Man’s Search for Meaning

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I am number 119104

Moses told me to stay, his word echoing across centuries

Honor thy father and thy mother, declared the stone words-which,

Eternal; prophesied my long days on earth.

We, humans, departed, carted, from possessions parted

To hell by another name not so sweet, Auschwitz

We were concentrated-crammed into tiny train cars headed to concentration camps

Lined, searched and stripped—then teased and stripped naked,

The only relief the water pouring from the faucets as we stand completely naked

Our friends are smoke, bitter acrid acid smoke floating to the “Heavens,

Smoke is death and death is cigarette smoke floating to the heavens.

We, blank, battered, broken, beaten by baseless banalities-

Life meant nothing, corpses are gory rag dolls unwanted

Dragged bump bumping on the cold earth, earth so cold that we are numb,

Toes blackened, no scream as gangrenous black toes are torn

I am number 119104

 

Human no longer, but masses of bodies clumped nine to a wooden pallet

Shaking in nightmarish throes because it is better to live in a nightmare than wake,

To the living hell, our skeletal bodies clicking and clacking caricatures of death coming closer

Psychics all we could see death, coming closer. Nothing mattered, nothing but preservation

Of self, even biting bloodied lips to hold in bloody laughter as the bloody Capo conjures pathetic poetry

We, baser creatures, dropped into hellish nightmares break, but not all for

Et Lux In Tenebris Lucet-and light shines in the darkness and so fated,

We, cows, cowed by constant callousness head to Dachau aboard a train

Each straining to glimpse a future through small windows, I strain to see my home in flashes

Seeking salvation but the words beat me back and the past is swept away

But we dance, for the train is not headed to slaughter and we will not die today

Et Lux in Tenebris Lucet- light shines in the darkness

 

But even battered, broken, beaten there is still beauty.

For, we said “how beautiful the world could be” when blessed

With a solemn sunset splattering the red blood, blue veins,

 purpled bruises and angry black hate across the skies

like some maddened painter splashed us across the skies.

“How beautiful the world could be…

Be my wife, I remember asking her to be, to say I do,

I due to death but no longer as she rescued me

Giving me life and reason though her life is uncertain

We commune as one and my wife and I are become one

She is my tree of life, giving me the courage to face the world

Like the dying woman smiling silent tears streaming as she goes,

Her only friend her hallucination in which the tree talks

 

Doctors of death, dealing in denial we can’t escape our patients

Patiently planned escape not fated but ended with rotten potatoes

not freedom, but freedom found bound within barbed wire confinement

Suffering acquiring meaning and life becoming purposed, fated

No longer disease wracked suicidal starvation but rather sacrifice,

Bleeding heart no longer numbed but raw, reality rapidly realized

Endless hate in sadistic flesh sacs, demons walking in flesh of capos

Brothers in race but venomous snakes measured against momentary

Kindness in soup from the bottom or saved morsels of bread broken

The very best of us did not survive.

 

 

Then suddenly, Freedom.

Nothing.

Faltering steps through fields of flowers…

Nothing

But slowly we wake wondrously to reality,

The nightmare is over for most,

No more “Soup from the bottom please”

Or “Attention, Attention” and alarms

No more death smoke rising silently

I step, after faltering step

Through a field of flowers and fall.

“I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space”

“I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space”

“I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space”

I am human again.

Subspecies aeternitas.

The future has finally arrived.

 

 

 

 

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Destined to Fly

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She is a hawk, fierce and proud and free.

Light as air but her gaze is heavy.

Plumage perfect, the sunlight seeing

the subtle selection of her colors.

Her wings, long and graceful—

 

But clipped.

 

Flight feathers torn by invisible ghosts.

Body chained by devilish doubts,

that send her crashing down.  

Each time she leaps and drowns,

sinking, sinking, sinking.

 

Bruised brittle bones threaten to break

but she struggles and falls, and then again

never stopping, always leaping, reaching

slowly building faith, until finally—

the chains break, the heavy doubt, dust

her earthly prison no more

 

She is a hawk, proud and free

Born destined to fly

The Runners (Partner Poem)

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Co-written with hastywords

 

The phantom highways

Stretch before us

High speed, racing towards
A destination we can’t see yetOur feet are weightless,
each step covers miles
and yet we are going nowhere
endlessly running

Weariness threatens us
On our endless destination
Urging each other forward
Holding each other up

We are so real, so poignant
but only paint brushed on canvas
bursting with life and color
an endless moment captured

The earth under our feet
The sky our sunlit canopy
Never a more beautiful picture
Captured, a living symphony

She strokes our surface, lovingly
as she paints our moment, her dream
Her wheelchair creaking softly
as her brush dances
and a tear traces a path
to her smiling lips

 

Chapter One-The Nightmare

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The room was filled with balloons and the floor was carpeted with bubble wrap. The balloons looked like normal balloons but seemed to bob strangely in the air, as if filled with something. A small child is huddled in the corner of the room, fearfully facing the only exit to the room; a large red door. The door begins slowly begins to open, creaking loudly in the process but  no one but the small boy seems to notice. The door then shuts and the balloons and dancing guests part as an invisible force makes it’s way towards the young boy, the bubble wrap crackling with each step. The small boy whimpers and his lips can be seen mouthing “Stay strong my boy, Stay strong my boy”.

His lips quiver as he keeps muttering the mantra under his breath, eyes fastened fearfully on the advancing force. Then clenching his fist, he resolutely faces the creature as if determined to face whatever challenge comes his way. Suddenly the balloons start exploding violently, spewing puffs of color into the room. POP! POP! POP! Each pop shattering the silence like a shotgun blast. The colored fog that billows from the balloons eats up the air in the room and transforms it into a mystical shadow land, the chairs, tables and people acquiring almost ethereal qualities as they are consumed by the fog.

In the fog that is created, a silhouette can be seen. A blank area where the fog can con penetrate, and it is advancing on the young child who is now standing, fist clenched and face scrunched in concentration. The crowd, oblivious to the action bursts into song “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Kevin…” The happy joyous song striking a sour chord, each burst of merriment underscoring the young child’s advancing death. The irony of a celebration of life on the eve of his death seemed to register on the young child’s mind. He glances fearfully at the incoming  menace and then with a shout charges into the mist hoping to get lost in the crowd and make his escape through the door. He moves faster than he has ever moved before, running as if he has gained wings, but before he can even reach the edge of the crowd the shadow is upon him. He can feel the cold clammy hands gripping his neck and drawing him back as if by sheer force of will. He struggles, his legs pistoning and arms flailing but it’s as if the very air is against him and he is drawn back inexorably to his doom.

His flailing starts to slow and his body begins to grow limp. There seems to be no escape. Then from the resounding silence that had come after the balloon explosion and songs, a voice booms out, filling the room with sound.

“Boy! The whistle, blow the whistle boy! Remember what your father said, when facing death, blow the whistle!!”

The boy, moving as if through thick jello reaches for his chest where the whistle hangs. His hand rests on his heart for a moment and he can feel his heart trying to rips it’s way out of his chest. Grabbing the whistle and struggling to bring it to his lips even as the invisible hand crushes is throat, he blows with all the air left in him. The whistle’s piercing scream fills the air and the room is consumed by it. Time stops and the room is silent it the midst of the sound, each person frozen as they were. Then the aura of death, darkness and confusion is shattered and so is the room and everything else in it.

Still screaming, the echo of the whistle still ringing in his head, Kevin lurches upright, hitting his head on the top bunk. Panicked he looks around, eyes darting from place to place, thoughts running rampart in his head like stampeding buffalo. Where am I? What’s going on? Who…?

The realization hits him as he look around and sees the walls of his room and the scrunched up sheets laying in disarray and his bed that looked as if it was the victim of an aggravated assault. Sweat drips from his face and he rolls over and wipes it on his pillow in disgust and whispers “Why does this keep happening?”

Beauty (Revisited)

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There is an infinite beauty in living

Breathing and listening

To the rhythm of the earth

 

Artists merely tap into this haunting melody

And make vacuous shadows of the real

Beat that echoes

 

And heats the blood of men and women

And sounds through the dreams of kings

The symphony

 

Of a sunset, the staccato beat of the heart

As the body warms from a kiss

The music that roars

 

Soundlessly through the universe

The scale the world revolves in

With moans

 

Of the seasons, typhoons and dust bowls

Of the worlds pain and joy

The rumbles

 

Of a stampeding group of elephants

Charging the nearby store for bargain prices

And the percussion

 

Of the incessant tapping in class as the teachers

Drone on endlessly, the rhythm monotonous and

Overbearingly slow

 

Like the heartbeat of a great whale as it groans

Its sad song to the world, the sound vibrating through

The ocean wide, sonorous

 

The cry of a parent that outlived their child

Wild and aching, a piercing pain, sharper than the

Shriek of

 

Of pain as a tooth is uprooted and tossed

 

In it all.

There is beauty.

 

The Answer is Only Half the Journey

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You demand clarity,

each heart beat pumps desire

for knowledge to your brain

 

Your eyes strain

searching endlessly, relentlessly

for the answer to your question

 

You dread the answer

but you cannot unloose the hounds

of information from ripping through

 

You celebrate

as the answer appears before you

but you find its only half the problem

 

Now you know

what you wanted to know

Now that you “understand”

what will you do?

Freedom of Laughter by Melissa Flores

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There’s something about laughter–

beautiful, spontaneous, wild, and free.

Golden, springy curls of childhood untucked.

Stack of papers turned loose by the wind,

each sheet traveling independently.

Balloon, filled with air–pop!–

an unexpected explosion–

the air filled with colorful gasses.

Shotgun rhythm–each hand

slapping the sturdy oak of the dinner table–

a jolt through the musician’s body.

What was bound is now unbound,

            woven-unwoven,

wrapped-unwrapped,

                        contained-now set free. 

 

This is a poem by written by a personal friend of mine that I just love! So I posted it for your enjoyment as well!