Tag Archives: create

About love

I don’t want to write about love.
Because it seems to go only two ways.
Either the heart is broken
or you’ve found your everything.

A twist in fate or
a “how it should always be.”

There are other kinds of love,
I know,
but this one gets most of the stories told.
I think it’s because people crave it the most.

Maybe I shouldn’t focus on the beginning or end.
But the in between.
The real center of
how it was and came to be.

That’s where you find the labor,
the heart of the binding and intertwining.
Where everyone wants to be.
That milky world of planning futures and learning
how each other see.

But then,
even the middle will split like a rotted tree.
So many paths could a relationship go,
but in the core of it,
though complicated,
there is still only one of two ways that unfold.

Together or alone.

Good Boy

There you sit on the deck,
paws so elegantly crossed.
Head held high,
observing your lot.
The breeze brings a scent
that distracts you
for but a second.
Ears perked tall,
the sound of a door
closing in the hall.
But funny you missed
the squirrel on the fence.
The warm sun
was just too much,
as your snout tipped down
and sweet sleep you found.

Paths

The forest is full of green,
dripping with the dew of spring.

Wildflowers open to the sun.
To such beauty, you cannot be numb.

Birds chatter and then sing
songs about the seasons changing.

Though the path through is narrow
the world around appears so wide.
Ever stretching beyond my vision
into the far depths of the mind.

Helen’s

The twang of strings
echo all around the yard.
Cousins are playing over there
in the sheltered garage.

The chairs have been set out.
Wooden, iron, and folding.
Mismatched but jovial
like the family they are holding.

We run along the porch
barefoot with dirty grins.
The summer nights are long
and the planks below us have become
the deck of our pirate ship.

There’s a tower out in the woods
that the older kids climb.
They yell at us from above
smiling and hiding their smokes
like it’s a crime.

Food on the table’s gone cold
but nobody cares.
Desserts all ready gone
even the dogs got their share.

Harmonies meld on the wind.
Dancing has started on the gravel floor.
Laughter and love shared by all,
a piece of the family core.

Present

I hear the glass ringing on the linoleum floor.

The shotgun is in Pat’s hands, cocked. The wood chair scrapes across the floor with an urgent pulse. He runs downstairs. He is faster than me or Leroy.

Stillness rocks the air after his footsteps.

We wait.

A single shot explodes the quiet followed by a gasp. There’s some choking and the sickening sound of flesh hitting a hard surface.

I bite my lip. This had already happened twice before this month. They were becoming more frequent.

Leroy and I head into the basement to find Pat standing over the body, the gun draped lazily to his side. His lips are moving as he says the prayer.

God does not save us all.

The boy couldn’t have been more than sixteen. His long, disheveled hair laid matted in a pool of red. His eyes were still open. Blue.

As we pick him up, I notice the thinness of his body. The black clothes swing loose around him. His spine prickles my fingers. It’s still warm.

Behind the house, we drop him by the shed. Pat is cursing as he begins to dig another pit. There are a lot of them now. We’ve begun to mark them with stones. Not to remember – just so we don’t dig any old ones up.

Pat tells me to clean up the room. I shoot Leroy a look of annoyance. I always get the dirtiest job.

I gather up some rags and shuffle back, pausing along the way to get the droplets. In the basement, you can almost see where he was laying a few moments before.

There is blood on the ceiling. I scowl.

I get to work, every so often stealing a glace up at the broken window. The sky beyond is blue, clouds slinking long and wide.
I like to pretend sometimes that it is another summer day. That later I will go home and tell my mother about this crazy dream. We would laugh and order a pizza.

My stomach growls even as the red bleeds through to my fingertips.

Pat calls me a dreamer. He says that at some point I will realize that there’s no use wasting thought on the past or the future. We now have only the present.

Bent River

When the moonlight peaks over
those softly swaying cottonwood trees,
you’ll find me by the river
dancing to the rushing water’s beat.

Cool air drifts into the valley,
driving away the summer’s heat.
Barefooted, young, and naive,
no one could ever make us leave.

With the comfort of the river,
we share our happiness and grief.
Weaving tales that become legends,
the things of old, the things we keep.

It’s there that I found my first kiss.
Moonlight dazzled and drunk on the night,
she was more than beautiful;
my friends say I was just a lucky guy.

When people hear that water humming,
they begin to relax about their day.
Laughing and sharing with one another,
fear and worry is easily washed away.

I learned secrets not yet forgotten.
Heard things I can’t repeat.
I will never forget those nights
and everything they mean to me.

When the moonlight peaks over
those softly swaying cottonwood trees,
you’ll find me by the river
dancing to the rushing water’s beat.

The Light Around Me

The light around me has grown dull.
It’s brightness keeled
and the sharpness blurred
to edges black.

Understand that the sun
is still high above.
This gloom is just a setting
projected from myself.

It shapes the world I see.
Experiences curtailed.
Faces lost.
Misplaced fears.
Diving emotions.

I am blind to the periphery.

GRAVE STONES

The well has run empty.
Nothing in it to be found.
Just a straight, dark hole to nowhere.
Down and down and down.

With the water went my spirit
marked with infamy
as I face a certain future
that has no joyful destiny.

It is a strange thing
to know your number of days.
Time no long unfathomable
but still a heavy weight.

My emotions turn in circles.
Memories thread my thoughts.
The world will not change without me.
And so, what of it did I cost?

I leave nothing behind
but the dust of my bones.
A life forgotten,
yet a name willed to stone.