I Can’t Sleep

Something’s wrong.
I can’t rest, can’t sleep
can’t find comfort
in a bed and sheets,
or warmth, safety,
a pillow beneath my head.

I can’t sleep.

I’m in a perpetual state
of pure exhaustion,
eyes a desert,
on fire,
burning eternally.
My mind stops,
a fragment of thought a refrain with no end,
half-finished stories, prolonged ideas,
persisting,
day in, day out,
no rest for a wicked mind,
and
I can’t sleep.

The City Is Quiet Tonight

The city is quiet tonight.
No noise, no life.
Just starlight
And us,
Two heartbeats in a city
That calls to us,
Beckons us,
Becomes us.
Two souls wandering alone,
Fingers itching to touch,
To hold,
To map out your body,
My own city,
Always quiet, and calm,
No others but us.
The city is beautiful tonight.

I also posted this on my Instagram, and I sometimes post small poems there, too.

Love

Love
I wish I could describe it,
the taste on my tongue,
the bitterness,
the sour,
the hurt.
The way words cut deep,
whittling away
at a soul,
at a mind,
at a heart,
until it is sharp,
stabbing,
a razor in all of its harsh edges,
one that only hurts its owner.
I wish I could describe it,
the aching,
the wanting,
the need for approval,
for belonging to someone,
something
greater than yourself,
how it sits heavy,
the taste familiar,
something long gone and faded.
I wish I could describe it,
how I need you here,
with me.

Podunk Pirate

I wanted to be a writer.
A no-holds-bar,
every word counts,
change the world writer.
I admired the greats,
the worlds they built,
the way their sentences flowed
and ended.

But now I’m a podunk pirate,
pilfering phrases and words to create
half-baked plot points
and struggling prose,
poetry falling flat,
falling deaf,
flowing wrong.
I’m stealing the English language
to twist it
and spin it
to make it mine
for now.

See Me

Can you see me?
Sometimes I can’t. The reflection
in the glass
is not the same face
I know.
The shapes are there,
the nose, the lips,
the curl in the frown of confusion.
But the eyes are different.
They’re not mine.
Can you see me?
Trapped behind an ocean
of ideas and thoughts and voices
that used to be mine,
that are now lost
in time.
I can’t remember, forget,
I’m stuck, alone, tangled
in memory and regret.
Can you see me?
Sometimes,
I can’t.

Iceberg Lettuce

Listeria hysteria,
recall in the aisles.
Grass-fed cows and porcupines
are never worth your while.
It’s terror in the pasture,
the chicken lost its head,
and cabbages and collard greens,
they’re wilted and they’re dead.
Beware all the produce,
and while you’re at it, too,
don’t dare to touch the iceberg,
for that I know you’ll rue.


Yesterday’s prompt was Iceberg Lettuce, and I had no idea what to write. But sometimes, even the most difficult ideas can be the most fun to write, and the rhyming nature of this ridiculous little poem was fun to knock out. So, it’s not the best, but it’s cute, and I hope you enjoy it.

A Line

A line
Stretching from me to you
Taut,
Pulled,
Thrumming,
A song played across its width
It starts out sweet, slow,
Joy and mirth,
Dimming, changing, dropping key
Until it rings with grief,
Bittersweet on the ears,
A muffled note the ending
Vibrating into eternity
Until it rests, at last, quiet,
In the grave
With you.

Dream of the Sky

In the summer nights,
when hopes run high,
when dreams appear
and fade and die.
When grasses rise
and sway and grow,
and monsters lurk
above and below.
When people fight,
drinks tossed aside,
and crime is created,
illusions a lie,
and safety becomes
a secondary side
to the fun and the life
of the son and the bride.
In summer nights,
when hopes run high,
when dreams appear
and fade and die,
when you sleep in the dark
and are forced to comply,
I look out at the city
and dream of the sky.

If I Could Paint the Sky

If I could paint the sky,
I wouldn’t stop at blue.
Instead, I would use all the colors
that remind me of you.

Yellow for the sunshine
that caressed our face,
and indigo and violet
for the flowers at our place.

Oranges for the color
of the burning summer sun
and the harshness of the streetlights
where two strangers had begun. 

Yet I would skip the greens,
and the vivid blues and whites,
for those only remind me
of the many sleepless nights. 

Brown would be forgotten,
And buried with the gray,
the color of the sky
on that cold November day. 

If I could paint the sky,
I would paint it every morning
and let the sunset colors
brighten up the seeds of mourning.

 

To Those I Knew Before

To Those I Knew Before

 

I learned from you.
To be kind, to be smart,
to be generous,
like you.
Always giving,
sharing, spending,
offering what I have;
I know they’re broke,
so I sit and share,
a snack, a smoke
(but I learned from you,
the shadows of cancer,
the stench of cigarettes in the air,
so I stay away).

 

I learned from you.
They called you the favorite,
the nice one, the good one.
And I want that.
To be remembered as the good one,
the kind one,
the one offering,
packing extra,
giving all that I have
and more.
All my time,
all my effort,
all to be
Like You
(because I watched you,
slipping dollars to the cart takers,
an extra twenty pressed in my hand,
no one else could pay but you).

 

Because I learned from you.
And that
was a blessing.