hope

hope is a thin branch

stepped on with oversized shoe

arms free without handhold

each stride further along

leaning out the bony support

in gangly hollow reeds

hope says hold the belief

progression is possible

yet this comes with a high cost

that rumbles deep within us

the knowing that there is

the chance, the likelihood, in fact,

of a sudden snap

a break into a free fall of loss

a sever of faith

and darkening of the eternal tunnel

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tree rings

complete circle

within circle

among circle

cyclical certitude

of year

upon year

after year

mysterious markings

of growth’s

gentle imprint

creating

outward emblems

and

inward impressions

tomorrow’s memory

there are hours

even days

where loneliness

is a longing

away from the echoes

of old voices

and ringing

of today’s tones

beyond harsh critique

and empty eyes

past going through motions

to exist in time

I’d rather be alone

than among these false

fake interactions

words falling from faces

held together in forced smiles

and stiff upper lips

I’d rather be lonely

than speak

into a megaphone

still not be heard

for the wind

to rustle louder than

my deafening screams

and the rain

to drown my voice

I’d rather fall apart

than stay together

held by bubblegum

and popsicle sticks

in constant fear

my pieces will crumble

at the opportune time

for everyone to see

I’d rather be empty

than fill myself

with the boiling anger

you want to pour

down my throat

to dissolve a hunger of hurt

I’d rather be all this

but choose to be none

opening my hand instead

in relinquishment and

taking up a pen

to write it all out

for tomorrow’s memory