Honeybee

I have spent my time flying towards the sweeter things in life.

This incessant humming in my head

drives me to work in microscopic details,

collecting powdered bits and pieces of whatever I can

in order to build something bigger than myself.

There are days when I feel that I am nothing more

than a vessel for my work;

my body a hive for words that stick to my insides

and drip from my mouth

glowing and golden.

My stripes are the lines of black font and fortitude

I press into flower petal pages.

They serve as a warning: Beware of Writer.

Be cautious of me, for when I am at work, that’s all I see.

Do not try to stall or stop my wings.

Instead, marvel at the garden I leave behind.

I am a collection of

pastel petals and rich nectar,

along with all the beeswax and elbow grease it takes

to bring them into being.

My buzzing is a sign I am alive and a song of joy.

How happy I am to be at work with purpose

that keeps the world turning.

To pollinate the earth with pockets of words

and whatever optimism I have to offer

is enough to propel me upward.

How glorious it is to kiss the sky.

Requiem for Loneliness: An Emulation of Dr. Seuss


The following is an emulation of Dr. Seuss based on an excerpt from his book 
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! As graduation approaches, I find this work strikes a chord in me about my fears as to what I am about to leave behind. The following emulation is an attempt to comment on that. All words are my own, with the exception of the first stanza in italics, which is the work of Dr. Seuss himself. 


All alone!
Whether you like it or not,
alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

At first you won’t like it.
That’s simple to say.
Alone is something we’re taught
to avoid every day.

But sooner or later
you’ll be by yourself
and find that there is
immense value and wealth
in sitting in silence
and learning to listen.
The world breathes in with a sigh
and out with a hiss.

And then comes a calm,
of a most glorious sort,
where you are king of the castle,
queen of the fort in your heart,
and the master of your mind.
In quiet we learn
to be patient and kind.

By yourself you can learn
how to get to know you,
and really
that’s the only time you get to.

So learn to take loneliness
into your arms as a friend.
Sooner or later
it will come to an end.

And after,
as you step into the sun,
you’ll hear all hearts of the world
beating as one.

Haunting

I am the words you put to me.
Just as a song becomes a symphony,
a book becomes a trilogy,
a drop of water pools and pulses at the center of the ocean,
I am a sum of my parts.

And every title, every label, every clothesline of words
pins to my heart and billows in the wake of my breath.
Words are inescapable.
They are the most invasive of house guests, as they pay no heed
to call times of convenience when they kick the front door down
and take it upon themselves to remodel your house.

And then there will be times where they won’t appear at all.
They vanish so fast you’d swear they were smoke,
only the detector tells your mind it is lying to itself.
All that is real is what we can hear, see, and feel,
and this absolute absence haunts like a ghost intent
on pushing all my furniture an inch to the left.

I try to calibrate my property worth,
but my addition signs become ellipses as I search for
a common language between
mathematics and poetry.
There are times when they translate like twins, and times when
they could not be more polar.
How do you find the value of ‘x’
when all you can quantify it as is
the negative value of a poltergeist?

I am the words you put to me.
The words I put to myself count as well,
but I am sorely lacking.
All I can hear is the memory of a creaky floorboard 
that has long since stopped squeaking.
So, I am waiting to be haunted.
Waiting for a train to rumble down the track,
to blow the whistle
that will wake what makes lights flicker.
Waiting for the ghoul in the basement
to beat out a rhythm on water-pipes that I can dance to.

I wait for love.
I have known it most when I am possessed by some
otherworldly force, so I try to replicate what it means
to be a host.
The doors are left wide open in hopes of something settling in,
but I am robbed instead.
This is not an exorcism I asked for.
I was content with all that would
drag me to the rooftops and let me dangle there.
The view is lovely.

I am the words you put to me.
All I can see are ‘For Sale’ signs.
With a fresh coat of paint and some elbow grease,
I’ll be good as new.
Just another house-number along a generic string
of mahogany doors and terracotta tiles.
Miles upon miles of respectable neighborhoods,
void of originality.
But I am not content
to exist without my soul.

I miss my ghosts.
I miss the way they would shake my bed
as they rocked me to sleep the only way they knew how.
I miss their breath on my neck, and the caress of their fingertips,
urging my pen to move.

There are times when I get so lonely for them,
I climb up to the rooftops and just
dangle there.
Waiting for my body to contort as I let myself drop
into the safety net of words I have pulled taunt
on the clothesline.

Writing is a tide in how it ebbs and flows;
I don’t doubt its return to me.
Still, I cannot survive without depth for much longer.
As I bake in the sun, all I can recall
is the cool touch of spirit fingers.
I cannot be anything if I am lacking
the most integral part of my blueprint.
Houses cannot stand without walls to brace them,
and I have found my footing in
the voice that spills from my mouth.
To be a medium for the muses, and then just to be
is an unfinished sentence.
The song that could have been, cut down to
disjointed notes and a pitch out of tune.
The book is an anthology of empty pages now.
Existence is the  daunting white space of page breaks
that loom, consequently fracturing my soul.

Who am I without my phantoms?
It is an honest question.
How do I stand when I’ve lost my grounding?
Can my design be rewritten to work without walls?
Do I even want this?
Happiness and haunting
have become synonyms for me.
This lack of words births a limbo so slick
that I claw myself a few syllables away from escape 
only to fall back into silence,
gutted and hollow.
I’ve spent so long in haunted houses,
I can’t appreciate silence in the home.
The blankness in the void it leaves,
scares me more than any horror movie I have ever seen.
Give me kaleidoscope floors and a rattling roof any day.
I will take them without question.
The collection of bits for who I am solidified
by all that is put to me, and hopelessly in love
with the glowing eyes under my bed.