Silence Falls

Rain whispers
And the cars they pass
And I watch
Faceless drivers inside going and going.

And I realize I am one of them
But where am I going
And once I get there
Must I go further?

I don’t know
And thinking about it frightens me
I am so deeply tired
I find that I want to stop.

If I can look from a safe place
Maybe I’ll see where I am going
But I have lost my way
The black is around and under me.

I think I will pull others down with me
So I run deeper into myself
Where questions won’t reach
And silence finally falls.
-ijs

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Distraction

She wanted my heart
but all I could give
was my body
and so we drank a bottle
then played that song

and I held her
while she rode me
into the morning
threw the alarm clock on the floor
and we followed it
while our heat went up in shadows
on the walls

She asked me to stay
unable to see
she was talking to a ghost
and in the morning blue
I closed the door
and walked out of her life
and left her alone
wearing nothing but her makeup.
-ijs

Dash

cemetery-3

Tombstones march along the hill
Ranks of the dead forever still
Monsters and angels side by side
Some reprieved, some denied
And the turning leaves leave me restless
My unutterable smallness; the cosmic madness
Wondering how they accepted fate
When their dash turned into a date
And the wind whispers of love’s lost hand
Mingling with the shrieks of the eternal damned.
-ijs

I’ve Been Hiding

I’ve been hiding.

There I said it. You freakin’ happy now, Jiminy Cricket?

It’s an easy thing to do once you get into it–you take one step, then another, and the
next thing you know you’re off somewhere in left field daydreaming and doing absolutely nothing constructive. As my dad likes to quote, “The good is always the enemy of the best.” I set myself a creative goal to write a poem each week, knowing I could do it–it wouldn’t be that hard. A weekly poem is something I can sit down and knock out in
anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours depending on how my coffee–I mean creative— vibe is going. But there’s the problem: I set myself up to fail. I gave myself the easy way out. I’ve been content to throw back handfuls of M&M’s in the candy aisle when I should be marinating and prepping a steak.

So I’m done. I’m done hiding behind weekly creative “highs.” I’m not knocking my poems; I’m really proud of most of them, and I love hearing from songwriter friends who use them for inspiration (I still want my cut when you write the next #1 hit–you know who you are! also, I love you guys). But that’s not the end of my writing spectrum. Fiction is calling me, and I’ve ignored it for long enough because I was scared of the work. My first book wore me out. But I have more in me. I’m going to get back to work on the stories I need to tell. Cal, Bobby, and Little Pete . . . my government operative . . . I’m not sure which way I’m going to run, but it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Thank you to everyone who’s supported my weekly writing. Nothing encourages a creative like hearing that their work touches someone. I’ll continue to share writing tidbits as I go, but I’m done hiding.

Here’s one more for the road . . .

Tell me about your scars
Tell me a story you’ve never told anyone
It’s quiet
I’ll sit here and wait
I’ll wait with you by the sea
Watching whitecaps break themselves to pieces on the rocks below
While Orion keeps us company.
-ijs

PS. I’m also working on new short films. I’ve got my second short written; I’m just
waiting to get the funding together for it. This screengrab from my film “Stay” pretty
much sums up how I feel right now: scared but ready to embrace this new challenge.

tsay.Still023

Embers

embers

Settled back with a sigh
Gnarled hands folded
Watched the fire die
Embers glowing
Sparks soaring
Cascading upward
And his grizzled words came softly
So softly–
The day someone tells you they love you
That day will never die.
And his eyes glowed.

With those words a wrinkle is formed
In the fabric of fate
And nothing can ever be the same again
All things must change
Souls live
Breathe
Die
To hear those words
If only just once.
And his eyes glowed.

Stars are born
Mountains fade
But to hear
To actually hear those words
For the first time–
And he turned to me
And his eyes glowed.

To hear those words
From lips that mean them
That truly mean them
(his oaken voice shook)
Such beauty you can’t imagine
The heart is barely designed to accept
To embrace such a thing.
And his eyes glowed.

You really can’t imagine it
You can’t if you’ve never been there
I think I could fight the oldest and grandest of dragons
On the power of those words
And the weight of her look when she touched my face
And whispered them to me.
And his eyes glowed.
They glowed as he looked up into Orion’s expanse
Receiving the souls of Prometheus’s returning children.

You can’t imagine it.
You can’t.

(but I can.)
-ijs

Sunrise

sunrise

In the mountains, he pulled over for fuel
Stood dumbstruck by the soul-aching view
And with one final glance
At the wide open expanse
He picked up his pen and wrote “blue.”
-ijs

*author’s note: I had to drive to Charlotte on Monday for a callback, and so I got to see the sun rise over the eastern Tennessee mountains.
Watching the total blackness dissolve into a haunting blue hour gave me chills. I wanted it to just stay that color of blue forever. I wanted nothing more than the roar of the wind through my windows and that endless expanse of cool, open sky in front of me.
It was the kind of sunrise that makes something ache way down inside of you—the kind that leaves you looking at your keyboard wondering how you can explain it and knowing you never will.