Hanging Gardens

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Please,

please stay.

I’ll do

whatever it takes.

You’ve come a long way,

and I know it’s not ideal —

It’s a huge adjustment

and you miss home so much.

If it helps,

I’ll bring the oasis

to our backyard,

to take your mind

off the dry heat.

No more mirages,

no more marauders —

only figs and pomegranates

in the shade.

Trickles of spring water,

date palms,

verdant vines

that wind and climb

up the bricks.

Brisk breezes

and reliefs along the walls

that tell our story,

it’s all for you.

This isn’t home to you,

not yet,

I get that.

Please,

please stay,

I’ll make it worth your while.

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Mosaic

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It doesn’t have to be the end

even for a shard

of shattered glass —

that said, it may need to take

some creative liberties.

And rather than

spend all that time

on the mend,

it may behoove you

to mix it up

and create something new.

Even when rediscovering yourself,

there is no guarantee

that what you come across

will be familiar.

There is always room

where you make it,

every last step

brought you here.

In the end,

everything has a funny way

of coming together.

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Disintegration

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Watch closely,

as I fall apart at the seams.

Every crease

giving way,

every fiber of my being

unwound.

For now

I am the dust at your feet,

the gust of wind

that tosses your hair,

the sunlight

on your shoulders —

I am boundless,

the open sky,

the ether.

A crash of lightning

announcing itself one moment,

and gone without a trace

the next.

Listen carefully,

the thunder tells all,

from a roar to a murmur

the sky shutters,

the air reverberates.

Like the rainclouds,

I wander in circles,

I’ll change my shape

and return another day.

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Compound Eyes

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The fly on the wall

watches closely,

focused on

nothing at all

yet ready for anything.

Buzzing wings,

hundreds of flutters

in the span of a heartbeat,

fling the fly on the wall

down the hall

to a new perch,

a fresh perspective

for further study.

10,000 telescopes per eye,

surveil you.

They tell all —

giving forewarning,

performing troubleshooting.

A mind,

with no capacity to judge

speculate

or daydream

makes life amongst

the clutter

easier.

Unbothered

by raised fists

and rolled-up magazines,

until they’re impossible to ignore —

it evades every strike,

like trying to wrestle

a wisp

of smoke.

Never quite

out of sight

out of mind —

I too will watch,

you may be small

but this house

doesn’t have room

for you.

Rain Smell

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Overcast skies,

mourning doves crooning,

cars gliding slowly

across soaked asphalt.

Wisps of steam

rise from your teacup,

raindrops streak

down the half-open windows

of the screened-in porch —

pooling on the sills and

trickling from the gutters.

The world grinds to a halt,

just for this moment.

Breezes blow in

through the insect screens,

rustling branches

and carrying

wafts of petrichor

that connect you

to the world you swore

you’ve escaped from.

A few more minutes

out here

couldn’t hurt.

Still Life

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Arranged meticulously,

posed purposefully,

captured faithfully —

life not as it happened,

but a skillful composition.

Sliced pomegranate,

with a few loose jewels nearby,

a vase full of poppies,

wine glasses half full,

a fresh loaf of bread

a steak knife flanking

an empty plate.

We stand on the outside

looking in,

a window to a moment,

forever undisturbed —

not life as it once was,

just an arrangement.

Take this with you,

only in memory,

no flash photography.

Sycamore

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Winds of change,

carry me away,

I will spiral

as I ride the currents,

to still waters,

to green pastures.

The gale will wail,

but I will not falter,

it’s fury will take me

somewhere new,

I have faith.

I will put down roots,

I will stand as tall as I can,

from midsummer,

through first frost

but, here, I cannot stay.

Winds of change,

I will follow your lead,

I fear no obstacle,

you have carried me above them.

Though you have set me down,

I will not rest,

The sun sets in the West,

I will face East,

and take in the morning light,

no matter the hand I’m dealt.

Winds of change,

carry me away,

I wish to see the world,

carry me away.

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Bootlegs

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Thank you for your patronage,

please come back soon!

When time is money,

there’s always something to do,

something new to see,

but only if you’ve already

won the lottery.

Success is timing, position,

some natural talent, skill

and heaps of dumb luck.

Many more

came before you,

with the same big dreams

playing in their minds,

but few have seen

their designs

pan out.

It feels like stealing,

but we can’t blame people

for doing what works,

and won’t put a stop to it

any time soon.

Shutting down a kiosk,

selling off-brand handbags,

t-shirts and shoes

is cutting down one bamboo stalk

in a vast forest,

hightailing it out

and congratulating yourself,

only to return again tomorrow

to do it all over.

They, like you, are also the little guy

and we all have big dreams here,

but there are bills to pay

and time is money-

there’s only so much

to be made and spent

in a day.

Imitation is flattery,

and in an uncertain world,

I’d be honored to be called

a safe bet.

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Through the Micrometer

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Bit,

by agonizing

bit.

Every tooth will fit

neatly into its

corresponding groove,

so that all

goes smoothly along,

without a drop of oil,

or so help me

God.

I will breathe life into this machine,

by the sweat of my brow,

the skill in my heart

and every tool on my belt.

There is no room for interpretation in my work,

it is so,

or it does not function.

I consult my micrometer,

and make my judgement calls,

which bits can serve,

and which

must be filed down,

beaten flush,

or discarded.

I am the Stradivari

of player pianos,

my creations will help themselves,

play their parts

and serve their needs

with or without you.

The Cutting Room Floor

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It’s hard to make it

in showbiz.

Much like the lottery,

No matter how many years

you spend toiling in development hell,

only a handful of those that play the game

see the happy ending

they dream of,

we pray for them.

Snippets, interludes, quips and storyboards

lie strewn about.

Half-baked,

deformed,

distorted,

deleted scenes

hold interstitial once deemed vital,

now unviable.

All seemed like great ideas at the time,

but quickly end up dated,

after production fumbles,

mumbles of delays

fill the air,

and stall all progress-

we pray for them.

These poor shades,

pray for a green light,

but all they find is red tape.

The business works in mysterious ways.

It’s harder for a camel

To pass through the eye of a needle

Than a rich man to enter heaven-

The higher-ups could stand to get a little thinner,

Yet they’re the ones,

Asking everyone else to cut down.

Some day,

They may see release,

Or at least the light of day,

I pray for them.