Monday, August 21, 2017

Card Reading in Union Square 8/13/17




“Keep your eyes on the big idea,” said
U, the reader in Union Square, her eyes
Seeing a future in which I’d be fed
What my soul hungers for. “You’re not unwise,”
She said. “But now it’s time for you to be 
The right kind of stupid.” God knows I've been
The wrong kind lately, so it’s time to see
If mindless  faith can be my mortal sin.

U said: “Put your faith in the process, and
Connections will appear.” And I thought of
All the ones that I've severed—planned, unplanned;
From public cut-her-dead to private shove.
They all make me look like a shameless cur,
But I took pride in being so ice cold
That they would see how catty my fake purr
Of friendship was, that once they thought was gold

But turned out to be badly-painted lead.

And as I thought of how all hearts deceive,
“When it comes to your emotions,” U said,
Reading my mind, “don’t weigh them on your sleeve.”
Guilty as charged. And “weigh,” not “wear,” is right.
My feels are heavier than white dwarf stars.
Their gravity weighs down all of my light
So when I give my heart, you see its scars. 

“Create yourself,” U said, “and come to life.”

The artist in me grinned. Identity
Is paint applied with a slim palette knife.
New coats make a new personality.
“What can you do to make yourself the one
Who will go out and change the world?” U asked.
I sighed and thought: yes, but what can be done
When those of us with gifts are always tasked 

By what takes them away, or makes us lose

The urge to use them? What can one soul do
When all feels soulless? Except, maybe, choose
To be a living vessel for the true—
To love the dispossessed and the despised—
To shift a condescending paradigm
That uses data like it’s weaponized
And change the pic one pixel at a time? 

“You will,” U said, “find unconditional

Love—it may be romantic, or just friends.”
And knowing me, I thought, it won’t be dull.
I just hope that it breaks less than it mends.
U said: “You’re moving in the Vortex now
Where the Source lives.” And me, I’m such a geek—
I saw Jack Kirby’s New Gods, and the Tao
Of Physics illustrating what I seek.

“Keep your eyes on your vision,” U declared,

“And you will see abundance fall on you.
It is your time to make what will be shared.
It is your time, not to sit back, but do.
“It’s all about,” she said, “your life’s perfection,”
And I heard: “Make your goal to do the work;
Let more than thoughts come out of introspection;
And when events and people peeve and irk,

Don’t take it personally, but forgive—

And make your heart a home where love can live.”






Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells











Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Weight Behind



I look ahead and it’s all haze and fog.
I look behind and it feels safe and true
Each step ahead feels like I’m in a bog.
Each step behind as snug as an old shoe.

I dream of all the mountains I can climb.
I wake up with a rock inside my gut.
No matter what I do, it’s the wrong time.
Yesterday tugs my leash like I’m its mutt.

But it’s my forward motion that is yanking
The rope around my neck that’s choking me.
So I can stand here, stationary--banking
On Time to cut the cord eventually--

Or reach out for tomorrow’s golden knife
And cut myself free from my former life.


Copyrght 2017 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Amor Fati


             for Coley Campany

Losing is failure—that’s the old equation.
Not winning points to some deficiency.
But underneath the death of deprivation,
Life blows a kiss of opportunity:

The privilege of facing down an end
And forging a beginning out of it—
Which makes disaster or a loss transcend
Failure, till it becomes the opposite.

The soul attracts the reckoning it needs.
With all it faces, nothing’s a mistake.
And if you see no avenue that leads
Beyond calamity, it’s yours to make—

For that by which we thought we would be killed
Is all part of the wreckage we’ll rebuild.



Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Life In 14 Lines - 30




I look back at the places where I’ve been
And only see the ones I never went to.
I’m told how much I’m blessed, but hear the sin
Of failing to accomplish what I meant to.

I feel regret for missteps, like each towed
Me down a path that led to imperfection.
But one step won’t put me on the wrong road
Unless I choose to walk in that direction.

And what else can I do when I look back
Except perceive the single path I carved
Through possibilities, and feel the lack
Of all that could have fed me when I starved?

But they're yesterday's hungers: met, or dead.
Look forward. Feed the ones that lie ahead.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Emotional Second Amendment



Each sunrise hands my heart a loaded gun.
   Each sunset counts the bullets that are left.
I lose the day if I shoot even one.
   I have to hold my fire, or I’m effed.
But that hot trigger strokes each angry kink
   In my self-centered soul. It calls me “Stud!”
It tells me I should rage instead of think
   And meet imaginary slights with blood.
Lashing out is so easy, isn’t it?
   Biting like dogs; clawing like feral cats.
But if I would be human, I must pit
   Restraint against revenge, lay down my gats,
      And heal the hurt my hatred is born of,
      And take a bullet in the name of love.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Month of Couplets - July 2017


From The Daily Couplet:
       Facebook
       Instagram


7/1/17

                   Two Ideas of Love

She says “I love you!” and he feels majestic.
He says “I love you!” and she gets domestic.


7/2/17

False friendship is an empty shopping cart.
True friendship is what blood is to the heart.


7/3/17

Today’s two things—the youngest you will be,
And the oldest moment in your history.


7/4/17

To those who make Democracy a hell:
Freedom is not something you buy or sell.


7/5/17

                 The Rouge Gallery 0112

You’re someone I can share fears, shop-talk, doubt,
And joy with—till my vocal cords give out.


7/6/17

                      Creativity

Something will always fill an empty cup.
Each time you start the car, the road shows up.


7/7/17

             The Rouge Gallery 0411

I laugh when you say you despise flirtation—
You say “I love you!” like it’s punctuation.


7/8/17

I use my love as a defensive measure
To wound myself before I can feel pleasure.


7/9/17

Opposites will attract, like soft to raw.
But similars all marry flaw to flaw.


7/10/17

                  The Rouge Gallery 0612

Your eyes are like two straws into your soul;
Let my eyes be the lips that drink you whole.


7/11/17


Planted and plucked up, with no hope of pardon:
Every life is a flower in death’s garden.


7/12/17

              The Rouge Gallery 1211

Our souls were once so perfectly attuned.
Now we can’t feel a thing that doesn’t wound.


7/13/17

Blame is a lynch mob looking for a tree;
Forgiveness cuts it down and sets you free.


7/14/17

          The Rouge Gallery 1102

If we were still in touch, I’d tell you this:
Each time you spoke my name, it was a kiss.


7/15/17

Anger dive bombs the guiltless in a flash;
Forgiveness parachutes you from the crash.


7/16/17

My heart knows when love looms ahead, the way
A blind man smells the night replace the day.


7/17/17

“I’m jumping ship!” I cry, and down I drop—
And then get pissed off when the boat won’t stop.


7/18/17

Friends are like bank accounts—never invest
In those who fail to show you interest.


7/19/17

When am I most myself, if not when I
Create something that—unlike me—won’t die?


7/20/17

               The Rouge Gallery 0607

You can’t be why I stay, though we both yearn;
But you might be the reason I return.


7/21/17

God’s silence is a book that I will read
And translate with the alphabet of need.


7/22/17

Once Truth was honest and went undefeated;
Now it’s a lie that’s constantly repeated.


7/23/17

                  The Rouge Gallery 1104

You love to count the hearts that felt love for you.
What really counts: how many still adore you.


7/24/17_01

God watches us love, suffer, and forgive
Like we’re all starring on One Life To Live.


7/24/17_02

If I had known I’d live to be this old,
My younger self would have been way more bold.


7/25/17

I feel God’s absence stretch in all directions
Like an unholy map of missed connections.


7/26/17

A good life has no greater dividends
Than the appreciation of great friends.


7/27/17

Let all my future travels be a toast
To all the kindred souls I’ll miss the most.


7/28/17

Our past is not just dead, it’s changed position—
And, like us, altered beyond recognition.


7/29/17

Two demons battle in me while I live:
The urge to curse; the challenge to forgive.


7/30/17

What molting is to birds from pole to pole,
Adversity is to the human soul.


7/31/17

The heart will feel a wound, much deeper than the flesh’ll—
The goodbye hurts because the hello was so special.



Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Monday, July 31, 2017

Odysseus


Farewell, Athena, for I must set sail
  Beyond the world of gods and goddesses
With no blind bard to help me tell my tale
  And no fond owl to show me where home is.
I am alone all home that I will need:
  My son is grown, my wife is long since dead,
And I’ve gone gray; but in me lies a seed
  From which will spring, like you did from God’s head,
Some new adventure or a final love
  Before my battered body gives the ghost.
Smile as you watch my last days from above.
  Know that I’ll live them to the uttermost.
     Look for the setting sun and there I’ll be, 
     Fading in waves across the wine-dark sea.


Copyright 1975, 2017 by Matthew J Wells

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The View Beyond the Cliff


The view beyond the cliff is deep and high.
I stretch my wings and take a long slow breath.
Will they succeed and lift me to the sky
Or fail, and send me falling to my death?

"God--so DRAMATIC!" says a pal beside me.
I laugh. He's right. It isn't do or die.
It's do and live, and find new stars to guide me
Where falling's just a tougher way to fly.

My friends all say "Goodbye!" "Good luck!" "We'll miss you!"
They leave. One stays. It's just who I expect.
She says "Get over here so I can kiss you."
We hug. I can't let go of her. I'm wrecked.

She says "Keep it together" and alone
I step off into the wild blue unknown.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I Didn't Know It Would Be You



                           for Jessica DiGiovanni
                             and Hilary Bettis


I didn’t know it would be you who made
   Me start crying. But when I felt the tears,
I thought: “Of course.” Look at the parts you’ve played
   In everything I’ve done over the years.
I’ve seen you grow and watched you find your way
   When I lost mine; you’ve been a guiding star
Whose brightness glimmered inside every play
   I saw you do. And though I will be far
Away—far far too soon—I will be there
   Beside you—just like you will be with me—
In all you do, no matter when or where,
   Because you’re in my heart eternally.
      Whether your road meets valley, pit, or boulder,
      I’ll be there with you, just beyond your shoulder.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells


Friday, July 28, 2017

Seeds



           for Florencia Lozano


I take the time each day to plant a seed,
   And even then, that doesn’t mean it grows.
Burned by the sun or stifled by a weed,
   Drowned by a thunderstorm, devoured by crows—
It may not ever live to bud and flower
   No matter how I tend it, or I pray.
Over its future life, I have no power.
   Which is why I keep planting, day by day.
I will not live to see this garden grow
   And make seeds of its own from what I plant.
Time is the reaper; I am here to sow
   And say “Watch me!” when the world says “You can’t.”
      And do what I do out of love and need
      And make the time each day to plant a seed.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells