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May 2021

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About Poemography

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of my Poem-A-Day Project, I am reprising my daily poetry challenge in 2021.

Every day this year—from January 1st until the 31st of December—I will create a new poem inspired by whatever moves me at the moment I sit down to compose that day's poem, publishing them here with subscription-free access for all.  

Every Tuesday throughout the year, I will write and publish one bonus poem that will be available exclusively to my Patrons on Patreon.

In 2022, I will publish a book of my complete poems, spanning more than 40 years of poetry writing. The complete collection of poems will be published in a limited edition hardbound book available for purchase. As an added feature, I'm considering releasing some of the poems in this collection as spoken word recordings by a variety of special guest readers. Enjoy the year!

12MAY21

Introspection

Not every journey leads to paradise 
Not every romance leads to love 

Not every house is a home

Not every man is gentle

Not every sea is blue

Not every tree stands tall

Not every garden is green

Not every opportunity is golden

 

Not every tomorrow is a guarantee 

Not every dream comes true

Not every poem rhymes

Not every pearl is real

Not every lie is malefic

Not every promise is kept

Not every storm brings rain

Not every song can soothe the soul

11MAY21

Panic

It's been thirty years since that night

Long ago high above LaSalle; I haven't

Missed you but your memory has lingered

Long into the present lying dormant and waiting

Once again you came to me in the night; taking

Me by surprise in a moment of unsuspecting

Fragility and vulnerability; all I wanted was

To sleep, to put the day far behind me

I stood, ever so carefully, pain raging

Through my torso; contemplating my every

Move, reaching for my everyday clothes there

On the railing, praying this would not be the end

 

At it wasn't; I made it downstairs, the storm soon

Passed and the clouds parted long enough for

Me to find respite among clearer skies; but

Storms always return to the ill at ease

10MAY21

Crooked

I wonder how long I could just lie here
Flat on my back like a slab of rotting skin

And bones reeking of camphor, menthol and

Cassia oil; breathing through this agonizing pain 

 

Listening to podcasts that bore me to sleep carrying

Me away to pain free dreams where I try escaping 

The reality of my predicament; but the pain follows

Me there confounding my dreamscape sanctuary

 

The clock keeps ticking closer to the seven-year-old

Chinese boy’s haircut; waiting for a call from my GP,

Contemplating what on earth I can do with my crooked

Spine to make it straight again; I could go back in time, to 

 

That day in 4th grade when they screened us for Scoliosis;

But I was too afraid and hid in the bathroom; got the bad

News at 30; 42 degrees according to Dr. Cobb’s Angle

Now there's only pain, regret and whatever comes next

09MAY21

Distant Thunder

I would like to live out my days

In a serene place with sounds of

Distant thunder and warm gentle

Breezes soothing my troubled mind

A place where the days are long and

Nights filled with music and candlelight

Somewhere my soul can feel at home; a

Place where the air is clean and nourishing

A place where we can live free from all the

Malignancies of our world; where we can sit

Alone on the shore speaking with our touch and

The cadence of our two hearts beating in unison

But where is such a place if not only in my dreams

Existing in a vast emptiness between hope and reality;

A chasm so wide and interminable, where clouds are at

An arm's length floating innocently above the morning mist

08MAY21

Abbi (For A.Z.)

Your 93-year journey has come to its end

Perhaps, though, it is merely the beginning of

Another; and how you were admired, loved and

Respected by so many who must endure your absence

They say you can see a man's soul in his eyes, but your

Eyes revealed more than a soul; they revealed an

Indelible passion for life, for family and friends;

For those near, far and long departed

Funny how strangers can have such an

Impact on the lives of those they never knew;

But the common thread that runs through all our

Lives connects us in the most mysteriously wondrous ways

And now comes time for mourning, for acceptance and to

Embrace the legacy you have left; from Allah you came,

And to Allah you have returned; a blessing that will

Be celebrated with every breath until the very last

07MAY21

Bedridden

Life is a series of ups and downs 
Sometimes sideways and others it's 

Backwards and inside out; I wonder how funny

I must look tossing and turning and spinning around


Like a dog who twirls in place until settling into that

One comfortable position; I am learning to breathe

Through the pain, difficult as it is; I am one who

Has only rarely experienced physical pain


I have always imagined physical pain and

Emotional pain to be of the same intensity, and 

Can say, unequivocally, they are not; physical pain

Eludes to the slow and callous decay of our feeble body,

 

While emotional pain lives deep within our moribund soul;

Two deaths within the same living organism, as if one 

Wasn't enough; but if I close my eyes for a moment

The pain subsides and leaves only a tender scar

06MAY21

Late Blooming Trees

I can relate to the late blooming trees

 How they've moseyed and meandered

Acquiesced in their debut, giving way

To the inclemencies of a ruthless spring

But now there is sunshine and warmer

Air; the buds have sprouted as the soft

Burgundy leaves begin to stretch out on

Their branches hailing the gentle breeze

I was a young man then coming into my

Own; with calendar days and hourglass

Moments, time drifted into an empty past

Where only vague memories of you and

Sandy beach kisses lingering like salty

Lips tingling in the frothy waves; those

Days are far from my springtimes past

 When I was filled with zeal and desire

05MAY21

What Pain Looks Like

This is what pain looks like;

You can see it if you look

Carefully at the words

And words never lie

You can't blame the

Words if they are spoken

With fallacious design or bad

Intent; after all, they are only words

But pain, that is a grievous reality

And if you don't want to take my

Word for it, I don't blame you

Which won't change a thing

 

But if you want to sit beside

Me and hold my hand and ease

Me through the pain, I would not

Object and take your hand and sleep

04MAY21

Lake House Revisited

I've been thinking about that day at

The lake house; or should I say I've

Been thinking about it again; but so

Many years have passed since then

I'm never certain if it happened at all

Or if it was one of those daydreams

That seem to pervade my recollection

Of times gone by when I was a much

Different man; young and brimming

With life and the fervor of discovery

When the sun was brighter and the

Stars shimmered in the northern sky

Days I wished could have gone on

Forever; sitting in the afternoon mist

Holding hands as our legs dangled

Over the edge of the wooden pier

03MAY21

Center of the Universe

Every now and again I try removing myself

From the center of the universe; it's as hard

A task as any, I suppose, considering how

Large and incomprehensible it seems to be

Though I am removed only for a short while

It is a sufficient amount of time for taking a

Closer look at all that surrounds me; all the

Realities and things which comprise my life

And while I'm often hard-pressed with all of

These matters at hand, frequently neglecting

The subtle ways in which you make yourself

Present in my life, I am most grateful to you

It's not your music or the gentle sea breeze;

Not the sunrise or clean white sheets on the

Line hanging to dry in the midday sun; it's a

Soft quiet voice calling your name in the air

02MAY21

Dangling on the Edge

I guess it's just a phase

Something transient I'll

Look back on one day

With a deeper, clearer

Understanding of who

I was during the most

Uncertain and testing

Times I'd ever known

When my virtues were

Stripped clean; all the

Kindness and clement

Ways becoming some

Barely-alive castaway;

Soulless and suffering 

Dangling on the edge

 Between life and death

01MAY21

A Good Night's Sleep

A good night's sleep was what I needed

Some peace and quiet and the space to

Cry; to let out what's been bottled inside

For too long; released in a flood of tears

The fireball sun now piercing through the

Treetops, their blooms another reminder

That life begins anew and every breath

Is yet another reason to carry on living

Just as the morning fog is burned away

The dreariness lifts and hope is restored

Smiling faces, hugs and kisses await me;

Something new to look at out the window

But the night always returns, sometimes it

Welcomes and others it taunts; it shrouds

Me in wild adventures and drooly pillows

Taking me again and again to the morrow