Watching a Farm Awaken

I love the way a farm awakens
especially in the early spring
How it knows to be itself
Just like the faded red barn knows
there is nothing but the moment
What we see between sips of morning coffee

I love the morning songs cardinals sing
Chips and whistles carried by the wind
Who isn’t spellbound by how
the darkness slowly gives way to light
How the old barn never complains, or begs
for a fresh coat of red paint

I love the way the morning fog hugs low places
in the still unplowed fields
Where soon fresh ears of corn will grow
And crows will wait in anxious clusters
Sumptuous meals, Heaven’s delight

Yes, I love the way a farm awakens
especially in the early spring
There the soul knows no boundaries
Its vastness spreads in quiet repose
Across a to be defined horizon
Painting a pretty picture, a new day begins

Snowy, Snowy Christmas Memories

Snowy, snowy Christmas Eve
In Santa Claus we believe
Even now that we’re old
Before our eyes, miracles unfold

Snowy, snowy Christmas morn
Twas the day Christ was born
Though long ago and far away
All remember that magical day

Snowy, snowy Christmas night
Full moon sky, candlelight
The tree aglow, oh so bright
Never such a beautiful sight

Snowy, snowy forests and fields
Sparkling beauty nature yields
In her arms in peace we rest
Nestled close to her warm breast

Snowy, snowy village square
Wreathes and trees everywhere
Shop windows beckon, call us near
Inside our hearts, Christmas cheer

Snowy, snowy sleigh ride home
The sky above a star-lit dome
From chimney tops puffs of smoke
Sweet smell of slow burning oak

Snowy, snowy Christmas carols
Sweet blackberry wine aging in barrels
The smell of cinnamon mixed with pine
A nip of brandy tastes divine

Snowy, snowy morning after
Happiness lingers, holiday laughter
The fireplace crackles and sparks
The dog asleep, never barks

Snowy, snowy windowsill
By the fire, our hearts do fill
God is good, God is great
Till next Christmas our hearts await

Nam Christmas

No perfect world
So very far from it
Yet here we are
This place called Vietnam
It’s almost Christmas, again
And we’re still here

Not a place we dreamed of being
When we were kids
Hardly could we find it on a map
But we’re all here
Somebody else’s home
Courtesy of…the US of A

Here we are
Hoping, waiting, doing what we can
To survive each day
Outlast what belies us
What eventually unravels us all
Hidden in these hideous forests, swamps

After a while
You forget the reason
Why you signed up
Why you forgot
A razor thin line
Separates us all from life and death

Christmas Eve has just landed
Give thanks to God
No more incoming fire
Just dead silence
If only now there was some sign
There will be a tomorrow

Boys Climbing Trees

Click here to hear me read this poem.

Some things always remain a part of you
Like when you were seven
And shinnied up your first tree
Like some starved Colobus monkey
In search of tenderoni leaves for lunch

Sooner or later, every boy climbs a tree
A rite of passage to manhood
Maybe to see the world from a higher place
Or just because the tree was there
Teasing you silly in the hot mid-morning sun

My first a massive sprawling oak
Jutting out our weedy backyard
Into the red brick alley
Where wood frame garages and steel garbage cans danced
On howling winter nights

I climbed high way up
To the big “y”
Where I perched for nearly five minutes
While my friends below
Proclaimed me a hero

While half the tree remained unexplored territory
I reveled in my accomplishment
Tomorrow was another day
A chance to climb higher
Seeing even more of the world’s vastness

Once the neighbor’s cat, chased by a maniac dog
Darted up the big oak, climbing too far too fast
The fire department was called
To retrieve the terrorized calico
From the high branches

We boys gathered to watch the rescue
Lasting twenty long minutes
Because the cat wouldn’t budge
Till assured its canine assailant was clearly gone
And control of the world returned to the cats

Somehow you just knew
That 1958 would always be
A watershed year in your life
Preparing you for higher climbs
Bigger life adventures ahead

Losing Myself Inside a Japanese Wood Poppy

Stepping inside a Japanese wood poppy
I took leave of myself
As some mad man might veer off the highway to work
Only to find himself fishing
Along the banks of an idyllic stream

Not often enough we surrender ourselves
To that something larger
Contained in even the smallest thing
Like a tiny blade of grass
Or the petal of a spring daffodil

Why quibble over a name, or anything
Standing between you and beauty
‘Tis better to be naked of all words
Even poetry
Than miss a flower’s healing kiss

Home but Still at War

So much, unsaid
Like all the mute soldiers
Returning from war
Wordless wanderers
Trying to forget themselves
What keeps them there

It’s in their eyes
Hiding under the lids
Like thunderstorms
Lurking behind clouds
Like numb fingertips
Wiping away frozen tears

More came back than didn’t
But even those returning–
Still there, in that place
The one they carried back with them
That’s now their prison
Life sentences, every last one of them

Will it ever end
War that is
Not over there
In here
It takes your words away
Then takes your life away

Dangling Winter Leaves

Dangling winter leaves
Strangers to each other
And to the world watching on
Quietly hoping for a sign
There is something more
Something worth dangling for

Dangling winter leaves
Strangers to reason
And that which it demands
Like leaves clinging to their branches
Each of us, you and me
Cling to each breath

Dangling winter leaves
Faded, tattered, icy reminders
Long past their season
Beyond all reason
Holding on to our gaze
As we hold on to them

Click here to see my photo “Dangling Winter Leaves”

On a Snowy Sunday Morning

Early Sunday morning, snow fell upon my world
Around and around it tumbled, oh how it swirled
Blinded by its beauty, its virgin whiteness ever brightened
An otherwise drab morning, I felt so full, so enlightened

Snowflakes are so different, like people I’ve come to know
Watching them dance together, spurs my love for them to grow
Even the lovely cardinals, upon the white blanket they sit
And cast tiny shadows, the hazy sun has lit

How could I not feel happy, utter Sagitarian glee
Snowflakes awaken my spirit, my sleeping soul set free
Amidst this snowy silence, God speaks just to me
Reminding me where is Heaven, that bluejay in the tree

Fort Lamar

Trees now grow where soldiers fought
Many died, more than we thought
Outnumbered Confederates, nearly three to one
Turned back Union forces, on their way to Charleston

Hallowed ground, fettered spirits still remain
Things the mind cannot explain
Yet in our hearts, their fear we surely know
Dying, not something anyone can forgo

Fort Lamar, the Battle of Secessionville
One fateful day, such a powerful clash of will
Hand to hand combat fought with pride
Brutal deaths, so many died

Towering oaks, yaupon hollies
Cover now the sins of war, its follies
Bay berries, pines now abound
The silence so loud, so profound

The Civil War over for most
Yet memories linger, some wretched ghost
A gentle breeze between the trees
The cries and whispers, only the heart does seize

Click here to see some photographs of the Fort Lamar Historical Preserve

To Those Who Took Their Pictures

Who will take their pictures?
Helping us remember the tired, hungry faces
Riding cold boxcars into the dark night
Ten long years before World War II

Who will take their pictures?
Of our parents, grandparents, the elderly man living next door
Lonely survivors, waiting with millions in long food lines
Selling a pair of shoes for only a penny

Who will take their pictures?
Those turned out in the streets
Dark silhouettes sleeping in dumpsters
Cardboard box villages under bridges to nowhere

Who will take their pictures?
Barefoot mothers clutching dying hopes
Child-like dreams of tomorrow for sale
Bits of filthy cloth left for the rag man to gather

Who will take their pictures?
Helping us remember
Hard times, here again
Set your price, all shoes and dreams once again for sale

Note: Dedicated to the wonderful photographers capturing the human side of the Great Depression. See more here.

November Songs

Rust colored leaves
Lonesome naked trees
Waving branches, wild dancing fingers
Reaching upward, gray skies, dark clouds above

Early snow, sparse gatherings here and there
Thin streams of streaky smoke
Lazily drifting from red brick chimneys
A sorrowful wind howls cold and lonely

In the distance, two bright red cardinals
Chirping November songs back and forth
Songs of plenty, winter solitude, thanksgiving
Melodies reunited strangers sing

I hope I never forget
How October brought us here
Just to hear the wind
And strangers sing November songs

Breathless Peppermint Sunset

A hint of cool peppermint
One wispy streak of fragile salmon pink
Lingering still, the far-off horizon

A skipped heartbeat
Awaiting the stars, the moon’s sweet embrace

Content resting in the moment
No wishing for a shooting star
No anticipation of what’s to come
Comfortable forgetting all that has passed

Even the wind holds its breath
Till it all fully touches us—
That momentary magic—
Being alive

She Left Me

She left me
All alone, so very blue
She left me
Reasons why, I never knew

She left me
Standing there by myself
She left me
All my dreams on some deserted shelf

She left me
Wondering where I go from here
She left me
Not so much as one tear

She left me
My lonely heart, oh so blue
She left me
Broke my heart in two

Note: Written in senior year of high school, 1969, St. Clairsville, Ohio. This poem was intended as song lyrics. They never made it, but I never really tried to use them in a song.

Pondering the Obama Victory

The neighbor’s dog chases a lone leaf
Gliding like an golden angel to earth below
Sitting at my window, I smile at the dog—
Now victoriously clutching the leaf between his teeth
He savors his prize
Careful not to destroy what was so hard won

Between calculated sips of my morning coffee
I try my best to imagine
What most Blacks are feeling this morning
After a resounding Obama victory last night
Victorious, validated, vibrant, perhaps vivacious
But surely now believing dreams come true

So much of life, chasing golden leaves
Seeking our special moment
A time to shine like the sun
Sparkle like a diamond
Twinkle like a star in full aliveness
Congratulations America on your choice

Consciousness Shift

“We’ve just experienced a profound shift in our consciousness.”

Comment by Oprah Winfrey to CNN News on Election Night 2008 in Chicago, IL

Personal Commentary by Don Iannone

Just finishing a new masters degree in consciousness studies, this quote by Oprah Winfrey grabbed my attention. What did Oprah mean by a consciousness shift? You would need to ask her to know what she really meant, but I will take a stab at what I think she meant.

What does a shift in consciousness mean? In an overall sense, it refers to a new awareness of the world–a more holistic, and integrated worldview; a new worldview that sees the deeper connections in our lives to all people and all things, and the inviolability or sanctity of all life.

This shift has been a long time coming, and not just conceived on Election Night 2008. We have been evolving in this direction for a long, long time. The shift is much more than a new political or economic vision for America, although new visions of both could come from the shift. It is more than a shift in ideology from a Republican regime to a Democratic regime. It is more than a shift from rich to poor, White to Black, Iraq and Afghanistan to the American Middle. The shift in consciousness is about the recognition of the enormous power of our ideas, what we believe, hope for, and dream of. It is a shift to seeing how we transform ourselves each moment through our consciousness of ourselves and our world. It is about the role of our consciousness in giving shape to our evolution as human beings and integral components of the whole of life.

I believe that is what Oprah Winfrey was speaking of when she spoke of a consciousness shift. I believe this is something that has been inside Oprah Winfrey for a long time, but she was given the courage to speak to the shift by her recent work with Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth. Learn more here: http://www.eckharttolle.com/eckharttolle

Watch for the signs of this shift in consciousness within yourself and your world. It’s there and it is profoundly powerful.

See the photographic version of this post on my Flickr website.

Monday

Monday morning, new week starting
Find your way, waters parting
So much ahead, to be done
Deadlines approach, under the gun

In all this busyness, don’t forget
Take it easy, why the sweat
We push ourselves at times too hard
Take a stroll in the yard

Remember who you are, why you’re here
Experience life’s magic, it comes so near
In you lies a child-like smile
Let it fill you for a while

Ride that smile to a laugh
Play a better game, second half
Mondays last just one day
On this one, let yourself out to play

True Knowing

Answers come, answers go
Questions linger, we don’t know
Deeper ones last forever
Definite answers, no not ever

All our schooling, our supposed knowing
Ignorance still abounds, and it’s growing
Some think they know, that others don’t
Resolve it all, the know-it-all’s won’t

Climb a mountain, the one inside
Where timeless answers always hide
Sit there quiet, in silence golden
Trust the moment, love unfolding

First Beginnings

I gaze upon her
Virgin as she is
But not for long
Her purpose from the start—
To meld, join, transform
Bring about what doesn’t exist
Birth new beginnings

First beginnings, I think
Eden, Big Bang, cosmic innocence
All other beginnings, only because
There was a first beginning
A starting point before all others
A single, untouched placeless event
From that point, all others

On Forgiving Anger

So much, I can forgive you for
But never your anger can be

Your loneliness, and its cries
Grow tears inside of me
Friends forever, we shall be

To your fear of darkness, amorphous anxieties
Heaps of reassuring hugs I give
Hoping to set you free

So long as you repent
I can always forgive
Your forgetfulness, poor memory

And so long as you love me with all your heart
Your clumsy way of showing love
Sets off a smile, healing warmth filling me

But your anger, sharp as a deadly knife
Cuts me deep inside
This I can never forgive
It sparks the same in me
No forgiveness there can be

Sunsets and Other Dying Words

At times, words seem so incomplete
Leaving us wanting
In ways we cannot describe
Pointing to things not things at all
Within and about us, directions, places with no words
Not now, or ever

Close your eyes
Recall the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen
Try your best to describe it—bring it back to life with words
How it became a sudden part of your life
How in between heartbeats
You even mused death also could be beautiful

Words will always be lonely—
Seeking the company of other words
So they won’t die a lonely death
Like souls need bodies to manifest life
Like the sun needs a reflective surface
To paint a sunset, signaling its departure

So why bother, you say
To replay our life experiences
Like some loved old movie
I have a hunch—
We want to hold on, to all of it
The sunset, even our words about death

Our Economic Angst

Times have gotten pretty tough
Perhaps a diamond in the rough
Everyone, feelin’ the pain
As the economy raises Cain

Working hard, no guarantee
Retirements washed out to sea
Rich and poor, both are losin’
As the markets take a bruisin’

Makes you wonder, when it’ll end
Empty wallets, blowin’ in the wind
Leaner times, here to stay
Easy money, not today

Easy to point a finger of blame
Don’t forget, we all played the game
Livin’ way beyond our means
Now we’re eatin’ more pork and beans

Lessons abound for everyone
Change ahead, won’t be fun
Go back to what really matters
Steer clear, all the idle chatters

Let’s re-envision the American Dream
It’s a busted old and tired machine
Let’s fix the planet, you and me
If I’m right, it’ll set us free

A Teacher

In some ways, more than we think
In other ways, much less
Someone who knows what you’re going through
Another who extends a helping hand, when needed

Not necessarily someone smarter
Or with more answers
After all, all questions in life are personal
A good teachers knows this

Good teachers are good students
Always learning
Never afraid they don’t know
Willing to see things in different ways

Living examples
Ones your soul wants to follow
Someone living their own life, not another’s
One knowing nothing lasts forever

One allowing students to flower
Become teachers themselves, in their own way
Finally, one getting out of the way of your learning
But there just when you need him

See Me, Love Me for Who I Am

So much torment, doubt, unwillingness to accept
More than I can imagine, withstand sometimes
If only the world were different
If only certain things didn’t matter
Like how I get lost in myself
How confusion descends upon me
Like a thick heavy fog hovering all about

Help me, please
So I can help you, or others, in return
Understand me, please
Cut me some slack
As you do for others, yourself
Try to understand that I’m different
No two snowflakes are the same

Hold me, please, when I’m terribly afraid
I will hold you, should the darkest night fill your days
Look into my eyes, clouded with tears, even this sunny noonday
I will look back into yours without judging what I see
See me just as I am, incomplete, without hope sometimes
When needed, remind me there is something larger—
Something always worth living for

I am who I am
Though this I never intended, but I am
As a young boy, overflowing with curiosity, laughter, happiness
This was the last thing I would have considered
This was the last thing I’d hope to become
Please try best as you can
See me, love me for who I am

Note: This is an empathy poem written in recognition of those who suffer from mental illness in its many forms.

My November Guest by Robert Frost

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted grady
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so ryly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell he so,
And they are better for her praise.

Ghost House by Robert Frost

I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me–
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,–
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.

From “A Boy’s Will”, 1913, Robert Frost

A Visit to Connemara, Carl Sandburg’s Home

Atop the rounded hill
Through the tall dark green pines
White, simple, modest, without pretense
Mimicking the man, the family living there
Three stories tall, seven bedrooms for dreaming
All woven as one on two hundred forty-eight priceless acres
Draped in nature’s earthy shades of green, brown, blue
Carl Sandburg’s home, Flat Rock, North Carolina

Named Connemara by its first owners
Meaning “of the sea” in Irish
A name the Sandburg family carried on
A national treasure in every way
Fourteen thousand books fill the walls
All read by the poet’s penetrating, dutiful eyes
Seeing through life’s clutter
Coming to rest always on what’s most important

His last ten books conceived, written at Connemara
That extra bedroom, even the living room, still speak the words
The typewriters, his favorite chairs, even the ashtrays
Remain filled with his spirit—
Known to us through Chicago, Grass, A Coin, his many other poems
I took pictures, but wanted to touch what he touched
And see what he saw, even the pain
Seeing his bed, I marveled at how his dreams came true

Leaving the grounds, I took one last picture
Of the lake before his home
I saw its unwavering stillness
How it reflected everything about it
I knew then why Sandburg’s last years were here
His conviction, strength, dedication
His inalienable sense of being a vehicle for beauty, truth, justice
Looking in these waters, it all became more clear to me

Under the Harvest Moon by Carl Sandburg

Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions.

Let Your Pain Out

No refuge in your sorrow
Bear your pain, let it out
No escaping self-inflicted wounds
See the blood, your knife, your own hands

No refuge in your anger
Bear your pain, let it out
No dodging all the bullets
Lingering smoke, your own gun

No refuge in your fear
Bear your pain, let it out
No running from the shadows
Those you cast when in doubt

No refuge in your envy
Bear your pain, let it out
No covering up the lies
Unclog your drain, let your pain out

When a Factory’s Life Ends (Repost)

Foul gray smoke once belched
from tall red brick stacks
A bittersweet sign of life–
the old factory was still working

The smoke has now ended
along with the noisy metal-banging
that kept men busy
from sun up till sun down

The iron gates are chained shut
Never again, will they greet the dark faces
of hardened men with stale breath
from strong black coffee and cigarettes

Too easy to blame, too many strikes
for the factory’s foreboding silence
but hungry workers elsewhere, willing
to work for much less
and customers needing less metal
are just as much the reason
why the dark faces have grown much darker

The mill is history–
a cold, lifeless archeological ruin
So are the paychecks that paid the bills
giving small consolation to the two thousand men
laughing at each other’s lame jokes
dreaming of days
they wouldn’t have to work so hard

Now that day has come, and
their dreams and jokes both have ended.

Take the Outstretched Hand

Why so alone and blue
So lost within yourself
So splintered, fallen apart
Like some forgotten old wooden fence

You don’t suffer alone
None of us do
Your life, not some worn out coat
Left on a rusted hook in the garage

Your soul, born for a reason
A purpose only you can serve
Your pain, not yours alone to bear
Your heartache, a sign you’re still alive

I see the way you look at yourself
Your eyes show your fear of being lost
There is an outstretched hand awaiting you
Take it

The Owl Cries at the Waxing Gibbous Moon

Ghost-white face, hovering
In pitch black darkness
Near perfect circle of light
Slowly climbs Heaven’s dark staircase

All alone, save one distant lonely star
Who watches on
Praying for a mere cricket’s song
Awaiting first signs of daybreak

Through the October trees
She beams yellow-white
A small elbowed branch twitches
Nervous reflection, perhaps the wind

In the distance, the haunting cry of a screech owl
Agitated by the waxing gibbous moon
The fatal bellman rings his bell
Another soul fast a memory

The Morning the Angels Carried Dad Away

Clear blue sky, peace eternal
This morning’s sky, could be no clearer
No clouds
Nothing, standing in the October sun’s way
Painting warm yellow sunlight across the yard and trees

Only the gentlest breeze—
That lifting the wings of angels
Coming, without notice
Departing, quickly in blessed silence
Dad held fast in their tender arms

Life prevailed, this tenth day of October
I went outside, smelled its sweet fragrance
Felt its comforting embrace in the wind
My heart fluttered, like a butterfly
A reminder, life and death, all part of one

View image poetry version here.

My Dad’s Passing

My father, Donald Lowell Iannone, died this morning at 6:20 AM Central Time in Tupelo, MS. In June of this year, he was diagnosed with cancer.

Dad was loved dearly by his family and friends, and he will be deeply missed by all of us. Toot a loo, Dad. We love you!

Something tells me Dad would like to be a Country/Western singer, who also writes poetry, in Nashville in his next life. (Smiles)

Click here to read about Dad’s poetry. I will be posting more about my Dad in the near future.

My sincere thanks to all sending me and my family their thoughts and prayers over the past several months.

No Life Without Suffering

You haven’t lived
If you haven’t suffered
There is no life without pain
No way to escape the emotional earthquakes
Life’s thunder and lightning
The floods, emotion overflowing inside us
Capsizing our life’s ship

Hard as we try
Science in our hands
Religion in our hearts
There is no life without pain
Nothing to work for
Die for
Eventually, replace with our love

You haven’t lived
If you haven’t suffered
Celebrate the dawn
Sweeping the nightmares away
Forcing us to walk the medicine wheel
Bringing us back
To where we all began

Walking Life’s Trail with a Friend

Come along with me, friend
Together let’s walk the forest trail
We’ll cast all expectations aside
All doubts from memory erased forever
Come along with me, friend
Together let’s walk the forest trail

As we walk, the forest will fill us
Two spidering souls, amidst all this glory
Making our way through life
Like the sun filters through the tall oaks
Painting dancing white lace all about us
As together we walk the trail

You tell me your stories
I’ll tell you mine
Our walk itself, a story for the future to tell
A story we’ll write as one
About how we walked together—
One eternal requiem within us does keep

We’ll have no destination
The journey itself our end
You’ll know when your time has come
Mine, I will know much the same
Come along with me, friend
Together let’s walk the forest trail

Darkness Gives Way to Light

The day started in darkness—
The type our dreams come wrapped in
Yes, our dreams—
Butterflies, smoke, breath
Escaping back into us
Just as we remember their names

Come nine A.M., the sun won its battle
With the clouds and rain
Again, light prevails over darkness
Again, my dreams give way
To the dreamer
To the sun, the light it brings

The darkness is not a bad thing
Nor the clouds and rain
All parts of us—
Reflections in the mirror
Appearing on the soul’s still surface—
That place where all are one

Our Place

There is this place
I begin and end in every day—
My daily launch pad into life
Special only to me
As yours is to you

When I was five
Growing up in Martins Ferry
I knew nothing of James Wright
His poetry, or that we all have our place
That goes far beyond geography

Now, I feel my limits
Like a vise grip, applied to unspeakable places
Places we all know
Places where we begin
And eventually end, placelessly

On a Gray Sunday Morning in Solemn Gratitude We Wait

Gray Sunday morning
Sparse raindrops, not yet a shower
No birds, yet the feeders stand filled
Only the sound of the wind
Rustling the turning leaves
Who know their time comes soon to change

Something inside me hopes for sunshine
Warming light, setting butterflies afloat
Toasting late September leaves soft yellows, reds, oranges and golds
No sun, no shadows, just bare white and gray—
In between colors, neither here nor there
Until then, we wait in solemn gratitude

Roadside Reincarnation

Parts of us—
That old blue-gray Plymouth
Sittin’ along a quiet country road
A road less traveled everyday
‘cept for the drag racin’ hooligans
Livin’ over in Partsmith
And the old farmer
Who drives by every Tuesday and Friday
His collie hangin’ out the window
Takin’ last breaths of air

Slowly rustin’ away, bit by bit
Awaitin’ our day of reckoning
Total release from all holdin’ us here
That right moment—
When we disappear
Cease to be the old Plymouth
Then come back again
This time, a ruby red Porsche 911

Inspired by this.

In a Dream, Finding Lost Parts of Myself

Last night, in a dream
I discovered lost parts of myself
Fragments, bits and pieces, slivers of my life
Found all together
Stacked in a pile
On the bottom of an empty trash dumpster

Such intense joy
Finding in one place
All that I’d lost, thrown away, forgotten
Tears filled my eyes
Knowing these parts of me still existed
As tattered pictures, drawings, letters
Old wristwatch bands, key chains
Even a chain given me by my Dad

Those close to me were there—
My wife, mother, father, others
But they couldn’t help directly
The discovery was mine alone to unearth
To grasp with my own hands
At the very bottom of the psychic dumpster

Not all dreams are the same
Though there is but one dreamer for each of us
Some would say this one—a BIG dream
Significant to healing parts of my soul
I had discarded, mislaid, just plain forgotten

I felt Dad’s presence
Even as he lay dying
In a bed in Tupelo
Dreaming his own dreams—
Last dreams in his dreamer’s final sleep
He told me the chain was once his, now mine
A gift given long ago

This chain—more than a material object
Something deeper, holding us together
Connecting us through our dreams, and more
This chain—the great chain of being
Larger than that connecting a father and son
This chain—linking us to ourselves
To the deepest parts of our soul we can imagine

What was lost, now is found
Resting in full view on a nearby shelf
Awaiting my hand
When I’m ready
To touch, open, bring back to life
What I thought dead and gone

All Eventually Comes Undone

I look around
The world seems to be falling apart
Maybe it’s just me, I think
So, I ask others
To see what they think

They tell me about their pain
How the scales have tipped
And how they feel exposed
Rubbed raw, abandoned
Forgotten for who they really are

They talk about the economy
How it’s tanked, not getting better
Life supports they say
Won’t prevent the inevitable—
The eventual fall of what can no longer stand

I have my ideas—about the economy, our spiritual condition
And everything else
Not to be morbid, or fatalistic
But much of what we’ve been holding onto is over
Gone, giving way to something new

What’s old must die
Not that it’s willed, but there’s no pretending
What we’re used to will change
Surely as today’s sun will set
And tomorrow’s will rise unremembered

There must be something we can do, I think
After all, doing is what we do best
Then I remember—
All that is comes undone
By what is constantly unfolding

Hello Readers

Hello Readers:

It’s interesting that an average of 900 to 1,000 people visit this blog every day, yet only 3-5 people leave comments.

I would like to get to know my readers better. If you enjoy my poetry, please leave me a comment and let me know. I am also open to your constructive criticism on how to improve my poetry. Finally, please tell me a little bit about yourself, whether you are a longstanding visitor or a newcomer.

Consider this an invitation to get better acquainted.

Thanks so much.

Don Iannone
The Poetic Alchemist

PS: This is sticky post (sticks to the top of my blog like chewing gum under your 3rd grade desk. There are poems below it. Enjoy!

Those Who Watch But Cannot See

They love it—the voyeurs
Those who live by watching
Vicariously they live, feeding on others
Unable to see themselves
Even when they look in the mirror

The sun sets, suddenly, without warning
A glorious sight, but they missed it
Ever so subtle orange-yellow colors
Like those in first grade
When our crayons defied all lines
And when we cared only about life’s true colors

Yes, they missed the sunset
As their own heartbeat escapes them
Lurkers, mesmerized by others’ stirrings
Life for them—a spectator sport
To be watched, not lived

Tempted as we are—
We shouldn’t watch the watchers
That makes us just like them—
Blind, lifeless, empty
I say live!
Fill yourself with life
No need then for watching

Forget the Lies Today

False smiles, broken promises
Landfills of sorrow today
Tumbled hopes, shattered dreams
Long lost black and white photographs
Snapshots, another time, another day

For once, see the world clearly
The one moving through your veins
Forget the make believe ones
The one you lived yesterday
The one you planned for tomorrow

Stop pretending not to pretend
We all do it
Liars always know liars
They mock desperate lost fools
No absolution for their ways

Take your last chance
The one slipping between your fingers
Forget all coming before it
Let it lead your aching heart
Slowly dance, forget the lies today

Pausing on a Late Thursday Morning

Blue sky, late Thursday morning
Sparse white clouds, to their music they play
Silver-green tree tops seem much closer
Out-stretched arms reaching my way

So many mysteries, all around me
Things no need to say
Causing my mind to wander
Far and wide, just beyond today

Bright sunshine on the driveway
Exposin’ cracks every which way
I see them, but forget them
The pavement is here to stay

Off in the distance, a siren
Cries of help, just before noonday
Sudden brisk wind from heaven
Sweeping all tears away

Watching Two Hummingbirds Embrace

Two hummingbirds danced in half circles
Tilting slightly into the white morning sun
Behind the sleeping, now drab cone flowers
Their beaks touched ever so gently
As parting lovers might embrace
Until their time comes once again

It all seemed so natural, unrehearsed
Without expectation
No lingering for tears
No quiet desperation
Not even the slightest clinging to life
Two angels, wings aflutter in divine harmony

In the presence of such a miracle
How can you not be changed, even transformed
I cried, like a child wanting to be held close
To hear mother’s heartbeat
To hear the fluttering wings of angels
Hovering above me as I sleep

Me and My Shadow

Not the song sung by so many
But a way of saying
Something of us lurks
Beyond what we most often see

Just the other day
I walked in the noon day sun and watched
How my shadow followed me
Just about everywhere I went

In a much deeper sense
Our shadow abides, just beyond our conscious grasp
Carl Jung would say—
The unformed, non-integrated parts of us

On a sunny day, we’re wedded forever
To that faint outline of our being
That appears always one step behind us
One degree separating us from the moment to come

Shadows, like mirrors, remind us
Even when we’d rather forget
That life unfolds moment by moment
Dispelling all myths we are eternal

Of my shadow I ask
What is it that you bring
That will save me from the setting sun
The pain of ice cold darkness

As so often I’ve found
And surely you’d agree
Our shadow is always there
Even when no sun does appear

Nancy

We lost a friend, a wonderful neighbor
She lived for others
To Nancy, Mother Nature was the Mother Queen
Without her, an empty spot will remain on Deepwood
For a long, long time

A teacher, constant learner she was
Life’s mysteries, more than simple puzzles to solve
Each day, much more than the visible conquest
And much more than we can grasp
Until our own end comes, making it all clear

No need to eulogize Nancy
Those far closer will do that
But deserving of a special poem she is
Much as Emily Dickinson or Elizabeth Barrett Browning might give
So to Nancy, the ode of the eternal rose I sing

Life comes and goes
Much as the sun and moon rise and fall
Those seeing beyond themselves know
Heaven forever awaits
For without them, we are all lost

I think for Nancy
Life was a special language you learn
Like Mathematics or French
Even with all the words, something escapes us
But I think Nancy was OK on all this