WHO ARE YOU? You Asked.
I am the light behind your clouds,
a true believer at your church,
the earliest singer celebrating
what your life would become.
I am each distinctive brushstroke
in the portrait of your hands,
as they pray to know the answer
to the questions that you face.
I am the last few pages of a book
you read alone in bed. The words
you remember the next morning,
when the blue of your eyes awake.
A childhood friend, a lost pet found
a decade later in the afternoon rain.
A forgiving thought for an old hurt,
the healed wound, this is who I am.
Your Sunday paper. The roll of waves
laying their passion at Jersey’s edge.
The morning craving of coffee.
Long afternoon walks by yourself.
I’m laughter now. Tears then.
We met before and meet today.
Apart we walked these roads—
together we’ll walk them again.
I am the cabin that sits by your lake,
the light when the dawn breaks.
The voice you trust, the hand you held.
Yesterday. Tomorrow. And today.
I am your eternal companion.
An optimist blessing your fate.
Your improvised poet. Your expert lover.
Your tireless supporter. Your soul mate.
My five-year-old brother hands me my mail,
Happy Birthday, he says while smiling
content to be eating pretzels and peanut butter
before dinner. I flip through the stack
of unopened bank statements.
Nicolas has decided that uncooked pasta
is worth trying. He offers me some.
No, thank you. I’m not hungry, I say.
He reaches for the sugar bowl, the teapot,
the clock: they are companions, belong together.
He thinks of home. Mama? Papa? he asks.
I explain they are near, at The Mermaid Inn.
I distract him by changing a light bulb.
We agree the kitchen is too bright.
And, later, when asked by our father
the child says, yes, in fact he would
like to thank god for something:
New York, like my heart, is desolate since you left
and the presence of yesterday remains encrusted
to the lining of my lungs.
You’re not here and I can’t think of much else
or find solace in the corners bent on hiding
the face of hope from my face.
I cant stand being inside this skin
you’ve not caressed in an eternity of loss.
I’ve tried escaping through the surface cracks.
Waiting is a foreign game I never learned to play
and yet, waiting seems to be the only way to get
to where love patiently awaits.
in a tunnel
of dark thought.
by the magic
woven by a child
at his own
My own smile
by his light.
From a work in progress currently titled From Mountain Road to Easy Street, a brief passage:
I walked towards my neighborhood up the Fourteenth Street Viaduct, its steep angle rising towards Union City matching the increasing elevating effect the pot had on my mood, as I walked on. When I reached the traffic light at the top of the bridge I turned around to look at the island of Manhattan below me, the live version of a black and white photograph from the nineteen fifties, taken around the time I was born, pressed into my memory. The skyline had grown new skyscrapers since I had arrived, like the newer trees in a jungle, they had sprouted, changing the outline but the basic premise remained. She was lit up from the edge of the water to the highest penthouse, permanently awake, as alluring still as the first time I had seen her. On this night, my existence, with all of the unconquerable problems it owned, was dwarfed by the magnitude of the man-made landscape before me. . .
I took the photos of the New York skyline on the slideshow above over the last few years. These are just a few of the hundreds of images I’ve taken since arriving in Hudson County, New Jersey, in 1970. It’s impossible to ignore the view when you’re on this side of the Hudson. To some of us who, as kids, imagined living here, it’s the physical manifestation of dreams realized.
was yesterday, August 19th. I read about it on Flickr. The folks there suggested taking a photo on this day and sharing it with the tag worldphotographyday. I missed the big extravaganza. So this morning I checked my phone—which is the only way I take photos these days—and found only one from yesterday. I titled it “Going Places. It All Adds Up.” I heard the voice of David Lee Roth when I was thinking of a title, but I wanted to keep it classy.
So this is my official entry. I hope to do better next year.
To find out more about World Photography Day visit their page. The Flickr collection is here.