On Forgiving Anger

So much, I can forgive you for
But never your anger can be

Your loneliness, and its cries
Grow tears inside of me
Friends forever, we shall be

To your fear of darkness, amorphous anxieties
Heaps of reassuring hugs I give
Hoping to set you free

So long as you repent
I can always forgive
Your forgetfulness, poor memory

And so long as you love me with all your heart
Your clumsy way of showing love
Sets off a smile, healing warmth filling me

But your anger, sharp as a deadly knife
Cuts me deep inside
This I can never forgive
It sparks the same in me
No forgiveness there can be

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Sunsets and Other Dying Words

At times, words seem so incomplete
Leaving us wanting
In ways we cannot describe
Pointing to things not things at all
Within and about us, directions, places with no words
Not now, or ever

Close your eyes
Recall the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen
Try your best to describe it—bring it back to life with words
How it became a sudden part of your life
How in between heartbeats
You even mused death also could be beautiful

Words will always be lonely—
Seeking the company of other words
So they won’t die a lonely death
Like souls need bodies to manifest life
Like the sun needs a reflective surface
To paint a sunset, signaling its departure

So why bother, you say
To replay our life experiences
Like some loved old movie
I have a hunch—
We want to hold on, to all of it
The sunset, even our words about death

Our Economic Angst

Times have gotten pretty tough
Perhaps a diamond in the rough
Everyone, feelin’ the pain
As the economy raises Cain

Working hard, no guarantee
Retirements washed out to sea
Rich and poor, both are losin’
As the markets take a bruisin’

Makes you wonder, when it’ll end
Empty wallets, blowin’ in the wind
Leaner times, here to stay
Easy money, not today

Easy to point a finger of blame
Don’t forget, we all played the game
Livin’ way beyond our means
Now we’re eatin’ more pork and beans

Lessons abound for everyone
Change ahead, won’t be fun
Go back to what really matters
Steer clear, all the idle chatters

Let’s re-envision the American Dream
It’s a busted old and tired machine
Let’s fix the planet, you and me
If I’m right, it’ll set us free

A Teacher

In some ways, more than we think
In other ways, much less
Someone who knows what you’re going through
Another who extends a helping hand, when needed

Not necessarily someone smarter
Or with more answers
After all, all questions in life are personal
A good teachers knows this

Good teachers are good students
Always learning
Never afraid they don’t know
Willing to see things in different ways

Living examples
Ones your soul wants to follow
Someone living their own life, not another’s
One knowing nothing lasts forever

One allowing students to flower
Become teachers themselves, in their own way
Finally, one getting out of the way of your learning
But there just when you need him

See Me, Love Me for Who I Am

So much torment, doubt, unwillingness to accept
More than I can imagine, withstand sometimes
If only the world were different
If only certain things didn’t matter
Like how I get lost in myself
How confusion descends upon me
Like a thick heavy fog hovering all about

Help me, please
So I can help you, or others, in return
Understand me, please
Cut me some slack
As you do for others, yourself
Try to understand that I’m different
No two snowflakes are the same

Hold me, please, when I’m terribly afraid
I will hold you, should the darkest night fill your days
Look into my eyes, clouded with tears, even this sunny noonday
I will look back into yours without judging what I see
See me just as I am, incomplete, without hope sometimes
When needed, remind me there is something larger—
Something always worth living for

I am who I am
Though this I never intended, but I am
As a young boy, overflowing with curiosity, laughter, happiness
This was the last thing I would have considered
This was the last thing I’d hope to become
Please try best as you can
See me, love me for who I am

Note: This is an empathy poem written in recognition of those who suffer from mental illness in its many forms.

My November Guest by Robert Frost

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted grady
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so ryly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell he so,
And they are better for her praise.

Ghost House by Robert Frost

I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me–
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,–
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.

From “A Boy’s Will”, 1913, Robert Frost