Curse-iosity.

I have a bone to pick
with you.
I would have been blissfully unaware
of my dissatisfaction
but you opened the jar.

The air is thick with dust
and fragments of what flew
out of the jar on the day
that you just couldn’t
stop your curiosity
and now,
I can’t help but notice
the life I wanted
is like a patch of darkness
in an eye that cannot stay still
to let me take a photo.

And hope remained so conveniently
inside the jar,
as if to pretend
that it’s doing me a favour.
Hope didn’t escape with the fear
the shame, the evil, the blame.
So all I have left to hold on to
is the hope for something else.
Why was it fraternizing
with the darkness before you set them free?

You closed the jar
just in time to contain it.
But hope is useless without ability.
Hope invites me to write something new
but the dust has paralysed my fingers.
And so rather than living in
the bliss of ignorance,
I now am cursed by hope
and curiosity.

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the theory of everything (including thunderstorms)

There’s something about eye glasses breaking
and hats flying
that blows wind through my sinew.

I already knew this about myself
and then I watched him fall
and it became more than that.
I knew what I signed up for
and still, I quietly regretted
opting in for that picture
(despite how important it is).

The frames continued
and I drenched my chest
with quiet and unsuspecting raindrops.
“Just keep taking even breaths”
I said,
“No one will notice you”.

I had become worried about myself.
Thought maybe I’d become callous.
I didn’t rain when everyone else did,
just isolated dehydration.
“Maybe I am just sand now”

At first relieved
and then just muddy.
Maybe I was due.
Maybe the drought was over
and my crops needed misting.
But I didn’t bargain for the typhoon,
that left my basement flooded for a few days.

So my shirt darkened
and my lungs expelled.
The damage was done,
there was nothing left of me
but the thunderstorm,
and I tried to keep the bowling down.
Maybe the score was written
to syncopate
with the sound of the pins falling.

Watching the stair and the dinner plates,
the crutches and the peas.
My raincloud just darkened
and released,
until I went to work the next day,
with salty eyes
and a fragmented skeleton
even though
my bones are just dust by now.

What is happening to us?

What is happening to us?
The blood that runs through us
has become nothing but corn syrup
and coffee.
What is happening to us?
The breeze that once stroked my cheek
has now become a violent wind
of questions.
What is happening to us?
It is as if the laughter of children
has become a cackle of hyenas,
who are desperate for food.
What is happening to us?
Once an organism of empathy and trust
has become endangered,
infected with doubt.

There is evil and there is not.

What is happening to us?
The Senate still sits
and the breeze still blows.
What is happening to us?
The bullets in the walls
once meant to destroy
now represent resilience.
What is happening to us?
The hero that is honoured
(and rightly so)
conceals his heart not yet reassembled
by bandages.
What is happening to us?
We picked flowers from our gardens
and have given them to statues.
We are united by sorrows.
What is happening to us?
We grow older
(same ages as fallen soldiers)
What is happening to us?
We recognize the injustice,
the anger, the fear,
the evil, the pain
and the disappeared.
We see the heroes,
the love, the kindness and strength
the families and dogs
the doubt growing faint.

There is evil and there is not.

What is happening to us?
Sorrow comes after love,
restoration after destruction.

What is happening to us?
With patience and clocks,
We will be us again.

Shaughnessy Windy Orchestra

There was something
about the way the breeze
invited my new haircut to dance
that made my tears
want to join the party.
Wiping off the last patio table
I stopped
and let the wind
play his music
while my usually-behaved hair
whimsically engaged in sway.
I usually don’t care
for the wind’s poorly syncopated rhythm
but there was something
about this breeze’s
evening choice of gentle folk.
I closed my eyes to flirt with the feeling
(and to tell my tears
the hall was at capacity)
of the wind’s breath
so warmly passing through his instruments
that somehow he plays all at once.
When his tune was done
I remembered that it couldn’t last for ever
(nor for long)
and that table wouldn’t clear itself.

I didn’t sign up for this.

I didn’t sign up for this

Seeing you there behind the plexi glass

Your orange jumpsuit with the breast pocket

That holds your paper scrap with numbers.

I didn’t sign up for this.

Explaining to everyone why

You weren’t at the party, the shower

and Thanksgiving dinner.

I didn’t sign up for this

I didn’t sign up for meeting wonderful people

The ones you name family.

I didn’t sign up for my cheeks

feeling warm with pain

after laughing with you on the phone

despite your circumstances.

I didn’t sign up for waiting for you,

lying with you, lying with you.

I didn’t sign up for my chest to swell

and my feathers to be admired by you

(even though we both swiped right.)

I didn’t sign up for this year

of strange encounters and explanations.

 

I didn’t sign up for this.

because my name was already on the list.

 

How We Live

How we live

Whether we choose to be

Proper people

Good people

Lazy people

Nasty people

People with empty hearts

Broken hearts

Cold hearts

Beating hearts

Bleeding hearts

People with hands

People who wear shoes on their hands

Giving hands

Taking hands

Dry hands

Warm hands

 

How we live

Who decides?

It was you mother’s dream

Your father’s legacy

You are the black sheep

The scape goat

The funny one

The ugly one

The quiet one

The door mat

The one who idly stands while your dreams flicker

Like an old film

One where you can see the picture

And can only fantasize the sound

No one has written the dialogue for you

And you wouldn’t even know the language

 

How we live

Quieted or roaring?

Sooner or later you’ll have to write those words yourself

With a bleeding tongue

You’ll finally speak

Because you’ll have only just removed your teeth from it

Teeth that have been sharpened

By the silence

Pointed from the sharpeners

That others used for what should have been your pencil

And when it comes out

You’re surprised by the timbre

Because you’d forgotten what your soul sounds like.

When Love Begins

When love begins it is four walls

And an open door

When he arrives

There is no need for pots and sauce pans

The leaky ceiling is repaired

 

When love evolves

It begins to fill

With dinner receipts and movies tickets

The floor is covered with printed paper

Then come the door keys and bed sheets

Until there is no more space

 

As the love grows the space does too

Now there are multiple rooms

There are laundry baskets and dirty dishes

Children’s socks and bobby pins

Unzipped dresses and neck ties

 

In a life time the house grows tall

It is ours, we claim it all.

A floor for me and one for you

A floor for us and then plus two

This house that was once

Just four walls

Is now a tower that overlooks the town.

 

We’ve built a love

And built a life

We’ve built a house

With a yard outside

 

Eventually the house grows old

But we still lay side by side

Underground or under sheets

Our house stands

Our love survives.

 

 

Dear J Alfred

Dear J Alfred

It breaks my heart

That you weren’t appreciated

From the very start

I’m sorry you doubted

I’m sorry you revised

I’m sorry you counted

I’m sorry you sighed

I wish you had dared

I wish you had come

And not worried so much

About the opinions of some

I wish you’d lost count

Of the number of spoons

And instead surmount

The ridicule of buffoons

Dear J Alfred

I wish you had dared

I was waiting for you

On top of the stairs

There is time in a minute

There is a moment in time

That you could have realized

If you hadn’t revised

That I would have removed

The pin from your wings

And let you listen

To what the mermaid sings

Dear J Alfred

Have you heard the news?

The mermaids were singing

And they were singing for you.

I’m glad that you weren’t

Born as a lobster

And I’m sorry you think

That you were to useless to prosper

I’m sorry you measured

Your life with a spoon

I’m sorry it was too foggy

To notice the moon

Dear J Alfred

I’m sorry you couldn’t see

That it was all worth while

Because you mattered to me

I’m sorry you gave up

And that you misunderstood

I’m sorry about the tea cups

About the trousers

And the peach

If only you realized

You weren’t alone on the beach

You looked back on life

Back on it with despair

Is that why you descended the stairs?

Dear J Alfred

Have you heard the news?

The mermaids were singing

They were singing for you.

*An answer to my favourite poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

Me To Your Right

Throwing stars is one of my hobbies

Pick one too old to stay awake

Draw back my arm and follow through

And watch it fall away

 

Maybe someone down there

Will see the effort it made

To remind them that it’s possible

To light up as you fade

 

Catching stars is one of my hobbies

Pick one up and dust it clean

Turning it over in my hand

“I know exactly what you mean”

 

This rock has kissed the sky

Left the crime scene on a cloud

Making a divot in the earth

Without even making a sound

 

Loving you is one of my hobbies

I see you when there’s no light

Even though I sleep on your left

I get to be your “Me-to-your-right.”

 

I am a Writer not a Storyteller

I am a writer, not a story teller

I use truth as my muse

It is a risky strategy

There is a lot to lose

No independant parties

Should influence my pen

But business is politics

and an influencer then.

 

Try to be transparent

and not to show my side

and be a journalistic rarity,

a journalist who’s bonafide.

Society deserves 

to make a choice or two

without the help from me

throwing a bone to you.

 

I’m a writer not a storyteller,

You shouldn’t hear a lie,

Objectifying my surroundings

To watch a stranger die.

I cannot tell you how it felt 

Or even tell you why

Just the when, the where, the who, the how

Just be a passer-by.

 

They say “don’t shoot the messenger

who brings you the bad news”

It’s just my job to raise your hell

What have I to lose?

Maybe I’ll lose my empathy

Maybe I’ll lose my care,

Maybe some compassion

My gaze into a glare.

 

I am a writer, not a storyteller.

I have a lot to lose.

Just trying to stay out of the mess

the mess we call the news.