gripping the path like we ain’t gettin’ no younger

light-506120_1280

Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay 

gripping the path like we ain’t gettin’ no younger

master bedroom,
tinted garden-green
with golden glints
of morning

sun rises
with my grip
on the circle of
your hips

we circle back
to forest-hidden roads
traveled in youthful
exuberance

wizened
upon shared intimate
garden paths

wicked giggles
yield the voice-box
to guttural yearnings
***

Written for dVerse Quadrille #85 – Raising our Poetic Voices, hosted by whimsygizmo. Other poets have contributed here.

Also shared at Real Toads The Tuesday Platform, hosted by Rommy.

 

Paying it Forward

sebastian-unrau-dT4hx-QW0Aw-unsplash

Photo by  on 

Paying it Forward

“You look good all dressed up”
a voice said, and I turned
to see her two grey eyes fixed
upon me, devouring my contrasts
and contours, reading my reactions
as if she knew I’d always wanted
for her to say something, anything
to me, knowing I wouldn’t know
how to reply as I stammered out
a cheesy, but sincere “well, uhm,
you look good anywhere” retort
that made her snort, her crooked
smile twinkling down upon me
from the declining escalator we
both shared that seemed to descend
endlessly into the gutter of dirty
things I wanted to do with her that
made me blush as if she could
read my intimate thoughts on what
had to be the protruding horns of
my corny forehead that she reached
out to touch gently, having heard my
thought that said “please, for the love
of everything holy, reach out to
touch me gently, or even not so gently,
I don’t even care, thank God you’re
here-” my thirst interrupted and
quenched by a tender kiss and a soft
reminder that it’s time for me to end
the escalator ride towards the center
of us and awaken to the real world,
and much like my dream, this poem
will end abruptly with a vague sense of
dissatisfaction.
***

Originally posted on Medium.

And I’ll Paint Love Upon You

peach-539673_1280

Image by bdpeterson from Pixabay 

And I’ll Paint Love Upon You

You see your freckles as
the sun marking you as you age;

I see them as a hybrid game
of connect-the-dots with kisses
and color-by-numbers where

my lips brush skin till filled
with a rosy blush, augmenting
exquisite mixed-medium
masterpiece.

Pucker-up, sweet
sun-kissed canvas.
***

Written for dVerse Quadrille #84, hosted by Mish. Other poets have contributed to this prompt here.

On Interracial Marriage

D4A_1862

Image by author

On Interracial Marriage

I don’t believe in it
it’s an obvious lie

not whether or not
it should exist, mind you
but its alleged existence
in an existential sense

there is no such thing
as interracial marriage
there is only the union
of those vowing to unite

for life is far longer
than most would know,
far shorter than we think

and it is ripe with vile horrors,
disappointments and cruelties,
and capricious random chaos, and so

if while navigating our bedlam
providence smiles upon you
as you brave muck and misery alone,

and you’re lucky enough to find
someone whom you vibe with
who leads with kindness, loves with
gentleness, rewards loyalty in-kind,

and makes you want to rise
to face the winds of fate
with a defiant smile on your face

then what in multicultural hell
does it matter of their lineage, creed,
sexual preference,
or the color of their skin?

Leavenworth

Image by author

***

Originally posted on Medium.

Of course, I couldn’t pick just one rendition…

Shared on dVerse Open Link Night.

Classes (Blue Side of Pale Series)

ian-schneider-66374-unsplash

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Classes (Blue Side of Pale Series)

never understood her,
wish I could’ve felt I was
good-enough for her,
the most popular girl in school,
the top-of-the-class, with class to boot,
the most smartest, the biggest-hearted,
the most valedictorian-charted,

I valued her diction; her glory from afar,
like the twinkle of the stars in her eyes,
she spied me in the lower-brackets
perched in the basement of my thought-lint,

never meant to breathe the same air,
but she shared her atmosphere,
she grabbed my booty in the hallway
with a blue-wink,
she made me think that she was fruity
and all the way loony,

cause she was same age as me,
but she carried her energy
like a Motown boomer; like she’d sooner
rub elbows with Gladys, Ross, and ‘em,
and it was madness that she’d
waste her chi on me

you see, my bracket’s in the basement,
it consists of only me,
indeed, her tactics out-of-phase meant
insistence was her sweet-tea

but can’t you see? Her judgment’s clouded
like an imperfected diamond,
she thinks I’m a find, a rare beautiful kind
of boy deserving her time, that alone
among dissenting voices of mine
should disqualify her from sanity
and sound choices refined

you see, my bracket’s in the basement,
it consists of only me,
indeed, her tactics out-of-phase sent
persistence to how we be

my syndrome hooked right in-place;
I see her and stutter,
her skin tone looked like it
tasted like peanut butter,

I wish my vocabulary
could’ve carried verbs that varied
from “uhh” and “uhm”, but she
carried our conversing beyond the peepers
and pursed-lips of
bemused green-eyed gatekeepers

I never made a move from the basement,
but the placement of her groove made me
reassess the fallacy of classes
from behind coke-bottle glasses
where she said my eyes
were too pretty to be so sad

and her smiles evaporated fog,
eradicated smog, changed air currents,
and lent me change in perspective,
and her elective had one smile
specifically for me

you see, my bracket was in the basement,
it consisted of only me, but indeed,
her tactics, out-of-phase,
lent resistance to my reality
***

Luckiest Man Alive

MeBro2

Image by author. (He made me step off the curb. He’s not really taller than me.)

Luckiest Man Alive

If you asked me
what makes a man

–  and I mean
a good man;

someone who
keeps it one-hundred
at all times –

I would pause, smile
and tell you all about
my little brother.

If you asked me
what makes a man
a devoted dad

who may not have
all the right answers
all the time,

but who still
throws himself, full-assed
into the thankless
hard parts,

again,
I’d begin the convo
with my lil’ bro.

If you asked me
what makes a man
a keeper of the flame

a caretaker of
my earliest dreams
and fears

a silent observer
when silence is needed

a vocal objector
when I need to be checked
and called-out

the loudest supporter
when I need saving
from myself

and the ruckus-bringer
when shit gets too hot
and needs extinguishing
with a flame-thrower,

well shit,
you should already know
though I do feel bad for you
and great for me.

You see,
I’m the one
lucky enough
to be able to say,

“Let me tell you about
my lil’ bro, Phil…”
***

Written for my lil’ bro Phil, on the occasion of his 40th birthday, and shared on dVerse OpenLinkNight #243. Others contributed poems here.

Ode to the Sassy So-and-So

erin-simmons-382348-unsplash

Photo by Erin Simmons on Unsplash

Ode to the Sassy So-and-So

You’re a pain in my ass; sassy so-and-so.
Atypical opening as odes go, I know.
But your fiery spirit serves you well thus far,
and as far as you’ve come,
who the hell knows where you’ll go?

I’m going to level with you here, dearest one;
this wasn’t supposed to have rhyme or meter.
In fact, I almost wrote another clichéd line

– about catching the stars, as if!
I mean, I know, right? – but

you’ve been earthbound
for a quarter-century now,
so no more fairy tales.

You’re as tough as I raised you, tougher
than I envisioned, and I’m relieved for it.
You’re tempered for a cruel world, and yet
you refuse to let it make you unkind.

And while I’d love to take all the credit,
like I knew the masterpiece of you
was hidden in the marble all along,
you are the artist of your destiny;

I’m just pleased to see who you are
and who you will become.

I say again, as it is a good catchphrase;
you’re a pain in my ass; sassy so-and-so,
and I’m lucky to have you around, I know,
wherever you go, I’ll be with you always.

Oh, and please rinse your dishes.
I’m your dad; I’m not your maid.
***

Written for my Turtle, on her 25th birthday.

 

Day 30: Ode to Muse Called Lust

silhouette-3055962_1280

Image by Saulius Rozanas from Pixabay 

Ode to Muse Called Lust

Though our rain could flood the sea

I’ll not have you reigning free

But reining into fantasy

Rain or shine, you liberate me.
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 30 prompt:  write a minimalist poem. “What’s that? Well, a poem that is quite short, and that doesn’t really try to tell a story, but to quickly and simply capture an image or emotion. Haiku are probably the most familiar and traditional form of minimalist poetry, but there are plenty of very short poems out there that do not use the haiku form.”

Also written for Real Toads’ day 30 prompt: “Write a poem in praise of a source of inspiration — your muse, your life, your own web of thoughts, your dreams or sleeplessness, your daily tasks, a favourite artist or musician, nature and environment, et al. Also, let’s keep it between 30-60 words — there is a certain beauty in brevity after all.”

The poetry gods have spoken, and the word is brevity.

This was a challenging, but fun NaPoWriMo. Thank you to all my fellow poets who participated and/or offered feedback.

This month, I eclipsed one-thousand views for the first time ever in all my years of hosting a poetry blog. Obviously, I don’t do this solely for the views, but it’s good to know that my silly little stories from this corner of the world are being read globally.

I chose not to reply to any comments for the duration of NaPoWriMo, hoping to focus all my energy on creating (hopefully) quality poems. I’d like to take this time to thank you all for taking time out your days to send some love my way. I truly appreciate it more than I can say. Thank you, my friends, and I’ll see you soon.

(Yeah, I know I owe you one more poem. I haven’t forgotten!)

Day 22: Jazzy Heist

jazz-1658886_1280

Image by SeppH from Pixabay

Jazzy Heist

Drum’s our kingpin.

Bass rides shotgun.

Others rise and fall in time,
adding color accents.

But drum and bass are
basic black and blue; all
pigments combined in

shockwave tommy-guns
to writhing canvases
strongarm-robbing them
of inhibiting spoils.

The perfect syncopated crime,
sharply-committed in-time.
***

Written for dVerse Quadrille #78: Rise prompt. Other poets contributed here.

Also written for NaPoWriMo’s day 22 prompt: “write a poem that engages with another art form – it might be about a friend of yours who paints or sculpts, your high school struggles with learning to play the French horn, or a wonderful painting, film, or piece of music you’ve experienced – anything is in bounds here, so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.”

(Blogger’s Note: I couldn’t choose between the two music selections, so I added them both. Whoopsie!)

Day 20: Gas Leak, Revisited

kelsey-chance-575541-unsplash

Gas Leak, Revisited

I was stuck in a country music bar on base
due to a gas leak; don’t ask, I didn’t get it
either, but our instructor bought us a round
of Jack ‘n cola to pass the time, and damn, bruh,
that shit tasted like tasty-ass smoke, ya knamean?

I was hooked on brandy at the time, but that changed
‘cause that Jack Daniels tasted like brandy with balls,
but when I told my classmate, he was like, nah, son
you should try this, and he fitted me with bourbon,
and damn man, it was like all my shit locked in place,
the air felt right, the gal behind the bar flirted,
the lady next to me almost got me dancing
and if we’d all died in an explosion that night,
I’d have been pretty chill with how chill things turned out.

But we didn’t die, the gas leak was cleaned-up good,
and my homey who showed me that dope-ass new drink
dropped me at the airport to meet wifey in-time,
and yeah, he probably shouldn’t’ve been driving,
it was fucked-up, but we got away with it, and
that’s not really the point I’m trying to get at;

I mean, when I was trying new drinks and flirting
with women I never would’ve met otherwise,
up to that point in my young life, I never felt
so… you know… alive… like I was finally here,
and all that woke shit came to a dead-ass ending
as soon as wifey flew back in from Chicago,
like, the vibe was gone, the warning signs were right there,
but I just said fuck it and moved on, making sure
I added bourbon to next month’s shopping budget.
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 20 prompt: write a poem that “talks”; that is based in normal, contemporary spoken language.

I typically try to use cuss words moderately in my poetry and within context; never for “cheap heat” or shock value, but when it comes to my normal every-day dialogue, I cuss like a… well… you should know by now.

Note: I know I skipped yesterday. I was drained, so I gave myself permission to take a break. I plan on making-up yesterday’s prompt, though.