Standing in Faith

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4.16 Standing in Faith

What I remember most is the weight of faith you carried.
Centuries of faith.
The thickness of it, thicker than the incense
The countless spiritual atoms floating in your space
Made everything seem heavy,
Yet somehow also uplifting.
If there was a place for faith
It was under your grey arches.
There are taller buildings, but none reach like you.
Your frame yearned to be taller, and in reaching
You took us all with you, upwards.
I do not doubt we will look up again.
I pray we will.

***

4.7, 4.8, and 4.9 for Good Measure

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The past few days, I’ve been toying with free-form verses that have a vaguely hip-hop aesthetic. I’m usually terrible at this, but then that’s the point of practicing, right? And that would be the point of this monthlong endeavor – to practice stretching out muscles and learning some new tricks!

Enjoy!

Post-Booze Brainstorm (4.7)

Buzzed with booze, a brain
Firing neurons terrified to lose
The wisdom of cups and relaxed blood flow
Is not done thinking
Chasing the siren song to dawn
Tied to the mast of exhaustion
Sinking in the unknown

Falling in Rain (4.8)

In Japan, it rains so heavily,
umbrellas are barely a remedy,
Rainfall patters out a melody where
I fall like a drop into reverie
Mess with the rhyme scheme
and pay a heavy penalty.
Soon words wild in anarchy
Make forms flown to thunderstorm cacophony
Little April showers ripped of all their piety
Best use that umbrella to fend off your anxiety
Lest you run down gullies of depravity
And settle into puddles of stagnant mediocrity.

Grey day Walking (4.9)

My mind is a Jane Eyre grey
Pinched in, cinched in every way
Until my voice goes quiet
And I lose the need to speak
People become my visual cues
Not to cross the streets
Muted eyes rest on blind sights
Unable to recognize my own fights
With attic-dwelling feelings
And a hollowed chest sounds a lone note
Suggesting fiery heights
Of deeper meaning
Lost in the repetition of day-to-day pattern
I do not wonder or wander, yet I do yearn
And hear the premonition
That the destruction of my worldly goods
Signal a break from Jane Eyre grey
And the woulds, coulds, and shoulds
Give way to brighter days.

Compassion

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We make the correct decision.
Our hearts are not in it.
To show mercy, compassion, and faith
Seems to yield little but bleeding.
We sense that rage and retribution
Are attractive alternatives.
That grinding a heel would feel
So. goddamn. satisfying.
But we open our arms all the same,
Sensing relief,
Anticipating pain.
We know the correct decision
Will always be tarnished by a second-tier truth:
That cruelty exists in us all.
Still we open our arms
In the faint and persistent hope of being better
than our baser selves.
Of achieving enlightenment from charity.
Our hearts are not in it.
Slapped a time too many to truly shine anymore,
All we can do is stretch out our arms
And try, once more, to heal.

A Single Tear

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*Ahead is some seriously melodramatic, 2am poetry nonsense. It’s heartfelt, but it’s almost regressive, like I rediscovered my inner teenager.*

A Single Tear

I shed my tear,
Permitting a solitary tear to leave the outside corner of my eye.

This one tear I will shed
For the kisses that are now no more than skipping stones grazing the surface of a pond.
For your back, turned out and away.
Never was an issue, as I sleep the same way,
Until now, as you stopped turning back to me.

For your instant, measured breath.
For you gentle, determined deflection.

One tear rolls down my cheek
As I lie, wide awake and alert
Wondering what you intend to do with twelve uninterrupted hours of sleep,
Wondering how my “foxiness” dissipated so fast,
Replaced by bland, unchanging pleasantries
Where I am another “baby,” or nothing named at all,
Another memento of the Midwest, already packed away in cargo for deployment.

One tear, but I cannot spare another.
They wait in reserve, as I retain hope for the new day.
And I cannot waste too much of my precious sorrow
On a thankless, hollow bed.

This Morning’s Jingle

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This Morning’s Jingle

I think I’m pretty awesome.
That’s how I roll.
Waiting for the phone call that will probably kill a bit of my soul.
Job opportunity. A perfect fit for me.
Today’s the day.
Hope this sinking feeling goes away
And I hope it does it soon
‘Cuz I’m running out of tune.
Gotta get this food to the food pantry
Doing right by neighbors, and karmatically speaking – me
And then sit by the phone
Try not to think about how I’m alone
And not employed in a self-fulfilling industry
Cubicles not my cup of tea
But what else can I do?
Worked really hard, yeah that’s true.
Rocked my life
Relatively free from strife
So why then should I feel blue?
Ho-hum, dum de dum dum dum
Getting in my car, no guitar to strum
Song should be done
But it’s fun
To sing about mundane tasks in the sun.
Hope it’s a good day today.
Hope everything goes my way.
Friday!

***

Note: I did not do this as any sort of rap. It’s really just a simple riff on a basic melody line.

And yes – I do this many mornings.

Hard Morning

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God told me a joke.
First, he cracked my heart
As though it were a crisp cookie.
Into the space between the halves
He breathed a burr
That wedged and twisted in my chest.
Then, just when I thought
I too must fully break in half,
God sent me a sign.
A bird, trapped in the garage.
Grey, small, with long tail.
Poor thing,
Flying in ineffectual circles,
Singing hollow in the darkened space,
Waiting for me to press the button and
Return it to the world.
Very funny.
Great punch line.

A Beautiful Limit

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A Beautiful Limit

We built a remarkable dam.

We built a great canal.

We built thousands of miles of rail

And tens of thousands of miles of road.

So building a wall should be easy.

Now, the dam we built is great

At providing energy to anyone.

The dam we built harnessed nature,

Giving light without judgment.

And the canal opened the oceans

To whatever ship could navigate

The giant locks we died building

Giving everyone access to trade.

These rails and roads

Connect everyone to everyone else.

We wanted to be able to visit,

To move away, to reunite,

To go from coast to coast.

Through mountains, over rivers, around bends

So we could reach each other.

We yearn to explore, see, reach, and find.

In our new land, which we reached

From other lands replete with their own walls

Perhaps we cannot build a wall

To keep people out

Because in our bones we know

We ran from walls

So we could be let in.