Silent Wailing [Sonnet]

I saw the lips move, but no sound came out.
 The message could not cross from air to brain.
  With reddened face, next an attempted shout,
   but silence suggests words weren't true but feigned.

You'll think me deaf, but I heard other sounds:
 a ticking clock, a fan, and distant horns.
  Maybe, barrier glass made unseen bounds?
   Perhaps, but what bars only sound that mourns?

I know of nothing that would fit the bill,
 but start to suspect nothing stopped the scream
  from reaching me, but rather force of will
   did stick that voiceless face within my dream.

But am I sure I'm having a nightmare?
 I can't say for sure that I'm even here.

Smoky Morning, or: Smoky Mourning [Sonnet]

A smoky morning signals chilly air
 as those who live with walls of plastic sheet
  gather anything matches set aflare,
   and huddle where skin reddens from the heat.

The toxic kindling of modernity
 can burn so quickly, swirling into ash.
  The search for fine fuel builds fraternity
   as all sift through the varied kinds of trash.

They seek a slow and steady type of fire,
 but poison and explosive burn aren't linked.
  This toxic gas hangs low, where they inspire,
   a deadly vapor which makes this clan extinct.

Smoldering pit, skirted by serene stiffs --
 of what killed them, there remains no whiff. 

Ship on the Horizon [Sonnet]

You see that one ship out on the horizon,
and feel that unique tang of loneliness.
There's far, far too much blank sea to thrive in,
and all the makings for keen ghostliness.

That boat will soon be passing beyond sight,
and maybe it will falter, maybe sink.
The sea has created a million plights,
and hazards there will honor no strict brinks.

In Shakespeare, ships are lost, often as not.
See: "Tempest," "Merchant," "Pericles,” and so on.
Perhaps, you'll say that today isn't so fraught
with maritime menace and sea demons.

Why more vexed than those who keep ships running?
'Cause sailors will never, ever, see it coming.

Note to Self: A Sonnet

Don't fill your vaults with glowing, shiny stones.
It's invitation to all cheats and thieves. 
Don't know by mind what you don't know by bone.
Make sure you've lost before you up and grieve.

Then when you grieve, take time to fully feel.
Don't let your mind write stories so untrue
that they turn melancholy like a wheel
that gathers and grows with each turn anew. 

Be kind and true, but not so kind and true
so as to kill with gifts or a mean tongue.
Don't do what would be best that you not do,
and only sing of those heroes unsung.

Oh, every piece of wisdom has its day,
so don't hitch so tight that you're led astray.

Winter Days [Sonnet]

My winter days are vaguely seen from here,
but I cannot yet see the very end:
only the plain that is the sum of fears,
a sum that only living on transcends.

The peek I take looks like my days back then.
It's not so Batman noir as I've been told. 
My focus shifts to now; I find my Zen.
The act of living life is growing bold. 

In dreams, that dreadful hour calls to me,
and I feign sleep and turn my back on Death.
If he can't be seen, maybe he can't lead,
and I can soldier on with my next breath.

My focus shifts to now; I find my Zen.
It's good to gasp every now -n- again. 

I’ve Never Been Lost in the Woods [Sonnet]

I've never been lost in the woods,
though I've been lost so many times.
I've been lost in my neighborhood,
and I've been lost within my mind. 

You say the trees look all the same.
I say that's some speciesist shit.
No. I don't know the trees by name,
but that doesn't matter a whit.

I've never been lost in the woods:
lost means wishing to be elsewhere.
Lost is all about "woulds" and "coulds."
But I'm not lost if I don't care:

don't care I don't know this exact spot,
'cause I know precisely where I'm not!

City Sonnet

A million lives are packed in this city,
and each one struggles to be its own self:
the starving, rotund, ugly, and pretty --
the tailored and those who buy off-the-shelf.

And everyone fails, yet they all succeed
in being different, while being alike.
And they all heal, while they also all bleed,
and almost all would survive a first strike.

Everyone knows someone - just not neighbors.
They love to remain enigmatic at home,
while transparent with those who share labors --
though some want everyone to leave them alone.

A city is a strange place full of strangers,
and those who choose it thrive on its dangers.

Accidental Travel [Sonnet]

If you can follow rivers to the sea
by drifting without thrashing or grasping --
just let the flow take you upon a spree,
a spree of dunk and breathe, without gasping,

then you will witness all there is to know.
You'll see shaky shanties and vast estates,
the birds in flight and creatures: fast and slow,
the weeping willows, and fish tempting Fates.

If you can roll around the rocks -- always --
and never crack your head and silence all
the voices saying you've reached your end-days,
and never rush and never, ever stall...

If you can do all this and keep the flow,
it won't matter you don't know which way you go.

Storied Lands [Sonnet / Idyll]

In mountain meadows, bleating sheep abound,
and green grass grows as high as their hunger
allows -- about as high as cricket grounds,
but I am lost in fantastic wonder.

It seems to me this is a storied land,
not merely grazing space, but where dragons
once flew, and one might see giants, firsthand --
a place that's never known a plow 'r wagons. 

It's where magic must once have arisen,
if ever such a place had existed --
where sparkling streams still burble and glisten
whose secret is kept ever tightfisted.

If you stumble into this storied realm
don't let its siren sight overwhelm.