I have not seen you look at me
with eyes that mind the weight of years;
what has brought you here, what may be.
I have not seen you look at me
ev’n though I long for you to see
my hopes and dreams; behind the fears
I have not seen you; look at me
with eyes that mind — The weight of years!

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Ars Poetica

It’s not so hard,
just vomit your feelings upon the page.

Perhaps that’s not quite right.
Lay out carefully the stirrings of your heart,
bare and shivering in the cold gaze of strangers.

Hm, not much better.
Free your mind and splay
across unsullied paper
every urge and imagination
until it drips with confusion.
Declare clearly and be bold,
make known the reaches
your soul without foundation.

Or again:
find the symbols that light your path,
that show others the way you’ve found –
except when you haven’t found it yet.

Maybe there is no ars
and only poetica,
however you see fit to reveal
to the page what cannot be spoken
in words which cannot die.
For every poet is everyman.

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Sycamore Trees

Zacchaues, come down,
for the tree is rotten,
it cannot hold your weight;
It belongs to someone else
and is not yours to climb;
You shall be made sick,
pesticides are still on the leaves;
Those clouds look like lightning,
this is the tallest tree;
You left your door unlocked,
strangers are eating there;
The poor are gathering,
demanding you see to them;
For you should hide in your house today.

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The Rejection of Unbeing

It leaps out, like that one tree
in the scrublands,
and as easily dismissed.
The struggle to grow
amidst buffeting winds,
beneath blistering sun,
above selfish earth,
means nothing to the man
rushing by in his metal box,
listening to his metal tunes.
Still the tree is there,
and still more so being,
thrusting itself into our lives
only to be used and dismissed
— not ignored, it is too
intrusive for us to ignore —
despite its presence.
It proclaims “This. Is.”
yet we wonder what might be;
will it make a good bench?
will it, perhaps, one day
be riddled with bullets?
should the sun and changing winds
scorch even it to nothing?
It shall continue to intrude,
penetrating the hardness of minds,
asking us to look and see,
touch and taste being,
to realize “it is” and it is
wonder; beyond quantity,
quality, imagination.
The lone tree beckons;
will you walk with me?

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What are these fires we’ve lit,
these tickling little flames
that find out our secrets
and know about our names?
We’ve set them up before us,
we’ve made them all our own.
We ask them too few questions
and fade into the sun.
The world is lit on fire,
from end to end in flame,
each heart a charréd ember,
and naught left but a name.
We feed the fires with promise,
we let them grow unchecked.
Two hearts entwined in ruin,
two lives set to be wrecked.
We think we’ve got the answers,
we think that we’ll be fine,
but no one continues rightly
when they dance up’n that line.
These fires destroy our futures,
they lay waste kingdom come,
we’re trapped by who entrapped us
and doomed to growing numb.
When at last we find that one
worth each and every breath
we see the distant storm clouds
and taste encroaching death.
Even then still we wonder,
and let our fickle hearts,
and feed the growing madness
with all loves foolish arts.
Then we’re just left with no one
for life has claimed them all,
too soon we’re trapped in wishing
that life itself might fall.
How have we gone so far wrong
taking love’s fickle word
as all were needing, wanting,
to free us from the sword;
to walk our way to freedom
that leaves the heart no more
ready to give of itself,
to shrink so to restore
another person over
the every selfish pull,
to give and give and finally,
die to be ever full?
We think but in just one, two,
and then we’ve lost it all,
the clouds drift past beneath us,
we take that final fall.
The many watch us passing,
the tower of the age,
built of ev’r more than just two
of every human page,
the more things they cannot fail,
we’ve lost sight of the ‘us’
who is more than a tiny
spiral of falling dust.
And now the age is over,
its stars are burning out,
we who chose but to follow
have lost the chance to doubt
and tumble down to dust,
tumbling down to dust.

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The Heat

Wrapped in a blanket
next to the stove on the warmest
day of the year.
Run a mile too, to be sure.
We are warm blooded
and seek to heat,
why do another?
The body sweats and
chars and fades to black
and still we throw another blanket
onto the pyre.

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The Sickness and the Madness

“You have the plague,” they said,
“But do not worry,
so does the whole damn world.
It will start with disturbance in the stomach,
after will come heat in the face,
Then the madness.”
They stopped here to check a chart.
And then a pamphlet:
“Perfectly Abnormal Cardiopassional Health.”
“The Madness will drive everything
else from your mind.
It will consume all you once held dear,
But do not worry,
that is how it’s supposed to be.
It will start with your liesure, than your friends.
Soon the world and its worth will be lost
and won’t that just be easy?
Do not fight, you cannot win.
It is the most powerful force in all the universe
and cares not a wit for your will.
It is the only death worth dying.”
And they sent me away,
the trap
snapping shut
as I stepped out.

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