I took no map…

I went for a walk
In the midday clear
Without a care
I started here
First I stepped
Down the way
Looking to turn
And go astray
Few set out such
Finding one lost
Choosing to remain
Found at all cost
Views first cleared
Then went belief
Next conviction
This path a thief
I trust no thought
That comes at rest
And make no vow
Without a test
No crumbs to trace
No map to cheat
This losing way
Made by my feet
I recall that once
It was très fictional
To banter such
And be equivocal
For keeping all
Enslaved in race
Made wars of life
With power in place
Until such time
As walks unrare
Became a fashion
And tactless aware
Question a question
Doubt a doubt
Avoiding tenure
Enjoying the route
Power is race,
Race is war,
Art is tactic
And strategy ignore
Limping along
There are ways
For undoing control
And refusing praise
Ignoring so much
Of important voice
Searching out stories
Learning to rejoice
Enjoying the noise
And lacking cares
Following slaves
Attending affairs
There is no way
No map to home
No loss of joy
And so I roam

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Interruptions and stop signs…

Stop-Signs_iStockHurrying to meet an impatient teen barely surviving
the wait of five minutes,
avoiding pedestrians
assuming the right of way, and ignoring repeated texts
of ‘Where are you?’
‘Are you close?’
and ‘Are you ever coming to get me?’
I was forced to pause by the declarative instruction
of the octagonal signage

and there he was,
plopped down on a grassy patch, bag allowed to spill,
hunched and rounded shoulders,
chin tucked, head tilting and tracking
as if joined to his hurried penmanship
marking a tattered notebook,

the disconnect of head and heart healed in is hand,
scratching out something so important
it interrupts everything,
and I don’t think I’ve ever come close to
this level of distraction
overwhelmed with words, or by words,

a devotion disturbing my occasionally thoughtful ways;
but I wish it would happen to me,
and if this urge has tried
but I was too stubborn to yield,
I pray for just one more chance to feel the words
that can stop me like this,

and just then another text arrives
urging the rapid rescue of my dear teen
and that compulsion overwhelms me,
I must leave my hero
to the stares of others who notice and avoid
the brilliance of
such devotion and I reply to my teen, ‘I’m on my way’
and ‘Almost there’ and ‘I had to stop
for the Stop signs.’

So the blank page…

It’s the sun than compels the painter to paint,
and this is obvious to everyone except
those who just can’t paint

like the silence we fill with noise and words
that destroys any hope of quiet
for those who want peace

or my dog twisting a curious head toward me
straining to understand new things
hoping for a treat

so the page, so blank and pure and empty
sends fear tearing through the heads
and hands of the writer who isn’t

and that sounds so snobby and condescending,
doesn’t it, so we all play the game of pretend
that words are hard for all

but they aren’t – hard for all – and that’s that
because they come to us so easily at times
although not always kindly

which is the real difference, the truest fear
that we being we – the you and the me –
can’t quite get us right.

Simply an accessory…

I feel famous on days like today,
plucky and serene, unhurried by
a schedule everyone else rushes
to keep, naturally pausing to look
into a mirror, chin raised and
finger tips guiding aside a wisp
of hair that falls back lazily,
attractively; exiting into a calm
day to match just me, stepping
onto the bus without a pause or
breaking stride, smiling in response
as strangers try to get my attention,
nodding and turning toward the
window as the sun itself brightens
while other squint uncomfortably;
my uniform hiding behind my
overcoat and scarf which is so soft
and flimsy it’s simply an accessory.

Don’t quit being a quitter…

It seems obvious that so many with well defined lives
like the ones who give TedTalks with millions of views
translated into hundreds and hundreds of languages
(and who knew there were that many languages)

about learning from adversity, creating good out of evil,
starting a business that no one else even dreamed of
built on how they were bullied when just a small child,
and you realize you were just ignored, or plain or normal,
not misunderstood – there was nothing to understand

because you were only six or eight, but somehow they
were paying attention, learning, remembering and
not destroyed for the effort – which is a mercy;

it’s too late for you and me, but we still subject ourselves
to their pep-talks, motivational books, and those memes
about winners and quitters and we’re the latter.

A good dinner…

The dinner went well,
tasty and sufficient –
two qualities typically
undervalued in a meal;
when the conversation
turned to conversation,
as if an interminable
debate over the meaning
of meaning, or how much
one loves love, or even
if words can be used
to say something in
words or without and
I chose to just nod at a
tasty and sufficient meal.

Weeds of War

After each cool night
and every warm morn
dew drunk and eager to mock
my weeds are waiting for me.

From my kitchen window
across the greening lawn
they choke my fruit blooms
mocking my efforted rows.

Uncultivated, unrelenting
stubborn to their roots
I’m left to battle my nemesis
with these bare hands.

Too swiftly they recover,
too eagerly they convalesce,
and shoot past stake, pole and string
to race toward the sun.

I have failed my training,
become trapped in this war,
as Sun-Tzu mocks my ignorance
for weed is but wild-flower.

Illumination

Morning’s gloom,
unwanted for a wannabe
but an aspiring scholar
greeted in his musty,
book-filled room
quietly rejoices to see
air for upturned collar
and studious honesty.

Tucked in a nook,
table for many pages
serves as an altar
and he the priest
of saints who took
pen from far ages
composing a psalter
of knowledge leased.

Murkiness around
every shelves’ stack,
drawing down editions
of obscure vexation
to others here bound
but he has a knack
for in these conditions
he finds illumination.

On learning who I am…

tree falls in the forestI am the tree that fell in the wood
with no one caring to hear,
the one at whom dogs bark
out of hatred instead of fear.
I am the one who spoke loud and clear
with no one knowing I uttered,
the door that is still a door
and not a jar unshuttered.
I am the book written but unread,
with a spine uncracked or bent,
the lure considered but dry,
un-tied, untackled, and unsent.
I am the road often taken and trod
derided in gospel and verse,
the angel that didn’t fit on pin head
in the sophistry that is so perverse.
I am the billions ten times over
who have lived and loved and died,
the everyman ignored or enslaved
and for whom no one has cried.

Confidence in disguise…

I feel famous on days like today,
plucky and serene, unhurried by
a schedule everyone else rushes
to keep, naturally pausing to look
into a mirror, chin raised and
finger tips guiding aside a wisp
of hair that falls back lazily,
attractively; exiting into a calm
day to match just me, stepping
onto the bus without a pause or
breaking stride, smiling in response
as strangers try to get my attention,
nodding and turning toward the
window as the sun itself brightens
while other squint uncomfortably;
my uniform hiding behind my
overcoat and scarf which is so soft
and flimsy it’s simply an accessory.