Thursday, March 29, 2012

Walk On

We've been walking for so long,
In directions we never really chose.
And when we get lonely, as we all do,
Let's not say a word, just pull each other close.
The hard times will come, sorrow shall linger.
Hope be too frightened to step into the light.
I want you to remember even in the harshest days,
All is forgiven by the night.
Be strong for me.  I'll be strong for you.
I'll write for you.  Just sing for me.
The songs woven in the fabric of you.
Like wisdom woven into the tree.
You've been walking for too long.
Rest here a while.  Let trouble walk on.
Burn down the rooms where the suffering began,
Remove all the bars that keep us apart.
Burn bright darling.  Burn slow.
They made a pyre when they made your heart.
Since you have to burn, burn in style.
Remember my voice saying you were home.
All these words I write for you.  Take them.
They'll make sure you're never alone.
And this road, it is long.
Sometimes you feel you just can't go on.
I'll be there.  In a flash.
Just for the love, we rise, and walk on.
Whatever life chooses to put us through,
You're not alone.  You have me.  I have you.
The rain we shall make our baptism.
The wind the orchestra we sing to.
Let the smiles on our faces be,
The only religion we cling to.
 There are battles waiting for us.
Scars we have yet to receive.
But every tear we shed, my friend,
Gives us the humility we need to believe.
God may have turned away weary.
But he left behind a friend.
So I won't be angry when I see him,
In the silent valleys, there, at journey's end.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Your Favorite Chair

You love to sit quietly,
Upon your favorite chair.
You spend hours dreaming,
Playing with the fringes of your hair.
You find serenity there,
Beyond the comfort you seek.
You who must appear to be strong,
Allow yourself to be weak,
Upon your favorite chair.
It knows the silences of you,
It understands the depths.
It has held you still,
While the storms raged anew.
And no matter your worries,
You know they fade away,
Once you curl against the arms,
Of your favorite chair.
Where you know how it feels,
To be free.  To be whole. To be pure.
Where no matter the disease,
You know you'll find relief,
Curled up and secure,
Upon your favorite chair.
The censer sits in the corner,
Filling the room with frankincense.
You mumble, shift your seat,
And draw up your knees,
To rest your perfect chin.
You think your happiest thoughts,
Upon your favorite chair.
Your spirit soars to the Sun,
You look down at the city,
Huddled against the Sea.
Rest as long as you need.
The music ever plays there,
The cups stay full of tea.
Home waits for you, in the room
That holds your favorite chair.
Because your favorite chair, is me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Little Bit of Hopeful Sunset Rambling

Remember when we hoped as easily as we dreamed?  And we dreamed easier than we could breathe?  And the world seemed haloed in soft, summer light everyday.  The birds sang with a sweetness they seemed to have forgotten. Or maybe those birds have long fled the awful cities we are all forced to huddle in around the various bonfires of ambition and other flammable things.

But I heard one of those birds today.  I think.  Or perhaps the memory of her was so vivid in my mind, and the yearning for her song so strong, that my soul broke out into song in nostalgia.  Either way, I heard that voice and that song, as the sun died, slashed to crimson by the haze on the horizon.  It reminded me of the wide-eyed, inquisitive, shy fellow I used to be.  It made me walk all the roads I've walked to sit where I do, overlooking the Arabian Sea.  And I found myself filled with that bedrock happiness that I've been missing for a few months now.

It's wonderful how the heart and the mind can take their hits, and dip and be scarred, and yet return to their former fire like embers kindled by a welcome breeze.  We are all stronger than we have been made to believe by a world that feeds on our feelings of inadequacies and sadness. Give them nothing any more, my brethren.  Give them nothing of yourself but what you decide.  Remember the children you were, remember the hope that bled from your eyes like smoke from a censer.  Remember that to regain your hope and your dreams and your unconquerable heart, you just need to take a moment everyday and hear your own song reverberate in the chambers of your soul.  Remember a time, a place, a feeling, a person, an expression, a song, a taste and be transported away from doubt and sorrow, and healed and emboldened to face down the terrors of tomorrow.

Stare life in the eye, with a sardonic grin.  This wasn't the game you wished to play, but you damn sure intend to win.  Victory lies not at the finishing line.  Let the rodents run claw over each other there.  True victory comes from standing still and gazing up at the sun, and remarking on how much the two of you share.

Be fearless in your questing, the world you imagine does indeed exist. Stare out of the corner of your eyes at your own life, and blink, and there it is.  Heaven isn't hard to find.  You were crafted out of it darling.  Feel it in your heart, fill it in your bones.  As long as you have your smile, you are never alone.

Listen to a lot of music, sing along as best you can. Make love to a wonder, and be there when they awake.  Eat a slow breakfast together, forget about the rest of the day. The day can wait.  Turn off your damn phones. Even if Leonard Cohen called me while I was with you, I'd tell him I'd speak with him later.  Think before you speak, but never think before you feel.  Don't let what your instincts know get confused with the things you've learned from this world.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sweet Darling

There's something on your mind,
I can see it in your eyes,
In the way that you look at me.
Whatever's on your mind, sweet darling,
Undress that thought gently,
Let it shake itself free.
There's something in your chest,
Making you breathe all heavy,
Like the Moon breathes against the Sea.
Whatever you got in your chest, sweet darling,
I got that same thing beating,
Against all the cages They built me.
Let's spend a slow forever.
Within these four walls,
Under the light of a bashful Moon.
I'm on my way to your apartment.
There's a little traffic but I promise,
I'll be there very soon.
We'll banish all the bad things to the gloom,
We'll light four candles and fall into,
The dancing shadows in your little room.
There's something on my mind.
I wish I knew the words to hold it.
But they disappear when I look at you.
Standing there dappled in light,
Haloed in shadow, beautiful as the song,
I've never heard before except in you.
Hold me closer than forgiveness,
Lay me down in arms of liquid.
Drown me in your midnight dew.
Let our story have it's ending,
Let be born again anew.
Let it dance like new tongues of fire,
In the dwindling spaces between me and you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

If I Go

If I go, I'm going crazy.
Here's your ticket, take a seat,
Down in the front row.
If I go, I'm going home,
Where champa trees forgive,
And waters are too still to flow.
If I know, I know I love greatly,
Recklessly and stupidly,
Often to my own sorrow..
If I go, I'm going to Goa,
To live by the water and learn,
The songs only the sunsets know.
If I know, I know nothing,
More than I need, to live fast,
Yet be able to think slow.
If I stay, I'm staying forever,
You'll need an army,
To get me off the show.
If I write, I'll write much more.
This is the only cup that can hold,
The troubled waters I pour.
If I follow, I'd follow you.
Show me the battle, where
You want this warrior to go.
If you go, I'm going alone,
You're still unwilling to be free
There's no need to follow.
If I die, I'm dying happy.
I beat the buzzer,
I evened up the score.
I lost my light for a while,
Only to regain it once more.
I stand ready for my encore.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sam Cooke Serenading An Empty Room With Me

Don't know much about history.
Don't know much about the stars I see.
I've read a few books on philosophy.
Written a lot of bad poetry.
But I know that I love you.
And if you were to say to me,
That you loved me too.
What a wonderful world this would be.

I get most things completely wrong.
All I've learned is how to pretend to be strong.
My patience never lasts for very long.
And I write far too many sad songs.
But I know that I love you.
And if you were here with me,
Loving me like only you can do.
What a wonderful world this would be.

Stars were made to lose their shine.
Clocks were made to lose track of time.
Love wasn't made to be proper or kind.
But you were made to be mine.
And I know this to be true.
And if you were here with me.
Like all my memories of you.
What a wonderful world this would be.

Nights were made for love-making.
Music to make your soul start quaking.
For all the silly things I'm stating, I know,
I was made to be yours for the taking.
And I know that you loved me.
I was waiting for you to remember it too.
But not everything can be as we wish it to be.
Some people are meant to be passing through.

At least they lingered for a second or two.
At least they whispered once I love you.
Now you're gone, I should be leaving too.
The girls are dancing, I guess that's my cue.
But don't think I'll be forgetting you.
Every night, every song, every kiss.
I'll remember, no matter what else I do.
Heaven can be found in no more than this.

Oh, what a wonderful world this is.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

All The Colors We See

The joys descend,
In clouds of color.
Held in frantic dances,
On streets stained
With the celebrations,
Of the weary,
The world regains,
It's happier rhythm.

Be the colors you see,
Held in mischievous palms,
Itching to fly free.
Smile back at the world.
All the colors in you,
Are the colors in me.
Oh bring your sweet love,
Back home to me.
Look at the people,
Dancing in the streets.
They don't dance to remember,
They don't dance to forget.
They dance because they can,
For one day, dance away,
From fear and regret.
I remember how you danced,
When you danced for me.
We never rise to love, we fall.
I kept folding my cards,
She kept raising the stakes,
Long after I bet it all.
But all the colors I see,
That I saw in her.
She had never seen.
I must let her be free,
To find the colors in her.
I return to the street,
Where the happy harass the few,
Staining their skin with joy,
Washing their cares away.
And they throw no colors on me,
Nor do they ask me to join.
But I'm standing on their street,
In my clean white shirt.
Happy at everything I see.
The way I'm meant to be.
And all the colors I see,
Are exactly where,
 They're supposed to be.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


One poem to remember.
One poem to forget.
One promise broken.
One barely kept.
One poem for love.
One poem for joy.
One for the daughter we never had.
One for the boy.
One because I hate you.
One because I love you.
One full of lies.
One heavy with truth.
One woman I loved.
One year to the day.
One woman I hated.
One too many times today.
One fight too many.
One last bit of sadness gone.
One last night of self-pity.
One last love song.
One last embrace.
One final bit of pain.
One last I'm sorry.
One last drop of rain.
One last poem for you.
One last sigh of regret.
One last sip for the evening.
One last cigarette.

Enough is Enough.

I was too tired for poetry tonight.  Too confused to make any sense.  Although one of my dearest friends told me that my poems don't really make all that much sense either.  And I looked over the last few months worth of work and realized that he's correct, although not in the manner that he meant.  Adorable and intelligent as he is, his brain simply ceases to function when he sees a poem, even those as simply imagined and constructed as mine.  What I saw didn't make sense was how many of them were about this one theme, this one girl who walked away, and then stopped, almost within arms reach, waiting for me to wait for her waiting for her confusion to fade and her love to return from wherever it had gone.

So many of the poems I've written over the last three months have been for, about, because of this woman.  And I'm not defending the volume of poesy I've laid at this lady's clearly absent feet.  Poetry for me is the words that burn in me, fires lit against all the darkness and absences I face, fires lit for all the comfort and joy I find in camaraderie and family.  Fires lit to dance around alone for the joy of being me, and alive, and awake.  And for a while - she burned brightest in me, and for a while it seemed, all she could do was burn me.

But what I wondered about was how long I dwelt in the ashes, and wrote only about the shadows she cast upon me.  There was a lot of light too.  How quickly did I forget that?  I have always thought of myself as someone with a pretty high emotional quotient.  I've always managed to maintain my equilibrium in all the storms I have had to weather in my modestly interesting and tumultuous life.  I knew who I was, and I liked what I saw in the mirror.  I was equal to the world and whatever it threw at me.  Turns out I was wrong.  I wasn't prepared for this woman.  And I'm glad I met her precisely for that reason.

After weeks of pretending I was okay, that I understood, that I had moved on and all the silly games our minds play with our hearts and our hearts delight in fucking with.  Never love the person you think or hope or imagine a person to be.  Love the person as they actually  are.  Never paint a person in colors they have never seen.  Your ultimate and inevitable heartbreak will then not be their fault.  It would be like blaming a mute for making a racket.  And I don't mean that caustically.  How can we expect straight forward honesty from each other if we just keep talking incessantly about ourselves and telling all our little self-aggrandizing tales and just overwhelming the other person's ability to gauge our true selves.  The answer is not more communication it's less communication.  Our bodies know our truths far more viscerally than our clouded minds.  Listen to your body language, watch theirs.  Listen to the rustle.  It'll tell you if your relationship is alright.

Be silent in your wisdom darlings.  Be humble in her presence.  And let her grow to be humble in yours.  Realize that you stand with the one person with the key to your final door, the one that holds all the light.  Get out of your own way.  Rid yourself of your fear and self-loathing and doubt.  Behold the miracle in their eyes.  Feel her heart beat its perfect counterpoint to yours.  This may seem silly and poetic and a whole bunch of bunkum and bullshit.  But I have felt this way, fiercely.  We must love ourselves grandly.  We are worthy of such love.  We really are.  Only then will the love we share the world come from truer waters.

I'm sorry my dear ______.  I'm sorry for all the poems that made you sad or upset.  I want you to know that they weren't Truth.  But rather an honest admission of a zephyr eddying in the storm that had descended in my life when you walked away.  They are little honest packets of me.  Far less than their sum and far more fleeting.  I wrote all my sweetest ones for you also.  Don't look at the angry ones, or the sad ones or the happy ones alone.  Look at them together.  And they are not the fires of you that burn in me, merely the flickers of shadow cast by your flame.   I just write them away as I feel them so they don't take hold on my core.  And it's foolish to expect our feelings towards each other to be simply one thing or another.  They never could.  You and I go far too deep to ignore the turbulence we cause in each other.  Admit it.  Accept it.  Move on.

That's my mantra now.  I am who I am exactly as I am supposed to be.  I have a long way to go.  But I'm happy where I am as well.  I am on the path.  And I am unafraid.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Streaming Consciousness While Falling Asleep Drunk

You were home,
You were the place of rest,
You and you alone,
Were where I loved best.
But what use is a home,
When the mortgage is your sanity?
And only one of you,
Is allowed to live there happily?
Dreamgirls can become nightmares,
When they believe themselves to be,
Greater than any dream,
Ever was and will ever be.
Certainly greater than any dream,
Dreamed by a fool like me.
You wanted the world didn't you?
Laid out at your pretty sandaled feet.
You wanted every little portion of me,
Served up to you at every feast.
For you to say this is missing salt,
And that hasn't been cooked right.
You wanted me to stay up and
Make sure you slept alright, all night.
And I did it all.  With a smile.
I baptized myself in the pools of you hair,
I built a temple on every little rock,
You ever rested on.  Anywhere.
But I learned my lesson, finally.
I'm amused it took me so long.
Learn to love the singer,
Never love the songs.
Never paint your lover in colors,
They haven't ever seen.
Love them for who they are,
Not how they appear in your dreams.
So this it I guess.  Closing time.
All that's left of us is being swept off the bar.
Forgive me I don't watch you,
Get into another man's car.
Excuse me please. Just one more drink.
Could you make it strong,
I don't need to think, tonight.
It's just you and me.  Love is long gone.
Take my heart, oh take my storm.
Lay me down in clean sheets of linen.
Kiss me once upon my brow,
Tell me my foolishness has been forgiven.
I must turn away from her I know.
Facing her makes me face too much sorrow.
I'll turn my gaze inwards and be 
Happy today.  Happier tomorrow.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Love Song for Palolem

The waters move away
From the crowded shore.
They move away from me,
And the rock I sit upon.
At the farthest edge of the beach.
Once my throne at the edge,
Where the land bows to the sea.
Now just another rock stranded,
Choking amidst the debris.
I turn to look at them,
Sitting safely upon the shore.
Watching me watch the sunset,
Sitting out there further,
Than they'd dare to be.

My brothers are working the bar,
Their laughter calls to me.
Calls me away from my lonely perch,
Away from the sun dying in the sea.
Cyrus is playing J.J. Cale.
Midnight in Memphis under,
Our father, the Goan moon.
Satyadeep is smiling fondly,
At everything he sees.
There's sadness in their hearts,
But it's a temporary thing.
They are made of hope,
They are warriors for joy.
My brothers on Monkey Island,
Where the sun always dies,
With a smile over an endless sea.

A quiet dog leaps up to join me,
Wags his tail once then curls,
Into a perfect ball of stillness,
And watches me watch the sea.
With quiet eyes he tells me cares.
His body scarred from a lifetime,
Of proving himself not afraid.
He doesn't start as I stand,
He doesn't flinch as I draw near,
He yawns a little dog yawn,
And let's me scratch him behind the ear.
There are other dogs playing in the surf,
Reclaiming the beach from the water.
The old dog looks at me for a moment,
Then races down to join them.
They growl and circle then wag their tails,
And race barking into the sea.

Cyrus calls to me over my reverie.
Tells me they're going to take a dip.
I watch them pick their way down,
Laughing at their endless jokes,
As they pick their way across the rocks.
They splash like children,
They laugh like old men content
With everything their lives have been.
I slip off the rock.
Into the water after the sun.
Waters still golden,
Waters always cool.
I swim towards my brothers,
With a gladness I've never known.
Because I know then,
That I am never far from home.
They take away my sadness,
And tell me I'm not a fool.
That as I bathe in the sea,
The sea, my darling, the sea,
The sea she bathes in me.