POEMS/LYRICS BY JRS I

 

Singing Praises To Athena

Freedom

I Am Loyal To My Killer

Soot Man

There's A War Going On

Even The Snake

Tired Of Fighting

When Forgiveness Comes

Time

Silence

A Heart Split In Two

Snowing Outside On A Work Day

Today I Will Not Run

Leaving Their Place

Eyes Are On Me

In My Own War

Such A Competition

Appreciating Others

A Pool Of Low Self-Esteem

Too Much Endurance

Burnt Out

She Wants A Diamond

Crazy Unthinking Killers In Your Face

The Falling Is All Over (Song Lyrics)

Thank You, De La Vega (Rap Lyrics)

 

 

Singing Praises To Athena

 

O Great Athena,

accept my praises.

Though all othersí belief is gone,

I know you lurk in the darkness

of the light that only blinds,

as strong as ever,

it is their focus that has lost you,

rolled you up into the

One and forgotten your flavor.

But I, Athena,

pierced by the past, remember.

Remember your daring birth,

exploding out of the head of

Father Zeus,

dressed for battle,

wild in your armor burning like a city

invaded,

fierce inside your helmet,

with eyes like dark lightning, flashing everywhere

with the hunger to know,

the shield you did not need, that you bore for others,

and the sword you used to cut through

every doubt and lie.

I remember your ideas, Athena,

sharp like a blade, slashing mediocrity,

transforming it with its own blood;

bright like a

torch, turning every question into a light.

You wouldnít settle for being

the little girl hidden in the palace,

stunted by others who wanted to play the role of hero the easy way,

by keeping you weak.

No, Athena, not you. And so, you jumped out of the

place of smallness, to stand tall amidst screaming chariots,

and stare into the eyes of charging horses,

in the place where the sky pounded the earth

like a wave, and everything was a storm.

You made the men be great,

for you would not let them believe something of themselves

without being it.

And yet, great Goddess Athena, it was not like them,

not like the drunken killers hearing only one half of greatness,

that you came.

For you,

uncompromising in brilliance,

unrivaled in shining,

with thunder in your every step,

came also sweetly,

with the second half of valor,

its reason for being,

carrying the love only a mother can bear for her child,

and the tender adoration only a young girl can bear for

her first sweetheart.

 

Great Athena,

how generously you built me up from nothing!

How generously you drew me after you, like a

magnet draws to it that which needs it.

And I saw the face of your statue move,

a tiny smile, a trace of warmth

that caused me to hurl my whole life

in your direction.

And I took to the sea,

because I felt your heartbeat there,

comforting me from within my destiny,

turning the raging ravenous waves

into your warm receiving bosom,

the terror of death into your tender reassuring voice,

and into your sparkling eyes of pride that I could not ever let down.

And my solitude became a secret love affair,

wrapped in the hugeness of the sea,

something greater than fleshís concealed power waiting to erupt,

it was the time alone with you,

beside your wooden figure on the prow

that seemed to smile to herself whenever I was not looking.

It was the eyes of the owl

too bright and full of purpose not to be yours,

and the strange dove always walking back and

forth along the railing of the ship, every time I called your name.

It was the green islands always appearing to me

just as I was about to vanish into my thirst,

and the beautiful barefoot women

who came to me with the whisper of

their jewels,

like chimes hung in the wind,

each jewel worth a ship, though they called them trinkets,

as they rescued me from the splinters of my mistakes,

changing me back from sand into a man.

You were there, too,

Athena, just beyond their beds,

comforting me with forgetfulness until it was time to remember,

warming your hands at the edge of the fire

you lit with our bodies, mercifully given to each other

in the vastness.

You would not let me be alone.

And then, when it was finally time to go, Athena,

when I was at the point of becoming lost in another,

it was you who became the wind,

driving my ship away and breaking hearts,

none worse than mine,

you who became the argument,

the inadequacy

that freed me, with pain,

the insatiable longing that drove me from longing

to seeking. It was your Sword, your Fire, your Eyes,

everywhere,

beyond the world,

and at its center,

that slowly brought me back to the missing pieces of myself,

the stray and abandoned pieces,

the pieces stolen from me, and the pieces I had run from, not ready for them till I met you.

You who fit me back together like a puzzle, and made me whole,

not because you needed it, or the world needed it, but

because I needed it

and could see through the terrible price to the beauty;

and because all your flying power and battlefield cries

had never severed the cord of secret gentleness that bound us together,

that kept you caring,

underneath your untouchable armor.

 

Athena,

Great Athena,

cold they call us, sharp as a sword edge that draws blood,

indifferent as a balance that weighs lives from afar,

dressed in garments of cloud,

too high up to

ever come back down to the earth to answer the prayers of people who

will not hold up their end of greatness.

But say what they may, Athena,

We, at least, understand one another.

From the day you first sprang into the world

like an idea they were afraid to hold,

I was here for you,

a believer,

seeking nothing more than to be the one whose

hands could hold your fire.

Sister,

Mother,

or sweetheart shy and far from touching, gentle

within a Goddessí ferocity,

your presence exceeds any human touch

like a wild storm exceeds a breeze.

You are my Goddess, the moment my

war became meaningful,

the moment my dream discovered it was

your dream,

and my life

became one of your thoughts.

 

Praise and glory to you,

Great Goddess Athena,

may you shine through me

into the world!

 

Praise and Glory to you,

Great Goddess Athena!

May you honor me so!

 

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Freedom

 

Itís over.

The servitude.

Maybe the love.

Old relationships are going out, up there in the sky,

like stars slowly being turned off by God,

the heavens are being closed down

like a bar at the end of a long night of drinking,

it is like the hour when one

discovers one is alone

with the stacked-up chairs

and the man with the mop who is hoping you

will notice what is going on

so he will not need to speak.

Itís over.

The dream that I was loved.

The dream that I was cared for,

which my need spun from itself like a spider

giving birth to the web that is all it has:

the universe it walks on, waits on,

listens to with its whole body

in the emptiness,

the last-ditch creation

where it gambles its heart

seeking something greater

than the truth.

 

But itís over now.

The waiting and the dreaming.

The love was what I wanted,

not what was.

It was only the childís beauty in me,

still grasping for its mother,

still wanting to be picked up

and held in the night,

still believing that its cries

could control the world,

could convince what was being missed

to create itself out of nothing, just to meet the crying,

just to be crowned by the crying,

and placed upon the throne of the crying.

Yes, I dreamt of love,

and hoped to make it real.

Something like the kiss

that turned the slimy frog

into a prince.

And how I kissed- and kissed - and kissed,

and bowed my head of dreams to them,

which was another way of kissing them.

And I let them shine, and be the illuminated stars and planets,

by becoming the night,

and I grew old hiding in the darkness of

my kisses that did not change them,

as the blood of life slowly oozed out of

my wound of needing them,

because I was so alone

I could never let myself discover how

little I meant to them,

never stop loving them,

which became my way of dying.

And only now have I come to understand that

they wanted me like jewels to lock in a safe,

to wear on their own shallow nights out,

as part of their glory

without roots,

they wanted my flower

but not what it stood for,

not where it came from.

They wanted pieces of me,

not who I was,

but only what they could use without having to go into my depths.

They wanted pieces of me,

like stones stolen from the foundation

of an ancient monument,

not enough to build something new and also beautiful,

only enough to collapse the monument,

and leave ruins of it in the desert.

 

But itís over now.

The loyalty, the love,

all the sacred hollow things that are only

chains, once you wake up from the words, that only you believed in.

The sweetness in me that they nailed to their doorstep.

The wanting in me that they used to

keep me a captive in their land.

The honor in me that they used, like

a gullible child,

to keep me standing in pools of my own blood,

while my gold was left hidden in the earth,

while my purpose was left

unmet, like a stranger from Heaven waiting to be ferried

across a river

into the world.

Shame on me for loving

those who loved me not, for

letting unknown loves perish in the lie!

 

But itís over, now.

Those old relationships

like serpents buried in the sand,

that stung me once and killed my youth in years of living outside my soul,

are finally fading.

Soon, they will only be traces,

whispers across my life,

like fossils of mighty beasts that once

shook the earth,

but today cannot even raise the dust;

like scars of ancient battles

quiet, now, upon my healed flesh;

like empty shells of vanished creatures

picked up on a white beach beside the cleansing roar of the whole worldís ocean;

like the hardened husks of cicadas

stuck on tress

with nothing left insideÖ

Itís over, now, gone.

Gone,

what was once the center of my life,

gone

what once I could not live without.

Gone,

what once I used to kill myself for,

over and over again,

every time I came back to life.

Gone,

the only place, I was told,

where I could ever be good.

Gone,

the fear of being a traitor,

exile, bandit,

coward.

Gone,

all of their other tricks,

potions, spells,

illusions,

the infinite shapes of tenderness and care,

of vulnerability and love

that the heartless and unknowing took to lure me into their lair,

to tear me out of my soul,

to devour me,

and feed on me,

to grow from my spiritís flesh in their own twisted way,

to develop their own flightless wings.

Gone,

the dependability

that once left me where their teeth could always find me.

Gone,

the will to please,

that was like the lemmingís plunge into the landless sea.

Gone,

the old me they once trapped in death

by saying "I love you."

Itís over now. All of it.

A new and ruthless me has come

to take the place of the fool

who let himself be eaten alive.

A new, hard me,

who is not afraid to hurt others

to be himself.

A new, cruel me

who can say "No", and

"this is what I need", and

leave the puppet masters crying with cut strings

dangling in their hands.

A new strong me,

whose roots are back in the earth of his birth mystery,

not in the thoughts and feelings of floating people who never knew him,

or felt the place he came from,

not in the art of the blind ones

who have never seen him,

yet would paint his face, and his rights, in their own way,

with his blood.

No, gone, now, is the innocence and the weakness,

the lack of enemies, and the powerlessness,

the comforting ring of false friends, and the wounded solitude,

dying beneath the tower of a dream

closed off by love.

Gone, now, is the love

that was only the wall built to shut out

true love.

And gone, now, are all the ones

who hid in that ideal,

using it to kill,

like soldiers camouflaged with green leaves.

At last I am released,

like one who has died,

into a new and fearful land

beyond all masks and gestures,

a land of substance only,

where the ones who once were kings

unfold as ghosts and beggars,

in need of a sun

whose light is daring enough to

break free of them,

to shine against their will

upon their own neglected gardens.

Today, let it be marked in stone,

I break with them forever,

in order to live;

in order to

become their light.

 

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I Am Loyal To My Killer

 

I am loyal to my killer.

I would never do anything to hurt him.
Never get up from my knees

to leave the circle

of his power barren.

I would never kill him

by leaving him with nothing to kill,

never wound him with his smallness,

by denying him my life

to throw around and tower over,

never betray him, by breaking the

chains he put on me

to fill his life with my presence,

never deny his laughter

and what it needs to come into being,

the blood of my sorrow.

I am loyal to my killer,

loyal to the endÖ

 

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Soot Man

 

Soot man

ash man

death man

poison man

takes the air away

from wherever he walks;

already destroyed,

he is determined

to bring everyone and everything

down with himÖ

 

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Thereís A War Going On

 

Thereís a war going

on inside me, and I

donít know who will

win.

Since Iím not sure whoís

fighting, itís hard to

take sides.

I think Iíll go with the

side that doesnít

twist me in the outside

world,

though I have seen smooth

faces of angels

kill.

I think when I can

sense the presence of

the diamond

that canít be seen,

hidden somewhere in the depths

of my confusion,

thatís when the war will end.

Then, if Iím a cripple, or a

shining prince,

it wonít matter.

 

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Even The Snake

 

Every inner window broken

nowhere to hide

filled by the other

with no place left for self,

nature finally broke the chains.

I lost everything,

which is how I got a second chance.

 

Even the snake whose legs were stolen

finds his way of walking;

and without his legs

must live closer to the earth.

 

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Tired of Fighting

 

I am tired of fighting.

I want to drift

like a jellyfish,

whose will is

surrendered to the ocean current,

away from here,

and let the fools divide the

world

into pieces of their idiocy.

I donít want to fight

for a place

in this world anymore.

I want to go to a

distant hill

where all their missions and tantrums

will seem like nothing more than

the horn of a ship passing

far away,

not coming from my life

or going to my life.

 

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When Forgiveness Comes

 

If that feeling of

forgiveness sweeps into

my heart, Iíll let you know.

Up till now, it hasnít.

I could try to force it,

or fake it, but why should I?

It takes a while for a river to

carry away the dirt

thatís been dumped into it, to

wash itself clean

and be like it was before.

Iíd rather take the time, than say

"You are forgiven", with the

monster you put into my heart

still lurking around.

It is not my job

to keep him locked up

or spend my time keeping him

away from you, making sure he

doesnít bite.

So Iíll wait,

like that river, Iíll

wait for the flowing of time

to bring me closer to

death, where the

things of this earth,

including the insults and betrayals,

fade away

like childrenís cries,

picked up by the light in which everybody is fed, and

everybody has a mother,

where we are all just one

great brotherhood of wounds

heading home together.

But before the flower,

whose sweetness shakes

away our bitterness, opens,

before the desert of this earth

is crossed,

Iíll just wait here. Like that

river. And if a lifetime

is too short a time to forgive you, then

that will be all right.

 

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Time

 

Time,

for me,

is like standing on a ship

as it pulls out of the port,

it is like waving good-bye

to all my friends

on the shore

and watching the land

where I was young and beautiful

fade from sight:

the loves of my life,

the country of my hope,

the dreams that no reality could ever match,

until nothing is left but the darkness

and the sea

and the money called life which I did not spend

when I had the chance,

useless now in my pockets;

nothing left, but that,

and this heartless ship

speeding on

into the night

over water that I cannot see,

under stars that do not shine,

carrying me swiftly,

away from everything I ever wanted

and longed for,

into endless loneliness.

 

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Silence

 

Silence.

Why is it so terrifying?

I am moving my right hand now

to ward it off,

trying to befriend the paper,

to wring an answer from it I know I will not find,

talking to myself, moving the pen, cluttering my mind with

thoughts that pretend to be inspired,

pretending to gather the secrets of the world,

that are really in the silence I cannot stand, fleeing

from time I am afraid to lose

because I do not know how to use it. I have never understood it, and

am afraid that it is running out,

as if my desperate scratches on a piece of paper could stop it.

And my poem

is just a giant ball of fear

spun by nervous hands

to distract me from

the giant Church of

silence in which I sit.

The silence whose vastness is like the dark, still pool

of another heart,

which you could fall into

and never stop fallingÖ

 

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A Heart Split In Two

 

On this road

they split my heart

in two - one half is gone

forever, left behind me, back where I came from.

The half of my heart

that remains

is better than the whole one

which beats in the chest

of those who did

this to me.

 

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Snowing Outside On A Work Day

 

Snow.

Here you come again

to remind me that things have not changed.

Still dancing outside my window,

waiting for me,

calling to me

with your pure white offer of

rebirth.

It should be as easy

as opening a door.

Why am I still here, trapped inside,

longing to be with you?

Is that really longing?

 

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Today I Will Not Run

 

Today I will not run

to the place that makes me so

unhappy.

Today I will behave less

like a captive.

If my feet move slower

maybe my heart will follow.

If I miss the train,

maybe the next train that comes will be my

own.

 

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Leaving Their Place

 

I want to

leave the place of

being acceptable to them,

of being tied like a shadow

to their clothing and way of doing things.

I want to be strange,

which means to love.

I want to be

the kind of person they

would leave on the street to die,

which means being free.

I want to find the treasure of myself

and live from it.

I want to find the green of my own

heart, in their desert,

and live beyond their power,

which is only my weakness.

 

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Eyes Are On Me

 

Eyes are on me,

everywhere I go.

Sometimes they

turn me away from

my road.

Sometimes they

will not let me run

from it.

 

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In My Own War

 

Go to hell

with your tanks and guns.

I donít want to die

a charred piece of shit

next to your machine.

Iíll die in my own war

riding alone

into a crowd of enemies,

my horse galloping on

after I have fallen.

 

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Such A Competition

 

Everybodyís writing poems

it seems, el, ella,

everybody and his brother.

The race horses are out and

running.

It never stops.

Iím just a little baby who

wants to be picked up.

Iím just a little baby

who wants its crying

to be heard in the night.

I may starve because of their

shining.

Why canít I just speak

like a green leaf fluttering in the

breeze, or

a cool brook babbling to itself in the depths of the forest shade,

talking only to its own moving water

and to the stones it has made

smooth inside itself with its

unheard voice?

Why do I have to be this

gigantic jewel on the

top of a mountain,

just to get love?

Why do I have to run

with the race horses and win,

just so that I wonít

be put away in some

forgotten corner?

 

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Appreciating Others

 

The greatest gift

is to be able to appreciate others,

to cheer their gold

and the doves that come out of their magicianís hands,

to let oneself be dazzled

and feed another human being with admiration,

rather than suffer

the feeling of an army at oneís border.

 

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A Pool Of Low Self-Esteem

 

Right here,

itís a pool of low

self-esteem.

The longer you stay,

the lower you sink.

Soon, nothing will be left

except what they want to be left:

the man who deserves nothing,

and has no future

except the one lived

underneath their shadow.

Soon, the persecution

will begin to seem like a gift,

and youíll be glad for anything you receive.

Theyíll take your coat off

in the middle of the winter,

and when they let you buy it back,

youíll call them saints,

and defend them to the death.

Stay long enough, and youíll even forget

you used to be a

king.

 

Right here,

itís a pool of low self-esteem.

The longer you stay,

the lower you will sink.

Soon, nothing will be left

except what they want to be left.

 

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Too Much Endurance

 

Iíve had too

much endurance.

They hit me.

I just blinked.

They hit me again.

I felt proud like

a rock that couldnít

be destroyed.

The hours of

my life ticked away

that way.

 

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Burnt Out

 

Burnt out,

nothing left.

He doesnít feel like

swimming with them anymore,

they move too quickly through

the water of mediocrity.

He wants to drop out

but if you drop out in the water

you drown.

So he keeps on swimming,

far behind them, now.

Everyone calls him slow,

they do not know

the beauty of the vision

that has slowed him down.

 

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She Wants A Diamond

 

She wants a diamond.

But Iíd have to kill for it.

I guess Iíll stay alone,

because I want to

have myself

more than I want to have her.

 

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Crazy Unthinking Killers In Your Face

 

I understand why thereís

so much killing in the world.

People with reptile brains

who canít understand

a thing you say, come

slithering at you at full speed.

You try to reason with them,

and before you know it,

your home is overturned and

everything is about to be destroyed.

You see their teeth and claws

in your face

so you reach for a gun.

If thereís no bullets in it,

you reach for a machete insteadÖ

Wildly, you begin to slash,

trying to hack your way

through their madness

back to a quiet place.

You feel the thud and sinking in

of the metal, into their flesh,

and rejoice in their screaming

which means life for you.

Over and over again you slash

until suddenly you realize

there is no more slashing

left to do, it is over.

You are alone, yet alone no more.

Ö You are finally a member of the human race.

 

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The Falling Is All Over (Song Lyrics)

 

The falling is all over

Iíve fallen as far as I can fall

Iíve touched the very bottom

the bottom of it all

New groundís beneath my feet

my first steps crunch like guns

upon the barren gravel

beneath mere traces of a sun

 

They call this the abyss

the well that has no end

where no sound ever leaves from

and thereís no such thing as friends

but at last the falling is all over

and after so much grief

even this endless emptiness

comes as a relief

 

Yes, the things that I once thought

would surely break me down

have come to pass despite my fears

and still I am around

The falling is all over

now Iím just like other men

thereís nothing else to do

but start to live again.

 

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Thank You, De La Vega (Rap Lyrics)

 

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

 

You said this city could be big and mean

it could even make you give up your dreams.

"Hang in there.

Hang in there.

Hang in there,"

is what you said.

 

You said this city could be big and mean

it could even make you give up your dreams.

"Hang in there.

Hang in there.

Hang in there,"

is what you said,

and thatís the reason Iím not dead.

 

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

 

I was sitting on the street during my break

just trying to recover from my heartache

15 minutes to stretch, out of the cage

consumed by pain, ravaged by rage

but so burnt out that I just felt trapped

like I had no legs to get out, and no road map

like I was a bird whose wings donít flap,

like a waterless river - just like that

like my life had left me and wasnít coming back

and I was just a ghost putting other peopleís books in the stacks

while the book in my head only made me sad

like all the good times you once had

once you lose them, and theyíre locked in the past

and I felt like my whole life was in prison, yah,

like I was doing time on a murder rap

for the crime of dreaming, and having that knack

for the crime of wanting to be more than a bug or rat

and they were holding me down and holding me back

like my gift was some kind of terrorist attack

with no one to appreciate or understand

and the light of my hope just went black

and this big beautiful city seemed so cruel and bad

like a smile you believed in that was only an act

and left you waiting until your soul snapped

and your fantasy was killed by a fact.

And all these thoughts were going through my head

and I was thinking I might as well be dead

hanging out on the side of the dumptser left

on the curb, when those words I read

from the hand of the graffiti nomad sent

whose vandal-art was my lifeís breath

speaking from the very place Iíd been

and coming on to me like he was some kind of friend

leaving his wisdom there like Johnny Appleseed, then

bringing back to life what I thought was spent

recharging the batteries of my lifeís intent

giving a new beginning to the end

and keeping that dreamís flag from fallin'

and Iíll pass them on, those words he said

in case they can help you too, my friend:

 

"This city could be big and mean

it could even make you give up your dreams.

Hang in there.

Hang in there.

Hang in there."

 

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

 

You said this city could be big and mean

it could even make you give up your dreams.

"Hang in there.

Hang in there.

Hang in there,"

is what you said.

 

You said this city could be big and mean

it could even make you give up your dreams.

"Hang in there.

Hang in there.

Hang in there,"

is what you said,

and thatís the reason Iím not dead.

 

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

 

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

 

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you.

Thank you, De La Vega, thank you...

 

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