When Billionaires Rise

We can cry as the billionaires rise,
but they won't see us.
Their eyes are trained on the shining prize.
We can scream as the rich men dance
but they won't hear us.
We're too far down beneath their gilded stage.
We might be tempted to retreat in despair
quelled, exhausted, as their false king
covers us with lies, like bullets.
Let's remind them that his victory is paper thin
Let's bring them our strength,
our pride in each other,
and the real promise of America.
Let's lock hands and push back.
Let's show them that freedom
is not about wealth.
It's about compassion.
Our prize doesn't shine like gold.
Hope isn't any one color.
Our silence is what they want.
Instead, let's give them hell.

Remembered Beginning

I was unprepared
for the feel of your hair pulling free
with every brushstroke.
I wasn't up to autumn
from the side of your hospital bed.
It was too much for the universe to ask.
But, like you, I was choiceless
as I drove through November streets
the colors, drained and faded,
like your face when the chemo went in.
reduced to nothing more
than what I was when you were born.
I helped cover your exposed head,
I tried to stop your tears.
And now?
I'm wondering about faith.
Where should I place mine
if not in I.V. poles and gloved hands?

Four Directions

The trick is to find comfort
even in the face of rage,
to cling to compassion,
until it becomes second nature
unfolding like a map,
in all four directions
each one, a kingdom,
where I might find solace
To the west, love,
smelling like home,
bereft of judgement,
folding me into the crease of worn paper
its key located below my feet
To the north, hope,
a horizon painted with rainbows
a place where pain
won't darken the bright sky
To the east, acceptance
helps lift my heavy heart
makes my breath steady and sure
until everything is finally okay
To the south, the endless sea
where the waves rise up, embracing me
where I sink and sink and sink,
letting the world's noise fade
until all that remains
is that same bright horizon
lighting the way for someone else
by now, I'm okay with darkness

Bile

The problem is not disorganization
or distraction, though I suffer both
like two interwoven chains
entwined in all the wrong ways
no, the problem is that I'm aware
of the distraction
hypersensitive to its intent
helpless to point it out
lest I look crazy
lest I not conform
and they take me away
Maybe we talk about him so much
because we're so much like him
we mock the devil as if we're safe
as if he's not poking hooked fingers
into our darkest corners
drawing the hatred out
unleashing a flood
maybe the one they predicted
maybe not
It's pure bile, simmering over
filling the thick veins of this country
with a poison that took me by surprise

Moon Landing

my despair looks different than theirs
a foreign pain they can't fathom
You've seen it too
we walk this landscape
like lonely explorers, not for discovery
there's no triumph here
no artistry
only weightless separation
from the Earth, a child's toy
its tiny dramas, meaningless
we've been cut off
perhaps chosen
perhaps singled out
to take these impossible steps
these long, slow leaps
high above where they stand
where the moon glows
as bright as flame
unwavering
while we're lost in a place
where the ground is powdery and grey
where the blue-green orb of vitality
is a distant memory
and there is only
death and death and death

Moon Series 2016 - Day 16

Full Moon -- 9:36 p.m.

I crane my neck to see a glimpse
through watercolor clouds
but sometimes the full moon
has too much competition
as the Earth pulses onward
partying in technicolor
beneath a dull, washed out sky
its beauty forgotten
as we're dazzled by headlights
bouncing from a river of black pavement
that ties our terrestrial places together
neat packages beneath a messy sky
We assume the moon's predictable
turning its phases on and off
courting our gaze on clear nights
harvest moons, super moons, hunter's moons
we label them like spices
forgetting the moon is dependent on the sky
while we turn our attention
to the proliferation of lights
making the Earth glow, an electric pulsing strobe,
intent on keeping the night away

Moon Series 2016 - Day 15

Waxing Gibbous - 8:40 p.m. (Hunter's Moon)

You'd think the moon full if you saw it
above the shadowy canopy of autumn gold
never missing the hairline sliver
that marks the moon's completion
I know it isn't full
as it ratchets toward the pinnacle
and I feel myself deflate,
already missing the anticipation,
of the moon's finale,
already feeling sad
at the cold truth of things
the waning moon, just two days away,
will mark an inevitable creep towards darkness.

Moon Series 2016 - Day 13

Waxing Gibbous 10:30 p.m.

I didn't stop long enough
to think about the moon
It was just a snapshot
suspended far above my life
which keeps moving me around
like a pinball, bumping
against the sides of something real
never lingering for more time than it takes
to catch my breath
tonight the moon only exists
to remind me of what I'm missing
it's hard not to hate it
when I know I should stop and pause
when I yearn for the luxury of burdens lifted
when I look up at the sky
remembering a time when I was sure
it was put there just for me.
There's nothing more painful
than the disappearing moon

Moon Series 2016 - Day 12

Waxing Gibbous 10:00 p.m.

The sky holds the night with absolute clarity
having pulled the clouds back
like wisps of knotted curls
they frame the moon
her bright face young and clear
as close to the finale as you are
I dread the completion of this cycle
though I know the full moon must come
I fear a host of threats might blot it out
smearing the sky with a veil of thick denial
as if to say fullness isn't for you

Moon Series 2016 - Day 10

Waxing Gibbous 8:31 p.m.

It's a dragon-eye moon
nestled in a bed of black velvet
our own narcissism,
dim as faded youth,
pales in comparison
as the sky plays along,
setting the darkness deeper
turning up the chill
while my heart thumps
at the curtain of cobweb clouds
and the rustle of something
used to the moon
perhaps wondering why I've chosen
to forgo warm light and wine
for a frozen nose
and my own crystal breath
billowing out,
a questionable backdrop,
to an unforgiving moon.

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