Children of the Hive (Death)

Children of the Hive (Death)

 

After all your tears have fallen

all your steps, taken

all your love, given

all your emotions, spent

all your words, spoken

muscles evaporate and strength is gone

fingers can no longer clinch or hold on

to anything

grasping for everything you once were

clinging to memories

like Thomas you did not go quietly into that goodnight

but the goodnight arrived anyway

once you journeyed to your horizon

there was no turning back

we can never turn back

but If only you could, most assuredly you would

turn back the hands of time

relive every single solitary blessed moment

over and over again

cherish those moments one by one

never again feel weighted down with burden

give anything to be burdened once more

promise not to hurry through those special moments

or wish others would leave you alone, if only

for just a little while

never again wish to be alone

in the recesses of the mind lingering echoes of small children

laughing and playing and remember when

you were the small child laughing

no no no never again wish to escape life’s demands

listen one more time to birds chirping after the rain

and do you remember?

the little puppy in your hands with fur so warm

or a contented kitten purring in your lap

and the first time another’s’ lips touched yours

the beauty of young love

electric sensations burning through

heart and soul

and can you still recall?

the thrill of discovering a lover’s deepest secrets

up all night needing to know every little detail of the person

you wish to spend the rest of your life with

and watching your children grow

a boy into a man, girl into a woman

you raised them well

give anything to relive those moments just one more time

relive every second of every day

cling to them as you would cling to a life preserver

never letting go

but there is no turning back the hands of time

and eternal silence is upon you as I hold your hand

kiss your lips one final time and wish you well

close your eyes and rest

before embarking on a new journey into the unknown

for awhile, maybe longer, I’ll remain

tending to your flame that I’ll keep alive inside my heart

pass along to everyone I meet

so go to sleep my friend

your essence I will keep

this will be my eulogy, simple and true

I love you

goodnight

we’ll be together soon

 

(Excerpt from Urban Hymns)

FROM MUSCLE SHOALS TO BAKERSFIELD

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FROM MUSCLE SHOALS TO BAKERSFIELD

 

From Muscle Shoals to Bakersfield familiar vagabond spirits I meet

torch of knowing burning through opened eyes

we know what’s it’s like to live on the other side

to exist on the outside looking in

we know why others find comfort dwelling inside another’s’ dream

and why we choose a life

chasing freedom

 

From Tacoma to Portland, Maine

I recognize their kind

essence of life dripping like sweat from the tip of our nose

committing sins as if sins are our daily bread

forgive us father for we have erred time and time again

attaining knowledge from our trials

forgive us father if we have grown so much wiser

than the fearful kind who have faced no trials at all

forgive us father for we have sinned

time and time again

learned from our mistakes and moved on

aware that experience may darken the soul

light dimming with the passing of years

but if we allow wisdom to blossom from failures

there’s a special kind of light that burns

when we conquer our fears

 

From the harsh winters of Fargo to the tropics of Brownsville

we move on down this road with a song in our hearts escaping

these weary travelers disconnected

from mechanisms of society intended to control us

disconnected from those desiring to lord over us

to own us

we cut the puppet strings and paved our own road out of here

this song in our hearts escaping

our severed hearts finding a chorus to hold on to

these vagabond souls singing all the time rejoicing in

Whitman’s Song of the Open Road

In The End

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In the end

if my hands and heart are scarred

then know I’ve fared well

for each scar is a memory, a medal of honor

for challenges defeated, battles won

and lessons learned

 

In the end

I will not be pure

pure like mountain streams born of snowmelt

for purity is a lack of experience

and I am the stream when it makes the delta

a thousand miles from home

depositing my silt into the ocean of the universe

The Poet

Not long ago I had an opportunity to have a handful of poems critiqued by a published poet. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but think that my ½ hour with her seemed more like a therapy session than a review of my work.

048

The Poet

 

On a balcony overlooking a paradox

she offers and I take a seat

a teacher and a poet in a long black dress

shuffling pieces of me in her hands

 

Questions she asks

prodding with a smile

searching perhaps for something

words can reconcile

 

Knowing I’m just another surface dweller

the poet scratches my soul

you’re going to need a shovel, she says

to get where you want to go

 

No one cares about objects shining brightly in a noonday sun

objects plainly seen by everyone

she asks about my house

why I only go into rooms where the light is on

 

Her penetrating words finger switches

and once darkened rooms reveal decaying corpses

chests inflating with the breath of recognition

mouths repeating lessons learned

 

Having trained the emotions through the years

how can I describe what she wants to hear?

the look on my mother’s face

how can I forget?

that haunted expression she wore

when I told her what I knew

Heretic

mesopotamia ruins

Rising sun come

rise with me

shatter this darkness that consumes

darkness consuming everything

I’m an infant learning to see

but your  intensity scorches the skin of my earth

so I learn to blink

open eyes close

absorb what I can

touch you in small doses

preserve an infantile mind

when you grow weak

my earth dies

I am an infant

deaf dumb and blind

struggling to comprehend your mysteries

grunting something unintelligible to explain what I’ve seen

I am the wilderness

grazing for food on the great grasslands

picking berries from a bush, digging for edible roots

chasing rabbits into a hole

sharp stone in one hand raised high

ready to strike a blow

I’ve learned to kill to survive

and killing bothers me none

for if I die

this illusion comes undone

I am a shaft of light

finding my way through dense forests

picking fruit from a low hanging branch

learning to climb

higher and higher on this tree of humanity

when apples are sparse a hallucinogenic mushroom will do

mushrooms cracking open my sky

infinity pours out

grunting syllables into a void separating a future on hold

I am the storm

blackened bellies rolling across a desperate sky

dripping tears and spewing fire

grassland ignites

capture fire and never let it die

for the sun again grows weak and I’ve begun to notice

rhythm of the sun as it ebbs and flows

days grow longer and days grow shorter

days grow warmer and days grow colder

cycles measured and recorded

rhythmic cycles of the sun repeating over and over

I am awakening

and I’ve begun to notice

I have no clothes to wear or shoes on the feet

and maybe I should fashion some

soon as I learn how to sew

grunt in repetition and point at a thing

others echoing conformity

birth a language and communication breaks down

You are a dream

in sleep so many strange visions

witnessed your disemboweled remains strewn across the savanna

heard the final screams

as the wild pack feasted on your meat before vultures came

picking bones clean

sometimes in restless sleep I see you walking back to me

whole, resurrected

soothing, comforting, loving, angry, threatening, acting strangely

and I cannot understand when the dead return

where they come from or where they go

in the vacuum of comprehension religions are born

I am an artist

painting visions on a cave wall

bury the dead

leave a loved one’s belongings in the grave

appease appease appease appease appease

appease these fears

irrational fears spawned by things I can’t understand

sacrificial lambs never scream when so easily programmed

not to scream when blood stains my earth

create a language to describe the mysteries I perceive

congregate in mud huts for protection and security

We are one

Ur Olmec Nile Valley Sanxingdui and Norte Chico

paint our visions on cave walls for future generations to see

stand on a ziggurat and give praise to the sun and moon

name celestial bodies creeping across an ebony sky that governs

nothing

pray for appeasement from soulless elements giving rise

to everything

in absence of gods science emerges

architectural achievements piercing the sky

bronze tools forged in high heat increasing productivity

paint pottery with symbols of the ruling deity

construct canals from rivers delivering water to the fields

supplement grace of gods with practical gifts of technology

We are God

Mesopotamian men invented gods and strove to become gods

inventing weaponry to slay their enemies

so much blood sacrificed for gods so silent

gods never uttering a word

gods never ordering a man into battle

men rallying around silent gods because someone suggested they should

butchering other men for gods never seen or heard

superstitious myths strike fear into the hearts of the populace

superstitious myths spun from mouths of men imagining themselves god

reserve schooling for children of the kings

chain the masses to ignorance and terror of cosmic proportions

for any act of rebellion will be dealt severe repercussions

from vengeful gods seeking destruction

so many silent gods rising and falling through Time

invisible gods never uttering a word

This is how the few learned they could control the many

force us into an obedient life of servitude

by carefully choosing their illusions

the few lulled the many into an eight thousand year delusion

and someday when the sun finally rises

when the sun comes and shatters our darkness

blindness will be stripped away

and we shall awaken

when lightning strikes our Earth

the heretic shall awaken

capture fire

and never let it die

Slumlord

 

 

Reworking my resume, tripping through previous job experiences:

 

 

craftsman porch

 

Where businesses are boarded up the body bled

on tree lined streets dreamers have fled

small wooden homes line avenues in decay

and those who can’t dream are condemned to stay

 

On a craftsman porch ghosts of forgotten children playing

hear the tinkle of keys drifting through open curtains

in the background of memories piano concertos wafting

while down in the streets

real children with guns play a dangerous game

between gangsta-rap beats instigating

 

A row of cars circle a house on the corner

prison bars on windows and doors

on the porch a man in a suit of armor studies

broken concrete sidewalk weeds rising through cracks

where junkies stand in line waiting on snow

and I’m here seeking my fair share of the dough

inside a card table and folding chair for décor

paid in sweaty bills from the pocket stash of a whore

 

At another house not far away

I arrived without delay

Neighborhood Association busted down your door

stole your crystal and so much more

dried crimson streaks across the floor

evidence of the final minutes for you and your girl

indescribable horror screaming

in the silence of a stain

indescribable horror still screaming

as I helped the King’s Men fill out the report

 

On another street not far from here

earning my pay while admitting no fear

three months had passed without word

so I put your worldly possessions out on the curb

trick of irony you appeared

as the last of your things walked away

snarling teeth spitting in my face

would have killed me if you could

the duties of my job you misunderstood

Children of the Hive (birth)

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Down at St. Mary’s First Presbyterian Sinai Methodist Baptist Hospital

a child is born

Aleene Junko Wang Onur Hassan David Kimiyo Yesenia Vladimir

Miguel Andrei Abner Lissette Sema Ron Hormisdas Souzan Jorge

born in these government dispensaries harvesting fresh humans

for corporate consumption from heavily seeded urban fields

embryos encased for nine months in complexes of sheetrock pods

infants bursting forth from darkened wombs

Li Damica Choko Kseniya Corradeo Ahmad Neylan Camara Zackery

Callie Hana John Vander Tariq Jenna Khalil Zhang Seymour Rocco

sprouts bursting forth from seeds

twisting and turning

inching toward that life giving light of illumination

fed artificial light of artificial things destroying

the unaware

these blooms of factories

Jomo Tamiko Mogens Shalom Zerrin Peter Rudo Nuncio Salama

Alaire Jilt Sofia Curtis Ignazio Taillefer Anouk Zeki Helida Tryne

organic components grown on the human vine

replacement cogs in a machine

factors of production

blooms clinging to the vine in winds of a perpetual storm

just another flower in a seed farm

whose sole purpose is to labor and consume

cultivated to serve

the purposes of corporate harvesters

cycles of time repeating

again and again throughout history

this workforce herd in constant breeding

birthing a future workforce

Stepan Zohreh Elizabeth Rada Darice Gabrielle Kristina

Masao Chen Victoria Jesus Dai Aida Orazia Teresa Maria

cities are corporate farms harvesting a crop

plumbers bricklayers and framers

preserving the foundations of slaves

Lia Juan Gao Tamie Archa Akemi Basia Neal Orli Paki Skye

Adia Kya Govert Eshe Steven Rei Zola Eli Huang Marta Joost

truck drivers dock workers and railroad engineers

transporting consumables to keep the slaves fed

professors bible school and public school teachers

subliminally instilling fatalistic programming into our heads

work work work until you’re dead!

and every hospital is the Alpha and Omega

the beginning and the end

birthing cities

over and over again

communal cornerstones towering over the populace

watching her children live and die

silently standing by

as her children live out their lives

Eabroni Irina Tallis James Yildiz Aleah Zainabu Elena Wu Nasim

Kahraman Tian Emanuelle Yu Michael Elma Naoko Akar Boris Joel

lost in the struggle to define themselves

falsely seeking false light

and when they’ve reached the end

there’s a hospital at the expiration of every lifeline

taking her children in again

Leaving (revisited)

side mirror

Leaving

 

Said goodbye to the road

open highways and miles and miles of empty space

bid farewell to my country home

isolation and peaceful contemplations

buried my business and my way of life

buried the man I used to be

buried it all six feet in the ground

left behind everything I knew to be right

sun moon and stars

fresh air and Natures’ masterpiece

left it all behind in my rearview mirror

hit the road and headed north

made my way to the city

where men have little pity for the honorable kind

inserted myself into the mainstream

reunited with my brother and sister

reunited

with the children of the hive

Leaving

wild turkeys in fog

A city boy by birth, I eventually broke free of the high intensity hectic urban lifestyle and made my escape to the country. 15 years I spent peacefully dwelling on a small spot of land where the forest dissolves into rolling prairie. Out here, surrounded by an abundance of undeveloped acreage, cattle quietly grazed in green pastures along with coyotes, rabbits, armadillos, owls, hawks, wild turkeys, bobcats, and of course, snakes. At nights we sat on the porch and watched the moon rise from the east, 1113brighter and more vivid than ever before. My wife often commented that she could see the bands of the Milky Way floating above our heads in the night sky. We slowed down. As the white noise of the city faded we began to hear something new, our thoughts, our inner voices, inspiring us to discover our souls.

During this time we also built a small business that took us down the highways and back roads of America. 10 years we did this and the experience changed our core selves, for the better (I like to believe). Some people think we were insane for abandoning traditional career paths in exchange for the romance of a gypsy lifestyle on the road, but those people are wrong. Drowned out by the white noise of the city, they’ve never heard their inner thoughts softly speaking to them, encouraging them to take risks and seek new adventure. They’ve never been liberated from the all-mighty, soul consuming corporate machine. Most of these naysayers had never experienced that kind of freedom. Severing the corporate umbilical cord is a gambit most people are too afraid to take. After all, it’s only your life and future well-being that’s at stake.

After 15 years nurturing my soul, the journey abruptly came to an end. I returned to the mainstream, to corporate America as another cog in the machine. After 15 years of rural splendor, I moved back to the city.  Then I penned some verses about leaving a life behind, mostly for therapy I suppose, and made these verses the prologue for my recent collection of poetic attempts, Urban Hymns. 

 

Leaving

 

Said goodbye to the road

open highways and miles and miles of empty space

bid farewell to my country home

isolation and peaceful contemplations

buried my business and my way of life

buried the man I used to be

buried it all six feet in the ground

left behind everything I knew to be right

sun moon and stars

fresh air and Natures’ masterpiece

left it all behind in my rearview mirror

hit the road and headed north

made my way to the city

where men have little pity for the honorable kind

inserted myself into the mainstream

reunited with my brother and sister

reunited

with the children of the hive

Suggested Reading: The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

001

The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

edited by Alan Kaufman & S. A. Griffin

published by Basic Books (member of Perseus Books Group)

Copyright 1999 Alan Kaufman

 

The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry is an enormous collection (685 pgs) of extraordinary counterculture poets including Jack Micheline, D.A. Levy, Diane DiPrima, Sapphire, Bob Kaufman, William S Burroughs, Pedro Pietri, Jeffrey McDaniel, and many, many more. Here we find an eclectic assemblage of artists ranging from spoken word, beat, slam, and rap poets painting the realities of their experiences with powerful verse. Within these pages we can hear the despair of the masses trudging off to work each day, trapped in stale lives,  imprisoned by dull routines, silently screaming  at the heavens for some sort of divine intervention to come and save them from themselves. Raw and compellingly beautiful, this is America as seen through the eyes of street poets dwelling in the bowels of society.  This is poetic expression at its finest. This is America. This is The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. Soak it in.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Outlaw-Bible-American-Poetry/dp/1560252278

 

 

Novelist, poet, other things . . .