The Kids

You see them everyday,

At the rusty playground playing on the crumpled swing set.

That little boy

with his hair tussled just so,

That little girl

watching as the boy soars higher,

how high will he go?

She could never go that high.

Giggles glide over glad faces,

The boy puts his boots in the sawdust to stop,

kicking up dust and mud to get dirty.

She looks at him with wanting wonder,

He looks through her

 to the other side of the playground.

The rusty old swing set no longer holds his interest.

Nor, it seems, can she.

The bell rings,

clinging and clanging like an old gong.

He races off.

She follows

slowly, looks back at the tired old swing set,

then races off to lag behind the boy that went so high.

The Man

You have a unique character,

You always make me smile.

Others don’t see you the way I do,

But they have no idea.

You are the man.

When you come to visit,

My world lights up.

I don’t see you having a disability,

But a huge place in my heart.

When others make rude comments

A sick feeling enters my gut.

How can someone be so rude?

All I know is that it ruins my mood.

To me you will always be perfect,

Others may not see,

But you are the man,

My brother.

Anna Marie

You sang me a song that I can’t quite remember. The melody’s stuck in my head. You sang, “Anna Marie,” and you sang it to me. Don’t know what I’d give to hear you again. I’d drink in the sound of an old grand piano and an amateur song about love. You never confessed who this Anna Marie was. Then, you sang a new verse you said you’d just written. The lyrics have escaped my mind. You sang poetically while you smiled right at me. How did I miss what you’d meant to tell me? I just smiled back, mesmerized by the spell of your voice on the air, singing, “I see you, want to hold you, and we said we’d just be friends.” You and I—we faded out like the last measure of the song, resonating softer, softer, and softer. You grew tired of the song and rewrote note by note. Soon enough, there were no love lines in it. The more you revise, the more you tell lies. The raw tone in your voice was perfection when you first sang, “Oh Anna Marie. I loved you.” Now, I’m sorry that I didn’t see, by Anna Marie, you’d meant you loved me.

Under the Surface

My feet push with power. I arch my body, aiming to brace impact with my arms. I am enveloped; my skin burnt by the cold. Breath ripped from my body. I am fueled by a drive from deep within. A dark current surrounds me, eyes frozen shut. I keep my arms tight together, aiming for the distance, elongating my body. My legs struggle to move. My lungs burn with lack of air. With urgency I pull and push, struggling to move forward, reaching for the distance. Sun beams glint through, the only light at this depth. Every muscle straining, the end far from sight. A salty taste on my lips. Desire to finish, to win. Finally I break the surface, shattering the ripples I left. The race is on.

Clay Jar

In the house on the hill, there lived a man and a woman, newlyweds that loved each other dearly. For many years, they lived, loved, and enjoyed what they had together. After some time, they decided to have a child and were blessed with a baby girl. They were happy.

There was a certain gift given to the couple for their wedding by the pastor who married them: a clay jar. The pastor told them that what was important was not the jar itself, but what lay inside of it. For many years afterward, the couple kept the jar on the shelf as the most precious gift they had received.

However, the man became gravely ill. A doctor in a nearby town gave the man an examination and told the couple that he did not have long to live. Devastated from the news, the woman cried nearly every night when sleeping with the man. Nevertheless, near the man’s time of death, he brought his wife to his side with their daughter in her arms. He said, “Last night, I was visited in a dream by a man standing by the river Jericho. I may be dead soon, but a part of me will always stay with you. When I die, take my heart out of my chest and put it in a clay jar. Don’t be afraid. After I die, my heart will keep beating, and as long as you love me, my heart will still beat for you.”

Not long after, the man died. The wife could not bring herself to take her husband’s heart out herself. Therefore, she called for the doctor and asked a favor of him before a funeral could be planned; she asked for the heart out of her husband’s chest and into the clay jar. The doctor was horrified, but the wife convinced him to take out the heart. Using his expertise and what he had on hand, he took out the heart and put it in the nearby clay jar, not noticing anything out of the ordinary. After the doctor left, the wife took up the clay jar. For a minute, it stayed as lifeless as it had been in the doctor’s hands: but after a few moments, she began to hear the heartbeat, and she cried. Every night since then, she took the jar down from a spot on the shelf and listened to the heart’s beat.

Life was not easy for the mother and the daughter. After many years, the daughter moved away in order to start a fresh life. The mother, on the other hand, eventually became bitter and would blame the death of her husband for her misery.

One day, the daughter came back to visit her mother, realizing that she did not want her mother to feel abandoned. The mother was thankful, and they visited about the daughter’s new life and the joy she created for herself. Unfortunately, when the daughter asked about her mother’s life, the mother talked only bitterly, saying her only comfort was the clay jar. The daughter claimed that her mother should have moved on, and they engaged in a spiteful argument. In anger, the daughter blamed the clay jar itself, and in an instant, took it down and threw it to the ground. The mother gasped and looked down at the jar. It was then that both mother and daughter observed that all there was left from inside of the now-broken jar was lifeless dust.

The Toll

The clouds around me fill with blackness and despair.

How stupid of me to have an affair.

I’m falling, yes, I’m falling through midair.

How could I cheat on someone who’s so fair?

 

I’m spiraling, yes, I’m spiraling out of control.

Deeper and deeper into this black hole.

I must tell her the truth no matter the toll.

I can’t even express the weight bearing down on my soul.

My Superpower

I have discovered my superpower, I’m invisible!

I don’t know how it happened, it must be a miracle.

When I collapse, I’m trampled, but I don’t mind, they can’t see me.

When I cry for help, no one comes, but I don’t mind, they can’t hear me.

I sit alone everyday ever since my family passed away.

I get really lonely, especially on Christmas day.

I think I’ll take my life before the morning dawn.

It’s ok, no one will remember me when I’m gone.

Magnets

To them, it’s just a picture on the fridge.

A vision of a past life, long since lived.

A glance, ghost-ridden, smiles forgotten

By all but the framed:

A memory, a grave;

So many meanings.

But,

To them, it’s just a picture on the fridge.

K-Dub

I never knew true friendship until I met you,

Kindred spirits so rare to come by in the lonesome west,

An equal in every way, in every interest, I never thought I’d meet,

Shared beliefs, shared passions, shared wit and a mutual ambition

To always find the humor in the cruelty and to do anything for a laugh,

An unshakeable bond I had not felt since childhood’s end.

 

We were loners by nature, yet we stuck together,

Each inspired by the other and craving companionship,

Summers spent biking in the woods and skiing on the lake,

Winters spent by the fire talking about everything and nothing,

Always striving for amusement and mischief and succeeding in our quest,

Your house, the first place I’ve called home since I left my own.

 

The road trip with you to see our favorite band,

And how we lost ourselves at the concert in the crowd,

While that Sheffield sound was pulsing in our veins,

A moment of ecstasy in the haze of mundane adult life,

That kept us ensnared long after the stars faded and the stage cleared,

We were bodies electric, fluorescent adolescents once again.

 

You taught me how to live, and I taught you how to dream.

Now, the winds of change begin to push us apart,

I am bound for Ireland, and you, Nova Scotia,

But I have no worries—you are my brother.

We are friends, we are family, and our bond transcends time and distance.

Lux

Starburst, firestorm, whirlwind,

These feelings inside me,

As life explodes into jubilation,

A phoenix rising through flame,

A cascade of love and light,

Urgent, glowing, burning—

 

Become one with me.

 

Philosopher, traveler, amorous.

I soar through stars and clouds,

Careening with her, goddess of love,

She won’t abandon me,

She won’t close my opened eyes,

Instead, laboring ceaselessly to tame

My unchained heart,

Collected passions of the present,

Faces and places I won’t forget

And never could, no longer living

Among the dead and dreaming.

 

I love you,

And I will never let you go.