Do you question?

Will it ever be different? Or will it stay the same?

Will the past come back to haunt us, or is it we became,

Something no one understood, let alone ourselves,

Something terrible and beautiful: dusty crystal on the shelves.

And what do you say to cloudy days, and lying on your back

Out underneath the dark grey sky until it’s only love light that you lack?

What do you say to cold hard truth, and never telling lies?

Even if it means regret, sometimes sorrow, and the hardest of goodbyes…

What do you say to living, and never giving up?

What do you say to drinking from the everlasting cup?

What do you see when you see me?

Am I happy, am I free?

Or do you see a sad, sad person,

Whose condition only worsens.

I want you to feel everything, everything good and bad.

But then I want to shield you, if anything makes you sad.

What do you say to pain, if it makes you grow?

What do you say to weather, the sun, the sleet, the snow?

What do you say to freezing, or drowning in the depths?

What do you say to walking, or counting all your steps?

Do you dwell in past or present? Is living your only chore?

Or do you relish every day, always asking for one more?

Don’t you ever stop asking questions, never stop talking to me.

Don’t ever look in the mirror, and think you weren’t meant to be.

Don’t overanalyse Shakespeare, because it’s been done before.

Always question teachers, always question war.

Always look for peace – inside you and out,

And in each authority figure find some kind of doubt.

See that propaganda?  Always see both sides.

Always look for fairness, always close divides.

Watch the sun rise once a month, to remind yourself things change.

Question what is normal, and be a little strange.

Do you wonder what people think of you?  Try and break routine.

Think of who you want to be, and everything in between.

Will we ever talk together, or sit and just be friends?

Or do love and hate still part us so there will never be an end?

If history repeats itself, are we doomed to the same fate?

If we realize we’re wrong, will we realize too late?

I sit and ask these questions, and hope you’re slightly the same,

But understand it’s difference, that keeps the world from being lame.

And though these differences divide us, we still have the same heart,

We’re pumping blood through body, and appreciate that art.

We rant and exclaim at unlike things, but somehow find that line

Right down the middle of our acquaintance and it is what defines

Us as two individuals, who’ve had a troubled past

And look towards the future to live and live it fast.

We’ve made mistakes in all our lives, ones which we do and don’t regret

Don’t let these haunt your dreams, or to joy become a threat.

The point is don’t hang on, to actions done and done.

Move past these idle thoughts; get rid of every one.

If you’re reading this today, and are alive and free

Appreciate each breath, enjoy the things you see.

It’s an ironic world in which the easiest way to learn is through experience,

Though experience is hard, and sometimes makes you wince

And leaves scars both visible and not

Leaving people silent when sometimes they ought

To speak their mind and question why we did those things

That we knew were stupid, like trying to fly sans wings.

I’ve learned, and I know you have too.

It’s made us cry; it’s made us blue,

But it’s bought colour to our lives, and some happy moments too.

And I have to say my life is like this all because of you.

I question things, and learn a lot and I’m listening always.

To the people’s words, to trees and birds, to things unheard,

To the inner voice, and the old Rolls Royce, and every choice

To people’s thoughts, and words on page, and every phrase –

Because everybody matters, and everything’s alive.

Appreciate the moments, sounds, and never drink and drive.

I want you to be happy, I want to share with you

That every moment you can learn while always being true.

Do you ever wonder, why the world is never quiet?

Do you ever wish, that my writing took a diet?

I can’t be silent, won’t stop talking, writing’s not a sin.

And with every question, does a story not begin?

I churn the butter, spin the wheel, and so concoct a tale,

In hopes to keep you pondering, in hopes to never fail.

In hopes of wrapping up this rant, I have just one last plea,

Never ignore your neighbour, and seek the opportunity

To do some good in every day, don’t push aside those in your way,

To ask, and hope, and love and pray, and see that path? It’s alright to stray,

In the end just try and smile,

It’s okay to be blue, but once in a while

You want to be happy and be okay,

And shine your light, like the sun’s rays.

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The Lost Lady

I crumpled up the notes and let them sink to the bottom of the ocean
There on the floor they lay, and I was lying on the floor in my room
Staring at the ceiling and wondering where she went
The last time I saw her, she was driving in her car
Away from me, and my feet, too slow, couldn’t follow;
It was a scene too hard to swallow.

I took the note she gave me and put it on a spaceship.
Now it’s circling round the moon.  Think I gave it up too soon?
It’s floating in the sky, and I’m floating on my side
In my bed, wondering why I’m sitting here, wasting life
I put on my shoes and walked across the floor
Pulled on the knob and opened the door.

The wind is bitter here.  I never understand why it’s so cold
My coat is buttoned up to my throat
And the wind still gets in.  I tucked my pants into my socks
And put mittens on my hands and looking like a fool
I walked and walked and ran until I found the place she lived
And like a shadow I sat and waited.

It was night time, and she never came home.  I lay by the bushes.
I saw a policeman walk to the door and knock.
A man came outside with a fearful look on his face –
Was this the man she lived with now?
At once, his expression crumpled, his forehead fell into his palm
I knew what happened and somehow remained calm.

I moved to the garage roof.  I could see into his open window.
He started removing her things from her drawers.
I knew they were hers, because I had seen them
A million times, looking flawless when she donned them.
And once they were strewn across the room

The man gave up and went to sleep, perhaps he accepted her doom.
I felt bad for him, but more so for me.  I never got
To say anything to make up for what I had done.
And now she was dead.  I lay on the roof and my face too
Fell into my palms, and I slept.
They found me in the morning, the neighbours
Who liked to snoop around her house for gossip.

I lay crumpled, as crumpled as the notes,
As crumpled as her lover’s face, as crumpled as the garbage
I had fallen beside.  The people covered my head
In a white sheet and took me away in a van.
The man never knew I was there, and she never knew
That the last thing I wanted to say was never adieu.

But I fell with a smile that night.  I was on to my next
Adventure.  And I knew what I would find there,
In the murky ocean depths, or in the stars of heaven
And who was waiting, already there, to greet me
With open arms and a warm smile.
I felt as welcomed by her as I had in a while.

Stained Pages

In my hands I hold my tears,

Along with all my grief and fears.

Sometimes they shine so awfully bright

With their awful silvery light.

Other times so dull and black,

Like the bottom of an empty sack.

The weight is heavy in my palm –

Feeling stressed and so not calm.

Always looking for a break,

Where’s my peace, and where’s my cake?

Life’s not the breeze they told me about:

Here’s to hunger, sorrow, drought.

Happiness has long betrayed

This lonely body here to stay.

Drive the knife across the wrist,

Swallow pills, cross name off list.

And here we are each dawn, each day:

Struggling through, finding a way

Over the next mountain we find the strength to climb,

Somehow manage every time.

No will to vanish, just exist,

Hand with tears, clenched jaw and fist.

Bite back the words, hold back the punch.

It’s all you can do to stomach lunch.

Write it out or carve it in flesh;

Life’s not so simple as you say, John Tesh.

Dislike to hear, dislike to know

The easy joy in which some flow,

When simply living is a chore,

When faking happy is a bore.

It’s all I can do to just press on:

Smile brightly, stifle yawn.

Today I did my hair for you

Doubt you noticed, I’d forget to care too.

Find someone to love you more than you they,

Or you’ll be disappointed every day.

Never feeling good enough,

Life gets hard and fights get rough.

Soon it’s over, just as fast as start;

Healing after becomes an art.

Maybe one day “existing” won’t be hard.

Maybe one day I’ll pick up the shards:

The pieces collected on the ground,

Swept under the rug, but kept around

For the day I’ll find it safe to say

I’m ready to feel, to be put on display,

And someone will take my hand and show me the way,

No more lies: I’ll stop putting on a play,,

And I’ll live and smile wide,

A spring in every step, in every stride,

Suddenly less shame and more pride.

One day I’ll look back and grin

Not recognizing who I’ve been.

For now I’ll wallow, and I’ll get lost

In the murky fog and dusky frost:

So unsure of where I’m going,

Hard to see when it won’t stop snowing.

But when all is white, and not all black

I know hope’s still here, it’s not turned back.

I’ll face the road that lies ahead;

I’ll read a book, I’ll get out of bed.

Maybe tomorrow won’t be as dark.

Maybe tomorrow the trees won’t bark.

Let all the hallucinations leave me be.

I want my peace, I want to see

The world for what it truly is:

Both good and bad, the pop and fizz,

The cake of life I’ll finally eat,

The peace I’ll get – it’ll be so sweet.

I’ve waited so long to just stop hurting,

Maybe to trade for careless flirting.

Rid my veins of jealousy.

Destroy every piece of animosity.

No more enemies, just friends

And joyful acts, for means may justify ends.

For all this I truly work,

Though sorrow be my gloomy quirk.

I want to smile, I want to say:

Life’s a pleasure every day.

Cut out the part that wants to die,

Remove the part that wishes time would fly.

For I know that on death’s bed

I’ll wish for more minutes to be ahead.

No more wanting to end my life,

Finally glad I was a wife.

Embrace the truth, embrace it now.

Keep every promise, every vow.

Talk to strangers, talk to mom.

Drop the grudges, don’t drop the bomb.

One day we’ll grow up big and strong.

One day our life resumé will be long.

Don’t spend time unravelling the tapestry;

Pick up the needle and thread, it won’t go disastrously.

If only to try and not give up,

If only to brim fill up the cup

And toast your neighbour and toast yourself;

Hide regrets upon the shelf.

Take the one life you were given to lead;

Love that life and never plead

For it to end, or you to die;

You may be precious in one eye.

It’s all it takes to move along,

You’re not alone, don’t need to be strong

All by yourself for there’s someone

To listen, to care, who you may summon.

Be it Jesus, mom or friend,

They will be there until the end.

As you can tell, this struggle is tough;

Words are said, but is that enough?

The silence in which fills the space

Sometimes says more than words can place.

So read the hurt between the lines,

The hardships, the sorrows, the “I said I’m fine”s.

Through all the lies, and the grief I’ve caused

I’m most sorry, and so I’ve paused

–How can I clean up this mess?

Surely on my own, it won’t be best.

I’m asking please don’t let me be.

Don’t let me go, I won’t be free.

The chains that bind attack in solitude;

In loneliness, I am their food.

I’m gobbled up and strapped down tight,

Cannot move – it’s an awful fright.

I don’t ever want to live this way,

And that is why I’ve come to say

I’ll write this poem, I’ll write this rap

It’s not a message or a trap;

I just want to spill over the edge;

I want to pour my soul over the ledge.

What most of all I want to share

Cannot be written here or there.

The words inscribed are on my heart;

I cannot translate – I’ve not found the art.

And so from there they won’t depart,

They aren’t so sweet, but not too tart.

Just listen here and place your hand

Over my chest and understand

I’m not so normal, rather odd –

I see agreement; I see you nod –

My whole life I’ll look for words;

I’ll write and write of things unheard,

And still not manage to make it clear

Just the thing you want to hear.

What we want, it can’t be found,

And so this emptiness resounds

Whether in a poem or words unspoken,

Whether in promises whole or broken.

All will come to disappoint,

All will come to smoke the joint

To pass it to the left or right –

Or I don’t know because I was busy picking fights.

I feel the need to stop and say

I’m sorry to someone, every day.

My life must be some kind of mistake;

I stay up to think and next day shake

My head and say, what’s it for?

This life I lead, and do I just want something more?

And then it comes the time to end,

To wrap it up to post or send

Away these foul and idiotic words –

To a friend . . . or to the birds?

Do I crumple them up and throw them out?

Sit and reread to sob and pout?

The ridiculous notion that these can matter,

That these may get someone off the ladder

Or off the bridge or maybe save the kid down the hall,

Don’t you wish we knew they all

Would go home safe and lie in bed,

Sleep ‘til morning, good dreams in their head?

But this will never be the case,

So I’ll try and sleep, and not pace

Like someone is doing on this night.

They cannot rest, they had a fight.

Their life just sucks, they can’t pay bills,

Too much to lose, can’t down the pills

It’s not that easy, that way out.

It’s better to stay, to scream, to shout,

To cry the words and how you need help,

To swallow the pride and cry and yelp

Like the wounded creature humans are –

No matter if they’ve travelled far –

To take the pains and trials here

To face the demons and the fear

To hold the tears in each our hands

To give the liquid to the lands;

To close your eyes and finally rest

Try and lift the burdens from your chest,

To breathe and not hear strangled cries,

To stop the cursing, stop the lies

May be the goal that all achieve

And let the breath be of relief.

The last word be of falling rain,

The cleansing power it maintain,

And wipe the sins from off my head

And I will rest upon this bed

And no more write these wretched words:

Put down the pen and end absurd-

ities, though they remain

Inside this notebook as a stain.

The Fairy Tale Dream

As soon as the words leapt from my mouth like some dancing flame I couldn’t control,

I wanted to scream: I LIED!

But my mouth swallowed my words, and my tongue swelled so I could no longer speak.

I have fallen down some Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole

Caught in between a world I desire which I’ll never have and some stark reality which is playing tricks on me.

How can I be the only one deceived by these mismarked potion bottles?

When I drink the one which says courage, I grow smaller.  When I drink the one marked power, I become a pawn.

However, unlike Alice I was not drowning in my own tears.  It is not my tears I fear but my words.

And I’m not a dumb blond like Alice, easily confused and fooled by people.

I see that Cheshire cat, always willing to smile at me; I’m never willing to smile back.

[Once upon a time were the words that I spoke.]

I drink tea like the Mad Hatter and I’m wicked like the Queen.

Maybe the best place for me is the Rabbit Hole, where I can pretend it’s all a dream, and that soon I’ll wake up on the banks of that flowing river – well rested with an attitude adjustment, and some new found appreciation like Dorothy after she returns from Oz.

If only lessons were so easily learned as in fairy tales.