When I’m Gone

I don’t need people
To remember me
When I’m gone.

I just want
Someone
To notice.

12/18/18

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Setting Sail

They built a boat on the Brandywine
And covered it in clover,
Celebrating the glorious day
That the Great War was finally over.

They sailed the river wide
Enjoying the freedom of the water,
Fantasizing lush green fields and afternoons
In the company of the Captain’s daughter.

But despite the smiles and laughter
They were all forever changed,
Like the borders of foreign countries,
By war drastically rearranged.

They saw ancient cites leveled,
And human flesh burned black,
They’d fight two hours to gain ten feet,
And lose twenty in the counter attack.

But no one could understand
Who hadn’t seen through their eyes,
The horrors they’d encountered,
And the morals they’d been forced to compromise.

And now the war was finished,
Until the next one came along,
The soldier sacrifice all but forgotten
Save in the melody of their melancholy song.

11/8-11/9/18

The Battlefield

wwimontage

An old weary soldier,
Alone on an empty battlefield,
Mud filled trenches and
Bombed out craters.
Still smoldering fires in the distance.
Every other soul,
Friend or foe,
Felled along the line.

A brief pause,
After the battle is spent,
Tattered clothes,
He talks to ghosts,
Debating with death
To lay down arms
Forever
Before the conflict continues.

10/8-10/9/18

Image is taken from a WW I Montage, found on WikiMedia Commons.

My Heart’s in the Highlands

loch_long

My heart’s in the Highlands
Gentle and free,
No matter where I go
No one seems to be talking to me

Walking and listening
To the magpies at play
Struggling to hear exactly
What it is that they say

Perched in their trees
Reciting remembered rhymes,
Drawing up images
Of far better times.

My heart’s in the Highlands,
Where my grandfathers once dwelt,
Dreaming of how that refreshing
Aberdeen breeze must’ve felt

Walking my own road,
Unburdened and free,
Just like that homeless family
That no one seems to see.

Invisible, immaterial,
Like a Ring-Wraith without a cloak,
Drifting on the wind
Like ashey crematorium smoke.

My heart’s in the Highlands
Where there’s nothing left to fear,
My heart’s in the Highlands,
Nobody even knows I’m here.

10/1-10/6/18

Inspired by My Heart’s in the Highlands by Robert Burns and Highlands by Bob Dylan.

The image at the top of the post is a Photo taken by Richard Webb on 17 October 2005 of Loch Long, northwards up the loch towards Ben Killilan and Sgumain Coinntich, and originally posted on geograph.org.uk.

Drifting

Drifting down the docks at night
In someone else’s clothes.
The passers by look right through me
As they wander to and fro.

Walking through dark dim light
Trusting my feet to fate,
Pulling me unwillingly from the reservoir
Back to the interstate.

Road weary, body aching,
Looking for the way back home.
Head is dizzy, hands are numb
The world fades into monochrome.

Battered black and white photos,
Yellow tapes corners, crooked on the page
Men with old fashioned hats and fear in their eyes
Barely concealing the white man’s racist rage.

Burning houses and burning crosses
Smoke fills the ebony skies,
Bloodied brown faces look up
To see a hood covering all but the coward’s eyes.

Walking relentlessly down
That dusty old Dixie Highway
Moving further and further away from
Woody Guthrie’s sacred golden sky-way.

Hitchhiking highway in dim light,
Unsure if its dusk or dawn,
Quietly humming a happy tune
From an old Big Bill Broonzy song.

7/17-7/26/18

Disconnected

Disconnected,
Adrift in the gray.
Bright colors of life
Muted by dense fog,
Murmuring voices
Talking around
And through,
But never to me.

Seeking, searching,
Screaming out
In silent prayer
To be seen,
To be heard,
To be healed.

6/21-6/22/18

Vacuums and Scars

A living nightmare
From which I cannot wake.
Coming apart at tge seems
Like an ill made scarecrow
Left in the weather too long,
Portions of my past
Falling away to dust,
Leaving sucking black
Vacuums,
Bending light,
Distorting everything they touch.

Souls slipping away
One by one.
Time’s tragedy:
Entropy increases.
Some vanish quickly,
Some fade over time,
Still here,
But not the same.
All leave black void scars
Like the aftermath
Of open heart surgery.

6/14-6/20/18

Sweet Surrender

The world can
Wear you down,
Like a slow steady stream
Of liquid bullshit
Grinding granite to sand,
Over the years
With obligations, obstacles,
And obstructions,
Violence, destruction,
And hatred,
Egotism, isolation,
and dumb-fuckery.

Even just surviving
Every day
Can be too much
A burden to bear.
Weighing down
Like a fifty pound rucksack
On a 10 mile march
Through the Missouri wilderness
Under 95º sunshine,
Sweat stinging your eyes,
Salt water on your lips,
Burning between shoulder blades,
Pain spreading out
Like cracks through a windshield.

How easy it would be
To drop the sack,
Fall down
In sweet relief,
And surrender.

6/8-6/12/18

Always With Me

Not a single day
Has gone by
Without me thinking of you.
Not always consciously,
Not always clearly,
The thoughts hang
Like a cloud
In the back of my mind
Behind the whirlwind
Of work and responsibility,
Seeping in around
The daily tasks
That don’t always get done,
Casting a shadow across
The random facts and trivia
And that song
That I just can’t get out
Of my head.
Lingering fog engulfing all,
Reminding me randomly
That you’re no longer here

4/6/18

My seventh poem for National Poetry Writing Month.

napo2018button2

 

Unanswered Promises

Walking nameless streets
In uncertain times
Among sunken eyes
And gray faced vagabonds,
Down dark shadow alleys
And deserted dead-end streets.

Gleaming glass towers
Rise above
The vomit filled sewers
Of a more common life

Clutching precious possessions,
White knuckles in the rain.
Losing soul and sanity
Standing waist deep in gutter sewage,
The promise of salvation
Left forever unanswered.

3/23/18