Quarantine Poem #2 “Home”

I spoke to an old friend today.
It had been awhile since the
last phone call.
But it didn’t matter.

I saw the soccer fields in my
hometown as she was talking.
I saw the banking, twisting roads.
I was home for a moment.
I was back home.

TS

Singular Voice

Poetry stands alone, different from song.
It speaks with a singular voice, not chorus.
It’s often the voice of your grandmother, I’m told.
She is old as old can be, generations flow through her.
In that way, a poem is in chorus, the murmuring of many
But mostly a singular voice, your grandmother’s.
Not aloud, but in your head.

you said you wanted pop

He’s got his finger on the pulse – heart beating, thumping, pumping blood to his extremities with a resounding thwack. The bass drum pounds, feet down, stomp because he feels something.

We don’t contemplate jazz anymore, Alan. We howl and wail against hermetically sealed
pop music and her perverse soullessness. Perfect and empty. Unblemished and unattainable. Utmost beauty in a vacuum; cartoonish and ballooning, expanding in every direction; gobbling up talent and creativity in a plundering gluttony.

Take every breath out and missed note and brighten the blues to a soft periwinkle. Remove our humanity from the track. Take her voice and record it 500 hundred consecutive times; compressing the sound of her grandmother into a thin, indistinguishable reed.

You said you wanted pop, but instead you got this. 

My creativity is not a commodity

My creativity is not a commodity. My musical mind is not for sale. My worth is tied to something else, I’m afraid, my imprisonment is out on bail. You cannot buy my peace from me and leave ‘worry’ on my stoop. I will not open bills from the likes of those, living in a feedback loop.

My hope is not a bargaining chip, much less my cartwheels in the sun. I have developed calluses from a long race being run. The toughness of my tender heart, an oxymoron in the least – though you must mind my six foot sword, if you call yourself a beast.

Frivolity, like eating cake, is a business of my own. You might call my work a sort of ‘laziness,’ pout and lip at my poems. Meditation is nay a waste – for the productivity you seek. I’m waiting for that fateful day when progress ain’t so chic.

Take my clothes. Take my house. Do with possessions as you please. But carefully watch your materialisms falling to their knees. My creation equals sanity – a bottle rocket headed such. It’s just for me, all my own, if ya like it, thank ya much.

The Dancer

I’ve always admired the graceful movements of a trained dancer who moves each limb deliberately and with such purpose. It’s thoughtful and balanced; mindful of each timed second that passes. It actually speaks to me in a way that I don’t expect, like there is, in fact, order to all of this swirling madness and it makes me think, I would like to see, at some point, the gears move behind this elaborate clock and pay attention to all that I am currently missing.

The Concrete Truth of my Youth

concrete

The concrete truth of my youth
is now a malleable putty
slipping through my fingers.
I much prefer the solid nature;
so stern and unyielding.

Now, I look down the barrel to
this kaleidoscopic goop –
rainbowing permanent circles
into my vision; bending back onto
itself in an accordion fold.

It used to be “THE TRUTH” with
all capital letters, but now it’s
“your truth” all lowercased.

I forget where I am all the time
and step into the frame a
second late, it seems.

The truth is less like a police
officer and more like a prisoner
serving time for a crime he did
not commit.

I fear I was trying to enforce
the wrong things … and they
listened to me anyway.

-TS

2019 Christmas Poem

I am a little late, but no matter 

Down the lane, past the snow
brushed street, through the hush
of thicket, over the icy brook and
up; there is a sparking light in
the night sky glad to be nestled
Northmost against the heavens.

The light waves like a fire’s dance,
glinting a multi-facet in the seeker’s
eyes; beautiful in its radiance.

This star reminds us most of a
Bethlehem’s birth, carrying a
Messenger into the world with a
letter in his pocket of love and
affection.

I have, at times, forgotten the tone
of the letter, but will do my best
to remember it this season.

Let’s help the lost find their
way again. Let’s see our homes
restored. Let’s be a symbol of grace
incarnate, filled with light and love.
Please, let us be kind to every,
single, living thing.

Maybe you are like me and get lost
in the unanswerable questions. There
is a line I often repeat when I have
come to a breaking point, ‘If Jesus is
for the poor, then I am for Jesus.’

Merry Christmas to you.

-TS