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.
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.
I exited through my old, mundane door,
and heard a melody so blissful / sweet,
and saw some colors never seen before.
That song, those sights, danced me down the street.
A neon breeze both warmed and cooled my face.
The pleasure wave that I'd once known as sin
was flaring, with no feelings of disgrace,
but up my spine a trill of violin.
Euphoric, I ran 'til I felt lungs burn --
so fired with energy that my bones hummed --
But as I felt the wheels begin to turn,
I realized the depths must remain unplumbed.
Before my druthers, I had to go back.
To sustain this would give me a heart attack.
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.
In rustic cabins far away from here
there live some happy people of the woods.
With ruddy cheeks, they're exemplars of cheer.
They never visit cities selling goods.
They live on what the forest can render,
and that's not so much, but it is enough.
They tune themselves to nature's vast splendor.
In cold, they don skins, but when hot, go buff.
Or, perhaps, I lie, and no such people
exist in this world or any other.
And woods people fuss on matters, fecal --
just like you, I, and all our grandmothers.
These cheery, simple woods folk must exist,
if only in the mind of this fantasist.
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,
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!
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.
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.