Mother

I’ve been afraid to act with joy
But that never bothered you
You have lived with others’ bitterness
And done the best that you could do

You have laughed at what was funny
Even if only to you
And persevered when others, envious,
Hated when such smiles grew

You have lived a life of sorrow
And pretended that you never knew
I pray that I’ll remember this
And take my strength from you.

***

Happy Mother’s Day.

Self-Sabotage

Why do we stare into the dark
When we’ve a lighted hearth behind us?

And shout our souls out to an echo
While our loved ones sit in silence?

And why does our glow of city lights
Block out all of heaven’s stars?

And why is it every unity
Divides into yours and ours?

Naturalization

I feel like I’m perpetually living
On the wrong side of the world
On the dark side of the moon
On the inside of a cave
Shared with blind things blinking,
Straining for a light that won’t come soon.
And even if it came, how would we all handle
The world of light colliding with our world of gloom?

I feel like I’m an outsider
A strange creature of the dark
A forgotten exile who in turn forgot
There was such a thing as home
And if I saw now a hearth fire
Would it still be what I sought
Or is that other world now the foreign thing
And darkness, more my home than not?

I feel like there’s a question
One I haven’t asked just yet
One I’m thinking that I might
Because the answer might be worth it.
So at last I’ll ask myself this one:
If time can teach me even to be a thing of night,
Then what the devil is to stop me
From relearning to walk in the light?

The Shadow

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I follow in the wake
Of those most dear to me,
Darkened by the thought
That they go on without me.
It’s strange:
When they slept before
In their small beds,
Their tiny voices
Cried for my continued existence;
For the light that sustained me
Not to go away.
But these nights?
They’re the loneliest I know:
When I’m reminded
I’m just a shadow.

Nobody

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If you look, then you will find him
At the bottom of a ditch.
He thought he was in love;
Now he curses her for a witch.

If you look, then you will find him
At the bottom of a bottle,
Trying to turn to foggy dreams
Memories of something awful.

If you look, then you will find him
At the bottom of a grave;
If anyone looked, then they’d see
Signs of the damn that no one gave.

Forgotten

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There’s an ill wind, blows from the east,
Yet always blows into my eyes;
And carries with it ashes of things
Ravaged, then by time disguised.

It blows the dust of men long-lived,
Maybe even wise;
And that of urchins, bony-ribbed,
Firm with deceit and lies;

And what remains of maidens fair,
And perchance the elven race:
This the wind, in passing there,
Invites me to face.

So if some days you chance upon me
And I have tears within my eyes,
Pray don’t leave me, wondering,
Or gaping in surprise;

For I’m just contemplating
Long forgotten lives
And trying to keep from thinking
One day those ashes will be mine.