Faded into the Wind

Maybe it’s the way her hair falls upon her shoulders or her Irish eyes dancing across the twilight on a windy Brooklyn night. Her soft cheeks brace themselves for the bitter cold air but the impact once she’s outside doesn’t hit her the way she thought. Her lovely brown eyes stutter awake while the ground livens upon each of her steps. She sees no one however much I wish I was there to greet her. The smile I wish was for me is reserved for the spectacle of life before her. The breath she inhales shares nothing in common with the air I breathe. It’s been years since I’ve seen her but as much as I long to see her face again, I’m faded into the wind. If her smile lingers for just a second longer than it would otherwise have lingered; if her eyes glance upon the clouds for just a moment in a daydream daze, then who is to say I wasn’t there and who’s to say those moments weren’t a lifetime shared? If only I had the courage to hold her hand as I walked with her after the show had ended. It’s something the wind could never do.

In the Shadows of the City

In the shadows of the city a young woman rummages through the bargain bins
Of libraries and bedraggled bookstores seeking solace as she prepares
To ascend to some far off distant land where the grit and muck
Of this world ring only a distant bell in her waking memory.
I wait at the gate with the west wind at my back gazing upon the horizon.
There’s a poetry in her every step as I see her stroll further and further away.
“Where is she off to next?” I wonder wishing I could see her off
Knowing I’ll never hold her close nor ever hold her hand.

The wind howls and the locusts sing their tune summoning me away.
They order me to leave my post at the gate and return my gaze to the city
Where the cracks in the pavement and the smell of urine on a subway platform
Compete for my undivided attention with the song of blasting sirens.
The moment I obey I know she’ll glance over her shoulder gracefully
And I know I’ll miss that moment and I’ll miss her brown bedroom eyes.
I return to the shadows of the city where the indigent barkers march
While the street sign graffiti tells me all hope is lost, dead, and buried.
I pause to wonder if a lifetime could truly be lived gazing into her beautiful eyes
Or basking in the light of her smile yet if she ever did look back before departing
I’ll  never know for sure nor would she ever know how much I wished to stay.

A Man Awakens to a New York Morning

Author’s Note:  I haven’t tried to write a poem in a while. I thought I’d take a crack at it. Hope I didn’t do too poorly.

“Awakening to a New York Autumn”

This city wreaks of inequity
And every time I wake up with hazy eyes
It provides yet another reason for
Fate to rake me over the coals

You live, you breathe, you work,
And where does it get you?
There is real life somewhere, I’m sure of it.
Perhaps somewhere in Iowa or in Oklahoma
Maybe solace has escaped to those places

Here there’s just rust and decay
Coal miners dressed in casual jeans
And autumnal green jackets unaware of their occupation
Unaware of the filthy air they breathe – we breathe.

We fight, we toil, and fold into tiny consumer pegs
Finding comfort in super market aisles
Worshiping at the altar of a cashier line
Hoping the next face we see will offer smile
Knowing that it almost never happens

We distract ourselves to escape the reality
Of the doom that awaits us, the finality of death
The cunning sword that sweeps past us as we
Dance on the graves of our fallen comrades in arms
Desperate in prayer, waltzing towards the void.

I find my only comfort in her smile
I recall her voice and linger in the gracefulness of her walk
The murkiness fades
And the freshly fallen leaves lend an artistry to the pavement

The bleakness lifts
And it’s because she’s here in the world
Out there somewhere – unwittingly causing the sun to shine

And I wonder whatever happened
To the decaying urban landscape .

3 Song Lyric-Poems

“A Single Drop of Rain”

I wish I was a single drop of rain
I’d fall through the sky without a name
Wherever I may land my fate would be the same
And I wish I was a single drop of rain

There’s a cabin on the Waynesburg borderline
Where the oak smells great and the trees all look just fine
If I could get there tonight I’d take my car and ride
But I’ve lost my map and left my keys behind

I awoke one morning in an unfamiliar room
For a moment I forgot about my recent wounds
And as she approached I could smell her sweet perfume
Then she left me wondering which novel to resume

I thought I’d start to read before I’d soon forget
A storm rolled in and got our feet all wet
She said, “You best get up and pay off all your debts
You can’t set the stage ‘til the stage is set.”

I wish I was that halo sitting on her head
I’d sleep so well when I go back to bed
Then I’d never have a fear of looking straight ahead
And I wish I was that halo on her head.

As soon as I awoke she quickly disappeared
I was all alone as I had always feared
But now I remember the words she whispered softly in my ear
She said, “A lamb is not a lamb after it’s been sheared.”

I wish I was a single drop of rain.
I’d fall through the sky without a name.
Wherever I may land my fate would be the same,
And I wish I was a single drop of rain.

____

“Rolling in His Grave”

When the herd lost its piper they just ran amok
And shot down all their idols looting all the shops
Whispers were forgotten and voices were untrained
The weary were trounced upon by both the strong and lame
And those who claimed indifference were really just the same
Who cares if Elvis rolls over in his grave

The fires burned brighter when the summers were lost
As peasants gambled for sweaters no matter what the cost
Motors all fell silent though no one thought it strange
When at appointed moments our radios pled “signal out of range”
And no one seemed to mind it much except for the deranged
Who cares if Elvis rolls over in his grave

Still life seems normal for those us who don’t pay any mind
Not much seems lost if you don’t follow the changes in time
A clock becomes a souvenir when the dials are cast in flames
There’s still some children out there who think the 50’s were the days
But when they grow up to die in wars that don’t have any names
Who cares if Elvis rolls over in his grave

I cannot recall the last time I went to see a great big show
The preacher told his sermon to the audience below
The message was distorted but no one dared complain
There are songs meant for singers who are meant to sing in vain
I thought “how could someone just stand there feeling so unashamed”
Who cares if Elvis rolls over in his grave

A heavy smoke enters my window while I try to sleep at night
I’m pretty good at pretending that it is out of sight
Though I can’t help but feeling that breathing is a strain
On lungs that only have inhaled the despondency of rain
There are plenty of emotions that I just can’t sustain
Who cares if Elvis rolls over in his grave

There’s far too few a precious land for laying back your head
The average person can’t recall the pleasures they were fed
And when they’re asked, “how came you so by such heavy chains?”
They just say, “I do not know but these chains I will retain
And there’s a penance to be paid for the ghosts of heroes slain”
Who cares if Elvis rolls over in his grave

________

“Dancing to the End of Rock N Roll”

We came out one summer evening and put our music on
With our front lines all defeated our voices carried on
And we were dancing as we wept
Dancing through the heat and bitter sweat
Dancing while the night still carried on
Dancing to the words that soon were gone
Dancing toe to toe
Dancing to the end of Rock n Roll

The last angel of Manhattan fell as the radio bled and died
Some suits just stood there clapping just to drown their lonely sighs
And we were dancing as we wept
Dancing because there would be nothing left
Dancing for those things that we forgot
Dancing for every tear that ever dropped
Dancing oh so close
Dancing to the end of Rock n Roll

And the city is still moving
And the walls have been put up
And the stars they’re still shining
Though we know that soon
They’ll just give up

The demise of passion wasn’t easy but we learned to do without
Our collective amnesia kept us from taking to the streets to shout
Instead, we recall what music used to be about
Dancing in our secret hearts and homes
Dancing til our feet just turn to stone
Dancing to the end of Rock n Roll

4 Poems

(untitled)

My thoughts drift to you on lonely evenings
Stolen memories that have yet to come to fruition
Salvage the dreary daily drudgery of rigorous routine
I breathe you in like fire
Denying imaginary pleas for confession

I get so nervous and afraid of what you think of me.
Am I an unwanted nuisance singing out of place or out of tune?
Am I a scheming sorry scoundrel who wants what isn’t his?
You, my muse, are all I desire
Burn as we might like embers frail as we are like dew.

_____

“In the Final Moments”

When all that is left is dust or so the saying goes
Where will all the mourners flee?
Perhaps they’re sold at bargain prices for premium amusements
Coddled somewhere and fooled by scolding hypocrites
To keep running so that the hunt presents an actual challenge

No, you say that’s not what happens.
You say they’ll remember you and the light you gave them
You say that all that lives and thrives somehow carries on
But where did the longing go?
Where do unfulfilled dreams scurry off to when their home is terminally abandoned?

Does it settle in with the cold wind biting the nose of your unrequited love?
If only some part of me lingered to convey some primitive message
If only some breeze would pick up and carry the particles of an unsaid rhyme
Would it not be bliss to convey in a nipping whisper to a woman
What song I’ve kept in my heart for her that never left these lips of mine?

_____

“The Placeholder”

I am nothing but a placeholder:
Mediocre scribbles awaiting tender death
At the hand of a meticulous judge.
I am that thing that adheres to the fringes of genius
For abstraction at a later date.

The generous master has yet to be this kind.
Surely, I would have blipped off page by now,
An unsightly blunder only to be recalled in jest
Remembered not for what I was but what I failed to be.

My neighbors grow impatient.
They clamor and claw away from me
Like flesh might steal away from toothy maggots.
I stubbornly sink my roots ever deeper.
As the master leaves, I do nothing but shout in triumph.

____

“My Favorite Stranger”

Days stumble, push, and shove each other through
They serve hardly any purpose
Neither to me nor my disquietude;
I still wait for a call
From my favorite stranger.

Years have past,
And she rarely thinks of me.
My drink grows stale while the cradle runs deep
A dram becomes a bottle
With a thirst that never sleeps
It’s hard to let go.
She can sense this, I know
My favorite stranger.

I can hardly recall her face
Perhaps my thirst succeeds
Though her voice becomes a ghost
I hear only the wind and trees
Yet if this fog ever lifts
And I hope it never will
I’ll still wait for that call
From my favorite stranger.