You could tell by his long thinning hair below his bowler hat
Strings pulled and floating behind him
Was an old man, holding within shaking hands,
All sizes of brightly colored balloons; embossed in abstract bold print
Announcing all of his life’s successes and failures.
Strolling along the streets, skipping past the alleys,
Looking up at his balloons,
He would speak to himself in a loud but timid pitch;
“Free! Life’s balloons!
Pick a color. Go ahead, pick a size above the strings,
Pick anyone you please.”
No one ever did. Bits and pieces in his pace as he slowly moved,
In constant pursuit with purpose, holding his balloons.
Carrying a large white plastic handbag
Strapped between sagging breasts and tucked behind aging wings,
Carrying bulging contents that peeked in-between striding elbows,
Was an old Angel with a dull Halo; suspended above short cropped bluing grey hair.
With systematic jerks of her head looking up and down the streets,
She would give directions to her wings like a bird of prey.
A determined hunter; for that old man she did seek.
Her search begins in the dampness of dawn.
Always walking on the opposite side of the street ready to cross if need be.
She never stops looking, never stops shaking her head.
Gripped with white knuckles in one hand
Unable to be released, were bits and pieces
That glittered on the copper needle she carried.
Day of enlightenment almost caught up with the old man.
But, it did not. He was ambushed yesterday,
In the blur of wings and a redemptive screech,
Every balloon he carried was popped.
The old man continues to walk in a crushed cap,
Carrying strings over his shoulder, begging
“Free! Sturdy strings! Free well tugged twine.
Have this one, please take this one,
I have had them now for much too long.”
i gaze at my reflection at bits and pieces, starfish,
crabs, and broken shells in a shallow
Written on Star Island,Portsmouth,NH on a writers retreat..rev.2020
Tags: Growing up, http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/, Theater/Poetry, ~The Night Before Breakfast~
I Will Have The Last Word
In equal seats at the round table, each with a voice on the scale of justice,
Sat three Cyclops in disguise; wearing sunglass monocle and
Red tinted bald head rubber caps.
On the opposite side, three Angels sat with pleated wings of sea-gull feathers,
Waiting to argue for him but feeling queasy and unable.
All speaking in unison, “You have only a few words before the ultimate gavel
Echoes you, to a sentence of silence.”
“Do you understand? You only have a few words”,
Repeated one of them, Under their breath
With a voice of compassion.
Everything that was bad or good,
Smiles and cries, and all those moments in-between,
Became reams of litigation suspended in litter.
Bound for this uncomfortable meeting,
I showed up wearing only a t-shirt,
Unshaven and a few items in a half empty paper bag.
I took my seat on a steel-gray folding chair
Without the cushion of a good history;
Braced with the events that allowed this chance, to convene.
Then, they began to strip-mine my life, looking and digging
Into the ground of my relatives, mentioning buried outlaws;
Ancestors still connected to my bones.
All my errors descended into a million pieces of recycled confetti.
They dismissed every excuse to free me.
They found nothing of value, stating, they were unable to release me.
They discounted everything I had borrowed,
Insisting on their uselessness when I returned them.
I shouted above my ignorance:
“Dance, dance, dance you Cyclops, around my mistakes.
Fuel your caldron with distasteful acknowledgement,
Envy the situation that is not present.
And you! Preen your Angel feathers without dissent
With the oil of penance.”
Peering across the table, with silver cups in front of everyone
Except in front of him, he noticed in the center of the table,
A scarred brown plastic tray, sat one tin cup.
He grabbed it, banging the empty cup for their same drink
Insisting for a better portion and perhaps
forget this nightmare and let him go.
Let him go home.
“What is it now, that everything is drunk?” Spoke one Angel.
“What is it now that you can savor?” Said one Cyclops,
Sipping his cup, on the opposite side of the table.
They all replied, in a confident anthem:
“We are all of the same dust. We are unbound, released from gravity
Without offense. Unlike you, sitting, fidgeting, now bound guilty
From this agenda, this torture
I squealed, I rat-ed out and rolled on my ego.
Confessing to be, in mind, an accomplice without heart.
I pleaded “mercy” to the table exclaiming, “guilty!”
I swooned, I almost fainted. I felt the floor roll beneath me
Like silt in a receding tide.
Standing, grasping what became actually visible.
I kicked my chair from the table, sent it flying behind me.
I swept my space clean.
An empty cup pinged to the floor spilling fear where it belonged.
The echo, stretched, crawling unsuccessfully to find the exit door.
Who am I now, as I try to rise above this table,
Trying to escape the infinite loop that leaves the measure of me to others?
Where swearing and praying becomes a side bar for approval or complaint.
They sit across from each other, saying the same things in redundancy;
Syllable after syllable, arriving at the same conclusion, using different words.
He quietly sat down across wingless angels and puffy black-eyed Cyclops.
Humbly took his assigned seat at a long aluminum rectangular table,
In the State, prison dining hall.
He placed his scarred brown plastic tray carrying a milk carton
And his scooped up meal.
Today is his first day; his first spoon towards a year and a day.
(One thousand and ninety-seven left).
Saturday night: he eats folded white bread dipped in beans
Savoring the franks. He will probably eat smelt on Fridays.
I see the end recoiling back, hiding in this cosmic dust
Of breath and conscience death, .Each moment for me is mine
Within a circle without chairs of decision or indecision,
Where forgiveness, atonement and contentment has to begin.
“I am not afraid.”
Those were his last words
Before the gavel burst into unconsciousness.
Tags: Existential, Experimental, http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/, Theater/Poetry, ~The Night Before Breakfast~
(A poem in one-act. Characters: Ambiguity and Truth, )
( Light slowly goes on Truth, standing in rear of center-Stage at a waist-high potter’s table with clay to make a cup …he is constantly molding it.
Back-stage right… is a loud mixture of barroom gaiety of men & women, and an occasional burst of argument.
(Ambiguity enters right… from the sound of the crowd, embracing Truth, the sound diminishes in soft background noise )
How can I begin to insist upon
Your ears listening to a silent crowd;
Ability to speak above that sound,
Enlightened, without a sinister shroud?
Cacophony does seek meaningless sound.
Sometimes, but not often, harmony finds
Acceptance, sliding itself gently down
To resistant soul and in open minds.
(Ambiguity grabs the shoulders of Truth, pulling his right ear, whispering)
Fruitlessness and fruitfulness are akin
In the measure of wisdom’s balance scales;
As silence and the spoken word are twin.
Each undeclared, if truths intention fails.
I, will persistently speak within you;
As Ambiguity and truth will do.
(Truth shirks Ambiguity off his shoulders)
Speak neither of me, nor of you this day.
The sigh of shame is louder than whisper.
You have come and gone, beyond what you say.
You shake me, shook me within this murmur
Of finding your faults paled by bright spotlight;
Masking attributes, blinded from honesty,
Ultimately discovered without night,
On the stage of a bastard’s travesty.
Crushed by wheels and heels of mind’s illusions
You are stubborn, are strong in your dogma.
Actions forgetting strength of decision
Of what things are and what is in drama.
I will not sway for your understanding;
Abstract transition, false apprehending.
(Ambiguity grabs Truth by the legs)
Love me for my strong probabilities,
Fall so you can bruise in discouragement!
To explain yourself without jealousies.
Fall you mother fucker in compliment!
(Truth side steps Ambiguity, untangling his legs)
Get up from that muddling in empty space.
What do you find in disguised innocence
That exposes anger in demur face?
Align yourself without permanence.
Release your embraced convulsive action;
Such foam with disgrace of uncertainty
Burst into small bubbles of reaction
Floating in distasteful banality.
You have found your colorful residence
Excreted in loud and boisterous façade
Among the reeds and weeds of ignorance
Rippling in reflection of a mirage.
Silence Ambiguity, I agree
I cannot be, without you being seen.
(Both exit hand in hand back-stage right… into rising loud mixture of barroom gaiety of men & women, and an occasional burst of argument).
Tags: Ambiguity, http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/, http://withrealtoads.blogspot.se/, Theater/Poetry