Look Up!


Starry-NightWe are so small,
And it scares us.
Staring up at a sky so infinite,
While it looks down on us
With so much pity.

The sky,
Watches us without fear or flinching
While we
Raise our fist
Point our guns
And threaten to bathe her in fire.
And she,
Is only move to tears.

She says,
How can you be so small,
And be so blinded?
So unable to see
The beauty
Surrounding you,

On this speck spiraling
Through infinity.
Or more so,
How can you not see
The beauty

You are as mice
Trying to show the universe
How grand
And how threatening you are.
But you,
Are only a threat to each other.
Destroyers of dreams.
Shatterers of hope.
Killers of
The innocent,
And the most vulnerable.

You have before you
Impossible wonders
To explore.
Though small,
Could lift off
And touch the stars.
Unimaginable beauty,
Can’t even see
The beauty in each other.

For the sake of your survival,
For your
Be better.
Choose greater!
Look up!
I am waiting for you.

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It’s Raining Outside

It’s raining outside.
He stares out the window counting each drop.
The splash,
Is how he marks the passage of time.

In his head,
The ghosts are arguing again.
Shouting matches over which image
To display prominently,
Across his mind’s eye.

It doesn’t matter.
To him,
Every image hurts.
A brutal display of violence
That to this day
He still works through.

He confesses
That he feels like a failure.
It’s been twelve years.
He should be over this.

The psychologist scribbles frantically
Along the lines of a legal pad the color of daisies.
She says to him,
It’s been a lot of years,
But longer still has been the journey
That brought you here;
To this moment.
And it will take a lot of years
To untie the cables
Between you
And a foundation full of landmines.

She says,
Bravely breaking generational cycles of violence.
You dawn swords and armor,
Charge headlong into hordes of demons,
Rebuking ghosts,
And waging war on the lies
Instilled in you.
All for the sake of your wife
And three beautiful girls.

It has been a lot of years.
And though you may never
Fully recover,
Whatever the fuck that means,
Your family
Will never know the pain
You’ve endured.

They’ll never come to me and ask why.
Why was he so cruel?
Why couldn’t he love me?

From you they will know
And they will carry that love
To their children’s children’s children.

And it takes everything in me
Not to say
Stop being so impossible with yourself.
So instead I offer this.

Be kind,
Be gentle,
And love yourself.
I know it’s hard,
But you are not alone.

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To Know Quiet

Lighthouse in StormdrowningHe holds out for hope
Like a noose around his throat,
Or a bullet in a gun
Aimed at himself,
Where does quiet come from?

He stuffs tsunamis and hurricane winds
Into his brain
To wash away the chatter
Of voices and memories
Anchoring him
To a past stained in guilt
Caught in the hue of
So much hurt.

He begs storms to rise
And the oceans to rage,
Wanting nothing
More than to be swept away
In a baptism
He won’t rise up from.

He wants no pity.
No freedom from the shame.
Only the words
To tell his story.
Only the perfectly painted image
Of the shattered reflection
He sees in the mirror.

He wants you to understand
Houses reflect their foundations
And he is a house
Built upon landmines.

He wants to believe
That if he can tell you
His story,
He might be freed
From the so much noise,
And finally
Know the sound of quiet.

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Dark Side of the Moon Tonight


lakenatronbirdI’m burning letters I wrote you
On the dark side of the moon tonight.
They were written in a past life,
When I believed I could detoxify
All this bad blood passing underneath
Burning bridges I lit to light my way
Towards a better past.

I misread the scars across my skin
Thinking it a map towards healing;
Towards restoring the illusion
That everything
Was always and perfectly fine.
Any distortion in the picture,
Was mine-
Always and forever,

The direct result of a cracked lens
I couldn’t see through.
The lens,
You know,
The one I inherited from you.

But I believed forgiveness was due,
It was my fault
For not getting out the way
Of your runaway train.
My fault,
Because that was holy,
Or so your pastor told me.

He taught me forgiveness
Was the ultimate sign of faith.
Forgiveness the sign of God’s grace.
Forgiveness the sign of God’s favor.
Letting love cover a multitude of sins,
Sins – a kind name for your abusiveness.

But somewhere along the way,
I have learned there is a difference,
Between covering and cover up,
So when I stood up
With arms outstretched to build distance
Between me and the pain,
I was marked out as a godless thing of shame.

Calling the distance antithetical to love
Because I would not hug the battering ram
Of your bitter brutality.

You see,
The bruises,
The scars,
The inescapable memories,
Have taught me

There is no hope for a better past.
I am better served burning these letters
On the dark side of the moon tonight
To rise to my feet
And fight these ghosts
Until come the morning light.

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Reluctant Guardian

He seethed. His trembling hands holding the accursed flesh bound book. An ancient grimoir passed down through the generations. Infernal whispers pleaded with him to unleash the tome’s power.

The power. The very thing which had brought him to this moment. Standing on the verge of breaking his solemn vows to keep the grimoir locked away and out of the hands of any who would use it.

Rage at his powerlessness to do anything against the evils spreading across his country boiled within him.

“We could bring peace. We could help you strike down those who think themselves safe in ivory towers.” Teased a disembodied voice emanating from the book.

“At the cost of my soul.” He replied.

“Yes. But your life would be long, spanning several lifetimes. Anything you desired would be yours.”

“Gain the world, but lose my soul.”

“Gain the world.”

His finger traced the rune etched clasp sealing the grimoir.

“At a terrible cost.”

“A noble sacrifice. For peace. For the power to send evil souls into the hungering mouth of Hell. And perhaps, in exchange for enough souls, you could free your own?”

“And who would relinquish my soul from this infernal pact? God? Not likely. Especially as I would usurp his role as judge.”

“No. Not God. The Infernal Ones, however. Certainly they’d grant you such a boon for sating their hunger.”

“Even if, and God still rejects me, what then? My soul would be cast back into the hands of the Infernal Ones. And why would they spare me? The souls I’d send to them, they’d have sooner or later anyway.”

“But the innocents you’d spare! Perhaps even God could overlook your transgression, if your work were to his glory.”

“You argue the ends justifying the means. If I force feed shit to a starving man in order that he might not starve, am I still doing good?”

“You argue philosophy, and you can do so all you like, but it doesn’t change the number of innocent souls being torn from their bodies every day. You have access to a power that could change all of that, but you don’t act, are you then not as culpable as those committing such heinous crimes?”


“Release the knowledge of this sacred tome. Be imbued with its power! Act to save your people, and let tomorrow’s woes worry about themselves.”

He leaned back against the cold stone wall of the basement deep beneath his home. He slid to the floor cradling the flesh bound grimoir against his chest. The arguments swirled within his mind, and he wondered if any of the guardians of the tome before him faced such a crisis of faith.

He closed his eyes and let the thoughts run, condsidering the offer of the book.

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Stepping Back


It’s strange
How many steps you took
To look the same.
The same hate,
The same ghosts,
In that strange place,
In that headspace,
In that
You call a brain.

But look at me.
Who am I talking to?
A roiling kettle
Pointing ladles
Calling pots black
I’ve fallen back
Just the same.

An addict
At war with pain.
Guilty card carrying
Extended warranties
Underlined with

It’s not some game.
We don’ get to
Flip tables
Collect our cards
And walk away.

Always the same.
That burden.
So heavy
We feel our feet sway.
Leaving us
Grieving the circumference
Where we lost our way.

Out of control.
Lost souls
Floating around our lives
Beneath falling stars
And crumbling carapace skies.

And the lies
We tell ourselves
To feel okay.
Extreme saturation
In mood swings
Desperate for change.

And maybe I,
Ought not look to you,
Fettered by strange knots
Laced through
The holes in our shoes.

But this is what we do.
Fastened in cycles
Blaming one another
For what we came to.


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White Spaces

I’m forgetting what the white spaces looked like.
Filled them in with filigree markings,
While eyes like God watched overhead
Ensuring every spot was penciled in.

It’s a waste of space plastered
In secret messages and mixed tapes
Where recorded are your words
Over and over again,
“Lift us to heaven.”

I carry your cross on my shoulders,
Each year growing older.
Getting over the mechanical whine
Of cogs forced to keep up the
Political two-step of your time.

How is this mine?
Two left feet unable to keep rhythm
With dogs and ponies
Drowned in perfumes and ribbons.

Unkind queens
Reaching for the crowns of their kings
Praying for the earth beneath their feet
To end its quaking.

I felt a woman’s beating heart halt.
You were nowhere to be found,
And somehow
You made this my fault.

I’m forgetting what the white spaces looked like.
Filled them in with filigree markings,
While eyes like God watched overhead
Ensuring every spot was penciled in.

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