It Ain’t Going Anywhere

You know which path,

You know what Y means,

Go it boldly or don’t go,

Eyes open, head high,

Listening, yes distracted, by the soundtrack-the one that plays in your head,

If you’d Knelt down and whispered in your ear,

yes, you’re own ear,

And once again a little louder,

-you’d have said, “you know better”

Standing next to the Speaker, wearing that hat, having that drink,

A sweaty mosh pit reminded you…..

“You are alive.”

I tell him “Son, ear plugs are cool,”

but don’t stand by the speakers, never;

Knowing his brain cannot jump forward in time.

Mesmerized by the drums, pulsing to a whining guitar,

Always Feeling so much more than the auditory nerves can soak up…..

Angry vocals, raw but playful,

Coming together like sugar and cream;

Nothing store bought could compare…….

honesty is meeting a stranger’s gaze,

Courage is not staving off the awkward moment

but relishing it’s teachings.

Beauty is scraping your broken self from the rubber of your shoe,

Feeling defeated but smarter.

Why did I once wince at the imperfections?

…the humiliation, unrelenting palpitations of hurt,

Handcuffs, eyes swollen from tears, defeat.

Embrace it like you did when you saw your first drag queen,

It’s heart is beating, it is truth and it ain’t going anywhere without you.

Nothing to Hide

Tis not the color of my skin,

but the attitude within,

tis not the brand of my new pants

it’s – when I wear them,

I NEED to dance,

it’s not the weapon at my hip,

it’s that unarmed,

I  WILL  repel your every quip.

It’s not the guard dog,

that makes me stand with pride,

it’s that we both have nothing to hide.

Kaleidoscope

If you tip it just so,

the variables of life will bump up against each other;

revealing newness; if manipulated in a gentle way

making the mundane magical

suggesting the hand that gingerly works at his life

is graced with a rare pattern;

that makes ordinary beads and sand, shards of glass

objects of wonder

The Chosen, The Artist

It is not we who chose our trade

But our trades that have chosen us;

We, the writers, musicians, painters,

Gardeners, we who harness life’s song

Like a gift or a curse,

We who feel the heart on our sleeves pulsating,

We, who once felt burdened

And now feel enlightened,

Lucky even,

By how intensely the mundane speaks,

To how artfully we scooped up those tears

And bottled them like fine wine

In colored bottles, on a shelf within reach

Prized as the product of our souls

Like each moment of our lives

That we cannot

possibly keep all to ourselves

Resole Yourself

I stand strong, comforted, powerful;

wearing my favorite pair of cowboy boots,

the leather just worn enough,

the stitching

is nestled aptly light against dark

like word scrawled in a diary,

retelling the adventures of where they’ve been,

in these boots I can look anyone in the eye

without fear of them seeing too deeply,

I treasure every wrinkle of their wear,

as I treasure every wrinkle on my brow

their character defines strife, happiness, indecision

etched like the creamy white loops of stitching

 on leather Raven’s black,

dusty as if just bathed in a pond,

thank God I can step into them,

and feel all that is missing;

I treasure them more

each time I pull them on;

contented knowing that

I can resole a pair of boots

but the moment I avoid your eye

the tales of my own lustre

chance fading;

and I cannot be resoled

 

Wounded

 

The unoccupied space is still there

The hallow of my heart, the bruise on my cognition

it still thinks about the missing piece;

six degrees, it trickles into my world

Like a mysterious waterfall;

I hear it rushing, but never see or touch it

Winehouse, Hoffman, Houston, Cobain, Plath, Wolfe,

wounded souls whose path was never traced

Far enough to ask

Why? Why…. is your hurt

so much worse

Than mine?

 

I Promise to be Okay

Quiet used to tug at me,
like an empty wishing well.
Tarnished pennies
still add up to more hopes
then a bride left at the altar.
Heaven reveals the Y in the road
when silence engulfs me,
Panic dissuades me from breathing.
My instinct is to drink
And- Like a drunk, I’ll drink what you’ve got.
I won’t smoke because it’s dirty
But I’ll take a drag
if it’ll work,
Fill my lungs with new hope
Strengthen my blood to fight off cancer;
If it refills my well with clean water
I’ll lap from it, like a kitten laps his milk,
I will smoke until the embers burn my fingers
And I’ll let the quiet settle nicely,
In a way that the whole world
Feels new again.
I promise to be okay; to embrace the music
In the square dance of my mind.