As many men made monuments And many more were making still, I built the scaffold with intents To also boast upon this hill. A structure great enough to show The splendor of my work and craft To those who saw it may they know That this is glory that will last. They saw that it was thin and square And lacking any artistry So full of holes exposed to air And did not look a bit like me. But when my children looked and saw The magnum opus of my soul They jumped with glee and stood in awe And knew at once what was their role. They built their structure from the base I flattened down and leveled true, And worked to quicken up their pace Until their craft was finished too. The day had come to now unveil As people gathered 'round to mock. A rocket ship that soon would sail To places far beyond the stars. The people all beheld the sight The hill that shook so violently As fire soared across the sky Our monument for all to see.
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.”
With attraction like droplets of water alive
And my grasping surpassing the tension within,
As the surface’s tips interact once aligned
Electricity static like lips in a kiss.
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.
When the cracks of my heart that are lacquered in gold
Are revealing a past that I wish went untold,
I must honor the potter whose scars are like mine
For he tells me my breaking fulfills his design.
Like the rubber of ducks
I am stretched ’til it hurts,
But the pain could be worse.
I could snap into two
Or be forced to return
To the shape that I was,
To the place I’d begun.
In the furnace of steel and the surface of sand
Are the burnishing yieldings of personal plans.
And my friction with you gives conviction to prove
That the mixture of two is a picture of truth.
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.
My most favorite person is misunderstood
Because none of the sheep could have known what they heard.
He just rolled up his sleeves and embraced who he could.
There were many who did not accept his new word
But to him it was good because one day they would
And until that day comes he’ll keep feeding the herd.
I imagine that there is no trick to rewind
To a time when my ignorant self could be blind.
With the eyes that I have and the truth in my mind,
I’ve been written anew like a word redefined.