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Excerpt for My Angel, My Muse by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

My Angel, My Muse


My Angel, my Muse, on my path appeared,

hoping I'd been well, her interest sincere.

I had lived a zombie life, and was done,

going simply her aura, my heart was cheered.


Gentle and kind, we laughed and we shed tears.

With her faith in me on path I was steered.

All I see when I look at the sun,

my Angel, my Muse.


With her love, the old scripts began to clear,

a life with meaning, not one cavalier,

self-sustaining now that it is begun.

From my true self I will no longer run.

I am very grateful for you, my Dear,

my Angel, my Muse





All Contents

Copyright 2018

All rights reserved

Praise for Poetry by M. Zane McClellan



Judith Ruhulessin commented on Emptiness of Tomorrow -

"I keep thinking that I have cried all of my tears until I read another of your beautiful poems. New tears fall like rain..I keep coming back for more ! Thank you, Michael."


From the literary and legislative trenches. commented on This Quiet Desperation -

"Michael - Each line speaks of a courage every species on earth must have endured at one time or another. How can one reach their potential without engaging in the emotions set forth in this captivating work of poetry? Your creativity combined with honesty never stops my being in awe for even a split second. Well done, my friend. Sheri"


Teri Garcia Commented on My Soul Sighs -

"Oh my, Michael. That is it!! I am crying over here! I am just amazed that you soooo know my heart! That poem is beautiful…beyond beautiful and is exactly what I’m feeling. Thank you so much for that. I am so blessed right now!"
~Teri


Paul F. Lenzi commented on Extraordinary Life - "profound"



Acknowledgements



First of all, I must thank my muse, and the person who first encouraged me as a poet, and writer. I will only name her as the protagonist of my debut novel she inspired, Angelene Marie Roycee. She is an incredible person who inspired many of the poems written here, and talked me down from many a metaphorical ledge. Her spirituality and outlook on life make me want to be a more evolved and aware person. I am grateful for her friendship and feel privileged to know her.


Thank you to my daughter, Jasmine, who suffers reading my poetry when I have to test it on someone. Her angst is palpable when she likes a poem against her better judgment. Thank you also to my sister, Candace, and her daughter (and therefore, my niece) Sacia, who have read and expressed appreciation for my poems. Thanks to my recently discovered sister, Monti, with whom I instantly formed, and share, a great friendship and spiritual connection. She has been a rock and mirror.


Thanks to Teri Garcia, and Judith Ruhulessin for letting me know that the poems I wrote were connecting with their readers, and to Russ Towne for finding several of my poems worthy of publishing in his anthology, "Heart Whispers".


A special thank you to Denise Fletcher, Kim Laettner, Skye Alexander, Paul Lenzi, Robert Okaji, Neha Dasgupta, and Marie Lukasik Wallace.


All of these fine souls and poets have inspired, with their wonderful poetry, poems I have written.

Foreword



This book is a comprehensive collection of my poetry written to date. It is all original and authentic. By that I mean that it comes from my heart, is genuine, and based on my real and raw emotions. That is not to say that I am the subject of each piece. As I write, I tap into the memories of my experiences, then mix and match to tell a story with each poem. The poem, "The Animal", for example, was written in empathy for anyone who has experienced, or is experiencing, domestic violence.


Writing poetry, for me, is a lot like the first time one hears their voice on a recording. There is that brief disconnect and the inevitable question, "Is that me?" followed closely by, "I don't sound like that, do I?" My poetry sometimes surprises me in wonderful ways, other times I ask myself what I was thinking, and whether or not it's me.


I hope you will enjoy the experience of reading my poems. I write in many forms, Free verse, Rondeau, and Haiku as well as Tanka. I appreciate the shorter forms as they are succinct and sublime in their brevity. I have dabbled in many new forms I have read about such as, Clarity, and Pyramid. I have brazenly tried my hand at Haibun and even a Ghazal. You will find all of it here, amidst the many expressions of soul and spirit, love and aguish, along with the whimsical and the silly.


The ideas for many of my poems begin simply with a title that I find catchy, or sometimes it's just one word. That leads to a subjects I find intriguing and the rest usually flows shortly after. I write what comes to mind and attenuate it as the spirit moves me. Consequently, I do find some of my poems deep, even profound, at times. You, of course, must decide for yourself.


I have been delighted on several occasions to read comments on my blog and Facebook that describe some of my poems as "exquisite," and even "sublime." I write poetry to strengthen my craft, as well as for catharsis. In the process, I receive feedback from those reading my former blog that some of my poems resonated deeply, with them. One of my most moving experiences was reading about the way my poems were helping a woman grieve the loss of her, "One and Only." The effect is that I am beginning to accept myself as a poet. That journey is progressing like much of life, imperfectly.


The most difficult part for me, has been accepting my own vulnerability as a writer, and as a human being. Opening myself up to scrutiny and criticism can be intimidating, and humbling. While my ego is strong (even in the good sense) the inner demons have shown themselves to be my ego's equal. Consequently the battle is a formidable one, and challenging on all levels.


I sit in the front car of this roller coaster, holding my breath in terror at each steep drop. I sometimes find I have my eyes closed, holding on to the rail too tightly. Each day I move back a car, or three, in introspection and gratitude. I hope to find myself in the last car one day with my arms raised, surrendering to the ride, and smiling.

About You


I write down the words

that grow inside of my heart

all are about you



A Deeper Quietude


How much time is wasted,

each and every day,

worrying about what others think,

or what they might have to say?


How much time is lost,

week after week,

pursuing things outside ourselves,

when it is within we should seek?


How much time is spent,

for months out of the year,

wishing for things we do not have,

not enjoying those that are here?


How much time escapes us,

as decades tip toe past,

thinking that the juicy years,

have all gone by too fast?


How much time remains,

to find your purpose in this life?

Have we positively affected others,

are our best examples rife?


Tomorrow is not a given,

but today we have a choice,

find a deeper quietude,

hear the true inner voice.


Intuition will always guide us,

though the path is not easy or swift.

It will lead us through troubled ways,

and give our spirit lift.


Does our life have meaning,

have we touched others along the way?

Have I connected with your soul?

I hope I have today.



A Journey In Time


Wander not the labyrinths

of self-pity and despair.

Destined for hopelessness,

deaf to voices who care.


Gloom and darkness linger,

expunge them from inside.

Light the shadowed corners

where the enemy hides.


No one can do it for you,

though love's a catalyst,

to help you remain strong,

make sure that you resist.


Vigilance required,

honesty is a must.

Truth to self and loved ones,

the only way to trust.


Tomorrow matters not,

nor even yesterday.

Find what you live for most,

hold on to that today.


Since the soul, immortal,

is part of the divine,

know there is within you,

a way if given time.



All That I Want


Sitting quietly somewhere,

just the two of us,

holding each other tightly

in loving arms.


A nice conversation

about anything at all.

It could even be

about nothing in particular.


Our legs entwined,

our attention on each other.

Feeling your body expand with

every breath that you take.


My face buried in your hair,

your head back against my chest,

nowhere we have to go,

no one to interrupt us.


My tears of love

gently sliding down my face,

to fall onto your fingers

clasped in mine as I kiss them.


Falling asleep just like this,

waking to do it all over again.

It may seem like too little,

that my dreams are too small.


For me it is more than enough

to last me a lifetime.

Because I want you, that’s all.

All That Makes You Her


All that I ever wanted

All that I ever had

All that makes you happy

All that keeps me from being sad


All that you ever dreamed of

All that you wished for too

All that I dared hope for

All that I found in you


All I ever cared about

All that became my bliss

All we ever laughed about

All that is in your kiss


All that I could ever imagine

All that I could divine

All that goodness that is you

All that makes you mine


All that makes life worth living

All that makes it better

All that is in my heart and soul

All that makes you her



Almost … almost


Every day … every day,
we talked almost all day, every day.
Now I speak to no one
almost all day, every day.


Instead, I write the words
I want to speak to you,
and almost ... almost,
I know what you would
say to me and do.


I almost hear your voice,
sing inside my head.
I see your sweet smile, almost.
Its absence is what I dread.


I know what would come next ...
your cute mouth, and the pffft.
I remember your laughter clearly;
you collapsed in my arms in a fit.


Your giggles almost drowning
my heart and soul in ecstasy.
I remember it like
yesterday …
almost.



Always Flawed


If it is a flaw

to be tied to an outcome

such as loving you,


sharing our lives together,

then I will always be flawed.



Amidst Rural Fields


Shimmering thermals rise from the asphalt.

A curtain that distorts our sense of sight.

The cars disappear behind the sheer veil,

melt in the distance of the black ribbon.


The flanking fields teeming with assorted life.

Sentinel stalks only witness and wave.

Conscious of inevitable scything,

they stoically await the dark thresher.


The hum of beating wings, cacophonous.

The crunch of mandibles inaudible.

I can feel it as I weigh the moment,

the micro and macro of this life.


Balanced on the edge of self-destruction

growth ordained by the strong will to survive.

Interspecies war, a conflagration,

to rise and to fall with the tide of time.



A Most Lucid Dream


This actually happens to me.

Though not often,

it is commonplace.

Occurring in those few

slender slices of time

between wakefulness

and dream.

My eyes are closed.

I know this,

and yet,

I see through

translucent lids.

They slightly obscure

my focus.

Limited in perspective

to a plane parallel

with my eyes

I travel,

otherwise unencumbered,

away from my Self.

Exploring my surroundings

with wraith-like

abandon.

Upon informing my

spirit guide of this

I was asked,

what I looked like.

"I didn't look at myself",

I replied.

"And why not?"

she asked.

"The thought never

entered my mind.

Surely it was a dream."

"Yet you knew

that it was not,

but did not look

at your Self."

Frustrated I exclaimed,

"I know what I look

like.

I want to see

everything else."

Shaking her head

smiling sadly

she intoned,

"Your lens has been distorted,

by life, and the lies,

told to you

by well-meaning

people…

some not-so well-meaning…

as well as by yourself."

Anger percolated

as I put up my mental

hands.

"What do you suggest?",

I asked, perturbed.

"Next time, surrender."

I realized my mouth

had been hanging open.

Sweat on my brow,

I understood.

I have always tried to

control.

I have fought the current.

I tried to guide the path

not follow it.

Next time,

when I look for

answers,

I will start looking

at my Self.



Anachronistic Love


Out of time

I came to find

love remarkable

love divine


Waking from sleep

a feeling deep

love to cherish

love to keep


eases my mind

a feeling sublime

Intangibly touches

with feather soft brushes


A heart now open

pure adoration spoken

do what you will

I love you still



Angel's Touch


An Angel's touch, gossamer.

As gentle as a whisper

Moves within, a mountain's weight

Wandering souls are set straight.



Another Kind of Mother


I have not enjoyed Mother's Day,

since, when ten, mine went away.

Callous sense of maternity,

a bitterness where love should be.


My memories of brighter days,

Jergen's lotion and Jean Nate',

are spoiled by cards I could not make,

for Mother's Day, each year I ache.


Though gray of beard, the boy remains,

missing my Mommy, my heart rains.

Maybe a better man I'd be,

but no … I guess I'd still be me.



An Old Pair Of Shoes


You wore me like a pair of old tennis shoes.

I was comfortable and familiar.

Always ready if you needed

to slip into me and go about your day.

I fit just right once you broke me in.

Where once I was stiff and unyielding,

I loosened up, and over time, you made me softer.

You knew I had some holes in me in places,

knew that my sole was almost worn through.

Walking with me was easy, no abrasive edges.

When you were done with me in the evening,

You tossed me aside with such nonchalance.

I waited in your closet until you needed me again.

No matter how brief my stay in there,

it seemed like an eternity to me every time.

Between the gaps, I watched you sleep peacefully,

with a little girl type of snore,

you tossed and you turned.

Day dawned and you woke up to yourself.

Realizing that you wanted something new,

more fit for your elegant soirées in the garden.

You put on something more delicately fashioned,

more classical and refined,

stepped out to rub elbows with the Glitterati.

I imagined your smile and I ached.

Listening to your laughter rise,

clear above the din.

Nightfall came and you retired,

kicked off that unforgiving heel.

Wiggling your toes as you walked barefoot,

choosing to put on nothing for a while.

You were rejoicing in your newfound freedom,

finally feeling it.

For the first time in a long time,

you stood defiantly

on your own two feet.

Gazing in the full-length mirror, naked,

you danced, and swayed with such grace.

I wanted you to slip me on one more time,

but I'm just a pair of worn out tennis shoes,

and you deserve so much more.



Anxious for Spring


The tender green shoots

lie dormant beneath the snow

anxious for spring's warmth.




Anything I Can Say


Exploring myriad twists

within this Gordian knot

Convoluted patterns conceal

life's indeterminate plot.


Left to its unfolding,

clues in their own time.

Finding what we need, not want,

as we spiritually climb.


Words I cannot utter

chafe to burst unbidden.

Silence painfully endured,

feelings I keep hidden.


Following a different direction

I search beyond the fray.

I ask myself constantly,

If there is anything I can say.



A Prelude to My Bliss


Where were you yesterday?

I looked, but you weren't there.

I came from the kitchen

expecting to see you

napping in your favorite chair.


Every time my eyes settled

on the clock or the telephone,

I fell back on those old habits,

where are you, what are you doing?

Then realized I was alone.


Talks with you would highlight

every day and I sorely miss,

those moments before I heard your voice.

Your lips parted, I anticipated…

a prelude to my bliss.


I recall your touch, endearing,

a phantom on my skin remains.

I look to see your hand on mine

I carefully remind myself

the longing for you drains.


I know it was not yesterday,

but I look for you and will.

For so long you brought me joy,

unbridled happiness, meaning.

The memory of you does still.



April Blooms


Lets me know it's spring

bluebonnets draped on green hills

hummingbirds hover



As I Flow


So much of me

is made up of you.

It is no wonder

I long so for the sea

Or that I am subject,

as the mighty tides,

to the push and pull

of the moon.

Is there any surprise

that I have vast depths,

and mysteries

yet to be fathomed?

I can transport you

to far away places,

hold you up as

you sail on

into gorgeous sunsets

with me your wake.

I can be both

sweet and clear

dangerous and dark

life preserving and

life-threatening

As I flow

to,

around,

through,

and always

back to,

you

as tide

as time.



As I Wait for You


As I wait for you,

in the silence of the night,

I hear the faint lullaby

of your whispered, "I love you."


It comforts my aching heart

as I lie alone wishing you are near.

Thoughts of your beauty in my head,

I smile knowing you love me.


Tomorrow seems so far away

when we are apart.

I long for the days when all of this

is a distant memory to me.


Then I will hold you close,

look into your beautiful eyes,

and my whispered I love you

will comfort your heart too.

As Precious to Me


As the air I breathe

As the beating of my heart

As the power to believe

As that is just the start


As the sun rising bright

As the stars in the night sky

As the child when held tight

As the only reason why


As tomorrow’s offered hope

As forgiveness for the wrong

As the endlessness does choke

As I wonder how very long


As a smile on your face

As the twinkle in your eye

As with everything in place

As with my twin soul’s sigh


How precious you are to me...



A Truth Yet Perceived


I used to think of life
in terms of separation.

Broken down into components

to better understand.


That made lessons easier,

or so I felt when I was young.

Now I see connections.

Separation is only perception.


Allowing me to recognize truth.

See the contradictions.

Not two separate truths,

but the same truth, seen separately.


Spirituality is love for me

for others, it may be different.

That is life,

and it's okay.


Your way of doing things,

I labor to understand your need.

I express my need,

that you may understand me.


We come together,

separate, yet one.

Not a contradiction,

a truth yet perceived.



At Summer's End


At summer's end the season's throes,

enervate with sweltering pose,

and make us long for autumn's leaf,

color collage of cool relief,

adorning wood and mountain roads.


Harvest approaches earth's repose,

season's end, transitional roles.

Father Time a merciless thief,

at summer's end.


Cookouts with friends and horseshoe throws,

Boardwalk carousels, picture shows.

The bright brass ring just out of reach,

Frisbee and sunshine at the beach.

I sure wish I had more of those,

at summer's end.



Attitude Beatitude


Many nights I sit and ponder

opportunities I squandered,

as I stroll, aimlessly wander,

down the dark of memories way.


Brilliant lights that dazzle the eye

refracted in the tears I cry.

Distractions from the reasons why.

Leaving me with little to say.


I've been the author of my doom,

left myself with no wiggle room,

to gather up will to resume

this journey I travel each day.


Just when I think all hope is gone

you reach out with spirit or song,

make me aware that I've been wrong.

My doubt and fear you chase away.


You leave me fresh, after a storm.

Love that glows in me, deep and warm.

Weary body somehow less worn.

No reasons for further delay.


In reverence I bow, gratitude.

Thankful for better attitude.

Enfolding in beatitude,

small miracles in every day.



Avalanche of Words


Words tumble from my mind,
falling down nerve endings.
Rolling free from my fingertips
one pecked out character at a time.
Gathering at the base
in scree
boulders, rocks and dust.
Words, the foundation
once built upon to reach
toward heaven with temerity;
cast down like Icarus
for reabsorbtion
into the oneness
of ever evolving intuition
that speaks incessantly.
Syncopation, rhythms unrefined,
take no notice of delineations,
proper or popular.
Working without boundaries
outside self constructed labyrinths.
Imprisoned indefinitely
with time to devise
their clever escape
making a way back to
Babylon.
Always seeking
to aid communication,
to elucidate what we
barely understand,
or have the capacity to define,
yet do so in hubris
and arrogance.
Words know they must
join together
in stanzas, paragraphs, and stories.
Make the attempt,
however feeble,
to provide understanding
of Creation.



Away with You


I will follow you

your ever present shadow

take me anywhere



Beach Muse Enthused


I sit on the warm sand.

Content just that I am.

Close my eyes, not too tight.

Drink the warmth of the light.

Hear lapping of the waves.

Smell salts my body craves.

Blue sky alive with gulls.

The entire vista lulls.

Out just beyond my reach,

within sight of the beach,

whales breaching with glee,

magnificent to see.

Feel the thunderous smack,

huge body crashes back.

Mystery behavior,

provides coastal flavor.

As do pods passing through.

Dolphins fly the waters blue.

Deep down, alien life,

forms with an inner light.

Bioluminescent,

sea life effervescent.

So much here to explore

upon the ocean floor.

Like Cousteau's Calypso,

researching with the flow.

Living symbiosis,

parasites and hostess.

On my elbow I lean

savoring this daydream.

And ponder the pirates,

foul rapists corporate,

who prey upon the sea

with massive fisheries.

Spill oil and say "oops,

sorry if it pollutes."

On nature it intrudes

but hey, we need our crude.



Bel Canto


There are these little voices

whether telling the truth or lies,

that sing inside my head

to virtual reprise.


Some think of them as conscience,

others refer to intuition.

They incarnate some of my fears,

bring my dreams to their fruition.


Shapers of my reality,

my thoughts like engineers,

masons of my foundations,

my life tale's Chauntecleer.


Some days I have my doubts,

then I brim with confidence.

Moments when I am decisive,

long hours that I sit a-fence.


Carried by the current

of reality's ebb and flow,

Swimming against resistance,

to get where I know I must go.


When the ensemble harmonizes

I hear their sweet refrain,

this obstacle an interlude.

True to purpose I must remain.


Perpetually in motion,

life, and confluent events,

require constant adaptation.

At times the Bel Canto is…

intense.



Beneath the Boughs


Beneath the boughs of woodland trees,

the canopy of broad green leaves,

listening to the susurrus wind,

calms the dissonance and begins

to put the spirit at its ease.


The universe comforts with these

as it somnolently relieves.

Vibrations resonate within

beneath the boughs.


Enraptured by the soft reprise,

of soulful music that does tease,

a part reluctant to give in

to the flow of natural hymns,

unlocking peace with inner keys

beneath the boughs.



Beneath the Ice


Beneath the ice, cold waters flow.

As dark and deep the world below,

life that moves with beauty and grace.

So much we do not know


Existence fragile, by all means,

delicate flying paths between.

This distant world of land and sky,

deep floors we have not seen.


We disrupt environ's balance

as we live in extravagance.

Befouling the earth's soil and air

with our insipid dalliance.


Icepacks, we once thought permafrost,

melting now, vast habitats lost.

We shake our heads, "it's such a shame,"

we know not yet the cost.



Beyond Measure


Are you so beguiling

as to make me forget myself?

To take my pride and dignity

and place me on a shelf?


Have I in fact created in you,

the dream of a perfect love?

Sometimes at night I wonder

what I was thinking of.


You grace me with your tenderness

place your soul within my trust,

given me all that you could

held back only what you must.


In that partial communion,

the pleasure I have found,

has far eclipsed previous love.

I find myself hopelessly bound.


Yet in this state of ecstasy

exists a equal sense of pain.

I struggle to understand it all,

before it drives me insane.


Would you accept my sacrifice

offered humbly and with pleasure?

I hope that someday you will

because I love you beyond measure.



Birthday of a Lioness


Another turn of the seasons,

further along on your journey.

Looking for meaning and reasons,

doing your best to keep learning.


Introspections and truths serve you

growing in your sagacity.

Opening your heart when you may,

loving to full capacity.


Leaving a lasting impression

wherever you share your spirit.

Listening for music from your soul,

I pray, each season, to hear it.

Boundaries of the Heart


You establish rules and boundaries

to protect yourself,

but they are ineffectual.

They can't shield you

from yourself without shutting out

the very thing you seek for solace.

You will never have it without

making yourself vulnerable,

because to fly is to risk

that soul wrenching drop

into the heart's oblivion.

While you can't be truly happy

if you let love rule you,

you can't find true happiness

if you try to rule love.

Expecting relationships

to behave in accordance with

your thresholds

of what is and isn't acceptable,

settling.

Love is a maverick emotion

that refuses to be broken in.

Either get on and enjoy it,

despite the danger,

or settle

for something more tame,

less alive,

less a love.





But a Memory


Starlight is but a memory,

a distant sun from yesteryear,

that once warmed and shone brilliantly,

then grew dark, cold, and disappeared.


Look to the beauty in quasars,

though they may no longer exist.

Appreciate grandeur they held

and that their intense light persists.


Beyond our full understanding,

for now they are out of our reach.

Only a fond memory, yet,

someone's universe once … at least.





Butterfly Magic


As if the infinitesimal powder,

were magic dust on a butterfly's wings,

that imparts the ability to fly,

you gave me the impetus to dream …

to slip the bonds of my ordinary self,

to try to become more than.

More than you dreamed

as the tears slid down your cheeks

and you knew an emptiness

you thought this nebulous "Him" could fill.

To discover, through our intimacy,

that your happiness lay within you.

Unfortunately … so did mine.



By The Window - Storms Wake


Thunderous power spent

leaving rainbows in its wake

I feel the calm after the storm

as I live and breathe

by the window



By the Window


By the window
watching gray clouds
coalesce with promise
rain to slake our thirst





Calliope's Soulspeak


I never knew where the poems came from.

They'd just sprout in my imagination.

Burning to be revealed in fullness,

the words repeated without cessation.


I stop what I'm doing and write it down.

A title or the start of a stanza.

From there it blooms in intricate splendor,

sounds combine into extravaganza.


Drained of emotion in the aftermath,

I ponder the source of the creation.

Realizing I've become part of some

mystical form of communication.


This ancient language needs no defining,

as self evident as it is to me.

She murmurs into my heart, mind, and soul,

the Muse's tongue known only as Soulspeak.


Encrypted and indecipherable

to any but the poet whom she gifts.

Who then must translate to beautiful word,

messages that heal, transform and uplift.


Although she is ever-present in me,

her influencing spirit without bounds.

She's constantly  in touch more poets,

whose mind's then paint a picture using sounds.





Capitulation's Lamentation


Today is another day
that I am still okay 
even though you've gone away.

I am sitting here,
missing you my dear, 
but I will not shed another tear.

If I gave you love so divine,
would you come back and be mine?

If I gave it to you all of the time,

would you still say you want nothing so sublime?

I know you need your space, 
though I starve for your embrace.
Why does it all seem like such a waste?


Although I vacillate 
between love and hate 
My only argument has always been with Fate.


If you gave me one more chance,

despite the circumstance...

Why do you look at me askance?


We both did our best

it was quite a test

I know you say just give it a rest.


As long as I have breath

for every day I am left

I will long for you and feel bereft.


I will recall your smile

think about how we laughed a while,

and I'll keep moving on, mile after mile.

Castaway Dream


It started with a trickle,

and then it wouldn't stop.

All night long I heard it,

drip drop, drip drop.


I didn't want to get up

to see just what it was,

I rolled over, went to sleep,

my reason … just because.


In the morning when I woke

it was fairly plain to me,

whatever had been leaking

had leaked an entire sea.


I was adrift at its center,

no land on the horizon.

With a bedpost and a sheet

I made a sailbed surprisin'.


I was amazed myself

as the sail began to fill.

I was headed somewhere,

I couldn't steer without a till'.


The wind began to gust,

I made twenty knots or more,

and soon upon my four poster,

I sailed in sight of shore.


I waded through the shallows,

fell to my knees on the beach.

Then I watched my Serta Sleeper

as it drifted out of reach.


I stayed on the sand awhile

wondering where now to go.

I was utterly alone,

no Man Friday like Crusoe.


I slowly ambled inland

determined to find some help

there was no food to be found

but coconuts and kelp.


As night fell I was exhausted,

my makeshift bed I was atop.

As I let my eyes close I heard,

drip drop, drip drop…



Cherry Blossom Tree


Cherry blossom tree

delicate serenity

subtle yet profound


Climb


Start at the bottom

if that's where you are.

Only one thing to do then,

yes, I know it's hard

… but climb.


Crane your neck up,

wipe off your damp palms.

Reach up when you are weary,

keep on moving, it calms

… but climb.


As quickly as you can,

just as high as you can go.

No matter the obstacles,

what you think you don't know

… just climb.


You will find life's trellis crowded,

many resting on their laurels.

Deterred by the difficulty,

the blaming game, the quarrels

… just climb.


You may never reach the top,

but be better off by far.

Floating in a vast heaven,

shining like a brilliant star

as … you climb.


Let no one take this from you,

though you don't do it all.

Unseen hands lift and hold you,

make sure you don't fall

as … you climb.


If you should reach the top,

reach back to those who need.

Remember that your arrival

was less than guaranteed

… as you climbed.





Cloud Art


a cloud and the sun

each enhancing their beauty

through light and shadow

pearlescent blending azure

magnificence in the sky



Clouds Above Me


Moon waits in the wings

as sun bows in its encore

glowing clouds her stage



Clouds Kiss Earth


Amidst rainforests

flora flourish in gray mists

clouds deign the earth's kiss

dew drops fall like dominoes

canopy to floor below


Coexist


Compassion

Opens

Everyone's

Xenophilia

Inspiring

Soul's

Trust





Come to Me


When you need some loving comfort

come to me.

When the world is just too much,

and you can't take it anymore,

come to me.

I can't solve your problems.

You can do that yourself.

Just come to me.

I will do my best to keep you safe,

give you respite from it all,

if you just come to me.

I am your welcome sanctuary,

in me you will find hope.

If you're lost

in me you will find your own way.

No matter where you are,

how near and troubled, or how far,

please just come to me.

I will always wait here for you.

You know I'm what you need.

You know that my arms are open wide.

Won't you come back soon

to the shelter of this room

so you will be home,

with me?





Continental Drift


Movement that makes even glaciers seem hasty,

eons long crawling of tectonic plates.

Smash of coast against continental coast,

thrust to the heavens majestic mountains.

Pinnacles fall back in upon themselves,

imploding in a patient erosion.

Other ranges are birthed from mantled womb

in volcanic screams of exclamation.

As scorching magma cleanses the surround,

Earth persists in her staunch reclamation

of all that was nurtured at her soiled breast.

Blankets of ash remain where we encroached.

Failing to shepherd our charged dominion

with adequate fidelity and love.



Cotton Ball Face


This cotton ball face

smiled down on me yesterday

I smiled in return

Counterintuitive Love


Your name

has been …

my mantra,

prayer,

wish,

dream.

Has always been

the same

as my own.

So it echoes

in my mind

every night,

both the question

and the answer.

Trying to reconcile,

for you,

the inherent contradiction

to the counterintuitive truth;

that I love myself best

by loving everything

through my love

for you.





Count My Blessings


My soul feels as if it has gained a ton.
I have dragged it down life’s road far too long.
Added to weariness, my body spent.
I now wonder where all the good times went.

I just want some rest from my earthly toil,
close my eyes, sleep, then slip this mortal coil.
Tired of disappointment and frustration,
right now I don’t care about damnation


Frankly I think that ship already sailed.
A kick when down thanks for my travails.
This world is a mess, I leave it to you.
As my mind ceases, I bid you adieu.


New thoughts intrude on this dire reverie,
perhaps there is more to this world I see.
I just need rest from these troubles that weigh.
I’ll count my blessings, and call it a day.





Culinary Capers


I learned how to cook when I was just six,

not knowing I would come to roux the day.

In minutes I could bake bread unleavened,

mastered techniques of blackened and flambé'.


Arriving at school each morning well-fed,

listening closely to friends' ritual boasts,

about the new cereal they'd eaten.

Faces dropped when I said I had French Toast.


"Man, your mom got up and made that for you?"

"I wanted it, so I made it myself"

Looking at me like I was full of it,

so I never did tell anyone else.


In college, I worked wonders with hot plates.

Virtual feasts for my roommate and I.

Mac and Cheese a la les frankenfurters.

For dessert a la mode without the Pie.


In the service, I fed many Jarheads

who were tired of the Chow Hall's old slop.

Big pots of Chili or Pasta became

a tradition that I wanted to stop.


Now Holidays, my side dishes they want.

"Please keep an eye on the roasting turkey."

All this began because I asked

when six years old,

"come on, just how hard could it be?"





Curse Me for a Fool


Curse me for the lovesick fool that I am,

It's your dreadful silence I can't abide.

Lash me with disdainful words, sans merci.

Ridicule the pathetic way I cried.


I was swept up by glamorous magic.

Your sweet words of love built a foolproof cage.

My haggard soul languishes in limbo,

lamenting the loss of our yesterdays.


Please don' t gaze into your vague tomorrow,

without acknowledging my vain attempt,

to win back your heart simply paired with mine,

though the notion now fills you with contempt.


I reach across the thousand and one miles,

I beg you free me from this oubliette,

before the end of all of our sorrows,

and we are but dust and loitered regret.





Dance of Desire


Her feather light footsteps leave impressions,

though she means to tread lightly on my heart.

She moves with life's syncopated rhythm,

her expression is curiously dark.


I see her fluidity with eyes closed,

feel her move, though she barely stirs the air.

Moonlight illuminated dust motes swirl,

She seductively moves her derriere.


She sashays up the banister, wanton.

Her eyes piercing, invite me to follow.

As she saunters on through the bedroom door,

without her, my existence is hollow.


She drapes across the bed with grace surreal,

My pulse pounds staccato, primal desire.

I approach with restrained, animal lust,

every nerve ending and thought is on fire.


Our love made passionate and insouciant.

Reason abandoned to desperate need.

Lost to her deft, subtle ministrations,

an ecstasy that cannot be believed.





Dandelion Seed


Floating by, ephemeral.

From birth to the sepulchral.

Like a dandelion seed,

magical wish from a weed.



Dandelions and Stars


Calluses cover my feelings

in places that have been rubbed raw.

A suspended animation

so deep they may never thaw.


Your smile illuminates darkness,

resurrects what had long been dead.

Love magnifies your radiance.

I can't get you out of my head.


I worship you in your absence,

I admire you from afar.

All the while I keep on wishing.

You're my dandelions and stars.





Dawn of Seasons


Beginning of a new cycle
is what spring represents.
Hemisphere leans toward the warmth,
soaks up life's energy.
Roots reach down to melting crystals
push up through stems to leaves
that stretch their yawning stomata
to breathe with Mother Earth.
Exploding with gifts to harvest,
berried treasure for tongues.
As feathered and cellophane wings
seek out the sweet nectar.
Enticed by floral masterpieces,
each a Prima Donna
on their individual stage.
As all this new life emerges,
after winter's decline.
It is more than just symbolic,
it is part of the whole,
which has its place here, as do you.





Days of Friends


At first I was a son, well …
simultaneously a brother
relationships not of my choosing
less defining than some others.


I then became a friend
of the, "Boy" and "Best" varieties.
Connections that have stayed with me
in this most divergent society.


One day I became a husband,
a role for which I was poorly suited.
A father, when my son was born,
relationships that are so convoluted.


A teacher though, a student still,
imparting lessons even as I learn them.
Searching to find a delicate balance
to wear all those hats as a friend.


Yet that is an ambitious goal
when I define it so absolutely.
For me there are no degrees,
if you are a friend, then be one resolutely.


True friends can be as elusive
as true love, so if you have them,
cherish them, and let them know it,
for they pass from us far too swiftly


before you know it,
these days of friends are at an end.





Death of Happiness


He was a true best friend,

was always by my side.

Never in a bad mood,

but mine he would abide.


If I ran, he'd chase me,

If I sat he would too.

Some called him my shadow,

in a way that was true.


One day when walking home,

a neighbor came to say,

there's been an accident,

I've hit your poodle, gray.


Dad put him in the shed,

covered with an old tarp.

The memory poignant,

the pain remains so sharp.


Just a little boy then,

six years old more or less.

When I lost my best friend.

My puppy, Happiness.





Delicacy You


I poured my heart out.

You drank your fill.

Lost your taste for me,

said, "that was good."

Leaving me empty.


The aftertaste of you

reminding me

you are a delicacy

Though I want more

of you so badly,

I know I was

privileged

to taste you once.


All that I do now,

is lick my lips,

and savor the

sweet memory

of you.





Diapers to Diplomas


Cool early morning, I can see my breath,

suspended before my eyes, the cloudlets.

Wait for the school bus, my daughter and I.

To keep warm and pass time, we play "I spy."


"I spy with my little eye", her voice sings!

My heart is smiling from the joy this brings.

She manages to stump me every time,

with castles in clouds, memories divine.


A couple of decades now come and gone,

with a diploma, soon out on her own.

Like parents before, I wonder sometimes,

out in the world, what future she will find.


Did I do my best, teach her to prepare,

to be successful and happy out there?

Hoping she's able to make herself proud.

Diapers to Diplomas, castles in clouds.



Diaphanous Veil


fog faintly feigning

diaphanously dancing

veiling the valley

Did You Know?


Did you know I looked for you

through dark and lonely years

Did you know I cried for you

that I shed countless tears


Did you know I longed for you

and that I long for you still

Did you know what you meant to me

and what you always will


Did you know that minutes

are like hours even days

That time seems to just stand still

whenever you're away


Did you know that you whispered

love into a dying heart

Did you know that heart belongs to you

and never wants to part


Did you know I loved you

do you know how much I do

Did you know that I always will

that nothing is more true


Did you know I missed you

miss you even now

Did you know that I would find you

and only wondered how


Did you know I'm sorry

that it took me all that time

Did you know I'll make it up

now that you are mine.

Didactic Aphorisms


Between our paths,

our parallel lives,

lie ties that bind.


Though too often

we don't recognize

the signs.


Didactic aphorisms

in our faces with

repetitive insistence.


We miss them

searching out vague

surrogates.


Looking for meaning

in material

vacuums.


Though evidence plain,

 all things physical

 will remain.


As we travel on,

pure energy,

into mystery.





Discovery of a Poet


There was a time when left handed people

seeming odd, were forced to write with their right.

Imagine the frustration resulting,

resistance was much to lefty's chagrin.


On the other hand, right brains were forced left,

reason and analysis requisite.

I learned to write, "just the facts, thank you sir."

First paragraph's where, what, how, when, and why.


This approach served me in business careers.

I forgot I once loved to write, my dream.

Though years of suppression left it inert,

Love woke the dormant poet in my soul.


I rediscovered love for well-placed words,

for moving another with my own verse.

Found that words can heal not only myself,

but others with a need for compassion.





Do Not Follow Me


Do not follow me for I am lost,

meandering through this life.

It may seem there is a purpose

but I have not found it yet.

 

Wandering halls of a brutal school

lessons I care not to learn, incessant.

I have taken note of the finer points

but, to my world, they do not apply.

 

I seek out wisdom in dire hope

I will recognize it should we cross ways.

To find I have come full circle to face,

a mirror revealing every flaw, every gift.

 

I travel where there are no footprints

to guide me or, lead me astray.

Trusting to the inner compass

leave me not forgotten, connectionless.

 

So do not follow me I say,

this path is mine to navigate with care.

Treacherous it seems to me and lonely,

but I am not fit company for you.





Dose of Reality


While it is presented as nonfiction

we know it is anything but a fact.

Talk shows that open with somber subject,

devolve into a three ring circus act.


The media needs more reality.

There is far too little found in the news.

They produce programs that are unscripted

Normal seeming people, now in a zoo.


We pick our favorite and cheer for them,

disappointed when they are voted off.

Winners who milk sixty seconds of fame,

at their subsequent troubles we all scoff.


Proliferating all of the airwaves,

in attempt to influence behavior.

Telling the viewing public of problems,

presenting their products as a savior.


We rush right out to the store to buy it,

perhaps we order it somewhere online.

Not realizing that we have been duped,

choosing a different brand the next time.


Interesting they call it all programming,

I shudder to consider the effect.

Societies raising children these days

without more healthy physical outlets.


Switch off the infernal idiot box,

then toss the kids outside and lock the door.

Grab a book of poetry and nourish

your spirit … since that is what it is for.





Double Negative Love


I didn't fall in love with nobody.

That was just a lot of talk on the street.

No woman never broke this hard heart.

I just do my thing and keep it discreet.


No, I didn't let no Honey play me.

Ain't never left myself out there like that.

Love's just like … I don't know, a subway train,

then somehow I stumbled onto the tracks.


But I'm not letting no one in again.

If she came back now, I'd say, keep steppin'.

'Cause I never thought nothing hurt like this,

like my own Cardiac Armageddon.



Dream of Me by the Moonlight


Opalescent beams pierce the inky dark.

Open arms that embrace my dreams,

and carry them into the ethereal blanket of stars

to be dispersed across the heavens seeking a home

in the sweet dreams I wish for you each night.

Dream of only me, by the moonlight.

Dragon and the Flea


"There is no chink in my armor",

said the dragon to the flea.

"So why do you explore my scales?",

it asked inquisitively.


"I have a need to drink your magic,

so that I might leap high and far.

It is my wish to leave this earth,

to live among the stars."


"What do you think to find there?,

in the dark and cold of space."

"I haven't given that much thought,

just know I must leave this place.


I don't fit in here among the crowds,

it seems I am a pest.

I have sought peace, in my own way,

and simply want to rest."


"I have lived since before time,

seen many a creature here.

What you wish for cannot be found,

anyplace else I fear."


"How can I be anything, friend?,

I feel so very small."

"We each have a place in this delicate balance,

you not least of all."


"Tell me then what purpose I serve,

when all I do is take?,

I want to make some contribution,

if I could only catch a break."


"Whether you know or not, my little one,

there is magic in you, you will find.

Your purpose is to discover it,

and share it in your given time.


You were not meant to be alone,

we are all of us connected.

Each time in life when I felt down,

like I had been rejected,


I looked inside, and asked myself,

what inspires my passion.

I have done that, in my own way,

my own form, and fashion."


"I am so weary, through and through,

please incinerate me with your fire.

If there is nothing for me anywhere,

I would much rather expire."


"We leave this plane when our time comes,

I will not hasten your demise."

Just know we all have moments like this,

even mighty dragons cry."


"I will go forth, as you advise,

since it seems I have no choice.

I will continue to do what I can

to listen to my inner voice."


"Travel wide and far and you will find,

that no matter where you go,

your inner voice will guide you,

learn to listen to it and know."

Earnestly Reciprocal


All that I gave

was in earnest.

Reservations

did not exist.

Offered freely,

your acceptance

was tacitly

reciprocal.

At face value

it seemed sincere,

though you confessed

to holding back

for protection.

All I wanted,

was what you want,

limitless love,

adoration,

something sublime,

and worthy of

my everything.



Echoes of Waterfalls


Certain sounds engender

moments of stark recall.

Simple words you used like,

"Baby", or "not at all."


No matter who speaks them,

as if I have no choice,

haunted by an echo,

I hear them in your voice.


I feel them part your lips

which you lick with your tongue.

Your eyes connect with mine,

my façade of calm undone.


Rivulets of anxious

run, but before they fade,

are joined by the others,

become nervous cascade.


Scent of sandalwood oil,

my nose reminded of,

all my senses gang up

make you seem real, my love.


My eyes see vividly

as if you are here too.

My mind with this input

unsure of what to do.


I squeeze my eyes shut tight,

a deep breath to compose,

reflect on the sounds heard

from which all this arose.


My icy resolve melts

to my warm breathy sighs.

Echoes of waterfalls

flow gently from my eyes.





Embers of Ecstasy


I often find myself lost in daydreams.
In them I find myself ever yearning,
yearning for nights of loving spent with you.
When the only thing between us was sweat.
We shared ourselves to the depth of our breath.
Appetite for oneness insatiable,
we devoured every delectable bite.
Nibbling around the edges of sunrise,
postponing the inevitable end.
Our fuel for the fire's passion exhausted,
collapsing in embers of ecstasy.
The salty taste of you still on my tongue,
your body's perfume wafts into my pores.
My lips brush the hair away from your face,
to gently kiss your eyelids as they close.
Holding me, your body trembles slightly.
As you fall asleep you whisper my name,
as I fall asleep my heart shouts je t'aime.


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