Painted Vessel of Passage

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Skin, oh the falsities stretched over flesh
As a smile, or a laugh, or a wish
Twisted in foreign hieroglyphics
Subtle nuances of portrayal
With which we deftly parry
The thrust of probing questions
Or misguided salutations
But skin is not what I am
And this boxcar bears no resemblance to the passenger within
Merely a painted vessel of passage
Oft’ the canvas of a graffiti made to fade
A forest, blocked by trees
Or, perhaps, a tale that no one would believe
That is us
That is me
Beneath

Blanket (A Riddle)

Silent, a blanket is spread
But not meant for warmth
Dwarfing the size of my bed
Yet clean and so soft
Fragile, the blanket is drawn
But just for one day
Though most of my town put it on
They will throw it away
Lovely, the blanket is sewn
But so easily torn
It lays on your shoulders and head
But it cannot be worn
Silent, a blanket is spread
But is not meant for heat
I leave it outside–unless
It comes in on my feet

The Pressure of Being Plastic

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Stitched carefully together
Her words trickle slowly
In clandestine tribes of marked apprehension
Tiptoeing shards
Split from glass figurines
Cracked by screams
Tracked at higher frequencies
Than dreams sold here

Corner vendors spin her love
Or some simile of
At sales pitch speeds
Drinking cellophane and regurgitating demographics
If I dance to the jerk of these marionette strings
Will I be pretty, like plastic?
Are our measures so drastic?

Claw

Ah this skin I’m in is faulty
I can’t seem to get it off me
Claw away at my humanity
Still I lay here quite imperfectly

Ah this mind I own is broken
Too aloof and quickly stolen
Like the wires are untidy
And a meltdown is quite likely

Along For The Ride

Urban walls cascade along the interstate
Old abandoned inns and shoddy bars
Corner stations keep their place like sentinels
Watching over rows of passing cars

I collide with feeling I am in another life
Maybe like an actor in a movie
Stealing glances at the faces as they pass me by
Eyes distracted seem to look right through me

But it’s fine for me
Because I just want to be
Alive on the street
With a sidewalk beneath
Nowhere to go
But that’s just where I want
And I walk with the thought
That this grey city block
Is home for now
And it’s good to be alive
With my hands and feet untied
I will take you in my mind
Along for the ride

Carved

Into the strong unbeating heart
I drove my blade and made the mark
And there upon its rigid side
The letters stayed with time

A thought engraved in wood and bark
Portrayed above has stayed through dark
And lasted though the blade is rust
Yet still remain the lines

I cut upon that summer noon
A shape into the deep maroon
And bled the life force of the plant
To make forever sure

A message could be seen and read
Beyond the day they find me dead
And evermore the cut will last
A sign to still endure

Into my strong and beating heart
You drove your love and made a mark
And there so deep the cut was made
And so will stay with time

Though pain it cost still love remains
And evermore will speak the same
To say you gave yourself to me
And I may call you mine

Coming Forth

Close me in a warmth
Like a blanket in the cold
That never loses heat

Quiet in the dark
With a tiny beating heart
And your arms around me

All I ever knew
Floating peaceful in this room
As I rock myself to sleep

Every day I grew
Hidden safely in the womb
With my head between feet

Then it was the day
When my world began to break
Like the walls around me

Taking me away
To an unfamiliar place
How the lights were blinding

Pressing on my bones
For the burning in my lungs
And I cried for mercy

Suddenly alone
Skin exposed to all the cold
I was tired and thirsty

Somewhere through the pain
I can hear you call my name
And your arms surround me

Nothing I could say
But I’m grateful for the way
I was not abandoned

Maybe here again
When my world is caving in
And the walls collapsing

I am coming forth
In a different kind of birth
As I cry for mercy

Even through the pain
I can hear you call my name
And your arms around me

Nothing I can say
But I’m grateful for the way
You have not abandoned

Distant Relation

Dive
Dive
Shake
Strike through the heart
Shatter the veil and proceed
Miniature
Lives on vast ocean
Scattered amidst the world they believe
Branches
Asphalt and pine
Twisted together
Acres of lights
Parcels of heather
Tiny, like the circuits
In some massive machine
Blinking at me
Winking at me?
Somewhere within
Life
Death
Love
Sex
Fear
Pain
Hunger
Curiosity
Just like me
Fused
In some distant relation
Though some may doubt
Which situation
Spawned us all
Still all we are
Is bound
From here to the beyond
Fast flowing
Breakneck
Bloodstream enemy; alias; ally
That is I
Or we are us
Untouched, perhaps
But yet touched
Inside
And here
Now
Is that not validation
Indeed
We are relation

The Hammer

Hear the ringing
Of a tiny golden hammer
On the steel back of a blade

How the confident and vivid echoes roll
As it strikes away at seconds in my soul

Every swing sends
Little shivers up my spine
For the name he carves is mine

Such a tedious affair to tell a tale
But I know those words and numbers very well

And the feeling
It’s the finitude of living
On the knife edge of a fate

Waiting patiently
In the wings of staying busy
For the last remaining date

While the hammer keeps it pace
In an absent sort of pulse
A rehearsal for the day
They will lay me in the dust
And the words will be my name
With the story of my time
Written deep within the stone
All the things that I have done

And the hammer keeps it’s pace
Such an unfamiliar friend
Like a harbinger of grace
For a swiftness of our end
All the words will be our own
And the story we have made
Written deep within the stone
All the things that we have done

Wrap Me

Disguised
As a fugitive bird
In the tall of her grass
When the foxes are out

With eyes
Like a kerosene lamp
When the wick doesn’t last
And the flame is burnt out

But I
Know a place to escape
Where the world doesn’t see
And the foxes won’t tread

Inside
There’s a labyrinth of shapes
And the essence of me
Like the words in my head

Wrap me in metaphors
Cover me in lines
Paint me in cadence
Cradle me in rhymes
I will find peace here
If no one finds me
So you be the rhythm
And I will be the poetry

Midnight Sky

Tug a cloud from the horizon
Wrap the atmosphere around
Snuggle warm in constellations
Floating weightless without sound
Dance the milky way to nowhere
Set the particles alight
Turn your eyes a little brighter
Underneath a midnight sky

Humdrum Heart

Wake up, you tired little muscle
Don’t let me down today
I know you’ve been working overtime
Just keep some blood in my veins
We have a lot to accomplish
If we work together I’m sure
We will find rest out here someday
The humdrum of living will disappear

Sleep when you can
Don’t lose your rhythm
Keep yourself warm
You can’t stop giving
I still depend
On you being steady
So wake up, my friend
Although you are heavy

I will take care to protect you
If you won’t abandon me now
I can’t guarantee I won’t break you
I guess we both know how that worked out
We still have daylight for living
And moonlight for being alone
Wake up and bring me some color
We have so much to get done

Sleep when you can
Don’t lose your rhythm
Keep yourself warm
You can’t stop giving
People can’t see
How you’ve been exhausted
But they can see me
And I need to make it

So wake up, you tired little muscle
Don’t let me down today
I know you don’t feel like moving
But please keep some blood in my veins
We have a lot to accomplish
If we work together I’ll bet
We can be all they expected of us
So please don’t give up on me yet

Captain

In wood engraved before the bow
Consider life before you board
This is the threshold if you dare
But if you fear then turn around

This vessel fragile though it seems
Has weathered travels into hell
No safety here is guaranteed
But you may pass below the beams

Uncharted waters as a course
Into the storm the captain points
The bow our weapon in the storm
In search of strange and distant shores

Against the elements we brave
And take our rest on troubled sea
Beyond the curfew of the light
Into the mist our bearings laid

By mended sail and stern resolve
We strike for capturing the dawn
Above the barriers we ride
Escorted on by ancient calls

So cast away if you desire
A place aboard this beaten craft
But stay for hesitance or care
While safe ashore you can retire

The captain has no will to turn
Nor sway for danger if it shows
The currents take us where they will
And we may never then return

In wood engraved before the bow
Consider life before you board
This is the threshold if you dare
But if you fear then turn around

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Something About A Song

In the stillness of a small enclosure
An indulgent marriage of will and surrender
Provoke me to invoke a melody
From unfeeling devices
Spanning the depths of my soul
These merciless strains
All but rip the very sanity from my brain
Frozen here in some fantasy or fear
Or soft, warming loneliness that comforts and burns me as a potent drug in my veins
How can such wave forms transmitted
Across polluted airways and twisted wires
So thoroughly embrace me
As if the world were a myth that exists only beyond this painted plastic frame
But in here there is only me
Me and this…
Entity of sound
This invasive little parasite sucking the life from my heart and flooding my thoughts
And I love it
Something about a song
A language that at times seems too advanced for our primitive race
The blood in my veins
The pulse in my wrist
A melody
A sound
A door out of places with walls too think and air too stale
Something about a song
And I sit here at ground zero
The full impact absorbed in the fibers of my structure
For a few minutes raptured
For a few minutes at one
And then it ends
Life fades slowly back
Reality resumes
I reluctantly revive the engine
Wake up the roar and hum of this foreign land again
Breathe long and release
And drive away

To Banish The Dark

Wield the autumn leaves as weaponry
Recruit the trees and we will hide
Beneath the veil of certainty
Beneath an orange broken sky
So many others have succumb
To these devices so seductive
Catch the wind and we will run
To where the world is less destructive

We will banish the dark
Turn on the stars
I want to shatter the dawn when it breaks

With nothing apart
Living the art
These are the signs of a beautiful day

Vow Of Silence

If all the world would take a vow of silence
If all the mouths were stopped for just a day
If we could trade some stillness for our violence
And give a better thought to what we say
If all the world would hold their tongue a moment
If all the curses faded out in pause
If all the politicians and their rantings
Would take a second place to inner laws
I think it would be nice to pass unspeaking
And tilt a hat or smile as we greet
To listening to the birds in meditation
perhaps a day of quiet would be sweet
It seems to me that all the noise of language
And all the words we form will never do
To prove the truth of what we show in actions
To say, by way of living, “I love you”

Shove Off

On the shore before a looming blue expanse
With a paddle in my hand

Under storms without a compass or a map
Leave a message in the sand

I lay down beneath a thousand burning thoughts
In the hull of my repose

And shove off into the ocean of my dreams
To a destiny unknown

Goodnight.

To See, As Do The Birds

To see, as do the birds
I think perhaps would teach the world
To have a distance better witnessed from the air

To see, as from above
I think perhaps a view would give
To lend perspective on the lives in which we share

To see, as do the birds
I think perhaps would change the earth
And bring horizons undiscovered down below

To see, as do the birds
I think perhaps reveals in turn
A new perspective of the land we say we know

To see, as do the birds
I think provides a broader scope
With new solutions from a wider range of field

To see, as do the birds
I think could foster verdant hope
To rich expanses from the common man concealed

To see, as do the birds
When they ascend above the noise
To carve a respite on the gentle rising breeze

To see, as do the birds
I think perhaps can be our choice
To, with our minds, take flight in ways that make us free

Worth

What makes a diamond grand
Or a jewels fair
Or a pearl fetch a golden coin
Who takes a tag in hand
And places there
A value for an object made
Why do the buyers buy
Or sellers sell
Economies advance or fall
How do the critics write
And plan so well
Or judge on wholesomeness at all

Is not the value of a thing
Then based on what a man will pay
For going cost is all in vain
Without a hand with which to trade
No numbers wrote betray the worth
Nor volumes tell the gravity
The heart that longing chooses this
Determines what the rate must be
And if this heart determines so
That nothing higher holds it’s gaze
The price may seem impossible
And yet that heart will choose to pay
For worth above all else may ask
The last of breath or best of life
And when in love that value lies
Then nothing seems too high a price

Extinct

I’ve seen the shiny little eyes
Staring out from under covers
In the shadows where they hide
Giggling quietly together
Little children of our past
Little places we remember
All the questions we once asked
Have we banished to the corners

Are we killing off the magic
On the inside
Are we killing off the children
With their eyes wide
Are we trading in the wonder
For the good life
Are we giving up the hunger
For the sake of having comfort

When the children are extinct
Our imaginations muted
And the eyes no longer see
Will the reasons be important
We were born with bigger hearts
And our heads still undeveloped
Don’t forget the other part
Please don’t ever let them sell it
There is nothing to replace
All the things that can’t be purchased
There’s a small familiar face
Waiting just below the surface
Every child will grow to be
Just a child in bigger skin
Do not sacrifice your dreams
Let the children live within