Category Archives: Poetry

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Shadows of the Armored Icarus

See me here, a silhouette clad in
old grief and pessimisms
like blackened steel armor
barbed with cynical razors.
Behold me and you will know:
to touch me is to bleed.
Unstoppable and immovable;
hollow and terrible –
more a shadow than a man –
I was not always so.

Once I beheld a goddess in all her glory.
I did not know my heart still lived
within my chest until she
commanded it to beat.
Her memory whispers still,
Redemption is ever at hand.
Love and light are all around,
if you will only come out of
yourself to see.

She is the evening star,
too bright for me to hold.
With a mere glance or word she
might burn my wings to ash,
and I have no wish to play
Icarus again. The fall is too far.

I soar higher nonetheless,
Eyes upturned, arms outstretched.

When I plummet to earth,
flaring brighter and hotter
than even Lucifer blazed,
when I slam headlong into
solid rock bottom for the final
time, how silly and worthless
my fancy dark armor will be.

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The Door to Madness

The door to Madness has opened.
I have been invited.
Peace and unity are promised
to this mind so angry and divided.
Through the door, on the other side,
all of hell’s Madness extends before me.
In the land of lies I can live the truth;
I am myself, the monster only I can see.
Leave me alone, God. Get out of my life.
You made a world I cannot know.
Unworthy of the Son, I leave to
carve my kingdom from flames below.
Reality sifts through my fingers,
my scarred, ugly, useless fingers.
Like everything else important slips,
Sanity is gone, and only its shadow lingers.

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Grey Hairs

I was fourteen when I asked Dad about his beard.
I wanted to know why it was already so grey.
He said, “I have one for every worry, hurt, and fear.
Listen a minute, and I’ll tell you how it got this way:

“I spent two years killing gooks for Lyndon.
The shrink said I was sane, according to the law.
The priest said not to worry, that I was forgiven,
but they never did what I did or saw what I saw.

Your mom kept me sober when she could,
but I don’t remember the 70’s very well.
I fought and drank and was just no good.
It didn’t matter; I’d already been to hell.

“I stopped drinking in 1980, sat down and cried
when Led Zeppelin buried Bonham and disbanded.
In ‘81 I nearly smiled when the Liar nearly died,
but he lived, and they had Hinckley red-handed.

In ’82 the Feds immortalized my fears
with a shiny long wall in Washington D.C.
I had flashbacks and nightmares for over a year,
until well after we took Grenada in ’83.

“Union Carbide killed thousands of Indians in ‘84
while vats of the same poison sat 200 miles from us.
In ’85 the Cola I loved changed forevermore.
I switched to coffee rather than drink that puss.

I’ve gotten plenty of grey hairs, and quite a few
whites, thanks to you and your three brothers.
Your mom has her name on plenty of them too,
but I don’t mind any of them like I do the others.

“And there’s been more reasons for these hairs, boy.
You’ll never know all the things your daddy’s done,
but I’ve fought hard to win every moment of joy.
The scars and grey hairs have just piled up one by one.

Some day you’ll step back and ponder
on how surviving got in the way of living.
You’ll look around, and you’ll wonder
at all the sweat and time you’re giving.”

Dad paused and stared at his miner’s belt.
He looked at me, and then at his hands.
I asked him then what he thought, what he felt.
He said, “Some day you’ll understand.

There are terrible dragons in this world, son,
and no matter how you try, they can’t be beaten.
Be smarter than me. Learn to ride them. Hold on
for dear life and do your best not to get eaten.”

That day I was too young and too dumb to listen or care,
but now I think back often to that day and what he said
when I look at my reflection at night and count the grey hairs
that pile up way too early all over my head.

sarah's ghost

Guilty Survivor

I’m here alone in my head,
trying to purge my regret,
asking why I never kissed you.
I’m here alone in my bed,
trying so hard to forget.
Do you know how much I miss you?
I saw the signs.
I knew the breed.
I heard the lies.
I felt your need.
But I was busy, baby,
and you never said the word.
Or maybe you did, baby,
and my heart just never heard.

Days are dimmer without you.
I feel I’m so out of touch but
I’m in the dark without your glow.
So many things I can do,
and I taught you so much but
not the things you needed to know.
If you had fought
you’d be alive.
I should have taught
you to survive.
But I was busy, baby,
and you never said the word.
Or maybe you did, baby,
and my heart just never heard.

I’ll lie here and wait for dawn.
I’ll remember all that was
even if it really wasn’t.
All my friends say life goes on.
I’m pretending like it does
even though it really doesn’t.
Walked my own way,
down my own path.
Left you to face
his hate and wrath.
But I was busy, baby,
and you never said the word.
Or maybe you did, baby,
and my heart just never heard.

(I ache.)
I wish I had stayed.
(I need.)
I wish you were near.
(I break.)
I wish we could trade.
(I bleed.)
I wish you were here.

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