Archive for May, 2012

Worlds Touching

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

I looked out the window
My chin resting on my open palm
The glass fogged
As I peered out
Cars filled with people
Some lonely, some afraid, some dead inside
Some looking for life, and some giving up on it
Trees blending into one another
Black top, yellow lines
Black top, yellow lines
I pulled up my sleeve
And wipe away the clouds
Forming on my window
I watch more cars pass by
In a hurry to reach nowhere
Each face in the car
Blank as they stare forward
Eyes only on the destination
Not the beauty on the way
A car pulls along side us
Silver and low to the ground
A mom talking on the phone
But in the back
Sat a little girl
She was looking out of her window
Right at me
For a moment I just stared back
It felt like an eternity
That our eyes were latched together
In that instant
I knew her
I knew her whole life
And I am sure she knew mine
She was the daughter ignored
She made her own world
Because the one she had
Had no place for her in it
I could see her parents in her eyes
Arguing, yelling
She heard it all through thin walls
And cried herself to sleep at night
She was the odd man out
Always the child in the back seat
She didn’t need them
Or their fickle love
She had all she needed
But not all she wanted
She made her own way
Through a treacherous life
And always would
I raised my hand
And waved to her
I smiled and nodded slightly
And she did the same
And our cars moved on
Our worlds separated
Just a moment
That our worlds touched
I wonder what she saw in my life
What she thought
Of a stranger through a car window
I just sat back and smiled
My mom looked over at me and smiled back
“What are you smiling at?”
“Nothing” I reply
Because no one could understand
How I understood
So I keep her world a secret
Locked tightly away
Of a daughter ignored
And a world passing by

Posted in Poetry |


Thursday, May 24th, 2012

The post of the mailbox shook, reverberating the metal mailbox with a steady but anxious beat. Like a drum struck with hesitant but impatient strokes of a hand not quite large enough to have a melody or harmony of its own, the mailbox sang its steady tune. The hand struck the mailbox post absentmindedly, not even aware of the affect that enabled the mailbox to sing. Hanging listless and open the small hand swung like a pendulum back forward and down again, encountering the slowly splintering wood that was breaking apart under the stress that had not yet cracked the young boy. The pendulum of this grandfather clock belonged to a young boy and each swing of his short but sinewy arm kept the beat of a clock counting out the seconds, then minutes, and eventually hours of the day with all the consistency of the human heart and its resounding drumbeat.

The mailbox faced forward but the boy faced the side, looking down the long stretching road all the way until it terminated at a bend. Even as the wind blew around him shaking the trees and causing the little red upright flag to hum gently into his ear, the little boy stood upright with all the attentiveness of a sentry on duty, watching the road that remained unchanged save for the few leaves which had been torn from their branches and cast into the sea of asphalt. Every once and a while his eyes would briefly wander to follow the leaves as they tumbled without grace or passion across the road, desperately trying to grab onto a crack in the road so as not to be blown away. At the slightest noise he would snap his attention back to the bend in the road, righting himself and mentally berating himself for his lack of discipline. But still, every so often, his eyes would wander. Blue and determined they focused on the end of the road, waiting. The only thing in his way was himself. His sandy yellow hair kept being blown into his face by a playful gust of wind, blocking his perfect view. But he was in no mood to play, he was on duty. So he would purse his lips with displeasure just as he had watched his mother do time and time again and with a huff of breath blew the strands of hair from his eyes, enabling him to return to his watch. But still the wind tousled his hair like an affectionate hand being run through his light shaggy hair. A small smile cracked his reserved exterior as he felt the wind’s fingers run through and play with his hair-

The smile was torn from his face with a sudden and sharp pinch from the abused wooden mailbox post. With a loud yelp of pain the little boy hunched over slightly to shelter his hand and observed his battle wound with pouting lips. The little splinter sticking out from the side of his hand stung with the pain of a knife from the vindictive mailbox post. With shaky but practiced fingers the little boy used his fingernails to carefully remove the splinter leaving only a small angry red dot of blood behind. Sucking on the side of his hand to get rid of the sting and the blood, the boy eyed the mailbox post with malice burning in his hurt eyes. Pricked with pain he felt his anger build in his chest like a bad cough. Suddenly he lashed out and kicked the post. The metal mailbox let out a shriek but otherwise remained unmoved. The pain built in him until his eyes burned and brimmed with tears. Pain more than a splinter could supply. With all the might in his small frame he kicked the post again, and again, and again until the splintered wood creaked and groaned. The upright red flag shook and quaked under the pent up pain of the little boy. Crying out in his rage he gave a final desperate kick to the mailbox post, unearthing it from its sentry spot sending it crashing to the ground in one violent movement. The metal mailbox crashed to the ground, unhinging its jaw on an unfriendly rock where it had fallen, spilling its contents onto the street: one lonely letter.

Blinking back his sudden outburst of rage, the little boy surveyed the damage he had done. The casualty of war lay on the ground before him, slain by his own hands and feet. Seeing the letter lying there he felt a regret and a guilt burn inside of him that was greater than any anger could have been. The tears that had come to his eyes out of anger, now spilled out of regret. He flung himself to the concrete ground trying to grab the letter as the wind picked it up and blew it farther away. “No please, I’m sorry,” he screamed as he chased it down the street. The wind tore the letter across the jagged road tearing it until it caught desperately in a crack in the road. The little boy leapt and grabbed the letter in his small fists, letting out a triumphant laugh as he held it in his hands. Scratched from the road and bleeding, he slowly returned to the fallen mailbox. Tucking the crumpled and slightly torn letter into his pocket he tenderly picked up the mailbox returning it to its rightful place. The only noticeable sign of the battle was a slight tilt left behind by an act of rage that could not be fixed entirely. He worked carefully and tenderly to place the hinge of the mailbox door back into its place and rub off the dirt from its shiny metal surface which the ground had tainted. When it looked almost right he took out the letter from his pocket, simply addressed with one word, smoothed out as many wrinkles as he could, and gently placed it back into its sheltered cove inside the mailbox’s mouth. Then he turned with tracks of tears running down his dirt smudged face to face the bend in the road which was now blocked by a square white van.

The old mail truck pulled up to house number 187 as it did every single day, as it had always done and would always do. In front of the sole house out in the deserted wooded area that had slowly but surely lost its population as the military base had moved out to another location, stood the little boy who had stood there now for everyday of the last year and a half. Charlie let out a sigh, put the truck into park and slowly got out of the truck to look down at the little boy. Charlie let out a sigh as he stood over the little boy who had normally been so patient and put together but now stood before him a scuffed up mess. His jeans where ripped, his white shirt stained with dirt and possibly a little blood, and his sandy head of hair sat as a disheveled mess on his head. The little boy didn’t say anything but smiled a little as he sniffled and wiped the tears from his face. He looked up at Charlie with a newborn excitement, which was actually never new, it had been that same look for the last year and a half as the little boy did as he always did. He rushed to the mailbox, opened its bruised jaw, which squeaked now as he pried it open, removed the letter, and reverently handed it to the mailman.

Charlie heaved another sigh, his cheeks filling with air like sails in the wind, he removed his hat and slowly rubbed his quickly thinning hair as he watched the little boy hold up the letter with a big smile across his tear stained face. Kneeling down he placed a large calloused hand on the boys shoulder. It lay there heavy and solid, it made the little boy frown under its weight.

“You know kid, it’s been over a year and a half now-“

“578.300148 days”

“… Yeah. I know that is hard to hear, but little man, he’s gone.”

The little boy slowly looked away, back down the road that he had watched for so long. The smile slipped from his cheeks, which were still plump with innocence and eyes that still burned to believe.

“I know. Just one last time.”

The little boy held out the letter again this time not with the usual smile but a smile filled with pain and hope. Charlie looked with pity in his heart at the young boy, forced a smile on his face, and took the crumpled letter from the boy. They didn’t exchange another word, just looked into each other’s eyes knowing that that letter would never be received, but both hoping that it would be. Charlie laid a hand on the boy’s head and ruffled his hair. He nodded towards the little boy’s home and turned back to his mail truck, which bent and swayed as he stepped back inside and started the it with a great protest of sound. The little boy smiled, waved, and turned away. He ran down the gravel path that cut through the dark woods where just beyond sight, a woman stood on a porch with her thin arms wrapped around a column as she stood just as silent, just as determined, watching the path as she did everyday for her little boy to come home. As soon as she heard him coming home she would wipe the tears from her face and go about the house as if she had not abandoned everything to wait for her son. AS if she had not been waiting every minute of every day just as her son down at the edge of the road.

Charlie shook his head as the truck lurched back into motion down the long lonely road. He placed the letter on the seat next to him in a pile of others, all neat and crisp except the newest addition which was crumpled and torn. Five hundred and seventy nine letters sat on the old passenger seat cushion entitled with only one word; Dad.


Rage (A Sheltered Cove)

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Hands shaking as fingernails bite
Into the palms of his hands
Clenched into tight fists
Trying to suffocate his rage
Choking on words which burn
In his throat like poison
This bile in the belly of a monster
Belongs not to a demon but a man
With eyes that burn with anger
Smoldering like embers in dark sockets
Even as their fire dwindles
Into the soft glow of feigned comfort
They have the power to burn
Power to set the world on fire
But here and now
His rage has no place
Except in the quiver of his fist
And the monstrosity of his eyes
He lets out a long forced breath
Letting his body go slack
And his eyes slowly drift closed
Wraps a controlled arm around
His little girl’s shoulders
Which shake with quiet little sobs
Bringing her in close
To shelter her from the world
That took the light from his eyes
Wrung out his heart until all that was left
Was this bitterness, this rage
This monster
That even as this wrath builds in his chest
He pushes it back down
Forcing a gentle, unnatural smile on to his face
Holding his daughter as she cries
Turning his hollowed out chest
Where his heart should have been
Into a cove of resounding calm
To harbor her heart and make sure
That hers, unlike his, would survive
The cold abrasive storm
As he held her tight in his arms
Looking ahead with dead determined eyes
She would survive
Even if that meant what was left of him died
He slowly unclenched his fist
Which had gathered in rage
Opening it out of love
To wipe the tears from her face
And with a calm and controlled voice
Hinted with the melancholy
Of humanity’s cacophony
He whispered in her ear
Everything is going to be all right



Monday, May 21st, 2012

This is not the way I thought it would be
The light at the end of the tunnel
Is not as bright as the stories said
It is barely visible from the Unreal City
The path is dusty and the doors lie
On rusted hinges swaying in the wind
The wind funnels down this dark corridor
Screaming through the cracks under the doors
Breathing life into those who are stuck behind its bars
Who didn’t or couldn’t quite make it there
Trapped with iron grips on cold prison walls
Clinging with the fervor of rage
Embittered to the roots of their soul
Screaming back at the wind
With tortured shrieks of terrors unknown
As the breeze whispers into their ears
Taunting melodies of the songs sung
At the end, behind that backlit door
That will remain just faints murmurs
Of a world hidden from them
By the darks gates of the city they built around them
As they watch with sunken and darkened eyes
From the prisons that they sealed themselves in
Watching the slow progression of shadows
Drawn like moths to the light
That seems to grow dimmer at every passing moment
Monsters pace in these dark rooms
Consuming the light at every moment that door is opened
Leaving no light for those who need it
To guide their passage down this dark corridor
The way is lost but we find ourselves not in a dark wood
But a desolate earth
Where the monsters roam not behind closed doors
But in the light for all to see
The light is gone and we must find the way back
There is no Virgil here, no Beatrice to lend a hand
Just the blind hands that reach out for light
Not knowing what it looks like or how it feels
We are lost, I am lost
Listening to the screams in the wind
Trying to sift out the song that may not be for me
But is so close I can taste it
The door is left unlocked
And this unreal city is not home to me
I promise
This dust will not be all that is left of me


Annular Eclipse

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

This evening around 6:30 there was a rare annular eclipse of the Sun which was visible in Northern California. According to Professor Marcy at UC Berkeley an annular eclipse is “when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are lined up, but the Moon is farther than average from Earth, so it looks a bit too small to fully cover the Sun. Thus, if you are at one of the right places, the Sun will form a ring, or annulus, around the Moon. It’s a special, fun form of a partial solar eclipse.”

So naturally, living in Northern California, I ran outside with my camera and some filters to use that would allow my camera to capture this astronomical event. Sadly I only caught the tail end of it but the results where still intriguing. The odd colors of the photos are not naturally emitted colors from the sun but simply the colors of the filters I used, disappointing I know.

Oh and to those wondering: no I did not look right at the eclipse. I switched the view finder on my camera to the screen and then just held up the camera and took these shots.

The filter also caused some interesting bokken like effects causing multiple images of the eclipse to be displayed.

I want to give another thanks to Professor Marcy for the heads up about this great event and the great information about it as well.