Grin and Bear It

I am the lie you tell yourself
I am the broken promise you made
The failed resolutions to do better
I am the debt you left unpaid

I am the fight you thought to win
I am the vow that tried to be true
Here’s to all good intentions
I am the oath you always undo

I am the wall you will never scale
I am the gutted not gloried
Self-deception is all the rage
I am the fabled morality story

I am the addiction you never beat
I am the step you started to take
That pithy quote meant to inspire
I am the journey you never make

I am the night you struggle to sleep
I am the contract signed in haste
Time heals over more than scars
I am year upon year gone to waste

I am the forgotten letter to write
I am the hope that sputters and sparks
Bend to my will and try not to break
I am the voice that weeps in the dark


An ideal born

When I am dead
And buried
And in the ground,
Or scattered windward
In ironic bluster,
The pitter-patter
Of blunted clawed
Anxiety hounds
Will have no will
To worry or perplex;
A birthday or a funeral
Are, after all
Only the vanity pressed
Odd and even numbers
On either side
Of this autobiography,
Round pegs
In round holes
Have little room
To move about,
I am grateful then
To discover after decades
That a failure to fit
Into my clothes,
Into an occupation,
Into infamy,
Into prescribed spaces,
Is not so much untoward
But an opportune prescription
To release the hounds
And raise a glass
To mocking Time.

Arbitrary (2016 Redux)

and maybe
drained away in sink-holes
gaping beneath our feet;

Date stamp your dereliction
And mark your calendar,
How many reminders
Will it take?
Diarized in
Pages we’ve forgotten
How to read,
Pacing the unconscious mind
We are stalking disaster,
Reeled in, fish caught by
The hook
White bellies slit;

is not
never was
and maybe
gloried and despaired;

Our corporeal punishment
Prurient and unbending
We take and yield,
We have not learned
How to forgive,
It’s the forgetting
That steals the bread
From our mouths
As our cupped hands
Spill our water;

A mocking echo hiding
In the ruins of yesterday,
Open our eyes
Open our hearts,
We stretch
Our fingertips
Through the bars
Thirsting for what
We will always be denied;

it never was.

The Call Home

Someone once told me
Under the guise of care,
Of the whispers in the rain
Falling unheeded, repeating
The mundane, the extraordinary,
Those conversations spun around
Peaceful days and conflicted nights;
There’s nothing that’s passed
That’s ever truly forgotten,
Memories held in dust, intermingled
Layers upon years, stacked against
A decade,

A century
Between words,
An age between deeds,
An imagined ideal faded away
Remains bound to our bones,
This silent thread embroiders our dreams
A call to home, to future ends
A call from home, for a story lost;
Like the church bell in early morn
It carries across the valleys,
Singing in the slosh of higher tides against
The cracking of seawalls,
A determined incursion
Across the sands of each lonely hourglass,
The call to home grows clearer
Sweeter now than ever,
Even in the rain.

Sea Shells

DSCN3374Does fortune weep over rocky shores
Amid the pale ribbed shells,
Long bleached by tide and star?
A moment spent on God’s worn path,
They will not stray too far.

Tell me not of distant days
But let me grasp the light,
For years do come and go too swift
For us to hold them tight.

And when the waves have kissed them smooth
And white pearls turn to sand,
The greenest weeds shall clothe my flesh
And Death will deal my hand.

The spiraled grains of life break free
And dance without this space,
To feed the ocean’s restless pull
And never-ending grace.

And you and I will come again
To strangers born, unknown,
A part of us in all things stay,
Forever’s in our bones.

Where We Used To Be

Where we used to be,
Where we used to laugh,
Footsteps imprinted in the grass;
We stood, here in the shade
Watching the clouds on high
Displacing the void for a while;
Where we walked to school,
Where the roads and rivers met
Some paths only, others kept;
Times changes the backdrop
A pivot of past and future,
If we could shadow our path and err
Where we were cautious,
Where we were brave
Intentions spent we cannot save,
It’s not enough to hold on tight
It’s always too early and never too late,
A dance of chance at an illusioned fete,
Where we once dreamt
Where we used to be.