A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: poets

26/30: MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

I am a source of sound
a loud blend of Zen
and quiet chaos
A witness of what happened
I make a wave with what I say
My words reach the
green shore of gratitude
My throat is a treasure chest
that survived the storm
I open my mouth
like a message in the bottle
with dry words
long traveled.



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.

2/30: LESSONS FROM THE SAGA OF LIGHT

God bless my bluebonnet heart opening Sunday morning
Like the last laugh of wildflowers in my grandmother’s garden—
God bless the by-lines of beauty multiplying in the dark, growing
overnight, springing from everlasting ash like a blunt wrapped
in phoenix feathers. I found I do not fear what I cannot learn
and I cannot learn what I do not witness. The lesson is this:
We’re still learning to love the lessons, no matter the teacher.
I once wrote, if you lose hope, try forgiveness. But I did not
Trust the teacher, so I chose neither. In the interest of justice,
I ask that the universe reverse the grid-lock of my grief.
Though, I know this is not possible. My brother taught
me how to box-out. This was the first time I learned
to put a perimeter around the pain. As a creature who craves
the hunt of the heart, I ask for hands to hold the slippery
silver fish of suffering. Remember the rebound. In the interests of joy,
I ask the voice of vulnerability to self-govern. In every poem,
a crossing collapses and another bridge begins. Please,
despite the dark doom of destruction, accept this invitation.
Wander into the wilderness. Witness what work it is to stay.
Though, I know this is not possible. In the interest of Self-
Preservation, I ask the secretkeeper to switch to bees.
Why does what I keep never feel like honey?
The lesson is this: I cannot define what is unfinished.
“If I lead you through the fury, will you call to me?”
I sing fleet foxes in red boxers when no one is watching.
Last spring, I spent all my love making time, just like
The Eagles taught me. But what happens when I run out?
Imagine the eye of the storm. Now imagine your eyes.
Whose eyes are lying? If I want the answer to my question,
I’d give it. The lesson is this: the wood in me is not for building.
I used to borrow the best parts of my boyhood to understand
the misunderstandings, wishing, I did not know what I know now.
I used to ask for forgiveness instead of permission. Though, I know,
This was not possible. After offering my body into the wrong church’s
collection plates, my lover tells me, I am no longer a safe-space.
The teacher taught me: whatever I gave, I took away. Like a carousel
of untold truths, I spun my tongue away from the end. In the interests
of time, I ask that the clock restart. I ask for one hand to join my hand
and hold whatever part of my heart is most bruised. Though, I know,
this was not possible. The lesson is this: even pain has limits.
For years, all I wanted as a boy was to be loved. The world gave
me many things, but I still wanted more. First, desire, then lust,
Then greed. At twenty-five, I ask each dark seed to leave. Though,
this is not possible. The earth is strong and I am not ready yet.
For a while, I forget most terrible things I’ve done or did.
Then I remember the wild foe of my woe, guilty as green grass.
I try to mow the misery growing into a sanctuary city.
Do not pity the fool forever failing to find the spark in the dark.
Though, I know this is not possible, I still bless my bluebonnet
heart opening up, like a faucet I fixed in the dark. God bless
The lessons I am still alive to live through. At twenty-five,
I have lived through one-hundred seasons. Through every season,
I have left what I cannot forgive in the fury of the past. Is anyone
Left to call to me? Though, I may not always answer.

1/30: IT IS WHAT IT IS

This line is late. Weeks overdue. None of my thoughts are new. It is what it is.
The laws of loneliness are fixed stars in my constitutional constellation.
I am most free in a dream where I outdo death. Sleeping, the dreamy version of me drags his feet across the tops of the peculiar pine trees pissing off the power lines. When I say I am most free, I hope you hear how little I hold. I was told to put a pot on the past, Wait, then laugh at the steam. Levitate, levitate, levitate. This earthbound body comes dressed in stubborn smoke. In this song of hope, every lyric is moonbound. Name a scar the sky cannot solve. Spring has sprung on schedule but no one is here to smell the jasmine breeze with me. The moral of this moment missed its deadline.
Whether or not my faith blossoms, the season to show up has arrived. April can be the cruelest of dance floors, but today I abandon the rules of gravity-disguised-grief. For the sake of my ankles, do not ask me about anchors. Give me balloon bravery. Can I be a kite the sky keeps? I wish I had more to give than just my body. To date, Ask any woman I loved if I’m down to earth. They’ll tell you how I write poems for, to, or about the sky, but never for, to, or about them. I wish I had more than hurt to hem for them, but to tailor the terror of my affection is a lesson I left behind in the grinds of midnight. Reading Robert Bly aloud, I say, is there enough left of me to be honest now?
I’m afraid the answer lies, inside my body, scraping the paint off my walls.
Nobody but me can fix the hollow frames of the rooms I groom my shame in.
Hesitate. Hesitate. Hesitate. I place the sky back inside myself. Like a Magritte brush stroke, I am most free when I break all the rules of my body. In a dream, I raise my arms like wings though I do not move them. What happens if I never wake? The word I’m looking for is transcend. Yes, watch me transcend into some moonbound mystic meant to illuminate the intricate energy of the universe with every poem I visit. If love asked me to say her name, I’d say I am not ready. No, I haven’t failed at love. I haven’t succeeded either. If love asked me to let go, I’d hesitate. Inside my head, Ghosts of lovers leave their names in my throat like an anchor I didn’t ask for.
It is what it is.

30/30

WELL DARLING, I AM LEAVING

Everyone keeps asking where I’m going like I know direction.
I have been lost so many times I forgot what it means to lose.
I may be a story of defeat but that does not mean surrender comes easy.
I’m not leaving, just taking my love with me ‘cause nobody’s gonna stop me.

Not even me. Crowned King of Broken is breaking away from the tyranny
of himself and I can’t wait to rip this skin off and start anew. Spring will
be done soon and when the summer comes, I will remember the nights
where all I had for supper was whatever my mouth tried to swallow.

I have dug teeth into myself, broke into my body like a bar-b-q pit
Ripped the meat clean from the bones, took my heart apart like brisket and chewed the fat with a Texas fury.
No part of me passes through you without taking your tongue too.
That’s why I’m not leaving. I’m just taking whatever the fire didn’t.

I chewed a toothpick until I had to pick the splinters from my teeth.
Spit the soft wood off the tip of my tongue and watched a piece of something vanish.
I have decided to do the same. Most of me anyway is a broke bridge too tired to burn.
After a long while, you forget what you don’t have.

Don’t expect me to arrive anywhere anytime soon.
This Spring has been nothing but knowing a new softness.
You’d be surprised how much my teeth taught me tender
All my mouth ever wants to do is learn to love without having to leave.

But oh, the tongue is a running river that will not stop itself.
I cannot withhold what happens when I tell stories to strangers.
But oh, if all my fury goes forgotten, I swear to lose my taste for rotten meat.
Swear to smile the kind of smile that shows all my teeth, and nobody’s gonna stop me.