the rules, part 2 (revised)

April 25, 2018

you can love them, you can trust them
they can be your closest friend
but unless you can respect them
what you’re building will soon end

if you need them more than want them
it’s yourself you’re thinking of
such desire can fuel passion
but it won’t inspire love

and relations based on beauty
based on money, charm, or smarts
fade in view of greater talents
richer sums and newer parts

it’s not reason, it’s not logic
it’s not passion, hope, or lust
it’s an unexplained emotion
that turns maybe into must

at its heart, it’s recognition
of a need within the soul
to enrich another’s journey
so that each might reach its goal

it’s a bond in search of nothing
save the single dream all share
to be happy, in the moment
free to dream, to seek, to dare

some desired everlasting
some by circumstances blessed
they inspire in each other
what each needs to be their best

so it isn’t who you’re thinking
who you wanted, but now doubt
and it’s not who you can live with
it’s the one you can’t without

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princess and the baby dinosaur

April 15, 2018

dinosaurs are very big
even in their baby stage
clumsy, awkward, often lost
out of place at any age

they don’t make the best of pets
costly to maintain and buy
but they’re loyal, brave, and smart
so they’re still in short supply

princess got one weeks ago
says she found it on her own
no one else had noticed it
though it made its presence known

hers, they say, is quite unique
does most anything you’d ask
but she rarely bothers it
or assigns the thing a task

she will lend it out, at times
when a friend is in true need
but only in those cases
where the dinosaur’s agreed

since she hardly uses it
some think she should set it free
no, she says, i can’t do that
he’s a baby…he needs me

no sweet sorrow

April 15, 2018

thirty years is a long friendship
and i will always remain grateful
with every breath i take today
for you who once allowed each

whatever threat you now pose
consider your sins forgiven
and let us begin this parting
with those ambitions we first shared

mine, to live a life without fear
without the threat of a ‘last’ attack
waking in a panic, gasping, crawling
reaching for the latest useless cure

yours, to reaffirm our faith in magic
in the conquering of weaknesses
illnesses, and those human frailties
which seem to grow so ever present

your cost, be it all that was warned
in its wear and tear on the body
simply too insignificant to consider
measured against the alternative

at least until fate’s intervention
unrelated, unforeseen, as she is
revealing to us, for the first time
i might be something more alone

it’s difficult, letting go, for both of us
i feel your reminder on most days
holding, squeezing, but it’s ok now
even comfortable, to sense you leave…

past the proof stage

March 31, 2018

at some point, the testing should stop
the hypothesis is proved, or it isn’t
you can go on, but little will change
we can all read results, if we’re honest

and we can all perform the experiments
determining if the idea is viable or not
even if we lack the courage to do it
or tend to rely on less promising proof

in youth, we set the bar, the assumptions
traits which we perceive as our best self
it’s what we hope others will see in us
if not what we want to see in ourselves

but it is rarely ‘how’ we see ourselves
always thinking something more or less
acting, reacting, changing, growing
tweaking the formula, consciously or not

moving through a gauntlet of catalysts
redefining everything, only to start again
looking for that winning combination
that reaffirmation we are as we hoped

in the process, we seem to lose sight
forgetting those youthful aspirations
those first visions of who we might be
if we were our best self as first imagined

upon reflection, in the mirror, stands a child
looking back and smiling at many of us
it took a long time, but i can see him now
and i know, i’m finally past the proof stage

within this circle

March 26, 2018

a symbol, so simple, of spirit
denoting it first of domains
before earth, it’s fire, it’s water
or even the air it sustains

the elements, joined with the senses
humanity’s spark, the divine
the whole, heart and soul, mind and body
the source, bonding all, in a sign

as centuries passed, forms of worship
and artists, and thinkers, and fools
have claimed it to further their visions
to sponsor their thoughts or their rules

though some understood its true nature
too many have altered its view
inverting, projecting, and twisting
a purpose they sought to undo

a concept of faith, universal
whatever belief might be ours
there’s something, both ageless and timeless
beyond both the moon and the stars

cheap thrills

March 14, 2018

she’d given up, i didn’t care
the whole thing started as a dare
we had some drinks, we left the bar
but couldn’t finish in the car

we got a room, but lost the key
the break-in was no burglary
the damage done, we can explain
it’s our own blood that left the stain

the scratches on the foyer wall
the lamp destroyed across the hall
the bed frame broken, mattress ripped
all were caused because she slipped

it’s a simple move to master
one foot here, the other past her
still, on tile, drunk, and horny
things can get a little thorny

which is why i so abhor
leaning on the shower door
but she did, and it gave way
causing what’s become this fray

bloody, broken, somewhat dizzy
we got back to getting busy
not the best idea, i guess
glass and blood make quite a mess

and, according to police
they can even breach the peace
so i’m happy it’s just bills
i’m to pay for my cheap thrills

so long, stranger

March 7, 2018

what’s behind that empty kiss
is the whole of what you miss
in these passionless ordeals
texting, fucking, sharing meals

all you know is here and gone
in the moment you’re turned on
one for which you still obsess
though it offers less and less

once a late night masquerade
now a role so often played
its addictive sweet release
seems your substitute for peace

nothing in it did you wrong
but to revel for too long
but to settle for its touch
till it held you like a crutch

till those thoughts you never shared
those emotions undeclared
grew so distant, strained, and weak
there were times you couldn’t speak

times you wouldn’t dare respond
so removed from any bond
you would rather it be lost
than endure what it might cost

and i wonder if you care
if a spark is even there
if you know there’s something more
than to worship or adore

and if not, well, it’s been fun
no regrets, but we’re now done
if you’ve nothing else to say
there’s no reason i should stay

going to hell, pt. 1

February 28, 2018

many years ago tonight
darkness as my only light
did i steal away to hell
but till now, did never tell

witness to a private game
one whose most disturbing aim
did the players, stranger still
use to toy with human will

death, the devil, and a kid
each picked names and placed a bid
marked their arrows with a seal
meant to consecrate their deal

and upon this wicked pact
each performed a sacred act
till the kid, now winged and blind
was these arrows so assigned

i might not have ever learned
what this little game concerned
but that night, he shot me through
i saw him, and he shot you

that’s the night that we first met
so not fate, but cupid’s bet
brought us love so long ago
though i never told you so

yes, i knew it was a lie
and knew how – although not why
but i wanted what it bought
with no care for what it wrought

never thinking once of you
or the pain you might go through
till tonight, a single tear
proves its price too high, too dear

and my sin, i do confess
one of seeking to possess
what is never truly owned
but, through love, is simply loaned

death, i think, you win the bet
hell, take me and my regret
save what cupid earned in part
what remains of my sad heart

2.15.18

February 15, 2018

i cried so much yesterday
no more tears have i today
no more sadness, no more pain
numb to all my thoughts sustain

for a moment, drawing breath
contemplating life and death
everything, it all turned on
shots rang out, and all was gone

in this void, we’ll hold debate
face a fiend, his gun, his hate
find a cause, impose a cost
and say prayers for those we’ve lost

though it cannot right this wrong
let it help those hurt be strong
give us faith and peace of mind
as true justice be inclined

and when we recall those felled
take us to those thoughts first held
of what we ourselves would give
for this gift we have to live

how i saved valentine’s day

February 12, 2018

and so here i was with the goddess of love
having been invited – no doubt by the devil
to debate the merits of this february holiday
which venus now considered an abomination

the problem is, she said, cupid drinks too much
and valentine, he just doesn’t care anymore
he thinks it’s funny, all these mismatches
what’s done on this day is an absolute disgrace

i had to disagree, having already bought flowers
i thought a card and candy was a very nice idea
you know, a way to tell someone they’re special
without saying too much, sort of ‘break the ice’

‘break the ice’? she sneered, what a pitiful term
do you want the girl? would you not profess it?
if you like someone, if you want something
speak to your desire with passionate words!

i had to explain such behavior was improper
women are not ‘girls’ or spoken to that way
and decency, and civility, were the new order
replacing the oft abusive conduct of the past

oh dear god, i didn’t say assault the girl…
i said speak to her…and with some intention!
are you saying no one does that anymore?
no wonder cupid is drinking so heavily today

candidly, i was inclined to agree with her
but her accusatory tone so provoked me
my mind raced to humanity’s first impulse
and a surprising defense of modern mores

in the midst of it all, i found myself moved
ably illustrating the potential power of words
of that unsolicited, unwanted message
on the life, spirit, and ambitions of another

venus stood intently silent as i outlined my case
upon my conclusion, she seemed near tears
which flowed freely – as she burst into laughter
so violently, she nearly choked trying to respond

enough, she finally said, you can keep your day
but let’s be clear – your clever ‘wording’ aside
this price you set, and pay, for words themselves
it suggests the gift of language is lost on you

it is not the words – it is their ideas that matter
you prize the symbols, but miss their meaning
if i insult you for who you are, what is that?
is it not an admission i fear you may be more?

yes, i will concede some ideas are dangerous
but the danger lies in the speaker’s small mind
and in the actions of the equally small-minded
love is not small, it is infinite, and it prevails

while her speech was truly mesmerizing
the point, of course, is that i saved the day
or maybe that my original opinion was correct
or whatever you say when bested by a goddess

and goddess she was – a stunning ageless beauty
which i tried to overlook, or avoid drooling over
but now, debate completed, i was falling apart
“so…well…i…i have these flowers for you…”