Tale of the Vanishing Artist

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His footsteps, once upon a time
Struck soundly on the paved walk
In steady, even beats they rang
Into the crowded streets they sang
A chorus of ambitious thought
They did before, but now do not

His fingers, once upon a time
Performed their craft for crowded rooms
To raise the spirits of the saints
And soothe the souls of those who faint
A glimpse of hope to them impart
They did before, but now do not

His eyes, oh, once upon a time
Were brilliant blue and spoke the truth
Believing in a better plight
Believing they could set things right
Without the fear of falling short
They did before, but now do not

For once upon a time, it seems
He vanished into nouns and verbs
And faded into distant dreams
To still be seen but never heard
His soul translated into rhyme
His heart converted into poem
No more to walk among the world
But now, at last, at rest–at home

Artless Stabbings

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My intent to caress
Made a mess of the thought
And I murdered my lines
Such a waste
Such a crime

Is it art? Does it rhyme?
No, the pulse has been stopped
Taking stabs at this…what?
This release?
This insult

I despise every word
My attempts, I repent
Feeling sick unto death
Nothing made
Nothing left

So I stab and I stab
Until life trickles out
And the art–it is dead
We are both
Fully bled

Enclosure

Interred in juggernaut walls
Rifted as it were from form well fit
By cause or catastrophe untold
Folded for wilting
Petals lain in tired heaps about this enclosure
Swept up in figure crumpled slumped and sunken in efforts spent
To rend mortar from brick to crack sick structured severance
Laced in loosely laid arguments
Spun for movements yet untaken
In desperation resolve forsaken
Trapped
But not apparent
These exits hid for time when waking reason sheds inhibition
When sense and sensitivity are molded first for what cannot be seen
Which here now resides
Bent in shadow
Drawn for eyes of brighter respect
Whose lenses cleansed again repent the disbelief in trade for what is made
Gentle fingers to trace the contour of this devil’s grave
In truth to discover the clever architect of such cruel monuments
Could not a tyrant be
If indeed as tyrants go a hand external this would mean
Entombed in grave remorse or faded course
For drunken charting in love’s throes
A figure fair and sovereign did fashion such a cavern
If not by reason
Then by lack of will to look beyond a cold unforgiving frame
To name an enemy unseen a thing of dreams or even more a ghost
But ghosts do not here dwell
And ghosts
Though present nonetheless
Do not the dwelling of the living form
Nor lay the bricks
A holding pen
If that is what it is that you are in
May rise but ‘neath the guide of only one
The one in which resides this mortar
This brick
This mob of walls from which is not a certain door
And so laid
Crumpled on the floor
A figure bathed in cascaded darkness all it’s own
To wrap in rags from sorrow sewn
A thing of beauty
A thing of bright elements infused
Of such a race that angels envy for their loves
Disfigured in despair by air oppressed and rent of rest
And yet…
Free
If by choosing she will be
Uncluttered by restraint to paint a stroke of brilliant light
Across a night in need of such
For out the darkness
Blushes paths untaken
Words unspoken
Exits formed of threads being woven by hands which built
Perhaps unknowing
This dim and dreamless dark enclosure
To unravel walls well fabricated
But not from necessity here created
A farce are they
By motion shattered with ease
Poor creature you are not caged
You are not clipped as birds with wings
You are not held within these
As always you are liberated
And have been since when first created
Birthed unclothed and unashamed
Untold untrained and untamed
To build grander things than tombs in which to cower from a world of tombs
A world of rooms
A world of flowers wilted in walls built
By hands not meant for such doom
By eyes fused with colors unreflected without others
Arise to face these juggernaut walls
And find them weak
Made to fall
Spend those finely sculpted hands on other tasks of greater chance and higher call
Lit from a fist thrown firm beneath the tired chest of these apparitions
Move and live and love
And in so doing be the destroyer
Of your saddened heart’s enclosure

Strings And Things

Fragile, the nature of us, being fashioned
Of flesh or of bone or of both being fastened
And woven together, though temporal being
Through course unexplained and, by force, no one seeing

To conquer, to hunger, to draw ever closer
Impeccable faults like impossible lovers
Unwinding by fate, perhaps, choice being loosened
In turn we are chosen; in pain we are proven

In wearing, like garments, we serve out our purpose
Till death do us part or calamities hurt us
Too easily severed, too short in our lasting
We die without answers and live without asking

Yet in our existing, though brief and unstable
In seeking we dream to be, if we are able
Intwined with another by strings or such things
As God in his love and the meaning it brings

My Heart Doesn’t Break

My heart doesn’t break
It shatters and splinters
It freezes and cracks
Like the coldest of winters
It melts into liquid
It trickles and runs
It heads for the sea
Where it waits for the sun

My heart doesn’t break
It fills up the oceans
It turns and it changes
Like innate emotions
Till sunlight assaults it
And heats it to vapor
It rains down like words
On the surface of paper

My heart doesn’t break
It shrinks into pen strokes
It morphs into art
Like things that we invoke
It comes out in poems
Or things that I do
I gather the pieces
And send them to you

If Sleep Were A Flavor Of Tea

If sleep were a flavor of tea
The heart of the leaves like a drug
When taken in warm in the eve
Would dispatch the wakeful at length

If sleep were a color of paint
It’s qualities captured in brush
When spread on the canvas and seen
Would lull any eye into dreams

If sleep were a note on the scale
The sound like an ambient hum
When struck in the silence and heard
Could seduce and subdue with its verse

If sleep were a kind of perfume
A subtle narcotic of scent
When tested and taken in breath
Could trigger the symptoms of death

If sleep were a texture of skin
A soothing serene sort of touch
When pressed against lips and returned
Could quiet the senses and calm

Then I should be perfect at rest
Asleep as the sleep of the dead
If sleep were as simple as this
And the senses alive in my head

But sleep is a shadow that fades
In the light of my wishes and pleas
Alone without sense and in wishing I wish
That sleep were a flavor of tea

But I have no tea and no paint
No music nor scent to imbibe
No kisses to take me to comfort
No help for exhaustion tonight

And so I have nothing to dream
And nothing in which to recline
No sense of the senses to sense
No picture for my frame of mind

Alone in the quiet I write
And wait for the final repose
Till near me you’re able to be
Or sleep is a flavor of tea

Star Namers

Warm in the summer
Like skies we were under
At night on the trunk of my car

Uncharted spaces
And strange constellations
Dance to a worn out guitar

Down to the clearing
Where ghosts circle softly
Tell us your stories
In wind-twisted rhyme

Wrapped up in covers
Like strange little monsters
I will steal your heart
If you will steal mine

Fragrance of rain
From the clouds rolling in
Hair down and hearts on our sleeves

we’ve been the storm
Since the day we were born
We come and we go with the breeze

Capture the moonlight
In love-thirsty silence
Hold it for ransom
In passionate stares

Pick out a star
And we’ll say that it’s ours
Then vanish at dawn
Like a vapor of air