What is poetry to the artistically challenged? Words and rhymes on a page, set to a metre obliquely defined. Those with empty plates need not the epiphanic call. Those with shuttered eyes feel just as strongly or not at all.

But poetry doesn’t qualify with definitions. It drives from wordsworth’s imagination, Shelly’s congress, and Oliver’s nature. There’s no central hub, no education that can build a poet, it flows from the center and defies the rigid form. A delineated life finds no challenge. The poet writes from bumps and triumphs, from rising suns and darkest coffins.

The gloriously nested live their solitary experiences, while Frost’s road calls upon those seeking a truer form. Each word put to page, each cigarette struck finds a home nestled in expression. Poetry seeks its prey in the weak and destitute, forcing fingers to spell out our own demise. It’s a clarion call of mental action, a choice we do not make.

For my Grandmother

Glistening strings danced along

the deepest fibers of my being

They lapped and lounged, filled my bounds

and wound up in my needs

 

But now the threads, whom I had always dread

are cut through right and quick

I flit and float, on an anchorless boat

wishing life wasn’t quite so thick

 

Then a day arrives, with joyous sunrise

reminding me of life’s slick groove

So I took a step, with a little more pep

and found my own way to move

For my Stepfather

There comes a time-

Between yours and mine

When we reach for all the branches

 

When your limb was missed

Throughout fates dreary kiss

Nobody grew quite frantic

 

For you’re a father

Without all the bother

Who took nothing quite for granted

 

And now a card, without a guard

To show your care has landed

Differences

That voice on my brow which carries me through

Stretches along my anachronistic mind

Breaches through the softest cries

and changes what was blue

 

Family and friends, they cannot carry–

This weakness found within

But experience grins when the veil becomes thin

and all the world is merry

 

otherhood

I speak for the naked, the shivering, the clothed in steel

They know not what they feel

They only react, unsurprised at these foundations, these

choices they’re forced to make within strange nations

 

The required strikes, placing us in unknown situations

There is no preparation for this, no safe sensation

Times a bastard, calling on an unready body

Speak your piece and try to act like somebody

 

Movement from the corner of my eye, another

other arrives

Make a new notation of this frustration

Try to release your temptation

 

Hard to breathe, strangers make accusations

But we’re just here, with quietly dying aspirations

Devotion

The deluded of all traits

Devotion would have you believe in perfection

Sprinkle it too lightly and you’re abhorrent

Too deeply and you’re a fool

This is the dividing line in life

To what do we apply our allegiance

Who deserves our worship

Only those with more than a pinch

The Wind

I know why the wind calls with a thousand voices

Its arrival is an argument, a clash, a forced opinion

Nature knows no allies, time knows no structure

But man is all-consuming

Those damned voices, stretching across modernity

Who are they to tell us we’re wrong

Who are they to feel so alive

The Gnomic Father Pt. 5

It’s time we talked, of who we are

No, not skin and voice, not money nor choices

It’s about your soul, about your poisons

You need to find yourself, find your guiding star

 

There comes a time, when you’re in a place

You’ll know it well by how it grabs

It finds us all, even the dads

You cannot run, can’t lose its embrace

 

It’s called a code, a way to be

It’ll find you fast, make you its thrall

You have a choice, stand tall or small

As for me, I never took the Knee

 

There’s a way to live, better than you now know

It’s in how we strive, how we take life’s blows

What you make of it.

What do I find myself to be

Called upon with expectations, requirements of another world

Finding fault that lies not inside but within the eyes of others

Staring, thinking, breathing my soul out as if I were a puppet

Why do you think I am this machine? Why are you demanding my acquiescence?

Life is what you make of it I’m told

Like my father, I am a terrible creator.