jimowenswrites

Reflections on Life, Leadership, Mindfulness, Change, and other Important Stuff

Tag: poetry

We cannot pretend

We cannot pretend,

My broken-hearted friend,

This garden we must tend,

The hope I want to lend.

What grace can I extend?

What message can I send?

And surely not pretend,

Has now come the end.

 

There must be some way,

Something I can say,

To make a better day,

To mend this hopeless fray,

And make you want to stay,

We’ll smell the fresh cut hay,

Find more time to play,

Quiet hounds that bay,

 

No more say goodbye,

Please,look into my eyes,

For we must simply try,

Not understanding why,

Forsake this futile lie,

The day is coming nigh,

For I will help you fly.

A hope that will not die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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She sits alone

She sits alone,
In a hollow place
A single tear,
Glides down her face;

She sits alone,
In shadows gray,
Wishing for
Some different way;

She sits alone,
And wonders how,
She might make,
A better now?

She sits alone,
This life so long,
A distant voice,
A mournful song;

She rises up,
Then plants her feet:
What lies ahead,
What pain to greet?

She rises up,
Despite the fear,
Her shoulders back,
The dawn is near;

She rises up,
Wipes tear away,
In this place,
She cannot stay;

She rises up,
Shrugs off despair,
This weary warrior
Of life’s affairs;

She takes a step,
Into the light,
Bids adieu,
This painful plight;

She takes a step,
Two, then three,
Walking on,
How can this be?

She takes a step,
Four, then five,
Just grateful that,
She’s still alive;

She stands alone
With head held high,
Her soul renewed
Her battle cry;

She stands alone,
A fragile peace,
Her burden lighter,
Sorrow released;

She stands alone,
Though griefs remain,
But smiles a bit,
Wash away the stain;

She sits alone,
In a hollow place,
Still some fears,
This better place.

Sometimes, when it’s quiet

Sometimes,

when it’s quiet,

when I sit and listen,

really listen,

hearing the barking dogs in the distance,

really hearing them,

hearing their yips and wails and pleading,

their unbridled pursuit of some unimaginable thing,

I wonder;

 

Sometimes,

when it’s quiet,

when I sit and listen,

really listen,

in that liminal space between waking and sleeping

hearing the electric hum of silence,

and the sounds that rattle and echo through these halls

I wonder;

 

Or sometimes,

when it’s quiet,

when I sit and listen,

really listen,

hearing the throbbing of my heart,

noticing the whoosh of blood coursing through me,

feeling the rise and fall of my chest, my lungs stoking the fire of life,

I wonder;

 

Sometimes,

when it’s quiet,

if only in my heart,

when I sit and listen,

really listen,

to the sound of far-off thunder,

when I hear the growing rage of an approaching storm,

hearing the wind rushing through the trees, faster and faster,

waiting on the next brilliant, terrifying flash of lightning to race across the sky,

I wonder:

 

Sometimes,

when it’s quiet,

when I sit and listen,

really listen,

I wonder,

 

I wonder why,

why I don’t sit and listen,

really listen.

I should have kissed her

I should have kissed her

when we were standing there

in the shadows, amidst the silhouette

of neon and moonlight,

her cabernet lips plump, and tender, and moist,

her pupils wide,

her eyes aglow with reticent longing;

 

I should have kissed her

when my hand brushed against hers, and

I felt her warmth, and my heart throbbed

a comforting beat deep within my chest, before

the reckless hope of anticipation passed us by

like a wayward breeze on a hot August night;

 

I should have kissed her

when the wine and laughter had briefly thawed

the chill of my doubting, wounded heart,

before we offered one another kind well-wishes

of farewell, through despairing, half-hearted smiles.

 

I should have kissed her

when the possibilities loomed before us

like and endless desert highway at dawn, when

the tires thumped their brief but certain incantation of desire,

before my head overtook my heart,

and before mystery and enchantment gave way to cold calculations

of wisdom and logic, and before I had unwittingly given myself over to the deceit

to the cold deceit that this was not our time.

 

I should have kissed her.

I woke up and wondered

I woke up and wondered
What today might bring;
Sorrow or comfort,
Some new song to sing?

I woke up and wondered
What today might bring;
A victory or joy,
Some fresh painful thing?

I woke up and wondered,
How surely to meet:
Whatever should come
Without self-deceit?

I woke up and wondered,
How should I reply;
Whatever I see,
Keep open my eyes?

I woke up and wondered,
Have I finally grown,
Am I able to walk
Together, alone?

I woke up and wondered,
Might I restore,
The broken and humble
And open my door?

I woke up and wondered,
My life full of charm,
Can I just embrace
The joy and the harm?

I woke up and wondered,
So much still to learn,
That giving is getting,
Let go of the yearn;

I woke up and wondered,
At all of their fears
Consuming like fire
And robbing their years.

I woke up and wondered,
If I could set free,
Release all the things
Bound inside of me?

I woke up and wondered,
In this Shakespearean play,
What role do I have?
What do I portray?

I woke up and wondered,
At teachers I’ve known,
Lessons I’ve learned,
The kindness they’ve shown.

I woke up and wondered,
At life’s mysteries,
Happy to sail,
Upon all of her seas.

I woke up
and wondered.

Just out of reach

Arms outstretched,

His shoulders’ strain,

Reach for the bloom

And feel the pain;

 

His fingers brush,

From hands that ache;

Forbidden tastes,

Must he forsake?

 

Above he looks

In sunlight’s glare;

Reach further still,

Should now he dare?

 

Bends down the branch,

And begs the the tree:

Let go thy fruit

That’s tempting me;

 

Near to his grasp,

This thing he seeks;

So close and still,

Just out of reach;

 

He cannot stop,

Will not relent,

Until his hope

Has all been spent.

Epitaph

What creature these

All gathered here,

That lie and wait,

Near swaying trees?

 

Of deeds undone,

I hear them speak,

And wondering what

Must surely come;

 

From darkest tombs

They whisper still,

Of life’s remorse

Since mother’s womb;

 

They see now clear

In darkness’ light,

And wondering what

There was to fear;

 

And murmur still,

Each haunting voice

Such mournful tones,

I sense their chill;

 

No lesson half

That I must learn,

Each moment write

This epitaph;

 

“In this cold ground

There lies a man,

He took a chance,

He heard the sound;

 

Wandered astray

He roamed about,

And left the trail,

Some surely say;

 

Was there a choice

Or made for him

The urge to follow

His poet’s voice?”

 

November Tune

Winds gently blowing

cross oat covered dunes,

I hear the sweet sounds,

of her November tune;

The ocean still rocking,

Against the white shores,

The sea’s tide calling,

A song all the more;

A gentle babe crying,

this unfettered delight,

I listen in wonder,

Pricked ears in the night;

Bare feet keep padding

Across the boarded walk,

A strange symphony rising,

This whispering talk;

I strain in the darkness,

Make no better choice

Than awaiting the morrow,

And longing for her voice;

She Gently Stirs

She gently stirs,
these bitter bits of chocolate sorrow;
this Alchemist of All,
mixing in cups of laughter,
spoonsful of a warm embrace,
and knowing nods of fellowship,
her hands busily,
divining sweet confections of comfort;

In this gathering of saints,
this unexpected communion,
she fills my plate
ladling it again and again
heaping it with joy upon joy,
liberally filling my crystal cup
now dripping
with her ruby-red elixir of hope;

And so I sit,
nibbling bits of gratitude
filling my belly,
abating my hunger
I sit,
And sip,
sating my thirst
I bask in the presence
of this holy order,
wondering what quests might follow.

When comes the harvest?

O, Mother,

when comes the harvest?

Thy blossoming babe,

foretelling promise,

tender shoots branching,

lush leaves hide thy sweet offering;

these tiny orbs morphing

in hues of green, yellow and red.

 

Speak to me, O Mother!

Tell me!

How long must I beseech thee?

Shall I pluck this fruit,

Let my tongue savor now thy gifts?

 

Dreams of her delight,

she taunts me.

Is thy bounty now born in full,

plump and ripe?

Has she now bathed long enough

in the white glare of midday,

been soothed by the soaking rains?

 

Shall I pick,

or shall I watch,

be robbed by fowl’s beak,

by the ravenous squirrel,

see her offering fall

only to spoil,

rotting,

crushed

by the passing boot?

 

When comes the harvest,

O, Mother?

How long must I wait?

One hour?

One day?

One week?

 

When comes the harvest?