t o u c h  s   t   o   n   e

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

a real live boy

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

inside my body

inside my body every breath has touched.

inside my body a lion’s share of faces called close to feast.

inside my body, every thirst, every storm, every doubt.  every boat.

inside my body the summer skin like talcum earth.  then she moved away.

inside my body each hurt who sits with a thread wrapped ankle-round.

inside my body fear, fear when she said, no more.

inside my body whispers kept.  yes, I do remember you.

inside my body, scissors & fingertips, a little here, a little there.  some images remain, even when gone.

inside my body lightning thought.  water washes me.

inside my body the texture of every thing and everybody I have touched.

inside my body the creases of sheets.  head to toe to you.

inside my body everything I think smart, even when I’m not.

inside my body each flirting glance.  evidence why watches have second-hands.

inside my body every rain and tear and every kiss.  thus, these crops, these shared meals.

inside my body a template that makes my fingers write.

inside my body left & right & sometimes flight.  honestly.

inside my body blinks that resemble bricks, like a wall.  make mine mud.

inside my body, memories.  all of them.  all of you.

inside my body my sense of time.  but, I forget.

inside my body, theft.  one best measure nearly lost.  then you.  then me.

inside my body peace they say.  inside my body joy they say.

inside my body you speak loudest.

here, these poems in red.  only some few.  and this prayer, where I am falling right now.
 
 
neil reid © 2015 october

don’t read

don’t read.  wash your face.
don’t read.  feed the cat.
don’t read.  imagine words.

don’t speak.  pour the milk.
don’t speak.  turn the bowl.
don’t speak.  find words that came first.

find the poem no one wrote.
leave it be.  fallow heart.
make what you’re blind to see.

make breakfast.  make sleep.
offer it to the moon.
or maybe me.

write.  write more.  you have to have
enough to throw yourself all away.
  

2015

the book of lies

lie is not bad, it is just not accurate.

sin is not unforgivable, sin is forgiven.  sin just means “not ripe”, not ready.  that’s all that Jesus meant.  notice it, correct it, done.

wrong is like right.  it’s just what’s left after what’s so is said.

bad is not “good”.  it means simply, be something kind instead.

hate is an emotion that’s gone astray.  no pot of gold at your feet.

fear just means look out!  when there’s a bear close by, fear makes some sense.  no bear?  then look, consider your perceptions.

disgust should simply say, “no, thank you, not for me.”

anger is a wall like bricks.  to start, consider using something softer.  cotton will do for one.  then consider what’s different and what’s the same.

doubt is a part of trust and faith.  it is not opposite.  it is only looking that isn’t yet done.

loneliness is just a feeling.  and really really it’s not even true.  go walk, feel the earth, your feet, see the sky, your eyes.  trees are good to start.  go make a friend, who might just be wishing you.

regret is just stuff you haven’t done.  none of us will ever do everything.  move on.

self sacrifice.  don’t do it.  if you damage yourself you’ll have nothing left to give.  give freely, or don’t do.

getting even.  this is just fantasy of a hurtful sort.  don’t do it.  the one who gets hurt will be you.

shouldn’t.  you know.  you shouldn’t.

vengeance.  just don’t.  even God gave up on that.

unforgiveness.  simple.  forgive yourself.  the rest will just follow of itself.

repulsion is only natural.  but so is attraction.  choose.
 
 
2015

I think I should write about

I think I should write something more.
I think I should write something meaningful, more.
I think I should write making wisdom breathe, more.
I think I should write using words like first time.  more.
I think I should write on my way to the grocery store.  more.
I think I should write waiting for a friend at the coffee shop.  more.
I think I should write whether or not I know best how to spell.  more.
I think I should write on my birthday party day.  there’s a party, isn’t there?
I think I should write gracefully about my gratitude.  more.  surely more.
I think I should write most especially more, when I don’t want to write.

more.
  

2015

things I’ll do when I master space & time

make pizza suddenly appear on my plate.

make all dogs friendly, including bears.

kites would fly, with or without any wind.  (and I’d learn swiftly to run into the wind instead of running downwind breaking my kite into little bits)

make hair grow where I want and not where I don’t.

learn to pronounce cacophony.

not confuse yoga and yogurt, ever again.

let trees decide which way the wind will blow.

make hunger be satisfied.  neither shall they thirst unquenched.

think only of good things to do.

pretty people will all smile at me.  OK.  everyone.  see?

try out sunsets in green.  wouldn’t that be nice?

have afternoon tea with the dalai lama.  lama lama lama.  and we’d laugh & laugh.

learn to write upside down.

people will see heaven, right in front of them.

I won’t be “careful” about what I say.  not careless I mean, but honest, simply that.

and rain, whatever it wants to do, that will be exactly fine by me.
 
 
neil reid © 2015

carnations

I will be a child of the Dalai Lama.

I will be a man I don’t even begin to know or understand and will befriend a young boy, near broken in two, and be as father for the one who wasn’t.  like I said, I don’t know how, only that it needs to be, and I will.  sometimes I will be a man, else I might seem as wind or rain or rocks by the side of the road, but it will be me all the same.  the child, he will know, what is, and what isn’t.

I will be a butterfly beside the creek who flies into the wind.  or maybe I already did.

I will be husband, lover, your best friend.  the horizon sky will be both dawn and dusk.  we won’t say dream, we’ll say – this life.  meaning you, meaning me.  it is a vanity we will allow with gratitude.  in god’s dream we are the breath, the poem that speaks like water does.

I will be an old red truck who holds two lovers kissing in the late night rain.

I will be a sail who rounds the Cape of Good Hope.

I will be a child who is lost in the woods and though they search and search, is never found, so instead becomes a bear, a mother who tells her cubs what it was to be a man and writes her tale into the bark of trees for all to see and read and understand until that winter’s snow when she lays down and passes from sight.  her poems nest upon those trees for hundreds, hundreds of years, maybe even right now.

I will be a tree who lives a thousand lives.

I will be a star with limbs that reach to the first note of time.  I will sing with light because God asked me to.

I will be a poem, the honest poem that has been wanting a pen, and says itself rightly, with only brightness for a mouth.

I will be a leaf first borne on the far far light of a star, then drink rain, drink earth, bloom like green, then in autumn become amber and fall with uncounting cousins where I am raked and rattled into a pile and am leapt upon by an excited child.  good life, leaf thinks to itself.

I will walk with you and when the question is asked, yes.

I will be, again, the fallen faded leaf who befriends a spirit sitting on a bench and who notices me that one day even though wind would seem to scatter such relationship.  I will be there the next day and the next and the man will find me again and again and understand love is always implied even in the smallest fragments, even when he thought love would look like someone else.

I will be a woman with her ordinary unknown life who, one day, right there on a street corner for all to witness, holds up a sign surely meant in some other way, yet when a man near lost of faith passes by and reads, it will restore him from despair.  then she will in turn be passed by just the way most angels are, never knowing herself, that is who she is.

I will be the color red, an orphan of the China sea, a good fortune wedding dress, with stories to tell, but I won’t.  instead a woman will write poems about my fingertips and the soft curve of her tongue.

I will be a man who writes a list of names, a list just like this, save for the one he is being now.

me, again.

read footnotes about this poem

if I were an Asian mother walking down the street

here, here look at my son.
he is larger than me.  much.  larger than my husband too.  larger than either of us.
 
I hold my husband’s hand as we walk to market down the late morning street, my arm within my son’s arm.
 
sometimes my son steps out ahead, as when we cross the street, but then soon he is back at my side.
 
I walk down the street in between my husband and my son, hand in hand, arm in arm.  here’s my son.  my gratitude.