Being 64

I sit here, wondering,

I’m 64 and still not sure.

My mind is awash with thoughts,

they swell up like high tide.

I’m Canute trying to ebb the flow,

but it’s relentless,

there’s no turning back.

So I write,

everyday,

every thought,

every feeling.

I write, it’s a flood,

of a pent up life.

Of not being smart,

of not being a star.

Now, I’m breaking free,

from the bonds of opinion.

My words are mine,

incomplete as they are,

a vision of the dreams,

unfulfilled by the fear.

So here I sit,

I’m 64, no longer willing,

to be silenced by old nightmares.

I write,

imperfect as it may seem,

but I write,

I’m 64, there’s is so much more,

to life, to love, to be.

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Honeyed Words

His words flowed,

sweeter than pure honey,

liquid gold, 

as alluring as a young woman.

The words promised much,

yet behind them one could sense,

the hiss of the serpent.

“Just listen” the voice spoke,

“I will set you free” 

As shackles are clamped,

onto ones soul. 

I AM, spoke once,

in the mists of time.

Creating life, 

free of fear,

the honeyed voice,

showers with promises,

the voice that spoke creation,

lost in the voices of Babel,

yet, the glimmer of love,

breaks on the horizon.

Grace, purer and sweeter,

than anything he could say,

flows freely, 

shattering the shackles.

Christus Rex in the city

Tonight, the city cold and gray,

he lies there swaddled in his tattered blanket

as wisps of steam rise, like angel wings,

around his prone body.

No one sees him, he’s a ghost,

the crowds too harried,

as they look upon the Jumbotron,

advertising the latest.

His hands and feet,

raw and bloody,

his cup half full of coins.

Foxes have holes,

birds have nests,

he lies there forgotten,

a reminder of humanity’s waste.

Soon, he’ll have to move,

to wander through urban wasteland,

tempted by the easy,

by the bright lights,

the glam and glitter,

of the false idols of greed.

His path is chosen,

in his ragged robe,

hair stringy and matted,

beard, greasy, bits of food clinging.

He blesses more than receives,

as another coin clinks,

he looks up knowing,

the vision before him,

guides his way,

through the heartache,

as he watches empty souls, 

wander through self made deserts.

Angst

Of all the hair brained ideas,

I thought I could write poetry.

Without any training,

without an MFA,

here I sit pounding out words.

Who do I think I am?

Poetry is for the intellectuals,

those who look the part, 

a bit strung out,

giving you that pensive gaze.

They are the ones who know,

what the iambic means.

They have rhythm, in their words.

Mine just lay there,

like vomit on the street,

curdling in the summer sun,

smelling just as bad.

Sure, I’ve read the instructions,

I’ve read and listened,

hell, I’ve even taken a lesson.

Yet, really what do I know,

a poor excuse for a poet,

relying on only words,

trying to make sense of it all.

My feelings laid bare,

my doubts and fears exposed.

Yet, I write, write write,

if not I think my head will explode,

or worse, I’ll implode. 

So I’ll continue with poetry,

and poor prose,

committing words to paper,

and one day my dream,

will be carried forward,

by those who follow.

Reflecting on the Political Season

The times are a mess,

we seem to be stuck,

in a thick muddiness.

It grips at our very being,

our hearts hurt every day.

The big blue ball spins,

hurtling us through space,

yet, hope is falling away.

The voices are loud, 

just loud, no truth,

volume is the key,

facts need not apply,

the homeless person shudders,

the young black man wonders,

a small child prays.

The spinning vortex, 

drags us into oblivion,

no Oz, no Emerald City,

these Munchkins devour.

The threshold beckons,

the temptation to restore,

that which was lost,

in the whips and chains.

This voyage is not easy,

our sails are set.

Steering into the light,

instead of into the dark.

The sea is stormy,

and Leviathan breaches above,

yet, we sail ever forward,

knowing that light and life,

lay out in that storm.

Grace and love, 

the land of hope and dreams,

Not the land of despair,

is what we seek.

Childs Prayer

I kneel by my bedside, 

my mother sitting, patiently as I pray,

“Now I lay me down to sleep”,

I start, fumbling for words trying to remember,

“I pray the Lord my soul to keep”,

I’m four years, what is a soul, 

why would anyone keep it?, 

“If I should die, before I wake”, 

Die?, 

A cold darkness settles over, 

in the ceiling I see him,

the jester who stalks my dreams,

the dark one, 

seeking to take me away.

Flying down three flights of stairs,

out onto Congreve Street, 

a bumping through Fallon Field.

“I pray the Lord, my soul to keep”,

In the dark my eyes open, 

my heart races,

I run to the safety of their room,

I bury myself in the familiar smells,

Old Spice and Ivory Soap,

“God bless, mommy, daddy, sister, Grandpa, Grandma”,

The jester will not find me,

and on that night, 

as I nuzzle between the sentinels,

safe from the darkness,

I finally say, “Amen.”  

My Poetry

 For the last several weeks I have been writing more poetry. Some is okay and some needs work, but it’s a genre that I want to explore further. What I like about trying to write poetry, is in using words economically, that convey a feeling or moment. Really good poetry has that ability to take the reader into new worlds on the wings of words. I’ve noticed that some of my poetry repeats itself, the themes are similar, it’s just in the way I’ve arranged or used the words. I don’t think that is a bad thing, after all, writing is an art form and all artists tend to use the same themes but change them subtlety to evoke a different feeling.

 I have appreciated the kindness of those who follow my blog, either on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter or Tumbler, for liking what I have written. Also, to those who have made comments, that have inspired me to continue writing. As I seek to expand my own understanding about poetry, I hope that you will continue to follow as well as challenge this novice writer. We all have our “muse” that person or persons, whose love helps us to see our environment in new ways. My own muse is the love of family, especially my wife. In these troubling times, it is now, more than ever, that we need poetry in our lives. To open us up to new possibilities, show us worlds of wonder and love, giving us hope even in the shadow of darkness. 

 To my fellow writers, those of us who have been at it for years and those of us just now discovering their own voice, continue. Continue to challenge the mind and the heart, continue to write poems that evoke, prod and yes, even infuriate, the systems that seek to silence the artist. In doing so, we begin the long, slow process of transforming our society as well as transforming ourselves, to be the best we can ever be.

 So, with that being said, here is today’s offering. My title, Tending The Garden. 

The time continues to pass,

moments compressed,

in the forward march of life.

The past lingering,

the future enticing,

the present, confusing.

Walking the fine line,

between fantasy and reality,

as dreams die on the vine.

The heart waits in silence,

to hear the voice of love,

for the new growth,

a small, green shoot, 

breaking the hardened soil,

grasping for the light.

Where does this take me,

in the confines of my life?

I grasp for meaning,

as twilight nears.

Searching the soul,

in the midst of confusion.

Tending the garden,

that lies within,

rooting out 

the weeds of doubt.