NATURE’S FURY

I saw a single blooming flower on the tree. Against the dense, green foliage riddled with long, thick leaves, the delicate white of the flower stood out like the first star in the night sky. The flower itself was enormous—nearly the size of a cantaloupe, with majestic petals, curling their way out to greet the sunlight. Yet it had not completely unfolded into its maturity. The purity of the original bulb shape was still perceptible to the attentive eye.

I saw this lone flower blooming, and knew I had to have it. It was off the ground, out of my reach, and the tree appeared to be an arduous climb. But the craving in my gut pulled me up to the task. I moved to the base of the trunk. The bark of the tree was rough and protective, like a father. It was also quite sturdy, and as my nimble fingers curved themselves into nooks and crannies, I found that the shoulder like branches of the tree were stronger than I had initially expected. I darted up, from branch to branch, with such rhythm that I felt like Tarzan himself.

The last few branches were the most perilous. Near the top of the tree, the branches thinned and swayed, and beneath my weight a few began to snap. I glanced as they fell away, while my arms grabbed for new holds on the tree. Eventually though, I found my way to the flower. She was beautiful, pure, and perfect. There was no flower quite like it—no flower that I had battled so valiantly for. I knew she would love me as I loved her. My hands, trembling, reached out and cupped the base, where she connected with the tree, and carefully plucked her away.

The whole tree seemed to shake for a moment, and the flower quivered, curling slightly back in on herself. Then everything was still. The descent was much easier, fortunately, and I carefully shielded my flower from the stray branches and leaves as I passed through them. They felt like tiny hands, pulling, scratching, and seizing my clothes. I shook them away as I moved. I reached the ground, and broke into a great, boyish smile. I took the flower home; watered it, and gave it sunlight.

But would you believe how she repaid me? The bitch wilted, unbloomed, before my very eyes. The vibrant pure white, which seemed to cleft through the surrounding, faded into a smoky fog, and then further into a dead, blackened husk. Every morning, I awoke, and saw her with disgust. Such beauty; why couldn’t she have been mine? And yet, I felt in the pit of my stomach something more terrifying, though I had no idea as to what it was.

Until, of course, the dried petals finally began to fall. Then, I was shocked, to hear the roar of the forest, like thunder, calling to me. The great tree, which had grown since I had stolen her from it, had taken up its roots and marched on my home. All my structures—the walls, the roof, and the floors—were ripped apart by this incarnation. The wrath of Nature itself stood on my doorstep. Roots and vines tore it apart, until I stood, naked, before the behemoth himself. The vines snapped and slithered around me, wrapping around my arms and legs, and I was pulled into the air.

I hung there, limp, for what seemed like an eternity, while the vines snaked around my neck. Then they paused, and a vine lifted my chin. Before my eyes, he held her. She looked solemn, limp, and peaceful, but utterly dead nonetheless. In a rush of pain, I felt both my legs snap. I cried out, but there was no help for me.

Then, it all stopped. I was dropped on the ground with a thud, and the tree went away. My legs sprawled lifelessly beneath me, but I had been shown mercy. My watered eyes looked out around me, and I saw the tree disappear behind the hills. I slumped to sleep, as my eyes grew more and more blurry, and as they shuttered closed, I saw a single, pure white petal, before me. Mocking me.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #38 – HELLO

Hello..

I didn’t

Expect to see you

Here.

Or really,

Ever

To see you again.

 

And now that you’re here

I’ve never felt so…

Lost for words.

I mean don’t get me wrong,

You’re still exactly as

 

I remember you.

 

Your hair,

The deep, long

Silhouette

That haunts me

To this day.

 

Your eyes,

Closed now,

But still full

Of so much life;

So much light.

 

Your smile.

The tiny fret

That hung against

Your strained lips,

As you faked it

In front of our parents.

 

The touch of

Your cheeks,

Soft

Against the back

Of my fingers.

 

Oh, I remember you.

 

You don’t look a day older

Than when you left me.

And yet you’ve aged

Like a fine wine.

 

Though your hair has grayed,

And your face shows wrinkles,

You’ve never been more beautiful

Than you are today.

 

And I don’t even know

What I’m doing here.

Nobody knows me.

I turned up because

I saw your name,

Like a relic from the past,

Across every newspaper,

Every TV station,

And every Facebook feed.

 

And you would think

That with all this time apart

I would have found the words

To finally tell you

How much I missed you.

 

Even if you can’t hear me.

 

Even if the last words between us

Were “get out.”

Even if the tears of today do not

Forgive the sins of my past.

 

Because the obituaries

Just see you

For all you accomplished.

They see you

As some of object

For mankind.

 

“Beautiful,”

“Gorgeous,”

“An actress

Like no other.”

“A true inspiration

For women

Everywhere”

 

They never saw

The little girl,

Teary eyed

At her first role

In the school play.

 

They never saw

The young teen,

Frozen in fear

Back stage.

 

Do you remember that?

You don’t.

You can’t.

You were off stage right,

And they’d just said you cue,

And you were stuck there,

Till I pushed you out on stage.

 

And you were wonderful.

 

But they never saw that.

They’ll never see that.

Only I saw that.

And I’m sorry.

I am so sorry

 

That I wasn’t there;

That I put my work

Before your love;

That I put my words

Before your thoughts;

That I put my wants

Before your needs.

 

I’m sorry.

And I just wish

That I could have told you

Before it was too late…

But it is too late now.

So all I can say is

Goodbye.

——

 

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IT’S OVER (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

It’s Over

Yeah, I’m pretty sure.

Pretty sure I’m sick of you.

You and your heart break.

 

It Hungers

Here in the shadows

It is quite simple to feed

The darkest of thoughts.

 

Ever-Changing Paths

The shifting of sands

Reshapes which paths you can walk

But you take the steps.

 

Hunter the Cat

He watches the fish

With a piercing, icy stare

Waiting for his chance.

 

Changing of the Seasons

Do you hear the birds?

They sing with such pensiveness;

Waiting for winter.

APPEASEMENT

People take life

Too seriously.

 

They turn a two-dollar

Discrepancy

Into a two hour

Discussion.

Sure, I was late.

Give me a break,

I made a mistake,

Get over it.

 

It’s not like I haven’t

Sacrificed before;

Gone on late lunches,

Passed up breaks,

And

Strained muscles

Before.

 

But they don’t care

About the sacrifices you’ve made.

They only care

For the hours you’re paid.

 

They only care

That you accommodate their whim,

Paying no mind

To the pain in your hymn.

 

And the minute you

Stand up

To speak up for yourself

They immediately make up

An excuse

For their self.

 

And when all’s

Said and done,

A good worker knows,

That instead of

Escalating

The problem to blows.

It’s easier to quit

And start again

Than it is to remit

And keep appeasing them.

——

 

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BEAUTY IS A LIE

They say you’re beautiful,

But beauty is a lie.

You see that beauty passing by?

 

Now look at her smile.

And the song in her voice.

It could make bitter men rejoice.

 

But for all her magic

All the world can see

Is that she ain’t got double D’s.

 

We misregard her laugh,

And disregard her mind,

But beg to see her great behind.

 

‘Cause that’s all beauty is:

What greedy eyes can see.

They don’t care about you and me.

 

So I’m telling you, son,

Don’t fall for their beauty

‘Cause it’s a mask for cruelty.

——

 

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BUS RIDE TO THE THEATRE

We were on the local bus, and it was about seven-thirty. They were probably on their way to school, and I was off to start my second week as a movie theatre clerk. Unfortunately, I had to bounce from bus to bus to get there, and even leaving home at seven often resulted with me being late. My attention was turned to the video. It was rude of me to look at the screen over their shoulder, but when I heard the solemn violin music playing I had to check it out. The two kids in front of me—really young adults of about sixteen—had their iPhones out, giggling from video to video. The title of the video displayed in a bold red “This Ad Has a Powerful Message About Domestic Abuse.” It was some breakdown video about how an advertisement had tried to humanize the abuse victims.

Maybe it was the cynic in me, but it seemed to fall flat. I mean, how is it that all the victims are the hourglass figure girls? Aside from their black eyes and bruises, they all had perfect skin. Which was ironic, since the ad was for swimsuits, and the women all didn’t want to be seen for their bruises. Of all moments to talk a realistic body issue, a self-conscious swimsuit girl wasn’t a good moment?

I was spurned from my thoughts as my second change of buses came. I left the two kids to their laughter. The second bus was busier and I had to stand. The soles of my feet would ache from the swaying and speeding by the end of the trip, but aching was something I had grown used to. The freeway flew by as we sped down the road to our destination, and eventually I was lost in my own thoughts. I felt my eyes glaze over, as I looked around at a room full of mothers, daughters; sons, and fathers. How many of them were abused?

My mind turned back to the video. What had been that “powerful” message? Oh yes, that women shouldn’t stand for domestic abuse. Duh. More specifically pretty women. But how else does a company sell bikinis if it can’t use perfectly rounded butts and a body devoid of stretch marks?

Still, my mother was battered and beaten by her father, and then again by mine. I remember the welts, the lumps, the black eyes, and the shuddering tears. I remember the cold embrace of her arms as she told me it would be alright. I remember the night it became too much for her; the night she hung herself from the rafters. Her body was limp, listing about slowly. She had bitten through her tongue when the rope had snapped her neck, and it had left a dribble of blood from the side of her tired mouth.

The beam she had tied the rope to had sagged beneath her weight, and looked as though it may break. Her well-worn face looked tired, yet calm, in the way that a child looks fatigued as it naps after a long bout of crying. But the only tears shed that night were from me. My father was out doing…whatever it was he did after his night of drinking.

But we never talked about the middle-aged woman, with her wide torso and blotchy face. The judge never questioned her suicide when my dad came through the doors crying. No one listened to the five year-old child’s wails about the evil man her father was. They just saw a pathetic woman, a noose, and a broken family; who were just like the thousand they had seen before.

It stung to get off the bus that day, and see the glorified posters of happy families and perfect couples as I walked into the theatre, but life is never without its stings. I was lucky to be on time today. Mine vices—past, present, and future—were just another mark on the list of what people experienced every day.

——

 

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SCAB (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Fatigued

My eyes are burning

Like kindling for the fire

From my lack of sleep.

 

Scab

Life is like a scab

It bleeds; it stings, yet we still

Keep picking at it.

 

Police Car

The siren calls me.

I steer my ship abreast her

So she may take me.

 

Unexpected Complications

I leaned to kiss her

But she turned away from me;

Eyes full of sadness.

 

Mornings

The sun streams through the

Shutters by the door frame, till

She flutters to life.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #35 – THE PALE MOON RISE

The sick stench of rot

Permeates from my soul,

Like the spilled glass of juice

Across the tiles this morning.

It seeps into every crevasse,

Every wooden frame,

Until it’s made a home in my life.

 

Of course, life isn’t always this way.

There are sunny days;

Laughing friends;

Happy thoughts.

 

But come the pale moon rise,

I’ll find myself shielded

Inside my room.

My fortress of solitude,

Impregnable,

But lonely.

 

Is it really a surprise

That my sheets are stained

With the faded remnants of blood;

Grown so old

That they look like the brown sores

From a festering spider bite?

 

And the knife hangs

From my desk table,

As a reminder of my sins;

Past,

And future.

 

The quiet piano music,

Sullen and defiant,

Reminds me there’s so much to live for,

Yet I cannot grasp it.

 

I sit there. Empty

Like a void,

Silent, quiet, and irrelevant.

 

And I just

And I just

And I just…

 

I just don’t want to be alone.

 

Not again,

Not anymore.

The ruthless onslaught

Of the rain’s downpour

Hammers my heart

Into the ground,

But I know

She’ll never come around.

——

 

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SPARKS FOR A WILDFIRE

Emblazoned, contemptuous, and enraged. The burning anger ignites like sparks for a wildfire. The yelling has stopped—I’ve even driven away, but the red in my cheeks couldn’t be more real. The pulse of bitter sadness and the beat of primal depression brush the needle edge of my consciousness, emboldening the fiery demon within to rear his ugly face; to take flight against friend and foe alike.

Of course, they’ll never see it. The waitress, the passersby. Friends and family, whores and ladies in kind. They all see the practiced mask of smiles, well worn by now, like a familiar pair of shoes. The unexpected cries of children, or the sudden guzzling of a motorcycle are the only moments where my armor cracks.

And yet, even now, they fade away. The fryers, the bustle of children, the lights and sounds and spirits all grow distant to the darkness inside my mind…

Is this why people shoot up schools?

The haunting image of my own tattered self lies dead before me. He’s gruff, bearded, and dirty, like the homeless man I saw off the freeway tonight. His jeans are shredded—not as a Hollister model’s, but as one lost, so worn dry that his bones stand out against his sunken skin, and the depths of his eyes hold an empty black void. A void filled with the same horror that lies within a black hole. His curly hair lies in shambles, down along his shoulder line, and his once proud, fat fingers are stretched boney and pale.

Of course, he is me, and I am him. I sit appalled, as this slump of a dead man sits across from me, his body listing weakly against the red and white diner booth. At once, I am filled with both disgust and jealousy. To die such a lonely, pathetic death.

And yet, to be freed from the world of lies, of pains, and of false smiles. I shift uncomfortably as the envy in me tries to win out. I think it will.

The hours have passed by. The heat of my anger has given way to the frost of my heart. Not the ice I instill on others. I cross my t’s and dot my i’s. I smile, and play along. But the frost bitten feeling within the carcass I inhabit. The chill I feel with each morning’s rise, and each evening’s fall. A familiar sting; one that I’ve made my own. But it is uncomfortable, nonetheless.

The limp returns. A phantom, not unlike my happiness, yet it seeps in to my life in ways the smiles don’t. It’s like an old friend come calling, sapping the life from me. He’s back again to tug at my will, to push me to give in; to bend me till I break.

Remind me again the need for faith and fitness, when we all will be buried in dirt just the same? Or burned, if we are lucky. Turned to trinkets our families can treasure for years to come.

My hand drifts absent-mindedly to my chest, adorned with my golden necklace.

Pages gone, scribbles, failed lines, cliché poems, broken stanzas; a myriad of simile and metaphor, and I am spent. Like the last dollar the single mother-stripper scrapes off the dance floor—too ashamed by the house lights to pick her head up. She fears the sting of her children’s stares.

Spent like the poor aching man, working two empty jobs so that his mother, wife, and children all have food on the table—though he himself is too weary to lift the spoon to his mouth.

Spent like the hearty teenage couple, after their first grip of ecstasy, when the reality sets in that the condom was broken.

Spent like the dimes clattering in the grizzled street musician’s guitar box. The hoots and hollers of drunkards make him wonder what good those years at Julliard did.

Spent like Dante, and Chaucer, and Shakespeare, whose pens all live despite their death. Yet we know not the men they were, just the pages they have left behind.

Pages, like the ones I’ve left you.

——

 

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A quick closing note. They say writing is an extension of self, and this is in no way inapplicable to this piece of work. However, you, the reader, should also recognize that this is a fragment of the emotions we all feel, which I have tried to capture as truly as I can. It does not reflect the day to day world I live in, or the feeling I am necessarily experiences at the time you read this. I could be at Disneyland for all you know! (Ok I mean I’m not but you get my point). Anyways, enjoy this, see the value it holds, and see what you can pull from it for your own well being. 🙂

I WISH

I wish the stop was as good as the start.

I wish the crop was as good as the carte.

I wish my time was as good as my tits.

I wish my rhyme was as good as the Ritz.

 

I wish the world was a bit more wise.

I wish the pearls were a bit less prized.

I wish my head was a bit more healthy.

I wish the Feds were a bit less filthy.

 

I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish,

But in the end I’m just a fish,

Barreling down into a sea

That’s full of bigger fish than me.

——

 

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