Poem: Dancing on the Hearth of Your Enemy

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Dancing on the Hearth of Your Enemy

It is evil.
Disregard what the textbooks say,
it is more than chemicals and response
to traumas old and new.
It is evil,

A thief of color and light,
of life and joy and all good things.
It kills.
I have seen it.
I have felt its knife and the slow leeching
of the soul’s blood.

I watched it kill my father,
and wound all he touched.
I have seen my own blood drip away,
tied to my chair,
tied to my bed,
tied by its ropes.

But I am an implacable foe.
I will not die, born
with a head more stubborn than my father’s
and a heart nearly as soft as my mother’s,
I persist,
and out of sight I live beyond the wounds,
calling on a strength beyond my own,
I break the bonds.

Perhaps only for this day.
Perhaps only for this moment.
but still, I cast them aside.
I mock them.
I sing.
I have the audacity to dance,
laughing like a child at a wedding,
uninhibited

and free.

About this poem

A medium bad bout of depression this morning. And the bible verse about David dancing as he returned the art of the covenant (2nd Samuel 6:14) back to Jerusalem that left me dancing a jig of my own.

Take that big boy. I got stuff to do.

Tom

Poem: An Awareness too Many

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An Awareness Too Many

There a hundred reasons not to sail.
Your craft is old,
far from perfect.
There is rust and old ropes,
and barnacles on the waterline.

The seas are calm but you have sailed enough
to know storms are never distant.

You are aware of your weaknesses,
less so of your strengths,
less so of those who watch over you,
aware of your fears and skills
at building walls to hold back the dark waters.

Here, on the shore, it is safe.
The ground beneath your feet is solid
and does not shift with tides, currents, and weather.
It is safer

to ignore history,
that this old vessel
has made the journey out and back
for a generation,
that rust is not fatal,
that while shores are safe,

there are no adventures here,
no victories to set your heart soaring,
no hold piled with treasure
to be shared by strangers and lover alike,
promises made and kept
only in the launching off, never
in the settling in.

About this poem

Mostly we let our fear hold us back. Our fear of not being good enough.

And yet…. we are.

Tom

Poem: Deconstruction

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Deconstruction

There is a snigger in the gallery,
a mocking,
a certainty that they could and most certainly would
do better
than this splaying of raw materials
scattered across the floor,
complete with name tag and provenance.

Fortunately, you think, they can not see you,
welling tears in your eyes,
seeing before you your history,
that moment of deconstruction
when everything was either permanence
or possibility,

And broken,
you almost decided to die inside your body,
only your flesh still alive
and the rest of you scattered like mad art on the floor,
until, less in bravery than some kind of desperate stubbornness,
you rose, zombie-like
and like a child with a puzzle,
began again.
About this poem

A bit of personal history.

The picture was taken at MoMA in New York City.

Tom

A Free Offer to My Readers

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A note and free offer to my readers. 

I am in the process of changing my platform for doing on-line meetings and classes. Sometime next week, I will be running a free trial – a free version of a class I do, aimed at helping people who have gotten away from their creativity recover the joy and power of their art (whatever art that might be.)

Why free? Because I need testers to tell me if the platform is working well. If this is something you’d be interested in doing, stay tuned. I’ll be doing an official launch early next week.

Tom

Poem: The Great Dark Hole

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The Great Dark Hole

The great dark hole yaws open,
calls to you,
it’s black siren song familiar,
dangerous,
always there, just at the edge of your sight,
a reminder of your failed journey,
a challenge,
an evil magnet pulling you
from the journey ahead

About this poem

“Where is your depression?” a reader writes. “You wrote of it so often, and now you don’t”

Oh, it is there my friend. It never leaves. At times (like now in the midst of my joy at being an unexpected newlywed) it is beaten back, but even on the best of days, it lurks, waiting for its opportunity to draw me back into its dungeon.

The battle never ends.

Tom

Poem: The Details

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The Details

The details.
That is what strikes you
in the midst of beauty or the nearness of death.
The details, perfect lines
or the slow tick tock of your timepiece,
a whisp of her hair.

The details.
They are what you remember,
a cackle of childish glee,
his last breath,
the feel of the wind in the night.

The details, fleeting in the moment,
objects of a passing glance,
each a vessel of eternity,
barely noticed,
always recalled.

The details.

About this poem

This morning as she got ready to leave, the woman I love brushed a wisp of hair from her face, a gesture that has become both familiar and endearing.  And it brought me to a place of thinking about how the small things in life are not small at all.

Not an original thought, but one worth recalling as we careen through life.

The picture is of an Iranian (Persian) candlestick,  part of a larger display of ancient Middle Eastern art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Tom

Poem: Who, and what

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Who, and what

And so you shut your eyes.
You breathe.
In.
Out.
In again.

Slow.
Deliberate.
you reach deep into your memory,
deep beyond the noise,
beyond the maelstrom all around you,
seeking,
searching,
ignoring everything,

until you find it,
that whispering place
where peace lives,
half fog, half sun,
a place of rest, redemption,
and remembering
of who,
and what,
you are.

About this poem

It’s been a crazy few weeks. It’s still crazy. I am just now recovering my inner peace. Not a moment too soon.

Tom