Tagged: poetry

I’m So Sorry

I’m so sorry
You’re dealing with so much
I feel afraid to offer any commentary
because I don’t want to risk
offending you
or say anything
that will compound your pain

I want to say things
to heal
or help

but I know
nothing can
and I don’t want
anything that could be beneficial eventually
to be trivial or superficial or even insulting
because it comes at the wrong time.

I’ve been here before
in the line
at the viewing
or the luncheon
after the entombment
not knowing what to say
or how to say it
not wanting to put you through this
not even sure
how much eye contact
to make.

But I’ve been someplace
like where you are now
I know not the same place
but someplace cold
isolated
on display
in front of
what seems like
a never ending
stream of well wishers
yet so alone
aching
aching
aching
so that you just want
to be left alone
but under sedation
put into a coma
so that you
don’t have
to deal with it
anymore

I’m sorry
so sorry
not only for your loss
but because
I have no idea
what to say
or how to say it

I’m here
if you want me
but I won’t be
if you don’t
I just wish
I could tell which
because
it doesn’t see fair
to ask you
to have to tell me
one way or another

I’m so sorry

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Poem about shutting up

c.Oct. 2008
There’s been ink in my veins from an early age

but it seems like it wasn’t meant to be

either I wasn’t meant for it or it wasn’t meant for me

I want to give it up

I want to do what you want me to

don’t know if you’re afraid of it,

or if it makes you not like me

I’m trying to give it up,

because I don’t want to lose you

but I swear God made me this way

so what am I supposed to do?

I’m haunted by the ghost of Tom Joad

I asked God to take me away from me.

to make me silent and submissive like Winston Smith at the end of 1984

only without having to face the rats or betray Julia first

Frosty Road

Everyone reads (or hears)

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

And they think, “Oh good for him,”

What a great decision!

He’s such an inspiration.

But that’s because no one bothered to actually read the entire poem,
let a lone the line just before the part about two roads diverging-

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:”

Ages hence you’ll tell it with a sigh?

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Why tell it with a sigh?

To me sighs aren’t about accomplishment or joy or pride.

Sighs are at best about close calls and relief

but more often sighs are when you know you’re beat.

Sure, the one more traveled has tamped down paths
and broken limbs, picked flowers or even occasionally some trash,

but roads less traveled by?

They’re the roads with bears and badgers and skunks

and evil clowns.

An evil clown can make all the difference.

How d’ya like that?

Don’t get me wrong,

I love ya ta death

but I’m sorry

I don’t like you all that much

Oh, I wish I liked you

I’d like to like you

but I’d like it if you were more likable,

which is unlikely

I’m as likely to like you as the next guy

but that’s not all that likely either

and since it’s unlikely that your likability is likely to increase much

as long as you’re like you are

liking to tell everyone how much you dislike likable people

I’m not likely to start liking you soon

although I’d like to like you

I really would

I hate the fact that I don’t like you

but you don’t really like me all that much anyway, right

I mean, come on

how likely is that?

So, as they old timers sometimes say,

“ya just gotta use that one up like they are.”

I promise to keep loving you

loving you in spite of our mutual dislike.

 

POEM; All God’s Children

 

All God’s Children
Seared in flames
One hundred years later
One hundred years later
Still languishing
One hundred years later
Where is freedom?
Where is justice?
One hundred years later,

All God’s Children
We cannot walk alone.
As we walk
As we walk

All God’s Children
We can never be satisfied
We can never be satisfied
We can never be satisfied
Until justice rolls down

All God’s Children
I have a dream today
I have a dream today
I have a dream

All God’s Children
This is our hope
This is the faith
With this faith
With this faith

All God’s Children
Work
Pray
Struggle
Go to jail
Stand up
Together
Together
Together

All God’s Children
Let freedom ring
Let it ring
Let it ring
Ring
Ring
Ring

Free at last
Free at last

All God’s Children
Free at last
At last
Thank God Almighty

One hundred years later
Still languishing

All God’s Children
One hundred years later

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The Chorus at Vespers

A poem for April (National Poetry Month)

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Coming home
one cruel April afternoon,

the red sun hit
a robin’s red chest
through the red buds of an awakening tree’s
red crest
during the peak
of the golden hour.

Though frigid as any day in February
thanks to the bitter wind,
my eyes were blessed
with every bit of May’s glow.

The chorus was so loud that it seemed less like song
and more like chatter.

Who do they sing to?
These multiple denominations
of robins
and grackles,
red-winged black birds,
sparrows
and swallows?

Each congregation louder than their neighbors.

Do they sing to the Lord,
or to the setting sun,
or to me
or to each other?

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Possessed

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I promise that tomorrow I will rejoin society
tomorrow I will teach
and enter grades
and discuss pedagogy, lessons and curricula

I promise that tomorrow I will lecture about the judicial branch
give instructions about content theme and genre
tomorrow I will coach and advise
about code and syntax and hypertext markup language

But today I am a painter
today I am a poet
today I am a theologian
a philosopher, a maladjusted malcontent

Today I am possessed by Jackson Pollack., Willem de Kooning, Claude Monet,
Arshile Gorky
and maybe Achille-Claude Debussy too.

No drugs,
no alcohol,
maybe too much coffee
maybe the holy spirit
or some spirit-animal
maybe just automatism

Or maybe, I’ve been possesed by the spirits of
Marcel Duchamp,
Wassily Kandinsky,
and Hugo Ball
all having a ball with my basal ganglia

What rhymes with ganglia?

Galling gangly genitalia?

Damn. That was a lot of alliteration without actual profane explication!
Perhaps I am ready to return to convention, conformity and community already.

But the smell of turpentine
and the layers of oil, acrylic and gouache
that I extricated today
from my palette
like a paleontologist with a trowel
are so intoxicating.

Perhaps a few more minutes
in this other world
the one where I enjoy some espresso
with Vincent and Theo
and Frida and Diego

I promise, I’ll be me again
tomorrow.

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