the answer to joy is life
the answer to sadness is being
the answer to promise is spirit
the answer to pain is love
for Sadie, 2016 november
taller people are not necessarily smarter. (although they may feel it’s true) the yogurt in your bowl don’t see any difference, tall from not. all it sees is your spoon.
some might wager taller is closer to heaven, or at least closer to the stars. but that just depends whether you’re looking up or looking down. who’s closer then! so, no.
a mountain may be very tall, but mostly what they see to appreciate is looking at their feet. feet are important to mountains. it’s where they came from and where they’re headed next. gravity is the smile they contain. my daddy was once a Southern mountain, but then he was gone.
mother’s family, they were rocks, big ones. but there was nobody to tend their opened fields, so they left. they moved to a land that harvested fewer hard stones than before. grandmother feed the cats, no matter their size. it was exactly the way she spoke goodbye to me.
words are shells where someone else used to live. now we put them in pockets, toss them far as our arms willingly reach on the Water’s face, or, collect them sorted by Color and Shape as if they still belong to someone else other than us. sometimes we eat them. but only rarely.
when eaten we become another life. another life. another star. but we’re still the same. the same as the first thought we thought. like stars will do. thoughts shimmer, do you see?
other eyes see us from far far away. more than ten toes, more than my nose. I am the I who is looking from here, and this is the sea and where we swim.
chuck said, our Father did not make the world to be a mystery, for the parent to be unknowable.
earl said, you can’t convince anyone of anything. don’t try.
earl said, love don’t belong to you. all you can do is attempt to make it unseen.
chuck said, about creation all you need know is woof, woof. (the rest is gravy.)
chuck said, the world isn’t neutral. the world includes affection.
earl said, experience is about process, not substance.
william said, threads are necessary to get anywhere.
mother said, please, take me home.
anna madrigal said, dear, I don’t object to much of anything.
shannon said, if there were more men like you, there’d be more women like me.
chuck said, when they say we’re made in god’s image, image means imagining. get it?
william said, to his child – and as I spoke, I swam.
chuck said, you are but a whisper on the lips of god.
chuck said, be with me. whatever you need of me, I will give to you. ask.
earl said, everyone, everyone, is doing their best to express love as best they understand.
william said, to listen you must first be silent inside.
earl said, the true nature of existence is poetry.
judith said, don’t stop seeing how you see, a needle and thread.
chuck said, there is no such thing as vacation.
god said, just one word to me. write.
chuck said, faith includes doubt.
william said, mostly listen. but when you do have something to say, trust it.
god said, you are the creature in the garden who doth teach me the most. you are my beauty-fly.
I said, the true nature of a thing is in everything you don’t see of it.
I say, this right here, right now, is heaven. literally.
what is your imagining willing to embrace?
neil reid © 2016
read footnotes about this poem
I’m largely and less disconnected from most things here.
Thoughts ramble & callous like they own the space.
Mostly I believe in all my mistakes. I am the opposite
of what I might become. All because it was thought.
One writers vanity is to think I am what I write.
Or worse, if writing nothing at all, then so am I.
I don’t believe in can’t say words, only unwillingness.
Maybe I’m right about that.
Brush your teeth. Tell the truth. Keep open
wounds clean. Wash your hands.
Still, I favor using random blemished words.
A fortune of omens found. Maybe go fish.
All the best ideas turned to be only best ideas.
Old feelings get written in ink. No matter how,
we mistake years of wear as wisdom’s bark.
Whispers say, first – break the rules you own,
no keys, no locks, no thirsty cheshire grace.
See trees as faces, faces trees. Look for clues.
Simple is the shorter thread. No hiding,
Except by the imagined rules of circumference.
No speak, being the genuine lie.
neil reid © 2016 february
for This is Not A Literary Journal, prompt, The rules
a Found poem, for his Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama
the same crow in the morning awakens us.
the same bowl of rice. tell me a story.
you never cried.
on the roof a pair of crows nested when
you were born. like before.
a door speaks before it opens. listening.
he says he wants to go where heaven begins.
you are here to love all living things.
mother mother why do you leave me here?
these shoes are mine. too big, but mine.
to look is to have confidence in one’s
own ability to end suffering. all beings
separation has an abundant face.
I don’t want you to go.
what can I do? I am only a boy.
I will take those sheep. all of them.
inside my care.
I write without writing. I write words inside thoughts.
I write air. I give my breath to you.
make no barrier where a face is meant to shine.
to l o v e it takes a long time.
how long holiness? I don’t yet know.
all things will become nothing. I will become nothing.
yet here I am, inside you. we say our names, continuous.
the moon is full.
these stones we pile for you, saying where we have been,
saying our way home again. change is this much high.
we give this sand back to you.
this home. these fingertips.
we pour ourselves into the seas.
I am a reflection of the moon on water.
why? to be a good man.
neil reid © 2015 november
poem in progress, not done yet
t o u c h it comes in twos, doesn’t it?
dark, no, late into the body of the night. truth resides
anywhere it wants to do, no difference a frown.
it takes the place of gold. landscape face.
it is joys first step. landscape feet.
no matter the dress, always welcome at the door.
so that says the who we mean when we say who.
it is everything we care to want. it is heavens coin.
(it is in every single pocket.) (it wants to be found.)
its favorite color right now is red. no big deal, you know,
changing desires is as fast as lightning is. as fast as
I turn the page.
say your name into the air.
feel the reflections coming back (no surprise)
now listen as well, echoes. inside what feels,
how they mean differently.
charming. charming the way heaven works.
even tells tales.
there are shelves abundantly. fall leaves do fall,
do make this floor celebrate.
amber and rust, we say, pretend not by saying yes.
but true, we thirst then joy then thirst, then yes,
your eyes were always first. not my fault.
it is only to joy they fall. there is no other soil.
middle of the night, you know, and I could believe
just about any small boys tail, the way they wave
the way they dance.
neil reid © 2015 october
I just wanted to be a real live boy.
I just wanted to dance, but refused.
I wanted to be bigger than me.
I wanted to let go of that bench.
I wanted a father who was not. a sky around my arms.
I wanted threads to connect not bind.
I wanted to be not alone, but was, by my word.
I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich.
I want our distance to melt like sugar does.
I want poems to make a difference. like meals do.
I want my child to grow. tall corn reaching the feast.
I want this poem in a pie.
I want seeds to be my feet. you will find me in weeds. everywhere.
I want dawn to be fresh turned dirt. new meanings eager to be. and are.
I want close to be ripe apples on your limbs.
I want discovery to matter more than measured history.
I want dreams to keep their sleep. let eyes answer more than doubts.
I want the world to change because I asked. by world I mean you.
by change I mean raise your hand.
I want your world to look exactly like you. I want leaves that rise and fall.
I want to share this poem with someone reading me.
I want words better spent upon your lips.
I want what is to be. I will call it home.
I want wanting to be as water is.
I want a world bigger than my imagination. your face in each dawn cloud.
imagine feet kissing earth.
imagine children being found, not lost.
imagine no discomfort without mending embrace.
imagine when you speak heart the world listens you.
imagine blooms like waves. and the sea.
imagine enough. that is who you are.
imagine your voice contains what you want life to be. make it so.
my legs are trees that walk.
my arms are feathers rooted in sky.
my thoughts do what windows do.
my feelings are water. and clouds.
my fingers are painting curious.
lips thirst for another thirst.
feet define my home, my shoes.
I am here to dance with you.
neil reid © 2015 october