Thursday, August 6, 2015

I See...

I was reading some Whitman the other day – "Leaves of Grass" – and was inspired to write some free verse. Poetry is something I've dabbled in over the years, and while I'm never satisfied with what I've written, I feel it's a healthy exercise. I wasn't going to post this here, but a friend and fellow writer said I should.

So, here's what I wrote.


I can’t see the person
I see sweat, tears, blood
Pain, despair, suppressed longing
Stains on the conscience scrubbed raw

I see shells and facades
The remnant of a childhood lost
A vain clutch at a phantom breeze
Bearing fix’d mistakes from a previous life

I see cues taken
From generations before
Worn paths, crooked and straight
Myriad means converging at the same, inevitable end

I see connections
Forged by want and need
Friends and lovers dancing ‘round
Led by notes of flat plains and sharp valleys

I see families
Bound by strings of DNA
Bonding and fissuring in undulations
Ever defined by blood and an unchosen name

I see monsters
Ravaging ones, meek ones
Ones unsure which side to take
And those who wish they could be angels

I see skin, hair, veins
Flesh to be caressed and cut
A thin sheet of beauty pulled taut
To cover the macabre form of our souls

I see rituals
Words handed down
Drinks at 5:00 passed around
Men in silent combat with their father’s shadow

I see chaff
Buffeted and tossed
Floating indistinct across fields
Landing where it will in its own time

I see monuments
Built by a scheming world
Balanced upon anonymous shoulders
Toppled by the capricious shifts of money and ideals

I see refuse
Swept down the sidewalk
By the passing swoosh of wingtips
Filling in the jagged cracks to save stubbed toes

I see masks
Hiding tortured faces
Prosthetic grins beneath sad eyes
Crow’s feet scratching at the plastic skin

I see promise
Frenetically swirling inside
Bubbling and boiling as if in a cauldron
Seeking an outlet to explode itself into the world

I see rivers of blood
Spilled in the giving and taking of life
Splashing across the grass and the lilies
The sins of man lapping at my feet as I tread the shore

I see hope
Nonsensical, indomitable
Reaching blindly into the mist
Assured its faith will soon be rewarded