My last post was a preview of three poems On Loving – the second section of this collection I’m drafting. The final section will be On Losing. Some of these poems are odes to various people from my life, others are basic commentary on death, and still others focus on the impact that losing can have on a person – the things it may lead us to do in its wake.
Below is a glimpse into the section On Losing…
The People with Haunted Eyes
The haunted eyes are out tonight,
in hopelessness, they sit contrite
on trains, on benches,
lost in their plight.
Those who woke with walls around them,
or those with nothing to surround them,
nothing there to help to ground them,
they stare with haunted eyes tonight.
They sit there seeking, but do not see –
not this Earth, this time,
not you, nor me,
but in their gaze: reality.
There is purpose as they seek,
direction, though it may be bleak,
they do have life –
in the losing, so to speak.
And now I join them in their seeking,
into reality bespeaking
desperation: sneaking, shrieking,
because no answers reach our minds.
All we do is again ask “why?”
we do not see this Earth, this time,
we do not think in the sublime –
for that would make us live a lie.
So with haunted eyes I cry,
and from the truth, I cannot hide:
We don’t always get to say “goodbye”
and all that is: what’s left to die.
Flying and Falling
Slow the motion of the butterfly’s wings:
he falls between each beat.
Sometimes you must tell yourself
you are on the side of angels,
must ignore why people do what they do,
why you do what you do.
Because if you become your obsession,
you become your undoing.
how to weep with shame:
a directionless storm?
How to see the treasure of the sun
in those too few moments
when the world makes a rainbow?
Your storm will come,
no matter the ice you use to freeze,
to insulate, to turn reality to dream.
Sometimes we fall between
each beat of our fluttering hearts.
Sometimes regret becomes a prison
of our own making.
Sometimes our freedom must
be of our own making as well.
Forget the halos supposedly on your side.
Angels can be the evil that sets fire
to your pouring rain,
turning sense to steam.
Sometimes we must storm inside.
Sometimes we must allow the world
to strip us of selflessness.
Sometimes we must become our obsession
to prevent our undoing.
You must ask why.
For the sun is a treasure,
there for you in the moments
of the rainbow,
of the eclipse,
of the storm.
There to reveal –
when you choose to understand –
the essential balance
between falling and flying.
Because the Stars Can Hold Hands
We have hit the universe.
The Big Bang came again,
but this time in reverse.
We took off in an incomplete
rocket ship, protected,
but headed in directions unknown
– so fucking vulnerable.
We took off heading up up and away,
but now we plummet,
downwards, sideways, end
over end, spotless minds
And while we can slowly
turn our backs to the sun,
as apparently certain as the most
solid planet, the sunshine
is eternal, and there is no escape
from the blinding reminder
in the light.
We have hit the universe.
What once was dust now lingers,
swirling in our heads, figures
of the forgotten resurrected.
Because there is always
more than one giant rock
in a belt of asteroids.
Because the thing about belts
is they tighten, around waist,
Because we fly solo,
and our peripheral can only
take so much.
There’s a reason we stand at night
gazing at the dark swath, the scattered
stars, with jaws slightly dropped:
We’re just one more speck, lost
in that black wasteland,
one more dot floating, circling,
But at the same time, we’re not lost.
Because the stars can hold hands.
Because the turning of the planets
is just a slow dance among friends.
Because the sunshine is eternal,
but doesn’t always blind us.
Without that light,
there would be no moon, no reflection
of ourselves, just as alone,
to gaze down at us when we need
a breath of fresh air.
We can find some gravity
on our directionless journey.
We have hit the universe,
but the sunshine is eternal,
so the moon can always return
up above, waiting for us
with a smile
if it’s not too full.