I’ve noticed within you
dormant dark ironic
aroused by stress,
fueled with fear,
ushers in you a strife
emblazoned with virulent rancor,
etched with vitriol and venomous
words more harmful than
of your frantic painful sputum.
like a cornered dog
or captured snake seeking vengeance
without sense of reason, cause, or goal,
neither coherent illumination nor purpose
tempers or dulls your slashing fangs.
Let lost conscience be not your guide,
nor grief and guilt become your
Count to ten. Then count again.
Nothing can be unsaid,
unheard, or unfelt.
Look both ways when emotions rise.
Seek the mindful gaps of calmness and search for love.
What was the most tired you been?
Slept standing or fallen down tired?
Been so dizzy? I hallucinated.
At POW camp they
would not let us sleep.
Peed in a #10 coffee can,
locked in cell, both overflowed.
To learn how to survive capture,
being treated beyond awful, we endure
such misery; to live it, feel it, survive it.
I thought I would not. Might never try.
How did they survive not knowing;
forsaken and forgotten?
Many decided to die. Too awful
to live. Most decided otherwise.
Sometimes, dancing in the rain,
or walking through the fire
are both hard-learned lessons.
Look both ways for light at both ends of the tunnel.
Mind the gaps in the dark until you can see.
Find life. Love freedom.
My heart sank into deep depression when I saw
sitting in front of me, blocking my way,
between self, freedom, and happiness,
Draco, the symbol of inequity, of unfair
rule, of the man, of draconian reality,
life dulls when the dragon appears.
He has all the power. I have none.
Draco must be who and what Draco is,
a cancer, a deadly error of nature.
The dragon does no harm, it looks
without emotion or caring, without malice,
Draco kills from silent idleness.
Nature serves an onerous messenger—
truth, there is no life without death.
The dragon cares nothing about how I feel.
Look both ways and mind the gaps, but
if you see the dragon nothing else matters.
The Pall of Fear
Sometimes, when I lie down and relax
I feel senseless liminal fear stir inside me
until it gathers and settles
at my core. I become desperate to
deny the tension, or I will die.
Depressive mental illness is taking
control of my mind, filling my body
with this awful sadness.
What is left for me to do?
If you don’t look both ways, someone may die. Mind the liminal gaps.
When I ran with the dogs,
with the whippets and hounds, but mostly
with many young mongrels,
Confident advice flowed with barking
ignorance as Young Turk wisdom without
benefit of time or trial.
All things were defined by toads little wiser
or experienced than were we pups, with
foibles and foolishness all their own.
Success and failure were measured by the ignorance
of prediction rather than outcome, by dreams
over reality, by desires above experience.
Dead war dog stories try telling us
that neither happiness nor success
bother to dress up in frogskins.
Shine your light when you look both ways.
Mind and mine deeply gaps of the past
filled with learned experience.
Unable to sleep, I wrote two poems.
With no refuge, unrequited love
without heavenly haven,
without healing, without beginning
or end. When a kiss is not a kiss,
when one love is lost in lonely
pain, unable to mend.
how can we ever be happy
alone in this depressing darkness
void of all meaningful life
enduring these threats from a determined death
never knowing how or when, it will all end?
Look both ways, the yin and the yang.
Mind the gap hiding good news and bad.
I opened the door and walked into a crowded room.
People, most I did not know, were sitting around,
all seats taken. I had a right to be, and should have been,
invited to the meeting, but since I’m a half-breed — excluded.
Everyone stopped talking and stared at me. I knew I was
the unwanted black sheep in a room of wolves and vultures,
there only to devour carrion and pick the bones of the dead.
Something in my nature delighted in their obvious discomfort.
They declared the meeting over and said I should have
been there. I did not ask the location of my invitation.
I thought, y’all low life vulture mother fuckers,
but I said, “No problem. Things will somehow work out.”
Oh, the sweet feeling of justice and the touch of revenge,
oh, the fine fit of the suit called, we’re even.
Did they think I would not know or gain?
I almost felt guilty for twisting the knife,
but guiltlessly I prompted their pain.
Putting things right feels real nice.
Look both ways in rooms empty or full.
Mind the gaps. That’s where the evil hides.