A Pillar of Stones

My regrets were a pillar of unsteady stones

As it propped up a roof that was littered with holes.

In the rain I was cold and at night so exposed

But I knew nothing else but this shack I called home.

 

With the threat of collapse looming just overhead

Came a knock at the door from a stranger instead.

“I am sorry… I’d answer your knocking,” I said,

“But I’m holding the pillar upholding this shed.”

 

Silhouetting the doorway, the man had begun,

“I have heard from your friend, which is why I have come —

He’s the expert repairman, and I am his son.

Please let go, and then exit this shanty at once.”

 

“I refuse,” came the words before I myself knew,

“I’m afraid to let go,” were what followed them too.

His response was a sigh as he entered the room,

“I suppose I must break some unfortunate news.”

 

“There’s a storm on the way, and the biggest they’ve seen.

And a storm of that size will wipe all of this clean.

So it’s hopeless to tie yourself down to that beam.

If you stay, you will die, do you get what I mean?”

 

“So I’m destined to perish here no matter what?

Since my arms are the only thing holding this up?”

To my horror, my hands began shaking because

I could not even stomach that sickening thought.

 

As the pillar responded with creaking and groans

The repairman supported the column of stones.

With his arms wrapped above, he responded below,

“Do you see? I will hold it so you can let go.”

 

Though my body was stiffened and stuck in one place,

I released my two hands ’til they hung at my waist.

When the thrill of the motion had coursed through my veins,

I took off like an animal fleeing a chase.

 

I was greeted by clouds hanging low to the north

With a wind and a fury of waves surging forth.

As my eyesight adjusted, I turned to my home

Whose foundations had caved with a terrible force.

 

Was my life in that shack worth the risk for this man?

Was there something he knew that I can’t understand?

My regrets were a pillar of now fallen stones

That collapsed on my rescuer, breaking his bones.

 

In a rush I collapsed to my knees and began

To unearth all the ruins as quick as I can.

With complete disregard for the pain in my hands

And a fear that his trade was a part of his plan.

 

From the rubble he rose slightly worse for the wear,

“I’m afraid that your home is in need of repair.”

He remarked with a grin and a brush of his hair,

“We were lucky it fell when you weren’t in there.”

 

“Let us leave for my house while the weather is fair.

We’ve a room you can use that’s already prepared,”

He was hurt but unfazed like a victor declared.

“And we’ll start the rebuilding whenever you care.”

Snow Numb

There are echoes of snow-crunching boots

On these tracks I have tread in the past,

With a new slice of ice underneath

That has deepened a fear of my mass.

 

As my tremorous knees seek relief,

Through the fog I perceive solid ground,

But the crackings strike chills in my ears

As the stinging of frost bite my crown.

 

Yet the sight of the driftings above

Which are pregnant with blanketing snow

Are the markers of time marching on

Never pausing or ceasing to flow.

 

‘Though my feet, which are frozen in fear,

Are unwilling to move like the skies,

I shall do as the heavenlies do

And awaken this sleeper of mine.

 

 

The Most Difficult Thing to Do

When we witness the violence that people commit

We declare that these monsters we cannot permit.

Yet it’s strange that we humans will never admit

That they also are humans, not demons from myth.

 

It is humans who rip away mother from child

And the same who would trample a fellow when riled.

And the instant we glance at the skulls we have piled

We will know in our hearts that our race is defiled.

 

But acknowledging this is a beautiful thought,

Because monsters are creatures who cannot be fought.

And accepting the truth can more often than not

Redirect our attention to things we forgot.

 

That despite the injustice mankind can display

We can harness a goodness in much the same way

By perceiving each other as people who stray

And then showing true mercy as well as good grace.

 

 

The Hanging Garden

In a land far away in both distance and time,

A young architect drew up a project sublime

For the woman he loved who would wistfully sigh

When recalling her home and the garden outside.

 

“In my hand is a plan for a tower so grand

That it shall be the greatest in all of the land.

The exotic and verdant will spill from the stone

And with flowers more gorgeous than she’s ever known.”

 

With the laborers gathered the work was begun,

The young architect toiling until it was done.

Not a person could tell what the construct was for

They all pondered the meaning of so many floors.

 

Yet the woman he loved was amazed in delight

As the green of the garden hung high in the sky.

The expression she wore was like nothing he’d seen,

She had wide open eyes and a grin so serene.

 

And he thought to himself that when it is complete

“There would surely be nothing in life that’s as sweet.”

So the young man returned to the labor once more.

For the sake of the smile of the one he adored.

 

Then as years came and went the young man had grown old

But the feelings he harbored had not yet gone cold.

So he sought out the woman to give her this wish

That he spent all his life wrapping up like a gift.

 

The old man found her grave upon asking around,

So ornate and resplendent with flowers from town

Upon placing a rose on the grave of the queen

He returned satisfied to the garden unseen

 

For the queen of the kingdom could never have been

Any more than a distant, untouchable dream.

As he looked from the top of his tower above

He could now perhaps be with the woman he loved.