Bolivar and San Martin: Guayaquil, Ecuador

Monday, February 26, 2007

Alone in the Cold

and Cold.

His placard drips
with ice rain,
a forgotten man stationed
a few feet to the side
of a highway off-ramp.
He shifts slowly
on his cane,
searching for the angle
that shelters him best
from a driving Chicago wind.

Such a hopeless place
to be during the
numb-to-the-bone frosts
of a February that seems
to go on forever.

For a moment I try
to match his gaze,
but the lights have all gone out.
There is only a dull glare
as he stares, mangy beard pointed
to the ground, and freezing rain
which rolls down his cheeks
like the many tears
he must long to cry.

Yet in the passing moments
between red light and green
It is I who feels like weeping
as I struggle to reconcile this,
an image of my brother locked
in a forgotten state,
wondering, with my solitary tear,
if he was ever loved at all.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

On John Clare's "I am"

I have dreamed you
within the walls of that asylum,
friend of the earth and dearest friend to me.
I have seen you, heartsick and dying,
Guiding your pen with fury across the page;
striving to soothe both your pain and my own.
you foresaw that the storm of abject solitude
would thunder and punish again,
and you left your words as a mighty bulwark for me
against the rising tide of nothing but alone.
You knew not my name, but you were certain I would come,
One to press your words, a healing balm, against the soul,
one who would not forget you or ever forsake you
locked inside those walls.
I hope you too find calm in this, my simple song
of thanks and praise. Sleep in peace,
Remembered, revered,
and hold close forever my final words:
we are.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

hate's mastery

Why must my thoughts of vengeance return?
I despise the hatred within,
the control it takes over the body:
my blood boils over
and my muscles hold tense,
poised like coiled snakes
so eager to unleash their rage
in a flash of violent fury.

at times I tremble because
my thoughts can be darker
than the sin of Cain.
There are brothers whose malevolent hearts
I would tear, still pulsing, from their chests,
and I would spit in their faces
as I dangled the vessels of lifeblood
before their failing eyes.

I am as sorry for these thoughts
as I am that so many sins
are swallowed, accepted,
unanswered and unpunished.

Alas, the stroke of justice
is not mine to give,
but oh, how thoughts of vengeance
boil within.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

words and a new friend

I suddenly feel less weary
than I have in days beyond count.
Some weight has been lifted,
unmarked and unnoticed by me
until now.

My mind seems clear,
with room enough
for every image I desire.
The words are simple yet fearless,
unadorned but also unafraid.
they flash their teeth tenaciously
if they disagree with where
they fall in line.

So different, this feeling.
I've never known harmony
but this must feel like its conception.
No more vacant rooms for my thoughts to hide,
on the winding paths within
inspiration walks freely
where only solitude used to tread.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Two Centuries Late

Dear Wordsworth, where are you in such an hour?
We have no fire, the sonnet drowns in scorn.
We pump out dying words, devoid of power,
My gift is lost, I am untimely born.
We could have sat upon Westminster bridge,
Together poring over Milton's words.
We could have climbed the height of every ridge,
And let our songs fly loose up with the birds.
You could have shown me those untrodden ways,
The fields that Lucy held within her sight.
O that I might have lived in brighter days!
When you, and Keats, and Blake professed your might.
I strive to praise, to frame you with my rhyme,
Reviving your bright flame within our time.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A momentary pause

I trudge the silent path,
the expanse of my mind laid bare
against an empty world-
life teems for someone, somewhere.

Words in disarray.
that is my consciousness,
and the truths I would nail
upon Heaven's gate
lie disjointed and twisted amidst
the sprawling harvest
that I cannot seem
to reap from my soul.

Astray, my thoughts are so very astray.
They long to swim
in the current of liquid song,
unleashing their melodies
of love and desolation with rhythmic pleasure,
perhaps the exstasis of Dionysian odes.

I marvel that my words and thoughts
can also dream,
their own wills smeared
in deep hues across the page.
Such poor housing for them are
these perfunctory verses,
quietly spilling from
a tarnished heart within.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Answers May Await You, So Hold True

A clear silence is born
in the agony of dawn,
A deeper mystery than prayer.

His wilted hands kiss
flesh to flesh,
while vaporous and inaudible
words escape his lips;
No force for these syllables
deftly crafted in the center of his universe,
Which slowly evolved
into the Seat of despair.

White pillows, white blankets,
wisps of white hair
which no one attends.
There is only his breathing
mistaken as silence,
In the dying heart's core
such a thunder of noise.