Giving

She sought to give the world her heart

But it was sick and full of worms

She cut it into pieces, neat

And these she sprinkled over each

Estranged and lonely continent

And these she squeezed and poured away

Into the vast and savage oceans

And these, they pumped the poison

The rot and illness, swift, toward

The pulsing centre of the Earth.

 

Then continents ran ablaze with war

And oceans bled a tepid muck

The arid land she tried to nurture

Went drier, cracked and torn asunder

The filthy stream she tried to purify

Became the death of thirsty children

The minds she tried to sharpen, cleanse

Awoke to great confusion in

The blust’ring storm she made amidst

The broken ruins of their home

Alas, all these and more because

She sought to give the world her heart.

Wayward Helpless

Mirrors pain on bleakest wall

Mirror on the canvas, paint

Oil obscures the hopeful pall

Pallor, valor soon goes faint

 

Fast succumbs to toxic-love

Paints the pain in oozing ink

Night – it drowns the tender grove

Under clouds, the sailboats sink

 

Courage deader by the day

Dwelling still on somber shade

Midnight oil she wastes away

Misguided, rusting is her blade

To Tame the Ocean I

‘Twas no lady that they hired

To guard this livid roiling beast

It was no hero born inspired

Not for this job, at very least

 

The ocean thrashes while we sleep

It roars and shrieks and twists and turns

The ocean runs forever deep

And our tameness it still spurns

 

Though other beasts all bend the knee

To man and his big head

The ocean, it just waits to see

The day that man lies dead

 

So this girl upon the cliff

Unveils her broken whip

And lashes waves with strokes so stiff

They break her at the hip

 

The men upon the castle high

Tell her to tell the ocean, bold

“Explain your plight, it will comply!”

But the ocean can never be told.

steps

I feel like I lose my steps

each time I move forward,

it’s like – I don’t know,

they splinter apart and disintegrate while I’m not looking?

One moment I’m laying down floorboards and the next –

wham!

Something I didn’t see,

something two flights below me is just

gone.

ya’ know?

I feel like I lose my steps.

Though I don’t feel like finding ’em.

Even if I knew how.

It’s like the forest sweeps them away?

or the rain dissolves them? either way, they vanish somehow –

poof.

and then a footprint from my old shoes

or a strand of long hair is just

gone.

I feel – I know – I do lose my steps

each time I find or build new ones

like, ya’ know?

when you’re climbing up into the sky with no directory?

when you’re walking circles ’round trees and you try, try to tell ’em, honestly, you’re not

lost

?

 

spending maketh man

every darting quirk in flight

must come alive in plainest sight

in trinkets to adorn

every sprite of whim and feeling

must have a lantern on the ceiling

smeared across the pristine expanses of kitchen counters

so forlorn

to preserve the smell

an essence in aesthetic

concentrate.

 

each opinion and each thought

must come on T-shirts, storebought

on mugs and key chains, too

each passion, dedication

must have its immortalisation

in choice of sliding doors, paneled floors, beanbags – oh!

even the loo

to exude the smell

a presence in aesthetic

existence.

NPCs

I set off from open gates

Through which the guards don’t stop me going

Through which the merchants amble back and forth

Without making a sound

But the rattling of the bubble-like pebbles

 

I stride into the forest

Through which the lonesome ranger stalks

Through which the crying child runs

Without sparing me a word

But to ask for directions and a helping hand and a sword

 

I trot along the dusty paths

On which the bard makes his penny

On which the dancing troupe awaits

Without a song for me

But that which they sing to the tumbleweed

 

I have set off from open gates

Through which there was a quiet wood

Through which there were the desert paths

Without a clue for me, on a tiresome quest

to find my Player Two

Empathy for Rubber Bands

Watching from afar, a spectator

Of the limitless ideal

Watching people jump and reach the moon

But – wringing my hands – wondering why

They punch so far above their weight

While children below rot and die

 

Even a rubber band, born just to stretch

Still can only go so far

It watches people jump and reach the moon

While it sags, limp

Yanked beyond the laws of nature

It lies bound to

 

It sits in a pool of exponential deepening

The pool of modernity

A reminder of limits in an age of boundless technology

A sticky note pasted on touchscreen

A young man, body bound by money

An old man, mind bound by time

A child, spirit bound to textbooks

Despite its efforts to stretch and stretch

Watching from so, so far away

(it snaps)

The poor thing.

On Pride and Freedom

If freedom were a pot of coffee

–legal, but intoxicating

Pride would be its faithful sugar

–so sweet and validating

 

Bitter are the strings cut loose

–the uncertainty of lonely flight

Astringent is the moody sky

–merciless for human plight

 

Pleasure comes from the knowledge

that one’s suffering carries value

Warmth blooms from the thought

that bearing burden can redeem you

 

Freedom is a pot of coffee

–a fragrance made to follow

But pride must come in tandem

–its absence leaves one hollow.