Inner Peace

It hurts 

When all I do is 

Think

And think

And think

Simplicity becomes complex 

When tasks become compounded

Leisure becomes diluted 

Overlooked by obligation and responsibility

We don’t prepare ourselves 

For the colors 

In between 

Right and wrong 

Red

Black

The deepest of blues

Then we see a blade of grass

Bent 

Yellow along its sides

Smell of life

The opportunity

The gift

These problems are man-made

Breathe in deep

Today I create peace 

The world continues to violently spin

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Seen

You won’t be unseen forever

Moving under cover

Every face sees the sun

Not realizing the image 

Imprinting

On its beams

Reciprocal 

In nature

Home finds you

Even on the streets

Closer than vinyl siding

Blue and grey

Mixed with uniform hedges

You lived that life once

But the open air has always 

Blown through your sun-bleached hair

Knots are reminders of what was seen

What was felt 

Diving into shallow water

I’ve wanted it too

A hard ending

Period

No semicolon

Why should you look up

It’s hard to put into words

Like the view from a mountain

Carefully traversed

You mini warrior

Give it everything

Nothing less

Don’t stop

One foot in front of the other

Don’t stop

Heart growing with each deep breath

Don’t stop

I’ll miss your face

Without ever having heard your voice

We can’t keep living this way

Passing strangers

Worse

Family

Without knowing their purpose

Their reason for putting warm feet on cold wooden floors

I want to know you

Grit

“Grit”

The constant pressure between forced molars

The one more time before gasping for air

The movement of gears when the oil has run dry

Something forced under human tissue

To be forgotten

Until

Sink holes form

Consuming normalcy

And routine

And standards of living

Forging paths in the hills 

Taking life to temporary dwellings

Hoping smoke is blown the other way

When the world shut its doors 

I got out a crowbar

Never waiting to see who wanted to let me back inside

Automaticity

There will come a day when the river violently rushes through

You will struggle to stand

The dirt will tumble into the water

Debris will knock you down 

The wind will welcome you back

Until the water reclaims you

You won’t have time to think

The automaticity in your muscles

In your bones 

Will find a way

Without acknowledgment of what is happening 

Your body will fight

To survive

Because we are born with a desire

To be

You will rise up

Seeing for the first time

The horrible disaster 

As it was

Find your way to the buildings that still stand

Tend to your wounds

Recounting the tragedy 

No one will truly understand

But they will see it

On your face 

When you pause

Revisit it in your mind

Without speaking

You will show us

In that moment 

That is when

(If we let it)

Humanity will rise

Coasting

I’ve been crying on the floor

Laughing 

Stitching up both sides

Isn’t it funny when the world hangs upside down

Turns away from frowns

Makes living seem like a game

The best we play

Coffee break mornings

Bicycle afternoons

Evenings for pretending 

We won’t be leaving too soon

I’m a frightful mess

Up

Down 

All around

But when I got it

I got it bad

And it’s playing in my head

Skip that record, baby

All ends are dead

I’ll be your backup 

You be my just in time

This life is for living

For now

Coasting sounds just fine

Dandelion

Come here 

Dandelion

Let me give you a kiss

Blow you away 

Into the future

What have you got to risk?

I’ve tried touching you

Always falling apart

I had visions 

Sneakers on railroad tracks

That was back then

When the world was round

Looped around 

Connected on all ends

Before strings were cut

Seams violently split

I saw you holding a diamond

Delicately cut

Placed it on spidery fingers

White strip teeth

I’ve never been that kind

Hair tangled in the wind

Dirt from the mountains in every pore

Colors chipped 

Edges jagged

When it comes to choosing 

Someone to stand behind

I never knew how to be in that line

So I sing what I want

Dance how I can

Strong in my shoulders

Lifting life up with both hands

I’ll die knowing

I could have been a prize 

In another life

In another way

If only I had learned 

To walk that way

Maybe it’s better 

To not be put on a shelf

I’ve always loved moving 

Directly where 

The sun hits the earth

All About

Rest

Time

Heal

Grow

Be angry

Let go

Love is always buried underneath

Between the harsh words

And angry looks

The sun gives us

Opportunity

Each morning

To try again

To get it right

To hold on tight

To shoulders that carry

Too much weight

Pulling at joints 

Ripping at cartilage  

Surgery can only masque 

The damage

But I can hold you

In my dislocated arms

Squeeze you 

Until you feel important 

Worthy to be loved

This wasn’t your fault

It wasn’t mine

Sometimes life is all about

What you can’t hide

What you can be 

Despite these 

Heinous crimes

Land That I Love

Loud

Proud

Obnoxious

Curious

Rude

Protective

Don’t you forget

Land that I Love

What it is we came here seeking

Carry me to the sea

Lead me down your cracked roads 

Guide me to the lights of the city

Give me choice 

And a voice

Never try to harness my mind

Our actions should be kind

Let us not assume a privilege

That was paid with our great grandfather’s blood

Assumptions are naive

And lead to a loss of what was won

Let us be educated

The only weapon to fight a bomb

Compromise is not defeat

But giving up our values and beliefs

That’s not what makes us who we are

As we stand on our feet

Hands over hearts

This is not a mindless act

This is dedication to a way of life

That is so rare

So fragile

Let us disagree

And make a point 

But also be willing to hear

We need a left 

And a right

In order to remain 

Thoughtful debate

And concentrated thought 

Let us not, as Thomas said,

Go gentle into that good night

No immunity has been given

But rather a continuous fight 

To keep what we have

And that is our God given right

Recalibrating

I’m going to

Start this thing

Over again

Why can’t I

I’ve always said

Based life on a 

Lie

Dream

Misinformation 

Now I’ve been educated

Ready to take a thoughtful approach

That doesn’t take itself too seriously

Dusty books

Broken bones

Everything ends up 

As the same dirt beneath oblivious feet

I’ll travel the solar system

Maybe run into you

Make you wish you could catch my incessant    

Thirst for climbing

That drives each foot forward

Making life go 

Oh so abruptly

With no shock absorbers

Full impact

Felt through the heart

Which is why it beats so powerfully

Working it’s way through the pain

I don’t feel anymore

All I feel is an urge to be inspired

Expand on a temporary world 

That will barely know my name

But those of you 

That spent time 

Entangled in my arms and legs

Will never forget 

The way I lived 

And laughed from the inside

Old Fashioned

“Old Thinking”

Men passing 

Pornography 

Around at the bar

This is funny

As they smoke their cigar

Women with large naked breasts

Makes them laugh 

Without shame

Call me

Old fashioned 

Whatever

I’m sick of this one-sided game

Women feed the disease 

With attention seeking ways

A night of cat and mouse

With one final aim

Wouldn’t it be nice

To talk and be heard

To be more than skin that covers bones 

Imperfections that are abruptly pointed out 

As if we forgot what could be seen behind our doubt

Watching hips swivel 

Necklines plunge

There’s a difference between being free

And blindly fastening our own chains

30 days and 30 nights of being touched without permission

Expectations clearly laid

A right to our bodies

Implied and assumed

No interest in our brains

I met a man who looked me in the eye

He talked to me 

He listened when I spoke

Heard when I paused 

Respect given and received

No assumption of my body’s obligation 

To make him feel like a man

Shockingly rare 

Refreshingly calm

Anticipation unforced 

Rules we once knew

Rituals we once followed

Before we became beasts 

Tackling each other in dark corners

The mind is so much more seductive 

Than an animalistic urge

To conquer and claim

To own and submit

I look forward to finding out

How deep this old way of thinking goes