A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: napowrimo

27/30: CYCLES OF JOY

Eventually, we laugh
until the oxygen runs out.
The sound of your voice
disrupts the silence
of the afternoon and grows like thunder.
By the time you catch your breath,
you and I are
breathless again.

Laughter is the language
we speak in between
looks across the room.
I read your eyes
between the lines.

Cycles of joy
move through
the atmosphere
and your laughter
repeating like a record
is all I ever want to hear.


25/30: INVITATIONS TO LOVE

Invitations to love come in small packages.
Think of the earned cat nuzzle against the leg
first thing in the morning. Think of the gentle steam
rising off the coffee leaving the palm of the
woman who chose to rise early enough to
make you coffee in the first place. Think of
the sky overflowing with light. Think of the
morning wind bending the trees into
music notes. Think of the day like a jukebox.
Think of the small truths. Think of the
hundreds of roots that live in the soil
of the soul. Think of the thousands
of invitations arriving every day, in small
and simple ways, each with your name,
waiting to be opened.

24/30: A DOOR INTO SOMETHING MORE

A voice comes and goes
A thought flows then no-shows
A word stays but the idea frays
A poem is everywhere then nowhere
A cloud crosses the sky like a line in a page
A shape of sound surrounds the day
A song is a quiet kind of chaos
A moment is a door into something more
A door opens only to close
A voice comes and goes
A thought flows then no-shows
A poem is everywhere then nowhere
 






23/30: A LOVE POEM ON SATURDAY NIGHT

Across the stars and lights of the flamingo pink walls
of Taco Cabana off of 45 South and Wayside
and
under the waves of headlights surrounding us inside
this fast-food parking lot on a Saturday Night,
Adela turns to me from the passenger seat
And proclaims her life-long belief in soul mates
In the idea that two people are meant to be.
Without missing a beat,
she looks right at me and smiles a mile long
and confirms that I am indeed her soul mate.
As her husband, I feel relieved,
So relieved I could sing!
And I do,
all the way home.

15/30: DAYLIGHT AND GOOD NEWS

David Lynch said
Fix your hearts or die.
In a dream of mine,
I am reminded just how human I am
the second I wake up and am no longer
flawless or fearless.
The business of living goes on.  
The sky leaves a legacy of light
painted across day and night.
Sitting on the front porch,
I close my eyes and listen to
the wind in the trees.
Broken isn’t a word I’d use to describe me.
If I break, I’m breaking like daylight
and good news.

1/30: Spirit of My Silence

I wrote more e-mails than poems in the last year.
Now, before the first day of April,
My wife runs her fingers through my hair
Like a rosary
and the spirit of my silence
leaves my body like a phantom
Outside my window,
A single wind chime makes the kind of music
With its body
that I’ve been searching for my whole life

Listen here.

Every sound on Sidney street is a revival
of more reasons to live
Light pools somewhere and everywhere
Stairways to forgiveness
I forget the fate of human kind for one second
A Houston sun cracks every tree
free from darkness
Laughter falls like pollen
The sidewalk
asks me to read another poem
by Ross Gay
and before the end of the day,
I am alight and awestruck
at my luck
at my love
blasting from the speakers
the sound system of spring
a karaoke of divine timing
I mean so many things when I say
I am looking for joy
today and always
The latest and last map of my heart starts with
my 4 year old niece coming to visit me,
Jessi demands we sit outside and take in
the beautiful view
Outside my front door
Where the black cats I’ve come to love run
Faster than the neighborhood
Children can rake the leaves
of their youth
Come on, let’s go.
And so we do
And so it goes
A blue-jay swoops and the train whizzes
Into action
Tejano music grooves
fuses with the smoke
from oak or mesquite
I want to speak the commotion
into a sentence or a lyric
And tell you this is all I know.
The locomotion is a promise made
for giving my attention
to something else besides my e-mail.
This poem is an engine
loud enough
to drown the things I lost
and remind me what I found
I invite the wind of a moment
Into my home
The horizon is a stone’s throw away
from who I was yesterday
By now, I know what I’m here on earth for:

The consequence of living is clear
Time rewinds every time a poem appears.

30/30: AFTER 16 YEARS OF WRITING POETRY, I’VE LEARNED

The poem can wait.
Living is the first draft to master.
Sitting down to write comes later.
A poem happens out of order,
When the door is ajar and the
Muse is asking what is for dinner.
Whether the stove is on depends
how much fire you can walk through.
Memories are sleeping, hungry giants.
You decide what stays, what goes.
The point is—
you have a purpose,
long after the poem is finished,
long before the poem began.

 

29/30: AGENTS OF CHAOS

The hum of the razor
next to my ear sounds
like an army of wasps
taking formation
at the front-lines
of my overdue edge up.
Each follicle of hair
turned Agents of Chaos.
But at least I am growing
in some small way,
silver linings
in the darkness.
My brother Brent
used to cut my hair
for every important
event of my teenage life.
We had the routine.
He’d cut.
I’d clean the hair
and help hold the mirror.
2 all around, then a 1 on the side,
sometimes a taper fade,
but always a fresh fade
to end the day. It was
a way of life. The lessons
I learned in standing still,
watching his hands move
with precision. How the light
had to be just right.

28/30: I’M GOING BACK IN TIME AND IT’S A SWEET DREAM

This is a love poem for my fiancé, Adela.

When I missed you, when we weren’t together,
I would write down song lyrics that made me
think of you. Each a different melody of longing,
a little soundtrack for my loneliness. That was
years ago. And just the other day,
I stare at you
from across the room
of our home
I watch you exhale on the front porch
Dusk before us, the faint
echo of the wind chime
bouncing off the trees
and into the sky. Another song
just for you and me, Adela—
never forget, you are the one
who keeps my heart beat dancing,
the reason I sing. My favorite song
is called Just Being With You.
The Things You Say, my favorite playlist
Your voice, my favorite instrument.

 

 

27/30: THE ROUND ROCK ROLLER RINK

In the hallway of the Men’s bathroom
at the Round Rock Roller Rink, I left
my hand print on the right side of the wall. I dipped my
right hand in green paint. It was a birthday tradition for
anyone who had a party at the Roller Rink.
Underneath your hand print, they write
your name and your birthday.
It was
too much power for the 9-year-old in me.
You can put
your hand on any wall inside the building, a
it’s your call where. Isn’t that amazing?
A place that celebrates you
by giving you a choice
in what to leave behind
for others to find.
The Round Rock Roller Rink no longer stands.
It belongs to the history books.
Like that one time in the sixth grade,
on a Friday night, I danced during
couple skate to Don Henley’s
Boys of Summer blasting
from the speakers next to the scoreboard
used for hockey games, and
my elastic smile
going in circles, balanced
on roller skates, holding the hand
of a girl who held mine back
for the very first time. Those days
are gone forever, just like Don sang.