The Headache of Zeus

I’m looking for that perfect sentence

the one that will open this poem

the perfect metaphor never used

so that you will read my poetry.

I even bought a book or two

to help me on my quest

to find the right combinations

of those words that I seek.

Poetry for Dummies is one

that claims to help demystify poetry

only will it help demystify me.

I dream, dreams of words aligned

all in perfect poetic order

then when I sit to write they are a jumble.

Outside the sun shines bright

and I hear the birds singing

the world is slowly waking up 

as I emerge from the dreams.

Now I sit here writing once again

looking at the blinking cursor

on the blank screen of the iPad

trying to remember what I dreamed

in the midnight hours

because what I saw was that sentence

all pretty and perfect

just waiting to be birthed

a sleeping fetus

enclosed in a darkened womb

of my mind

the headache of Zeus

that refuses to be born.

What Tale do I Tell?

What tale am I to tell? 

Where does my story begin?

Where will it all end?

I look about and see poetry

in the trees as the wind blows through the leaves

in the songs of the birds nesting in the branches.

There is poetry in the love I share

in the tears I shed

in my own imperfections.

I look up at the clouds scudding across the sky

changing shape molded by unseen hands

creating a story that is timeless.

I am such a small part of the greater whole

seeking to discover that one great purpose

writing these bits and pieces of poetry

hoping to see in the words a reflection of my soul.

Perfection is a dream, a fantasy of youth

these words are imperfect as is the language.

It can never describe those deeper feelings

that lie at the core of my being,

a being fraught with fear and anxiety

of knowing I am not enough on my own.

What tale do I tell? 

What mystery lies at the root of my heart?

The roads I have travelled were never straight

winding through a landscape at once beautiful and terrible.

Through the gauntlet of people and places

faces haunting the edges of my memory

now I stand on the precipice of the future

as I stare out across a valley shrouded in fog

wondering where my story will take me.

Time grows shorter with each passing year

I now have arrived at a point where there are less tomorrow’s

and I can no longer sit idly 

as that enemy time, 

gnaws me down into dust.

All is sacred, all is holy, if I dare to look outward

fear is the cage created to justify our own failures

and I have failed and fallen so may times

yet, like the Phoenix I have risen from the ashes

to stand before the judgement seat of the Holy

the mystery of unconditional love

that calls us out of our tombs

unbinding our tortured souls

and bathing us in the light of truth.

Memories of a Time on a Snowy Day

So, on this snowy day, I’m sitting here remembering being out on guard duty looking out onto the fog illuminated by the perimeter lights, and hearing the crack pow sound of an AK-47 off somewhere in the distance as if in a dream that makes no sense. Meanwhile, outside the snow is blowing around and it’s hard to see across the yard as the plows scape and bang their way down the street and here I am stuck once again with memories of youth in a place and time where there was no snow, and the air contained the smell of rotting vegetation, mixed with the scent of tropical flowers, growing in the burned out perimeter, where only the rats ran and thrived.

Writing Poetry

 I’ve been writing a lot of poetry these past few months, well, let’s just say I think I’ve been writing poetry. I’m definitely not a classic poet, I don’t do all of the rhyming or understanding of what constitutes a decent poem. Yet, I continue to write these poems and once in a while I get a few positive comments and quite a number of likes. 

 Lately, I’ve begun to reflect on my writing, what it means, what I intend it to mean, basically those great existential questions of self worth and what my life is about. Most of what I write starts as a short verse or just one word. From that one short verse or word, I start to write, usually a stream of consciousness until I exhaust that vein of words. I then look over what has been written, read it out loud to hear what it’s saying and then make edits. Many times I surprise myself at what I’m reading. It’s as if my mind and thoughts are no longer my own as I write down what I’m hearing inside. Another voice, ancient and elusive, seems to be seeking an outlet as I write. 

 Ever since being struck by that car door, over a year ago, this voice deep within has been ever present with me. I see the world and all that is around me in a different light. I see the flowers and trees, the birds, and the life around me, coming even more alive. There is a vividness all around, an achingly beautiful, yet fearful world, that screams at my heart to write about. I really can never explain these feelings, as I am still seeking to make sense of what I’m hearing and writing about.

 So, I will continue on this path, I will write more poems, delve into sacred prose, seek the Spirit that underlies my very life. Some will resonate, some will just purely suck, all of it will be mine. 

Yesterday’s Work at Poetry 101

Two pieces I wrote in a Poetry workshop at Grub Street, first a bit of prose, second the start of an Ode to my Priesthood. Both need work, but they are a start and you have to start somewhere. Enjoy! 

Poetry 101, I’m walking down the Yellow Brick road and have hit the woods. Lions, tigers and bears, oh my, as I read, lyric, epic, and ballad, oh God, what does it all mean. Suddenly the trees are throwing apples as thoughts jump out and I’m awash trying to sort the good from the bad. It’s good that I don’t know what I’m doing, trying to write, revise, write, revise, somehow my revision sounds like the old vision. Do these words push, change, break down the boundaries of the social order? More like they creep into my head like an ear worm that eventually becomes so annoying that I just need to write them, so as to corral their wildness within. 

I put on my cloak of invisibility,
black shirt, white collar,
going out into the world.

Eyes downcast,
a sinners worst nightmare,
the priest walks the streets,
reminding them of old wounds,
unrequited loves and darkness.
They are bound by these sins,
as tightly as Lazarus in the grave.
Not knowing that this one to,
is bound by those same bonds.

A sinner walks with them,
filled with fears, the ghosts,
haunt every step, the grave grows deep.
No miracles to be performed,
as prayer becomes dry and dusty,
the wilderness in the midst of life.
Longing to heal the pains,
powerless against the rising tides.