There once lived a Brave Being, fortified in a dome
I am invincible, it said
Here, in my armor, my home
Once or twice its world shifted and rustled
Nothing can do me harm, it said
Here, in my armor, my castle
Beyond the whiteness of its impeccable walls
Were valleys of cardboard nests
Where the unfertilized sat still-born.
Beyond the dormant valleys of cardboard
Was a crumpled sky, brown, as a paper bag.
Beyond the crumpled paper-brown sky
Were two long arms, wrapped around like pythons
Thinking about dinner,
Carrying a whole universe of groceries.
The smallest things,
like a shard of misplaced pavement
And a sudden loss of balance
Is enough to send a whole universe plummeting into chaos
The crumpled paper sky,
The valleys of living-death
The fragile white cradles of Life never to live.
The brown paper grocery bag exploded on to the street
The python-arms despaired,
And the Brave Being, a Life never to have lived,
lay dead in a sprawl of yellow yoke.
Gather round, broken souls
“Time is still a flying”
Sit and stare into the fire
Watch the children of warmth and wood
Dancing in the night
Share around the plates and bowls
Made of pewter and stone
Spoons and fork, not made of silver
Pass them round and round
Come, have a piece of comfort
Plucked straight from a stick amidst the fire
Burnt black like coal – but peel off the covers
To find inside a golden joy
Here, have a bowl of confidence
And strength regain back once again
Scalding hot like melted iron – but blow on gently
To find within a liquid life
And so, broken souls, we laugh, forget, and heal
And I explode in the shower of my own debris
As I lament what perhaps had never been.
I had reached for a shadow and it had reached for me
Its outstretched fingers had flickered, frail as a wisp
and we had limped towards each other in the howling winds
At last, inches away from a long-sought embrace
Seconds away from breaking solitude, asleep in a bed of ice,
punctured by a single, scorching teardrop –
Perhaps we had touched molecules; but no more
Whisked away, the shadow into dust
A swirl in the midst of mundane letters,
The repeating of stale, overused chants,
Bland, dry, tasteless words
A billowing echo through the void.
But I had reached for it still – the shadow gone to dust.
I grasped more desperatly than the word seize
Hollered louder than the word scream
Flailed wilder than the word writhe
And greedily devoured buckets of thin air
sharper than the word gasp
Then I had groped blindfolded through the thesaurus
For a word stronger than strength
For a word deeper than deep
For a shadow, beloved, whose name I never knew,
at the tip of my tongue,
Who melted away like the softest flake of first snow
Gone – at the burning redness of my touch.
Eat as much candy as you can possibly can, while you still got those baby teeth
'Cause after a while, they’ll stop growing back anymore
Dance as much as you can in public, while it’s still normal for you
'Cause after a while, you'll have to be good or get scorned
Pick up new friends in the playground, while you can still do that in half a second
'Cause after a while, friendship will be the most complicated thing there ever was
Play make-believe as much as you like, while you still can without feeling embarrassed
'Cause after a while, the floor just won't be lava no more
Laugh as hard as you can, while everything’s still funny
'Cause after a while, you’ll be paying for standup comedy shows
'Cause baby doll, after a while,
Everything will be running faster than you ever can
’Cause after a while, there will be “what if”s and “I should’ve”s –
Lots of them
Call her the Mighty Empress
Call her queen of high and low
Her majesty, her Grace
Be her sword, her shield, her mace
Call her Mighty Actress
No one dare know who she is
The slyest snake, or ignorant iguana
The wisest witch or cutest chihuahua?
Call her Mighty Enchantress
Once her spell cast, all are helpless
Call her wood nymphs incarnated
She leaves us more than infatuated
Call her Mighty Sorceress
She knows all secrets here and there
She knows unfortune everywhere
Withered souls, here, come and gather
Down your tears and give her a stare!
Have You Seen the Rain?
Have you seen the rain, you say? Oh yes, it was magnificent, child. It cascaded from the skies like heaven’s champagne. What does champagne tastes like, you say? You are making this more difficult than it is, aren't you? Let’s say lemmonade then, with sparkling water.
It was retro, too. Yes it was. Oldschool umbrellas braided into the streaks of suited people marching down the road single file, if you looked down from a window.
Oh, yes, single file, child. Ain’t nobody got space for nothing else. Roads were narrow back in the day. Or was it too many people?
Real retro. Real old. Real antique, rain was.
It smelled too, when rain came. Yes, child. Rain smelled. It smelled like fresh earth and wet water-proof canvases. It’s not real water, when it comes from the sky. It smelled like it's touched every living leaf in the world, every stone and rock, every grain of soil, and every slimy back of green frogs and brown worms, before gathering titter-tittor in a bucket or something. Don’t ask me what a bucket is, look it up yourself, you walnut.
Some days, some days quite far away from today, I've heard, it was okay for people to just stand in the rain with their arms spread open wide, palms outstrenched, too. Oh, yes, and they let it drizzle away down their bare faces and necks. Half closed their eyes had to be, or else the water would fall right into their eyes, strike them blind. Uh huh, strike them blind with a tap drop of water.
But also their eyes half closed because it’s impossible to recieve rain bare-faced without feeling... feeling... what’s that word, eh? Dreamy was the word, I think.
Oh, yes. Dreamy makes pepole close their eyes half way. Somewhere between life and death, somewhere between awake and asleep, somewhere between day and night.
Dear child, of all the question you can shake open from your box - have you ever seen the rain?
I don’t want to play this game anymore.
Castle on a Cloud
There is a castle on a cloud
My eyes are awake when it is seen
So many rooms for me to sweep
There in a castle on a cloud
There is lady all in black
She holds me and weeps “Will you back?”
She’s a pain to see and she’s sharp to touch
She says, Dear one, I need you for my lunch
I know a place where no one lives
I know a place where no one breathes
Laughing at all is not allowed
Not in my castle on a cloud
Ten Dollar Knight
Ten Dollar Knight
I was knighted today
By a guy with a fake santa beard
He was no king –
Some drunkard from the streets perhaps
With his slurred tongue and careless flick
His stainless sword touched my aluminum armor
I read my vows and he read his
Neither of us knew what any of that meant
I paid him ten bucks
At the roach-infested counter
I gave him back his armor (it stank of sweat)
And he gave me back my jacket
He said good day, and I said you too
I walked back out into the wilderness city
Where metal beasts cantered in single file on four wheels
Prancing wildly, obidiently civilized
Amongst the magical concrete trees growing high into the sky
Inhabited by billions of two-legged chipmunks
Sticking their heads out the windows sometimes
You don’t know how it feels to be knighted for ten dollars
With the right amount of imagination