Time and Tide

With mouths full of metal

We think we are perfect

We’re trying and dying again

With faces of plastic

We think that we’re happy

We’re frozen as time ticks on

Time and tide

Will not wait

We’re loving

Our plastic, our

Paper, our

Glittering gold that bends

Our models are gods

Our tourists climb Everest

An ad on a sacred space

A flag on the moon

Wrappers on mountains

Our world in the throat of a whale

Time and tide

Will not wait

Money is flowing

Like blood from a wound

Clotting, the scab opens again

Trading water for plastic

Oil for blood

Cocktails for fire in the streets

Voices are opening

Mouths are hungering

People are standing up

We’re shouting religions

Terrorists and preachers

Popes and abortions

Two men kissing in the street

We’re marching, we’re peaceful

We’re looting, we’re rioting

we’re screaming and crying

two men dying in the street

Time and tide

Time and tide

Time and tide

Will not wait

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A Spark

It might surprise some to learn that I really don’t have an identity yet. Rather, I am a patchwork of identity copied from my family, mostly my father. I am his guitar in my lap, I am his CD collection, his taste in music, his favorite books. I’m his stories told by firelight, his jokes repeated too many times.

Recently, I’ve begun searching for a ‘me’ separate from my family. I’m hardly a person without them, I can hardly converse without my sister, cannot tell my stories without my mother, nearly forget how to be without my father. People say ‘just be yourself’ but it’s not that easy when the self hardly exists.

I have to dig back, back to the days before I was so influenced, back to the days when I was a child with dragons on the ceiling and tarot cards spread on the floor, when the woods were full of spirits and I full of magic. A kid with an affection for black dogs and running wild. I sometimes see something in myself that I don’t see in the rest of my family, a spark burning up my mind. I am a songbird in the throat of a wolf, a black cat in the eye of a dragon.

My parents are rather elemental, my father with the sea in his eyes, my mother with the forest in hers. I have all this and something more, a spark of fire about me. There’s literal fire that I spin on chains about me, a figurative fire I write into every word. I am the improvisations I make on my father’s stories, the new songs I write upon his guitar, I am a flicker bursting slowly forth into a flame.

Street Lamps

The pavilion, half lit up with silvery lights, silent except for the dripping of leftover rain from its eaves and my footsteps resounding on the hollow wood. I walked around its edge in slow circles staring across at an unseen adversary, an arch enemy I had come to this empty place to confront. In my mind there strode before me a shadowy doppelganger of myself alternately taunting and pleading.

The doppelganger had the same squinted eyes and sideways smile I had sometimes caught a glimpse of in the mirror. I came and stood in the middle, alone under the blue glow. I felt a familiar fear creep over me, not of darkness, but of light. The spotlight, to be specific. Standing there, I felt surrounded by ghost eyes, and as I turned to go I felt their judgment heavily upon my back. However, I did not enter the shadows of the forest. And that is what my life is, half lit streets because I’m scared of the dark and sick of the light. Beneath street lamps, I feel like a noir story, my self built on contrast.

The light behind me flickers, sending out unintelligible Morse warnings. Wind moves leaves like footsteps, far off traffic hums and tickles my spine.

Do I walk for my own benefit or in a vain hope of meeting someone else in the half light, a fellow creature trapped by bars of shadows thrown by walls of light? A gray cat and I regard one another under the street lamps. Silent camaraderie at a distance. I look down for a moment, then back up, and he is gone, leaving me with the blue of storm clouds lit by a hidden moon and a dog barking far off.