ivory eyes
by a lover’s hand
a last farewell
to youth’s memories
eye to eye
breath to breath
their love
was shared


with every breath
you take
world suffering
fills your being
there is
no hiding place
the shots fired
piercing the flesh
of your love one
hot molten misery
into your veins
even behind
your locked doors
of indifference
came from the hand
of human suffering
there is
no hiding place
though you divert
your eyes
from the tortured souls
that spot your city’s streets
you cannot sweep away
their image in your mind
that fosters the fear
that keeps your
doors locked and barred
making every sound
in the night
reverberate loudly
causing you to sweat
and toss from side to side
inside your sheltered enclave
of denial
there is
no hiding place
like the quaking of the earth
human suffering cannot be ignored
it moves the very foundation
of every world community
its frigid winds
swirl into your life
finding you
as easily
as death

Point-Counter Point Challenge:  For those of you have been following the challenges between Jade and I, you are aware that several challenges have taken place over the course of the last few months.  This time, the challenge was to be initiated by me and I decided to change the rules a little…well a lot.  Here’s how it works this time.  Each poet provides the other poet with  five quotations that must be addressed from the opposite point of view as the original quote. Here is the fourth quote that Jade provided to me:  “You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.” – Franz Kafka

night winds…

breath flowing
across the face
of timeless dreams
where lost souls reside
beside the pool of desire
tossing the coin of the realm
into its depths
making wishes
instead of prayers

wake up dead….

through a partially opened window
it enters in the night
like a vapor
with its fingers of doubt
touching each fiber of our being
as we lie there curled
our hearts pounding
veins in our neck pulsating
almost exploding
feeling smothered
by our own breath
then the tingling sets in
as our hands
defy our command
to reach out
trembling and shaking
one hand extends
to the other side of the bed
to find them
but to not find them there
would be to
wake up

speed trap…

wouldn’t it be something
if cops could give you a warning ticket
for being stupid in life
if you fell in love
with the wrong person
they’d pull you over on a date
and say
excuse me…but this person
is just using you
until they find someone else
with more
money, sex appeal, fame
or whatever
they’re going to dump you
so you’re being cited for failing to stop
at one of life’s many misery signs
or they’d pull you over and say
i’m sorry
but i have to cite you for speeding
speeding through your child’s youth
ignoring precious moments
for personal gain
and believing that work is more important
than anything
or they’d give you a ticket for failing to yield
saying to you in a deep voice
but you failed to yield when you knew
you were dead wrong
but  out of pride
you continue to profess
your justification for actions
or they’d say
didn’t you notice the warning sign
about the end of the road over there
are you feeling any chest pains
shortness of breath as i give you this ticket
please recall
he says
when you collect enough points
your license


spring ritual….

oh how spring
brings forth from poets
a multitude of verses
a never-ending array
of love lost
and then regained
friendship betrayed
and then forgiven
like an army of prodigal sons
birth and rebirth
more flowers than in a monet painting
colorful rituals of every sort
say but one
removal of the christmas training wheels
although not practiced everywhere
it is one which these poets have forgotten
and like all rituals it has its steps
first to ride upon the softest grass
assuring no injury to the child
leaving only injured ants in its wake
no unexploded ordinances here
unlike the fields in vietnam
next moving to the cruel street
father racing beside his child
legs pumping and out of breath
protecting his child from his past pain
like a parent in beirut, afghanistan, iran
or east la
where learning to ride is not an option
finally at the child’s insistence
the father is banned to the bay window
watching his child challenge the world alone
with coffee cup in hand
still running beside his child
and with his first fall
the first scars upon his heart
as the child continues to confront the world
the father cannot end his virtual race
and with each fall
another scar

Poem inspired by comments from Mirella McCraken