Of Your Time

Which is better of a tree? Which is better use of me?

To speak of its presence? Saying, “How strong its solemness, standing tall, withstanding all?” Asking you to close your eyes and opine on how it could be that such a tree only sometimes sways and creaks, whilst all creatures around it move about, busily in elsewhere mode?

Or shall I show this photograph…evidencing all my skill? See here my theft of light, my manipulation of mirrors? All the while holding my breath, knowing all I’d offer you was a lie to your eye, an insult to its blessed, innate sense of depth, of dimension?

Walk we instead, up to this friend and touch, even taste its barked bend? It won’t mind! Trace your finger to its roots-there’s solemnity! Follow, follow upward eyes, leaves dancing in the wind. Shading, singing as a friend?

Steel City

I remember Chicago

Who told me the pitch of my forehead to the plane of my feet was quite perfect

I, out of all the millions

You told me, was steel more strong than the skyscrapers I surrounded myself with

I believed and became

For I trusted you, and still do -you’d seen it all, and overcame, too

Clark

You were spoiling me, delivering the morning news to my doorstep

Changing headlines to all that I needed to read, nothing less

You were educating me, either that or reprogramming my heart

Carrying its weight for free, lightening the burden of beating again

You were reminding me of me, the me I was and am and cannot never be

Speaking life into an atrophied smile, why’d you die?

Thirty Percent

A fence may draw the eye, asking, will you act as friend?

What when we keep the Others out, what will that make us then?

Can’t we, won’t we alter fate of each whole soul, alike;

A fence with strong and welcome gate, a fence not stained by white.

Blink

Looking up from the down
My eyes
Having been temporarily imprisoned
I matter-of-factly acknowledged The Light
It had been there all the while
And I knew It

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(Sunrise Over Lake Michigan, Milwaukee)

Horizon

Grieve, good man
There is no shame
Scream if you must, or sing
I’ll hold your space from afar, when you need to step away from this spinning place
I’ll be your friend when time feels like your enemy

Mourn, my sister
As has been prescribed
Cry, though with clear, bright eyes
I’ll hold your heart, when it feels much too heavy for your wondrous frame to bear
I’ll speak the name of the sorrow the world denies you know

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My Carolina Days

Joy was my best friend, ever
A passionate Southern accent
Kind, though
Clear blue eyes and a reliable car
“Clutch,”
It’s a compliment
The only one who came through
Who showed up
I hope her boyfriend made things right
There was nothing he was doing
More important than Joy

Joy told me the best joke
An immature, juvenile joke
The kind you still giggle about at 50
Maybe less a joke than advice
“Shave your butt and walk backwards”
It’s a compliment
That you made someone laugh
Especially at them-self
There’s not enough of us doing that
These days
I want to laugh with Joy again

Steph: An Epic Poem

She,
I think,
Would be Stephanie
A love I didn’t know I needed
A friend from a Friend
Both martyred
For, what are true friends for?

She,
Stephanie,
Would have gifted me
A kind word
A wise word
Both since otherwise elusive in my world
For, looking back, what did I expect?

She,
Steph, we’d have called her,
Would be a poem -nay, is a poem
A poem and sister to a brother
A work of art with no end, they are
Both Epic story-songs
For, hear thou, their lyrical air?

She,
Stephanie,
Would be safe from me now
A sword of truth having pierced my soul
A prayer of forgiveness asked
Both to self and sin, I desire to die
For what, but abandonment, is there?

She,
Stephanie,
Would be thirty soon
A soul eternal
A girl, a woman
Both alive
For, ‘tho I don’t deserve, why too am I?