Sometimes a Poem

Sometimes a poem is a sudden tear
You never know when and why it will rise
Sometimes a poem is a vivid daydream
It appears in color before your wide-open eyes

Sometimes a poem is a fine sculpture
You can chisel it into a beautiful shape
Sometimes a poem is a lofty tower
You can erect it into a soaring sky-scape

Sometimes a poem is a naughty little girl
Who mocks at you from behind a half-open door
Sometimes a poem is a game of hopscotch
Like skipping through patterns drawn on a floor

Sometimes a poem is a playful lover
Who creeps up behind you and says “Guess who?”
Sometimes a poem is a bashful bride
Tiptoeing tentatively toward an eager you

Sometimes a poem is an April shower
That makes the flowers in your garden bloom
Sometimes a poem is a swing in the park
That cradles you and lifts you away from your gloom

We poets have a secret that is all our own
One that we have never before shared with you
Poems, like saplings, sprout on their own
Laboring over them is a thing we seldom do!

Invasion

I view every face with suspicion
In a crowd I hold my breath
This is how you’ve clouded my vision
Where I once saw life I now see death

They tell me to keep “social distance”
They tell me to remain at home
They tell me I’m old and lack resistance
So I am confined now, while you roam

It’s not only lives you destroy
You can decimate an entire nation
Does this give you some devilish joy
While we squirm, helpless, at your invasion?

Just as our nasty wars were ending
And the world heaved a sigh of peace
Just as our broken fences were mending
We now face your deadly disease

So all my plans are now on hold
Everything is suddenly uncertain
Dumbly I watch your drama unfold
Will I survive it, or is it curtains?

I feel you gnawing at my insides
I fear that you’ll forever remain
You may not yet be in my body
But you’ve surely invaded my brain

Everyday Things

Life is a thing most people take for granted
For me, life is knowing I love you with every heartbeat

Death is a thing most people are afraid of
For me, death only means I won’t see you again for a while

Love is a thing that means many things to many people
For me, love is realizing how much you mean to me

Loss is a thing people feel when they lose what’s precious
For me, loss is missing you every second you are away

Wealth is a thing most people covet but only a few get
For me, wealth means nothing ‘cause I treasure you

Health is a thing that most people care and fret about
For me, health is glowing in the warmth of your care

Faith is a thing that makes people believe strange things
For me, faith is believing you will always be there for me

Values are a thing that makes people what they are
For me, our shared values have kept you and me together

Friends are a thing that most people cherish
For me, friends there are many but you are my best

Foes are a thing that bothers most people
For me, foes are no bother as long as you’re by my side

Joys are a thing that everybody lives for
For me, it’s a joy just to spend my days with you

Sorrows are a thing that no one ever wishes for
For me, sorrows took flight the moment you arrived

Dreams are a thing that helps people look forward
For me, every dream came true when I first held your hand

Hope is a thing that helps people face each new day
For me, hope springs anew every day I am with you

Life, death, love, loss, wealth, health, faith, values
Friends, foes, joys, sorrows, dreams, hopes….

Everyday things that everyone thinks about
Every day of my life I only think about you

Leaving Home

When I first left my home
A young lad of seventeen
I could not get farther faster
Every new pasture was green

When I first left my family
Tired of being poor and sad
I decided that going away
Was the only real chance I had

When I first left my city
That bore, raised and nurtured me
I couldn’t live there another day
Its gritty streets forced me to flee

When I first left my friends
With whom I read, wrote and played
I thought I would make new ones
But soon my hopes began to fade

When I first left my state
Whose ways I had imbibed so well
I had to find new experiences
I had to learn new stories to tell

When I first left my country
Whose life was the only one I’d known
I wanted money, fame, opportunity
Oh how impatient I had grown

I sit here now, a man with no home
No family, no friends, no city, no state
No country even to call his own
Blaming his doings on innocent Fate

“You only leave home once,”
A wise man had said to me
In a world that is full of people
There’s no one left to hear my plea

I Alone

(Please forgive the patois. I kinda had to resort to it. Hope you’ll see why.)

Take me to ma home man
Take me to ma home
I feel I alone man
I feel I alone

I gone to America man
I gone to America
I live life fit fuh king man
I live life fit fuh king
Den one day it all change man
One day it all change
Alla dem actin’ strange man
Alla dem actin’ strange
Dey elec' dis big asshole man
Dey elec' dis big asshole
De country it los' it soul man
De country it los' it soul
Can’t live dey no mo' man
Can’t live dey no mo'

I land in Jamaica man
I land in Jamaica
Paradise on Earth man
Paradise on Earth
But you gots to take good cay man
You gots to take good cay
Too much drugs out dey man
Too much drugs out dey
Man kill man for penny man
Man kill man for penny
I los’ a friend too many man
I los’ a friend too many
Can’t live dey no mo' man
Can’t live dey no mo'

Nex' to Trinidad man
Nex' to Trinidad
Bes’ time evah I had man
Bes’ time evah I had
Woman dey big eye man
Woman dey big eye
Nah safe fuh no guy man
Nah safe fuh no guy
Dat place not fuh me man
Dat place not fuh me
Not ma cup of tea man
Not ma cup of tea
Can’t live dey no mo' man
Can’t live dey no mo'

Full circle to India man
Full circle to India
Country of my birth man
Country of my birth
Life here nah so bad man
Life here nah so bad
But you gots to be a cad man
You gots to be a cad
Dey tells you what to eat man
Dey tells you what to eat
You eat it or get beat man
You eat it or get beat
Can’t live dey no mo' man
Can’t live dey no mo'

I feel I alone man
I feel I alone
Take me to ma home man
Take me to ma home

Make It Stop

Every morning I wake up and face a new day
The first thing I do is kneel down and pray
Tell me how to make it stop

I see young children locked in a cage
My heart is overcome with rage
Tell me how to make it stop

Bystanders getting killed by thugs
Who want us all to buy their drugs
Tell me how to make it stop

Rich men who already have all they need
Still grab more with obscene greed
Tell me how to make it stop

Cowards send their sons and daughters
To fight their wars and get slaughtered
Tell me how to make it stop

Driven from their homes for taking a stand
Refugees exiled in their own homeland
Tell me how to make it stop

Another school shooting - I hear their screams
Innocents are dying - they haunt my dreams
Tell me how to make it stop

Parents grieving for their loved ones
Politicians want still more guns
Tell me how to make it stop

Global warming has seared our souls
Our leaders want us to burn more coal
Tell me how to make it stop

Lies from the left, hatred from the right
We’re all stuck in the middle of this fight
Tell me how to make it stop

Racism, sexism, ageism, casteism
All that’s missing is simple humanism
Tell me how to make it stop

God, if you are really up there
And if you even pretend to care
Tell me how to make it stop

Treasure Chest*

The pit in my stomach
When in a game of hide and seek
I suddenly discovered no one could find me

The short sharp instant
Of asphyxiation during my very first dive
When I thought I was literally dead in that water

The ecstatic cartwheels 
My heart turned with its unbridled joy
When I proposed and she said yes with her eyes 

The jet plane feeling
When for the very first time
I sped my car up onto an Interstate’s on-ramp

The subatomic smallness
That shrank me as I stood on the rim
Of the Grand Canyon and looked down its boundless abyss

The satiated silence
Of a moonlit walk when nothing was said
Yet everything was understood by our two clasped hands

The wave of breathless grief
That left me shaking like an aspen in a winter wind
When I watched him draw a breath and never let it out again

Memories time cannot erase
I often reach for them in my little treasure chest
What we have is only what we remember, as a great poet once said