My Life as a Word

If my life is an ocean deep,
I cannot control the barrage of waves,
the frigid waters, nor the undertow
dragging me to the depths

If my life is a forest fire
I cannot control the wind fanning the flames,
save the woodland creatures fleeing in terror,
nor escape the scorching heat
threatening to turn me to ash

If my life is a vast, dry desert
I cannot command the rain to fall,
the drought to end, nor cast the sun from the sky
though it burns my skin

If my life is an afflicted plague
I cannot control its spread,
it’s path of destruction, or the numbers
it kills through perilous infection

If my life is a car without brakes
I cannot stop the fuel, slow the speed,
nor save all that lies in my path
though surely the wreckage is inevitable

If my life is me
All I have is me,
and what’s perhaps in my pocket –
not much, no ring of elven gold, but maybe
some chap stick and string –

All I control are these aching bones
attached to my withering limbs
and slackening skin

but also I command my language;
I have a ferocity with words
and often unleash them without thought,
they are my last defense.

I build a life raft of syllables uttered from these lips
I create a proverbial shield against the bombardment of fire
and run away on legs made from quick-witted phrases
I dig a hole with my spade of savvy repertoire, collecting
dew on a makeshift leaf of colloquium and self-talk
to filter tears of discourse to drinking water

I wear a murmuring mask articulating both the danger
and saving grace of infectious confabulation
I jump from moving vehicles with a parachute of parlance
and cushion my fall with doublespeak softness

There is redemption in language and controlling one’s own voice
There is power in joining your speech and your mind
to conquer villains of the world and of the imagination

If my life is a word
it is resilient. 

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This Means War

Not a war with bloodshed,
Perhaps a war with tears
A war expressed with language
A war that conquers fears

I feel an obligation
to exclaim my words
yet my passion must be quiet
as not to seem absurd

Fight against the ignorance
fight against indulgence
fight against the old wives’ tales
fight for common sense

Too long have we stood idly by
and let the preachers tax our ears.
into submission we have settled
and it’s gone on for years

Here’s to correcting people
the idle and the dumb
I reject your information
You’ve no source from which it comes

It spills out from your mouth,
a slack jawed petty thing,
an empty thought popped into mind
and so it you thought you’d sing

I reject your proclamation
I discredit all your “facts”
I’d tell you where to shove it,
but I’d rather you just get sacked.

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How to describe the world around you in words.  Impossible.  Yet we try to do just that.  To give life to the way we feel, to try to let others see things the same way we do.  If everyone witnessed things from the same perspective, life would be boring, life would be impossibly different from the way it is.  However, sometimes, all you want is another outlook, a different view on life.

To see the ripples in the pond the way the fish does swimming beneath the water’s surface.  To see the guy riding his bike from the mouse’s view, hiding in the grass as he rushes by.  To soar though the sky like an eagle, not metaphorically but literally.  To actually understand what is it like.  To see inside someone else’s mind.  To have that other perspective.  That is why we write, that is why we wish to capture with words the things that only our imaginations can see.  I hear the birds twittering in the trees – I want you to hear them to.  I want you to hear the way their short chirps cut through the nature’s silence (what is silence in nature?), the way they cut through the music playing through my headphones.  I want you to feel the goose bumps on my legs as the cold wind brushes my bare skin, kissing my pale calves.  I want you to understand the numb that slips into my fingers, then the warmth as I slip them into my pockets and my blood warms them.  I want you to love the squirrel hunting for food in the grass.  I want to know what it thinks when my friend tosses it crumbs.  Trust or suspicion fills its mind as it nibbles on a delicious snack.  It really is too bad it’s cold out.  I want to lie under the stars and type forever.

The Words Do Not Come

Sometimes words with beauty do not come.

You over-think,
And you lose yourself, you lose the moment.
The falling rain does not revive you as it revives the grass, the trees, the flowers.
They all get new life, but where are you?
Sitting alone with a notebook and pen?
And the words do not come.

Sometimes the passersby will stare, and sometimes they pass by.
You are judging them, with hopes they are not judging you.
And you write in your notebook all the things you do not like about yourself
before they can.

They were never going to say it.
So the words do not come.

Fourteen umbrellas and one dog go swimming by. And over the music you hear
The dog bark, but you do not know how to describe the scene before you.  And the dog keeps barking.
And the umbrellas are upside down and floating.
And the words, still, do not come.

Somehow, the music thumping through the minuscule speakers pumps sound into your ears,
and it is the soundtrack, whole, perfect, and beautiful to your surroundings.  As the swans preen and dive for food,
as the squirrels frolic, your page remains blank,
because the words do not come.

And you depart.