A Theory on Life’s Questions

Take a load off
Give up the struggle–
All those weighty questions
Spinning you in circles
Sapping the life out of you

Easier said than done–
I’ve ridden those circles–
Like wild ferris wheels
Taking me round and round
Till I’m silly dizzy, then dead

Perhaps a better word is deadened–
To the real life–
The one we were born to live, and
somewhere along the line set aside–
For all our questions

I’ve a theory on questions, and that is
the universe needs them to grow
They’re fertilizer–
Helping the world evolve consciously
and yes inquisitively

Questions make children grow up, and
they kill off their innocence–
Then kids become grown ups, and their questions kill them off
Now why is that?
The universe needs a rest from our questioning

It Feels Over

It feels over
Like the best part of me has ended
Leaving little of what I once called my life

It feels over
More water under the bridge
Than waiting its time to flow

It feels over
Accomplishments, getting things done
A looking forward to tomorrow

It feels over
No need for a calendar to remind me
Of what I used to look forward to

I can’t help but wonder
If it’s something I did, or didn’t do
That drove it all away

Confessions on a Bitter Cold January Morning

Slipping away each day
Life, but also illusion
Forgetting at times—
A good thing
Cleansing, renewing us
Purging the insanity
Killing off our joy

On this bitter cold January morning
The wildfire inside me rages
Consuming everything in its path
Including the faded goodness
I wear so proudly
As armor against death
And its deceitful bantering

The alchemist stirs the words
In familiar self-serving circles
The search for magic ends
No gold
Just more feeble incantations
Taking their turns
Dancing with time in poetic armor

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.

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

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