Many a door, many a door
Along the complex’s corridor –
A symbol meant to welcome –
That’s what they’re for.

Rows of doors, floor upon floor –
Sometimes a thief they lure.
Nobody asks how you’ve been –
They just close their door.

~~~~~~~

Were I a rose
     I would model graciously –
Oblige those of wise choice
     And prickle my enemy;

If just a blade of grass
     I would blend in – nonchalant –
And peoplewatch as they pass
     With no desire to flaunt.

~~~~~~~

How vast is the distance -
So I thought - between cradle
And what was the final ascent
To a plateau good and whole.

What fine opportunities
My wrinkles record as loss -
Hmm ... if only said itinerary
Were sooner traversed.

~~~~~~~

To a stranger who has died
     Money is nontransferable –
That the Egyptians tried –
     The kings – they’re unconsolable –

But I know of things that follow:
     A reputation is transferable –
Fame – too – worth much in gold
     As well as a pretty caricature –

Others will take their talents
     And I – by a memory that’s perfect –
Will take – cheating osmosis –
     My poems with me into death.

~~~~~~~

The wind hears many secrets
As he blows at his election.
Only a hearer at best –
He mulls them over and again
But doesn’t repeat or think aloud
For there are too many to recount.

The wind also has many lovers –
Appreciating the trees –
Caressing the flowers
And cooling warm cheeks
But preferring to roam –
Blows away to a place unknown.

~~~~~~~

The mirror is ignorant
   Of what I know is the truth:
Youth repelling the elements -
   A smooth face untouched by grief -

An expression revealing no thought
   Whose round eyes of ocean blue
Can't focus in on a plot -
   Can't see vandals for what they do

But this face is aware of things
   From academia and abroad -
Challenged by touch and theory -
   Although my peers might say not

And my opinions - they run deep -
   Diverse in classifications -
My humility - held steady -
   By the years of my burdens.

~~~~~~~

Forgive me, young dandelion.
I did not feign disinterest.
My mind has running thoughts
That stole my attention.

You only meant to be a friend.
I was not being callous.
Your seedlings ought to whisk
Them away upon a random wind.

~~~~~~~

He comes around the wall
   And I feel my quickened heart.
I dare to look even while
   Seconds become a moment.

He passes with dull eyes
   And a whiff of musky skin.
I wish I could pass by
   As unaffected as him.

~~~~~~~

Poverty is expensive
To those already poor -
Costing their time, wages

And spirit, yet they live
A hopeful porter
In their villages -

Subject to elitism.
I, for one, never
Received an invitation.

~~~~~~~

Would you meet me sometime
   At the space in between
The corner of reckless schism
   And the street of broken dreams?

I just covet a good word or two –
   So long as we break silence –
And I will collect an echo
   Then leave and recommence.

~~~~~~~

Like the Sphinx
Igor lies regally
With eyes closed off
To the world.
He finds his zen
And feels the breeze
But knows not how much
He is revered.

~~~~~~~

Success is a strange definition:
Larger in the mind of an onlooker –
Smaller in the hands of a heritor –
In truth – without a measurement.

It can be exaggerated like a rubber band.
It can be dragged through the mud –
Rescued – cleaned and whitened up.
It can be far to sight or close at hand –

Pleasant to the eye on a resumé –
On a statement or ring like a melody
To the hearer of such rhapsody
Or with a shrug – be explained away.

~~~~~~~

TRIOLET #2

Where have all the gentlemen gone?
Worldly thoughts have led them astray –
Desiring neither love nor brawn.
Where? Have all the gentlemen gone?
Tho’ my days are short and nights are long –
I hold my breath, take note and pray:
Where have all the gentlemen gone?
Worldly thoughts have led them astray.

~~~~~~~

I’m envious of the clouds
     That float happily in the sun –
Changing into colorful shrouds –
     Lumping from many into one.

Their most compatible friend –
     The wind, admits
They beautify the high heaven.
     Nebulosity permits

Travel without a passport.
     They slip away on a whim
For a day’s length or more
     And return a denizen.

~~~~~~~

Some people – unpopular in stature –
Slip away into death unnoticed
Softer than a falling feather
That little earns a second glance

But the good deeds of their lives
Grow – recount a love that’s long
And with increasing strength – strive
To tell of hope that spans a marathon.

Others are taken with a shout
Heard far across the air waves –
Ushered by those in the crowd
To a biography and grand raves

And some die amid great efforts –
Succumbing to an evil deed –
And leave a hole as big as their hearts –
Hindsight is the mystery.

Still others leave unknown;
Their time becomes a strange gap
That hides behind a name
Clinging to a simple lithograph.

~~~~~~~

My friend once sighed
That he watches planes fly by
And wonders where they’re going.

The world’s tempo beats on.
I, too, prefer to stop along
The way and watch a small thing.

I congratulate the weed
That grew from a wayside seed
And survives in the sidewalk’s crack.

I notice when raindrops descend
That the roads shine iridescent
Then dry again to a flat black.

I observe a bird’s funny walk –
Watching its head bob and cock –
Such a comedian!

I sit aside the freeway by the river
To watch busy cars drive there –
So calm I am.

~~~~~~~

I have nothing to offer
Except this small heart of mine.
You come with laughter.
I have a past much maligned.

You come with true stories
And many talkative siblings.
I have few good memories
But a face that’s serene.

Interesting things about the world
I remember very well.
If it’s not a bother
I will teach instead of tell.

~~~~~~~

Weeds as tall as children
   Partially hide the dusty windows.
A long silence hangs
   Where once promise echoed.

Broken glass fills the street –
   Glittering like emeralds
To some – to a majority –
   Proving their travails.

~~~~~~~

Jesus stole him from me;
A cleft of my heart went
With my beloved to grand company.
Shock distracted the void –
Grief befriended melancholy
And I tagged along, I admit.
Anger pulled – whispered mortality –
I regrouped my senses
But still, it finds me.
Thank God, forgiveness was created
For also this exigency.

~~~~~~~

INVISIBLE

Would you vouch for sound's sake
Wholly dependent on oxygen
After a tempestuous voice spake
After a humble tune is forgotten?
Would you swear of love in every form
Of neighborly love, a child's love
Or else render it an illusion born
Of what mere humans dreamed up
And to seek for it is a vain plight?
Would you deny that pain exists
Ebbing in and out like the tide
And heartache too, also as tenuous?

~~~~~~~

Weary day surrenders to night;
     She wears a pleasant countenance.
Echoes of traffic hush the strife
     Of a long day; a moment of silence

Makes still even the Holy Ghost
     As the cobalt of the sky fades.
A moth makes love to the lamppost
     Knowing the warmth of its rays.

Come darkness, come tomorrow.
     Will they bring the nice thoughts I’ve thought?
Yea, my heart is not shallow
     But guides in a way my eyes cannot.

~~~~~~~

A milky-eyed mourning dove
Sat upon a tombstone - tacit -
Inside the grounds of St. Francis
To admire a cache betroved.

A sentinel's duty - it bears -
Not broken by a morning beam -
Even the shuffle of the wind
Could not disturb the atmosphere.

The dove - it eyed me peacefully -
Let out a feathered sigh.
I felt it - walking on by -
That blessed serenity.

~~~~~~~

Tarry with me tonight
My dear firelight!
Your precious warmth be
My solitary company.
It's my plush blanket
Wrapping me in heat.
Not all is well;
Darkness cast its spell.
Luxurious light -
Do stay tonight!

~~~~~~~

Low dust clouds bristled
     In the sky but I did not see;
A lone grackle whistled
     A warning I did not perceive.

The world would not cease turning
     In its cruel mockery.
I sat upon a rock, faltering –
     Because of things that wouldn’t be.

Only distraction can persuade –
     Only sleep can steal
Such sadness that pervades
     And hot tears that swell

But hotter yet came a wind
     That brushed my fingers
As would one consoling
     And dried my tears.

~~~~~~~

Tell me something more –
Something about yourself
I’ve never heard before
Lazily. It’ll help

Pass an afternoon
As hot as this
For August is afoot
And I get restless.

If whatever I learn
Stirs my heart up –
Dances in my brain
Or makes me blush –

I can mull it over
And spite terrible August.
Then I’ll consider
My day accomplished.

~~~~~~~

moonlight
cool air on my skin
the blanket's smell

~~~~~~~

Death, to me, is a stranger;
     I know not his whereabouts.
I’ve seen him but haven’t heard –
     I know of him but we’ve not met.

He spoke at length with my elder
     And convinced him to go.
I got to say good-bye before
     He left, but of Death, I don’t know.

He seems so popular among
     Celebrities – distant and queer.
With the sickly, too, he throngs –
     Too important to come here

Although once, without persistence –
     Death did rap upon my door.
I was busy – I did not answer
     So he left a calling card.

~~~~~~~

A profusion of great heat
Rose up and oppressed my mind.
So few were signs of retreat
It stifled an alarm seldom heard.

Philosophy says the mind
And body are two different entities
And it’s not meant with scorn
But Invincibility disagrees.

~~~~~~~

An inhospitable truth I have
     To carry throughout my life
That must stay buried in my heart –
     What a terrible truth!

It dances on my tongue
     When I feel somebody knows.
On the scale of history – it nags –
     On a bone – it gnaws.

It’s the shadow that follows
     My genetic path incurably.
It shall follow me into death
     And be the Ghost beside me.

~~~~~~~

Should malachite bemoan
The diamond's luster
When the diamond could
Envy malachite's color?
Does the pearl cite
A greater metamorphosis
Than that of hematite
Though both be lustrous?

~~~~~~~

My spirit cannot be bridled
     For it is as wild as fire –
As innocent as a child
     And in secrecy, has desires.

My body cannot contain it –
     No, because of how strong I am –
All that my spirit resonates
     Could fill an entire room.

I may die and not be missed;
     Lest people forget with one accord
That I left behind good remnants –
     I shall come and haunt that void.

~~~~~~~

A swirl of amaretto
Revolves in my coffee -
Like a galaxy -
Shimmering and slow.

Dawn is utterly quiet;
Moon beams - thin and long -
Cleave to the flooring
Each protracted moment.

~~~~~~~

VILLANELLE #1

In my youth, I remember an innocent time
When I dreamt that big dreams would come true
But all those dreams have since been stolen.

Fate is made hard by the evil thoughts of men.
Tho' I strove for good, ill luck accrued.
In my youth, I remember an innocent time

When life was unscripted, the future was golden.
Dreams burned as bright as the morning sun's hue
But all those dreams have since been stolen.

Power is the motive behind the heart's assassin.
Thus, life hurts like a sword turned in the wound.
In my youth, I remember an innocent time

When I sought in vain the faith of a paladin
Who'd champion my cause, to be approved
But all those dreams have since been stolen.

God curses both the righteous and the wicked
But punishment without fault seems cruel.
In my youth, I remember an innocent time
But all those dreams have since been stolen.