I Still Have a Voice

Just because I cannot hear

Does not mean I have no voice.

My hands are my words

Flowing out like rivers

And these eyes,

They see

Though you look at me as a man blind—

Blind enough to see

Your hands in motion

Signing off my rights

Signing off the hope

That brought me here today.

I am not silent

But you silence me

Bury me in paperwork

Another numerical nonentity

Less a face than a dollar sign—

Black ink rain down

And you break my world

With a pen for a sword—

How can you look at us this way

Hear our pleas, hear our cries

And still sit, as statues

Unmoved, unbroken

Drowning us

With care.

This Wednesday’s post has several dedications. It is first and foremost dedicated to the Deaf Education and American Sign Language students at MSU, who this year, as part of budget cuts, had their programs completely cut from the academia here. I also dedicate this to the deaf community at large, who all have felt the pain of this loss. Eastern Michigan University is the only other University in Michigan to offer such programs to the community.

As usual, it is also for the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays–once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Photos by myself, Chris Galford, from the final MSU Board of Trustees meeting last school year. The alphabet presented below is the alphabet of American Sign Language–a language certain board members previously claimed was “not a real language.”

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Ride on

I will ride you down.

Weather the weather,

Gnash tooth and claw

This spear, your arm

Outstretched to meet me

Like a wall of flesh

No more, no more

Come dust and earth

On bitter wind blow

I am vengeance

Ride on, ride on

And I will bear you down

Ride on, ride on

My lance, my passion

My steed, my life

Put up your steel

And dig your feet

I ride and ride for thee

Ride on, ride on

This barren waste is wasted

Ride on, ride on

Cracked and peel and broke asunder

Torn hoof and heel

I soar, as an eagle on the wind

Above the mountain heights

As both sink lower to the earth

Scarlet memory flow

Here falls, here rides

The mad man dead upon the field

And I am here, and staggering on

Ride on, ride on

A breath, a life, a broken soul

Ride on, ride on.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! If you happen to notice a correlation of theme, or at least, imagery, between this and last week’s submission, though, you’d be right. Congratulations. I’ve had this whole cavalry sort of notion stuck in my head for a bit now, and both of these were a result of that. Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Desolation Life

This cavalry ride,

This noble stride,

Stretch wide upon the earth—

Trembling thunder underfoot

Amidst the shadows lightening fall.

Death rides before the tip,

Death roars beneath the arrow scorn

And in the quailing devastation

Moves the seeds of their creation.

Bodies bloom like spattered roses

But from the agony of annihilation

Stirs the flowers–flourish,

Such color rises from silent gray

The mass is fallen

The light arise

Entangled limbs stretch toward the warm embrace

Soothed into the slumber

Of revival.

Ask not the ends

Ask the means—

What comes, shall come again

In one form or the next.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

The Stage

Failure lurks like sin

Waiting in the darkness

Beyond the broiling light—

Can’t think, the heat

It’s too strong

Where have they gone

All these bodies,

Sunken shadows

Mere eyes that gaze beyond

The boundaries of my knowing

Just breathe

It will be alright

But the shadows cling

Even in this sunlit inquisition.

Alone

I stand,

Cannot stay behind

The crowd awaits

Sink or swim

They may yet know my name.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Set Me Free

Set me off into the Black

far beyond the stars

set me off into the Wild

far beyond the wilderness.

Set me free of mortal hearts

and weighted thoughts,

so low, so low,

and break these chains that

bind me to this coil—

what life,

what prison

now is this?

Press the suit and

straighten up that tie,

you are a man, it says

but you are just a boy

playing at a world of

mysterium and drama that has

devoided itself of plot.

There is a key

to thee and thine and mine,

and nestled just behind that door

is freedom yet incarnate.

In a breath, breathe—

so few have ever tasted

the freshness of the air—

recycled reconfigurations of reality—

that will be your paycheck please—

and this feeling is not falsified,

unbound, unguarded it yearns

for the taking—just breathe—

and feel the air,

feels, felt, feeling

this momentary being—

all I want is to breathe

and to feel, yet to be,

to stretch beyond perception

and feel the days beyond

that calendar—no shifts scheduled here.

No vacancy,

sincerest apologies

this mind is mine and yet

one waits beyond, yet yours—

this mirror of a soul you grasp

what a reflection is it not?

There is the dawning,

the rain is falling down

and through the swirl of purple haze,

these diamonds dribble through the

emerald leaves, like tiny lovers—

in your caress, this breath unbidden

slithers through my chest

and down into my roots—

I am born again, stretching

for the clouds.

Air, give me air,

Prayer and dream and reverie

are forever in the field—

give me space to work.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Restless Nightmares Break…

A significantly darker piece than what most of my recent work has been, just in time for the first One Shot Poetry Wednesday. Once you’ve had a look, check out One Shot Poetry, too–a bunch of great poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Restless nightmares break,

From wretched slumber do I wake

To a world of endless night—

Thunderous choirs make me crouch in fright.

High above us wraiths now soar,

Men clasp their ears to deafen their roar.

Over hills and shattered streets,

The bands come marching to woeful beats.

A hundred thousand voices cry,

Then all the singers die.