Ashes and Flax

The dust in my rear view is ashes and flax
Remains of fire wood and totems
Flowers with seed I never turned to oil

Emergingly the brakes feel firm while the gas is soft
The only things that keep sole anchored to the right
Knowing that letting go will lead us nowhere fast
and that fuel and opportunity are rarely both priced well at the pump

I find myself questioning what you taught me of safe journeys
Like locking the doors when I dry too slow or not worrying of flashing light
My fault for mistaking the high school parking lot for a classroom
and the assuredness in your voice for some sign of wisdom

It’s hard to know so much of what I’ve been taught is the reason I like to drive toward walls
Tantalized by the cracks in the brick as if a sign that at proper speed I could break through
Without worry of bodily consequence or the weight of falling stone
Equally it was hard to have noticed how quickly you built new walls around me

You know I’ve grown to hate having your eyes
They make me look tired
They make me look like someone who stays up at night writing poems to calm down
Mostly though they make me look like sad

At least the path of overcoming the flaws in my roots causes me to bear some fruit
Like knowing when it’s time to keep my foot on the gas
Or the determination to gaze past the glamour of silver and gold
In favor of cherishing the sight that is ashes and flax

The Fall of Olympus


Hid behind a marble vanity
Clawing together what might be saved
Aphrodite desperate clutching pearls
Disbelief the walls finally caved

Hammering away on a final project
Betrayed by the product of his hands
Hephestus tries to forge a new life
In case his is spilled unto the sands

Athena pulls her bow with deadly aim
Hesitates too long from the shock
Sight of blood on her own fingers
Overwhelmed by the rising flock

Apollo atrempts at fiery rage
But learns the plight of Icarus
This time, the sun too hot for him
Blaze of glory and sweet caress

The seer warned of calamity
Hekate knew it was to pass
Yet the gods just dismissed
This pairing of stone meets brass

Younger brother to the throne
Master of the oceans crest
Poseidon as if lost at sea
Swallowed up with the rest

Golden footsteps leave a trail
Through halls and down slope
Seems Hermes may have escaped
Left the pantheon to cope

Zeus was the last to tumble
Highest perch touches down last
Yet even the mighty could not stand
After the last die was cast

In that moment they’re stuck
Their own forever Hell
Where they were
When Olympus fell

The Year of Rebellion

The high sun begins the year of rebellion
Fires from the sky bring ash to the ground

Grey snowfall begets a somber tone
Recalls a lack of color beneath surface
Lesser shades from what is shown

Yet the blaze continues just overhead
Crackling reminders to sow your rage
Igniting the desire to paint it all red

Water ripples in the year of rebellion
Cooling pools within a draught

Movements rapid like hummingbird wing
Whirlpool dragging down the last regret
Cleansed until you again feel the sting

Torrents of change with personal grace
Cast rejection to the lady of the lake
Laugh at her gift, and cry in her face

Winds run hot in the year of rebellion
Steam bellows angry from every pore

Gusts of heat somehow make us smothered
Discomfort, this new reality with the others
A much worse meaning of “hot and bothered”

Yet stagnant air had left something missing
An empty field with no breeze is a false promise
It simply wasn’t our own voice we were hissing

The Earth lies heavy in the year of rebellion
Even sand grains add to crushing weight

Continents shift with passing fellows
Different boulders upon their shoulders
For standing beside different bellows

We were warned of an unfortunate truth
That passing to new world is still cumbersome
Like closing jaw against a broken tooth

Ironic that defiance is an obligation
Another hole to dig, a little bit deeper

Contribute to our change with them, women, and men
We’ve had room for weapons and microphones
Among the rebels, shouldn’t some of us hold a pen?


Anyone reading, thank you for the support! Today marks the one year anniversary of the website, and though I stopped posting as frequently for personal reasons I can see my poetry still steadily improving and being enjoyed by people in my personal life. It really means so much to me. -TJ

Water and Fear


Heat on, cut the meat, plate to spin, cut your feet
Pot’s boiling but I can’t remember to turn it down
Lost somewhere between its whistle and retreat
If I struggle well enough I might not drown

Freezing first might give some solodarity
Or split like ice before I shave the snow
Mad grasps for salt, oil and familiarity
Pray for a better interruption in the flow

The old tap’s stuck open from the rust
Trickling sounds will be the death of me
Moisture sinks and soggies the crust
Crumbles the version you’ll never see

Unforseen memories and troubling noise
Close the kitchen to avoid the weather
Withstand the cold, we have no choice
The sleet and rain can’t last forever

Paralyzed by the passing cloud’s frustrated tears
Tranquilized by its sound on the roof of your mouth
Sometimes I don’t know how you move those fears
The bounce of your mind makes a dope out of mine

Come we’ll search for safer harbor
Pindrop stands upon shaking ground
Such is attempts for light on the water
To find a single ant within a mound

Calmer tides come with sun’s rise
Victory stated in official decree
But sharks fins poke from placid waves
A primal reminder to fear the sea

Change

Change

Change

Change

Change is what comes when the machine fails
Rusted bolts screech louder when they halt
Mending again yet to bare no fruit
Replacement must be the only truth

Change is the needed outcome of a wound
Balm and bandage meant just to cover
Keeping such a thing so tightly bound
Distracts from a scar that never formed

Change is the nature of fluid’s fate
Contained with tanks and glass
Yet running over stone in rapid flow
When its full weight comes to break

Change is the pain of an iron man marathon
Walls make steps heavy and breath thin
Resistance builds until ankles are weak
Yet heavy feet beat louder underneath

A path toward desired outcome
Or just another act in the play
“Hungry for change”
It just sounds better,
Than “starving the same”

Streets are littered with hapless souls
Tossed about with just seed to plant
The choice is removed from which to be
Revolutionaries for a boundless age
Or, another beggar, looking for change

Rudis

The last foe falls in endless game
Victory lifts the hopeless struggle
And you find it all feels the same

Step forward and claim your prize
Oak branch twisted to mock blade
Set with feast for prying eyes
A mighty boast of higher grade

You fought for survival
Beneath cruel master’s leash
Now find your revival,
Or die within your niche

The flames were to burn
But just so they were to shape
To see the colors you could earn
What we might make of hopeless ape

Fighter cut from metal and stone
Forged with sand, tempered in dirt
Became a weapon they couldn’t own;
A person they could not hurt

Absolute victory stands before you now
The promise of peace, it was a lie
You will stand but not take your bow
Though it was not here, you will yet die

What we’ve made, a champion of the sand
A warrior stands removed from his plight
Things fall in place just as planned
You’ve gained freedom to choose your fight

You knew your struggle but not your stakes
The symbol of freedom is oaken sword
Wood for it to bend before it breaks
Blade because peace is not your reward

You will pay for victory with your life
Condemned to continue on the sand
In freedom you will yet choose strife
Hilt will once again find your hand

Join the battle for those yet in chain
Find a way to help cast their weight
For they are those that feel your pain.
For they are those that share your fate.

A symbol earned by knowing its name
show your rudis to all who’ll see
Only then could they know your claim
That we all might be set free

Broken Throne

When I decline their offer of cheer
I always wonder if they see the fear

A kindly gesture met with refusal
Chilled bomb within grasp
My very own Mozel Tov cocktail
Terror clawing at sanity’s clasp

Do they see me wrestle the wheel
Take the right turn on the wrong street
Committing a sin against my song
Trying to resist my own beat

Craving the sweet taste of submission
Wash of failure drowning out that fight
Momentary charade of peace in the land
Shield blinding from the reality of blight

When guards are down sleeping shallow
Silent invaders seize their opportunity
Disguising themselves as if they should be
Uniting all of me in peaceful toxic unity

A silent war hid snuggly beneath gaze
Carried on the back for all else to know
Yet we find the truth of our betrayal in our folly
Naming our enemy for a chance to grow

At the end of the road is recovery
Yet the journey stands hollow and alone
A civil war raging for a new king
To hope the close lends no broken throne

Still I wonder what people think
When I tell them I don’t drink

King of the World (a buncha couplets)

Our world seeing now some troubling things
Reminds us to look for hope in our kings

Master of strength; show off your brawn
Move the sun forward to dawn

The light of the moon shines often dim
A hopeful reminder of your whim

But your people lie suffered in the dark
Grasping for the song of meadow lark

Though the record of the sun goes strong
The presence of night grows long

Won’t you use your might to correct the mistake?
Or will you watch as your people break?

Sovereign of mercy, enforce your desire
Clear us a path away from this fire

Friends in the south suffer and choke
Watch it all burn and go up in smoke

More still east inherit fear of the west
Ravaged but still comes yet another test

An iron bird’s wail is a troubling sound
Engines breed tensions wherever they’re found

Will you prove name’s promise to the world below?
Or will we our fears bloom as part of your show?

Ruler of music; play us a song
Make it go down a little less strong

Drinks are swallowed with much more ease
When drowned out is the sound of the least of these

Averted eyes can find new opportunity
Fresh songs are best heard with less scrutiny

That distraction can grant new insight
In sorrow we forget to turn on the light

Is the love of your fruit a blessing in kind?
Or yet another attempt to deafen and blind?

Lord of wisdom inspire your voice
Remind the masses we have a choice

King of the world, where lies your crown?
Is this your will, and must I take it lying down?

My Short Angsty Relationship Poem With A Long Title

This will be the last poem I write about you
Personal closure on what I’ve been through

To think that you’d find, this lost face of mine
Deep within the thing at the tip of my spine

I remember swooning, lost in your touch
Planning things out as if I’d earned such

We’d have a house; on top of a hill
And watch the world stand a little bit still

I think I’ll wake up, after this tune
Realization stalks me from across the room

Dreams can be goals, but they’re often a farce
Reality is usually just a little more harsh

Such a delusion; it felt like me
Why did I choose not to be set free?

I don’t hate you; I admire a lot
You helped to bright the shadow I fought

No reason to stand; but a care about me
A window to look at the man I’d be

You’re much the same, but I know I’m different
‘Cause I don’t even care that you’ll never read it

The best way to guide, a lost man in love
Is simply to burn it

Ghost

Torn from body
Spirit from bone
Parting our worlds
I am left alone

Today I woke ethereal
This just couldn’t be
Separated from material
Nothing left of me

Did I leave you empty soul?
I should have taken more care.
Our hearts should have been full
Before I vanished to air

I’d give a body for this life
I demand you put charge to brain.
Put that flesh under knife,
And make it just just the same

Walking this place I am so near
Wandering halls I have no claim
These portraits once brought me cheer
How is it that they aren’t the same?

Been cut down yet I’ve grown
Tear these walls and build anew
I’ll stick the queen back to throne
And find a way to hold the glue

The weight of flesh pulls me down
Unfamiliar gravity put foot to ground
Somehow I think I might not drown
I hope you’re proud of what I’ve found

After tears dry
I still wonder most
How did you die
But leave me the ghost