The Waving Man
Sometimes I care so much that I don't want to care anymore at all
That chain lays heavy across my back
Sometimes I think those cold links keep me warm
When they really just keep me down
How I'd like to trade it all in for a a big breath of freedom and sunshine
Like the waving man so big - Oh how he smiles, it hurts my face
and it hurts my heart just to look at him...
But I always wave and I think ... someday I'll wear that fucking smile too
Well the bright side is that yesterday it made me sad and today it just pisses me off
***note: I just learned that the man this poem was written about passed away sometime in 2010 or 2011. Here is an article about his passing and his life, He was a bit of an eccentric who walked all over town, waving to literally every car that passed him. I'd fantasize sometimes that he was a worldly wise Buddha type...with divine knowledge that could set us all free..
It gives me peace, such self sympathy
to say twas them, But I remember now
Long ago and so often ... how I kept choosing
And every single time I said "there, that will show them'"
until one day I believed it and now...
One eye on the road, one on the dusty map in my trembling hand
I work my way back, stopping at that diner
You know the one ... you've seen it in the movies with the
buzzing, flickering "N" ...
And I stop and dine on doubt and self righteousness
But it's cold, and it's getting old, by the side of the road
so onward and upward, maybe I've made my last stop
(about moving from blaming external circumstances to taking 100% power for one's life)
Forests and Trees
The wind blows so that I cannot hear my thoughts of the wind.
The Children Know
We crucify them like Christ
for showing us what's true
At some point they stop showing us
and then of course, we're all lost
scurrying, looking for the profound
in our dayplanners and web banners
crucifying ourselves quietly
for crucifying them so loudly
and thinking maybe, just maybe
we were right ...
our backs can only take so much you know
but the spirit shines, the sands of time
do little to assuage the guilt we hide
so maybe down the line, all down the line
we start being brave little buckaroos
we take a peek, hold our breath
face the awful death of the ego large
and then ...
Show me (But I'm scared)
Will you help me?
Can I come back if I want?
(I've already heard the music)
And laughter ... curiously no tears
some confetti flew through the door ...
the minute it was cracked
and was left as a bread crumb trail
or perhaps ...a warning
so you see ... I've almost seen
so now I must be
will you show me?
(And I'm scared)
The innocent cannot cry tears of joy
The innocent cannot cry tears of joy
There is no weight from which these plump droplets give respite
their hearts are still light
their souls hum and sing, the sight-sound weaving like fine, blazing pastel threads with the buzzing of the bees,
and the impish laughter of the wind
sneaking through the trees that stand as watchful parents
The innocent simply cannot cry tears of joy
the ones that take us by surprise with their delicious, painful bite
and so beautifully and painfully squeeze the poison of accumulated un truths from our soul.
Oh, if we could only be prepare one could guard against this heinous loss of control
and keep grip of our burden.
The we could shed our joy at a more appropriate time ... and would we ever choose to?
The innocent cannot cry tears of joy because they live in the middle of the surprise.
The relentless, too bright truth of who we are that we begin to bury and deny with our loss of innocence
We could not have grown so far, so fast if God had not seen fit to send us our best teachers.
They show us patience and rescue us from the past and rein us in from these glossy futures
to sit quietly in their classrooms.
The plaque on the desk says "The present moment is here and NOW".
They teach forgiveness with warm snuggles, often right after we've spoken more sharply than we would've liked.
They reward my victories and failures equally and yet ...
this makes us want to be more ...
They test our resolve as the whimpers and whines tear through our nerves like a new puppy that's worn out it's playful welcome
And their students get a gold star only when they say "talk in a grown up voice".
They do all this, and without benefit of advanced degrees, PDAs, or even ascension past the 4 foot mark ...
I have only been with my teacher a few years, and most of those I did not even know that she was ... who she was ...
so it is an honor and treat to be amongst some advanced students, and their teachers messianic.
Today the only items on our agenda are love and fun,
I leapt from my chair
Looks aren't deceiving
It's the eyes we're looking through
Have you ever been sitting there
and you hear a voice
It has the answer and your spine ...
it tingles with excitement and a dash of fear
You think about life and what it could mean
why we do the dance we do
you know the answer in that moment
that all is well
you're gonna be ok, kid.
you can't tell anyone else because you're not sure you believe it yourself quite yet
yet ... there it is
you can't think about it, really, it's like cigarette smoke lingering in the air
The moment you turn to look, your body moves, makes a breeze and disturbs it
and it's no longer quite what it was when you first saw it
logic returns, rushes in, and it all comes back into perspective,
and the moment, once again, becomes ordinary
This poem will expand as time goes by. You see, I've actually seen it all, every damned blessed bit of it. I'll be sitting in my chair, and maybe a bit of the ol' "fear of death" will creep in, one thought leads to another, and then suddenly the logic and truth of it all comes rushing in, the history of our race, why there's animals and humans, and disease, and people's motivations and it all comes together in I guess what they call a "synergy", where the sum is SO MUCH more than the sum of the parts, and suddenly I feel and know beyond reason that all is well and that there is really no death and that this world is so minor in it's entirety that the angels don't come down because we'll all know and laugh soon enough. I never talk of these moments because there just aren't words. There just arent' words.
On paying our dues
I think it benefits us in some way to feel at least some of the sting of the razor wire as we make our final slide over and down, and fall, battered and breathless, toward our destination. Our "paying of dues," if you will. Don't get me wrong; I'm a firm example of having a hundred bucks worth of life for only 19.95. My Dad taught me to ignore the usual "work hard, save and retire" paradigm (if not with his words, then his actions) in favor of using a little imagination. but, I think we like a little "rough n' tumble" on the way there. It satisfies our ravenous, restless egos that we've "earned" what we got. That we "deserve it," having paid our proverbial dues, pound of flesh, blood, sweat, tears--ah, smell the glory!
It's when we forget that it's all an illusion and, paying little attention, cause ourselves to be entangled and mauled by that same razor wire instead of smartly stung. How deep do some of these choices run? How much of our pain and perceived failure and desperation is simply the result of misunderstanding a choice that we have made ourselves; the choice to pay the piper in exchange for piece of worldly contrast? What power and light might come as our awareness expands and one discovers deeper and deeper levels of choice ... Situations and conditions we previously thought the ravages of fate--random occurrences of just plain luck?
Most of these poems came in 1995 during some big changes in my life, some good, some bad, as a result of my transformation from a conservative, uptight married man to a free, yet-to-grow-up boy ready to suck up whatever the world had to offer. I was passionate, I felt like the world was just out there for the taking. So I set my sails and headed into what would turn out to be the darkest, bleakest storm of the century. Some of these sound like they were written about a girl, but it wasn't really a girl I was writing about but the passion, the hunt, desire, all the things that make us alive and well and reach for more--even when more might drown us. Any cute blonde ... or brunette ... or old guitar, would've done fine as my muse at the time.
Ode to Thoreau 1997 9-26-95
Past fears have restrained me .. but no longer. I will seize the day, savor the hour
and sing with every minute.
I will look for pleasure and accept my pain
restless, unresolved, unrestrained
My eye happens upon you and my nostrils flare
Like the thoroughbred before the gate is dropped
She walks with purpose, not a gleam of doubt in her eye
Happy within herself
until her heart turns west. There she finds in another, the questions in her soul. The missing links in her chain of existence.
Maybe I will try to forge the iron she craves, and change the rhythm of a heart that beats ...
for someone else.
Like a newfound toy, collecting dust in a forgotten attic.
Memories of a youth in distress...
forlorn look ... your listless land-locked love descends upon me. Filtered through blazing brown eyes, I captured your scent and now I must pursue
Relishing the risk ... realizing full-well ... you know my path.
I scream my SOS, but alas, no ships pass through here. The waters are rough and the sea cold. Harpies and rip tides await the careless
sailor who selfishly searches for treasure beneath the waves.
If you're there, hiding in the shadows you've cast, step into the searchlight of my eyes and risk capture.
For tonight .. is the night we awaken
(written during a turning point in my life, in observation of the "night crowd", living the night life where life is a bit more dangerous, but there's more passion to feed one's love of the blues)
From my vista, her form unfolds...
Before ... the valley was unbeknownst to my eyes ... a forbidden place where the flames leapt and misery abounded.
Now my heart descends there ...
For the garden, though not stony like most ... is dry.
The water is sweeter in the valley, nourishing ... narcissistic ... nectar
And besides, my guitar likes it there.
Tennis in the rain 10-4-95
Yeah, my serve was sloppy, like a drunken "has-been" semi pro who hasn't stepped onto the court in a decade of decades. But ..
I still managed to get the ball over the net! It landed, bounced and lay still at your feet.
You made no motion to return - your steely glance across the net said one thing. No.
Soon ... the rains will come ... and the ball will float from your court to the next ... forever.
Grateful Blues 10-4-95
As I contemplate the blues rolling from the box, a feeling of gratitude sweeps o'er my heart,
releasing - momentarily - the weight of my sorrow
I am grateful because now I know ...
I'm not the only one to feel this way.
To wonder where I'll go - If I'm worth my weight in common dirt - to look for direction when my path seems directionless.
To seek quality - in a low quality world - to want love ... when love doesn't want me. To share my soul with someone who won't share theirs - to cry alone ...
Each night with no one to dry my tears and tell me the world's all right.
I will play the blues now ... so that someone else out there will know ... and be grateful
Like an ancient sentry ... she sat and watched.
Gazing from her stone perch - searching with seraphic sizzling eyes
We sat talking with each other while the white angel / devil enriched our conversation.
Oblivious to our observer, we engaged in carnal plans, future phallic fulfillment.
When our visitor arrived, observing us close ... with faraway eyes, her answers seemingly honest, yet I sensed a mystery beneath her blonde beginnings.
When she's full of her secret, she'll come to me and maybe ... we'll both site on our sentry rock and watch the world go by
Untitled - 1996? About a week I had in Key wests.
Her smile said... unmistakably, hello! Making my way quickly through the haze, I came to her and tried to pretend indifference, but ... I'm not much of a pretender. Her gaze ... grabbed me. My suave alter ego came forth, knowing somehow that injury would pass him by on this night in the tropics. We explored each other's depths - briefly, and parted.
As I knew, My heart ached upon her departure. Venturing beyond my love limitations, holding you, knowing you, like a fiery maple in October. There was no way to reserve this moment, except the flash of a camera and the written word.
So much pleasure and impending pain ... packed into so few moments. Oh .. to follow you ... so much left to tell. Like an unfinished song, in the whirlwind of our wanton weekend, many words fail to reach you ... or me.
My heart overflowed on that day. And the rain came. Tracing random paths in my saddened face. Alone .. fighting ... trying to forget their faces .. My loving cup too full, the excess spilling down my cheeks. Can't you see the tears? Won't you kiss them away, kiss away. Looking for another to take my pain away. I guess I'm just not that kinda' boy. My neurons burn with their memories. I want to find them - walk through their forests, climb their walls and descend their slopes
New Road 7-16-97 - I believe this was a "post recovery" song, about coming out of the ashes out of bankruptcy both financial and spiritual and with little to my name, just feeling the raw potential of my life.
Show me what hurts ... help me fix it.
show me the love ... help me live it.
from all directions ... I know not where...
I must find light ... or live in despair
Why do I run ... when angels call my name?
I listen - then walk away just the same.
deeper and deeper - I need a keeper
Ignite ... inside ... and awaken the sleeper
Shattered - fogged in - the plane is grounded
Lost forever? I find that unfounded
I sit and watch the turbulent river.
knowing the possibilities - I begin to quiver
Untitled - date unknown (between 95 and 97)
Just cause it only lasts the night, don't make it cheap. We can hold each other as we sleep. Don't listen to the wall, it can't see. The way we look at each other, the way we can be.
You'll know how you really feel, how do you feel when the sun comes up? Warmth against your face, against your heart, driving out the cold. Putting a spark in your eye, a spark in your soul. Awaken, warm embraces. Hot breath against your neck. Incense and tobacco memories linger in my nostrils. Your perfume fades but the memory floods my senses. My heart filled with pain as I realize you now must go. And I, the restless heart, must continue my search