A Million Ways

I wish to know a million ways to hurt:

With fist and sword,

With smile, with thought and word,

So from a million ways to hurt

I could protect you,

Who lives at war with the world

Your own mind has created;

/

I’ll learn my arts

From pretend saints and their demons,

From those, who buy what can’t be bought,

Who, to sell water, cause a draught,

From those, who drench their lands in blood

As if to please not their confused hearts

But a god;

/

I’ll sprout a million hands

And place in each a weapon;

I’ll grow a million heads

And poison each with ignorance;

I’ll stand on a million legs so strong,

With each my step the Earth will shake,

And I will slay, destroy and dance

Until but dust – and you – remain;

/

I wished to know a million ways to hurt,

So I could give you this clean sheet

To paint a world,

Where there’s no need for pain or fear,

Or monsters of unalterable pasts;

Where none finds joy in harming or in suffering;

Where there’s no place for me, at last

The Gift

I will show you your great courage,

I will teach you to see beauty,

I’ll gift you with a smile as bright

As the Sun’s, round whom dances the Universe;

/

But the wings I will give you will cost you your legs;

The truths I’ll share with you will be hammered like nails

Into the old, cracked, yet stubborn walls of your mind,

Built of prejudice and recycled thoughts;

/

I will grant you the Wind’s freedom,

Turn your voice into a wild Thunder;

I’ll reforge your heart into one as strong

As this of the Earth-Mother;

/

But the strength you will have will be tested each day;

The light in your eyes will draw darkness and pain,

And the love that will live in your chest must survive

The tests of indifference, of hatred, of time…

/

I offer you these gifts freely;

I offer you these burdens, heavy;

Will you take them from me bravely

Or pretend that you can’t hear me?

The Brushstrokes

It’s all a dream:

The lowest moments

And the greatest,

The imperfections

And the changes

Made by the mind

To what was by the mind,

Confused,

Created;

/

It doesn’t hurt, really,

When in my nightmares

Hungry demons

Gnaw at my bones

And rip to pieces

The magic heart

That every morning

I find unfailingly

Beating in my chest;

/

It is all a mirage:

This face, this body,

Their existence

And their ultimate

Disintegration;

There’s nothing wrong

With pieces breaking,

Cracks manifesting

On the unforgiving skin

/

Painted over

Emptiness

In thick colors

Of fear

Named and signed

By the artist,

‘Me’ –

Both as a sentence

And a key

/

To freedom

Can I Stay?

Can I stay,
My hands glued to the floor,
Breathing in the dusty rustle
Of steps
Over my head?
/
Can I sleep
When the drums start to roar
And thick voices converge
Under the ceiling
Like black crows, trapped?
/
Can I cry
Without anyone looking at me
Like I’m going to melt
And leave
A stain?
/
Can I walk
Without anyone thinking
It’s to
Or away
From them?
/
Can I ask
Of the air that I breathe
Little questions like these,
And not hope
For an answer?
/
And in the silent
World
Can I help going mad?
Can I help growing old?
Can I help
Dying?

The Leaves of Fall

Please, don’t step down for me,

Or any other creature,

From your tall pedestal

Of wisdom,

/

For, by the time that you

Would reach my lowly world,

I know, and you know, too,

That I would be long gone;

/

Imagine sitting by the river

And watching

Scarlet leaves

Drift quickly past you

/

In one of them,

Running from drowning,

Can you not recognize

My daily-aging face?

/

Can you, from high up

On your throne of knowledge,

Not see the end

Towards which I am rushing,

/

Dragged underwater and

Pushed back up by the currents,

Thinking it’s freedom to exists

In a shape-shifting cage?

/

Do not step down for me,

Or any other creature,

Into this icy river

Of oblivion:

/

Even if you could ever reach me,

I’d simply crumble in your hands