I saw a burial with a bugler playing taps;
I turned to my father, “what happened?” I asked.
He clutched my hand and with a quiver in his voice,
he began to explain and his eyes became moist.
“My son,” he said, “this is rather difficult for me;
for an old veteran like myself this is tough to see.
In that coffin lies a genuine patriotic warrior,
an honest-to-God hero, an American soldier.
I appreciate that soldier and the service he gave,
and I honor his sacrifice as he’s laid in his grave.
He was honorable, selfless, courageous, and bold;
please remember him son, as you grow old.
The value of his service, I must explain,
if not remembered, will be lost in vain.
As a nation we’re nothing without soldiers like him;
and failing to remember would be a terrible sin.”
I listened in awe as my father spoke,
it seemed as if his heart were broke.
I suddenly remembered when he went to war,
and when he returned I thought nothing more.
I never asked why he walked with a limp,
and I didn’t care about why he was sick.
I was too busy enjoying the life that I had,
to realize that I had it because of dad.
I finally understood what my dad was about,
and it hurt so bad I cried out loud.
He sacrificed so much so I could be free,
and his battle scars were suffered for me.
It was my father’s spirit that spoke to me that day;
thank God I finally understood what he had to say.
I saluted his coffin as they laid him to rest,
and I thought about the medals pinned on his chest.
That I didn’t honor him sooner, I will always regret;
and I pledged that day to never again forget.
I’m proud that my dad was a patriotic warrior;
I’m honored to be the son of an American soldier.
So still and beautiful lays the rose in the heather,
Lifeless and dying, given to bring you happiness,
So fragile is this rose laying in heather,
Slowly withering and drying, crumbling to a powder,
I look at you and see this rose ever fading,
Once growing, living, accenting its surroundings,
But now gone, plucked from the bush by one mans lust,
I could never compare you to this rose laying in the heather,
For your beauty surpasses its own,
So still and beautiful lays this rose in the heather,
Now dried cracking and dead, stored in a book to bring memories,
So weak and faded is this rose in yellowing heather,
Slowly falling apart as you touch the fragile petals,
I look at you and remember the flower when it faded,
That germinated and grew where I had sown its seed,
Now gone, plucked from the ground by one mans hope,
I would never compare you to this old heather and roses,
For its life was surpassed by yours,
Now I tell you I love you with cellophaned roses in heather,
Draining lifeless this dying confession of my dreaming,
This rose is more fragile then the first had I gave you,
But I could’t approach, my courage eroding at your sight,
I look at you now and see the love I sought inward,
Once alive and growing but only within lost confines of myself,
But never quite gone I hold this consuming fire close inside,
I could never combine your world with mine,
You always looked passed never noticing me,
Now I open my book that holds the first rose, wishing I gave it for the sake of
Instead I hold a created memory that never came passing,
That never could I fear,
I hold tight to the lie that through wonted silence I painted,
But that chance for your love died with the first rose wrapped in heather.
I need more lives for me to live
In this universe of beauty;
I plan more days to find new ways
Of doing freedom's duty.
I need not more joy than this
For I am life's dear lover;
And when I wage to turn the page
I'd never want another.
The glorious pledge of sunny Spring
With sweet June coming after;
Bring autumn sighs and summers cries
Lost in winter's laughter.
With virgin moons and scorching noon’s
And stars of a thousand nights;
I'd need no heaven if love be given
With all its sweet delights.
There are many splendors for the eye
And such music for the ear;
The mind would reel with all to feel
And see to touch and hear.
There's many ways to spend the days
And more to do what's kind;
For bread now cast on waters past
Returns again I find.
There are such gifted souls to know
And many more to learn;
While a promise rests in earth's warm breast
And unknown stars still burn.
In six days God made all the earth
The bible is known to say;
Six lives I need to plant a seed
Of love with one for each dear day.
But sad if love should fly away
Or hide his face from me;
Six lives aren’t much if I had such
But one’s all that need be.
With unhappy May and sorry June
Sad dawns and weary night;
A sorry world through space was hurled
When love had lost her light.
Can you see them run to me – arms wide and laughing,
calling me, Mama: keeper of the stars, moon and hearts?
Can you see them kiss away my pain, healing every hurt
that’s ever marked me broken, dead or dying?
Can you see them hurt me? When they curse me, flay me;
ground me with their unformed anger and bravado-uncertainty
until they fly behind doors, crying over what they’ve said –
wishing they could take it back?
O’, does that pride HURT!
It stabs the chest and holds…holds…holds.
Can you see them behind doors and feel their wishful hearts burn?
Can you feel them loving me through it all?
Love is not something easily hidden. Love like that breaks down doors –
sees through them.
Can you see my tears; feel the weight of them on your cheeks?
They are yours.
Where you are (past the furthest/closest door) can you see me in them?
Can you see the love I kept hidden in my dark and painful dungeon?
You never knew what he did to me – but deep down, I blamed you anyway.
There was only you left, you see; always you.
Can you see, I'm just like you?
If you can see me, you know.
And if you can hear me crying through this God Damned pen (all those notes –
all those written sorry’s slipped beneath doors - you must have known that
even at 37, I’d write you my heart in a note!)
You, Gran/Mother, are my one and only regret.
That for 7 years, I treated you like a burden, a bother, and a barrier.
I treated you like you should have treated me – an unintentional intruder;
like something taken, not given.
But worse than that, I treated you like an acquaintance.
Knowing how badly that must have hurt you, makes me want to be kicked in the face
until I am unrecognizable; to the rest of the world, and myself.
But life’s not like that, is it? No. You knew that, too.
My baby boy has your nose, ears, and eyes.
Do you think that if I whisper in his ear tonight while he sleeps (between you and me –
at the doorway), you could hear me?
Tonight, I will whisper love in his perfect ear (pressed up against heaven’s door) -
maybe you will hear me say,
“Indy…Gran, I’m so sorry. If you can hear me, please give me a sign so I will know
you’ve heard me. I want to see you smile again – just one more time…please…
let me know that somewhere, behind the door, you forgive me…”
And in the darkness of his bedroom; the moonlight covering his small face
like an angel’s kiss, the baby boy in her likeness, smiled.
Alone in loneliness
Amid forever nights
And these four walls
In faint, whisper soft your name
I beg out loud to the nothingness that remains
"Please not another nightmare, no more storms"
But, answers are merely glimpses of light
Filtering through the pane
Cast empty shadows on the wall
Of places where you used to be
Eyes wide open
Now asleep, afraid I am to fall
Trapped within this never ending dream
I cling to all the memories that I have
Spinning me closer to where you were, in parallel on the edge
The thoughts, like imaginary rubble, comes tumbling passed
A fire for you still burning inside
Why can’t I let go of the tragedies last
And silence your unrescued suicidal screams
Or is it only the rain falling faster as it taps harder, and harder upon the glass
Or is it of your wandering spirit
Haunting with its vindications
Of "why’s" I can never seem to grasp
All this amidst lost stares into black windows
Where gutters overrunning, burdened by the strains
And I swear I see your reflection
Among the flashes, tracing out illuminations about your face
And for the first time
You are noticeably absent of all the worldly pains
And your lips releasing out a comfort that for so long I've been seeking
As I hear the words echo within my stormy heart "That where you are everything is okay"
High upon the highest heights
I see the most tremulous sight
A small girl, fair and tranquil
Smiling strangely, sitting still
Beneath a sobbing willow tree
She recites a verse upon her knee
She sings a rhythmic hymn
Not of death, nothing grim
But prays that life will return
Even for those who are doomed to burn
The girl is a woman now
Beneath the tree and upon the cloud
She whispers, “I am watching you”
Why then are you so blue?
A single tear of sadness and joy
Rejuvenate the quirky earthly boy
Who sits down beneath the blooming tree
Listening to her silent voice attentively
She reminds him she was once young too
That she also was a misty shade of blue
But when the boy grows into man
He has come to ignore the fair woman
Who watches him still from above
Burning and swelling with disdainful love
The ways of the world have sweltered his heart
And time has torn his soul apart
Thus he has lost all innocence and light
Battling his sinful lust—an endless plight!
I watch as he feeds on others’ pains and fears
Reducing the vigilant woman to tears
The prayer of the innocent has been ignored
Life has died and hellfire stored
Into the hearts of the impotent
In blue, fires of haze their heart is sent
Toiling in misery and lament
Savaged and severed by our regret
The heavenly woman grows old and frail
And the man still treads the sinful trail
As the rotting tree withers into dust
Can I revive it? –I must!
Low as low can possibly be
I watch myself condescendingly
A tombstone, gray and hell-bent
Frowning knowingly in bewilderment
Above the dust that once was a tree
She cries out a verse anxiously
Faintly she whispers the undying hymn
Not of happiness, nothing of whim
And prays that life will come to end
For those that break instead of bend
You made the mistake and now,
your afraid to face this day.
Your thoughts are racing through
You wonder if your family looks at
you as a disgrace, but you'er mother
takes you and reasures, your very
much loved in grace.
Even though your much to young
for this breathing little thing this
You couldn't just throw it out
like it was a peice of trash.
So you grow up and take the
path that led you to your best
mistake for years to come.
Return to me, O morning fresh
And you will feel my promise
Free your tears, unto me...your God
I do not know?
Y can't i hate u?
Hate you like iv'e hated myself
Y can't i escape the memories that stain my heart like
fresh blueberries on a crisp white shirt?
Y couldn't you forgive me for my acts of stupidity?
Y wont you save me from my solitude and misery?
Why? Why? Why?
Cant i stop loving you?
I suck at dying poems
Chemo poems, Metastatic Cancer poems,
Hair falling out in the shower poems
And I told a half truth
When I told you I could write you one
In less than six months (It's been eight)
I apologize for being so late
I wanted your poem to be pink and graceful
Like those ribbons
I see all over the internet
Filled with cheesy generic rhymes
That read like a Hallmark audition
But already my metaphors are melting
And my similes are getting soft
I guarantee you the rhyme meter will be off
When I went to Google
And the typed in the word 'happy'
Three billion links came up
Not a single inference to
Breast cancer, hair loss
No redirects to mastectomies
Yahoo wasn't any kinder
The only thing research could teach me
Is that a good day on chemo
Is when your stool doesn't come out tar Black
And has no blood in it
Or when your urine
Smells better on Wednesday
Than it did on Tuesday
Sleeping less than 12 hours
When 24 would be better
America has more poets
Than it does alcoholics
And Pot smokers combined
And you chose me to be
Your Breast Cancer
Trusting me to write a poem
About the biggest battle in your life
So I refuse to finish this poem
Without something bright and hopeful
And don't think
I didn't notice your Facebook activity
Had decreased by 88%
In the last three months
And you aren't really
Coming to any more of my poetry shows
Ever again. Are you??
But we still have March, April
But even if you had one breast
Or no breast
Or if you had less hair than I do
I promise to look only in your eyes
And never ever even notice
Or even think about it
And never for a moment
Would I feel sorry for you
Yes I suck at lying too...
But I don't suck at loving you
Or at hoping you wake up tomorrow morning
With no Cancer at all
And that The Eiffel Tower will be right outside
Your bedroom window...
And I would be right there with you
Holding your hand while we look down on Paris
And you can impress me with your French again
And if I ever make it
To the Pulitzer Poetry board
I might lose a thousand points
Just for this poem alone
And my hopes for the prize will be smitten
And some old person
With white hair will say
That was the worst love poem ever written