The Bus Stop

The bus stop filled for all to see
Through dirty glass, light filtering
As sun sets over cold city
And man looks over busy street.
People rush past to board the bus,
Yet still he stands in silent hush
With phone forgotten in numb hand.
The voice falls silent like the land.

One slow blink as bus does leave
And turn his head with naught to see.
This busy street teeming with life,
Yet all has fled his little life.
Blink again at child’s play
Across the street at end of day,
Yet sight moves not his shattered heart,
Nor sound reach soul that’s lost its part.

A woman walks in stately grace
Past man who wears a mask in place
At that bus stop so they will see
Nothing of his silent plea.
She walks up Fifth and turns at State
Carrying day’s conquests to take
Them home to family, home to child,
Home to peace, leave city wild.

He slowly blinks and slowly falls
Down to his knees as cloud’s soft pall
Smothers setting sun so soon.
And yet no dirge, no soothing croon;
His jacket lead, his tie a noose
His clothing feeling tight, yet loose
As seem to shrink himself, and world
Fades as final flag is furled.

Someday he’ll rise and travel home,
Relate the tale that stranger told.
The sun will rise, the world will spin
Life will go on, but without him.

Triple Score Word

elbbarcS
    upside down, but       read
    wor s, the meani g
without      mouth, and   want
      understood
without spel     each
line,      ass-
onance hi  ligh     wh t's
import nt. I want        seen
without speak   . Just
truth from     knees.

Another Beautiful Day

It was too beautiful a day
to sit in class.

Worn thin, this adjective,
Like steel wool used too often
And cheapened like the girl in the
Second row; she’s just another
Beautiful face.

This day is like every other.
No clouds, and the sun
That makes us squint so
We can’t even see.
It is beautiful outside, it is March, and I
couldn’t bear to sit in class any longer.

And while all the trees are still dead,
Their limbs only sometimes resembling
The skeletons I hear them compared to,
One has bloomed, white bursts–
I’d tell you if I knew
What kind of tree it is.
To my eyes, it is pretty, unlike
Those beautiful non-skeletons.

Sweet Sixteen

I have loved and I have lost but I have never lost my name.
I have fought the losing fight but it has never been in vain.
I have risen from the pyre and I will never be the same.
I have seen all that is in you and I’ll never look again,
For I have burnt the bridge behind me and filled in that noisome grave.

I have run with wolves and lions but have never caught the deer.
I have conquered Hell through fury but I still can taste my fear.
I have battled to draw near you but have never been drawn near.
I have walked into exile but I refuse to disappear,
For I have loved and I have lost you and I won’t fall to despair.

I have ever been a servant but have never bowed my knee.
I have always been a drunkard but have never tasted mead.
I have studied since my birth but I have never studied Bede.
I have let you pierce my heart but I do not have blood to bleed,
For I have renounced foolish love and on this day I turn Sixteen.

Hourglass Eyes

As my glassy eyes reflected polished ash,
I realized that I never understood
Why the living mourn the dead.
These hypocrites who never cared
For Jones-most never knew his name-
Now standing mute, ranks of inconvenient
awkward office mates.

Mike told me that we all die.
It’s true, I thought, slipping my hand
To the breast of my coat.
The tobacco, held tight in its roll-
Just as we’re held by the sonorous
Supplications of the priest-
Came free. They heard the click of my lighter.
I did not care:
They would be dead someday too.

Thoughts of hypocrites and caskets
Left my head with the first drawn breath,
And it seemed as if all the blood
Drained from this coil to be
Replaced. That incense, holy and pleasing,
Filled me like the fluid that filled Jones,
And I exhaled our obituary,
My eyes reflecting their prison.

Compliment

You don’t want me for
whatever reason.
I don’t mind.
You needn’t justify your personal
desires; your dislike for facial hair
or the way I actually look
into your eyes.
Don’t think I worry that
you do not find me unattractive.
I don’t care.

I do not call you beautiful
because I want you.
I think you pretty
because you are.

Narcissus

When last clouds wept
Their bitter drops,
I was lying,
My chin on hands, cradling
The face I
Saw. A spruce dipped,
As if gazing quietly
Over my shoulder,
Its limbs nestled
By the water of the pond.
The beauty of my cheeks
And eyes, no line drawn
Unkempt. Beauty designed
To show the world
Where dreams lie.
The spruce smeared the glass,
Droplets that fell like ink
Marring my vision,
Like a refraction of purity
As water distorts light.