For Kimberly

It’s one year today, and still hard to believe you’re gone.
kimberly

How does one cope
With loss, far removed
By time and more so, by place?
I suppose one can only recall

Shine one, with that smile
That will light up a room
That will get us all laughing again
Bring us back to when we first meet as friends

Speak on, with that voice
That will fill up a room
That booms but can giggle as well
Call us back to when everything was swell

Burn on, with that fire
That would warm your true friends
That would scorch the impatient, the rest
Guide us back to the times we knew best

Ours was unique, a band of true friends
An oasis of laughter and jokes
Of drawing, of action, of fun
How careless I was, tending to plants
Rather than doing more for someone

Your heart was so open, your potential unbound
Your life should not end in this way
Shine one, speak on, burn on, please do
Bring us back to when we first met as friends

Stone Face

All things change on shifting sands
And time, the most shifting of all
No thing can endure, though some may survive
The change of the suns and the moons.

Even mountains of ice can wander adrift
Though their faces that shimmer will cry
Their hearts of cold venom will thaw to reveal
The drip of lost lifeblood, obscene.

The mountain of life will spring from the tears
Turning sadness to cries of new birth
But even the greens and blossoming trees
Are subject to dusk and disease

For life begets death, as the two are lost twins
And their parent, the glacier made ghost
No birth can come forth without death eying close
And portending the fate of all life.

But the mountain, carefree, springs forth evermore
Let the life that comes forth go along.
Kept warm by the greens and blossoming trees
The spring of the living goes on!

All systems must balance to stave off the chaotic
And equations in math must compute
The song of the spring had too many to sing
And so death came along to collect.

Scarcity first brought life to a lull
Which begats it close cousin disease
And as all of the greens and blossoming trees
Covered sky, so the mountain brought dusk.

The mountain, imperfect, knew it too late
But the greens and trees would soon die
And all that was left for the mountain bereft
Was dirt, held together by rage.

For even as it was a mountain of life
It would not succumb to those tears
So the dirt would grow hard, and rigid and grim
The mountain of life, a great stone.

The sun and moon would circle the stone
Growing bored of its stasis, dead face
Yet through the blank stare of the stone growing old
Was a burning sensation, a rage.

The barrren dead mountain grew hateful of death
Having pledged to steal its victory
It would stare at the sky, yet refusing to cry
It sought only the strength to explode.

All things change on shifting sands
And time, the most shifting of all
No thing can endure, though some may survive
The change of the suns and the moons.

On Diversity

Two poems in a day. It must be a record.

A difference in hues
Of eyes and of faces
Of homelands, of gods, and of races
Is this variation, this mixing of sorts
Inherent in conflicts, our disgraces?

The opposite case is hardly yet made
Homogeneity, no fill-in for peace
Why then is the difference, in any mild form
Labelled, often by many, with derision?

Perhaps it is fear
Perhaps it is not
Perhaps we’re too impatient to grasp
For diversity in thought, where we seek out the Truth
But instead build our walls with the same.

Statues

AristotleHeed not the statues lining the hall
Ignore their entreaties, go on.
The smiles of a stone can flicker by fire
The beauty of bronze will soon fade

The pedestals, crafted by years of long work,
Just distraction. A fool’s wasted day.
The heroes of yore reduced to a mound
All stones can be sand given time

How odd that the elements, though not as out here
Can effect those statues within
The pantheon crafted by the work of one’s mind
Can be fleeting, can be blunted by age.

Apatico’s Den

Amazing to see what a flippant comment on election day can produce! Granted, there are people out there who refuse to vote but do tremendous work outside or within the political sphere. As the title suggests, this poem/rant is directed at a very particular audience.

Lounging in hubris
Apatico’s den
Shunning calls for any action at hand
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Tell me why should I get out of bed?”

Understanding our faults
Apatico’s den
Yet our fingers, not scheming, but still
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Tell me why should I think with my head?”

Convinced of half-truths
Apatico’s den
While half-lies are what guide your thoughts now
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Tell me why should I care if I’m fed?”

Primed for extremes
Apatico’s den
Doing nothing to make it more real
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Tell me why should I do what I’ve said?”

Whining, not acting
Apatico’s den
And the world just goes on getting worse
“The system is broken
The game has been rigged
Who cares if one day we’re all dead?”

The End

This is the way, the world it will end
Not with a bang but with laughter
The last man alone with his jokes
(And yes it’s a man, let’s just be clear
That the women, they were smart and they left)
But the last man will laugh
Between coughing bouts
For the air of this world, all afoul
“To whimper is weak, and these tears that I shed
They’re just from the smoky dense air.”
Even at last, man is over-absorbed
With his pride, even if all alone.

This is the way, the world it will end
Not with a bang but with glitter
The party is raging for emptiest minds
Who prefer the bright colors to truth
Damnation rain down
Or rise up from the sea
To engulf the orgy-porgy of now
The dancers will dance
Drugged minds in the trance
Ignoring the end that engulfs.

This is the way, the world it will end
With ignorance reigning supreme.
We’ll ignore every sign
Even as our best die
For we’re enamored so much with ourselves
Come hell or high water
We just can’t be bothered
‘Til the end, when it’s simply too late.

The Gilded City

Actually surprised that this poem wasn’t posted earlier as I wrote it back in 2013. I can thank Mayor de Blasio for reminding of this poem with his latest headlines.

Spires rise from the darkest of nights.
A city struck by crises in the dawn of an era
Looks to recover the innocence it has lost.

But while the building goes on
And life attempts to restablize
An incessant pursuit acts
As cure to our ills.

The mantra to buy
Or to simply engage
A marketplace of petty baubles.

Light is restored to the darkened regions
As rebuilding does goes on
But for all our will to come back better
We are drawn like flies to fire.

Our goals, to acquire
To continue the monotony
Of the rat race to which
We have all been played.

While abstract numbers reach new record heights
And mirror the rise of our fallen ashes.
We still allow our neighbors of this fair city
To be ignored by the march for a new Gilded Age.

Hang banners of patriotism and superiority
Hold true to the dream that crafted our crises.
History is dead. The good times are coming.
Forget the losers of the Great Rat Race.

How can it be that such a powerful place
A center of commerce, culture, and life
Can fail to invest in its very own future?
How can the greatest city on earth
Forget its responsibility to humankind?

There was once a dream
For a city upon a hill
Shining and glowing
For all the world to see
To believe, to aspire

While our centers of finance continue to blossom
Our hubs of education fall into decay.
As our stores grow larger and with more variation
Salaries and pensions are cut by the year.

As buildings rise to greater heights
In an effort to show our unbreakable will
To our foes both near and those afar
We neglect our own friends who seek shelter below
In the tunnels and subways that span the Great Gilded City.

What can be done to address this challenge
Without subverting the promise the city does bring?
How can the gold that gildes our fair city
Go deeper and into the streets without?