Water Bottle (A Poem)

[Photo Credit: Flickr, Matias Capelli]
[Photo Credit: Flickr, Matias Capelli]

Leak on me again.
Leave a trail of tears as wide
as your hard mouth.
You’ve held this in so long
for both of us. So diligently,
just like I asked you to.

And who was I
to make such a demand?
To ask that you bury
inside yourself
that which tried, so hard,
to bury you.

Empathy has never been easy
for me,
but I need you now
to understand how you’ve changed
me, made a better man
with every drop ever shared
of yourself.

If it is for you, who is not me,
then the least I can do
is give release
when you need
it most.

Brown Earth and Baby Bird (A Bop, after Xero Skidmore)

[Photo Credit: Flickr / Tyler Knott Gregson]
[Photo Credit: Flickr / Tyler Knott Gregson]

When bird leaves his nest, he is expected
to puff his little chest, push self out into air
and flap furiously to prevent own descent.
But if his down has not been outgrown,
then he shall have nothing to give lift,
chirping and crying as the ground hums him whole.

Broken homes sing broken tones.

Should his father have built a better nest?
Moved his family to another forest?
Should his mother have picked a stronger partner,
not some foul feather whose plumage
was so shiny, but solid only as bird bone?
Every worm gathered, every berry picked
must become vomit for the fledglings to consume.
And the voyeurs take notes from afar of their vacant flutter and fall.

Broken homes write broken tomes.

Baby bird, baby boy, when you strike the earth,
strike hard and strike deep. Make the dirt bleed,
cry oily tears, and stain your soft beak.
The further in you drive, the more useful
you will be, and become. So fall, and fall hard.
Shatter like you were always supposed to.

Broken homes break broken bones.

Mouth the Echoes like Gunpowder Gathers on Pistol (a Villanelle, for Chris Ra)

[Photo Credit: Flickr, Jenelle Denford]
[Photo Credit: Flickr, Jenelle Denford]

Lean in and listen with broken soul,
still the vibrations in your ear.
Mouth the echoes like gunpowder gathers on pistol.

When she speaks, it is not your goal
to polish her message, to make more clear.
Lean in and listen with broken soul.

Gather words like desert water in dry bowl,
drink them hungrily and then, my dear,
mouth the echoes like gunpowder gathers on pistol.

Her verbs have never been yours to control,
let them fly untethered from teeth so near.
Lean in and listen with broken soul.

Untie your bodies, let your tongues unroll,
ignore that it is human to fold, to fear.
Mouth the echoes like gunpowder gathers on pistol.

Open your everything and hug her whole,
no words can say what she needs to hear.
Lean in and listen with broken soul,
mouth the echoes like gunpowder gathers on pistol.

Amass (A Single Vowel Poem)

[Photo Credit: Flickr / Jordan Stern]
[Photo Credit: Flickr / Jordan Stern]

A clan ran a vast land
that had mad ham –
‘twas all a sham, grandstand,
hand bland as a can a wax.

A mass brand shan’t nap,
shan’t clap a tract,
snap salt star and sap branch.
Had crack lads as black as ants
lap smack shack
and attract cat back,
craft fans, and lack attack.

A man can march far
and can’t tramp back,
hard vagrant lamp,
cramps card and flagrant stamp
that can’t walk and wash away.

[NOTE: The prompt for this poem was a single (albeit large) limitation: use only one vowel throughout the entirety of the poem. I very nearly succeeded.]

When The Day Is Dead

(Photo Credit: Flickr / Julian Plowden)
(Photo Credit: Flickr / Julian Plowden)

Where do the days go
when they end?

Eat a banana, throw away the peel.
Pour out the last of the milk
into your morning cereal
and recycle the carton.

But when the day is dead,
where do we bury it?

Is it like people?
Does it get a better burial
if it proved more useful
throughout its brief life?

Which ones get to be embalmed?
Are the others’ headstones made of marble,
plywood crosses, or dirt mounds?

When they get scratched
off our calendars,
sent flipping to the front
as we jostle for the back,
who leaves them flowers?

Who visits the dead
to make sure they don’t get lonely?

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live." — Henry David Thoreau


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