The Lost Sense of Bewilderment

Jayson Hinrichsen @ unsplash

I wonder if life would have been the same
If I had but a different name
As common as the monsoon rain
Somewhere between John and Jane

I wonder who would have called me close
Gifted whiskey or a blood red rose
Shared laughter with a list of woes
And left me where the west wind blows

I wonder if I would have been happy more
Being a seashell on a shallow shore
Drunk with madness like never before
Following the echo of my silent roar

I wonder if I would have lived long
Sang a chorus in some choir song
Before in life it all went wrong
For now I am but not where I belong…

The Aroma of Sadness


I look at the wrong things and cry
But tears are taboo, aren’t they?
Like used razors or sandpaper towel
Or the last page of a living novel
And yet I do, not because I cannot avert my eyes
From the still beauty
Subdued by time
But that I would witness
In those aching final ages
Filled with long and random sunlight
My disappearance
Into wet satin
And gossamer ash
Of original nothingness

If fire could speak of pain
And water too of how it feels to suffocate
Beneath the weight
Of drowning men
They would
But flesh cannot heal the sky
Nor blood fill a river dry
For all thoughtful fantasies are unwritten tragedies
Beginning at birth
And only deepening when you die

So I weep for the ocean of sadness
Clenched inside my throat
I pray for the lambs sheltered
In the veins of my battered boat
And I yearn to leave the answers
With my back against the dying day
To rest amidst the sleeping shepherds
For I have nothing more to say…

Death, Dear Friend

Image by Dave Hoefler @ Unsplash

Death, do not cry
I know; you are no one’s friend
But that does not make you; a foe
Like all who have been and are being swept away
Like a clove leaf upon a current
You too are destined by design
To sow and grow; sorrow
That abandoned thistle tree
Which all passes and pretends not to see

Death, do not cry
When your choices go wrong
There are so many voices asking
To add another verse to their swan song
But you know as do I
That music is sweet only for so long
And it starts with no cymbals and shall end with no gong

Death, do not cry
People do care about you a lot
You may not always be the fountainhead
But you are almost always an afterthought
And we may not think of you as we breathe
Or when we play the games of Holy Land
But we do rehearse our union every night
Though not all of us understand

Death, do not cry
We shall meet for once and forever
But before that I must ask an honest, humble favor:
Of all the places for us to meet
And greet, if you could visit me when I am fast asleep
Then there shall be nothing for me to weep
As I skip; the curtain call of my every emotion
And be like a nameless raindrop falling into an aimless ocean

Of Bones Beneath the Branches

There were cypress beyond the city wall
With cones like eyes upon them
And I tended each for long until I felt
They saw far too much of me
And showed far too little of themself
(Those leaves with their whispers and those roots with their secrets)
So I did not water come the summer, I did not water come the winter;
And the leaves, they yellowed and fell,
And frost took the roots
Slipping needles of ice into their breaths
Till decades were laid silent
Like sand beneath the ocean.
I walk beyond the wall now and then
Dressed in nothing but the evening
And stand under the cypress
And watch the antler twigs sway
Hiding nothing now but melancholy motion
The sense of sleep
And I wonder at the difference, if any, between our shared nakedness