Wednesday, April 9, 2014

To K, with chagrin

For you, I have handpicked these words
Cultivated, curated,
The most beautiful syllables
To befit your presence

I know that these chosen words are worthy of you
As they drift off into spirals and curls
Of perfectly-expressed sentiment.

You suddenly surprise me
With your graciousness
And love

And I want to tell you that the hours are a well I cannot draw from
That so many things are left undone
Bleary eyes, painful head, searching for the splendor
That you steal from the skies
That I cannot sleep
But I cannot wake up
That I am surrounded by gifts
I have no idea what to do with
Except for the one with the words
This life, this privileged existence
A blinding flash of gold
And yet I long for all the colors of the rainbow
And the earth below

But these words are not for you.
Here, then, are yours:

I am endlessly thankful, dear friend,
For your graciousness and love
The reminder of a shining moment and the glimmer of a dream
The embodiment of nostalgia for a moment yet to come
My gift to you,
Wrapped up in a ribbon
And tossed toward the stars.

The best

Your star shone so brightly
On those nights, those hours,
Tuesday after Tuesday
I close my eyes tightly
Against the light that's faded
Though the clouds block the way

What if there was a clear sky
(A never ending bliss)
What if there was an open line
(I cannot access this)
What if I've given all my best
(And it is not enough)
What if I'd simply never left
(And interrupted love)

The sky, the line, the best, is mine
My city is a memory left behind
I'm here, and I will stay alive
If you don't leave my mind's eye

I'm lost in the desert
And the warmth of my rock
Is fading in the night
I thought it was heaven
But I shout in the void
And I wonder, who were you
And how did you shine so bright

No reason to keep thinking
(It never does me good)
Or question what I'm seeing
(As if I ever would)
I'm always left assuming
(That's where I fall behind)
That I am always losing
(There goes my peace of mind)

The sky, the line, the best, is mine
My city is a memory left behind
I'm here, and I will stay alive
If I believe my mind's eye

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Immersion

There is a wall and it is forbidden to break it down
Crossing requires a visa
And an unexpired passport
I stand on my side
Staring at the inscriptions written thereon
Understanding in part. Not in whole.

What if I did?
What if I could?
Who would I appear to be?
How will they see me?
The same as always; same as before
But that can never be.
There is a wall and it is forbidden to break it down.

Then--
In the moments before sleep becomes dreams
The veil becomes thin
Opaque becomes translucent and forgetting the risks
I step through
I live the language of the other side
The inscriptions the songs of my heart
As I drown in midnight rest
Euphoria, oxytocin, a complete understanding.

Midnight is long enough
Only to sustain the desire
I wake up to English
But the memory of the image remains
Giving me a reason to find a way around
Because there is a wall and it is forbidden to break it down.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Meditation

I travel on a road of wonder, shaded by a canopy of brilliant green. Everything is new, every flower fragrant, every image shimmers as if a mirage. I reach out to touch it, and find it's realand I am walking on this pathin this momentthis worldthis illusory forest

And I stumble on, drunk in the surroundings, in the ambiance, in the simple fact that life exists exactly like this and that it is my forest. The world turns; I stay centered. All of this is for me. I give the requisite thanks to the requisite gods and rush to explore my world, one step, leap, dance at a time.

Soon after, I come to a fork in the road. One path remains canopied, sunlight filtering through the leaves. The other path leads into the full sun. It is open to the elements, littered with rocks, covered in sand. I know if I take that path I will walk, fall, crawl, and endlessly go on like this, never knowing if I will reach my destination. I am acutely aware of the fact there may be no destination.

But if I take the shaded path, I will remain intoxicated by the fragrance of the forest. I will take the insects that fly along with me and give them a name. Everything I need is given, and there is very little I need. So much I want, but in this haze I devise ways to believe that all my desires are fulfilled here. Is there any need to keep travelling? It isn't that no destination existsit is that this was the place I always wanted to be. This bliss, to live in, forever. Once the forest effects wear off, I will sleep at the base of the trees I have only dreamed of. And I didn't have to do anythingjust stay. Maybe when I wake up, I will wake back into that dream state.

And I wake, but the dream does not return. I try to recreate it but I have no strength. Now, the forest is only a forest. And sometimes the clouds come, and the trees give shelter but no warmth.

And yet there was another path...

I turn around, try to find the path, but I have no map. I can't go backward; I would be lost forever. There is only one way and it is forward. Or here. Why not here? Am I not a creature of the forest? I settle in.

A wild catalyst appears.
Reaches out and embraces the entire forest in silver,
Strength given returns to me.
A simple nod in a previously-unturned direction
And then it fades into the mist of a beloved dream.

I follow.

The leaves pursue me. I run to escape them, run as if in dreams where one does not tire. In a flash, I leave them behind and find myself standing in the desert. I am cold and it is raining. I huddle behind a rock. The rock is warm with the rays of the hours-earlier sun; I cling to it for safety. I am not sure where I am or if this is my world.

Does it matter if it is or if it is not? What matters is that I am here. And there is still more forward to go.

And so I begin. Down this path, open, vulnerable, uncertain. I step forward, fall. Catch myself. Sand is not soft. Lift myself to my feet. Again tumble. Repeating the pattern. I do not see improvement; only difficulty.

A flower! Blood-red, many-petaled. I am not immune to beauty and I have seen so little of it on this road. I stop for a moment to gather in its fragrance. It is a nostalgic smell, a sweet smell of tea and agreement. I will take this flower with me. I will use it to embolden my heart for the task ahead. I will

I will need to stop the bleeding. Blood, red as the flower in my hand, streams down my face. Sweet fragrance; toxic effect. I toss the flower aside. My mind goes numb. I am far from anything but sand. There is nothing that can be done now; it is surely over.

I remember a shimmer of silver in the forest, encompassing everything around, above, below. Below. I must go deeper.

All I have are my hands. They will not be enough, will they? But I must try. And I find that they are rougher than they were before, the many times they have broken my fall on the shifting sand have made them stronger. I dig in, push the sand aside, silicon scraping my wrists, down, down, until they feel cool liquid respite. This water will heal. I splash it on my face, on my scratched wrists, until the red washes clear and I slump to the sand, exhausted from all my effort. In hope, I await my catalyst but it does not arrive. I fall asleep again.

But this time, I awaken refreshed. I am still not sure where this desert road will take me. But it ceases to matter, as the daily task of moving in this alien land consumes all my time, all my focus. I forget about the forest. If this is the destination, it is preparing me for itself.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Internal motivation


If you exist at all,
Then you must be omnipresent
Except for the vacancy inside me
I reach out in the right ways
I chant your name, your names,
Ninety-nine, one hundred and eight, and three
A mantra, a novena, and a text message
But I hear nothing in response
They say give your first fruits, your best,
But these forced words are all I have
I cannot think to offer you this.

Then in an irrational moment
Dressed only in thin gossamer drape,
I abandon my creation to your hands
And only then realize what I have done.

With nothing left to do but wait, I wake
And I sleep, and I dream of music
That does not, cannot exist
Because my notes are in between the notes
And no word comes, not in all this time,
And the days pass, and I search  and find 
I cry Eureka in the face of every stone
But I am no philosopher
I cannot claim the things that are not mine
And I live my life so far from your sky.

The only place that you are not
Is where I need you most to be
In lieu, I will transform the vacancy
Into my music room
Where I will sing the songs that reach
No further than my own heart
It is better that you do not enter in,
But should you choose to come,
You are ever welcome.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Two sets of eyes

Eyes, your eyes
Never deviating from your destination
Eyes that inspire, eyes that ignite
That remind me of the reasons behind every song ever written
And why I no longer sing
Selfsame eyes that give pause
That turn me to my books
And away from my music --
The one thing that sets me free
The same path leads to the same destination
Time and time again
This time my destination will change
A slight detour,
A turn toward a book
Away from the lights
And into the mind
Eyes that look within, my eyes
That search for the words I want to say
But still fill with tears
When a note is plucked
Or a syllable sung
Green eyes filled not with the jealousy of those
Whose paths were straighter
But with the freshness of the words on my page
And the world around me
Not the eyes
In front of me

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Middle Earth

down from valleys i have come to give you my regards
and true i found them frightening, wet, cold and dark
but through the darkness light shined out, a bright black blue
leading me beautifully out to you

the shortest way to destination is the straight line
i would rather wander outside of the plane, i've got time

up from mountains underwater i swam the miles
i met the mermaids, they bid me stay awhile
i feasted on the fruits of a sea i never knew existed
but now i'm here on cloud nine and i'm hungry again

why is all you offer cold hors d'oeuvres and champagne
when i've come from another world so far and away?

is it something within me that puts this ice here between
or is this city simply too high for me?

and you say that my journey was meaningless
most was dark and the rest filled with idleness
but in your eyes there's the ghost in the forest, the king of the sea
and i know that you were there the whole time with me

well perhaps in this mad world the hero's the fool
and perhaps under sadness is buried what's true

so we've wondered and wandered from point a to b
and we're here because there's just no other place we can be

but i swear the journey, it wasn't for naught
you find out where you are by figuring out where you're not

(Written many years ago. To someone else's music. I need to rework the melody but I love the lyrics.)