With Love – Haiku

By D. R. DiFrancesco

Reddened cheeks tear stained

Broken heart bleeding crimson

Poisoned by lost loves

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Soft and tender kiss

Blushing my body tingles

Leaving me breathless

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Take my calloused hand

Gently enveloped by love

Softening my soul

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In Trouble…Again

Tracing careful steps,

I can see you are upset.

I touch your hand,

Gentle and caring but you pull back.

My gaze tries to meet yours,

But you look away.

A tear traces a sorrowful line down your cheek,

Reaching to wipe it away you slap my hand.

Your silence echos louder than words ever could,

In typical fashion I struggle to discover what I have done.

Is it something I said, something I did?

For God’s sake I’m not a mind reader!

This dance of wills goes on and on,

Resigned to the fact that I will lose,

No give or take just a cold shoulder and I’m to blame.

Bizarre and yet comical,

Juvenile in it’s pettiness.

Looking back these squabbles always make us laugh.

Maybe I had too much to drink,

Maybe I told a story that she didn’t want me to tell,

Or maybe I forgot her birthday,

This only happened once,

Fortunately she is forgiving.

It could be attributed to male ignorance I suppose,

Does this dissolve me of blame?

Yes…until the next time.

Sadly there will be a next time,

Confident in my shortcomings,

I will take up residence in the doghouse once again.

Resplendence or Regret

By D. R. DiFrancesco

 

Do you like what you see,

Molded after what you dreamed I’b be,

Sheltered behind walls of stone.

 

My wings clipped,

Meant to keep me safe,

Instead, caging my will to fly.

 

I knocked on fates door,

Only to have it slammed angrily in my face,

Resigned to a destiny of civilized certainty.

 

Is this the path I would have chosen?

Maybe, but that was for me to adjudge,

I never had the chance to find out.

 

Adolescence enslaved me,

Chaining my desires, preventing them from soaring,

Pushing me in directions that you found acceptable.

 

Age held no respite,

Desire for approval ingrained into my being,

Second guessing decisions through your minds eye.

 

Passage to maturity should not proceed this way,

Life’s lessons are meant to form us,

To be our guide through our metamorphosis to adulthood.

 

Despite being bound to the past,

Handcuffed to the vision of what I was supposed to be.

I have broken free of the iron shackles of my youth.

 

With no time for regrets I have freed me,

Unlocking my hopes from the dungeon of childhood,

Escaping the hangman that would have stifled my future.

 

Look back I would not change a thing,

Realizing that your protectiveness although misguided, decided who I became,

Leaving it up to me to alter the path on which I strode.

 

In strength I have become myself,

Confronting my shortcomings with an iron fist,

Finding the goodness in what I have become.

 

Harboring no compunction,

You did what you did out of love for my well-being,

Although flawed doing what you thought was best.

 

For this I thank you.

Trip to Nowhere

Hwy 93 Arizona

At daylight’s break embark to travel,

Down roads of asphalt, concrete and gravel.

Destination unknown, no map in hand,

Fun is not knowing where we will land.

Crossing desert dry, barren and bleak,

Distant the cool tree covered mountain peaks.

Joshua tree forest must first be traversed,

Bizarre and twisted as something not of this earth.

Joshua Tree Forest – Arizona

What wonders this world continues to show,

With every mile we travel many more to go.

Sadly this beauty for youth won’t be mentioned,

Instead iPods, iPads and Facebook capture their attention.

Nowhere, Arizona a one building town,

Stopping to look, not a soul to be found.

Dilapidated and boarded the structure in disrepair,

By harsh wind or rot  it will soon vanish in thin air.

The landscape it changes as if landing on the moon,

Mountains of boulders stacked across the desert are strewn.

As if blown from volcanoes long ago extinct,

Coloring the imagination or at least a pause to think.

Not long, maybe not more than a mile,

In the rearview mirror the unexplainable rock pile.

More desert, it never seems to end,

To Bull Head or Mead, to go straight or take the bend.

Go straight wins by the toss of a coin,

To Hoover and Mead a sight we purloin.

Desolate landscape finally breaks,

Over a hill in mountains our breath it does take.

Up and up we had unknowingly gone,

Thousands of feet of climb we have done.

Deep down below the majestic Colorado River,

It twinkles and glistens in the sun gives us shivers.

As high as we are so small it appears,

Looking over the edge it’s magnificence brings tears.

Hoover Dam – Arizona / Nevada

The mighty Hoover Dam lion tamer to Lake Mead,

It’s concrete and steel whip contains the rivers on which it feeds.

Drought and overuse have taken its toll,

Leaving scarred and starving this wonderful man-made bowl.

Still the ingenuity of this feet is something to behold.

It’s sight is jaw-dropping and never gets old.

Lake Mead – Nevada / Arizona

Great distances unnecessary, unplanned and unscripted,

A simple excursion my spirits uplifted.

Lost in Life

Reaching mid-life,

Still trying to find my way.

Who am I?

What am I supposed to be?

Shouldn’t I know by now?

This is absurd!

So many hobbies,

So many ventures started but left unfinished,

It doesn’t matter what they are,

They all have ended the same,

Lost interest or realized I wasn’t any good.

In a pile of ruin,

I have left hopes and dreams,

All in the name of being responsible,

Always true to others but not to myself.

Finally I’m in unfolding,

I am growing and maturing,

Making time for myself,

Taking time for my muse,

Joyfully immersed if only for an hour at a time.

Balancing the ephemeral,

Food, clothing and shelter,

With the nourishment of creativity.

Making my self whole,

On word at a time.

Serenity

In daylights passing there is peace,

Swaddled in twilight’s romantic glow.

A scattering of rays as if piercing a prism,

Turning the heavens once blue to mandarin.

Calm and cooler the evening breeze reinvigorates,

Ushering in a welcome sensation of renewal.

Is there anything more glorious?

Serenity floods the soul like a rapids,

Driving out dissent and pessimism,

Replacing it with tranquil blissful sleep.

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

Radiant neon,

Red, blue, green, white,

A rainbow of color,

Scorching the retina,

A sun that never sets.

Bells, whistles, catcalls, cheers,

Mixed with alcohol and cash,

Money talks,

Life savings optional.

Short skirts and translucent dresses,

Too much stuffed into too little,

Margaritas and sex,

Perfect together,

If the price is right.

On the strip…crowds,

Everyone looking to score,

Card flippers peddling porn,

Homeless looking for coin,

On more chance to turn things around,

Too bad it doesn’t work that way.

Freak show on Fremont,

Cover bands and booze,

Love beads and striptease,

Cross dressers and assless chaps,

Crowds like sardines,

Crammed to see the latest 80’s bands,

Middle aged balding groupies,

Headbanging to regain their youth,

Oh to be 50 again.

A show in itself,

Las Vegas,

There’s a reason for the saying…

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Drowning

Sadness,

Cast like a net over me,

Threatening to pull me under.

Staring out the window as if hypnotized,

Cars pass,

Wind blows through the trees,

Pedestrians carry on with their day,

The sun is shining,

Still I see nothing and feel everything.

This unexplainable innervation,

Shows up like an unexpected visitor,

Uninvited and unwanted,

Unshakable.

Bombarding me with questions and doubts,

Hiding my head in the sand,

Trying to bury the incessant noise,

Unsuccessful, I succumb to the torment,

Tired,

I find little consolation in it’s ephemeral nature,

Its no less painful,

Seems no less eternal,

Leaves me no less hopeless.

With painted smile,

I wander aimlessly through the day,

An observer of my surroundings,

Unable to participate,

Handicapped by sorrow,

Handcuffed to my emotions.

Viscerally I know this will pass,

This realization is all that sustains me,

A lifeline tossed to a drowning man,

Grabbing hold with all my strength,

Waiting to be dragged to shore,

Into the waiting arms of sanity.

Buddy Can You Spare A Dime

By D. R. DiFrancesco

The alarm rings,

Pastie mouthed, joints aching,

Swinging my legs off the bed,

Damn arthritis,

The cold is killing me.

I rub my eyes to wipe away the blur,

Standing in line to use the bathroom,

It wasn’t always this way.

Looking over my shoulder,

Bedroll, pair of pants and a shirt,

All I have left to my name,

Insignificant to most,

Something to fight for.

A hot meal,

Maybe the last for the day,

An assembly line of the wretched,

Like dogs fighting over scraps of meat,

Degrading and demoralizing.

Back to the street,

Bedroll under my arm,

Wearing everything I own.

More stares,

People pass by,

Eye contact would make me human,

I was an accountant for God’s sake,

I had a wife,

Left when times got tough,

I have kids,

They think Daddy’s gone away.

No surprise work is hard to come by,

One set of cloths,

Infrequent showers,

Unshaven,

Politicians want us to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps,

What bootstraps,

I wouldn’t hire me?

Panhandling,

For money, food, drink, and the occasional odd job,

Pennies, rocks, and insults are thrown my way,

I’m not a bum,

I’m you, one hospital bill away,

One hospital bill and you are me.

Maybe I’ll get a hot meal tonight,

Shelter,

A warm bed,

Maybe I won’t,

Look in the mirror,

Who do you see?

To Dine Alone

Coffee black and strong,

Gripped between cigarette stained fingers,

Making small talk,

How ’bout the weather?

Did ya see the news?

Filler to pass the time.

Old men hunched over cold eggs and bacon,

Swilling bottomless cups of mud,

Chain smoking Lucky’s,

Melancholy in the swirling cloud of second-hand smoke.

Each one has a story,

Exaggerated tales of loves lost,

Fables of misfortune and triumph,

White lies cast as bait to a sympathetic crowd.

“Sweetie”, a patron’s cry,

Barking for a check, menu, or refill,

Significant in this sea of anonymity,

Otherwise silently ignored.

The revolving door,

Room for one more lonely transient,

One more cup of thick black coffee,

Held between nicotine stained fingers,

Another tall tale wrapped in white lies,

Told to another friend,

Scarcely more than a stranger,

Just another forlorn castaway,

Adrift on a sea of tribulation.