POEMS/LYRICS BY JRS XII  

 

Disagreement  

People Of Glass 

Stronger Than You

Dark Formation 

Unclear Eyes 

Don't Carry It 

Prayer For Something Good 

Life In Prison 

Saturn Said 

Young Tree 

God Of The Block 

Capework 

The Rock 

Holding The Place

Homage To Ireland

Proud Stand

Love, True Love

Pain Factory

Snow Will Come Again

 

 

Disagreement

 

Good God,

you donít have to be

right about everything

to have the right

to live!

My different opinion

isnít a

death threat,

you donít have to kill

me before I kill you.

Let me add

another color to

your life,

let me add

another note

to your song.

You donít have to be

the sun and moon;

let me be the moon.

I canít bear

living under the

dictatorship

of your insecurity.

Be strong.

Then you wonít need

to crush me.

Iím no scorpion,

no cobra on your floor.

Iím just different.

Our minds could

work so well together,

they could fit together perfectly

like the day and night,

we could be everything the

world needs

if youíll just let me

be myself,

not bully me

into being you

with those gunshot eyes,

those prison-sentence silences.

We could have a beautiful life,

one half you

and one half me,

your mind,

and my mind.

Disagreement is what makes

the sun shine,

one half falling inwards,

which is the trigger of the light,

one half glowing outwards,

which is

the resurrection

that binds the star to life.

Disagreement is

the secret path

to unity.

One thought only

starves the truth,

and it kills love,

too.

I love you

and your mind,

even in is wild travels

off the map

of my own wound-learned knowledge.

I love you enough

to stay,

to let things I donít believe

seep into the soil

of maybe,

to think again

for your sake,

to reconsider

the law of gravity.

But give me space

to disagree with you;

my mind is sacred,

donít put bars in its windows,

donít pit yourself

against my eyesí right to see.

Donít you know?

You are like a mountain:

youíll still be standing

after the rain of doubt

has fallen over you.

Youíll still be great,

even if

youíre proved wrong.

Give me room.

Let me breathe.

Donít live with your back

always to the wall,

threatened by

every thought that doesnít bow

down to your

perception.

You donít have to be a God

to be beautiful;

to be wise;

to be loved;

to be alive.

 

Back To Top

 

 

People Of Glass

 

People of glass.

People of glass kill.

If you are made of glass,

everyone else seems like a

stone.

You walk around

afraid of being broken.

You are only safe

in an empty world.

People of glass kill.

They raze the fields of life

with their fear,

they turn the earth into a

void

so that there is nothing left to bump into,

they cover their

murderous fragility

with the costume of strength,

they

strut like roosters

to hide their

worm souls.

 

People of glass.

People of glass kill.

They conquer nations

so they do not

have to face themselves.

They bury generations

because they are afraid

of shattering.

 

People of glass.

People of glass kill.

They set the world

marching

to defend their delicate

glass bodies,

glass minds,

glass hearts,

glass souls,

they dig up iron

to destroy iron,

borrow wombs

to fill their machines

to reap the crop

of love

to throw into the fires

of hate,

they eclipse

the heart

of the world

with shadows

cast by their frailty,

they bring emptiness

to the world,

emptiness which is the

refuge,

the heaven

of glass.

 

People of glass.

People of glass kill.

 

People of glass.

We die for people

of glass.

 

People of glass kill.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Stronger Than You

 

I wonít break.

For a few nights or

years

you can own me,

till the wind

calls me back,

till I hear the

sacred spirit

in the trees

talking with their leaves,

telling me that I canít leave.

Then Iíll leave you.

Because I canít leave.

 

Itís stronger than you.

Itís stronger than you.

 

Iím not stronger than you,

but it is.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Dark Formation

 

Iím leaving

the dark formation.

Something about

where youíre going,

how it feels,

I canít go on.

Iím tipping my wing,

and veering off

into the open blue,

into the wild free sky

where the sun is dancing

and the clouds are waiting

to wash away

the sins

of anyone

who dares to be swallowed

by them.

Somewhere,

far away,

birds are calling,

and my aching metal plane

longs to follow them,

to shed its might

and immortality

for one moment

singing

in their midst.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Unclear Eyes

 

The following poem was written after an encounter with an insect in the bathroom, who I decided to kill. It was at a time of high alarm about the West Nile Virus, and I decided to take no chances. At the same time, my eyes were in very poor shape that morning, and my vision was unclear.

 

I am making decisions

with unclear eyes.

Theyíre the only eyes I have.

It looks like a mosquito on the wall,

the kind that could make you sick.

But is it?

I just canít see.

Which means it might be.

So now it will die -

because of my unclear eyes?

 

Back To Top

 

 

Donít Carry It

 

Donít carry the

weight of

every dark

thing

on your

shoulders -

donít carry the

madness of

dog-eat-dog

evolution,

your crocodile ancestry,

harmony based

upon

murder,

beasts eating their

way to the top,

the writhing zebra

beneath the lionís

claws

and the vultures

waiting;

all the mind of the spider

channeled into the killing web,

genes of exploitation,

carnivorous constructions,

skyscrapers

spitting onto slums,

slaves in chains,

a thousand ways to rape,

the price of jewels,

nations locked into

the prison of a diamond,

street children sniffing

the glue that

holds nothing

together,

the darkness

where the light

of the few

is made,

the disemboweled sun,

the poison sunset,

forests of stumps

crying black smoke to God,

green dying without a father,

plagues hidden in

love,

books that arenít written,

and books that canít be read,

the crypts beneath

the fountains,

mountains of laws

that are nothing more than

the urine of the strong

marking territory;

laws of dreams

(the flowers of the heart

above the mud) in tatters;

running from the tools

of torture

and wondering if

one is as guilty

as the hooded men

for not hanging

from their wall,

if the only path to brotherhood

is death;

dances of the soul

loaded

to the breaking point,

the sound

of millions groaning

swept under the rug

by callousness,

or by sensitivity;

burning,

dying,

madness everywhere

you have not

trained your eyes

not to look,

the spirit of

pulling out an insectís wings

in search

of a philosopher,

in search of fine clothes,

giant dark

wheels turning

without a

lever, without a

switch;

looking and not finding

a way

to turn them off,

just listening

in the night

for centuries

and wanting to adopt

a thousand orphans

though your crippled room

is already

too small for you.

 

Donít carry it, brother.

Donít carry the weight

of every dark thing on

your shoulders.

Even God canít carry it.

Even God had to find

some beauty in the ruins

to soothe his

wounded heart,

which is all

the Universe.

Even God needed

to turn his back on

pain,

for just a moment,

and be alone with joy.

To let the wars rage

and hide inside

a flower.

One good man is a start.

Who can carry the world?

Carry yourself.

And let a bit of happiness

keep you

from crumbling.

 

Back To Top

 

 

A Prayer For Something Good

 

Please help a door of

light

to open in this sky of

black,

please help my heart to

live again.

Please translate these hot burning

tears that have

emptied me of

youthís sweet dreams

into the language of the vision

I waited for

forever.

Just one glimpse,

just one night,

just one season

to blossom,

just one sign

that the orphan has a mother,

somewhere,

that every now and then

a trace of love

called regret

still binds her

to him,

the most unwanted child,

saves him from

utter aloneness,

from the unforgiving void

that has seeped into his soul

like cold rain

leaking into a house

with a broken roof;

please

light the match of love,

even if there is no candle

or lantern

to hold it,

even if it is just one dying

flash in the

night, fizzling out

at the very moment of its birth,

let it illuminate

a face that cares

in its vacillating, doomed glow

before the swarming hungry

shadows shut it down.

Then Iíll know

that the night

contains love,

that the pain

contains something beautiful,

that the long dark road

was not in vain,

that though it came from

nowhere

and led nowhere,

there was still something

that mattered

on the way.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Life In Prison

 

I canít afford to live

in this darkness every day.

I canít afford to live

in this blackness every day -

in this night without a day.

I canít afford

to live this way,

without a sunrise.

Iím going to have to take charge

of this empty world,

just like God,

Iím going to have to make it

all over again

with my need to be happy.

Let there be light!

Let the seas be filled with fishes

and the land be filled

with animals

and the skies

be filled with winged singing multitudes.

Let there be man

and woman, let there be love,

let there be light.

Nothing - it

forces you to be

a magician;

otherwise,

youíll just go down

like the arctic sun

without ever rising.

Nothing - it

forces you to

conjure up spells

from your loneliness,

to pull white rabbits

out of the blackest hat.

You can make

joy.

When itís not there

you can make it.

When you have to.

When youíre all alone

in a prison cell

you can

search out

the tiny spider

who is sure to be hidden

in the corner,

for her

itís not a prison cell,

itís a world.

You can watch her

and let her become your eyes.

You can let the tiny

miraculous web

she spins,

that intricate thread

like jewelry made

of herself,

give your

life back to you.

You, too, can spin

such fantasies,

such new ways

of looking at

things,

turn a prison cell

into a universe

when you have to.

And the time has come

in my life

to leave behind my sense

of justice,

my sense of what the world

has done to me,

and to accept

the bullethole

in my body

as my world,

more real than right or wrong;

and to give up this agonizing

motherhood

of dreams,

this unbearable pain

of carrying unborn children

nowhere.

To let what will be

surround me,

to breathe what will be

and what does not come

from me.

No, the fuel of desperation

has burned up all the time

I had to make myself

believe.

Hope is cruel to those

who find nothing

behind its door;

and the bars in the way

are bleeding me

to death.

Until I can find life

inside the prison,

I will have no life

with which

to fight for life.

Until I can make this

darkness shine,

I will never see.

Until I can find the infiniteness

within my tiny cell,

I will never have room

to move,

to change.

I used to think that hating

captivity

was the only way

I could escape from it.

I lived where I wanted to be,

I only came to where I was

as a way of trying to leave it.

But you can only look

outside the prison window

for so long

before the vision outside the window

begins to crush you;

before it turns from friend

to foe,

before its green hills

begin to destroy you.

And looking outside the window,

you begin to die.

It is as if you had torn the heart

from your body,

and put it where you

were not.

And who can live

without his heart,

beating in his chest?

Who can live without

blood flowing through the veins

of where he actually is?

A stone in your hand

has the power of a mountain

that is far away.

In prison,

that is an important thing to remember.

 

Sometimes there is no sunrise.

Only an act of will.

 

Let there be light!

 

Let there be light!

 

Let there be life!

 

Even here,

 in prison.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Saturn Said

 

Saturn said

not now

not yet.

 

Youíll wear me like a

heavy chain

all the way to liberty:

the son of pain

that bears wisdom.

Youíll be my

grandchild,

flowering after

a generation of

dreams

has been broken

by your heart

wanting

what it can only destroy

by not

being ready.

Iíll make you ready,

and youíll hate me

for every inch

I make you grow.

But I wonít let you fail

by giving it to you

early:

when it comes

youíll know what it

is,

and you wonít let it fall.

Success is a gift;

not having it

makes it a treasure.

Your lost time,

your years of dying

will make

it beautiful,

youíll know how to hold it,

how to keep it from breaking,

after

Iím through

with you.

 

Saturn said

not now

not yet.

Youíll serve my purpose.

Without understanding yet,

seeing only the pieces

of the puzzle

that hurt the most.

Iíll give you

the defeats

victory is made of.

Youíll serve my purpose.

 

For now,

my weight

must crush whatís left of

your frivolity,

your ego,

I donít give such things

to people

who fear to spread

everything they are

like seeds

from a golden flower.

Iíll ride on your back

till your fear eats through

itself, to fearlessness,

till the color of everything

that held you back

is faded,

till you finally stand alone

with nothing left to live for

except what I want.

Which is what they need:

the reason

you are here.

 

Saturn said

not now

not yet.

Your wasted energy must die,

used up by mistakes,

your deafness must find its way

to listening,

Iíll make sound

be the only way out

until you can hear.

 

Iíll make her beautiful,

and whisper another country

in her ear.

Iíll make your talent shine

and cover it over.

Iíll put out your lights,

the ones you are living for,

so the bombs of you getting it too soon

won't be able to find you.

Iíll make your heart as big

as the sea,

and Iíll give it a pond-sized hole

to live in.

Iíll make you curse God.

Screaming at the night,

youíll find yourself,

one day after the last straw.

 

Saturn said

not now

not yet.

 

Soon.

The pain

is almost enough.

 

Saturn said

not now

not yet.

 

Soon.

 

The soon that looks the same as never.

 

But it's not.

 

It's the soon you need.

 

The one that will only come

after you should have stopped

believing in it.

 

Saturn said.

 

Great Saturn said...

 

Back To Top

 

 

Young Tree

 

On seeing a small sapling that had begun to grow in a yard.

 

Young tree

they wonít ever

let you be

taller than that.

 

Back To Top

 

 

God Of The Block

 

Thereís the God

of the block

lying face down

in a pool of blood.

The road of drugs,

the 9 mm road,

only goes so far.

The beautiful women

scattered

like a flock of crows

when the shot

was fired,

but now

they just came back

to roost

in the tree

that was never you.

It was always just

the tree.

And your favorite song is going by

now

in some other gangsterís

car.

ĎCause it was never you.

It was always just

the tree.

Who was going

to love you

if even you

couldnít,

if even you

didnít?

And it was never you.

It was always

just the tree.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Capework 

 

On seeing some people handling a cape, in the manner of bullfighters, during a party.

 

Their capework.

It was nothing.

Because there was

no bull.

All the beauty

of their imaginary passes,

all their skill

and brilliance

was empty;

it was nothing

next to your simple survival,

your penniless grace,

your invisible unbowed soul.

 

Because you faced the bull.

The horns

of an unfair life,

the dark power of

the injustice

they let run wild

passed within inches

of your heart.

You stood your ground.

You didnít give up anything,

though they never saw you,

never praised you.

 

No, you didnít

turn the cape

like them - the ones who got all the cheers.

But you were with a bull.

They werenít.

 

Back To Top

 

 

The Rock

 

The rock

takes it.

Another day

it doesnít break.

The rock

takes it.

You think:

"Itís a rock.

Of course it takes it."

You donít know

all the things that go on

inside a rock.

 

You donít know

what a rock is.

Itís not just something hard

that doesnít feel.

Itís a pain

youíll never know.

Itís wanting to break into a million pieces

every minute

just like glass,

but somehow not.

Itís feeling every blow,

but hanging on.

Itís trying to find a reason to go on,

and going on

anyway.

Itís a tidal wave

of crying

youíll never see,

a whole invisible disaster zone

that wonít let its blood come out,

because thereís no one there

who cares,

and nothing between

strength and weakness.

Itís wondering

if the sun will rise

but deciding to rise up

with or without it.

Itís taking a vow

not to let it all end

on oneís knees,

not knowing why.

(Why does the moon

come up in the night?

It just does.)

Itís dying every day

without anyone else knowing,

yet going on after death,

like a spirit that wonít leave

the house,

faithful to something

that never had a chance.

Itís being killed by injustices which

others donít even know exist,

but always coming back

from beyond the grave,

like a wave of the Universe

that has to make it

to the shore

one last time,

to say "No!"

Itís staying

in spite of everything,

because otherwise

what would be here?

 

The rock

takes it.

Another day

it doesnít break.

The rock

takes it.

You think:

"Itís a rock.

Of course it takes it."

You donít know

all the things that go on

inside a rock.

 

Back To Top

 

 

 

Holding The Place

 

An allusion is made to WB Yeats' poem "The Rose Tree", which remembers Ireland's fallen from the Easter Rebellion of 1916.

 

Itís not me.

Itís the place I hold,

just like the men of old.

The fortress of my kind

guards the most beautiful part of

life

and cannot be allowed to fall:

or else mankind falls,

its proud spark lost,

its fire dead,

its flimsy justification

before the court of night

dwarfed by its sins,

and by madness

that no wild beast

would stoop to,

each being within its role

while we, alone, are

outside of ours,

on the bottom

of the tallest ladder.

 

Itís not me.

Itís the place I hold,

just like the men of old

who came and went

sometimes with a noose about their neck

or a bullet in their heart,

spit upon or left behind,

yet they were the last light left

in the deepest dark,

and what kept the human

soul and mind

from failing

with every triumph of a fool.

I wonít desert my post

in honor of the greatness

of what they did,

Iíll cherish the unhappiness

that comes from seeing the tower

not lived in,

Iíll fight on for the highest

part of this wreck

called history.

Iíll step into the line

where my brothers fell,

the ones who

inspired my childís eye by standing

up to the storm

with their own storm of beauty,

dooming them, as it turned the heart

of each into a star,

shining forever in the darkened sky

where dreamers look

to find whatís left of life,

which is what it could be

and has never been;

Iíll fill the gap

of the ones who fell giving birth

while all the rest of the earth

was barren,

the ones who brought forth another noble generation

to live among villains;

the ones who

watered the rose bush

with their blood.

 

Itís not me.

Itís the place I hold,

just like the men of old.

What I do or donít isnít in my hands,

and my life or death matter little,

Iím just a man;

my time is not mine,

but belongs to my kind,

to the strand of color God preserves

in this wilderness of gray,

through us:

which is the only reason

we should not crawl

back into the sea

and vanish,

banished by the sacrilege

of our misunderstanding.

So let fear fade,

let destiny roll me over,

let me join the beautiful ones,

more beautiful than angels because

they had no wings.

Let me be nothing

if need be,

throw everything that is not

great away,

even if greatness

is lost in the eyes of others

by doing so;

let me live true

to the constellation that is above,

and lose the battle of the dirt,

if need be let me die,

another one,

to keep the wheel of hope

turning,

to light up one more childís eyes

with an unbroken life

and worthy dream,

a lesson that it can be done,

that sometimes "lost" is "won"

when it saves

the soul of the unborn

and keeps Paradise from

deserting the imagination

of the damned.

 

Itís not me.

Itís the place I hold,

just like the men of old.

I am a part,

not ME,

just a part,

and the battle

cannot destroy me;

only running

from the battle.

I am mankindís shining hem,

a bridge between the heroes of yesterday

and tomorrowís unfolding prey,

I am the one

who keeps the sun moving

towards the day,

I am a place,

a post,

a position,

not a man,

I am a fortress that must be held,

a part of the Universe

that must be lived and felt

in order not to die,

a crown of fire

that will blacken and

atrophy,

if not worn well,

though it burn the head

of hope

with visions that bring forth

all the fears of Hell,

unleashed by the weak:

all the terrible power of mediocrity

which always seeks

the pit,

the lowest hole

in which to build its city.

I am not a man,

not a ME who can be killed,

I am a post,

not to be deserted,

an opening to receive

the hope of the world,

Godís dawn,

and let it flow through me

into the belief

of those who the darkness

seeks to crush

by hiding everything that is not

itself.

I am a window

in the darkened room

to disprove

the truth of the night

with the truth of the day.

It's not me,

but what I let in.

I am the son of Pearse,

who watered the rose bush

with his blood -

not free from fear,

but so in love

with the stars that will not give up

nor come down from above,

that I must yield to the destiny

of this sacred post,

to the fortress of my kind, and

surrender the ME that would run away,

to stand here, dying

with my brothers,

till the end of time.

 

Back To Top 

 

Homage To Ireland

 

Fairy-haunted paths,

mountains of green,

misty dawns

and surf of the sea,

sacred land

of ancient dreams,

I ran from you

and you drew back

from me.

 

Why did I do it?

Why did I leave?

What was it that her heartís

harp did to me?

I still see her braids

and her blushing cheeks

beside the palace of the life

I did not seek.

 

And now it haunts me

this emptiness,

this heritage I found

and then just left.

A soul so familiar

it would have let me in

if I had only knocked on the door

of Ireland.

 

The sad and moving history

thatís in every wood,

in every meadow, and by every

stone understood.

The history of visions

and poetry,

of freedomís spirit

and liberty.

And now it just asks:

Who is he?

 

Fairies and gold

and fireplaces,

nighttime stories

of the ancient races

and ruins of hallways

where some lost king paces,

and pieces of memory

in village faces.

 

As crushed fruit

leaves sweet juice

in the mouth of man,

so slain heroes

leave beautiful songs

all over the hills

of Ireland.

They wake me from sleep,

and rouse me to stand:

To show the world

what Irish blood

does in a man.

 

And mystics, they say,

of yesterday,

who died and left with

the olden ways,

remain as true

as life and fate

if you will not betray the morning mist,

nor believe too much

in the light of day.

 

O Ireland, O Ireland

how could I forget?

Youíre just a tiny island

- and yet -

My lifeís tied to you

like cords to a harp.

When the wind blows over you

it moves my heart.

 

Back To Top

 

 

Proud Stand   

 

 

My love was broken

but my plume stood high,

alone on the hilltop

I vowed to die.

My proud spear sought

an enemy to fell me.

 

Because birds can flee,

I burned my wings

the way you burned

my heart.

As low as you

made me feel,

inversely tall I stood

to take the arrow well.

Most men die

while they're still alive,

and persist pitifully as ghosts

beneath the shadow

of false thrones.

Not I.

I vowed to be a

proud corpse;

stolen from love, no

king could make me cower.

You gave me courage

by leaving me nothing but

a hilltop

in the cold wind,

a final battleground

to wreak havoc upon myself

for the sin

of losing you.

 

Proud of my darkened heart's silhouette

in the twilight of

your absence -

proud of the blood

I still had to give,

that you would not

stay for -

I vowed to be a hero:

because there was no longer

any reason

not to be.

 

Back To Top 

 

 

Love, True Love

 

 

Love,

true love,

in this world

is as rare

as a unicorn.

There may

only be

narwhals.

 

Love,

true love.

There was you.

There was me.

There was

waking up.

 

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Pain Factory   

 

Pain factory

is open,

production's at

an all-time high,

everything pain can

make,

from poems to

songs is coming out.

There are a hundred beautiful

things

you can do with

tears.

 

Pain factory's

open,

building a new world

from the ground up.

Towers of anguish

fleeing from down

can only

go up,

soon Weeping

will reach God.

 

Pain factory's

open,

no sunshine sleeping

here,

a whole new world's

being born.

One day

maybe

what your crying's made

will be enough.

 

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Snow Will Come Again  

 

Snow will come again

to make the earth white.

After this long wait,

snow will come again. 

 

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