all for you

i crush my cigarette in the ash tray one last time
one last time i feel the sweet heavy burden on my chest
we weren’t meant to live forever, i heard someone say
steel resolve pulses through my veins
i may not live forever…

…but i won’t leave her to face it all alone

it’s all for you, i cry with silent tears
to meet your needs and ease your fears
a child inside breaks
the strain of too much reality
i never asked to be born, he whispers painfully
i did not ask for this…

…i stand silently and awkwardly
allowing the moment of weakness to pass
before changing the subject to ease the tension

it’s not that truth is so bad… no… not really
it’s that lies are so much more comfortable
it’s that life is hard enough when you’re keeping track of lies
even without adding the burden of truth

in the background, a child’s cry can still be heard
softly now, rhythmic like a rocking chair
gently caressing and soothing itself with misery

it’s all for you, i heard her say
i’m waiting, softly waiting,
hoping you will make it to me
hoping for what could and will be

Discovering Anselm Kiefer

It was the fall of 2001. 9/11 was on the horizon. I was studying in Denmark for a semester and enjoying the early autumn light. My fellow students and I were given tours of several attractions and museums early in the semester. I was introduced to Anselm Kiefer’s work at the Louisiana Museum.

I was captivated instantly when I saw Kiefer’s paintings. They had an industrial quality to them that spoke to me of the sadness and despair of the modern era. Factories, concrete, fascism, and war are themes that jump out to me. There was something lost to the civilized world during that period.I’m not exactly advocating tree hugging, but a sadness crept into the world with the loss of natural beauty and the introduction of smog, grinding metallic sounds, and cold steel.

Gone are the days of warm tones and gentle breezes, peaceful meadows and openhearted human interaction. Kiefer depicted this change with such power. Swirling greys and blacks, smokestacks and the loss of color.I do not recommend his work to anyone looking for a cheerful, uplifting scene. However, the emotional realism conveyed in his work reminds us what we’ve forsaken, and causes the human heart to appreciate the cost of “forward progress” by experiencing a sharp sense of loss. I am told that not all of Kiefer’s work is so grey. I am told that some of it is even quite elegant and beautiful.

For some reason, I am surprised. How does a man find it within himself to evoke both the depths and the heights of existence from his soul and pour them out onto canvas?

how to save a life

i saw horrible things, my dear
horribly wasted innocent babies
your stomach would turn
eyes would bleed
and hearts would swell

we live in a beautiful world
choose your glances carefully
shrivelled grass and skin
blow in the wind like torn pages

life is but a dream, they say
tortured by bandits & penniless drifters
neon markets and cannibals’ songs
whispers carried softly upon stale breath

can you see

i saw horrible things, my dear horribly wasted innocent babies

your stomach would turn eyes would bleed and hearts would swell

we live in a beautiful world choose your glances carefully

shrivelled grass and skin blow in the wind like torn pages

life is but a dream, they say tortured by bandits & penniless drifters

neon markets and cannibals’ songs whispers carried softly upon stale breath Â

On Maturation

Some day your voice will mature, having lived many more years. Having shed many more tears.
You will know more about yourself. You will have earned the right to have something to say.
When the days of testosterone madness and crazed manic proclamations have evaporated.
Perhaps a small book could be squeezed from your veins.
There’s a reason why God gave the elderly less energy. Wisdom doesn’t run after every hair-brained scheme. Less foolishness requires less energy.
Sit and ponder awhile. Stop, rest from your doing and just be be who you are. No tinsel. No gawdy things to make you feel special.
Sit in silence and know your God.
Having done this – awkwardly at first – then, IF you truly commit, you will be ready to write.