Tag Archives: death

Maria

This poem is vastly different from anything I’ve penned in the past and I struggled with it for weeks before deciding to post. Might regret this later . . .

 

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Maria dressed in sandals and short plaid skirt

braless in a spaghetti strap top

another man’s face tattooed across her heart

and names of those she’s destroyed scribbled down her arms

broken angel wings she attempts to hide

this is Maria, intending to alarm

 

Cursed by visions of setting suns

she cradles a flaming torch in arson hands

living her days on the run

as vast fields burn in distant lands

in Albuquerque she makes a stand

desperate revelations shared in a back alley dive

barrel of a .45 pressed against dead men’s minds

 

In western New Mexico she hits a bank

and I achieve awareness with a water pistol in my hands

banker face down on marble floor

Maria straddles over him praying for God’s lost souls

surveillance camera on the wall she stares and proclaims

I am the dream inside your illusion screaming to be set free!

 

Back road into desolation we flee

and Maria’s visions return frequently

across sand flats peppered with dirt floor ramshackle shacks

yellow colored yards home to rusting abandoned burned out cars

in deepest stretches of emptiness where exiles hide

embracing visions of massive totem poles piercing the sky

encrypted symbols she reads and solemnly decides

this is humanity on the rise

 

In an east LA motel the King’s Men make their move

capturing Maria sleeping nude

locked behind bars downtown praying

for broken-spirited men so many years waiting

on an eidolon to set them free

 

Tried by a jury not of her peers

she’s convicted in the land of non believers

visions are condemned to death

by those who cannot understand the source of her breath

tongue is a weapon like a scythe

removed by the deaf who fear the swath of words so vile

 

But prison bars couldn’t contain her soul

so each day when the dying sun sinks into the grave

Maria quietly makes her escape

moving stealthy across the land on a hyperbolic wind

whispering sermons in ears she easily bends

reminding there exists no reason for fear

Maria’s whispers I plainly hear

life is an illusion and none of us are really here

Damaged

 

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I was born a blank slate, the byproduct of the proletarian class

birthed into a superstitious clan, the socially awkward kind

Saints on the wall and ghosts in the machine to explain away

things they could not understand, holding on to empty dreams

and addicting medications to soften damaged minds

We are the vehicles broken down on the side of the road

vehicles to carry the load

vehicles improperly maintained

not enough fuel in our tanks to deliver us where we want to go

We are desperate dogs sleeping beneath park benches in need of awakening

with razor sharp teeth capable of ripping

flesh from bone

caged animals never biting the hand that feeds

We are replaceable cogs in a machine that keeps rolling

disposable people eking out an existence in a disposable world

nothing of substance in our lives, nothing to connect to

and when knowledge is spawned through grief

only the damaged grow aware

Cello Heart

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My heart is a cello tuned in perfect fifths

take your bow and gently caress these heartstrings

coax from me dark emotions once latent

deep mournful sounds of an artic caribou searching

frozen woods for a lost lover no longer earth bound

with your bow play my heart, scratch this soul

evoke images of ruinous times

swirling grey smoke of smoldering dreams

crumbling brick on scorched black terrain

on my cello heart play the lonely song of a sperm whale

searching for companionship in deepest seas

play the tears of an orphaned child in some foreign land

hopelessness of a junkie lost in a roach infested dive

hot needle piercing the vein

with your expert bow play this cello heart

tithe my allegiance to your cause

tithe my time to the cause

tithe my pay to the cause

tithe my blood to the cause

tithe my tithes to the cause

play this cello heart

In Bloom

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Blood in the soil

blood of ancients spilt long ago

blood seeping

seeping through Time

roots of vines piercing

piercing Time

roots absorbing

blood of the line

infantile roots feeding

from toxic pools

vines producing

thorns, small and sharp

sharp like a knife

piercing

slicing

razor sharp thorns

protecting

defending the vine

preserving blood of the line

razor sharp thorns

protecting

Children in bloom

Vagabond

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He might be Woody Guthrie or Jack Kerouac

riding boxcars or on the road searching for a soul

Tom and his blood clan Joad

crossing the desert searching for work

any job will do

you can spot his hopelessness by that mangy, tattered look

You’ve seen him at highway rest stops and dive hotels

he’s the hitchhiker you didn’t pick up

the reason you avoid truck stops

He’s the graffiti on the side of a boxcar passing in the rain

fresh footsteps in new fallen snow

the one that looks like Jesus combing the beach

he reminds of freedom and he’s the reason you dream of leaving

When times become tight he finds solace in a bone orchard

dreaming of companions lost

taking refuge under the cover of the moon

a silver beam for a blanket pulled over weary head

When road stake runs low

he never wavers from following the code

 

I’m a vagabond on the roll

trekking far and wide, seeking anything I can find

to heal this fractured soul

On a black river of disconnection an asphalt ribbon carries me

from Smokey Mountains to Denver, seeking sanctuary

across red desert sands where grains are fused like glass

reflecting back this flight as destiny slips through my hands

When storms come and I’m seeking higher ground

winding through mountain passes where shamans dwell

I’ll shed my load in temples where secrets of ancients can be found

Possible futures I see

silhouetted against a perpetually moving horizon

and this driving thirst has been whetted

this thirst to push on, find answers that lay beyond

Destination unknown

this vagabond rides into a tangerine sky

so many days on the run

too many days I’ve spent

chasing the sun

Worker’s Prayer

Kneel down at the corporate altar

pray for economic strength

record profits

a healthy stock market

wait for the riches to trickle down

Cry and scream

at the corporate wailing wall

beg manufactures not to leave

move factories to foreign lands

no no no

please don’t take away

high paying jobs and financial security

our carrot on a stick

that keeps us pushing forward

craving education

pushing us harder to achieve

comfort for our families

We will frequent your temples

five days a week, if given the opportunity

eight hours a day, more if you request

whatever it takes to ensure your success

try to be something greater

shed blood sweat and tears

sell our souls

sacrifice our lives

to serve your purpose

This blood stained altar erected just for you

we’ve adorned with tax abatements

loopholes

and off shore banks

so you can protect your wealth

met your demands

so we all might prosper

only to discover

that the only thing trickling down

is your shit

In The End

 

In the end

if my hands and heart are scarred

then know I’ve fared well

for each scar is a memory, a medal of honor

for challenges defeated, every battle won

In the end I will not be pure

pure like mountain streams born of snowmelt

for purity is a lack of experience

and I am the stream when it makes the delta

a thousand miles from home

depositing my silt into the ocean of the universe

(from The Evolution of Disconnect)

Searching

Sometimes I see you, just out of view

out of the corner of an eye, quick as a hummingbird in flight

when I turn my head you’re gone, as if you were none

as if you were never there, vanishing into air

Once I took the last exit, final train of thought so desperate

to that junction where the bridge had crumbled

the road disappeared into rubble

tried to reach you where a harsh wind blew

down a winding path into desolation’s wrath

knocking on closed doors, not knowing what I’m looking for

but no one was home

in this land of desperation I roam

Changed my name a time or two

spinning bullets in a revolver so few

changed my address

another move in this game of chess

a new street in a new town

facing my shadow in a showdown

Tried a new scene, escaping old routines

changed my ways hoping for better days

spent a lifetime dodging Life’s mines

searching for myself, searching for you, searching all the time

knocking on closed doors

never knowing what I’m looking for

but no one was home

in this land of desperation I roam

(Searching originally appeared in the poetry collection, Back Roads)

Red Ball

Red Ball originally appeared in  Urban Hymns

 

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Red ball

I am a ribbon of light along the eastern horizon

gently peeking at this brand new world

gathering courage to rise

growing slowly aware

shattering darkness at dawn

I am a melting yellow sun at noon

spreading across the sky

unstoppable, unfathomable, impossible to look upon

dissolving shadows

reaching my zenith in late afternoon

I am the evening sun in twilight hours

final ribbon of light carrying the particles

pieces of everything complete

disintegrating into a red ball sinking into my horizon

dimming down, once and for all, dying out

particles of being absorbed into the night

The Poet

First published in The Evolution Of Disconnect:

 

In April of 2014 I had the great opportunity to have a few of my poems critiqued by a gracious and exceptional poet. She highlighted a few of my weaknesses and offered up some great advice to chew on. The focal point of our conversation narrowed down to the poem, Two Doors, about the conflict between the conscious and subconscious mind. In the poem there is a house divided by two doors. One side of the house is brilliantly lit while the other side remains in perpetual darkness. My poet/ tutor was not concerned with the lighted side of the house. She (and any potential reader) only cares about the mysteries hidden in the darkness. What she was conveying, essentially, was that I should stop glossing over facts and events and dig a little deeper for the story. I took her advice to heart and the following day wrote this poem.

 

THE POET

 

On a balcony overlooking a paradox

she offers and I take a seat

a teacher and a poet in a long black dress

shuffling pieces of me in her hands

 

Questions she asks

prodding with a smile

searching perhaps for something

she believes words can reconcile

 

Knowing I’m just another surface dweller

the poet scratches my soul

you’re going to need a shovel, she says

to get where you want to go

 

No one cares about objects shining brightly in a noonday sun

objects plainly seen by everyone

she asks about my house

why I only go into rooms where the light is on

 

Her penetrating words finger switches

and once darkened rooms reveal decaying corpses

chests inflating with the breath of recognition

mouths repeating lessons learned

 

Having trained the emotions through the years

how can I begin to describe what she wants to hear?

the look on my mother’s face, how can I forget?

that haunted expression she wore, when I told her what I knew