Little boy, my stowaway, curled beneath my heart,
drifting sleepy soft and coy, never far apart.
Do you smile I wonder now, when I say goodnight,
do you calm at the sweet songs, so you sleep so tight?
In the morn’ I wonder if, you smile as just I do?
Looking forward to each day I get to spend with you?
I can feel each little stretch, little foot and fist,
every hiccup on and on, every jump and twist.
And I know you love the most, chocolate milk, ice cream,
asking for that every night, waking me from dreams.
And I know you also hate, loud sounds boom and sneeze,
you kick and punch and bundle tight and make my stomach squeeze.
I wonder what you look like too, how cute will be that nose?
I cannot wait to kiss your cheek, your forehead and your toes.
And will your eyes be like the night, or blue as a bright sky?-
eyes to embrace the whole grand world, with laughter and with sigh.
And when the day comes when we meet, I cannot wait to say,
My little boy, my stowaway, I love you, every day.
For my little Tamim Mathew Issa – born 9/9/16
Let me dim the lights just so,
the shadows creep against the walls
and mad men stumble drunk through halls
and sweethearts scatter wrought with woes.
Let me turn the page just so
the valleys darken long and low
and ice frosts over mountains long
and caverns breathe out broken songs.
Let me pause a line just so
you worry where to sleep and hide
while villains wait with smiles so bright
to tempt the lost out from the night.
Let me read the words just so
you hold the sword up high and strong:
The demons buckle from the throng-
A thousand heroes a mile long.
Let me close the book just so
you lie your weary head and go
where dreams have carved a golden throne
for heroes bedtime story-born.
I left my love, unknowingly
who sat unseen and silently
where salty waves crashed from the sea,
and swept the earth from under me.
Where once I drew sweet notes on sand
to watch them dissolve to far lands
and wonder if those dreams thought of
would carry to my future love.
When truly he already knew
the same blue skies that graced my view
and loved the shells and stones that paved
the melting shoreline merged with waves,
the cry of birds and distant laughs
of children in the ocean’s splash,
the way the clouds would lazy slide
like easy thoughts buoyed on my mind.
He watched with me, how the blue skies
would tangerine burst into the night
and reveal the infinity
of fire stars and galaxies
While a friend in the background strums
an old guitar to lonely hums
with family surrounding close
each sharing tales with laughs to boast.
And on the fire spit would smoke
the fresh caught mussels from the coast-
We crack them open, juices spill out
with chili sauce into our mouths
before we settle back on shores
to stuff our ears with seashell lores.
I left my love, to only find
him far from any peaceful kind
in a rough land of concrete waste,
an endless race of do and haste.
But when the fires simmer down
and smoke curls over tired towns,
I hear a whisper from the sound
of your heart to my sleepy brow:
The ebb and rush of salty waves,
the laughs of family playing games,
the peaceful place where memories
eternally live with the ocean breeze-
Much like laying my ear against a shell
to hear the home I love, and know so well.
a thousand galaxies,
One mile a million years
of silver dust and fire,
the beauty that is
like raindrop grapes
plucked off vine,
by hands of women
with smile and song
on wizened lips
a hundred years ago
in the glass
we share now
a low boil
of stew, hours long
to beef and bouillon,
clove and onion
before the welcome,
of it’s patiently
so I have learned
the language behind
stretch of time,
so slowly stirring
Pull the switch from the back of your head. Disconnect
the torrents that buzz
snap sting pics and passing words and
nothingness evaporating quick,
one second of pixelular pleasure
electrified quick before another.
A face has lost it’s tangible quality, the
movement of expression traded for megabytes,
Warmth of touch light of smile compressed into the electric whir and zap trap of the liquid crystal display.
We worry to pull the cord
as if our existence depended
on this small cellular box, when in fact
It is measured
By the damp of earth beneath our feet
The sizzle crack of stars alight in our eyes
The sensual embrace of an ocean as we
drift and drown onward into the mystery
of here and now.
Where the sounds of laughter stuff your ears, and you feel the joy burst the atoms that make up your body
Where your palms have unearthed tasted and replanted, gardens of love
that reach onward into the hand of a
Lit by the light of the Sun
and not by the glow
of a screen.
One moment I am piping heavy on woes
contemplating murder on words,
something dark and sad
and so unlike me,
the crippled child
in my belly.
But you flip me once
with a smile
(and a terrible pun)
and then my woes
are doomed, turned quick
to sunshine, flowers and all those
awful, corny, bright-eyed things
that make me remember
I can laugh, I can love
I am not meant
to tolerate life’s bruises
and all it’s battering worries
like misery men
breaking bottles of beer
with sullen musings, spilled, cut loose,
quick, from lonely, sorry mouths:
“Oh drink the bitters! Cheers to life!
You beat me hard, old dog.
I am granite, I am god, I can
love the bruise and beat
and terrible trod
that life socks at me
No, not on your watch.
You are like the period at the
end of every blue
one with a smiley face
Library in the room you are
a great cavern mouth wide-open ushering
close our small shivering souls into
your infinite soul-encapsulating wisdom.
And meandering rivers like curled fingers,
beckoning, tempting us,
roll under our bodies-
we’re pulled suddenly
by the vessels of your story books
into those wondrous age-gilded caves
Hear listen I have thousands of teachers
caught fluttering like moths in-between bent pages, awaiting
the opening of their leather-bound cages
so they can burst and stuff themselves
into your wide-eyed wandering eyes
with the sweet carnal infiltration
of their every, personal story
deep into your twist mindscapes and
the worst bowels of oblivion
where your soul goes to wimper
and sometimes to rest
from the beating of
their honest texts;
The rawness of humanity
into your cringing heart
from the discovery of
the beautiful, broken
truths you read.
Oh library in the room
your thousands of voices
Pressed with page and without rest
until my eyes have rested on you
so you can breathe again
And the teachers’ voices
Eternity here like once before
To fill one mind-
and surely, many more-
with the wonder of
Their terrible, troublesome worlds
When you slow inhale
the earthy scent
of a morning just
before the rain.
When one sweet chord
has been struck
and your ears gently strain
for the next, new note.
When the day has slowed
and the wine hasn’t yet
touched down warm
in your belly.
When you wake, still sleepy
your dream now broken,
and you wait to fall
When the pen has paused
and white space awaits
for a word which may
I bear those moments
before the next
just as I bear
All day long
If I’m not grounded
(Like a balloon in someone’s hand)
My thoughts expand collide and crash
And woman men and kids alike
Have turned to beautiful people
How I wish I could wrap them
In my palms and write them
On my sterile white washed walls
You are authentic and I worry
I will fail to capture
Of frank humanity
And it will forever disappear
Like dandelion seeds puffed goodbye
On the breath of a long forgotton wish.