Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mere Seconds...

time ticks wildly

the spinning hands

the only measure

of my existence

there is no shadow

no footprint left

there are no words

left as evidence on a page

there is no quiet

no place for my soul

there is no silence

to hear the beat of my heart

days filled with chaos

from before the day’s dawn

end in utter exhaustion

digesting thought pushed aside

in the hope of chasing sleep

at least let the body rest

the mind will have to wait

the soul, well, it’s coming in last

days filled with progress and change

are tinged with darkness

things I cannot comprehend

‘the evil that men do’

no time for learning

as cleaning up the messes of the past

take over the present

at a breakneck pace

each step forward feels like

a backwards tug of the chain

each moment’s breath filled with another

oh, but wait!

reaching deep within

for all semblance of strength

and relying heavily on sunrises

and the voice of a beautiful day

thankful for saviors

that come in the shape of a smile

a wink, a nod, a gesture

that look of yes, I know

days progress so quickly

and time is flying by

wishing for simple moments

to acknowledge the clock’s tick


Sunday, October 20, 2013

tweakers refrain

tweakers outside the wal~mart

sucking on cigarette butts

dirty jeans and fingernails

hoodies draped on heads

faces scabbed and scarred

remaining teeth stained

ghostly hollow frames

evidence of life in decay

standing out there on Sunday afternoon

nothing else to do

watching life as it passes

no expressions on their face

asking for change, for another smoke

anything anyone can spare

no shame, no inhibition

weakened waste laid bare

with a twinge I pass the collective

of character actors in this scene

I’ve come so far I’ve almost forgotten

that lives still end up like this

change of scenery, location

pinpoints on a map

souls are lost everywhere

it doesn’t matter where you land

closing the car door

I catch the scent of the cigarette’s smoke

and remember when that was my breath

smoking them end to end

when the line cut with a sharpened blade

sucked up through a straw

was the only thing that entered my soul

there, but for grace, did I go~


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ode To An Addict

there is something in the air

on this breezy fall evening

with leaves the size of notebook paper

falling to the ground

the black and grey haze

of the nighttime sky

the backdrop of memories

flashing past

the striking of the notes

of the jangling guitar

the melodic rush and swirl

transports me back to a time

that I can almost taste and feel

the blue and red flannel shirt

with the sleeves cut off

dr martens and 501’s

that chain that hung from my belt

with a folding knife at the end

hair to my shoulders in dark red curls

and barely 105 lbs

strung out and dangling

on the end of a thread

nights on the corner of 7th and Cherry

those dirty Long Beach streets

I spent more time in that smoky bar

than I ever did anywhere else

days and days spent wide awake

line after endless line

god forbid I surrender and give in to sleep

though I looked like a ghost most of the time

the endless miles I spent on the road

just to keep from being still

afraid that I would catch up to myself

and have to look in the mirror

face hollow cheeks shadowed deep

skin hanging off bones

a simple caricature of a human being

making the motions of being alive

that night with a gun at the back of my head

lying face down on the floor

I remember caring about only one thing

that they might steal my stash

that little Ziploc bag

that I was never without

an endless supply of wide awake

9 feet tall and bulletproof

the master of the illusion

that took me to the highest highs

and then dashed me onto the floor

to the lowest of the lows

always fearing the fall

the inevitable coming down

I would fight and scratch and scream

before I would close my eyes

the fall was always a devastation

the proverbial end of the world

the feeling of dying slowly

the pain too much to bear

sweating and aching and shaking

unable to even form words

after days on end I would just sit there

staring into space

the death of thought

the numb of my soul

until I could not feel a thing

and I had thought I’d won

never more hollow

never more cold

a ghost that

could move amongst the mass

invisible and unseen

no one knew how low I’d gone

that song tonight took me back there

I can almost taste that taste

of it running down my throat

after I’d inhaled~


Saturday, October 12, 2013


At 6:30 am in a hotel lobby, before I could even smell the coffee, a very lovely soul crossed my path. She was delightfully pleasant and warm and happier than anyone I’ve ever met. she had me smiling from ear to ear and feeling very changed in a way that I haven’t felt lately.


While I sat eating breakfast, talking with a co-worker and listening to the day’s news, I saw her approach us again. She pulled two boxes of mints from her pocket and handed us each one and with a wink said, ‘for later’. She then leaned over and gave us both huge hugs and wished us a wonderful day. When she pulled away I saw her name tag, ‘Sunshine’, well of course…


I said, “Your Momma knew something didn’t she?” She laughed and said, “I know not everyone does it or believes it but I choose to rejoice, every day.” and off she went to finish her ‘rounds.


When I walked over for my second cup of coffee, she was deep in conversation with a woman whose day did not appear to be going so well. She gave her that same warm hug but this time as she pulled away, she raised her arms and began to sing, “You are my sunshine…” She sang the entire song at full volume in one of the most soulful voices I have ever heard. The hair on my arms stood on end and I got chills all over my body. When she finished the room was silent and I started the applause. She then as if nothing happened went back to greeting all and handing out mints and hugs.


The rest of my day had a bit of a glow around it following such an experience but as it progressed, life began to happen again. The noise of everyday life kept threatening my quiet calm. Each time the silence was broken, I quietly hummed to myself. As I sat in traffic for hours at the end of my day, I broke out in song at full voice as well. That night I slept like a baby after I sang myself to sleep.


Try it when you forget that some things are just noise and that you can sing yourself into peace.


“you are my sunshine…”

Thursday, October 10, 2013

a poet's death

there is currently no poetry in my world

 empty pages beckons to me to speak

there is no time for me within my day

to stop, to breathe, to dream, to exhale

a lone soul, I came into this place

where beauty is vast and breathtaking

but life and its demands have nailed me

to the cross like some martyr to commerce

I have entered this land of strangers

where not an ounce of trust exists

and am not in a place

where I can protect myself

hyper aware, constantly in defense

of things that should not be taking up my time

no place to let down the upheld guard

no space to exhale my own need

last night I dreamt that my poet tattoo

simply rubbed off the surface of my skin

that is wasn’t truly etched into me

as the definition of who I know I am

the message is strong as I wake today

and am slammed back to reality’s bite

so in defiance I sit typing these words

when I know I ‘should’ be doing something else

I cannot let this environment

take over the content of my soul

I have to quiet the external screams

so that my voice

has room to be heard

she is quiet and timid until sure of herself

and I cultivate her growth

but if I let this world take the core of me

then she will die as well~



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Solitude Sometimes Wins

it won’t always be like this

I know, I understand.

but it feels like this right now

and this is the moment I’m in.

with water flowing down my back

and tears pouring down my face.

I knelt on the shower floor

and let it all come out.

exhaustion and stress

a paralyzing blend.

of sensations that kill creativity

and leave me standing still.

I don’t have a moment to breathe right now

to exhale away the day.

from the moment it starts all eyes on me

and there is no refuge for me to hide.

there are no moments to sit and reflect

to let words float around in my mind.

no time to sit and stare at the trees

and let them sing to me.

this might not be important to those

who don’t live and breathe words.

but for those who do, you understand

it feels like a silent death.

last night I dreamt a story

that I wanted so badly to write.

but with dawn and the alarm and the inevitable day

I felt the words crawl away.

I dreamt of a friend I had found

who understood the words.

the meaning hidden in the rhythm

and the cadence of the song.

I dreamt that she came to my doorstep

and sat in the middle of the floor.

surrounded by books, piles of them

and waited patiently for me.

the irony in the dream was that I had run

and sat in front of her door.

needing the solace and consolation

of one who understands.

so while I sat, waiting for her

and she sat waiting for me.

the alarm rang and took that dream

but the message wasn’t lost.

in the shower it hit me full force

and flowed out with my tears.

I did have someone who understood

she just wasn’t standing here.

she listens though, and hears

and through words reaches me.

I just haven’t had the time to hear

and the solitude sometimes wins.