A Poem And A Photograph

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Inconclusive Thoughts

Inconclusive thoughts
And convictions. Unfinished
Building of character. The job
Not yet completed.
The slippery task of defining
My life, escaping again
Through fingers of frost.
As I speed through
This hazy early morning of thought,
I see rain, and then,
The slow lifting of ancient fog.

A Poem and a Photograph

Chained

POEM #—I DON’T KNOW…

Pretty much the way of the title my life without you goes:

‘Not knowing where the light of the world went’ when I am

without you.

Without you,

I loose the straight line that connects me to the center of all

good I’ve discovered in forty years of walking the roads,

without you.

Without you,

I don’t have to contend with friction or images of conflict

that show up in this mirrored instant we hold to each other.

Without you, all expectations, yearnings, expressions of lust,

are orphans born into the world, meaningless thoughts

going nowhere or disappearing into the darkness outside,

without you.

Without you,

I’ve often imagined my days, getting used to the impossible

thought you bear, like the cross where a dream dies alone,

without you.

Without you,

is also you without me, the letting go of the hand, the tearing

of heart tissue, the void in the eyes I become when I am

without you

—or you without me.

A Poem and a Photograph

NJ Sun and Sky - 12025

Love of My Lives

I am still your man, here still.

And after centuries measured

by small epiphanies,

my arms remain open,

my eyes your eyes seek.

Walking apart or abreast

my soul is complete

only when yours is near,

the spirit healed by your kiss.

Lovers, praying partners,

and friends we’ve been,

even secret members

of the same crime family.

Dancers in a cosmic ball

whose ancient rhythms

only the broken-hearted perceive.

Enemies and allies we’ve been—

fellow travelers in the far east.

Here I am, your man still,

still holding on to your hand.

Here to make reality

a holy promise made

the Spring I was shaken awake

—to meet once and for  all

with clean hands, clear eyes,

open hearts and a blessing

for each other upon our lips.

A Poem and a Photograph

Sun Embraces The Earth

Blessing The Wounds

You sent me alone to the concert hall
Where only half the notes played
Until the music discovered your face—
Your smile alive in the smiles of my friends.

You called to say you weren’t coming
But when I turn around, there you are,
Reflected on each one of my walls and
Weaved in the silky sheets that cover my bed.

I spread you on my morning bread,
Drink your sweat to calm my thirst.
My palms rest on your skin. I press
My fingerprints, branding forever your flesh.

Thirty days I walked, my eyes shut
And in the darkness of my steps
I follow the warmth of your breath
Through the dessert to the valley beyond.

We learn leaving from some lovers,
Only one can teach us the way back.
Blessing the wounds we’ve carried,
Our true love joins us in the search for home.

A Poem (And A Photograph)

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Waiting

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.

When I Look At Manhattan. . .

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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. . .

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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.

World Photography Day

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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.

A Poem (And A Photograph) From My Traveling Daughter

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Untitled

I kiss the wrinkles on your forehead

Hold your big hands as I cross the bridge at dusk

The skin of the sky is pink like your face when illuminated only

By lamplight

I wish. I wish. I wish

You back

Nothing happened in the cathedral

Nothing happened on the square

Except that I crossed over you and your bones

Grandfather before and grandfather then

You leave only one widow and she sits by the window in the airplane with a book

I don’t want to remember you as ashes in river water

But there you are, everywhere I look

–Sherisse Alvarez