A Relative Pause

A breeze breaks the silence
Disturbs the calm napping body
And delicately nudges with a
Hint of peace, as needed

Memory forgets the breeze quickly
Like joy followed by tragedy
Like a bad golf swing followed by a good one
That breeze evaporates unceremoniously, unasked

Arising with awaiting to-do lists for living
Trapped by warrior-like loyalty to being busy
Crashing into greedy appetites for approval from the gods-of-completion
Now the silence seeks the breeze, for oxygen

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- artwork by Zamir Shatz
- mailed to California - 

Place Called Home

Welcome to the jungle,
that impartial challenger for
all living creatures, putting
good, right and lovely
to question

Welcome to my jungle,
a minuscule highway of
intersecting and crashing events,
causing relationships and work
to teeter between yes and no

Welcome to their jungle,
where the risk to penetrate
may cost heart vulnerability,
where the ability to dream large
is turned-on, by them

Welcome to a jungle,
where flowing comfortably
is riskiest
Survival demands we navigate these jungles
Best, "Love each other, Do your work"

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- artwork by Sarah Mikenis
mailed to South Dakota

Imprint

Unlike nature
or sidewalk garbage or fingernail length,
portraits of love stamped in our eyes
stay static, unchanged.

Intellect or derelict, vagrant or wealthy,
the portraits endure
despite
births and deaths, marriages and miscarriages.

Indulging in portrait graffiti
defaces memories. Yet
unmoved,
foundations endure.

Portraits of love stamped in our eyes
need organizing.
Stories and tragedies,
adventures and excursions bubble up.

And we organize, so we may improvise,
seemingly effortlessly,
onto new portraits
with a stamp unique our own.

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- artwork by Beverly Pepper -
- mailed to Kentucky - 

Definitely Makes A Difference

Bloated music misses.
Its anatomy feels overdone

preachy, screamy, sentimental,
agendaed, intentioned

It's governed
by something other (than art).

Song circumvents everything.
If perfect for you

might be perfect differently for them
and imperfect for others.

Ears listen, brain interrupts
and interprets for the limbs.

Dance it says.
Move, the music implores.

Hum along while living the day.
Playing excites, while music ignites.

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- artwork by Roy Lichtenstein - 
- mailed to North Dakota - 

Anxiety Alternative

Breeding nerves
can become a sport
akin to talking.

Like sound, nerves travel in waves.
Intense ones
move furthest or
they impact hardest, nearest

Breeding nerves can appear smart;
like ultra concerned about an issue
until the audience leaves,
then nerves return to feed on you

Animals breed nerves too.
Might simply be a survival instinct.
Maybe for humans too.

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- artwork by Juan Capistran - "Still I Rise Above"
- mailed to Hawaii - 

Enough!

the pounding, the news, the people, me
taking words, taking stories, taking lives, move aside
no respite, no flowering, no outstanding, so exposed
just conscious, just do, just authority, justice
please remove, please discard, please educate, about cancers
remember history, remember family, remember you, in youth
so small, so curious, so full, wonder
make mind, make body, make projects, learn love

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- artwork by William Eggleston - 
- mailed to Nevada - 

Allusion Delusion

Starlight moonbright
knocking at the door
"Come out to say
come out to play"
says the neighbor tapping from heaven's shore
"How do you stay brighter than the light" I ask
knowing full well it's a ghost from the past
Friend and foe shine into mirrors of the mind
The light so bright
bridges day and night
sorrow with delight
Then compulsive fright
of dismantling current life
to a vision blinded by a knocking and nothing more

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- artwork by Gerhard Richter
- mailed to Utah - 

Superiority Not Based On Reason Or Actual Experience

Accepting
Tolerant
Abiding
Fair
do these words offend anyone anymore
should they offend humans to their core
until the words poke hard at you
their meanings are dismissed as untrue
Racist
Bigot
Prejudice
Sexist
do these words offend anyone anymore
they should offend humans to their core
unless the words poke hard at you
then their meanings are dismissed as untrue

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- artwork by Amy Sherald - "What's Different About Alice Is That She Has The Most Incisive Way Of Telling The Truth."
- mailed to Colorado -

Birth or Bury

What if the opposite of life was more life?
     base feelings bring heartache like racism
       might race simply be shared culture
         swaying toward segregation

Does that ring true to you?
     meeting and seeing other cultures
       breaks suppositions, discriminations
         cultures differ, blood and bones do not

Do you need a pet to live and be happy?
     feeling superior over others is never necessary
       tell your bias a new story
         others can thrive simultaneously as you thrive

Is equality a problem for planet earth?
     nope, babies come often and everywhere
       earth does not divvy out life
         earth does not dole out life with prejudice

What if the opposite of death was harmony?
     peace among races places and beliefs
       it rings true looking through the sieve of life
         future doers those babies born today

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- artwork by Pablo Picasso....
- mailed to Kansas -

ask

a hot humidity blowing
shoulder skin touching shoulder skin on a subway
sticky slightly wet penetrates the senses
strangers should not be touching     but they stay
humid heat brings lazy to speaking
so you just stay     touching

harsh vocal rasps from a hug-deprived human
approach     touch
imagine their exhale during the hug
life changes     it can     in that release
all you need is hug
sing     all you need is hug

a searing horn marking danger
alerting of bombs     bad driver     migraine head hurt
infant signaling want
adults ask but mostly don't
but why but why     question but why
approach the ask with confidence     you have permission

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- artwork by Olaf Nicolai - 
- mailed to Missouri - 

Triumph


Days weeks years morph into triumphant moments,
       if you squint.
Turning life literal specifics upside around
       emerges memories of triumphs.
They squeeze past the blockades of membrane
       like mice running away, anyway.

Delivering triumphs to the conscious
       requires a scheme.

Why don't you deliver regularly, like eating,
       unconsciously like squinting?

Excuse yourself to go triumph;
       shaking off the burdens, the weights, the people, hanging.
Trash the manipulators; those who hold back triumphs
       simply by their presence.
Go meek go bold go wide-eyed
       stumbling determinedly to an edge.
Triumph, so in later days weeks years
       when you squint, you'll see them

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- artwork by Etel Adnan - 
- mailed to New Jersey -