The night is cold, awaiting the early light of dawn
My body shivers, my feet like ice, I long for sleep but it does not come
Like so many lonely hours in the darkness
The ache of my bones so cruel and relentless
Tears on my pillow, I once again slip from the warm covers
Leaving the placid breath beside me, never knowing I’ve gone
I would give so much to have the peace of slumber
The chance to dream of an earlier life, one that is gone now
Where I danced with the clouds on a warm spring day
Ran in the woods chasing butterflies or a humming bird
The gentle breeze brushing against my skin
My soul free to be who I am, without the pain of this withering shell
Some nights I long for an end to this misery
Life has dealt such a difficult challenge
But more often, I sit in the dim light of the morning
Remembering my youth and the freedom that it gave
How I laughed in its face, knowing I would always be young
That I would always be ready to take on the world unencumbered
How naïve…and how unappreciative of the wonders of my youthful body
Pushing the limits of this fragile home to my soul, never fearing an end to my
But the dawn comes, and I bravely go on to face another day
Determined to make it the best possible
Although this life, even with it’s wicked edge, so unexpected
Arrived before I was ready to give up my wonderful dance of freedom
I rub my twisted joints, warming them near the fire
Knowing that, even through the pain there is hope
For my mind is sharp, my wit is clever
And I may yet find joys in the brightness and warmth of this new sun
For I can still hear the birds sing their happy tunes
Watch the grandchildren’s innocent play, their melodic giggles of joy
And remember how it was not so long ago…
And how I danced!
His face, withered, gaunt
His eyes cloudy, filled with a haunting vacancy
His voice weak , shallow
Seldom spoken these last difficult days
His hair is white and thin
His skin, so delicate and discolored
The strength has left his fragile body
And he lies, waiting
Yet I remember the man who was my Father
In my youth, so tall and strong
His eyes a deep blue with a depth of the seas
Thick, wavy, black hair tousled about his head
He walked with an unaware arrogance
Never knowing that all eyes were upon him
This handsomest of men, beautiful, confident
No one could match his brilliance, his seductive air
Unconscious, innocent of the power he possessed
The command he held with peers, a leader of men
A bright star in the universe, a life spent searching for answers
Politics, Economics, Religion…his battlegrounds
Yet, with all his perfection
He remained kind and true to all
Generous, loving; never an unkind word
A light for all who knew him
But the cruelty of life is worse for some
His body wracked with an unforgiving disease
Seizing him, slowly at first…a tremor
Then completely, leaving him helpless
Dependent upon those who had worshipped his strength
Lying in his bed, languished, weak
Nearly impossible to eat, difficult to drink
Each day descending further into darkness
Life’s cruelest blow to one so special
Chosen by angels as their brightest star
So blessed to have loved such a man
Still loved, but pitied for the terrible loss
For such men were never meant to suffer this fate
To fade each day, closer to oblivion
He would never have chosen this
Broken, suffering silently in stoic resignation
Pride now replaced with painful gratefulness
He tries to manage a smile
His rigid muscles fighting the instinct
For he spent his life smiling
But old age has given him no peace
No time to reflect on the legacy he leaves
He waits as life deals its unjust ending
For one who was so great, so good
I hold his cold, thin hand in mine
Holding back the tears that burn
I will remember him, the Father whom I have loved
I see him walk away, wavy black hair, a cute little wink
As he leaves this tired shell, worn, used up
Once again becoming the unbroken man
I see him strut again, his quick, bouncy steps
As he climbs the ladder to the heaven he has earned
I hear the trumpets of the angels
Welcoming their special creation
A man of compassion and ideals
My Father, My Daddy…How I will miss him
Crying into my pillow each night
Tears for a sorrow that burns like an acid
Eating it’s way through my senses..through my soul.
The pain sears through me like burning coals
Hard to get my mind clear and rational
To put those things into perspective..
Or so I am told by well-meaning others who do not know,
The suffering of my existence; my inability to cope
My head throbs in almost a familiar rhythm
A melody of self-pity, for regret, for salvation
And the tears, still flowing, now echoed with muffled sobs
For the agony is nearly more than I can withstand
I pray to a God I do not know, nor care to
But no one else is there to listen to my pleas for comfort
To make right all those mistakes
As there are so many choices and I haven made the wrong ones
So the God I do not acknowledge, lies silent in the stillness
And the burning within begins to subside
As grateful sleep falls upon me at last
Until another night comes, and the thoughts begin again
I look into his soft blue eyes
And see the face of two before him
The sweet innocence and wonder
Of all that the world possesses
For in him lies the possible
Those things that escaped before
As our time is too short
To experience all the beauty before us
His smile and giggle so enchants
Free of the worldly weights to come
Unencumbered by life’s many roads
Choosing all rather than some
Such possibilities await this one
As with the two before him
Which ones will he choose
What path shall he take
But not today, for time seems endless
For now, to explore all he sees
When joy is the only decision
And beauty in everything abounds
Dark the shadow, moving among us as a thief,
Deftly slipping its thin, spiny fingers
Deep into those hearts not yet strong
Tugging almost effortlessly at the soul within
That knows not, the light, the bright salvation.
For only a small step towards the shining star
Would summon the angels to battle,
Fierce, cunning, strong, they fly to their call.
But, alas, though a small step, a deep, endless chasm
For one so lost, so tortured...so alone.
The others watch yet do nothing to stop
The growing vastness of nothing,
Suckling all life, all hope from where it feeds
So simply, with hardly a protest or fight, not even a whimper;
Only abandon and sadness, regret and loss.
Yet in the distance a soft and gentle song trumpets in the wind,
Calling back the lost and weary souls forgotten,
Calling them all back, aching for their pains and sorrows,
Offering a choice if only they would hear.
Closer and brighter, chasing shadow back into the night.
The endless battle surely bringing victory to one
Yet, we watch and do nothing, and the angels cry out
Their frustrations and despair, and with prayers that man will take
That step of faith, opening their hearts as all who hunger for the light,
May find salvation and end the nothingness that grows.
Oh gentle spirit
Set loose from life’s pain and grief
Flee to the heavens
Parsnips say I, oh please try them, do,
For Parsnips are so good for you!
But no, you just won’t try them, will you.
Instead, you stomp and cry and stew.
You’d rather waste your time with lettuce.
Fine for you, but please don’t tell us,
That what we need is more brown rice.
I think you’re just not very nice.
So off I go to eat with Martin.
He loves his pintos and just keeps fartin’
For taste is simply a personal matter
So, instead, I’ll just throw my parsnips at her.
Your lettuce wilts and rice gets sticky.
Oh, my, the food you like is icky.
So here I sit alone to stutter…
Please go and leave me with my peanut butter!
Or even my nice sweet chocolate bar.
To get it I would travel far,
Beyond the endless bars of salad.
So ends this trite but tasty ballad.
Soft, pink petals sway
Sweet perfume of summer’s end
The buebirds cry in sorrow
A dull thud in my head…growing to a massive ache
As the sun creeps through the cracks in my blinds
Even before the scream of the most annoying alarm
Rages most days in my poor ringing ears
Much like an addict in the dark corners of the city’s edges
I am beckoned by a need so powerful, my body knows its name
Otherwise an independent soul, what part of me allows such dependence?
My shame of its control over my mortal soul
No function, no coherence;
Only this nagging pull of my very being.
I throw back the covers and creep from my room
The thought of my fix becoming a powerful incentive
I pry open my crusty eyes to find my way
I eagerly reach for the bag, carefully pouring, measuring
Then grinding down my fix to just the right consistency
The agony of the waiting until it’s ready…perfection
First pausing to relish the bliss about to come
My initial shame of the morning long lost in the anticipation
As I slowly inject, infuse, this powerful demon into my shaking body
Ecstasy flows through my veins.
Once is not enough.
I must have another…
That hot, steaming cup of coffee…ahhhhhhhhhhhh
I will make it through another day.
For fleeting fame, a chance to shine
Her need for love and acceptance overwhelming.
Casting out all values and decorum
Her thoughts focused on only the prize she seeks
For fortune and celebrity outweigh the moral dilemma
Her sense of propriety and self-respect clouded
As she chases wealth and jewels and raiment’s of gold
This gilded beauty seeks the flash of celebrity with her gleaming smile
Unaware or oblivious to the emptiness of her chosen existence
The love so superficial…the acceptance a façade
Yet a growing void within, unfilled and gnawing at her soul,
She fails to understand, consumed with superficial desires…so many detractors
Instead, reaching still for her star, the mores of society cast aside
Ambition soon replaced with desperation as the pillars fall one by one
Surrounding herself with the leaches that prey upon the weak
Believing their lies, slipping further into the abyss of a lost soul
Clinging to the fleeting relief of drugs and salacious acts
Until the naïve young woman who once existed slips beyond salvation
Ambition and determination replaced with a need for instant gratification
Needing something to ease the agonizing pain of what she has created
But a loss so profound pushes her beyond coping with the anguish
Not even a true and genuine new love would be enough to heal
For her wounds are deep and many, and not one loves enough to see
Her end is in sight; as such tragedies have befallen the iconic fatales before her
Fleeting and elusive the adoration she craves…And no one hears; no one sees
While alone in a strange city and hotel room, her flame flickers and tragically dies
As her legend quickly becomes greater than her life had ever been
Will she revel in her place in history? Or is she simply gone; destroyed by us all.