3 am

You wake out of habit
A tonic of bad dreams and habitual guilt and melancholy
Because what is a poem without it
Believe me you will sleep again
Do not over think this
It doesn’t have to be perfect
Only true

The cell


From inside

Looking out

Reaching through the bars to feel the grass

To see the sun

The wind blowing through the trees

So the world is spinning

The west wind is singing me to sleep

Dreaming

I’m awake

I’m awake

I’m awake

I should be watching the clock

The clock with hands

I never understood what it meant

To me it always meant wait

Until

It meant too late

It always meant should have

Until

It meant could have

I don’t  have clock hands

I have shadows

And the sleeping cat

And the wind through the trees

And the dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art of racing clouds

Lying here, feeling so high

As the clouds go drifting by

I dream my dreams and let them fly

Sending my prayers in flight like the dove

Where the clouds race so high above

Far from me and the strife below

Where we struggle as friend and foe

Far from this journey, where I fear to go

They say,

“Alone we are born, and alone we die”

And from this journey we cannot flee or hide

But we are not alone it seems

So this is why I dream my dreams

Sending prayers both night and day

I pray for wisdom to show me the way

And now with new dreams to soar and fly

I find myself here again, watching the sky

As the clouds go racing by

 

 

 

 

How to write a poem in 12 simple steps

Picture of journal with empty pages

The Definitive Guide

Step 1.  Put on “Kind of blue” by Miles Davis
Step 2.  Enter a euphoric state induced by an irresponsibly excessive amount of grandiose hyperbole, bongos and Irish coffee.
Step 3.  Rant frantically a confused discharge of sensations, emotions, and disallusions until you reach the pinnacle of rhetorical zen.
Step 4.  Write the first draft while staring out a window catatonicly for at least 4 hours.
Step 5.  Let it rest knowing this is the greatest poem ever written since “Riot.”
Step 6.  The next day, re-read your masterpiece and realize it’s terrible. You will never be Gwendolyn Brooks, and everyone will think you are insane.
Step 7.  Alcohol!  Let the wave of unfulfilled vision wash over you as you contemplate a life as a Munk in Tibet, or lighthouse keeper.
Step 8.  Lighten up! The world does not need another Gwendolyn Brooks, she already did it perfectly. The world needs your voice.  And if it doesn’t ….. repeat step 7.  Oh and by the way everyone already knows you’re insane and your friends and family are OK with it…
Step 9.  Write second draft just in time for the open mic at the electric brew.
Step 10.  Still picking your poem apart… fall asleep attempting to read Ulysses.
Step 11.  Wakeup in the middle of the night and write two new lines before slipping back to that dream where Cloris Leachman is teaching you how to grow vegetarian bacon in an aquarium.
Step 12.  Write each line down on a note card so you can read/rewrite, read/rewrite, read/rewrite at least 150x until you are finally able to write the final draft.

And breath.

It is done.

Now
Wasn’t that simple

The Poets Agenda

To hang stars one by one
Sieving rust into glitter
To build dreams from ashes
To look for patterns in brocade and well worn paths of memory
cutting through forests and fields and
swimming through streams of tomorrows
and navigating minefields of detached yesterdays
Through snow and storms
Until one day

I remember everything,
Whispers the sea
And the poet asks,
Tell me
Tell me
When time began
Tell me
Why that smile is impossible to forget

Tell me how to start over
Tell me
Everything

Listening
The sea
And the moon
And the stars
And the lark
And the still small voice

To rage
To love
To hope
To dream
To feel
To defend

To remember
When forgetting would make all the pieces fit
Because they should know
the pieces never really fit