Purple Heart

Under the yew in acrid taste; poison on my tongue

Where consternation grows as wild as this overgrowth

To have lived so long in the bitterness of a memory

Red passion, lights that signal; the end, stop.

As I try to pick up these small fragments

Fallen and cursed to grow into the now dyspeptic 

Grown ill and still, unmoving words cobble together becoming the plinth on which I petrify

I am terrified as the limberness and joy in my smile fall sullen 

The elasticity of my soul is too, waning 

Wrinkles in the fabric of time will hide who we were

Just as we hid away under warm sheets on cold winter nights

Pneumatic puffs creating small clouds in the dark, our heaven 

But the air here is transparent and without

Warm and preventing of a glacial cessation

My heart keeps beating violently defying the nature of its love 

Alone I try not to breathe so that it too can be blue 

© The Sad Owl

Wrong Place For an Apology

I was crying

To put it bluntly

But the sharp stinging in my eyes

Was anger and no, I was not the least bit sad

I found myself wishing my life away

If the rain falling through sewer grates was

Rushing water city serenades

Then my head was so hot that the roads sparkled in refracted rays

Beaming ubiquitous thoughts of…

How sorry I am

© The Sad Owl

All Tied Up

Whimsical and sick

Delighted though distraught

Diseased and can’t resist

With heart lessened, learned to not

Perturbed and taught to be tied in knots

Restricted, each breath comes to a stop

Halted in the silence then loud gasps in a struggle


To be swimming but losing energy

Trying to find you in some distant memory

Beginning to drown, reality is hard to swallow

To have no fears if what it means is to follow

I reach out and grasp at nothing

Desperation or hope

Maybe both

Underwater where you spoke

A piece of rope that simply broke

But still tied to you forever

© The Sad Owl

Old Visitor

Exquisite and cultured coriander sweat

Dripping expectation and runaway 

Small crumbs of bread in my hand

Pray for me and safe travel 

I’d sip wine the most bitter

If it could donate my will and hope

Blood that I have saved, all for you

Hundreds of drops

Slow and sincere, stepping on toes 

Heads down and apologetic prose 

Unable to dance in the vistas of northern India

My heart chilly as the night, whimpers 

Wanting to run right into your embrace

Always warm like the south 

Never jeering and undaunted 

With you my smile never faded

But that was a long time ago

Still Here

Opulus I look fondly 

Lay my head in your lap

Peddle me your sincerity 

Brush my hair lightly

And say you’re right here

A cold hart at the end of its life

Races through the snow

Barren and without food 

I could not relate, feed my soul

You’re always right here 

Linger on and in between

Tingle in my thumb spreads until my whole hand’s numb

I can’t feel the sensation of your index resting in the middle of my palm

Like I used to. 

Small circles as you walk around me

Because you’re always right here

I have to confess that I’m not doing the best 

I’ll always love who I loved 

So I’ll just continue 

Waiting right here 

© The Sad Owl

Breaking The Habit

Ad infinitum a never ending sequence

Lying in the wake of repetition; habitual frequence

To wonder predictably all the same things is the unconscious

Dauntless and diving, freefall thoughts thriving; to want, I want this

Faultless and driving, the sea calls out trying; a wave, reaches for the sky

..

The heavens sit not on clouds but seafoam, heavily salinated and floating

A sea for the dead with white haze, bubbles that carry earthly desire; doting

The angels walk on water by no miracle and wash their feet

The rough callous scrubbed off falls back down as sleet

A little taste of heaven from the snowflake on my tongue

..

An only partially formed thought of the unknown is still no answer

I stir the ice in my glass, rejoice in the sound and quench my thirst

If I wait too long the ice melts and the glass overflows

Sometimes I have too many questions and too much imagination 

I need to know or at the very least, I want to know

..

Thinking about winter on an autumn day I thought about the leaves

So I tried to catch one on my tongue, a fiery red mischief o’ertook me

A sieve as I sifted through black earth for gold, a thought for thieves 

I was supposed to be raking of course but the taste was so earthly 

All the beautiful colors of autumn that I had piled up, stolen

Jumping in I thought that I would be transported to another world

But at last, we are never anywhere but here. 

..

I flipped on the TV and put the dried leaves of tobacco in a pipe

Truth be told, I never smoked before that day; never in my life 

Was this the allure of hell? I thought. Sun-dried leaves picked by poor commoners

Somewhere warm was a man with dark skin and a gold tooth, smiling. 

People just trying to get by day by day, doing the same things day after day.

A whole lifetime toiling, always in the same place with the same people and the same city 

And for others, the same hours, the same lunchtime and the same vacations 

To the same places where the same people who picked the same tobacco leaves would meet these same people

Is that sane? I thought, in some world it is.

I couldn’t do it any longer, as I coughed out the smoke from this terrible tasting experience

I had decided that it was time to break the habit.

©️ The Sad Owl

Tapas and Wine

We were laughing

“Tapas”

What was it that we found so funny about that word

I wonder now as I lay by our favorite window seat

The rain tapping at the window

As if someone is calling to me

From somewhere far off

Splaying along the translucency

Like fingers spreading open to fit between mine

A body tired to retire 

Not inspired n’or ire

Sorrow quells a fire 

Happiness alone, says the liar 

Maybe it was just the way that Spanish cuisine makes fancy snacks

But we were happy with just tea and Graham crackers

“Tapas”, we laughed with smoked salmon and cream cheese making a mess 

Laughing because we weren’t even hungry and you were gesturing me to come change my wet clothes

Like a fish in the sea with no school to follow

The days of my youth and education have somehow left me lost 

I no longer sleep in that room, I prefer the window seat on rainy days

Still in my wet clothes… I hope I catch a cold 

©️ The Sad Owl

Hallowed Echoes

Endless loops of your voice replay

Like petals unfurling

In no particular order and all together

I’m drawn in, sweet nectar 

The words fill my ears creating imbalance in the Eustachian equilibrium 

Drunken and unable to comprehend their meaning 

But so familiar and… so good for that matter

A ringing tinnitus that only softens with my confusion

I return to fetal sleep, float in the sounds of these dreams

And in my wake

Smell the flowers to which you once tended 

Cerulean delicacy 

Fragile droplets leave the glimmer of salt 

The eyes will not feast while the heart hungers

As petals fallen to the ground will surely wither

I thought I was the ground awaiting your return

But I am the roots that will dry up

Long after your befallen beauty

©️ The Sad Owl

Sanctum

Sit alone in solemnity 

I wonder with gaze averted

The small portrait of a face no longer for this world

Smiles as you held my brother and me

Raised us, higher than the skies to where I now look

The stars dim as my dreams sit bright in the night sky from below

No questions of these hopes I had shared with you in secret

Every night we wished to see tomorrow, together

Life is not a measure of time but the distance that grows between people

Consciously immeasurable and…

Somewhat saddening

Delightful days pass in an instant

Bloom fragile and wilt dreadfully

Leaving me to wonder, what was it that I was looking for in the sky?

Was it still my dreams or hoping for signs that you were still somewhere?

© The Sad Owl

Silence is a Song

No music and no silhouettes, closing your eyes to find that peaceful sound of nothing at all. No images, no words to describe the surroundings or any figures, just nothing. Gentle breezes may whistle gently across the inner lobes of your ears and bounce off the prominence of your tragus to create a vacuum effect when it gets more violent, but this is still silence. The motion of the wind can also guide the direction of other things like the rain gently rapping at your open window. It gently taps as if to get your attention and although it is audible to you and even though your eyes are closed, you can still clearly see the image of those drops slowly descending to the window sill where it accumulates into its own small river flowing over the edge. This is in fact still silence.

As the grey clouds shift above and all the old aches and pains begin to throb, your body signalling the incoming storm, this too is silence. As you lie down to rest this weary body, wordless. The thoughts that cloud your mind as you try to resolve them with your inner voice speaking is too, silent. As you come to terms with the problems and obstacles that you face and decide that they are best left as tomorrow’s endeavor and your breathing steadies, you inevitably drift off into the dreams that spring forth from your subconscious. People you have met, things you have done and haven’t materialize before you. Words are clearly spoken and odd conversations take place that are either misconstrued memories, new and enlightening or pure nonsense. You could very well witness a duck that barks like a german shepard, or trees with no birds that still chirp and with all these sounds and images set before you, they are all in fact still silent as you breathe a steady rhythm with your eyes closed. Imperceptible to you is your soft snore that sometimes grows audibly loud, but not to you. The thunderstorm outside that has failed to wake you joins your labored breathing from the dream turned nightmare where a man in a bunny costume is chasing you through the woods as you yell for help, the reality that you cannot perceive around your still body is silence and to all others, your cries for help fall silent. It is quiet both inside and out.

The storm in all its majesty with loud commanding cracks that separate the sky. Torrential rains that fall relentless and seemingly never ending. They too shall pass. Like a song for all the things we hold inside that eventually come pouring out. It was as you lay there in tears wide awake, the muffled tones of your own cries let out as you tried to hold them back with a hand by your mouth. The mix of saliva and salty tasting nasal drip became your sound reasoning for finally letting out something akin to howling. There was never anybody to hear you but hearing yourself seemed far too horrifying. Was it not peaceful this silence? Was it not healing, demanding then frantic and finally disabling? Was it too much of nothing?

Finally you sleep, so serene in a dream, the dry pillars of salt push your lower eyelids up as you no longer have the weight of the world holding them down, the cloudiness and confusion wait to see the light as even dark clouds grow only to dissolve. For a moment in the dissonant solo that preceded, you could never tell that this was the encore for silence. A small clap emerged to congratulate you in your dreams and aspirations, for finally achieving internal peace and with tomorrow, words that would create their own song and harmony. The track that is silence can be one that is repeated and no one would ever know. Among all the chaos in this world it can be hard to hear sometimes.

© The Sad Owl