Thursday, September 26, 2013

to a neighbor upon refusing my plea for help

What were you thinking when you heard me plead
to speak to your husband? Do you recall?
You should ensure you are never in need.

Is flooding one’s house a femme fatale’s ploy
to coax men within, to woo and enthrall?
What were you thinking when you heard me plead?

Perhaps broken hoses, gushing full-speed,
spew forth soggy love shacks with nymphs wall-to-wall.
You should ensure you are never in need.

Does abundance of water make jealousy feed?
Marshy my office! So squishy my hall!
What were you thinking when you heard me plead?

The main, now closed, let the waters recede
despite your reply, indifference withal.
You should ensure you are never in need.

Misfortune’s a bitch. I hope you pay heed
if karma repays impervious gall.
What were you thinking when you heard me plead?
You should ensure you are never in need!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

sentimental value

There comes a point

when it no longer matters
who is right or wrong,

but who
has the most to gain or lose.

When choosing
between logic and sentiment,

I venture a guess

that sentiment claims
more value from the start.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

the annunciation

Holy Mother, when the angel Gabriel
greets you in Nazareth, you seem
more fearful of his presence
than the news he brings.
Was he not soft spoken? Were his wings
not magnificent, their silken feathers
glistening in the sun? If only
an angel had counseled me. Perhaps
I would have chosen differently, assured
by his beauty that all things
are meant for glory, even a child born
to a young girl steeped in sin,
whose longing for her lover’s touch
gleamed more brightly,
more beautifully than the flames
of hell are horrid. If only I had laid eyes
on those ethereal, silken wings.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

to the modern prometheus

The Fall of man shall e’er decree my fate,
For evil dwells in aspirations ill.
To know thy place beneath His Heav’nly gate
Is well believed to be our Master’s will.
Though I am Creature, Adam I am not,
No grace from you, nor fellowship received.
Forsaken, Fallen Angel soon forgot,
In graves of pain and death was I conceived.
From dust we art to dust we must return,
So I from wicked origin am bound –
Returning harm whilst e’er my soul must yearn
For Eden’s wealth, inheritance profound.
     So mark this promise made on Montavert,
     'Tis you, Sir Victor, e’er I thirst to hurt.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

riddle of a sphinx

She, daughter of the mighty Typhon,
womb-sharer of the 100-headed dragon,
tucks wings beneath haunches, waiting
for the one to unlock a burden of ancestors.
Stumbling on swollen feet, he comes
not because he knows the answer to her riddle.
This man is answer manifest.

For there at the foot of Aetna lies a father,
sinew-thief, Cadmus’s fool.
Belching forth his pitiful fire,
he singes her lion heart.
Soon she will cast herself from these rocky cliffs,
and all will be fulfilled.
Damp eyes scan the horizon,
settling on the gates of Thebes.

    Which creature,she demands,
    moves in the morning on feet of four?

‘Twas man, a man named Cadmus, treading first
on the four-footed dragon to mark the dawn
of his noble city, planting teeth of ire
upon an accursed house. Such a city embracing
ignorance breeds a volatile, damned throne.

    What animal,she queries,
    walks at noon on two?

Look you, to the lustful Laius,
and be not blind to Chrysippus,
a man-child raped.
Witness drunken lust that denies a wife
her first-born son. Poor Jocasta,
she is but a pawn ensnared in this wicked net
cast to right a reign of wrongs.

    Who then, (but Oedipus)
    comes stumbling late on three?

Four doomed generations seeded
beneath this Theban Royal Roof,
all to breed a carnivore.
He is but a prophecy fulfilled,
consuming father, mother, self.
This is the honor among beasts
mortals fail to understand.

Friday, September 6, 2013

the hope of a dream

is almost as sweet
as the dream itself

save the ache of anticipation

and sleeplessness

and this restlessness in my legs
from all my waiting.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

when I told you I was pregnant

    You asked me
how that happened, as if
this were somehow my fault, as if
I had done something wrong, as if
two people sharing the same bed,
the same name, the same life
should not expect this
    as a natural course of action.

    You told me
not to tell anyone, as you
walked out of our kitchen, as you
spent three days in your garage, as you
spoke little to me…then more…
but still scarcely a word about the life
inside of me,
    until I almost miscarried.

you laid your head in my lap, as I
waited for the morning, as I
held my breath for a miracle, as I
bit my tongue and fought back tears
when you said this was your fault
for not wanting our son

    After months
of secret keeping, I could
finally tell our friends and family, I could
stop hiding my swollen abdomen, I could
engage in rituals of expectancy
save one…
I have never known the joy
    of the discovery.

You stole that from me
    and can never give that back.

Monday, September 2, 2013

the goodness of humanity

I believe in the goodness of humanity.

Listen to morning radio. Watch the evening news. Scan the daily paper, and one is bound to find stories of tragedy, injustice, and ignorance. “Bystander Shot in Gas Station Robbery.” “Family Forced to Live on Streets after Father Loses Job.” Everywhere we turn, we are reminded of man’s pitiful fall from grace. Yet, if we are willing to pay attention…if we are willing to walk through our daily lives with both eyes open and our ears unplugged (from iPods and cell phones), we just might notice the countless, random acts of kindness all around, those simple gestures that repeatedly restore my faith in humanity.

I knew a boy in college who never wore a coat. Oh, he had a coat. He had several coats actually, but he couldn’t keep a coat for more than a couple weeks. Not because he lost them. His mother told me one afternoon that he just simply gave them away. He gave them to fellow students who hadn’t thought to bring one from home. He gave them to strangers he met on the street. He gave them to people in need. And while this seems a bit extreme, even to me, I could not help but admire him. He was, indeed, his “brother’s keeper.”

I should also mention the boy dressed like a “gang banger” who offered up his seat on the train so that my husband might sit next to me, a tourist in a “strange, new city.” Or the man at the gas station who paid for my son’s Snapple because I’d forgotten my wallet when packing the diaper bag. And I will never forget the gentleman dressed in his blue, mechanic’s uniform who changed my tire in the rain, refusing to let me finish what I had already started. These are the types of stories that should be on the news. These are the tidbits I want to hear on talk radio. For some warped reason, though, it’s the crime that sells…which is really a shame if we think about it. What good can come from thirty minutes of heartache and theft? Now consider the alternative. What good can come from kindness?

If “ignorance breeds ignorance,” couldn’t kindness breed kindness?

I believe in the goodness of humanity because I have experienced it. I have known a helping hand. I have met a generous spirit. Each of these offered acts spontaneous, each without expectation of return.