Month: October 2015

One more leaf

I watched
as one of autumns leaves
tumbled across the road,
it’s golden silhouette
illuminated in the headlights
of an early morning commute. Thousands still
lie matted to the ground,
wet and turning to pulp.
In the trees overhead
millions more shone
in amber,
gold and green…
turning to browns.
We marvel
at autumns turn,
expressing in awe
our thoughts
on this beauty
born of summers death.
We never do this,
though,
in our daily lives.
Most of us shun death.
My neighbor died,
yesterday.
His people came
to say goodbye.
I have lived next to him
for almost a decade
and I could not be moved
to cross the line
between his yard
and mine.
I had known he was sick,
knew it was fatal,
and I never reached out.
He was turning amber,
gold and green
and I never tried
to find the beauty.
I knew, even as it unfolded,
that this was a failure
within me.
But this morning
one leaf tumbles
and in it
I see the loss.

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Vices

I’m starting to think
that anger and frustration
aren’t real feelings
at all.
Because if they were,
I feel that I would work
to hide them.
Maybe,
when I felt them,
I would be surprised,
maybe it would take
another beer
to soften the edge,
to experience them
without fear or apprehension.
But I don’t.
I carry them around
all day long.
I revel in them,
I roll in them,
like a dog in a pile of shit.
Love, beauty, compassion…
empathy…
these
I keep
at arm’s length.
They are real feelings,
and I discourage them.
But, frustration and anger,
I hold on to them,
I hug them close.
They can’t be feelings
they must be vices.

Obtuse

I don’t know
if I shelter myself
from things,
feelings,
but often
the truth of a thing
that I have well-known
for some time
will abruptly overwhelm me
as if just becoming true
at that moment.
Is this some shield
or block?
Why?
I labor in ignorance
of feelings
I ought to have felt
for some time.
How blind
and cruel
do I look
to those around me
if I am immune
to my own emotional
needs?

It’s another day

I think
that the worst thing
about this world
is that
the people I share it with
share very little
with me.
I mean no arrogance
in this,
simply;
I drift alone,
for months…
years,
on ideas,
thoughts,
understandings,
and am called a fool,
a weirdo,
a non-conformist…
until….
The tide shifts,
the mood alters
and sentiment changes;
then…
am I celebrated?
No.
I have been forgotten
in the ensuing melee,
cast aside
as the wailing heretic.
I am either too far ahead
on some curve
to be understood,
or instead
on some other path
alone in my strangeness.
Either way
I shout out my missives
to an audience
that doesn’t give a shit today
and won’t give acknowledgement
tomorrow.

Does not warrant

The woman in the SUV
saw me
playing my harmonica
in stop-and-go traffic,
it’s something I do
from time
to time
(I am trapped
in this mundanity,
am I not allowed
some outlet
for my soul?)
It was not
in the having been-seen
that I withered.
It was her diminishing nod
that said, at once,
“How nice,”
and,
“I’m not judging, but…”
I was caught
at an open moment
and it felt just like
being stripped naked
and pushed out
into the world.
I shouldn’t have felt that way,
but then,
don’t I give
that same look
a thousand times
every day?
It’s not judgemental;
it’s worse:
It’s quiet dismissal.