Poems From Last Weekend

Numbing the Hand

Warm hands, warm heart
Cold hands, warm heart
Numb hands, numb heart.

The hand that feeds
Is numb to your desires.
The desires of the heart
Are not felt in the outer extremities.

A rose with thorns
Leaves no sting on numb hands.
The companionship of held hands
Numbed.

Numb hands, numb heart.

 

Love Is Something So Divine

Love is something so divine
That it overlooks these numb hands of mine.
No ice melt water or slushy churn
Can halt me from the unflinching burn
Of that passionate halo – Love.

 

In Dreams You Appeared

In dreams you appeared
In flammable seaweed
Walking to shore with a cigarette in hand.

You light your cigarette
Setting yourself and all the shoreline on fire.

You represent the oil spill of my life
Contaminating my essence
Destroying the love that is divine.

Dance

If you put your head on my chest,

you can hear my heart playing the drums.

If you put a seashell up to your ear,

you can hear the Beatles.

If you put your ear to the ground,

you can hear the earth ticking.

It won’t be long now until

you and I and everything

are buried by water and sand and

all of this,

the fighting and the fucking,

will mean nothing.

Look at the stars.

Turn the music up.

Let’s

dance.

-Copyright Timothy Downs

Taste of Infinity

I tasted Infinity last night
Right on the tip of my tongue
It’s sweetness was overwhelming
We danced in the moonlight of many earths
The suns were pinpricks, too many to count
The silence was deafening, but was a beautiful song
Our hearts were joy and we became one

 

 

Copyright Don MacLeod

 

The Unliving

We are the unliving
Unliving our lives
Not wanting the life we live
Doing nothing to change it
Doing nothing to break the cycle
Dragging ourselves through the day
Afraid to ask for help
Afraid to tell the truth
Fear is our constant companion
Small most days, but constant
It dictates our every word
It dictates our every decision
This small worm, an infection making us the unliving
We have to take the medicine to cure this infection
We have to take the medicine that will make us brave
That medicine is called love
It’s a powerful medicine
But it’s hard for us to swallow
We don’t think that we deserve it
We fear it’s not true
We fear
Take your medicine
Share your medicine
Receive the medicine you are given
There is an abundant supply in every breath
Encourage others to take their medicine We can not live this life in fear
This world can not live this life in fear
Love is not sex
Sex is not love
We get those confused
Love comes from the heart
Love is received by the heart
It’s time to stop this unliving
It’s time just stop this unloving
For all of us
It’s time for all of us to live our lives
It’s  time for all of us to love our lives

This is the Boundary Waters

There’s nothing as special as the earliest morning light, as it spills over the horizon, reflecting in the tiny drops of dew hanging from the pine trees in the forest. The coolness of the fresh air, the silence of the lake and the haunting call from a loon somewhere out on the water.

This is morning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. It’s tranquil and serene. It’s where my heart and soul regenerate and where my mind slips away from all time.

Where casting off in a canoe and setting my paddle into the water is like holding hands with a loved one. It’s a place where one can breathe and sleep undisturbed under an unequivocally and brilliantly depthless field of stars.

Industrialization has no place here, this is for the wild, the pure, the natural world where the bears roam and the deer wander and people can regain a sense of self and wonder.

This is where the rains soak deep into the thick moss carpeting islands of granite, replenishing groves of uncultivated, rich blueberries.

This is a haven of pure spiritualism, freedom and peace, this is the Boundary Waters

A Wretched Tone

The morning started out wrong right from the beginning; I had no coffee, and it seemed as though everyone on the road had it out for me, a narcissistic notion I know. But I was determined to turn it around. And I did.

The power of the musical note is amazing to me and it always has been, I knew early on as a young child that music did something to me; it got under my skin and made me feel things. I have never really had a particular distaste of a certain style, if the notes that rung out and the beat and the harmony struck my soul and made me feel good I accepted it, I absorbed it and let it wash over me like a cool spring rain.

My mother loved listening to Helen Reddy and Buffalo Springfield and all those bands from the 60’s and 70’s like Iron Butterfly and Led Zeppelin. Later when I was in high school she and I would share some smoke, the kind that whirls around inside your head and takes you to another place, a far off place and then we would crank the old wood box speakers up and lay vinyl on the Panasonic record player and jump around the room to Joe Walsh’s Life’s Been Good and Funk #49 until we collapsed on the beige pit couch in the late afternoon sun.

When I was out of school for the summer I would climb up into the cab of my dad’s rumbling Mack truck and watch him manhandle that old manual transmission as we lurched forward down the road with Kenny Rogers’ smooth raspy voice spilling out of the cab’s speakers.

I loved music, I awoke for school to it and even had one of those giant portable tape cassettes attached to my belt and enjoyed that sharp plastic snapping sound when I changed out the tape for another. As I grew older my affection for music grew larger and more eccentric. It comforted me when I was alone and scared, and it pumped me up when I would crawl out and lie on the roof of the old house and bask in the sun and smoke a joint. The sounds of steel guitars and pulsating drums and the rich, heartfelt stories of pained artists crying out from somewhere deep inside themselves turned me on.

Sometimes I felt like the singer was telling my story and sometimes I fantasized I was the character they crooned about. When my father was killed I listened to music to quell the pain and celebrate him at the same time. When I started working I found a way to listen to music every chance I could, even now I play it all day at my desk, all kinds, Hank Williams, Hank Jr and his kid too, Heart, Green Day, Pure Prairie League and Wheezer. My kids have grown up with me singing to my favorite songs every time we climb into my car, and they have learned the words and enjoy hollering them out along with me on the way to the dentist.

I have a deep appreciation for music, it has a place in my heart and my life, always has, always will. We all have certain songs that mean something to each of us, the words are echoes of our own pains or celebrations or feelings we didn’t even know we had. Who knew “When the words are said, baby, I lose my head” from Andy Gibb’s Shadow Dancing would be my first love song to a girl in sixth grade.

But as much as I yearn every day to hear songs of old and discover new ones along the way that capture my changing spirit, I detest the times a treasured song strikes me deep where it hurts and continues to wrap it’s sharp claws around my bleeding heart. There are songs I couldn’t wait to hear that now I struggle to breathe to when it plays and flows like a strange icy breeze around my ears in the middle of an August heat. I hear the very first notes, and feel the rhythm and know my heart will break, but I can’t stop it, I need to hear it again and again even though it feels as though all of the blood has been drained from my body already, and I drift away once more with its wretched tone, because it holds a specific and intense paralyzing affect on me.

Music has its place in my world and it always will, it has become an enveloping, organic being that both comforts and destroys me repeatedly.

Part Time

He paused just outside the door to his apartment, key in hand. He could hear the sweet sounds of his children inside, their laughter and banter. It was like crisp, cool water running across the dusty shelves in his soul. He smiled, and he listened. Since leaving their home and their mother he has missed the daily sounds of his kids, only getting to experience it on a part time basis. In short spurts he sees them in the morning and gets to tuck them in at night. He’s grown to hate the look of their bags lying about waiting to be repacked and carried away with their hugs and their kisses; he wishes they would never have to leave.

He stays up just a little too late each night not wanting it to end, and when he comes home from his second job at night on the weekends at 3am, he stands in the doorway to their bedroom, watching them as they sleep, their tender little chests rising and falling, he tucks back in their toes sticking out from the end of the blankets and pulls the covers up as kisses them. Then he silently says a prayer begging his god to keep them safe when they are away. That night he sleeps restlessly because he can’t wait for morning so he can make them breakfast and sit around the table they built together planning their day.

On their last day with him he has to work, so when he comes home at the end of the day and he pauses at the door its silent, no laughter, no giggling, there are no voices. He doesn’t want to open the door; he checks the number on the door and finally goes in, sets down his lunch box, removes his shoes and stands in the doorway of their bedroom. Their beds are made and their bags are gone and his heart begins to ache terribly, he tries to catch his breath but it shallows and he finds it hard to swallow. As the night goes on the color from the sun seems to fade, the air grows stale and he misses them and he wonders just how long his heart can take it.