The trees have all been caged and the birds
left with nowhere to go, but still we carve
our shadows into the slow-marching clouds
in hopes of encountering a novel melody
with the power to spring the rusted locks
and raise unnamed islands from the sea.
Hello there, sunshine,
symphony of substitutes,
soliloquy of sacrifice,
I could trace the veins
of your hues to
the colored flowers
and cordoned seasons
only to find I’m no more
familiar with your shadows
than before I felt
the steel of your stare.
Would that every morning
could be as infinitely enigmatic
and endlessly blue as
the first smiles of the day.
My how time…
No, those aren’t right.
Is it “waits”?
Yep, that’s it.
My how time waits.
Yep, that too.
See that bridge?
We built it. Not I, but we.
The river underneath?
We drove it from the mountains.
The clouds thick and white
against the blue canvas?
We inflated them,
full of lost patience.
The moon peeking from
the corners like a lost puppy?
We painted it and gave it a name,
which we’ve since lost.
(Jacob? Forrest? Emmanuel?
No those can’t be right.)
Oh, but the diamonds
that litter the night sky?
They aren’t ours.
Not yet. Someday.
With a little effort.
One can always dream.
It is your birthday, after all.
Are you still there, my little friend?
Perched on your ledge awaiting the sun,
that morning flower that never blooms?
The gray of fall came brushing it aside,
us left with anxious faces turned upward
with only the memory of colors fading.
The kiss of morning isn’t all it seems;
soon I’ll miss the bright green of spring
painted fresh on your hardening shell,
left to suffer the thinning blanket of leaves
and shadows grown long across my path,
their crisp edges a reminder of your loss,
rather my loss in the void you left behind.
Yet sure as daybreak, I know you’ll return,
and then I’ll venture that simpler world
seen only through your eyes once more,
and together we’ll count the new leaves
as they reach their tips to the waking sky.
If we could just take a moment.
No, I’m not mad. I mean, I am.
But that’s not what this is about.
It’s about what happened elsewhere.
It’s about what’s never going to stop.
What happened to the good ol’ days?
They were a dream from the start.
You weren’t there. I wasn’t either.
But so many voices went unheard.
Now they have volume. Audiences.
Now they shout just to be heard.
And the din is beautiful. Awesome.
The sound is deafening but worthy.
But to some the volume is too high.
To some the price paid is too steep.
To others the thrill of closed doors.
To others still the calm in the chaos.
There’s too many reasons to name.
And still there are those unheard.
Too often they fade just the same.
Silenced before they were ever heard.
Us left wondering what they had to say.
If it would have made a difference.
So no, I’m not mad. Not exactly.
There is no one person to take the blame.
No one except ourselves. Compliance.
When it rains we all end up getting wet.
The towers fall and we all are crushed.
The bombs burst and we all are deafened.
The knives come out and we all are cut.
Those who say otherwise?
They are the ones with voices.
They have never been silent.
They will never be silenced.
Only they can bring change.
But they’ve never listened.
They may, though. Someday.
We’ve got to keep trying.
But it won’t last.
That’s our lot.
But once a year.
Summer and spring?
They’ll be back.
Not for a while yet.
But they will.
Cross my heart.
Besides, it can’t rain
All the time.
So no, not today.
But today will be
You know it.
And who knows
What will come