Gray

Last time I spoke to my mirror

things were good and safe.

It’s been awhile since then

so today I decided to have a look,

change has come.

Gray clouds engulf my face

I think I’m about to rain.

The Cliff

There you were walking in the snow.

My baby boy grown, a free bird,

a man more than I could ever be.

Needless to say I love you my friend.

I can never find the words, I avoid them,

If there’s a heaven I hope we find it

together the way we used to fish when young.

I changed the hook and you made the catch.

Now, I’ve nearly lost you, just hanging by white knuckles

on a cliff, the cliff only a father and son can know.

My Last Prom

I found you dead on page six

obituaries. I knew those eyes.

I stared longingly many times

as my breath caught in conflict.

I loved you but I didn’t, not really.

Eighteen, dumb, no grasp on aging,

maturing, war was waiting, and loving

you was a leisure I couldn’t pay so I left you

in a storm, dirty pool, wrong headed.

I’m sorry. You’re dead, I am spirituality

gone, stone drop from sanity. I am gone.

Reaping

Every picture strikes a chord, a scenario

of years long gone, long hidden.

I’ve forgotten my forefathers, hard

working farmers, victims of Depression,

war, disease, lost friends. You’re gone.

Soon, too soon we follow our own parade.

Someone said once “one day older,

one day closer to the end.” I ask the end of what,

the end of a hard day’s work, shoveling stalls,

reaping fields of wheat, or reaping the dead

from wars declared by the rich, the arrogant,

narcissistic kings living in gold and silver

while their followers sleep in hovels declaring

victory over their hard days, slavery never sleeps.

Purposeless

Finite life passes before your eyes,

infinite life stays for others to see.

Count, don’t count, whatever you decide.

For me, everything passes my windows

never waving, never smiling, blank.

It’s all blank you see, tomorrow clean,

yesterday a smeared chalkboard.

Can’t I stay a little longer just to kiss

your kissable lips, lips I’ve loved

forever, our forever, just one more night.

I’ve Walked

So you think I’ve come this far just to die?

You lifted me up when I fell but who’s to say

I shouldn’t have fallen years ago, maybe I should have.

Who’s to say what’s right, what’s worth fighting for?

Some God? I don’t think so. If he walk a path

I missed it, didn’t see the footprints, the broken wine glass.

I am here now, another day older and waiting to die.

Vietnam told me to live. Woodstock told me to love.

Did I listen? Are you listening my friends? Don’t miss

signs along your path, take my word all things must pass.

Don’t Speak of My Death

Don’t speak of it, no one knows

I’m slowly dying, not a regular death.

You know the kind, family gathered

you show them the event of their lives.

They cry. It’s working you see, eyes gobbling

the back of your sockets. Wow!

Grandpa’s going out with a bang and a twang.

No, not that kind. My death will be bookmarked

by wheezing and whistling of my lungs.

No one will watch. That’s okay you see.

My crooked crab apple will soothe its only friend

hiding its happiness from the humming birds,

friends that never hover near a dying wasp.

One Night

One night

I remember sitting on my bunk

polishing my belt buckle

whispers of war filled the barracks air,

not your normal whispers mind you.

They were quiet and edgy like a shadow

scrambling on the back streets of Chicago.

The hushed bullets of fear made me nauseas.

Holding my stomach I willed the sickness away,

readied my uniform for revelry and another day of war games.

I turned my covers just as lights-out

echoed through electric tin speakers.

The hushed whispers became softer yet

more urgent in my mind.

I lay listening to tanks and rapid fire weapons

playing their chorus meant just for rookies like me.

My eyelids felt a need to close

my mind thought about jungles,

bullets whistling through rice paddies

hitting random targets

screaming in the wetness of the jungle.

My eyes moistened when I wondered

why I left you so many thousands of years ago

I promised I would back to love you

but I never did. The end of my youthful war arrived

as I curled up in a ball of emotional isolation.

It was over. Adulthood crushed me like a wrecking ball.

Ride Til I Die

Through years of living, traveling,

learning, faking, quitting, taking

stumbling while dancing with strangers,

singing songs I couldn’t sing, I left cracks.

I left holes in hearts, holes too large to fill.

I remember so much love I ignored.

Ignoring those who wrapped me into their hearts.

I kept driving that mustang, 283 horsepower,

black leather, stereo blasting, hair blowing

in October chills, November frosts, baby James

sang soft and stoned. It was a brave new world.

I took no prisoners, no love needed until now,

now it’s all I have, tears in my mirror

I am an empty shell, crusty and unneeded.

Take me to the that gnarled old crab apple,

lay me down so time will take me

by a wrinkled hand and lead me to

the emptiness I deserve.

Graduation Summer

My mind a big screen

Of my past

I watched me

watching you

slumbering in my arms

red hair satin soft

I watched us laugh

driving fast on gravel roads

kissing and so much more

can I find that path

back to those dark summer nights?

Will I laugh again

winking with a certain smile

touching so precious

we could barely breathe

Wrinkles caught

forever in our mirrors

golden years

more brass

than gold.