Laying Awake in the Darkness

I’ve felt old and ancient
Since I was 12 years old,
Worn out, road weary,
For reasons unexplained
Living in the Cleaver household
In an idyllic isolated Oregon valley.

It made me want to believe in reincarnation,
The only explanation for the
Spread thin butter feeling
That started in the 3rd grade
When I reasoned out
That death meant oblivion
Not fluffy clouds and angels,
Training myself not to think of it,
To fend off the icy black hole
Opening under my sternum,
Crushing everything within its event horizon.

I lay in bed, tears streaming cheeks,
meaninglesness pressing down; suffocating
I start to scream,
Pretending to have had a nightmare,
So my mother will come, hold, and console.
Unable to articulate the existential crisis
Of an 8 year old boy.

10/26-10/28/17

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In the Night (Senryu)

Disguised by the night
Strange murmurs in the darkness
Alone with myself

10/27/17

My response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: EERIE & COSTUME. I subsituted “disguised” for “costume” and “strange” for “eerie.”

Chaos and Cure

Chaos around you:
Be in the world, not of it.
Chaos within you:
Be still, breath,
Be present in this moment,
The only true reality.
Be mindful of your thoughts,
Be aware of your reactions.
The only things you truly control.
Find refuge in the palace of your mind,
That quiet place inside your soul.

10/17-10/23/17

Zeno of Citium

Zeno of Citium

A Cyprian merchant ship
Wrecked on Grecian shores.
Everything lost.
Discovered the wisdom of a dead man
In an Athenian bookstore.
Clutched the robes of a dog
Until he promised to teach
How to desire nothing but virtue.

Graduating from the kennel
To teach on the porch:
A good flow of life
Lived in accordance with nature,
A philosophy that freed
Slaves and emperors alike.

10/21/17

Zeno of Citium (c. 334-c. 262 BCE) was a Hellenistic Philosopher who founded the Stoic School in Athens around 300 BCE.

Out There (haiku)

A peaceful blackness
Quiet murmuring giants
The space between stars.

10/17/17

This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: Quiet & Space.

Undone Dreams (Tanka)

The ghost of lost dreams
Forgotten and abandoned
Hair grows gray and thin
Haunted by deeds gone undone
Time lost, never to return.

10/11/17

This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Tuesday Challenge No. 54: GHOST & HAUNT.

Reflection (Senryu)

Hollow haunted eyes
Looking back from the mirror
A ghost wrapped in flesh.

10/11/17

This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Tuesday Challenge No. 54: GHOST & HAUNT.

Shapes in the Mist (Haiku)

A shape in the mist
Distant, ill defined; alone
Shadows in the fog

10/5/17

This was written in response to Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 53 – MIST & SHAPE.

Plato’s Cave (Tanka)

Shapes on the cave wall
Mind-mist, distorted; unreal
Crawl into the light
Eyes adjust to sunlight
Reality seems insane

10/5/17

This was written in response to Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 53 – MIST & SHAPE.

There’s a Dream I Keep Having (For Tom Petty (1950-2017))

discos-wildflowers-tom-petty-1994-l-m9evhx

A ten year old boy from Gainsville,
Whose uncle introduced him to Elvis
On a movie set in Ocala,
And traded his Wham-O® slingshot
For a stack of the King’s 45s,
Saw the Beatles on Sullivan,
Bought a guitar, joined a band,
And never looked back
As he ran down that dream
Through the mud, across America
To L.A. for a date with Heartbreakers.

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
With his guitar, his band, and his southern accent.

Never giving in, never backing down,
Learning to fly with the stars;
Still singing with the voice of the people,
The voice of the poor,
The humble salt of the Earth,
The voice of the lonely,
The downtrodden, the unheard.

A rebel with a cause and a conscience,
Writing his truth,
Singing our lives,
Living his dream.

10/3/17