Do Not Speak For Me

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

Ink spills, sweat pours,
the brown, delta waters flow.
A man in a white robe
spews ancient hate from the land
of my forebears.
Another in a Baltimore,
with raised fist,
shouts more of the same in opposite.
Neither speak for me.

Oil dilutes the water,
black gold drives the economy,
holds sway over policy.
The executive orders, the roughneck drills,
wheels turn.
I do not blame them for exploiting
needs/wants/desires but
slick liquids and slick suits do not speak for me.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

Blood oozes from the wound,
the gutters of Chicago congeal.
Mothers cry,
a plastic talking head blames a tool,
refuses to address a cause.
More useless laws, freedom suppressed,
the fist clenches tighter,
death seeps out between the fingers.
The titillated teeth on TV do not speak for me.

A man behind a pulpit
preaches out of context morality,
teaches exclusion, judgment
and damnation. He seems to forget
love and healing and caring.
He raises his voice and pounds the podium,
claims he speaks for God,
but he does not speak for me.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

The politicians are already drunk
on their potential power,
convinced of the absolute necessity
of their convictions, their change, their control.
They take up the mantle of left and right,
claim righteous titles of conservative, progressive;
none of them speak for me.

You. You do not speak for me,
nor do I for you,
But, I hear you. I hear your plea
for simple understanding,
empathy perhaps, peace perchance.
Do you hear me my brother?
For I swear,
I swear I am trying to hear you.
I am trying.

Waves crash upon the shore,
clouds chase the horizon,
carrion birds circle,
colors bleed upon the canvas,
one unto another.

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Flags In

A re-post from last year, but always appropriate…

Awakened Words

Each stone is cleaned to as white
as the passage of time allows.

Each flag is precisely placed,
a soldier’s boot the measurement.

Each fallen hero receives a salute
from one who understands.

Each Old Guard member considers
participation an honor, not a task.

Each year more tears irrigate
the fields of Arlington.

Each year more flags are needed
than the years before.

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Debts

A debt called family —
of family,
from family,
because of family

which cannot be repaid —

not by intent
but only of means

but reasons…

reasons are irrelevant,
cannot be reconciled,

nor explained

to the children
of the child.

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Seeking

Several of the boys — old enough to think we were tough, not yet old enough for scars — followed the prophet as he made his way into the hills. We kept our distance, hiding behind rocks and trees, never getting close enough to be heard, fooling ourselves into thinking he was not aware of us. When the light faded we turned back; for the rest of them he was gone from memory by morning. He stayed in my thoughts. Many years later I made the climb, searching for the man who went searching. I found his cave after three days. There were no scrolls, no records of visions, no cure for sin, no diary of pronouncements on how life should be lived. No, there was merely a skeleton, hunched naked by the ashy remains of a long cold fire. I sat next to him for several hours, contemplating what he must have seen in the last flickers of flame, before leaving him as I found him, and heading back down the mountain.

Seeker of secrets,
unholy union; power,
knowledge, vanity.

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A Stretch

To say she loves me
would be a stretch,
but I always recognize
her knock on my door.

The first time she said goodbye
she left a hole,
a place for thoughts and hopes
and despair and wonder
to rattle around and bounce
off one another until each was
nothing more than broken litter
scattered across the floor.

To say she loves me
would be a stretch,
but I always recognize
her knock on my door.

The second time
she left a hollow shell,
an emptiness devoid of sight
or touch,
on a continual search to fill nothingness,
never able to find rest,
finally nothing more than broken litter
scattered across the floor.

To say she loves me
would be a stretch,
but I always recognize
her knock on my door.

The last time…the last time
is difficult to forget, and to remember.
I know there was a great deal
of lost time,
the smell of old leather,
the salty taste of tears,
and the trail of black feathers
she left in her wake.

To say she loves me
would be a stretch,
but I always recognize
her knock on my door.

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Heat

125 degrees on a sunny day

I was born in Mississippi,
where heat is different,
not just a topic of conversation,
or an inconvenience,
it is a thing,
an oppressive, all-encompassing
existence,
a wet sauna towel
wrapped around you all day.
It is hot, but escapable.

125 degrees on a sunny day
within 30 minutes

I spent four summers in Florida,
heat there is movement,
it washes ashore with the waves
to scorch the sand,
becoming a violent spectacle
inland,
a convulsion of thunder, rain
and electricity,
the rut and fire of every sudden tryst
played out overhead.
It is hot, but escapable.

125 degrees on a sunny day
within 30 minutes
inside a parked car

Georgia is home now.
Heat here is a young woman
playing games with her new
sexuality,
teasing you into pursuit
and anticipation…making you wait…
then stunning you with her
fire and ferocity,
each encounter breathtaking and sultry.
It is hot, but escapable.

125 degrees on a sunny day
within 30 minutes
inside a parked car
with no escape

.

.

A trial began here this week of a man
accused of intentionally leaving his 22 month old son
in a hot car to die. The evidence suggests he spent at least
part of the time the child was in the car
sexting with teenage girls.

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Lighthouse

The lighthouse has been
abandoned,
there is no one left
to man the post,
but the waves still crash
on the rocky shore,
the waves still crash
on the rocky shore.

Technology has taken the place
of humans on watch,
the lighthouse man
left no son to man the post,
but the waves still crash
on the rocky shore,
the waves still crash
on the rocky shore.

Ships safely pass the island
on stormy nights,
unaware of the dark lighthouse
where no one mans the post,
but the waves still crash
on the rocky shore,
the waves still crash
on the rocky shore.

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