“it is what it is”

a thing, a thought, an action?
an untruth, broken promise, or excuse?
a reason to quit, to transmit, or submit?
to deflect, a defect, or infect?
an insecurity, from instability, with inability?
a right, a wrong, or the other?
because you can’t, you won’t, so you don’t?
all black, white or grey?

you say it without saying it.
you play it without playing it.
you surrender to it without pause.
the circumstances leave you, without cause.
it is yours to speak.
like a slap across my cheek.
so you can be the good guy.
no matter how little you try.

these empty words
carry the weight
of indifference, dismission
and of hate
so be careful to consider
the stain left on my heart
when these five toxic words
from your lips do part.

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“Hide and Seek”

A sinister visitor unknown to doctors  

Lying dormant inside of her insides,

A parasite gaining nourishment from her body

Dividing and infiltrating cell after cell

Playing its own game of hide and seek.

Wreaking havoc and crippling pain

The mutation sails through her blood

Dictating how she will live her life

Denying what was once promised her, 

Stealing the best years of her remaining life.

Metastasized. Metastasized.

Feeding off her organs as if at a buffet

Sampling from this one and that

Stuffing its nameless face

with all that it can consume.

Accepting eradication is impossible

Radiation and chemotherapy

Are but a mere slumber to the beast

Simply slowing down its destruction

With no plans to vacate the premises.

Hope is but a fool’s illusion 

Wasting time that can’t be turned back

Spending energy that is lost forever

Fighting what you cannot win,

Wishing for just a little more time.

“Unforgiveness”

A lifelong battle pursues the tormented, refusing to assuage the heart and soul where a relationship splintered beyond repair offers cruel hopelessness.

Eternally standing outside and looking in to what she misses the most yet unwilling to forgive the hurt done to her, by those meant to protect her.

Her heart, seemingly encased in layers of steel acts to insure against all future pain while blocking her off from the family she needs.

She survives her fragmented new life alone allowing her anger to act as a reminder of what she has already lost, incapable of remembering who she was before the betrayal.

Caught in the eternal wave of fight or flight to save herself once more, she screams for help to help her heal what is broken inside.

“So Far Away”

The past is gone

it lives not today,

keep a short memory

to forgive what they say.

Steady yourself, just keep still,

hold onto you and harbor no ills.

Open your heart to all of loves gifts,

and only let love pass through your lips.

With kindness and grace, feed and nourish

the unbreakable love you’re meant to cherish.

Cling to what you once held dear,

in this love, you both agreed to share.

Do not surrender on what was once true,

for your happiness depends all on you.

“Please”

Hold me –
Deep inside your sinewy fortress of unbreakable muscles –
That grow stronger with every breath.
Please don’t let go.

Kiss me –
In a collision of love and desire –
Our lips pressed together holding onto eternity.
Please don’t move.

Pleasure me-
In an unsatiated hell fire of passion –
As our bodies burn and melt into one; tattooed onto each other forever.
Please don’t stop.

Love me –
Be the blood running through my veins-
And the breath in my body burning through my lungs.
Please don’t leave.

“Overcoming”

Conqueror of all.
Scared
but fearless.
I never let them see me sweat.

Wanting more
than I was given
or had a right to ask for,
-according to her.

Wanting more than she
wanted for me.
A bright future.
A way out.

Always different.
Searching for a better life,
determined not to be
-her.

The road less traveled
was traveled well…
just not by anyone,
that I knew.

Constantly reminded
of being unworthy of the best.
Her toxic words,
rang empty in my ears.

For I was a kid with dreams…
ambitious goals and
the will to over come
insurmountable obstacles.

Willing only to see
the brightness of a future,
being denied me
by a legacy of defeat.

Her words never spoken for our ears nor hearts to hear;
“Do better.”
“Be better.”
“You can do anything.”
“Live your dreams.”
“Be what I could not.”

Instead, her love was locked up tight
in a vault of lies and hate,
stripped of nurturing and guidance
for the fruit she bore.

Forbidden to become what she could not.
“You are not good enough.”
Echoed through the halls of my childhood,
trapping me in her misery.

Plotting my escape, ready to leap,
at any chance.
THE chance.
MY CHANCE.

The day of reckoning
was soon upon us;
daughter number two
with feather’s ablaze, leapt.

Fueled by a fire
deep within my belly.
Her toxic words,
were lies.
I AM GOOD ENOUGH!

“Escape”

The black of night is her goal,
To run for her salvation and her soul.

Far from where he will find her,
From her life of fear and terror.

For it is freedom she seeks,
From the Mr. that speaks.

Commanding that she be his,
To be the mother to another’s kids.

He could not be more wrong,
For in the dark of night, she will be gone.

Seeking safety for her own life,
Void of terror and void of strife.

The love he offers has cost too much,
With every fist and every touch.

Living under her lover’s thumb,
He has made her heart numb.

Demanding all she had to give
But his way, she will no longer live.

This life, she will soon escape,
To a different time and a different place.

“Bleeding Blue”

We spend our lifetime, not just a summer or two

But a lifetime – waiting – for the dream to come true.

We wait in the rain and the Wrigley Field stands,

We wait at the Cubby Bear, getting drunk with our friends.

We watch them play ball on WGN,

Hoping to hear the screams, “Cubs win, Cubs win!”

Every Spring we wait with renewed hopes and dreams,

We wait with anticipation, we cheer and scream.

When October is over and the season ends,

We wait for the Spring to celebrate again.

We scrutinize the coaches, analyze the players,

Hold our breath – and say our prayers.

The team did it once, after one hundred and eight years

And 2016 was a year of great cheer!

The wait was over and the dream came true,

For those of us that bleed, Cubbie blue.

“A Gathering Place”

Blankets and pillows, fluffy and soft

made for sleeping and making love.

A refuge from monsters, late in the night

and story time for all, in mid day’s light.

My king size bed, in the middle of the floor

is perfectly made, for my family of four.

“Here for the Poetry”

Creatives gather, pouring out their souls
Orating vulnerabilities while
Appealing to the ears there to hear their spoken truths.
Competing with drink orders
Made in noisy espresso machines and blenders.

“This is a poem about my grandmother.”
Expressing heartfelt truths of love and sadness.
While students in the corner
Giggle and whisper
As if no one is speaking.

“Shhh,” whispers the man
To the bag lady on his left.
Pulling bags from under her layers of clothes,
Organizing them all
Unbound and straight
She ties them up, separately
One by one.

“This one is about my time in Israel.”
Recounting the past of her grandparents
And other holocaust survivors.
Sharing a special bond
While the old man searches for an outlet,
“Excuse me.”
“Excuse me.”
Nazis. Loss. iphones.

“This poem is about private moments after our wedding ceremony.”
Sacred. Special. A time to breathe.
Sharing details as the woman crunches
Her panini and sips her organic, sugar free,
Non-fat, non-flavored tea.
Hot water please.

“This is about my daughter and our relationship.”
The door swings open and an old man struggles inside
Stopping in the doorway to check out the scene.
He hesitates, deciding finally to
Shuffle his old body wrapped around a backpack
To the coffee bar.

“One more poem about my grandmother.”
I see a woman staring at me,
Pointing me out to a gentleman next to her.
I pretend not to notice and hope my own awkwardness
Doesn’t betray me.
She approaches me – bends down and speaks,
“Oh, I thought you were somebody that I knew, but you are not her.”
I smile at her and say,
“I am just here for the poetry.”