From These Ashes

This fractious house rests
Torn by its own dissension
Decaying in its incompetence
Rotting on the vine
Peaceful but for the smell
Trapped in this living hell
Waiting for a cleansing fire
For a chance to finally burn
To purify its inhabitants
With so many smoking ashes
Cobbled together on the floor
Scattered by the incoming wind
Like we all used to be
When we thought that life was free
But it exacts a terrible toll
It crushes, then tries to mend
Gilded in the forge of apathy
Tempered like so much steel
Girding newly born beams
This phoenix rising clear
From the haphazard scattering
To hopefully begin again
When everything else is ending.


I choose my words carefully
Conjugation on my lips
Spilling over into sound
A perfect preservation
Of multi-syllabic language
Summoned from sheer memory
So I can tell you to leave
To go, to consciously decide
To walk away without pride
But I can’t just say it
This well-rehearsed wit
Refusing to dissemble
Betraying my tender soul
As the pretender it is
Wishing for a diction
That persuades as it eases
That uncomplicates things
Like the space between whispers
A fractional dissonance
That dissipates as it expands
Forcing me to breathe it out
To watch it fog up this space
Between us before crystallizing
Into this verbal repertoire
This parlance that means the same
Because the more we go around
The more we do this dance
The worse my fractured psyche

So my words just come out wrong
I choke on them like air
While you sit there unaware
Waiting for the space to close
But it never does.


oceanfloorWords come unbidden
Like waterfalls
Cascading down
Tendrils snaking
Into the shallows
Sifting the shifting sands
Stirring them smooth
Soft as straight lines
Irony in their edges
Twisting together
In episodic phrases
Washed clean
Hung out to dry
Where others come to stare
To suss out meaning
Where none exists
Conscious judges
With fairy tale lives
But no happy endings
Only words in the spaces
Where no words should be
At the bottom of the sea.


4328723286_700711d8cc_zCrisp page, winter white
As pure as driven snow
Blanketing the ground
Lines slashed straight through
Bleeding obsidian ink
But only in sections
Words sliding swiftly across
Plainly marking their passage
Strong reminders of the past
Blending in with the present
Marking time in letters
Steady like a metronome
Appearing as if by magic
Invisible hand tracing clear
Pretenses comfortably near
Page muddied with language
Symbols carved from stone
Hard and crystalline
Permanently enshrined
Testament to memory
And left in plain sight
For others to find.