Frothy waves stretch to kiss toes
Hikers plodding sandy coasts
Leaving imprints on the shore
Who journeyed here, perhaps this morn
As the orange orb created dawn
Summoning sun worshipers
Footprints far too large to fill
Descended down the shell-strewn hill
Then hugged the waves’ low tide
The retirement community
Sends scouts here daily just to see
If the sands of time still wait
Alas, they do, imprints remain
Sacrificed to sea when evening tide returns again
Their legacies erased each day
Another scout, another age
Will surely cast its prints anew
Passing through framed windows like ours,
I recall your tales of reckless war and lost friends
that burned your innocence at 21... and though
you claimed flashes of courage, moist eyes
poured vulnerability looking calm, undaunted.
We both searched deeply into our souls
as a father is to his young daughter, that I wanted
to let you know, it was alright;
but that mound of shoulders turned away.
Down the years as officer and gentleman,
Time stole long weeks, absent from your dining chair,
leaving me resentful and bitter on hardened sills
until you arrive under crawling dock of stars.
But in free moments, how you cherished
me so; waking my cheeks at 3 am to race the winds,
to fly with a shooting neon, laughing with a blue moon.
You spoke of faith and honor if life dared a shame, oh
mild scent of your arms cuddling my girlish dreams...
until off you rode suddenly on heaven’s wheel.
I see you through all framed windows like ours,
that even if my iced breaths needed you more
as small flowers thirsted for rain, my anger was a cry
for love’s company... “ I have adored you
in moments of distance and nearness, if not
always, then for all eternity.”
Have I forgotten to open this, my soft, broken sigh?
Dad, everything is all right.
The Confessional Contest
Who I might become
If I wore another man's clothes
If I thought his thoughts
Dreamed his dreams
Lived his heartache
Felt his insanity
Walked along his razor's edge
Digest his pain
Rise above his circumstances
Would I realize how easy my own life has been
I could search through his pockets
Look for answers
Remove the tie from his neck that strangles
Rip off the clothes that make the man
Return his sanity
Free him from the labels sewn on yesterday's promises
Or I could walk
A bit longer
Search a bit deeper
Discard my own misconceptions
Feel his peace
Think different thoughts
For he is more and less than me
He has danced and loved in exceptional ways
And as I walk and wear his shoes
I hear the tapping of his soul
It is not him
That can save us
Yet we are changed
In inexplicable ways
Another man's clothes
I chose this one for your contest because I feel as
a poet I put myself in other people's clothes all the time.
I like the premise of this contest and I hope this gives you
a glimpse of who I am.
Submited December 20 2013
written in early December.
As my thoughts shrink my mind expands
Growing into the spaces between my words
The words of others
Refreshed within the pauses
Dancing inside possibilities
Filling in the blanks
Within time and space
Connecting the random with the infinite
Flowing through in whispers
Reflecting eternal promises
Stepping stones along elastic highways
Breaths yet to be exhaled
Here I grasp for inked pleasure
My resting place
along inspiration's highway
My moments of calibration
Hallways leading to ancient corridors
The place where all artist meet
Each space, appears the same
To those unable to see
They can't feel the symphony
Yet, we who live, within the spaces
A world expanded from the small
An opening within word walls
Rising to float, upon the breeze
They lift our mind with subtle ease
Come and join me please
I have space
I have room
Within my spaces
majestic he seems, staring down at me
with provocative, charcoal cavern eyes
challenging me to forge upward
massive boulders, slippery streams and fallen trees
arduous obstacles he puts before me
shall I take his dare
perhaps ascending a few steps closer
to cerulean heaven
reach out to touch the kaleidoscope rainbow
an arc above this complex journey’s struggle
or is communing with the universal consciousness
will I step, slip, stumble and fall
if I climb, seeking to prove myself
finding visions of self awareness
as he urges me on
only to wonder why I see nothing but myself
in a shroud of misty grey loneliness at the peak
far easier it would be
to lay my head upon the verdant meadow’s grassy pillow
content to admire him from afar
rather than challenge myself to win his approval
gratify my ambitious nature
what satisfaction will come
if I remain complacent in my life’s lackluster station
never growing, never knowing
what might have been
if I’d listened to his provocative voice
*Written July 30, 2014
Fluted hands angle on knees as glimpses
sort the knitted threads of a late afternoon
where gathering of blooms abide.
Almost friendless, a man inhabits his space
ready to inhale the waft of new dusk,
of how a world in his inner terrain mirrors
the ceremonials of a mindful passage
upon grasses and half-lit windows
outside the self.
And through a prayerful instance,
he connects with a god hushing the tempo
of sighs mixed with incense blowing, as if
to twirl in an air of breaths cleansing
the scabs of trespasses. Miles of babel words
turn into a different language: quite unknown
and understood only by him who finds
contentment in being unbound ,of gliding
above a haloed sky that reflects the movement
inside his awakened essence.
For the atonement of all misgivings,
he releases his pride in layers
of deep confession to pay for his karmic debt;
that in a warm communion with humility
he makes amends for life's consequences
as stillness becomes his friend.
Anthony Slausen's Karma
Of being arrested
By the thought police
Their rules are many
Don't diverge from the normal
Stop playing on the street corner of tomorrow
Let sleeping dogs rest
Do not question
Do not burn on passionate bonfires
I watch as they ready their weapons
They display arresting warrants through clouded glass
Fifty shades of bland
Cuffs dangling from bulging belts
Bound in self rightous blunder
They wait outside my door
Screaming bull horns command me to exit my paper freedom
I am blinded by search lights, forced to use my third eye
Fearful of their uniformed presence
How long will they be held at bay?
I hold their preconceptions hostage
They cannot see beyond their script
Trained in the warfare of ignorance
They say "who are you, to question our authority?"
"I am the poet
The one who dreams beyond here and now
My words push through yesterday like a plow!
Yet I am gentle like the rain
Equal parts of pleasure and pain
A powerful detergent
I remove ancient stains
With my words I shake the ground
I will not be stopped by another's sound
Arrest me, yet you can't stop what I think
Within my mind I determine what I drink."
The thought police
Turn to another
The writings of our sisters and brothers
They wait, with cuffs in hand
Unable to understand
Who have joined hands
We take a stand
Inspired by Eileen Ghali's poem "The Hidden Woman"
Catie Lindsay's Heart of the matter contest.
Questions hang suspended like stalactites
Time, circumstance and elements contributing to its formation
(—then something else seeps in, pushing me to call it fate)
Questions that know not whether they should be voiced out and see light
...or remain hidden in caves, destined to be only heard
by the labyrinthine chambers of the heart
But yes, it is inevitable that these questions d
They drip, bit by bit, oozing with curiosity,
forming more queries, that turn into stalagmites—
Grounded questions to the suspended ones,
open-ended to the closed.
Sometimes meeting, creating columns,
melded complements of each other.
And then this makes me wonder—
When these questions meet,
do they ever find answers within themselves?
Will the truth ever be brave enough to come out of hiding?
This then makes me think of the words within souls,
how these souls are the questions, in search of answers.
...And of how your words, your thoughts, your feelings,
can drip into mine, feeding that inner glow
It then collects, forming this deluge,
flooring me as it creates a bond so powerful,
it seems to defy time and even reason.
A fascinating influx,
that makes me smile despite myself
Where sometimes I don’t know the beginning from the end—
where bliss swims freely there,
immersed in waves of laughter and ripples of tears.
This for me is the beauty of it all,
the search, the mystery...the discovery
That constant ebb and flow,
the give and take,
that push and pull
the flooding and trickling,
that hiding and seeking
Where one listens as the other speaks,
but ah, both feeding off each other—
hungry, thirsty, full, satiated yet craving for more.
It’s something akin to, but not quite to
how sunlight makes way for moon’s glow,
how thunder rolls after the lightning strikes,
coming hand in hand...yet both so defined.
Yes, the questions may still hang like stalactites,
and sometimes I do wonder if they will fall—
And if they do,
will they shatter,
piercing hearts as they do?
Or will their fates let them stay there,
melding with stalagmites,
standing the test of time,
June 17, 2012
If we could peel back the blanket of earth
To expose the bones buried there
Mix them all up in a great big pile
To say they'd all look the same would be fair
The rich man, the poor, the blind and the weak
Each gender, religion and race
The short, the tall, the large and the small
And include every shape of the face
If we had to choose one bone at a time
Not knowing who's bones belonged to whom
To make ourselves over new again
I wonder how well we'd do
Not judging by color, size or shape
Or status of high IQ
The bones might fit together just fine
And stay together till the end of time
Things that seemed poetic were always sad,
though I yearned for sparkle
and my dad's guffaw, which never came.
Familiar things were always drear --
repeated motions in the same old game.
There were only distant glimpses
of budding spring, fleeting views
of daffodils. The strongest
poems dealt me death and dying.
Yet I always hoped, never went under
to gray despair, always dreaming
of a garden of love that we could share.
But those forbidden delights faded
quickly away; the only reality
I understand is the ever-looming
and final one. Nothing's changed.
The strongest poems deal death and dying.