over the wall

dear friends, i found a song and video that
inspired this poem. the words are written to the
tempo of the song and if you have the time,
please watch this incredible video.
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Stubborn Love/ The Lumineers
It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference
So keep your head up, keep your love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, keep your love
Head up, love
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over the wall
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i saw a smile today…

shining from a stranger’s face

and bundled from the bitter cold

it leapt over the wall

to meet me eye to eye
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i woke a girl today…

and kissed her pale forehead

as i did on that night she was born

tears just poured over the wall

at the miracle in my arms
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i drew a face today…

trusting these hands again to say

what my eyes have always known

climbing over the wall
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’cause fear is the enemy of art
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i risked it all again…
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and shared all the secrets
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of my troubled life
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her patient Love tore down the wall
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to heal an injured heart
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now i won’t pretend to know

why this life can be so hard sometimes

and this world will bruise our tender hearts
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because i am just the sum of all my pain

the kind that can never really be repaired

i just learned to wear the scars beneath my skin
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i saw the sun today

so bright through the clouds

even the greying slush did

sparkle and gleam across my boots

and i… just keep walkin’ on
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bravely white on white…..Tanka

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parchment paper birch

standing bravely white on white,

deep in snow… on snow.

its textured history bared

like ours… in subtle details.

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slow nuanced layers,

peeled away in time… with trust…

from pretense and fear.
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patiently waiting…alone,

hoping our Truth will be found.
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pencil, watercolor pencil, acrylic paint,
paint markers, approx. 8″x8″ on vellum paper
sourced from various Google pics and my imagination.
click image to enlarge

even the sparrow….Haiku/Tanka

a relentless snow
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drifts in consuming whiteout…
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will i disappear,
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succumb to the vampire wind
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that would drain my soul to numb?
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these eyes half open
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in waking hibernation,
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this heart a frail beat.
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a frozen flatline…
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waiting in emotional
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ambiguity
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for the morning Sun
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to light… this desolate sky…
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to wake… from this sleep…
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the ambivalent
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stare dead eyed past the wounded.
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yet time and again
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your brown eyes warm my shadows,
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and mend these oft broken wings.
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Hope turns skyward now…
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beyond… this Season of Fear…
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snow… falls ever white…
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and Winter’s death has it’s Spring,
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even the sparrow… finds food.
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008
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watercolor pencil, pencil,
black and white marker,
white acrylic paint
12″x 12″ vellum paper,
sourced from various pics
and my imagination
click for larger image

shoots and wings, thresholds and thank you’s

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i woke today to an earlier light,

slicing sun… between wooden blinds.

Spring soil…it shifts and yearns

in shy murmurs… of shoots and wings.

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how the wind is alive

with the long forgotten calls

of weary immigrant birds,

floating currents… returning home.

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and maybe… my day is here

to shed this curfew of skin and doubt,

finally… free myself forward

shutter eyes that lurk behind my head.

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let my instinct… map a ready sky,

a fragile trust and mysterious as flight.

let unfurl… these inadvertent wings

and surrender my will to each unknown.

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there is stubborn in my bones

a rain worn feather remains as resolute,

and how much fear… i’ve let fly

oh, sweet wing of creation… take me home.
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thresholds
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When I began this little blog a year ago, I had such meager and modest expectations that anyone would pay any attention to what was being written here, let alone take the time to leave a comment because of something I happened to write.

I wrote short stories then, a memoir of sorts, recollections of a kid from a troubled family living in a poor and forsaken neighborhood in Brooklyn. And that’s all I had plans to write until I just happened to see a link to a poetry site on someone’s blog. It was the first week of April, and just happened to be the first week of National Poetry Month.

I still can’t explain what compelled me to submit a poem, I’d only written one until then just a few months earlier. But I did, flying by the seat of my proverbial pants, against every fear and anxiety I wrote renewal. I was so heartened and overwhelmed by the response, I wrote another.

And the rest, as they say is history.

But I believe our history is a living thing, and so very humbly here I am… 150 poems later. This past week this little blog surpassed 16,000 page views and recorded its 5000th comment and on days like this when I sit back and reflect on this profound improbability, I have to clunk myself in the head with the heal of my hand in a “I shoulda’ had a V8′ moment to make sure this isn’t a dream.

Me, who feared poetry all his life… is now obsessed with its writing.
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shoots and wings
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And now I think it’s time to ‘unfurl these inadvertent wings’, cast aside the fear and doubt and accept the gifts that are being presented. In the coming weeks and months I’ll be busy with some collaborations and personal projects I wanted to tell you about.

A dear friend and most talented writer Bianca (B.G. Bowers) is dedicating her blog for the entire month of April to invited guest poets and challenges. She has very graciously asked me to participate, and I was honored to accept. On April 20th my poems will be featured and I’m really excited at the prospect. Thank you again Bianca.

In the next few weeks, 3 poets who are held in very high regard for personal and important reasons, and I will be working on co written poems. The themes of each of these poems are so dramatically different, the challenges will likely take us all to places we haven’t been before. With the enormous energy and talent these poets possess, I have no doubt co writing these poems will be an exciting and rewarding creative experience and I thank them all for this opportunity.

When you have a chance please visit
Melanie (Wordifull) Chloe (Sirena Tales) and teardropsofink

And lastly, many of you might remember that this past summer I was invited to apply for residency to the Ragdale Artist Retreat. Considering the prestigious alumni that have and still spend time there, it is an honor for me to even be considered. I’ve hesitated to apply because the one requisite the board asks you to have, is a worthy goal, something you can or want to achieve while you are there. I didn’t…until now.

In a recent comment thread with my wonderful new poet friend Nomzi (Nomzi Kumalo), she mentioned that she’d like to have a collection or a book of some of her favorite poems of mine. And of course I gave her my standard ‘oh I’ve never had the dream or desire to be published’ response. She hasn’t been the first friend to tell me this…

well… I finally got the courage to ask ‘why not a book?’

So I will apply now and whether I get accepted to Ragdale or not, a book will be self published in the coming months. I do have a tentative title ‘poems of Hope from a wounded heart‘, and dear Chloe has so graciously accepted to write an introduction. Thank you Nomzi for the spark and thank you Chloe for being generous with your valuable time. Love and Hugs to you both!
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thank you all
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And of course none of this would have or could have happened without all of you, who have read this poetry of mine and written so many profoundly heartfelt and encouraging comments. And a very special thanks to Melissa Hassard and the 20 Lines a Day community.

What an incredible gift this Circle of Encouragement is!

so ty, ty, ty, from the bottom of this very grateful heart.

Love and Hugs to you all!

echoes of Autumn…Tanka/Haiku

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echoes of Autumn…
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voices like leaves rustle and
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scatter to the wind,
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yet another poet’s pen
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has sadly been set aside.
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windy-leaves

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a wordless farewell…

like the brightest leaves they fall
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when their season calls.
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but just as the memories

of true love always lingers,
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creativity
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and their inspired poetry
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forever remain.
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dedicated to thesilentfingers, Tanumoy Biswas,
Memoirs of a Dragon, cubby and Tiffany Coffman. ty, all.

December’s silent shroud

a song, video and words to explain my silence in December.
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the too familiar turns and bends…
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and statue still are the trees standing sentry tall
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astride this white and weary Winter road,
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my incessant journey of so many dreary and crippling seasons
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recalling the somber memories etched decades deep
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in gnarled bark and devoted wood.
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how the infinite canopy arches in graceful bows,
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laden branches kneel in gratitude to the peaceful sleep of snow.
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i follow the trailing in frail voices of family i’ve lost,
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of those i long to remember
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swirling in the sliver of pause between
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this world and another.
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there is no hesitation in
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passing through the Gate of Melancholia,
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i wrap my solitude close in December’s silent shroud.
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disowning my voice in sequestered quiet honoring memories now,
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turning ever inward bowing in divine gratitude to those who
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found me alone along this snowy road.
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