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(a poem from my upcoming collection of poetry — not sure exactly when it will be available for preorder but i’ll keep you updated!)

breathe through me a new day
a dawn of things to come
that i know not
nor do you
but in feeling
believing an image of thought
of understanding in the passage of time
walk in me
talk through my actions
let me choose in depth
to inhale abandon
of all my fear
and expectations
my passions and lusts
and exhale acceptance
of the gratitude for myself
that you have taught me

consume the fires of my heart
believing in me
the opening of mind
so i speak with the flames of self
wrapped in the winds of your
playful compassion
derived within the papered sheets
of unwritten short stories
the brokenness within
melding the disparate realities of my moments
with the ubiquity of hate
to form new happinesses
giving morning light to the darkness of unbridling trolls
casting unshadowed warmth between my footsteps

taste new scents on the breeze
beyond my senses but within my memories
that i act on
swallowing words whole
lyrics not simply of love but action
holding friends from falling
whether before the vast gusts of time
or the failure of inaction
in the face of the enemy of all

feel in me the doubt that revives
not simply acceptance
but the truth of equality
as i hold those
who trespass against you
and take them not to task
but embracing a change inaction never prescribes
accept me with each breath
and teach me empathy
beyond mere hands wrapped around shoulders
a sisterhood of yogic compassion


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candles shatter
the momentary silence
of my self-reflection
and wake me
to the press of a reset button
on another year in my life
as i shelter from the storm
of the outside world
pressing in on my seconds
of dreams
not yet turned to truth or lies

i stare
through the glass of a window on memories
no more solid
than the fragments of sprinkles
reflected on top of the sundaes
of half-forgotten parties
with ponies and pointy hats and parcels
passed endlessly
through the chatter of disco

your voice
stuns me from daydreams
and speaks truth
through my own lips
breathing me back to life
making decisions impossible to shift
or even contemplate
in their boldness
as i choose to be myself
despite the society
collapsing against me

tomorrow is the birth
from dream to truth
yet i never imagined
i could taste the freedom
of no longer acting for the camera
never more than a footstep away
and posing for selfies
less reflections than a colder war
within the soviets of my soul

dream in my head for me
as i have forgotten
how to do more than swallow myself
in the moment
and breathe me the strength
to walk myself through a single day
as once is enough to echo to always
and find in this break with the past
a secret smile

(this poem was composed to commemorate the birthday of a friend in october 2021, one of the most talented artists i know. feel free to check out her work here if you’re interested in illustration.)

a life at the board

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what once was black
you turned to white
with each stroke of chalk
leaving its mark
not simply on vertical surfaces
depicting curves
and angles
but the brightness of understanding on minds
clouded with reflections of childhood
and the silliness of the moment

the past retreated
into modern whiteboards calling to you
to turn those white lines
into colors
myriad and bright
whose new arcs become food in the mouths of generations
whose sparks had not yet been kindled
but whose desire to see the world as it is
pose more challenge with each crop of youth
folded into newly-plastic seats

with each chord
and midpoint
an observer would be excused in thinking
the truth is far from the domain of ranges
and is not inscribed in a circle
other than life’s own
but they would be wrong

while symbols
and shapes may be a universal language
spoken by gods and mortals
on days both good
and thoughtless
it is neither equation nor simple proof
you offered those young minds
as the outcome of your talking
and writing
and questions
and answers

it is by your presence
that letters gave way to words of comfort
and numbers were dismissed
into the background of the safety
where the outside world of fights
and faiths
and females
and self
and other
were subdued into a background of white noise
and distance
making them seem nothing more than illusion
behind layers of chalkdust
and half-erased gentle memories

there is little truth in perception
yet in the eyes of each student their lives
and concerns
and fears
and words of craving were their only world
and in so many rooms they found nothing
even to distract them
from the self-obsession
we all once called our lives
but couldn’t have been more mistaken
as time shed those moments from our pasts
and we gradually discovered youth to be
a myth of understandings
bent farther than the arc beneath your white-chalked hand

from those rooms
they came into a world of desks
and chairs
where each thought they arrived to learn
and often to pretend to know
and hope for partial credit
and while they tasted a joy
they thought impossible to feel for simple numbers
and their hopes
and dreams
so large
yet written in logic’s dispassionate hand
they found something else in those hours

discovering the safety that lies in concern
for each young face
raised in anticipation
or dropped to desktop in exhaustion
knowing that above
and beyond
are nothing more than status quo
and hopes
and dreams
and prayers
are not restricted to the figures on the board
but are there only for the asking
and help is in the air
mingled with the scent of markers
and the long-departed memory of chalkdust
singing as half-forgotten choirs
whose legacy outlives us all

(this poem was composed for my father robert in commemoration of his retirement.)

thank you for reading. your eyes have done me a great honor today.