a chance at life

In the end, all we really want is another chance. A second chance to be the person we need to be. Another opportunity to set right the path we need to walk righteously towards affecting the world. Our bodies tell us this, but, at times, we allow barriers to win. However, when we stand long enough and open ourselves to listen to the silence urging us, prodding us towards that direction our compass is leading us to, a chance at this life may just be within our reach.

in that place
i sleep too often—
my sacred space
where i recline
an armchair of embrace

your skin so soft,
so close i can feel every
atom’s frenzy in delight
to be at the helm of
your distinct breath

as this same gladness
leaps at hearing you
exhale warm breezes
into my ear and a world
unfolds of possibility

and the spur of a neuron
touches me, magnetically,
charges me from lifeless
state and resurrect me—
you revive a hundred

deaths from inside me,
deliver me from its
womb and, as though i am
born again, you make
light of me once more

from ashes we rise

It has been a while, I know. Soul searching. It’s natural for writers to do this. Disappear. Vanish from the spaces our medium yields us in order to shed the layer of attachment to become new again. A new year does this to you. It christens me, baptizes me, enlightens me, except this time, I didn’t want to loose that renewal or have me burn out in a month or two without accomplishing even the tiniest of goals. So I ask, how does one stay the course? And the lesson I arrive at is courage. Having courage to push through is a lesson my best friend taught me last night. A friend, who amidst hurt and vulnerability, pushed through with courage, perseverance and great fighting spirit… the tenets she couldn’t recite, but which she demonstrated in front of me despite feeling herself defeated. As difficult as it was to watch, all I could see was my own friend rising from the pain with great courage in order to push through her own obstacle, to remain and finish until the end. Seeing this, seeing her stay the fight within her own ring, made me think of my own courage and how I needed to toughen up like she did in order to stay on my course. To persevere, to rise… to be absolutely courageous.

from ashes we rise,
don’t we?
or do we stay as ashes?
are we then happy to remain
where logs once were before
they were set on fire,
incinerated like illicit
bodies who worshiped
a different god from
you and i?
stand as i
reflect even when i fall
on my knees, even when
it hurts inside, i fight
through the covetous night
and shed this cowardly skin
to show what courage is

for SJP who showed me incredible courage TWD

Believe

Days take their tolls, whether it is the long commute or long days at work which sometimes feel as though we are being pushed further away from ourselves. It feels inescapable like a maze. Then, out of nowhere, I am given a moment when silence blesses me with one word to set me free from the cages of despair. Believe. Believe that there is hope. Believe that everything will work out. Believe in God and that direct line in Faith. Suddenly, this anxiety fades and I don’t feel as though I need to see the final outcome. I just need to believe.

the droll of days,
things we have given up,
the us we surrendered,
are we still whole
or are we holed up
like cheese that
melts under the heat

can we recover,
heal towards forever?
though i know nothing
lasts long, can
i not believe in the
hope for endurance,
what’s left of faith?
can i not see it through
in the long run? because

i believe i can,
i believe you will…
i believe we can

what love gives

Now that the holidays are over, what now? I do miss Christmas though. The spirit of Christmas, that is. I love how giving can somehow break down barriers and open up hearts. But giving shouldn’t just be during the Christmas season. It ought to be everyday, giving, whether it is giving someone comfort, joy, laughter or our “precious” time. A shoulder to lean on, perhaps. Anything is possible. Giving is limitless. Our creativity and sincerity is the only thing that we need to fuel this giving. It all begins with love.

what love gives is not this diamond,
and what is more gold is the gesture
i treasure in each hand crafted measure
inspired by your deepest intention to
wish me joy and happiness, prosperity
and wealth…. no war, but peace can
end chaos and so shall your love endure
what others cannot bear, if you can
rewrap this, i shall receive with all
my heart, your deliberate gift of well-
wishes amply cupped inside your hands

New Beginnings

Everyday grants us a new beginning. Making a habit at looking, living each day as new is possibly one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive the entire year. But we take it for granted, live as though it is a continuation of the dreariness that followed us from yesterday and we become burdened by that which we think is inescapable. I know, I know… easier written, but if we just shift our perspectives, everyday can be a renewal, a rechristening of our lives. We can at least attempt to make new our lives before we dismiss it.

rain gathered me under the sky, prodding
like needles under my skin; the uncertainty
was bothersome until i looked into your
violet eyes and knew i would be reborn
as your spirit takes shelter under your
fragile skin, and as your thirst beckons
its first milk against your tongue.
holding you was easy; making you believe
my love as brilliant as stars in the
night sky… even if am mere shadow–
a lifetime i think i may have, each day,
with each renewal, convince you my words
with every letter are more than embraces,
but testimony to the unconditional that
shall not ever waver from my heart

[for SJP… my heart on this day… Happy Birthday]

Christmas: A Time for Giving

I’m jumping ahead on resolutions and Christmas hasn’t arrived. I can’t help it… it’s the season of giving and though we might be scrambling tonight wrapping gifts, thinking about what kind of gifts to buy tomorrow, I can’t help think that there’s more we can offer than just material things. A time to listen or time spent with children being patient, baking someone a dozen muffins from the heart. Sure, electronics are wonderful… a new Samsung tablet would be really nice, but a gift from the heart is one that I am appreciating lately. The extension of my hand and thought putting together flour, sugar and eggs and creating something delicious over and over. To show someone how much I appreciate them… that’s what I want to say. To wish them a Merry Christmas, not just today, but for everyday that I am alive because everyday ought to be Christmas through kind gestures we gift one another. This is the spirit that should prevail all year long. So why not start today. Merry Christmas y’all!

Christmas we are love and joy,
the fervor of generosity that wishes
to prevail while the spirit dangles
from every doorway like mistletoe
whose desire from kisses align hearts
with mirrored goodness, unparalleled,
without compromise; judges less and
concerned more for you than I… these
hands relay from thought the word
merry encrypted in this bow, red as
the season allows, a vow to give i’ve
wrapped in this gesture with embrace
to blanket you from the cold rain

a gift to give away in time for Christmas

We are gifted. There are things about us that we are strong in, undoubtedly our best attributes which regenerate itself once we let go and share to this world. There was this quote shared over the radio the other morning on the way to work. I almost ignored it, but only in time did I turn back to that station and catch that bit of wisdom. I can’t remember the quote verbatim, but only to the effect that it is our purpose to find what our individual gift is and it is then our purpose in life to give that gift away. Something about this quote just hit me somehow. The gifts we are so doubtful about; the gifts we participate in and then hide because we are so afraid of criticism… well, these gifts are exactly what we should be gifting this world with, whether it is our writings, our paintings or our songs. Whether it is the bread we make with our hands or the joy we express through our words, these are the gifts that we ought to be sharing with one another. In the spirit of Christmas, locate these gifts within ourselves and find the strength to unleash them because there might just be that one person left inspired to do the same thing. In doing so, we might just nurture positivity and joy throughout the years to come.

when i can no longer hold onto, i
simply open my hands and let go
what isn’t mine in the first place,
but to this world i owe a present
to have, one blessed utterance of
joy and love are still gifts inside
these words no matter how they are
unwrapped with hearts heavy, no
doubt, feeling so depleted,
un-embraced for so long… with this
gift, never shall you be alone again
so long as i can write to relieve you
from the melancholy and the sadness
endured from time to time

lies, lies, lies

Don’t lie… never lie or, by any means, try not to lie. It’s a challenge, I know because most of us at some point have participated in a lie. Of recent, I experienced an elaborate story concocted in front of my face, an insistence from the other party that it was the truth, only to come to the end and have it be discovered that it was a lie. It made me angry and I might still be in the same state of mind, but the next step for me is to try to understand why someone would lie? Of course, in the end, submerged lies rise to the surface and eventually unveil itself because there’s nothing solid about a lie. It’s so porous that it will eventually float to the surface for everyone to see.

lies diminish what trust has built,
cemented brick by brick to arrive
where we are because our past is
what we’ve been, the dangerous
trench we’ve crawled and climbed
out of… shall we return to the
place of conscience war brewing
from within or shall we walk a
straight line forward beyond
potholes and craters that trip,
abandon these vices by any means

Epiphany

It’s funny how epiphanies arrive… you never really know what form it may take until it lands in front of you. The idea of not giving up the art inside us, that which makes us breathe… makes us feel alive even if it is just a couple of brushstrokes on a canvass or a couple of stanzas on a random paper napkin. Sometimes, there are dark places we enter and in that space lies the tempting thought of just surrendering the craft that bleeds from our hands. Because it would seem that this would make everything easier and therefore, perhaps, life more livable. Giving up would be easy, but I’ve seen the faces of those who have surrendered, the faces who quit and gave up on the dream inside themselves. Darkness too have tempted and cajoled me towards this direction until a beacon of hope was sent my way and now I’m choosing to fight that darkness, refusing to become one of those faces who surrendered. Even if it means just writing one stanza, one line per day, we can never give up. If for some apparent reason we chose to surrender, we will terminate that connection with our art. In doing so, we can potentially terminate that connection with God who is the oxygen and true blood behind the art inside of us.

too much to loose inside these
parameters; had darkness caught
me and turned me over to night,
i may have fallen over and
disappeared altogether like
dreams robbed from faces who
have given up without a fight,
who stir in the middle of sleep
only to wake up to nightmares
haunting them like weary ghosts
who prey on the hopeless and the
disconnected… the passionless
who lay shattered, moved no more
to stir about our colors inside

rise above

How lost we have become sometimes looking for answers when the answers are already inside of us. It is just a matter of taking the first step and making that choice to commit to it wholeheartedly. Only through this do we begin to chisel out the shape of who we really are, what we are meant to be. For we are more than what we are now, distracted and numbed individuals, afraid to feel and reach for the world. We are what our bodies have been telling us along… strong and capable individuals meant to achieve, meant to bring peace, meant to rise from the physical or spiritual poverty we live in.

rise above the horror
which conquers; release
from the mind what glues
you to the ground, when
light elevates and still
you refuse to rise…

rise to the level of
your love, that which
lives and propels you
from the bog, the
quicksand that pulls
you down

for no gravity
can attempt to shake
you from the clouds
where you belong;
when you believe so
shall you rise, rise
above the ground