Cliffs

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Windswept, chiseled over millennia –

monolith, monument to forces far beyond

our domain.

Lonesome giant,

against the cavernous sky.

Outcropping to outcropping,

alongside trees gnarled in crevices,

I scale the sun-bleached walls.

The wind is at my back,

falling rubble

meets a fate only it can withstand

tumbling from near-heaven, careening against

the side of the cliffs.

Little stands between death and I,

turning back, is no longer an option.

Surefooted,

may my hands guide the way,

the sun beats down on my face.

To the sky I announce,

“I will meet you in the middle.”

The summit seemed impossible

until it was in my grasp.

Now, how to get

back down?


Wrung-Dry

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A little pressure with a twist,

might seem painful at first,

but maybe it will do my soul

some good.

What’s the worst that can happen?

The tension acts upon you more,

the longer you carry it.

And catharsis takes shape in many different ways,

but it’s never a walk in the park,

never a spring breeze.

It won’t come easily,

but if it did,

would it be worth it?

Only when empty

is the vessel most useful,

put down what you carry

if it has become too burdensome.

You are stronger than you know,

without what holds you back.

If it must hurt,

and sometimes this is so,

know that the pain is so much better,

than what preceded it.


You had to be There

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Blankly staring for miles —

huge, dumb grin at nothing in particular.

I’m everywhere I’ve ever been, reflecting on moments long passed,

times we laughed, stirred pots, clinked glasses.

I’m there, then,

but I fade in and out of coming to, just long enough to see

I’m still here, now.

Is it ever only a memory?

In between he times I was pleasantly blindsided, the times I was

dumbfounded by what stands right in front of me.

The fond farewells I look back on with a grin,

the times I stood in the rain,

the goodbyes I’ve exchanged,

tearful then, tearful now.

Is it ever only a memory?

The time slips through our fingers,

I’ve been sleepwalking.

A blur, a whirlwind,

we have today and today only, yet

I am the sum of

everything I’ve ever done.

Is it ever only a memory?


Soft-shell

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I can’t take it anymore.

Sorry I just —

I need to move along now,

grown used to my surroundings

weary of my limitations.

I hold myself back more than I am comfortable admitting,

unfortunately,

this is self-evident.

I wish I had the luxury

of keeping my armor on,

alas, I must slip into something

more suitable.

Crack me open,

any other time that would prove fatal

but I am in transition.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Weakness is now my strength,

I flow as the currents do.

If you’re too comfortable in your own skin,

it becomes your coffin,

I must cast it aside.

I can’t take it anymore,

maybe the growing pains

are worth the suffering.


Without

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“Where does the time go?”

You’ve always known.

Your back was just towards it.

Admiring the liminal space,

between point A and point B –

I restate the obvious:

all the things I’ve scattered to the wind,

have blown away.

Tears stream down my face,

at the sight of all this spilled milk.

Irretrievable–

fading, flickering memories melt

as the days go by,

at best,

that’s all we’ve got.

So many times, I’ve gotten exactly what I wanted

and it was the worst thing that could have happened.

So many times have I parted ways with something I swore I couldn’t live without,

somehow I got by just fine.

The past is gone, and the present is a terrible time

to waste backtracking.


Thistle

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If my body language

isn’t enough for you,

heed these words,

do not approach.

I am to be admired

from afar,

grubby hands will be

swiftly dealt with.

Use a light touch, and tend to me

tenderly, if you’re really invested.

Roll your sleeves up,

and take great care –

more for your sake

than mine.

Am I worth it?

See for yourself.

Snip my thorns,

peel back the layers,

find my heart in there

some where,

then cut my choke out —

I’m all yours.


Counterproduction

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I’ve got to get it in my head

that I can’t win a game of chicken

against myself.

It’s my cross to bear,

the sin of pride,

the bliss of ignorance.

I can handle it,

I can handle it.

The worst lies

are the ones you tell yourself —

the most convincing are

the ones by omission.

The writing on the wall,

is of no concern to me—

I painted myself into a corner,

but I’ll make it out,

I don’t need directions.

One step forward,

one step forward.

Please disregard the footprints.

I’d love to conquer myself,

but that guy’s a pretty good boxer.

I’ve got to get it in my head,

that I don’t need to be

my own worst enemy.


On Hope & On The Future

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Pandora’s box

did not

come with explicit enough

instructions.

Read it cover-to-cover:

three pages,

two words,

“hang on.”

Goddamn it.

I try – and fail – to not overthink it.

The sky is red again today.

But I know that

right as I’m about to crack,

I will break through.

Sure enough,

it all cleared up.

Time for a change in direction!

Cassandra pleads with me

not to go through with it.

Lays out every uncomfortable truth

about

what I’ve done and yet to do

in immaculate detail.

What is certain to

occur, in divine mathematically-precise

tea-leaf readings.

I can only doubt her.

Spent the next few days

on fool’s errands,

running directly into

the current,

asking every one going the opposite

way “how about that weather,”

and they smile and nod,

going about their day.

I never saw it coming.


Anyone

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You were never the same after

any time we met

face to face.

Irreplaceable, you

nevertheless had a knack

for adaptation.

The pattern shifts,

fades to black,

and you vanish in the night sky.

Where are you?

Footsteps 20 paces away

have I gone —

I shouldn’t say.

There you are,

done something new

with your hair?

The more things change

the more they stay the same,

you hide in plain sight.

Can’t shake this feeling

that I’m being watched,

at least have the courtesy

to tell me whether fight or flight

are reasonable.

Unbelievable, you

the same acrid wine

with a new skin for every

day of the week.

I Heard Cardinals

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How is it possible?

Echoes in the void

left by silent winter.

The ebb and flow

of time

Green language returns.

Take it as a sign

that the same old song

continues.

How is it possible?

Scarlet in the canopies,

soliloquy.

This duet,

you and I,

must go on.

Not without you,

but dancing to your tune,

wherever it’s heard.

Call met by response,

speak,

and I’ll hang on each

and every

word.

I will return,

I will return.

How is it possible?

Listen,

and you will find

the answers you seek.