By what I see.

How can one
With a conscience sleep
When each day
A fresh new evil,
Bold and brazen,
Raises aloft its banner?

Fires of hell
Rage on every street corner.
Racism. Sexism. Narcissism. Hatred.
Lives shattered by ignorance.
Innocent suffering
At the hands of the guilty.

How do I stay human
And not let this destroy me?
How do I continue
To feel, to care
Without being cut to pieces?


Light / Darkness

Teeth bared, fists clenched,
the faithful congregate
to crucify, assassinate.

This crime cannot go unpunished.
He shed the light of truth
and asked people to change.

An ageless cry of blind rage
erupts from the mouths
of the righteous.

Bullets fly. Nails pierce.
Swords rend asunder.

In every age it is the same.
Light is mistaken for darkness.
Innocent die at the hands
of the incumbents.

Whittling away
at the stone walls of this cell,
each day I throw a handful
of gravel out the window.

Fingers bleed to the bone sometimes
but there is only one way to go.

It is both a blessing and a curse
to see the blue sky above
and dream of freedom.

“Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more.”

– Bahá’u’lláh

Moving Day

Soaked into these hardwood floors
Are a thousand shades:
Joy, frustration, exuberance, despair.
So many colors stained on these walls–
The tumultuous miracle
Of a young family.

It was here that I became a father.

Here I drank deeply
From chalices so sweet and bitter
That it burns my throat
Just to think of them.

Moving forces me to realize
Those moments are gone,
Years sealed up and packed away
Like those towers of boxes.

Though they are forever
Etched upon my heart,
It brings me to tears to see
How they have slipped through my hands.

Nostalgia is a pain so sweet and tragic,
The heart staggers under its weight.

Gnarled roots. Twisted bark.
Branches tangle amongst themselves
In their circuitous search
For the Sun.

Nights like this
Restless discontent
Is more friend than enemy.

Without that pain,
That soul searing agony,
How would the heart learn to love?

Worlds, beautiful and turbulent
Within and without
Are unfolding to some high destiny
Beyond the black smoke we see
On the horizon.

Just have to make it through.

Such a profound chill, the emptiness
Crept deep into my bones
On that night as I stared
Into the abyss, thinking
There must be something else.

When the Sun dawned on my face,
It burned searing holes
Into my naive, troubled mind.

I was so stupid back then,
Yet so inspired.

What tiny diamonds lay hidden
In the scattered refuse of my thoughts,
These have purchased for me
A new life, a new soul.

O God,
What tongue can voice
My thanks to Thee?

Us and them:

A thousand different ways
To hack and slice
At this singular body,

How good it feels
To vilify the other,
To ascend that gilded throne:
Moral superiority.

Visions of oneness are cast aside,
Exchanged for warring ideologies.

So the cuts run deeper;
The fissures wider.
This body lies weak
In a pool of its own blood.

We know we can destroy ourselves,
And we do it just the same.

Gracelessly he trundles around
That poor ukulele,
Claws at the strings,
And sings “raaaa raaaa…”

It sits in his lap so awkwardly,
So perfectly.

In the stuttering resonance
Of these chopped, splintered notes
Plays a divine song:
Creation. Expression. Potential.

An embrace quickly becomes
Joyful mayhem,
Love and struggle,
Brother and sister,
Unfettered laughter.

Thus the universe
Keeps twisting, twirling;
The arms of two nutty children
At the center
Of countless galaxies.

Towering tidal waves
churn, burn, and roar
as they swallow
the hapless masses.

Another innocent family
destroyed by a bomb
dropped at the behest
of ignorant, blind hate.

For there to be light,
there must also be darkness,
but why so much?

The black sky above:
a vast, empty abyss
interspersed with
tiny points of light.

This world here below:
much the same.