My Eyes

island afar

Do my eyes deceive me or is there ahead

A place to have dwelling, to lay my bed

A time of rest and a shelter of tree

Or do my eyes deceive me?

 

Is yonder vision a heavenly grove

Where the waterfall mists with triumphant love

And in the lushest of gardens there

Where many stripes are stripped of care

Do I confess I’ve wondered where

Such a perfect boon might ever be

Or do my eyes deceive me?

 

It seems far off but within this tide

To look away seems like foolish pride

From this tropic where I’ll reside

My vision’s clarity can’t be denied

Coolness of river and orchards inside

Relief and pleasure therein supplied

 

And yet the sun burns harsher now

And the vision fades, gone with the shades

But I cling to the memory of how

I’m heading toward a wondrous place in the glades

It’s still out there in the blurried sea

Or do my eyes deceive me?

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Discomfort

wrong way

Do you love me enough to hurt me?
I don’t mean in a sick way
And I don’t mean for no reason
I want to know if you’ll rip the band-aid off my skin
or let it fester, pretend it hasn’t been on too long
And smile so you’re not the bad guy.

Do you love me enough to disagree with me?
If I ask your advice, and I’m treading on ice
Will you tell me to move? Or better yet-
Throw a rope and get me somewhere safe?
Or will you tighten your brow and say nothing?
Tacitly approving while pleading in your silent heart

Do you love me enough to make me uncomfortable?
If there’s some flaw that I have in me
Spinach in my teeth, snot on my sleeve-
Would you tell me? Or will you hold your tongue
So that maybe someone else can say it?
And you’re saved the embarrassment

I’m not talking about public shaming, and I don’t
Mean simply being contrary. I said it before,
And I say it again: discomfort. Am I worth that to you?
Is anyone worth that to you?
See, it’s sad, because there’s a lot of people, I think,
Who don’t consider a soul in this world worth that cost.

It isn’t a very big cost.

To Swim

The Sea by Night

I took a walk along the sea by night

Waves invited me as they crashed and roared

Inviting me into the cool waters

I felt and sensed the spray upon my face

 

But I did not swim. It isn’t time yet

Instead I sat at its edge pondering,

Remembering. I think with clarity

Here, when I can see with my eyes what waits.

 

Waters reach my feet but it isn’t time

It isn’t my time, but it’s another’s

I’ll get to swim one day. I long for it.

 

Until then, I will walk the earth on foot

It is forbidden to wade in early

But hope for the day breathes inside my heart

Felicity

misty

To be loved and yet not known is shallow

To be known and not loved is what we fear

Hanging in balance, we straddle the row

Hoping to be held without holding dear

 

“Give your heart in pieces,” the prudent say

Like carrots meted out before a mule

If he eats a few, then snubs one- it may

Be easier for the heart to o’errule

 

Some truth is there spoken, but more suppressed

If love’s without fear, then fearless is best

A life with hands open is ever blest

How much more to live with an open chest!

 

I am known by God, and loved- let it be

If another loves me, felicity.

Si Tuve

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything in Spanish, so I’m doing so today. I love to write in another language from time to time- I find that it frees me up to express thoughts differently than I would in English, and the stylistic influences that hold sway over the work are different as well. (If you speak Spanish- or even if you don’t- and you’ve never read Pablo Neruda, I would highly recommend him to you) As always, I’ve posted a loose translation beneath the original, which, as always, sadly loses a portion of the meaning when translated. Enjoy.

Si Tuve

 

Si tuve un poder

Sería la habilidad apretarte en mis brazos

Si tuve una espada

Conquistaría a tus enemigos, y guardarte del peligro

Si tuve una barca

Viajaríamos dónde tu querías

Si tuve una mente

La usaría aprender a amarte

 

Si tuve una corazón

Creo que no podría entenderlo

Porque ha sido roto tantos veces

Que tartamudea cuando habla

Y sus intenciones no siempre están claros

 

Lo claro es tus ojos

Reflejando la imágen de un hombre vagabundo

Un viajador que ha perdido, llorado, y caído

Cada día de nuevo

 

Pero repites que tu me amas

Y te creo

 

Si tuve un nombre

Sería tuyo

Woman in Sunset

 

If

 

If I could have any power

I would have the ability to hold you

If I had a sword

I would beat back your enemies, and keep you from harm

If I had a ship

We would go wherever your heart desired

If I had a mind

I would use it to learn how to love you

 

If I had a heart

I don’t think I would be able to understand it

See, it’s been broken a lot

And now it stutters when it speaks

It’s intentions aren’t always clear

 

What’s clear is your eyes

Reflecting the image of a world-weary man

A wanderer who has lost, and mourned, and fallen

Every day anew

 

Yet you tell me again that you love me

And I believe you

 

If I had a name

It would be yours

Ice and Clay

ice-263823_640

They say that the same sun that melts the ice,

Hardens the clay. One spectacle, one star,

One to bless, one to mar, virtue and vice,

At the same artifice, shows who you are.

 

One will give up his shape in the bright rays,

How could he not? A heart of frost meeting,

The sun’s shiny greeting is overcome,

His shape and his self were always fleeting.

 

The other hardens and clings to his shape,

None can mold him, his resolute armor,

Will always honor his first form innate,

And will bake in scourge of day with ardor.

 

My prayer is that you would be water,

Fearless to lose yourself in awe of the majestic sun.

Fourteen Lines

Writing a poem is a curious thing
I have just fourteen lines to make you feel
Something, anything, get you remembering
To look at words and receive something real

But there’s no time for an introduction
Or if there was it’s over and now I
…I want to take you back to the ocean
To that night you knew you loved, heard her sigh

To the days when you just felt so ashamed
Going from knowing the world adores you
To knowing that it hates you, feeling blamed
I need to stir memories, but rhyme, too

Yet I don’t have time to tell you you’re wrong
In both cases.  Fourteen lines, used and gone

 

Couple by the Ocean