Scars

I love my scars
I love the raised white ridges
randomly placed along my body
reminding me of where I've been
running my fingers over these imperfections
private souvenirs from my past

My favorite scar
is the one you've left
internal and invisible, etched upon my heart
a mark that remains for only me
jagged and deep, still tender to the touch
from the years I've spent tearing out the stitches

The Song

My heart sings for small towns
not for the crumbling, faded houses
or the hollow eyes that inhabit them
but for the spaces in between humanity
the thick undergrowth of untouched hillsides
the silence that surrounds you
as you emerge at the street's abrupt end

winding roads turning to dust
as they weave through valleys
and stitch the mountains together
no turns in sight as you faithfully follow
for miles to a singular destination
in the distant country, past oceans
made of tall grasses and grazing cattle

where the open sky is unhindered
by smog and skyscrapers
and you can feel yourself shrinking
beneath the infinity of distant stars
or cradled by the buoyant brushstrokes
of soft clouds in an endless canvas of blue
swallowed up, dissolved, and made whole again all at once

I've always found safety in the subtle symphony
of places far away from people
the silent prayer of bare feet against the warm earth
sunlight filtered through gently rustling leaves
the tender cadence of countless other lives
swelling and saturating every cell of my being
bowing down in reverence to this ancient rhythm

Separation from source
is the truest form of suffering
caged inside the arrogant design of human kind
cut off from the wind and light
set aside to sit in sterile cells
tangled up in selfish isolation
eating ourselves alive

No, I'd rather wade into the cool embrace
the filthy, glistening grandeur of the river
memorize the ever changing melody
of chirping birds and tiny insects
the healing buzz of their constant vibration
lapping at the shores of my truest self
reminding me of my part in the song

The Silence We’ve Lost

Silence is a special thing
a commodity that cannot be
boxed up in cardboard
and set on shelves for sale

Society only sees value
in the shape of dollar signs
so it's seen fit to fill 
that sacred void with noise

The saddest thing is
this absence is not even noticed by most
it feels like good fortune
to never be forced to face ourselves

We pity the people of past generations
that had to make due with their own minds
to bear the boredom of still moments
and shake hands with silence every day

We've forgotten that space is necessary
for new thoughts to be born
for inspiration to strike us
and give birth to beautiful things

Silence has become unbearable
feared above all else
A sure sign that we desperately need
to be submerged in it

Sweet Air

Winter wipes away all memory
of the sweetness of summer air
it stops me in my tracts
when my senses are infiltrated again
with the intoxicating scent of soft petals

The cacophony of sensation
that saturates the warmer months
never fails to fill my soul
with reverence and awe
for our magnificent mother

Inspiration seeps into every pore
when the world reawakens
at my doorstep
the miracle of resurrection
witnessed once again

When all hope is nearly lost
the tender blades of grass whisper
"just give us one more day"
I fall to my knees upon it
and gratefully obey

Fresh Memory

Crystalline structures of familiar chords 
take me on nostalgic tours
through the old forgotten caverns
of my heart's youthful years

Fresh citrus drops
that sting you with sweetness
refurbishing faded memories
until I feel transported

Through the violent veil of time
that contorts and distorts
the continuous current of energy
that is me

What harm is there
in having a snack 
of the sweet, supple story
stitched together in my soul

To allow myself to believe the fiction
that I've chosen to cherish
and buried deep beneath the bedrock
of my being

The bittersweet bite of memory
never bothers me
hot tears and catching breath
can still feel like home

Permanent pillars of my past
are supports that assure me
some things will never change
a perfect picture of stillness inside

That will not cease to create
prickles beneath my ribcage
or train me to build up a tolerance
to the days that trail behind

When I find nothing but fear before me
I can always run my fingers over
the smooth shape of those experiences
that are mine forever to carry

A natural resource for me to drink from
and subconsciously stitch together
into fresh dreams of you at night
to fill me again with gratitude and delicate devotion

American Dreams

Corporate greed
clacking claws
against the protruding ribcages
of starving children
jostling them to see
if any stray coins come
tumbling out

The price of preventing
protections for people
is cheaper than
paying your fair share
putting a foot on the throat
of democracy
was easier than we thought

America's cruelty is compounded
by unending attempts to indoctrinate
the children into believing
they'll be given a fair chance
the stark contrast cuts deeper
when you realize the rug
as been pulled out from under you

The peasants of the past
were probably much happier
for not being promised
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
at least they were spared the pain
of feeling foolish for
looking forward to a lie

Inspiration or Intimidation

Looking to others
can be a source of strength
to see success in someone you admire
can light a fire deep inside

Learning to savor
the achievements of others
as if they were your own
is a skill that cannot be understated

Compersion means celebrating
the joy of those around you
and what could be more beautiful
than that selfless sensation?

But comparison is the thief of joy
self confidence seeps away 
in the face of constant observation
of those you believe to be better

The fluttering chest and flushed face
I used to feel from absorbing the images
of those perfect women I adored
left me broken and starving

What used to inspire
became a reminder
that I could never be enough
no matter what

To protect myself
I turned away from the world
deleted all the sources of self doubt
but there is always someone to envy

Someday I hope to learn
how to bloom into my own best self
without feeling burdened
by who I'm not

Enough is Enough

Walking the line between
contentment and complacency
trying to find the middle ground
of gratitude and grasping
satisfaction and searching for more

Focusing only on injustice and suffering
is sure to wear you down fast
but somehow it feels selfish to
simply enjoy my own lucky lot in life
without using my privilege to fight for more

I'm far from ungrateful
for how far we've come
even though I know we can still do better
I don't want to seem greedy
asking for more than what I've got

There are so many that have less than me
I don't pretend to have earned my present place
I take no pride in a roll of the dice
but sometimes it's still hard not to feel cheated
when you were promised so much more

I don't take for granted
clean water and fresh foods
but should that mean I have to accept
a 40 hour work week not providing
any sense of true security?

Humanity has a timeline now
that only I seem to acknowledge
is it frivolous to ask for dignity and mutual respect
on a planet that is slowly dying
under our overcrowded feet?

Why fight for far off goals
I truly believe we won't even
have a chance to reach?
My righteous indignation has
long since faded away

Most days I wonder whether
I should just bite my tongue
and be thankful that it isn't far worse
I know that it could be
that it will be

Soil

Freshly tilled soil
is a powerful tonic
the satisfaction of connection
with the cool, damp earth

There is healing that happens
only in a garden
nails caked with mud
and dirty footprints left behind

Seeing the fruits of your labor before you
initiating an ancient miracle
the mystery of cultivating life
with your own hands

The dusty smell that rises
in the first moments of a downpour
soothes the mind and soul
with carnal simplicity 

Communion with the sun and soil
a holy ritual shared across time and race
getting familiar with the land
that one day we will become a part of again