant-rises/


Well Wandered

If I’d packed my bags then
During those first steps into the rain
How heavy-laden I might have been
To hold anything but love and pain
In these two, fragile hands

Only capable of carrying
What fits inside a coffin, or a womb,
A thing to bear, or to bury
One to produce- one to consume-
On either side of standing.

All those years, the quiet dignity
Growing in adverse conditions
Our roving anonymity
Void of live ammunition-
Defenseless but for invisibility

My identity I had only sworn
To deceased associations
I wandered, well-worn
With You as my nation;
My allegiance pledged in motility.

And my Nation wanders still
To the roadless places,
The empty hands, unfilled
But heavy with the graces
Carried to the last generation:

Shall I again pledge allegiance
To my well-wandered nation?


I Can’t

My whispers collect here.
Have I been in the cold
Wandering all these years?
Hope is the old man
Singing through his tears
To the child in my soul

I can’t, but I know
God can.

Caught between the crashing waves
My desires wash out to sea
Slipped between fingers that could not save
I drop to my knees in sand.
At least the child was brave;
What is left to make of me?

I can’t, but I believe
God can.