Saturday, July 15, 2017

What Is Not Not Is

Not afraid of darkness
Not afraid of pain
Not afraid of crying in the sunshine
Or of laughing in the rain

Not afraid of looking
Not afraid to see
Not afraid of searching
What must be will be

Not bound by tradition
The status quo does not torture me
Life has never been a given
It takes effort to live free

Not one to get waylaid by emotion
Like so many others drifting blind
The combustion ignited in this soul
Fuels the flame inside my mind

Reason is my only weapon
The greatest tool I know
I can never be disarmed of it
And I take it everywhere I go

So now you've learned some things I'm not
But another fact is also true
A mind like a muscle can be exercised
The choice is up to you

The world is not all butterflies and rainbows
Not all options will always be ideal
But wishing on some shooting star
Won't help you cope with what is real

Perhaps the evidence is there before you
Or it may be fleeting as you gasp
At algebraic thoughts and variables
For some solution you strive to grasp

There is nothing wrong with the negative
It is part of what life is all about
What is not not is
To rule things in, first one must rule things out

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ode to a Lost Friend (Farewell KingSwank)

Amidst the green of the campus,
Rolling hills and red brick halls,
With our sly winks and impish grins,
Our bond reached beyond those walls.
I had a friend who was a dreamer;
A soul imbued with the light of life.
He left this world far too abruptly -
In his wake beset shadows of internal strife.

Sometimes I wondered at what I had missed,
Or what I could have done,
Tried to bargain with the irreversible,
Ran screaming towards the darkness,
Or hurled violent curses at the blazing sun -
But then I was halted in my footsteps,
To recognize these histrionics were untoward.
My friend was never one for dwelling on the past;
He would have wanted me to move forward.

Many years prior...
Pending the admissions test for seventh grade,
And while administrators expressed their rules in sum,
We met, as he broke the droning list of don'ts and nevers,
By passing me a forbidden stick of Juicy Fruit gum.
From the very first day we ever met
One truth endured the entire while,
My friend never seemed to find a greater joy
Than when he evoked another's smile.

When my steak is cooked just perfect,
Or I'm goofing off beneath the stars,
When I am making myself productive,
Or just driving around in cars,
With every slice of hot and cheesy pizza,
And every rockin' note I hear
With every memory tinged new experience
I feel my friend is near.

Through so many experiences together,
And so many stories that we shared.
I know that I am not the only one
Who felt the warmth of how much he cared.
A presence in every room he entered,
A bridge between every divide,
He taught us to drop our petty differences
And revel in being alive.

Though he was every bit a human being
He was also more than that you see;
He lived as an example
Of the best that we can be.
He walked among us, a boon of hopeful flame;
A bounding breath of oxygen, stoking our fire,
Colliding in a relentless positron of positivity -
He could self-generate the energy to inspire...

He was a strong foster of community
Bold enough to overcome the rife,
With a royal heart as grand as everlasting love,
He charmed we celebrants, touched by his life.
A great friendship is eternal
Even after that friend has passed,
So I take his light into my thoughts
Where I know he will forever last.

Ode to you my friend,
I miss you, though you are with me.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lament of a Poet

This piece came to me while watching a YouTube video of Bono being interviewed by Charlie Rose, which was recorded in May 2013, but which I watched on Memorial Day weekend in 2015. Something about Bono's description of how songs come to him struck a chord with me, as it were, and the first to lines of this piece materialized in my brain.

The first stanza came suddenly, but it was in the second and third stanza that I realized subject of the piece. Consciousness however is a great deflector of magic, so that in writing poetry, the more you think you know about where you're going, or where you want to go, the harder it becomes to get there. No sooner do the ideas of a poem begin to become clear, then they also begin to evaporate. The poet is left with a turbulent internal struggle to hold onto his inspiration long enough to make a recording, and to do so while remaining honest and while avoiding contrivances.

A poem, after all, is a conversation between a poet and himself; his subconscious beliefs erupting into his conscious awareness. Honesty and Integrity are key. If the poet cannot be honest with himself, he should not expect anyone else to trust his words. Thus, if the poet cannot get it all down before inspiration leaves him, he will be forced to choose between the undesirable option of faking it, or if he is an honest man he must wait until she returns... And the truth is, she may never return.


Lament of a Poet

Words in the vapor
Songs in the spray
Echoes of a lover
From an long lost day

This is the dance
The language of life
A passionate mistress
My common law wife

Poetry floating
Like clouds through the sky
When a phrase as a sunbeam
Catches my eye

Quick as a flame
Consuming my soul
There will be no peace
‘Til the poem is whole

But my muse is a flirt
A fickle young lass
My efforts feel fleeting
For soon she must pass

No bonds could hold her
Though I tried my best
Thus this frustrated poet
Shall never find rest

My heart is a bonfire
On a beach where I wait
For my lover’s return
My passion to sate

Salty with seaweed
That seashore musk
Fills up my lungs
As day fades towards dusk

The lapping of waves
Crashing as foam
Oh where is my muse
Far did she roam

I wait beyond sunset
With hope not forlorn
A new day shall come
If I can last ‘til the morn

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Life Defiant

Dreaming
Screaming
Staring at the walls
Pining for the Angel
When the Demon calls
They both want me
Clawing at my soul
Tearing at the fabric
As if it were theirs to own
Falling
Flailing
Running for the door
Keep your pedestal
I’d rather stand alone
Arid integrity
Sand granules
Across a promise mirage
Unforgivable
Blind faith
Desert sun barrage
Divisive
Deceit
I can see their game
But just because I understand
Doesn't mean I’ll play
Mucking the hand
Chips held in reserve
Time will tell
If we get what we deserve
Rinse and
Repeat
Cleansing of my brain
Laying waste to parasites
Build a better way
Dreaming
Screaming
Pounding on the walls
Don’t believe in Angels
Nor Demons at all
Acquiring principles
Needed to survive
With this hierarchy
Of values I can thrive
I am a man
Born for standing tall
A life defiant
Honest and True
Is worth the price
No matter what detractors do
So gentle – Never
Bring on the night
No doubt whatsoever
I can spare the light

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Screaming Heart

Well I’m screaming in my heart
Silent as I start
Drifting through a window
Soaring as I swoop low
World below is dying
But still I am flying
Scanning where you might roam
‘Cause where you are is my home

And I’m screaming in my heart
Trying to play my part
Looking like a hero
Feeling like a zero
Cold as a snow globe
Drifting like an ice floe
Doing all I can do
Trying to find you

Still I’m screaming in my heart
Hiding in my art
Searching for some meaning
Interpret what I’m gleaning
Looking for my lover
In the shadows under cover
Holding out for reason
Though sometimes it feels like treason

Now I’m screaming in my heart
Silent as I start
Playing along
Dying for this song
Alive but not free
Only you can save me
Tell me what to do
I am longing for you

Screaming in my heart
Screaming in my heart
Only silent as I start
Screaming in my heart
Trying to play my part
Hiding in my art
Screaming in my heart
Screaming for you

I am, screaming for you…

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Paddlers on a Lake of Fire

For all those souls who do aspire,
Paddlers on a lake of fire
Burning with a wild desire
Dancing flame of passion’s lyre

The waves crest for thee…

The Rower’s Song

Row, row, row your boat
That has been the dream
Of many a maverick
Making his own scene

He does not need to fall in line
He does what he will dare
And if no one else rolls with him
Well dammit he won’t care

But if you wish to come along
And bring with you no strife
He welcomes you with open arms
To dance this jig called life

Row, row, row your boat
That has been the dream
To carve out his own reality
With a well lived life his theme

Some may stand and criticize
And say he is a tool
When if they dared to look around
They’d see they are the fools

Now that is no concern to him
For he has things to do
And if you are wise as that guy
You’ll get to moving too.

Row, row, row your boat
That is still the dream
To meet at that flotilla
And laugh, and hoot and scream

HIs oars are in the water
HIs muscles bulge and strain
But he keeps paddling forward
Even in the rain

They’re standing on the banks now
They’re watching as he goes
And praying for the mist to rise
To reveal the clarity he knows

Row, row, row your boat
That is still the theme
Of liberty and justice as reward
For those who dare to dream

Row, row, row your boat
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Because in actuality
Happiness is the theme