We Can’t See Them In Their World

we bring them into this life

clean slates in our image

pieces of ourselves planted as seeds

we protect with everything we are

hoping we are providing all the maps for their journeys

blood is thick

we warm with their laughter

break with their pain

at times helpless as the years stretch beyond our reach

we witness identities, not copies of ourselves

calling out to soften falls

struggling to bite the tongue that stunts their tomorrow

we remain always within reach

far enough to allow for flight

but close for all they need

we hope to have done enough

so they walk forever lightly

and our souls to rest easy

at the parade
Cumberland, RI
Photo: i. Perlman

the Other Side

battles still rage among countless emotions

and attempts at unwinding create days of doubt

there is reason to fight

seeking constant confidence in what we receive

asks me to stop travelling the lonely road

and live the moment

not always upon my sleeve

optimism bleeds through healing wounds

I still believe in the sunshine after the rain

postcards I receive don’t have to remind me

I know you send them to keep me moving

my mind’s mailbox wears a smile

Narragansett, RI
Photo: i. Perlman

Songs That Remain

all the windows were painted shut

when I went searching for the air

gasping without a sound

those words he said to me

danced so eerily upon my brain

never gonna get unwound

I’ll run along cold iron tracks

well past closing time

to keep from going back

today and yesterday

now lived broken in two

cheating tomorrow’s sky of blue

the sweet taste of innocence

has travelled on

lost in the haze of restless night

without ripples the lake won’t break

throw your stones

before it gets too late

the mistakes we made

that carried us all these years

explain the reasons for all these chills

I should have begged you not to go

you brought me flowers every day

left unplanted on the bench

your voice, it tantalizes in my ear

it rests softly next to my heart

I just can’t quite get to the sound

I cannot shake that look you always wore

please don’t take that from me

it keeps me running all the time

trying to make all of this

seem normal

had us tripping over nothing

I missed a few signs

no one ever warned me

of the shadows in our love

what you eventually found

trapped inside without a voice

held beauty left unknown

hard to believe in losing everything I found

keep the setting sun away from me

everyone wants a little more time

we thought if we took it slow

we would make it to the peak

but the pace that confronted us was all too much

even though we already knew

you would make this walk alone

your eyes asked me to pull you through

the tears they roll

I wish I was still waiting

for the pain I knew was coming

I tried to meet you

in that unforgiving darkness

that was pulling at your days

time is now forever lonely

words against the mirror

sound different in the morning

memories that never lived

will gather dust in the corner with regret

unopened and blank

Hospital Halls

years have passed

but the loneliness

of ghostly halls

still shadows some of my days

prior to entering I did not wave goodbye

towards yesterday’s bliss

unaware that tomorrow

would not be rote

hustling in daylight

among the anxious, the lost and the urgent

lost in the wee hours

spinning in the empty space that awaited my arrival

fear and despair

corner the revolving inhabitants of this temporary city

wandering, drained of emotion

overextended at the hand of these eventual tests

these days come to all of us

this suffering is not growth

growth will arrive from this timeless grind

hopefully soon

Blending Together

always moving among them

a stranger to all

pieces fall where the sunshine bends

while shadows hide the core

a song with one voice

travels the lonely road

thankful for the resonance

of a heart worn on souls’ sleeve

explain the difference

in your love and pain

wipe the tears away

it doesn’t matter anyway

born with wings

held in place tragically

escape with words

that run lead of the imprisoned self

Life’s Classroom

in life’s classroom

generations sit side by side

students resilient

amazed by one another

the teacher is time

duration unknown

to capture the moments by living them

the constant lesson

we return with each sunrise

seeking understanding

time and again

once around will never be enough